Balfouri Abode

Kodi

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So this is where I'll be housing 5 M. balfouri slings. The sub is still moist, but I have about a week for it to dry. I still have to find an aesthetic water dish and some extra hidey holes for them. What do you guys think? Any suggestions?
20160827_142126.jpg
 

Kodi

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The photo may be deceiving. There's 3" of sub. Maybe 4" at the highest point.
 

Trenor

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So this is where I'll be housing 5 M. balfouri slings. The sub is still moist, but I have about a week for it to dry. I still have to find an aesthetic water dish and some extra hidey holes for them. What do you guys think? Any suggestions?
View attachment 219004
With the size of the tank still able to be utilized, I'd go more substrate. It never hurts to have more burrow room as they grow. I personally would take that long piece of cork and cut it cross ways into 3-4 inch sections and bury it so they make starter burrows. Then place them all around the enclosure to give the slings lots of options.

I would add a few more of the big leaf plants in for webbing points. They like making web tunnels and those would work well.

Nice start so far. Are you making a plexi glass lid for the tank? Are those real or fake plants?
 

Kodi

Title Master
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With the size of the tank still able to be utilized, I'd go more substrate. It never hurts to have more burrow room as they grow. I personally would take that long piece of cork and cut it cross ways into 3-4 inch sections and bury it so they make starter burrows. Then place them all around the enclosure to give the slings lots of options.

I would add a few more of the big leaf plants in for webbing points. They like making web tunnels and those would work well.

Nice start so far. Are you making a plexi glass lid for the tank? Are those real or fake plants?
It's actually a piece of drift wood and I have nothing to cut it with... the big leafy plant is a live pothos and the pine needle looking things are fake. I could buy some more pothos to plant, but I'm not sure how the first one will work out so I don't think that's a great idea.
It does have a metal sliding screen right now which I'll eventually replace with plexiglass. With half inch slings I don't see them chewing through metal anytime soon. :smug:
 

Trenor

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It's actually a piece of drift wood and I have nothing to cut it with...
Ahh, I see. They should burrow regardless and with it stretched across it will give them options. You could start a few shallow burrows along it's side.

the big leafy plant is a live pothos and the pine needle looking things are fake. I could buy some more pothos to plant, but I'm not sure how the first one will work out so I don't think that's a great idea.
I've not used live plants in enclosures so I can't help you there. @lunarae might have some advise/tips though.

It does have a metal sliding screen right now which I'll eventually replace with plexiglass. With half inch slings I don't see them chewing through metal anytime soon. :smug:
While that is a worry later on, I was thinking more along the lines of evaporation with the screen. You don't want them on wet sub but you also don't want the sub too dry with slings. A screen could let the enclosure dry out quickly depending on your room conditions.

One more thing to keep in mind is .5 inch slings can be hard to keep track up in a really large enclosure. When I got my slings, I had their current enclosure setup for them. I ended up going down to a much smaller one since they were so small. I left them in that one till they were 1-1.5 inches then moved them into their original enclosure. They can work fine in the bigger enclosure just something to think about.
 

Kodi

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Ahh, I see. They should burrow regardless and with it stretched across it will give them options. You could start a few shallow burrows along it's side.


I've not used live plants in enclosures so I can't help you there. @lunarae might have some advise/tips though.


While that is a worry later on, I was thinking more along the lines of evaporation with the screen. You don't want them on wet sub but you also don't want the sub too dry with slings. A screen could let the enclosure dry out quickly depending on your room conditions.

One more thing to keep in mind is .5 inch slings can be hard to keep track up in a really large enclosure. When I got my slings, I had their current enclosure setup for them. I ended up going down to a much smaller one since they were so small. I left them in that one till they were 1-1.5 inches then moved them into their original enclosure. They can work fine in the bigger enclosure just something to think about.
I did poke several little hidey holes along both sides of the wood after I took the photo. Definitely things to keep in mind. Thanks for the advice.
 

lunarae

Arachnobaron
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When it comes to live plants and my experience so far. Cocoa fiber (eco earth) doesn't work the best for some because it can hold moisture to long, not air out enough for the roots, etc. However that's with other species of plants I've tried to use it with. Pathos if that's all your going to have planted in there should be fine. Considering you can cut off a segment and put it in a vase of water and leave it and it'll root from there (I do this with a lot of my vining plants. When i cut them back and prune them I save the bits and put them in water. Saves on buying them down the road)

One of the other things that would help you is if you can add about 1" to 1.5" of a rocky layer for drainage and separate it from the substrate with a screen mesh, like you see for window screens. You can get a big roll of it for like 8 bucks and have it for the rest of your enclosure needs for a long time. Depending on how many enclosures you have. I've done 5 so far and still have a ton left myself. But that layer allows for drainage if you over water (Though again cocoa fiber is pretty absorbent. I tend to get plain top soil now, and I'll mix eco earth with it a little to give it a color variation). The drainage layer also helps it aerate and create a home for beneficial micro bacteria and micro fauna. If you can put springtails and isopods in there as well it'll really benefit the plants and the T's in keeping the place clean, they help break down bolus's and other decaying material that later the plants can use, as well as keep mold and fungus at bay and keep mite populations down as they compete for food and isopods have been known to eat mite eggs.

Every one of my enclosures has this set up as a standard. Drainage layer, substrate, springtails, isopods. After I set them up I tend to leave them alone and let the plants become acclimated. normally with a planted tank so you can see how the plants take to whatever lighting and watering regiment you go with, you wait about a month to two months to let it get settled and cycled before adding the main occupant so that the roots of the plants are well established and they will still thrive under the abuse of being crawled on and such rather then fail and die.

Course if you set it up like that you can say goodbye to most tank maintenance needs. Save for ensuring they have water, and cleaning the glass on the occasion if it gets dirty. But again if you go for a live ecosystem of sorts you NEED to let it cycle and the populations of the springtails and isopods even out some as well as the roots establish themselves. If you don't you'll run into the same issues I did and have to fix it over and over and that just causes issues for your T's. If your just going with the plant, give it like a week for the roots to take a good hold and then go for it. but keep an eye out for mold and fungus. Having to water the plant makes the chances for those other two to rise as well as mite populations.
 

Kodi

Title Master
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Messages
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When it comes to live plants and my experience so far. Cocoa fiber (eco earth) doesn't work the best for some because it can hold moisture to long, not air out enough for the roots, etc. However that's with other species of plants I've tried to use it with. Pathos if that's all your going to have planted in there should be fine. Considering you can cut off a segment and put it in a vase of water and leave it and it'll root from there (I do this with a lot of my vining plants. When i cut them back and prune them I save the bits and put them in water. Saves on buying them down the road)

One of the other things that would help you is if you can add about 1" to 1.5" of a rocky layer for drainage and separate it from the substrate with a screen mesh, like you see for window screens. You can get a big roll of it for like 8 bucks and have it for the rest of your enclosure needs for a long time. Depending on how many enclosures you have. I've done 5 so far and still have a ton left myself. But that layer allows for drainage if you over water (Though again cocoa fiber is pretty absorbent. I tend to get plain top soil now, and I'll mix eco earth with it a little to give it a color variation). The drainage layer also helps it aerate and create a home for beneficial micro bacteria and micro fauna. If you can put springtails and isopods in there as well it'll really benefit the plants and the T's in keeping the place clean, they help break down bolus's and other decaying material that later the plants can use, as well as keep mold and fungus at bay and keep mite populations down as they compete for food and isopods have been known to eat mite eggs.

Every one of my enclosures has this set up as a standard. Drainage layer, substrate, springtails, isopods. After I set them up I tend to leave them alone and let the plants become acclimated. normally with a planted tank so you can see how the plants take to whatever lighting and watering regiment you go with, you wait about a month to two months to let it get settled and cycled before adding the main occupant so that the roots of the plants are well established and they will still thrive under the abuse of being crawled on and such rather then fail and die.

Course if you set it up like that you can say goodbye to most tank maintenance needs. Save for ensuring they have water, and cleaning the glass on the occasion if it gets dirty. But again if you go for a live ecosystem of sorts you NEED to let it cycle and the populations of the springtails and isopods even out some as well as the roots establish themselves. If you don't you'll run into the same issues I did and have to fix it over and over and that just causes issues for your T's. If your just going with the plant, give it like a week for the roots to take a good hold and then go for it. but keep an eye out for mold and fungus. Having to water the plant makes the chances for those other two to rise as well as mite populations.
That is sooo helpful. I actually mixed some potting soil with coco fiber for my versi's enclosure and mixed two different kinds of soil for the balfouri abode annnd I already put some isopods in my versi's soil. So I'm off to a good start I think.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
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I would examine pictures of where they are from and design your tank after. While this will work, I believe they live in much more rocky environments with little vegetation.

If I recall Socotra Island is quite arid.
 

Kodi

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I would examine pictures of where they are from and design your tank after. While this will work, I believe they live in much more rocky environments with little vegetation.

If I recall Socotra Island is quite arid.
Yeah Socotra is pretty void of vegetation and soil, but I don't think adding some dusty dirt with a bunch of rocks will be beneficial at all.
 

Blue Jaye

Arachnobaron
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So this is where I'll be housing 5 M. balfouri slings. The sub is still moist, but I have about a week for it to dry. I still have to find an aesthetic water dish and some extra hidey holes for them. What do you guys think? Any suggestions?
View attachment 219004
I would suggest putting at least 3 inches more of sub and a few more cork hides.. While your set up is pretty
I did poke several little hidey holes along both sides of the wood after I took the photo. Definitely things to keep in mind. Thanks for the advice.
@Trenor was spot on with what he said. I would not do live plants they require watering which the balfouri will be very, very unhappy with. Plus the amount of webbing they do will unearth and completly cover the plants. In my opinion take out the drift wood get several to many cork bark and even cork tubes. Place them everywhere even stack them more sub is always better as @Trenor said. M.balfouri do not appreciate moist sub of any kind.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
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Yeah Socotra is pretty void of vegetation and soil, but I don't think adding some dusty dirt with a bunch of rocks will be beneficial at all.
I'm not sure why you think that. How do they survive in the wild?? Surely they don't have maids dusting the environment for them. :rolleyes:
 

Bread

Arachnopeon
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This is something that interests me, how long can you keep these guy's together?
ie is it only for slings or will they be okay as they grow?
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
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Plus the amount of webbing
I agree. While I think GBBs are the heaviest of webbers in terms of dense webbing. My balfouri web up everything, it's like a complete fog in their homes. They web from the sub to the lid. Whispy at first, and then denser. It's a carpet silk w/tunnels.

Those plants will be covered, just like other Ts do as well.
 

lunarae

Arachnobaron
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If they are super heavy webbers then it sounds to me if you want an enclosure for them with plants you would have to go with a larger set up so that they have their territory webbing and then land area around what they claim as their own that could have plant life. One thing you could look into also would be finding a dead drift wood tree stump where there's a lot of roots that come down and makes tunnels and such in it and half bury that in the substrate a little for them to take claim to. That would be cool to see get webbed up and lived in by a communal species I think. Then you have your plant life away from where the obvious best place for them to nest in. When I set up my enclosures I really put a lot of effort in trying to set up where they would nest to make it the most habitable for the species that it is and then set the rest of the enclosure around that so that the 'hide' area I want them in really is the best option for them that they will naturally be drawn too. But you really have to look at size of the enclosure compared to what you are housing and what they like when deciding on plants and the like. You may do better if they are arid and enjoy it dry looking at Air plants. They need a misting on occasion for their moisture but that shouldn't cause to much discomfort for the T's in the time you mist the plants compared to watering the substrate and that taking longer to evaporate.
 

Bread

Arachnopeon
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Curious
What happens when he get's a sac and slings?
Will he end up removing slings when he gets more and more or are they liable to cannibalise each other to a level?
 

lunarae

Arachnobaron
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That is sooo helpful. I actually mixed some potting soil with coco fiber for my versi's enclosure and mixed two different kinds of soil for the balfouri abode annnd I already put some isopods in my versi's soil. So I'm off to a good start I think.
And sounds good. Though you may want to avoid potting soil unless you did the cricket test to make sure it's safe. I've actually used potting soil with my 20 gallon. It'll probably be a year before anything goes into it. I had also did a cricket test with it and those survived a good solid week before the older ones started to die off due to old age. But I would suggest sticking with top soil if you can. And well always do a cricket test no matter what the bag says, that's what I do.
 

Blue Jaye

Arachnobaron
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I would suggest putting at least 3 inches more of sub and a few more cork hides.. While your set up is pretty

@Trenor was spot on with what he said. I would not do live plants they require watering which the balfouri will be very, very unhappy with. Plus the amount of webbing they do will unearth and completly cover the plants. In my opinion take out the drift wood get several to many cork bark and even cork tubes. Place them everywhere even stack them more sub is always better as @Trenor said. M.balfouri do not appreciate moist sub of any kind.
I get prett cool water dishes at Asian markets. The ones used for dipping sauce. They have many sizes and the tend to be a good safe depth.
 
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