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Avicularia and the truth about cross ventilation.

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by CEC, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. CEC

    CEC Arachnoangel Arachnosupporter

    A recent thread came up, I can no longer reply to it but it brought up a good point and my "Devil's Advocate" self is here to ironically and rarely voice for the new comer...

    Although the forum pitchforks were brought forth in the other thread cuz of a newbie suspected of classic ignorance and an inevitable disposition caused by being out numbered. The the question still remains. Is "cross ventilation" really needed?
    I think this question is widely misunderstood when it relates to Avicularia keeping.
    Avicularia certainly thrive better in drier conditions, I have no opposition to that... but that's the key, no matter how that is accomplished... I have raised them every which way to test the tolerance over the years.
    In my experience, the notion of cross ventilation is merely a newbie guideline to avoid an over moist / stuffy enclosure brought on by the misguidance from out-dated internet information telling of high humidity needs.
    In truth, if kept on the drier side with adequate hydration there should be no problem raising an Avicularia IME.
    The problem with common husbandry guidelines like this is they are not absolute and are geared toward the weakest link (example, the need for water bowls). Unfortunately, as it goes, the first generation(sophomores) taught these guidelines, warp it into fact and then the pitchforks come out when talking to the next generation(freshman) of newbies. Over time, I have seen these guidelines regurgitated into a flat out fact/myth.

    As long as the adequate ventilation is applied to assure a drier enclosure and the Avic is well hydrated, it does not matter where the holes are placed. There is not one of us that hasn't had a spider die under the guidance of "perfect conditions". So it's hard to say what the cause of death was, especially, knowing other have survived in worse conditions.
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  2. MetalMan2004

    MetalMan2004 Arachnolord

    I absolutely agree. I’ve never understood the mob mentality here when it comes to certain keeping practices.

    One of my first Ts was a versicolor. It survived slinghood in a Jamie’s sling enclosure with the one measly vent. It’s now in an AMAC with great ventilation and I can be more liberal with the water and don’t have to worry quite as much.

    My second versicolor is actually in the same enclosure the person in that thread had, only because I got it that way from CL. I planned on replacing it when I can, but I’ve had no issues with it for several months now. I’m sure I’ll still replace it when I see a good deal on a new enclosure but I haven’t had a single problem.
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  3. CEC

    CEC Arachnoangel Arachnosupporter

    Exactly, no it matter the enclosure with adequate ventilation like a top side screen, survival can be accomplished. Many may say "surviving isn't thriving" but most are commenting on what they're taught and not what they have actually experienced through alternative keeping. There's many ways to care for them, as long as basic needs are met, they'll thrive. Theraphosidae have been on this planet for millions of years for one simple reason, their ability to adapt (yes, even Avicularia lol) Thus, husbandry specifics vary abundantly. Once one soaks all this in, Avicularia and former are much easier to keep.
    Also this wasn't a vulnerable lil sling the other thread was talking about either... It was an adult or close enough to (and could of been WC, which is common for that species & this alone brings up additional questions of health in the first place).
  4. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

    I see where you are coming from but I kind of disagree. I think in the thread you are talking about the first enclosure (with the dead Avic) did not have adequate ventilation because the top was covered with a paper towel (that would seriously restrict ventilation, much more than a fabric one) and I think it was moist, too?

    Nevertheless, let's talk top ventilation only in an arboreal enclosure. Air movement will be restricted at the bottom. Bacteria will have time to settle. They will thrive less well in dry conditions, that's for sure, but they still may trive, like with an accidentally overflown waterbowl or something like that. Will every Avic in an enclosure like that die? Most certainly not. It does increase chances of illness, though, I'd think. It's a bit hard to prove with anecdotal evidence only. I still think there's a good argument to be made that the first Avic died from stuffy conditions and lack of ventilation.

    My second reaction in that thread was definitely more a reaction to the attitude of the poster ("my first Avic died but I'll keep my next the same way because I know better than everyone else") than really driven by science, though... I'll try to do better next time.
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  5. jrh3

    jrh3 Knights of The Arachno Table Arachnosupporter

    I have never used cross ventilation with my avics and never had an issue. I vent all 4 sides and a few holes down by the substrate. The problem is stagnant air. Which requires adequate ventilation to turn the air over. But in my house humidity stays between 50 to 60.
  6. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    Having only top ventilation does nothing to promote any air flow, in fact it can virtually eliminate it. OK, cross venting may not be necessary (although suggested for good reason), but multiple points of ventilation is important, as it does promote airflow, which is critical.

    This was a very informative post from a ventilation expert on the subject....and IMO its a great bit of facts that tell us exactly why top only venting is less than ideal.

    same exact concept though....multiple airflow points to promote airflow....and venting all 4 sides is cross ventilation.
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  7. MetalMan2004

    MetalMan2004 Arachnolord

    Yeah that was an odd detail. Haven’t seen that one before.
  8. Venom1080

    Venom1080 Arachnoemperor

    That's a perfect description of today's hobby. I see the endless water bowl debates on FB groups, with hordes of intermediate keepers claiming they are 100% necessary.

    Just based on what I read, I think the placement of holes absolutely does matter for maximum efficiency, but you can certainly do without cross vent. Avicularia don't need maximum efficiency of ventilation to do well.
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  9. EtienneN

    EtienneN Arachnonovelist-musician-artist Arachnosupporter

    Less can go wrong with extra ventilation than if there isn't enough. I've raised a C. versicolor sling in one of Jamie's cubes, but I drilled holes in the sides for extra airflow. I now house it in a an acrylic arboreal cage that has holes on every face but the bottom. It clearly seems 'happy'. That's as good as I need it. Academically, maybe this information is correct, but given the myriad of applied circumstances of everyone keeping Avics in the hobby, I still don't think you can go wrong with the idea that more airflow is better than less.
  10. PidderPeets

    PidderPeets Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    I'm sure I've asked you this before and you've probably explained it to me, but what's your opinion of ventilation on one side only (not the top)? I remember you showing me a very helpful animation showing air particles and why side ventilation trumps top ventilation (or perhaps it was specifically in favor of cross ventilation. I'm sorry, it's been a while and I've forgotten), but is solely having on one side as risky as only having top ventilation? I would imagine it's at least somewhat better since it still allows for airflow near the bottom.
  11. Tenebrarius

    Tenebrarius Arachnoangel Active Member

    if you put vents on the top and only on one side will you cause an upwards draft? :angelic:

    hey let's compromise, let's put holes everywhere?:rolleyes:
  12. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

    That animation wasn't from me actually - and it only worked for a closed space.

    Any kind of ventilation depends not only on where the ventilation holes are, but also on where the enclosure stands - and how much air movement is in the room. Like in a closed tarantula room where you only go in to feed the air will be very still and air flow will be less, whereas in my living room where there are constantly cats moving around the air is moving all the time. Now you have a top ventilated enclosure on a shelf - the air movement in the room will go right over the enclosure and the air inside will stay stagnant. If you have a side ventilated enclosure the air that is moving around the room can move in and out somewhat better. I still prefer the chimney style ventilation, though - one side for air to go in and top for the air to go out.
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  13. I personally don’t think anyone can really say THIS is the only way to do it but I do like to have holes on all sides and some near the substrate in case I add a little too much water.

    I also spray a bit of water on the web or side so the T doesn’t have to try to find the water bowl and I know there are people that will disagree with that but I’ve seen more than one case where the avic was dying bc it couldn’t find the water dish.
    Honestly I’m finding it harder and harder to voice my honest opinion bc of how many people will nit pick at it.
    I don’t think I’m alone on that belief.
    Small rant, sorry friends!
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  14. I was honestly shocked when I read the thread you are referring to. (Sorry this doesn't relate to ventilation but I agree with you man)

    It legitimately took me about five minutes to learn everything I needed to know about housing and care for my A. Avic. (Who I absolutely couldn't just discard and replace if she died. I would be ashamed of myself if I did that).

    What shocked me more was this: "This one died, but I got a new one." You would NEVER say such a thing about a dog or cat. Never. If you don't see why it isn't okay to say about a different animal, I firmly believe you have NO business owning pets.

    Something that you care about and love for isn't something you can simply replace and move on with. I know lots of members here don't necessarily view their T's as "pets" per-se, but they still CARE. It isn't something you can just move on from and straight to the next one like nothing happened. People who view live animals as "things" don't have a place owning animals.

    Buying another T with impunity to fit the username of your online persona is just pathetic and sad. I hope when that person grows older and wiser they look back on their post/actions and feel burning, soul-crushing shame.

    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  15. PidderPeets

    PidderPeets Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    I knew you hadn't created the animation, but I had meant that you were the one to post it so that I could get a proper visual demonstration. Unless you weren't the one to post it, in which case I apologize for the mix up.

    As usual, that was an extremely helpful and informative explanation. Thank you for that! :)
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  16. When I said this one died it was because I was in a rush. I actually started balling when I saw her body hanging from the wood piece. Many of you think I am lieing. Dont deny it. Many of you hate me. Don’t deny it. She was my second T. You think I wasn’t sad?

    FYI water evaporates out of the top not the sides to top ventilation is still needed.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
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  17. Nobody hates you. Everyone is trying to help you out. You've been just as stubborn in the other forum as well when advice was given. To blatantly say I'm going to do it my way you cant stop me isnt showing compassion to your deceased spider or to your new ones. What do you think people should think after reading something like that? I like you, I think your a great kid. It's great to learn from a group of people with lots of experience. After decades in the hobby many of us are still learning everyday. Just take little bits from everyone and do it your way. I know at times it seams like a pack of wolves on here but you have to be tactful on your responses. Take it slow and don't get emotional.
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  18. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

    That is cross ventilation. It seems you have been using it all along despite your original statement...o_O

    As long as their is proper mass air transfer Avics grow well IME. I always suggest cross vent as it's the easier method to achieve that for new people, ie reduces risk, and need for experimentation on their part. But as some know, Europeans and their glass cubes achieve mass air transfer with a different design than typically used here in the USA (ExoTerra exception).

    I posted about this several years ago.

    There's always some lurker stirring up the pot ;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2019
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  19. CEC

    CEC Arachnoangel Arachnosupporter

    I'm not commenting on the science of airflow in an enclosure. IMO it is somewhat irrelevant to the matter since it is not the key to their survival, although it helps obtain the key to their survival. From my experience, extra airflow just helps to keep the enclosure on drier side. The key to their survival is hydration and being kept in the drier conditions, thus anyone can accomplish this with holes just on one side, especially a screen...
    So IMO there is a misplaced emphasis on the "need" for extra airflow with Avicularia.

    Of course it is great advice and a good idea to have "cross" ventilation but since it is not a "need" for their survival, I will not dare assume the lack of cross ventilation is a cause of death. Just my 2 cents.

    Busted. Lol
    I had a few drinks and totally forgot I even wrote this. Haha
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  20. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    Ahh, but one side creates vastly more airflow than top only. I do think some semblence of airflow is the need they have most, right there with hydration....but you are absolutely right, cross venting isnt the only way to achieve this, one side or multiple points like an exo terra provide this as well... top only doesnt provide this as explained in the quote i posted.
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