Another Community Set-up

Bill S

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
1,401
I finally got the last of my indoor venomous snakes to a new home, which in turn allowed me to do the major revision of my reptile room into an arachnid room. (It's been slowly happening anyway - but now it's official.) I've built several new sets of shelves for kritter keepers and other small containers - but will have some space for a couple very large cages. My wife has staked a claim on one large tank for a communal amblypygid tank for a project she's working on, but I'm thinking of also setting up a large tank as a communal experiment for Hysterocrates gigas.

So.... My question for people on this board - How large a tank would be appropriate? I have tanks of various sizes available, up to a 55 gallon. I'm mostly hoping to hear from someone who has actually done this before - less interested in third-hand speculations.

I'm anticipating substrate at least a foot deep, and I'd like to have a water container deep enough to see whether this species really does enter the water or not. The water container will not be a foot deep, so will be structurally mounted so that burrows underneath it won't create havoc. I'll start with a group of small spiders and let them grow into the tank, rather than moving a group in stages from small containers up to a large container.
 

EDED

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 12, 2004
Messages
554
i've had my hatchlings grow up together to anywhere from 2-4'' leg span, as they will grow at different rate depending on how much how often you feed...they dont really share either but tolerate eachothers presence thats all.

since this species get huge, i would think bigger the better but that depends on how many you will keep.

i have not kept them long enough for them to breed in the tank (space issue) so i would love to see what you do with them.

and i think the water is really useless and unnecessary for the spiders.

a tank full of dirt with holes was what i had and they were happy.
 

Bill S

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
1,401
...they dont really share either but tolerate each others presence thats all.
I'm aware of that. Hence the idea of giving them enough space to not crowd each other too much.

since this species get huge, i would think bigger the better but that depends on how many you will keep.
I've got a single large specimen already - but he'll remain in his solitary cage. I'm tentatively thinking of about half a dozen individuals in the group tank - but if they reach adulthood and reproduce I'll make adjustments based on what I observe. Might be interesting to see interactions between a mother and babies.

and i think the water is really useless and unnecessary for the spiders.

a tank full of dirt with holes was what i had and they were happy.
In the wild they are found at or near river banks, and there are scattered reports of them entering water. In order to observe whether or not they actually do this, the presence of water really IS necessary. The solitary one I now keep lives in essentially the "tank full of dirt" - and it does well, but it teaches me nothing about group interactions, use of water, etc. That would be the whole purpose of keeping a group tank with water available. (And it would have to be more than just a typical water dish, too.)
 

zonbonzovi

Creeping beneath you
Staff member
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Messages
3,346
My wife has staked a claim on one large tank for a communal amblypygid tank for a project she's working on, but I'm thinking of also setting up a large tank as a communal experiment for Hysterocrates gigas.
I eagerly await this future thread & am interested to see what species she'll be experimenting with...but this is about H. gigas...carry on.:)
 

sharpfang

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
913
Eager Beaver

Yes, anticipation indeed :} Communals are going to be experimented w/ more species......I can feel it. I will soon attempt M. Balfouri, and had an OBT 2 inch "communal" go poorly :eek:

I hear alotta H. Gigas attempts rescently though :razz:

I think the mounted H2O bowl is a great idea :clap:.....And the T's will create tunnel systems underneath, that will stay a little more Humid down there - as would I feel, a burrow near bodies of Water in the Wild - GL w/ *project*

- Jason
 

Bill S

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
1,401
I eagerly await this future thread & am interested to see what species she'll be experimenting with...but this is about H. gigas...carry on.:)
My wife will be working with our local species of amblypygid - Paraphrynus mexicanus. They're a convenient size, hopefully easy to come by (she's got a couple already), and have been observed in the wild in close proximity to each other.

I've got group set-ups of Holothele incei and Holothele sp. Tachira. I've got some Heterothele villosella that will eventually (hopefully) be in a communal set-up. And I've got a group of Scolopendra mutilans (or S. subspinipes mutilans) in a large terrarium. Although I'm not as much into scorpions, I've kept Centruroides sculpturatus in groups and have a communal set-up of emperor scorpions too.

My wife has kept true spiders (theridiids) in subsocial groups with good success, as well as vinegaroons (mothers with babies). Hysterocrates will be the largest species I've tried.
 

AbraxasComplex

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 23, 2007
Messages
1,138
My wife will be working with our local species of amblypygid - Paraphrynus mexicanus. They're a convenient size, hopefully easy to come by (she's got a couple already), and have been observed in the wild in close proximity to each other.
I did this with 3 Paraphrynus mexicanus for about 8 months. It worked quite well, but I had 3 females so no reproduction.

I've got group set-ups of Holothele incei and Holothele sp. Tachira. I've got some Heterothele villosella that will eventually (hopefully) be in a communal set-up. And I've got a group of Scolopendra mutilans (or S. subspinipes mutilans) in a large terrarium. Although I'm not as much into scorpions, I've kept Centruroides sculpturatus in groups and have a communal set-up of emperor scorpions too.
Well S. subspinipes mutilans works for a while, but you will end up with one or two after an extended period. I had 12 in two large tanks (6 in each) and lost all but 3 after a year and a half. That was with over feeding.





As for the H.gigas, I am also setting up a tank soon with a large water feature. I have 3 adult females and 3 juveniles and will try it once I breed them. Shall be interesting.
 

billopelma

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 20, 2005
Messages
604
I have a group I started as slings in a fairly small enclosure and kept bumping it up as they got bigger. I started with seven (I think) and am now down to three (I think). The losses incurred were mostly as slings and appeared to be natural, meaning finding curled up bodies as opposed to being eaten by siblings.
At this point (been a little over two years) I have two females and a mature male in a 2.5 gal filled with dirt. The females, about 4", are quite a bit smaller than the male and have always stayed 98% underground while the male has always stayed 98% on top. The fems are very skittish and the male quite gregarious, none have shown any overtly defensive behavior. I've tried vivarium-like setups with plants and water but they dig up/cover over the plants and most interactions I've seen with water is in filling it in with dirt. These setups have always been somewhat compact though so I'm sure with enough space this could be avoided to some degree. I've been wanting to get them into a ten gal for a while now but just haven't gotten to it.

The bottom line from what I've seen so far is that, like most hole dwelling T's, they will utilize a lot of dirt but don't seem to find benefit from the additional accouterments. That's all just for us to look at and I like it so will continue to try yet again to terrascape yet another enclosure in hopes of being able to enjoy it for a while before the inhabitants plow it under or web it over. I've had some good runs with the incei setups as well as a few odd individuals, I'm sure my biggest issue is simply that I don't provide enough excess space.
If you start with slings it will be fairly easy to determine when all the space is being utilized and it's time to provide more. Happens quick with Hysterocrates so you either rehouse a lot or way overkill in the beginning and deal with never seeing the inhabitants or knowing whether they're getting enough food. I agree with EDED that while being very tolerant of each other, they still set up their own areas and rarely interact, particularly as they get larger. They don't seem to need a lot of boundary space, I have seen the girls with burrow entrances right next to each other, even though there is plenty of space to separate, still no contact or sharing food.
For six adults I would think a 55 gal would be minimal to provide adequate room for digging and territories as well as having additional space for a water park and recreation area. You might just need a 90 to keep some of the neighborhood from being trashed. In my limited experience the males are more likely to take advantage of the extra attractions.


Bill
 

Bill S

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
1,401
Well S. subspinipes mutilans works for a while, but you will end up with one or two after an extended period. I had 12 in two large tanks (6 in each) and lost all but 3 after a year and a half. That was with over feeding.
I wondered about that. When I first got the centipedes I set up a large terrarium with lots of room and large dried leaves to hide under. I put the first centipede in and it motored around looking fine. I added the second and it promptly pounced on the first one and killed it. Not the best beginning. So I kept everyone separate for a while and fattened them up really good and then reintroduced them. So far so good, but I kept one individual solitary just in case the group ceases to be a group.
 

Bill S

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
1,401
billopelma, thanks for the information. I may go for a larger tank, or reduce the population density. Actually, I figured if I started with six, there'd be some natural attrition. I'd be happy to get one pair of adults to share the tank and reproduce, just to see what happens between mother and babies.
 
Top