A few questions from a soon-to-be parent

Syngyne

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Thanks to Vogelspinnen, I will soon have a 3" female G.aureostriata, my first tarantula. Now, I've read up (both the Tarantula Keeper's Guide and Tarantulas and Other Arachnids, and these forums), but I still have a couple of questions.

I tend to keep pretty late nights and wake up early due to schoolwork. Do I need to cover the t's enclosure with something to block the light when I'm up late at night? Like a box bigger than the enclosure with a couple of holes punched in it for air.

I have a window in my room that's about 8 feet from where I'm putting enclosure, and the window isn't exposed to direct sunlight. Is leaving the drapes open sufficient enough during the day when I'm gone, or do I need to get a light for the enclosure?

On the use of Bed-a-Beast: after I soak and expand it, then get rid of the excess water, how long should I wait after packing the enclosure before introducing the tarantula? I've read that tarantulas can be picky about how moist their substrate is.

Thanks for any replies!
 

NixHexDude

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The T will most likely not react to the light a great deal, but if it does seem restless in response to your activity, a box could be considered.

They don't mind darkness.

Dry it to the point that the enclosure meets the T's requirements.
 

Alice

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hi and welcome to your new addiction :D


i tend to keep late hours as well, and neither my brachypelma nor my grammostola species mind at all if the light is on longer. the arboreals however, especially the more secretive one (pokies mainly) do seem to mind and tend to retreat into their hides if i keep the light on once they have their nightly stroll.

so you'll be probably ok with the g. aureostriata and light. if she seems bothered, just use an old towel or something and drape it over he tank. that will block out enought light, and you don't have to bother with boxes.

as for the window: make REALLY sure there is no direct sunlight - it would cook your t alive.

as for the substrate: g. aureostriata like it rather dry, als long as they have a full waterdish. so maybe it would be best if you dried her substrate in the oven before putting it in the tank as it can take a while for the stuff to drie in a tank.

good luck with your first t!
 

Syngyne

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Thanks for the responses. :)

About the substrate, I'm going to be using Bed-a-Beast, and was told that it's kind of hard to pack into an enclosure once it's completely dry. I was going to pack the enclosure today, and the tarantula won't be arriving until Thursday of next week. Is that enough time for it to dry out?
 

Alice

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i don't think it will dry out that quickly - it can take weeks to be as dry as grammostolas like it :rolleyes:.

so maybe just bake it until it is mostly dry, then rub it between your hands to make it more plyable and just put it in the cage. she won't die from a bit of moist substrate, but she's certainly not gonna like it ;).
 

midnight_maiden

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Thanks for the responses. :)

About the substrate, I'm going to be using Bed-a-Beast, and was told that it's kind of hard to pack into an enclosure once it's completely dry. I was going to pack the enclosure today, and the tarantula won't be arriving until Thursday of next week. Is that enough time for it to dry out?
If this is the same coconut fiber that I have used in the past, I think that as long as you wring it out really well or add just a little water at a time so it is not soaked, it should be plenty of time to dry out by Thursday. I found that it dries rather quickly as long as it is not completely saturated when you put it in the enclosure. But putting it in the oven won't hurt either. That way you know it will be dry in time. As far as ease of packing while still moist, if it's not dry enough and time is running short, you can take a blow-dryer to it while it's in the tank.

Good luck with your G. aureostriata, I am actually going to be getting one of these soon. Nice spiders!

-Carla
 

Lorgakor

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The substrate should be fine by Thursday next week. Even if it is still damp, it won't hurt your spider. As long as it is not dripping.
 

Mina

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Hi and welcome!! Don't worry about the light. Make sure you provide a hide big enough for the T to get into and if they don't like the light, they will use it I tend to stay up late and have a light on and it does not bother my Ts. As a matter of fact, I enjoy that time because they are much more active. My N. chromatus turns into a motion machine.
As far as the substrate goes any of the ideas suggested will work. Squeeze it out real well, leave it wet and bake it, or use a blow dryer on it. You also might want to stir it up once a day so that it gets dry all the way through. My two G. aureostriatas aren't as bad about water as my G. roseas, but they still don't like it.
Just a warning, the bigger of my two thinks it is arboreal. It spends as much time hangine from the top of its viv as it does on the ground. Nothing is wrong, but I have noticed that some spiderlings and juviniles like to check out being what they aren't. Yours will probably do that for a while before it settles into its new home, but if it keeps up, and you are keeping the T as it should be, don't worry.
 

Syngyne

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Thank you for the advice, all. I think I've gotten pretty much everything I need to make a home, I'm just missing the tarantula. :)
 

Doezsha

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The technique that I use for the co co fiber was suggested earlier I put a little bit of water in a plastic container and then I stand the bed a beast on one end and let it soak up the water slowly until i get enough moist to fit my needs then i break some of the dryer co co fiber off at the point that the water stopped soaking in to the brick. and mix the dryer fiber with the wetter fibers. that seemed to cut down the drying time. as far as light I like to use red lights in my room at night so as not to bother my T's, I use white light from time to time at night but for short periods.
 

Talkenlate04

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Thank you for the advice, all. I think I've gotten pretty much everything I need to make a home, I'm just missing the tarantula. :)
Your my new best friend. I always love when someone takes the time to research their soon to be pet BEFORE they get it. Welcome to the hobby!
 

Syngyne

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Thanks. :) I've always liked tarantulas and thought they were cute (well, most of them). I figured it would be easier on both parent and bug if I read up on how to take care of one first.

Lorgakor, I made a wine cork hide like the ones you posted in this thread. It is the coolest little thing ever, but the project taught me a couple of things:

1) Corks are kind of hard to cut in half, and
2) I am really, really bad with hot glue. T_T
 

Lorgakor

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Lol! Yeah they are rather difficult to cut, I use a combination of a pocket knife, scissors and some big clipper thingies. Whatever works. I'm not so good with the hot glue either, I've lost count of the times I've burned myself and ended up with blisters. Ouch! I'd love to see the hide you made.:)
 

Syngyne

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I'd love to see the hide you made.:)
Maybe after I am done shaving off all the tiny little strings of glue that cover it currently. You would think a tarantula had already webbed it up. >_>

Edit: Update, I just started soaking the coco fiber block and OH MY GOD it's getting huge it just swallowed the kitchen send help please
 
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Syngyne

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Okay, another couple of questions. After drying the coco fiber in the oven a bit and putting it into the enclosure, it's still a little moist. Not dripping wet, but the glass touching the substrate has some slight condensation on it below the substrate level. Is it alright to leave the enclosure like this, or will I get mold growing before next week? The entire top of the enclosure is a screen, and I haven't blocked any part of it yet so it currently has the maximum ventilation this enclosure will provide.

The G.aureostriata I am getting is a 3". There's about 4" of substrate in the enclosure, but it's left 6" of empty space from the top of the enclosure to the substrate. Is that safe, or should I really put more subsrate in?
 

Alice

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if the top is all screen, it will most likely not grow mold. just let it dry out till next week, and if the surface is still moist by then, you can use a hair drier (without that focus thingy) to dry out the surface so that your t doesn't get moist feet. they really hate that.

as for the hight - just to be sure, i'd put in 1-2 more " of substrate. 6" hight is not very much, but for a 3" t a fall might still prove fatal if she hits the water dish.
 

Mushroom Spore

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The G.aureostriata I am getting is a 3". There's about 4" of substrate in the enclosure, but it's left 6" of empty space from the top of the enclosure to the substrate. Is that safe, or should I really put more subsrate in?
You should add more, especially since the substrate will probably shrink a little as it dries and settles over time. I'd put in another 3", so that even if you lose a whole inch due to drying/settling, it won't be too bad. These guys are decent growers, so once it starts eating again after its molts, you may want to keep an eye on how much bigger it is. Once it gets up around 4-5", that'll be a good time to start lowering the substrate. :)

Best of luck! Aureos are great little spiders, I've been raising one I got as a tiny freebie baby in January '06. I love watching it play bulldozer, even if it does mean I haven't seen the waterdish in three months. :mad: I finally gave up and just wet a corner of the substrate every so often, it's 2" at most so it still has no problem drinking from the soil as slings often do.
 

elyanalyous

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A hint with hot glue is to lick your fingers before you touch it. It won't burn and it allows you to smooth it in. Also, to get the strings of hotglue off, instead of picking, use a hair dryer to soften it up first. that will make it easier to get off.

when we cut corks, we used a hand hack saw (got mine at the dollar store for $5).

If you use a hairdryer near almost dry eco-earth (coconut coir), beware that it will get flung up in the air... oh god i made a mess with that one! Use the diffuser and its not so bad.

I love when people research and set up homes for thier babies before they even get them. good luck with your new T!
 

Syngyne

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Well, here is the completed enclosure, just waiting for the occupant. The plants are plastic ones I bought at Micheals. I ran them and the water dish through the dishwasher once, and then rinsed them again before putting them in the enclosure. The substrate is still a bit moist towards the bottom, but the top inch or so is dry, so hopefully my little girl will be happy. If she isn't, there's a piece of cork bark for her to sit on until the substrate dries a bit more.

Edit: also, through a happy accident, the terrarium is positioned so that the shadow from the black plastic around the top falls across the opening of the hide, so hopefully she won't have to retreat too far in. :)
 
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