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Avicularia care

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Venom1080, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. Venom1080

    Venom1080 Arachnoemperor

    this thread will go over what beginners and vets alike should be providing their Avicularia. i find it quite sad that so many Avics are subject to low vent cages and doomed to die. even experienced keepers can have difficulty with them. anyway, there are a few main concepts to keeping Avics that should always be considered.
    1) ventilation- this is the key to keeping avicularia. they will die in a low vent cage, period. for slings and younger spiders that still fit in 16 and 32oz deli cups, i like to put 3 rows around the upper side, a total of about 60 small holes. my lids are also well vented but that is unnecessary. there is a thing such as too much ventilation. this will cause dishes to dry out ridiculously quick and just results in more maintenance to be done of your part. as they grow i like to put them into either exo tera nanos or tall plastic tubs from walmart. same kind of vent set up if you have a cage you have to put the vent in yourself. exo tera do have screens that can be replaced with acrylic. personally, i use them with no issue for my arboreals, but replacing them completely is your best bet. you can try putting tape around the edges on the bottom of the lid, about 2" or so. this is meant to discourage climbing on the underside of the lid.

    2) humidity/water dishes- this is where avic care gets a little complicated, and opinions begin to differ. when Avicularia were new to the hobby, people kept them very humid. unfortunately, this was usually in a low vented cage. the spider soon passed and SADS(sudden avic death syndrome) was born! IME, Avics dont really give a poop whether their in a jungle or a desert, as long as they have constant access to water. i have kept and raised Avicularia dry and wet and as long as vent was high, they did fine. i personally keep all mine mainly dry with a dish. ive noticed no significant difference keeping them moist. as for water dishes, the only dispute is whether the dish should be on the ground or elevated or if it even matters. ive used elevated dishes in the past in tighter cages so theyre easier to access, but never tried them with Avicularia. i imagine theyd work fine but can be a pain to initially set up, not to mention making sure they dont fall in time. i keep mine on the ground and will continue to until i notice a advantage in elevating them. when Avicularia molt, they usually do so in a web nest high up in the cage, generally all entrances and exits are sealed off with webbing. now, this is where some could argue about the water dishes, i like to lightly mist my avics every other day or so until they begin eating. i do this to ensure they have access to water i their weakened state. last thing i want is for a recently molted avics to die because it couldnt manage to reach its dish. obviously a elevated dish would render my misting useless, right? well, maybe. i think if a avic cant climb down its cage to the dish, it cant climb over to the dish. misting just ensures it gets water and you get to avoid the hassle of setting up a elevated dish. just my 2 cents. mind you, misting can be avoided entirely, its just something that helps my peace of mind.

    3) Setup- now that youve got vent and humidity down, youre at the fun part. this is where you get to decide how the overall setup will look and eventually how the spiders web will spread. you want lots of anchor points high up to provide plenty of options for the pinktoe to attach their webs to. this just overall lets them feel more secure overall. plastic plants work well for this, ive also used sphagnum moss for anchor points for smaller spiders. i use hot glue to attach the plants to the sides of the cage and/or the cork bark. cork bark looks great and avics will sometimes adopt their hide around it. (assuming its leaned against the side or back of the cage.) ive had success with cork rounds as well. i like to use deli cups, exo teras, and amac boxes for my avics.

    4) feeding- now this is more for the beginner hobbyist, as most experienced keepers know how to feed arboreals. hint hint, theres no secret. :) just throw that sucker in and watch the fun. it might be tempting to tong feed your avic, as in holding the prey item in your tongs and dangling it by the spider and letting it touch it. i very strongly advise against this is you do not have tongs with soft tips at the end. i dont feel safe tong feeding unless its with tongs with a very thick covering at the end. i dont like to use superworms or mealworms for avics for this reason. they will tunnel at the bottom and your avic will miss them. now, if your avic has extensive webbing in its cage, as a comfortable avic should, you can simply crush the prey itmes head and drop near the avic. itll take it when it wants. as for slings, ive noticed they are some of the pickiest eaters ive ever owned, this can be very discouraging and stressful for beginners and experienced keepers alike. ive had success feeding them smaller meals more often, rather than large meal once or twice a week like i normally do. you can tell when theyre hungry as theyre go into a sort of hunting posture, facing down with their legs sprayed in front. or perhaps sticking their pink toes out of their web labyrinth if theyre feeling a bit shy. as slings, i feed 2-5 times a week, once they hit 2" plus, i cut that back to once or twice a week. larger juvis and subadults, no more thn once a week. and adults i wouldnt worry about feeding them more than a big meal every couple weeks to once a month. just make sure to keep the opisthosoma (abdomen) as large, preferable larger, than the carapace. slings put all those nutrients into growing, as they grow and get closer to their max size, they dont need as much of those nutrients. it all goes straight to their abdomen. they are arboreal and thus should look built for climbing, not sitting in a hole in the ground all day like those lazy terrestrials. ;)

    5)Handling- handling tarantulas should be avoided as much as possible. if youve handled your spiders once or twice, its not the end of the world, but it very well could be for them. handling is dangerous even with normal tarantulas. Avicularia on the other hand are probably the worst spider to handle. they are notorious jumpers. they are well adapted to life in the trees and have evolved and perfected this method of escaping predators. they expect a dense canopy or branches and plants to be below them, not a hard wood floor. even carpet is dangerous at heights. no matter how soft. they are so prone to this behavior that one must be careful even during routine maintenance. when disturbed, they will climb upwards, when they reach the top of the container and cant climb any higher, they may climb down the other side or risk a jump into the unknown. you can never be sure. no matter how adapt they are at this and how theyre evolved to survive falls, its still a detrimental practice to put your pet through and should be avoided. if they are rubbing their bums on you, they arent trying to display affection, they are trying to rub off urticating hairs on you to discourage your touching of them. they are also poop cannons. no, thats not a mistype. they will spray their feces at your general direction if you disturb them enough. beware. ;)

    6)Temps- same as most other tarantulas, they do fine at 70-90. higher and you should probably move them, thats a little intense.. of course, the cage should never have direct sunlight on it. it will turn the cage into a oven very quickly.. as slings, id be nervous keeping them even overnight at temps lower than 65. make no mistake, they are very fragile tropical slings.

    7) rehousing tips- be prepared for bursts of immense speed. i mean faster than you can blink. these guys do not typically bolt, but dear god when they do... being arboreal and mostly blind, it generally is not a good idea to go blindly sprinting through the trees.;) 9/10 though, you will have a calm spider slowly climbing into a new cage. its beneficial to be prepared though. dont be surprised if you suddenly have a spider crawling up your arm though, these guys dont stop moving till they feel secure. try not to let it get in your shirt sleeves obviously. i like to do rehouses shirtless for this reason. only with arboreals mind. and even then, only really the larger ones. 4"+. its just a bit of a safety precaution, weird as it sounds.

    all in all, this is probably my favorite genus. def in the top three. i love their colors, patterns, attitude, and of course the fluff. they are spectacular when properly set up, their webs are mesmerizing, given time, they will completely web up any cage to the brim. i really hope this helps some of you beginners that actually use the search function. ;) i am very active on here(maybe too active..) and am usually available through pm. ill try my best to answer any Qs you may have. please note, i am far from a Avic expert. ive been addicted to these beauties for only about 2.5 years, almost three. there are a plethora of much more experienced Avic keepers and breeders youll most likely be better off talking to. i do not own any adult Avicularia. i have not raised one sling to adult. i currently own 7 Avicularia, ive raised my A avic from 2" to the 4" subadult it is now, ive been raising Avic slings for about 2 years now, only one loss 6 years ago when i first started. learn from my mistakes and dont listen to online caresheets. :)
    (suggestions to improve this thread are always appreciated, also, to be clear, this is meant to be a discussion of Avicularia, feel free to move if deemed necessary. )

    pics: http://arachnoboards.com/threads/cecs-picture-thread.275165/#post-2385479 (CECs picture thread, a good way to get hooked on Avics)
    http://arachnoboards.com/threads/genus-avicularia.20103/ (the official Avic picture thread)
    a couple of mine..
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
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  2. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

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  3. sdsnybny

    sdsnybny Arachnogeek Arachnosupporter

    A. diversipes female
    2016-10-01 10.23.13-1.jpg
    Juvenile A. versicolor 2016-10-11 12.26.27.jpg
    Adult female A. urticans 2017-01-11 11.40.06.jpg
    HubaHuba :0 pairing of adult A versicolors 2017-02-20 10.43.11.jpg
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  4. Flexzone

    Flexzone Arachnodemon

    Avicularia purpurea sling wanted to explore while feeding
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  5. Venom1080

    Venom1080 Arachnoemperor

    Have some more pics to share.. IMG_20180111_200241694.jpg
    A. avicularia

    Avicularia aurantiaca

    Avicularia variegata

    Ybyrapora diversipes

    Avicularia sp Peru purple. Same one from my op, just a couple molts bigger. :)
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  6. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    aurantica sling

    sp. "pulcalpa"
    MM versicolor
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  7. edesign

    edesign AB FB Group Moderatr Old Timer

    I think you've got a Ybyrapora in your OP Venom1080 :p Edit: And sdysnybny (diversipes). And cold blood but Caribena (versicolor). :p

    Nicely detailed post (Avics or Avics, Caribena, and Ybyrapora? I find the latter two genera to behave a bit differently as slings and are faster).

    I would caution about using tape inside the tank though. I've done it, I have tanks that have it right now, I know it's been suggested many times in the past here and elsewhere, just a good idea to check the adhesive from time to time and make sure it hasn't fallen loose where the spider can get caught on it. It's happened to other people. I likely will pursue other avenues in the future just for peace of mind.
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  8. Venom1080

    Venom1080 Arachnoemperor

    Old post ;) a while before the revision. Yeah, I noticed Caribena in particular are very heavy Webber's. Outdo basically all my avics.

    Never used tape. Just giving options I've heard might work. Good point regardless.
  9. edesign

    edesign AB FB Group Moderatr Old Timer

    Wow, I feel ultra silly now and not because of what I've inhaled lol. Doh! :bag:
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  10. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    Agreed, tape needs to be avoided. I say that all the time...and here I used it myself for a single t and that t paid the price.

    I had one lid where a vent hole was just too large....put a piece of electrical tape over it...stupid me.:banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead:

    Sure enough, the incei sling within pulled it off and proceeded to get pasted to it. By the time it was removed it lost 3 legs and both palps...thankfully I somehow got those delicate fangs off clean.....thought for sure it was a goner after it was freed...mangled as it was, little guy pulled through...but my goodness, what a stupid mistake.....tape=bad
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  11. ccTroi

    ccTroi Arachnoknight Arachnosupporter

    A similar situation happened to my OBT slings. Luckily, the injured ones have fully recovered their lost legs.
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  12. edesign

    edesign AB FB Group Moderatr Old Timer

    I put the tape inside the enclosure with the sticky side out but I've had it on rare occasion come loose and dangle. No injuries or anything though, thankfully.
  13. mazzzz

    mazzzz Arachnosquire

    I have the exo terra nano: tall. These have enough ventilation? I have been reading around and it seems like I would need more ventilation than what it already has. I still have the same mesh top on it but when I finally get an avic I was going to change it to plexi with holes in it.
  14. Scarabyte

    Scarabyte Arachnosquire

    I have to say, this article helped a ton with the care of my Avic, thank you :)
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  15. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Malleus Aranearum Staff Member

    I have used those with two Avics, and they were fine.

    Although not everyone agrees that that screen/mesh lids are hazardous for arboreals, replacing it is a good plan.
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  16. mazzzz

    mazzzz Arachnosquire

    It’s okay that it’s a versicolor or does that not really matter.. thanks again

    I have a 1" avic sling coming in on friday and I am using a 32 oz deli cup with a water dish in it. Should I be spraying the whole enclosure down or just moistening a corner of the sub where the water dish is and maybe adding a couple of drops to the web?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2018
  17. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Malleus Aranearum Staff Member

    There's no need to mist the enclosure. Just keep part of the substrate slightly damp (not that the Avic will spend much time down there), create good ventilation, and make sure there is a water dish. Also make sure there are enough fake leaves for your new sling to use as cover and anchor points for webbing.

    Feel free to post pictures of your setup for feedback. It's always easier to make corrections before the spider is in it.
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  18. Paul1126

    Paul1126 Arachnodemon

    Book marked for future reference if I ever want to keep these beautiful Ts.
    A really nice in depth guide!
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  19. edesign

    edesign AB FB Group Moderatr Old Timer

    I have about 20 ExoTerra, mostly the Nano Talls but a few others as well, all for arboreals NW and OW, except one of the Wide ones has a 6" genic, temporarily. Never had an issue with the screen lids. I don't see any need to replace it with acrylic unless you have money and time to burn. You can restrict ventilation other ways, if necessary, the biggest threat is to terrestrials that might climb on the screen. My arboreals do fine on all screens I've found so far.
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  20. mazzzz

    mazzzz Arachnosquire

    How is this IMG_0753.JPG IMG_0755.JPG IMG_0756.JPG IMG_0757.JPG
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