A quick guide to keeping Trapdoors

RezonantVoid

Hollow Knight
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In the 3 years since this thread was made I've improved my husbandry skills considerably and would like to declare alot of the info in this thread is outdated/generalised. I'm in the process of making a much more accurate care guide that covers a larger range of mygalomorphs, from sandy coastal habitat species and large trapdoors from thick clay embankments to arid zone wishbones and curtain webs
 

Nacnac

Arachnopeon
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I have seen a few people ask questions about keeping trapdoors and tips on finding them. Well, I'm no expert but I have bred some species and own 24 specimens across several genus so at the very least I hope I can give advice from a successful hobbyist point of view.

1- ARE THEY HARDER TO KEEP THAN TARANTULAS??

No, they are considerably easier in my opinion. The only thing that may be challenging for breeders is that slings do prefer a little bit more space to wander around to choose a burrow so as a sling you need a slightly larger container.

2- HOUSING

They do not require a 2ft deep container to dig a massive burrow in order to be content, the maximum depth I would reccomend is 30cm (1ft) but I have proven that in captive situations they can be content with 20cm or less depending on the species. Here is what I use for 3 sizes- sling, juvenile to subadult, and large.


The biggest container is SISTEMA brand. These are probably my favourite thing to use because: they are clear, don't break easy, are easy to drill through without melted plastic covering the drill, very cheap, have a clip on lid, are available in a massive range of sizes and can stack on top of each other. I will usually fill one of these cubic ones up to 2 thirds or 3 quarters with cocopeat. It's good to leave a bit of spag moss or crunched sticks on top as some species will arrange these around the burrow entrance and it looks cool. For very large species you may want to invest in a 30x30x30 tank or custom make your own, and angle the substrate as many large species prefer to dig into riverbanks horizontally. Do not regularly rehouse them as they do not cope with relocation very well and take a while to readjust.

3- HUMIDITY

Trapdoors will require pretty moist substrate as they loose water very quickly which is a reason why many species make lids in the first place. However, DO NOT absolutely soak your substrate as they will feel very uncomfortable. A good idea is just hand squeeze the substrate as hard as you can to get as much water out as you can and that will usually be good. For my SISTEMA setups I drill about 28 3mm ventilation holes in the lid and 5 2.5mm ones on 2 sides close to the lid. This will usually hold the moisture pretty well. They do not need water dishes as they will never leave the burrow aside to forage for food at night and their burrows hold enough humidity for them. Here is what I like to see on the side of the container, a light film of condensation.


4- FEEDING

Most trapdoors are opportunistic feeders and will take food almost regardless of how long ago you fed them. They are quite slow growing so it's good to feed them regularly if you have a sling. I prefer crickets since they don't dig and they put up a decent struggle on any web so the spider will catch them pretty quick. My slings I feed 2 or 3 times a week, subadults 2 times and adults 1 large cricket plus whatever crickets I find escaped in my room. They are the longest living of any spider group so they grow slowly.

5- BREEDING

Dead easy most of the time. A feature of many species is compact wild colonies since the slings hardly wander far from the mother's burrow. A lot of the time a male will mate with many females from a colony and the females rarely show aggression. If you have a male and female just add the male close to the females burrow and he should begin drumming. Mating mostly takes place outside the burrow so the male may enter and coax the female out. After that it's just the same as T's. The gestation period strongly varies but it is generally quite a long time; I have paired some females in April and June and they still haven't layed. I wouldn't pull their eggsack, I would let the mother care for it and after they hatch sit the container in a larger one with the substrate level with the top of the female's container. The slings will just climb out on their own after a few weeks.


6- FINDING THEM IN THE WILD

A little theory I've been looking into is an easy way to locate an ideal habitat for them. I have worked out that across several countries trapdoors will be much more commonly found in red soil zones. Keeping in mind their high moisture preference try places like red soil zones near bodies of water such as riverbanks and tropical areas. I have noted alot of Australian species of myglamorph stick to tropical rainforest mountains with red soil, so if you have somewhere like that near you give it a shot.

Hope this guide helps answer any questions people might have about keeping Trapdoors, they are fascinating and you will thoroughly enjoy keeping them.
Hey have a question I have gravel at bottom of tank would it be bad if you drill one whole in bottom so water never gets the height you want it. Thanks in advance
 

Nacnac

Arachnopeon
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Hey have a question I have gravel at bottom of tank would it be bad if you drill one whole in bottom so water never gets the height you want it. Thanks in advance
Quick update since the rehousing yesterday the liphistus has gone down a burrow and looks like constructing and now the tank I have him in has light film of condensation on side of tank like resonantvoid has said in his post on the quick guide for trapdoors. Will post updates through out. Ty Res
 

RezonantVoid

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Hey have a question I have gravel at bottom of tank would it be bad if you drill one whole in bottom so water never gets the height you want it. Thanks in advance
I just put a layer of peat moss and sand mix about 15-20mm thick at the bottom and compress a pillar of it in one corner that goes all the way from the bottom of the enclosure to the top of the clay substrate, water drains into the peat and sand and evaporates up the corner pillar over time
 
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