Best Subsrtate?

WhyUBiteBite

Arachnosquire
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Feb 14, 2017
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Hey all,

So the more I've been reading and researching the more and more it seems like theres 1,000+ opinions out there about substrate and what constitutes a 'good' enclosure. That said the two species I am looking at are G. Pulchra, G. Pulchripes...did I say two? I meant three..., T. Blondi, and T. Stirmi. Yes I know that's four and despite swearing I will only buy one the wife and I are already hooked. That said I want to make like the enclosure of enclosures for them, like the kind of setup other Ts would be jealous of if they could be jealous. In the past I have worked with H. Minax, G. Rosea, B Smithi, & Gorgyrella sp but this will be the first enclosures I am not restricted to in either space or budget so I figured I would get the general consensus. Id considered using organic soil for the Pulchra and Pulchripes and maybe the loose Eco-earth to retain humidity for the Blondi and Stirmi, though getting the Blondi may be a long endeavor given our local 'specialty' shop deal in reptiles and thier Blondi's were infact Stirmi lol. Anyone do live plants or would that be too big of hassle?
 

KezyGLA

Arachnoking
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topsoil.. I wouldnt go organic. I mix 50%-50% eco earth with most of my specimens no matter the species.
 

WhyUBiteBite

Arachnosquire
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Feb 14, 2017
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Also forgot to add another question I had. Were currently in the midwest until the end of my enlistment however we will be moving back to North Carolina afterwards, has anyone found the excess humidity in the Carolinas to either help or hinder with tropical or other species?
 

cold blood

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There's hundreds of threads exactly like this one.

Bottom line, is that its basically personal preference. Coco fiber, jungle mix, eco-earth, peat moss or plain cheap top soil are all just fine and perfectly acceptable for any species.

In the wild 100% of tarantulas have dirt as substrate;)....and many people keep 100% of huge collections on nothing but coco fiber...same for any substrate (and many create their own mixtures of these various substrates)...name one and there are hundreds of successful keepers using it.

If buying soil though, do not buy stuff labeled as "organic"...all soil is inherently, organic. When you see this label, its an indicator as to the fertilizers added...which more often than not is manure or compost...both of which will break down, smell and be a magnet for pests like flies. Get the cheap stuff, generally marketed for filling holes and not growing plants...its always the cheapest stuff available.
 

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WhyUBiteBite

Arachnosquire
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topsoil.. I wouldnt go organic. I mix 50%-50% eco earth with most of my specimens no matter the species.
Is there a specific brand? I havent used topsoil since I lost one awhile back. The 'Herbologist' on duty at the store told me there were no chemicals or pesticides in it, two dead sulcata's later due to nitrate poisoning I found out there was. =\ Also would a layer of moss ontop be overkill?
 

cold blood

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Also forgot to add another question I had. Were currently in the midwest until the end of my enlistment however we will be moving back to North Carolina afterwards, has anyone found the excess humidity in the Carolinas to either help or hinder with tropical or other species?
Any t can be successfully kept regardless of where you live...drier it is, the more water added to the sub (as it dries faster), its just that simple.
 

WhyUBiteBite

Arachnosquire
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I was thinking of designing a 48x24x18 (12" of soil) enclosure for the T.Blondi out of acrylic, too big? too small?
 

WhyUBiteBite

Arachnosquire
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Brand was already posted:/

A layer of moss would be great for feeders to have a place to hide.

You're way over-thinking things....simplify.
Yeah my computer was playing catchup lol. Thanks! And yeah, I guess I need to simplify given I always get hung up on huge elaborate setups lol.
 

cold blood

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Not sure what your experience level is, but unless you have a decent amount of time in the hobby, I would scratch the idea of Theraposa and look at a more suitable and more enjoyable large terrestrial like an A. geniculata or a member of the Pamphobeteus or Xenesthis genera (both more desirable to most serious hobbyists as well).

Sooooo many Theraposa die in the hands of stubborn new keepers that get them too early.

Not to mention, that strimi and blondi are virtually indistinguishable (although blondi will cost 3-4 times as much...most "blondi" sold here are actually stirmi with an inflated price anyway), so if you get one, get a stirmi as they are a little more forgiving.

Disregard if you are experienced....I just assume not as you are asking a very basic question about substrate.

Most huge set ups with tarantulas are merely a huge waste of space IME.....but we all adore them in the beginning and move away from them with experience and the addition of more.
 

cold blood

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Get a stirmi, and do not get it from your reptile place...reptile places are poor options for buying ts.....they're rife with mis-identification, and deal primarily with WC specimens...which have a higher chance for parasitic issues. Stirmi has been captive bred long enough that finding a CB one would be my highest priority to be honest.

Utilize the classifieds, there are hundreds of dealers and breeders available that will all be more reliable than even the most reliable reptile shop....JME.
 

WhyUBiteBite

Arachnosquire
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I wouldn't say I am expert level but maybe mid? I've been out of the trade for about 7 years and getting back into it but have noticed alots changed. When I kept them before it seemed everyone at least in my area was just getting the dried eco earth and throwing it in with them, though on here its a different story lol. Blondi though like you said will probably be a long ways off given finding one seems to be a problem in itself. For the Pulchra and Pulchripes I was looking at the acrylic containers with a lockable lid you can find online or possibly picking some up if they have them at the next reptile show. The Blondi *if* it can be found would be similar to the H. Minax I cared for where it was treated as a centerpiece (Though he was a lightning fast jerkwad), I was going to possibly do a recessed enclosure like you would do an aquarium with using micofans on the outside for adequate air circulation with both facing in to create positive pressure sort of like NBC equipment does in hospitals, and for output of air I was going to use a thing membrane to catch any hairs it may flick off to minimize the impact. For food I was going to go dubia since theyre not much of a threat and our colony we currently have for other animals has just about all sizes available at any point. Anything I may of missed? And I wont be buying from our locale store lol, they went from "This place is awesome" to "What a dump" after I actually took a close look at how they care fo thier Ts lol.
 

Venom1080

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no offense, but you sound like a beginner way over complicating things. id hold off on any Theraphosa. like, i bought a plastic tub from walmart, poked a bunch of holes with a soldering iron, put some peatmoss/eco earth in, decorated it, and done. nothing complex and it works great, cost me like 10 bucks too.
 

WhyUBiteBite

Arachnosquire
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I'd considered going the tub route given I have a bunch of 6qt and 41 qt under bed boxes on hand with pre drilled holes (former snake tubs) but I was looking for something I can put a small lock on given we have a 9 year old and 2 year old and while the room itself is contained my wife had insisted on a locking design in case the 9 year old ever overcomes his fear and get curios.
 

BobBarley

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There are pros and cons of every substrate, some more obvious than others. I prefer topsoil.
 

WhyUBiteBite

Arachnosquire
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I guess my biggest issue with topsoil is that every one I have found around here has come with a host of other things living in it and while most are simply the minuscule pests at best I am concerned with something being in it that could be potentially harmful like a parasite or something. Our current location unfortunately doesn't give me access to much of a variety.
 

Moakmeister

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I once heard of a guy using moon sand XD that sounds like it would be an awesome substrate. Any thoughts?
 

Moakmeister

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Not to mention, that strimi and blondi are virtually indistinguishable (although blondi will cost 3-4 times as much...most "blondi" sold here are actually stirmi with an inflated price anyway), so if you get one, get a stirmi as they are a little more forgiving.
I actually find it extremely easy to tell them apart. Just look at the knees and if they're hairy it's a blondi.
 

WhyUBiteBite

Arachnosquire
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I actually find it extremely easy to tell them apart. Just look at the knees and if they're hairy it's a blondi.
I can't find it now but theres a good image someone made as a visual guide to tell the slings apart. These were definitely stirmi.
 
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