Beginner wanting to know as much as possible!

Erica Danielle

Arachnosquire
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Hey everyone! I’ve been researching for a few months and finally came across Tom’s Big Spiders. Which in turn, led me here. This is my first post and I’ve not obtained my first T yet but I definitely have decided on a Tliltocatl albopilosum. This will be my first tarantula. As a beginner, I’d like to make sure I’m on the correct path before I even start setting up an enclosure and definitely before I order any spider. With that said, this will probably be a long post. I’m “wanting” to start off with a T around 3”-4”. (For my very first T, I’d like to start off with a spood around 3-4”. Being my first ever T, I’m hesitant to purchase a sling.)

A Tliltocatl albopilosum should be kept on mostly dry substrate with the water dish filled over (not enough to make it muddy) and should be replaced whenever it dries out. The substrate (I’m going with EcoEarth, so far unless someone points me in a better direction, ecoearth should be tamped down since T’s do not like fluffy substrate). should be 1.5x the length of the spider from the top of the substrate to the top of the container, the length of the enclosure should be 3x the DLS and 2-3x the DLS in height. Don’t use tongs to feed. Never leave prey items in the enclosure while I’m not around (squish heads, which I’ve read some do and some don’t, clarification on this would be awesome too!) Don’t handle!! Always have a catch cup when rehousing, just in case. Have a hide inside the enclosure that’s partially buried and have a little burrow started under the hide (I’m going with cork bark, no sharp edges). Side and top ventilation. Water dish always available (recommendations for this would be greatly appreciated). Feeding and moistening (of the substrate) should never be kept to a rigid schedule. Humidity is irrelevant. Keep at room temperatures (around 71 F in my home). Do not offer prey items to a T who just molted (wait 2-2.5 weeks so the spider and its fangs can harden, if this is incorrect, please correct me). If the T is constantly climbing or staying on the walls of the enclosure it “may” be an issue with the enclosure. Closing off of a burrow means “do not disturb.” Do not keep enclosure in direct sunlight. Remove boluses. NO mesh wire tops. Never disturb a molting T.

ANYTHING that I’m missing or am misunderstanding or I’m completely wrong on, please let me know! Anything else I need to know, please tell me. I love spiders, of all kinds and I want to do this absolutely the right way, so I’m asking questions beforehand. Thanks for reading and any advice I’m given from you guys is greatly appreciated.
 

Vanisher

Arachnoking
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You seem to have done some good research. Nice! But i would say that this tarantulas should be kept on moist substrate
 

Pyroxian

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Looks like you've done far more research (using the "right" sources) than most first time keepers. That's a great species for a first, and I don't see anything in your list that would concern me, other than you mention "replace when it dries out" - I hope you meant refill, as there's really no reason to replace either the dish or substrate (can't quite tell what you meant there). I like using small deli cups/condiment cups for water dishes for everything larger than slings, they're decent size and cheap as dirt/free. The main thing is your spider needs to be able to submerge his/her mouth parts in it.
I crush the heads of dubia and mealworms/super worms but don't bother with crickets as they don't burrow like dubia, don't pupate and emerge as dangerous-to-tarantula beetles, and don't live long enough to be a problem generally unless the t is very close to a molt.
Other than that, I'd recommend reading the sticky thread : https://arachnoboards.com/threads/tarantula-information-for-beginners-and-more.318718/ ,
set the enclosure up before you get the t, and come back here with pictures of the enclosure so that you can get feedback before introducing the t to its new home.

Welcome to the hobby, and if you haven't yet been warned, beware-it's VERY addictive. There's always just one more species you just HAVE to have, or two... Or three...
 

boina

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Like others already said you've been very thorough. T. albopilosum should, however, get somewhat more moist substrate than you are describing. Mine get half the enclosure moist and half dry.

Whether you want to crush the heads of the prey items or not depends on the prey items. Crickets and roaches go in there in whole usually. You want them to move around and elicit a hunting response and if they don't get eaten they are easy to pick out again. Mealworm, however, always should have their heads crushed since they can burrow very fast and get lost in the substrate and then you have a hungry mealworm with very strong mandibles in with your tarantula and the moment the tarantula is molting it will be a helpless victim to said worm. The result is not pretty.

You can use all and everything for a water dish. I know many Americans use disposable plastic dishes which is frowned upon in environment-conscious Europe, or at least in Germany. Nevertheless, plastic lids off of any bottle or glas make great dishes and come in different sizes for different sized spiders (I definitely need to eat more Nutella). @Ungoliant uses baking forms made from silicone and cut to shape. For my largest spiders I go with the decorative and durable variant and use hamster dishes that can be put in the dish washer. I've also seen those fake rock reptile water dishes (which I personally don't like the look of), but they work, too.
 

Erica Danielle

Arachnosquire
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58
Thanks everyone! I’m not 100% sure how to quote sentences or small parts of a reply like I’ve seen done here (my apologies).

But thank you for updating me on the dampness of substrate! I added this to my “Tarantula Care” notes. I’m 100% going to post photos of the enclosure beforehand and then let you guys tell me what you think (before I even get a spider). This way everything is all ready and well for the spood.

And my apologies, I definitely meant let the substrate dry some before adding more moisture (and not by misting, but pouring water down on the substrate - from the side of the enclosure, correct?) But always have water in a dish available for the T. Would it be possible to use something soft for the water dish? Maybe something flexible, like rubber? Just in case the T climbs any and falls. Or if the enclosure is only 1.5x the length of the spider, this means if it does climb, it’s absolutely, completely fine?

Again, anyone reading please feel free to chime in! Any information I receive is greatly appreciated and I will continue doing research. Thanks again guys!
 

Vanisher

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Place the waterdish OFF the sides of the enclosure. Place it some distance from the side so if tarantula climbs and falls it wont fall on the dish. But if you have deep substrate, falling is an non-issue. Dont put anything in the water. Many think that the tarantula can drown, but they cant. Other than this, you seems to be well informed. T albopilosum is a cool speicies. It is an old favourite
 

Erica Danielle

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Place the waterdish OFF the sides of the enclosure. Place it some distance from the side so if tarantula climbs and falls it wont fall on the dish. But if you have deep substrate, falling is an non-issue. Dont put anything in the water. Many think that the tarantula can drown, but they cant. Other than this, you seems to be well informed. T albopilosum is a cool speicies. It is an old favourite
Thank you! I added this to my list as well! (Definitely no sponges or anything in the water dish ~ breeding ground for bacteria). Whenever I set everything up, I’ll definitely be posting the enclosure here and letting everyone chime in to make sure it’s good to go.

I’m so excited! I can definitely tell this is going to be a very, very addictive hobby!
 

cold blood

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wait 2-2.5 weeks so the spider and its fangs can harden, if this is incorrect, please correct me). If
This is a little on the long end....slings can be ready in 2-4 days...juvies may take 6 to 10 days...adults are usually good by 2 weeks, although some can need even longer. But mostly that would be old slow growers...for an older adult albo you probably wont ever have to wait longer than 2 weeks max.
 
Last edited:

Erica Danielle

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This is a little on the long end....slings can be ready in 2-4 days...juvies may take 6 to 10 days...adults are usually good by 2 weeks, although some can need even longer. But mostly that would be old slow growers...for an older adult albo you probably wont ever have to wait longer than 2 weeks max.
Thank you! I added this to my stuff too. I’m trying to keep everything organized so I can go back and add information if I need to or change anything. But thank you for clearing that up for me! (I know some people have said wait until their fangs are black but I’m just guessing that’s not always the easiest if they’re not climbing onto the side of their enclosure so you can easily see the ventral view?)

I also hope to learn more through experience as I go but I definitely want to have the basics down.
 

cold blood

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And sometimes the fangs do turn black before the t is actually ready to eat....but it is a good guidline if you can see the fangs
 

vancwa

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Yea! Someone who actually does research! Welcome to the hobby. The more T's you get, the more you want. A simple life pleasure.
 

SonsofArachne

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I wish more Newbies would do this much research - it would be nice if there were less 'what do I do now?' and worse 'where did I go wrong?' threads on this forum.
 

Erica Danielle

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I wish more Newbies would do this much research - it would be nice if there were less 'what do I do now?' and worse 'where did I go wrong?' threads on this forum.
Yea! Someone who actually does research! Welcome to the hobby. The more T's you get, the more you want. A simple life pleasure.
Thank y’all, I definitely want to make sure I’m at least educated on the basics before I bring a T home. It’s SO much misinformation online. Thank goodness I found Tom’s information & this forum. I would’ve been absolutely misinformed. Anyone I know who ever wants to get into the hobby, I’m definitely directing them here.
 

aarachnid

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Thank you! I added this to my list as well! (Definitely no sponges or anything in the water dish ~ breeding ground for bacteria). Whenever I set everything up, I’ll definitely be posting the enclosure here and letting everyone chime in to make sure it’s good to go.

I’m so excited! I can definitely tell this is going to be a very, very addictive hobby!
e
I started off saying one tarantula (which is why I got a GBB, she's still my favorite T), then no more than 13 species for my final collection (which woud theoretically take years to acquire).... I now have over 20 (many duplicate species, in my defense), and I'm planning on expanding my collection by a lot this summer.

In my experience, stop doing research. Just stop. Your spiders may suffer, but it only leads you to learning more about different species you'd like to keep. And then you'll think to yourself, "Wow, I really want to make sure I don't buy wild caught, so I'll only buy captive bred slings from breeders" but really, it's because they're a fraction of the price compared to adults. I'm still a cautionary tale in progress, but woe unto you...

(And enjoy your little T Albo when you get it! <3)
 

SonsofArachne

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e
I started off saying one tarantula (which is why I got a GBB, she's still my favorite T), then no more than 13 species for my final collection
Ha! I thought was setting a high goal by saying I wanted to get to 100 species - I'm now at 124 species and climbing, close to 200 T's in total. It's like some gypsy cursed me but it back-fired because I actually enjoy the curse.
 

aarachnid

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Ha! I thought was setting a high goal by saying I wanted to get to 100 species - I'm now at 124 species and climbing, close to 200 T's in total. It's like some gypsy cursed me but it back-fired because I actually enjoy the curse.
Honestly, I didn’t think I’d get so hooked. I thought having 5 would be a lot, but the maintenance is so low, and each species is so different and interesting that it’s easy to get as many as you have space for. It’s easy to stay engaged because I’m always looking up husbandry stuff and looking at how other people keep their Ts. For some reason, I’m obsessed with NW terrestrials and fossorials (though I don’t yet have a fossorial). I was never into bugs as a child, but now in my 30s I want to try to keep an ant colony again, and this summer I’m going to set up a desert beetle tank.
 

viper69

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There's no official time limit on fangs and when to feed.

You feed when fangs are black. Time varies, large Ts take much longer.

Also, pay attention to your Ts behavior/posture after molting, when it comes to feeding. They are all clues to learn if your T is hungry.
 

Erica Danielle

Arachnosquire
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There's no official time limit on fangs and when to feed.

You feed when fangs are black. Time varies, large Ts take much longer.

Also, pay attention to your Ts behavior/posture after molting, when it comes to feeding. They are all clues to learn if your T is hungry.
Awesome, thank you for this! I’ll definitely keep an eye out so I can get more familiar with what to look out for.

e
I started off saying one tarantula (which is why I got a GBB, she's still my favorite T), then no more than 13 species for my final collection (which woud theoretically take years to acquire).... I now have over 20 (many duplicate species, in my defense), and I'm planning on expanding my collection by a lot this summer.

In my experience, stop doing research. Just stop. Your spiders may suffer, but it only leads you to learning more about different species you'd like to keep. And then you'll think to yourself, "Wow, I really want to make sure I don't buy wild caught, so I'll only buy captive bred slings from breeders" but really, it's because they're a fraction of the price compared to adults. I'm still a cautionary tale in progress, but woe unto you...

(And enjoy your little T Albo when you get it! <3)
My fiancé asked me awhile ago (because now all I talk about is Tarantulas) how many T’s was I planning on having... I kind of laughed and said “all of them.” Lol. I can’t even think of how many I’d “one day” like to have! But I just love spiders. Eventually I want different species of Wolf Spiders (my first true love), Widows, a couple Recluses. Not to mention centipedes, scorpions, millipedes. Haha. I’m just gonna have to buy a separate trailer to keep everything one day!

But I think what I love about this hobby is there’s so much to learn. It’s not a “one fits all.” Arboreal is different than terrestrial that’s different from fossorial. Different parts of the world, different behaviors. I just love it! And my kids love spiders (don’t worry, the room I plan on keeping my T has locks so my kids can’t get in there, definitely wanted to make sure my kids & the T are completely safe).
 

Colorado Ts

Arachnobaron
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Took my Adv Chemistry class to Southern Colorado to see the Tarantula Migration last fall. F3891123-F4CC-4EB8-AD48-5426F358451C.jpeg
We saw 100 to 150 tarantulas and several species of wolf spiders with legspans as big as the palm of your hand.

Great experience for the students, awesome fieldtrip.

10/10 will do again
 

aarachnid

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My fiancé asked me awhile ago (because now all I talk about is Tarantulas) how many T’s was I planning on having... I kind of laughed and said “all of them.” Lol

And my kids love spiders (don’t worry, the room I plan on keeping my T has locks so my kids can’t get in there, definitely wanted to make sure my kids & the T are completely safe).
Please tell me what life is like as the Crazy Spider Family in a couple of years. I feel like it’s super common for one person to be into it and everyone else tolerate/humor it, but for all of you to be invested...

Took my Adv Chemistry class to Southern Colorado to see the Tarantula Migration last fall. View attachment 333430
We saw 100 to 150 tarantulas and several species of wolf spiders with legspans as big as the palm of your hand.

Great experience for the students, awesome fieldtrip.

10/10 will do again
Will you be my teacher??
 
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