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Australian Beginner

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Bradley Dreaver, Aug 24, 2019.

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    Hello everyone I am looking at entering this hobby but I am not sure which tarantula is a good start for me as every youtuber, and person I know who owns them are in america so when they suggest me a spider I can't have it. So my question is to the more educated Australian hobbyists what is a good species for me to keep? (I know they are not like dogs or cats and are more like fish as pets and am fine with that)
     
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  2. Theneil

    Theneil Arachnoprince Active Member

    USA
    @RezonantVoid probably has some suggestions on species.

    But my suggestion is just to do diligent research and preparation first. Doing that will likely be enough even if you cant get the most “beginner friendly” species.

    Plus all those befinner vids are meant for us wussified Americans anyway, becasue we aren't used to being aroud things that might hurt us. :troll:
     
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  3. Kitara

    Kitara Arachnobaron Active Member

    US
    Hahahaha.... yes "beginner" in Australia has a different meaning eh?
     
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  4. RezonantVoid

    RezonantVoid Hollow Knight Arachnosupporter

    Hi mate, super stoked to hear you're thinking of starting the invertebrate hobby. You couldn't have come to a better place for information as well.

    My best suggestion for a beginner depends on your patience. If you want an adult tarantula straight up, I would highly recommend the species Selenotypus Wallace. They are fairly gentle and slow as far as Aussie T's go, and have various shades of brown that make them interesting to look at. They are fairly easy to care for, as adults just give them 10-15cm of substrate that is kept slightly damp and allow the top few centimetres or so to dry out. Add a water dish and a log or piece of bark for them to dig under and they normally are fine.

    If you're willing to start small and gradually get used to a tarantula as it grows, then I would definitely reccomend you start with a Phlogius sp. of some kind. They are MUCH faster growing than Selenotypus and grow a bit bigger but are quite skittish as adults which is why I wouldn't reccomend an adult Phlogius sp. as a first tarantula. They like their substrate to be slightly damp all the way through, and an appropriate sized piece of wood for a hide. They can grow from the size of your fingernail to 10cm diagonal legspan (DLS) in 12-14 months and makes lots of webbing.

    And whatever you do, just DON'T start with Selenotholus Kotzman straight away. You'll never want to join the hobby again


    Hopefully this helps, @Rhino1 is also a fantastic source of info for Australian T's and he can help you out too if you have any questions
     
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  5. RezonantVoid

    RezonantVoid Hollow Knight Arachnosupporter

    At the very least, you guys have the option to start with NW species
     
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  6. Thanks so much that is a 2 for 1 question asked. I want to start with a Sling but i don't know how to go about caring for it. feeding, housing and the such. And as a fellow aussie how do you go about our ridiculous winters and summers extreme temps?
     
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  7. RezonantVoid

    RezonantVoid Hollow Knight Arachnosupporter

    All very good questions! For housing, most of us Aussies like to use SISTEMA brand containers, you can pick them up cheap from Big W, Spotlight and I think Woolworth's stores. They have clip on lids and durable, clear plastic that is easy to drill ventilation holes in. I use the 2.35L sized cubic ones for all my slings until they reach 10cm DLS

    This is my Phlogius Crassipes "Hampden form" setup, I didn't even need a hide for this one.
    20190825_131046.jpg

    These containers also stack neatly, so you can add cross ventilation holes and have them on top of each other.

    For substrate, Coco peat/peat moss is always reccomended. You can get these compact dried bricks of it in Bunnings but they are super annoying to break apart, soak and then squeeze out. I've also tried using it 3 times over the years and every time my inverts have hated it. Another nice solution is on the Kellyville Pets website, you can get decent sized containers of it for fairly cheap and it's fuss free, just pour it straight into your enclosure and spray it to the necessary level.

    If you plan to be like me and have 80+ invertebrates in the future, I'd invest in a bale of Lithuanian cocopeat online, it's pricey to start but will keep you supplied for ages. Even better again, it comes with the perfect amount of moisture already in it so you don't need to do any soaking straight away. I like to mix 1 handful of fine reptile sand for every 4-5 handfuls of cocopeat. Not necessary, but I think it makes it feel more natural to them. Another good material to have available is decorative spagnum moss. You can get dried bags of it from nurseries and such, and I always have a bundle of it in each enclosure to soak so they can drink from it.

    For feeding, the best 2 options are probably crickets and mealworms. The latter can be slightly risky though, as if the T doesn't eat one, it can burrow into the substrate and hurt your tarantula while it is molting. I order packs of 250 crickets from livefoods unlimited, but they also have smaller handypacks available for smaller collections. For a Phlogius sp. sling I would offer 2 extra small crickets a week until it is nice and fat, and then offer 1 a week unless it decides not to eat. Before they molt, they may refuse food for a few weeks so make sure there are no food items in their enclosure at any time if they refuse food for a period of time.

    As for temperatures, best thing you can do is just keep them in the most insulated part of the house. In really bad summer heat, I spray the enclosures with fridge water to help lower the temperature. It gets bad for them when it's like 35°c+, but mostly as slings. Only T Ive lost outside of old age was a Phlogius Stents sling in a heatwave. I leave the fans running and move them to the living room where the air con is if it's really hot.
     
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  8. What about when it is in the -s? i can get during winter down to -5 - 8 degrees? And thanks about the container i was worried about needing to spend an arm and a leg on a tank and is the "Phlogius Crassipes" a good beginner T?
     
  9. RezonantVoid

    RezonantVoid Hollow Knight Arachnosupporter

    If you have a heater of any kind that can make the room feel comfortable, that should suffice. Cocopeat can hold a decent of warmth on its own, with the amount I have I find the enclosures actually help heat my room during winter. We often reccomend against them where possible, but a heatmat connected to a thermostat may be necessary if a room heater isnt available. Never use lamps as T's don't like light and it dries out their substrate too quickly.

    Crassipes can work fine as a beginner T, but best as a sling. Here's a photo of both Selenotypus and Phlogius look as adults 20190601_174515.jpg Selenotypus "Champagne Robustus"

    20190801_163232.jpg
    Phlogius Rubiseta
     
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  10. Do they both build webbed burrows? and very newbie question what is the difference in the genus? The both look great by the way
     
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  11. RezonantVoid

    RezonantVoid Hollow Knight Arachnosupporter

    Selenotypus do line the burrows with webbing, but very little of it. Phlogius on the other hand make heaps of web, and sometimes something we call "web castles". Probably the biggest physical difference between the 2 genus is that Phlogius have a rounder head shape where as Selenotypus looks slightly more rectangular, and the 3rd and 4th pairs of legs on Selenotypus are much fluffier than the 1st and 2nd pairs. This is a bit more noticeable as they grow older, like my S.Wallace here
    [​IMG]
    You can compare the back pair of legs to the front ones and see the difference in fluffiness.

    In general, Selenotypus behave in a more docile manner than Phlogius and grow probably 4x slower.
    The 5 current genus we have in Australia are Selenotypus, Selenotholus, Selenocosmia (almost synonymous with Phlogius so some people float between the 2 names), Phlogius and Coremiocnemis. There are many more described and unnamed specimens here so that number is expected to grow soon
     
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  12. Oh nice thanks i really like that fluffy look the wallace has
     
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  13. Rhino1

    Rhino1 Arachnoknight

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