Caribena versicolor: How to create an enclosure for slings.

Ratmosphere

Arachnoking
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Before I start, I need to say that this is the method that works best for me when keeping half inch slings. I see so many new people on this thread ask "How do I set up an enclosure for a Caribena versicolor sling?" Hopefully this will help.

What you will need: A drill, a 1/16" drill bit, clear AMAC box, small wire nail, fake plant, piece of cork bark, substrate, and a deep bottle cap. You could get the AMAC boxes at www.containerstore.com

When you get your AMAC box, it will need air holes. Make sure that the longer side is facing up when assembled. Then, put small air holes all around the enclosure with your drill. Cross ventilation is very important for this species. I do 12 holes on each side, some people say it's overkill but I haven't had one sling death yet.

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After it starts to look like the picture above, you need to drill a small hole on the top. The reason for this will be explained later.

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At this point you will need to get your cork bark piece and drill a small hole on the top of it.

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This is where the wire nail, fake plant, and cork bark come into play. The hole that you drilled on top of the enclosure will be filled with the wire nail. Add the wire nail more than half way, then drop a fake plant in there. You do not need to secure the plant.

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Now, match the hole in the cork bark to the wire nail. Press the bark in all of the way and apply pressure to the top of the wire nail. This will secure the plant to the top of the enclosure while setting the cork bark into position. Once the sling webs the enclosure, the plant will be even more secure.

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Grab the bottom of the enclosure and add enough substrate so it's not touching the cork bark. When you add the full, deep water bottle cap, make sure it does not touch the cork bark.

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This is the finished product. It looks amazing but one may ask: "Ratmosphere, what if my sling webs so much that it cannot be seen? What if it gets too dirty in there?" We will get to that in a moment.

Slings web up the enclosure over a period of months and you may not be able to see them.

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To fix this is simple. Safely transport the sling into a temporary container. Then, open the enclosure and pull the cork bark from the wire nail. Once that is done, you could peel the webbing off, change the substrate, and even wash the plant or the whole enclosure.

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Once that is done, you could easily assemble everything together again. I hope this helped and I wish you all the best of luck!

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OctoPhid

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Excellent thread, but I just want to confirm something real quick. Which size of Amac box do you use, the 2" by 4" model, or the 3" by 6" model? Thanks!
 

Mojo288

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Jun 18, 2017
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Great idea with the wire nail, i used hot glue on mine and i was thinking its gonna be such a pain for cleanup or re-purposing. One piece of advice i might add is, personally iv tried using a dremel tool and a regular drill on acrylic boxes, the dremel was not fun, tried to kill me, and the drill cracked the plastic. I've been using a cheap soldering iron off of amazon and it works great, pokes through it like butter. Just do it outside... fumes.
 

BobBarley

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Beauties. I wish I had the funds for a few of those lol. Good job!
 

cold blood

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16oz deli cup...cheaper, easier to ventilate and as the top isnt rigid, you can only open a small area you need....tops are soooooooooooo much easier for me to deal with than the amex boxes.
 

OctoPhid

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16oz deli cup...cheaper, easier to ventilate and as the top isnt rigid, you can only open a small area you need....tops are soooooooooooo much easier for me to deal with than the amex boxes.
At what size will I need to rehouse my sings if they are living in a 16 oz deli cup?


16oz deli cup...cheaper, easier to ventilate and as the top isnt rigid, you can only open a small area you need....tops are soooooooooooo much easier for me to deal with than the amex boxes.
Also, would these cups work fine for 1 in slings? Thanks.
 
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Ratmosphere

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To each his own. Personally, I never liked the 16 oz containers and that's why I moved to the AMAC boxes. Plus these look way better to showcase in my opinion. Also, they don't take up much space at all and there is no chance they could escape.
 
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cold blood

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To each his own. Personally, I never liked the 16 oz containers and that's why I moved to the AMAC boxes. Plus these look way better to showcase in my opinion. Also, they don't take up much space at all and there is no chance they could escape.
yep, both are fine...just personal preference...while amex do look nicer...they dont offer any better visibility, nor do they take up more or less space...and without operator error, neither enclosure poses an escape risk. Ive never had a t escape a deli cup and ive had a lot of chances.
 

ultraspider

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I might use something like this eventually https://www.walmart.com/ip/Better-Homes-and-Gardens-Square-Flip-Tite-Storage-Container/16332465, they come in a few different sizes for slings/juveniles..

I like how the top seems to come off and on smoothly once you flip the pressure lock on top, deli comes are a pain to take top off sometimes, its probably like an earth quake to them when you try to push the lid back on sometimes, the 4 Ts i have right now are all set I just have to keep my eye out on a decent adult residence for them...i have time to find something none of them are big enough yet
 

cold blood

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I might use something like this eventually https://www.walmart.com/ip/Better-Homes-and-Gardens-Square-Flip-Tite-Storage-Container/16332465, they come in a few different sizes for slings/juveniles..

I like how the top seems to come off and on smoothly once you flip the pressure lock on top
They look good...but with ventilation drilled, would those lids still seal? I bet not.

deli comes are a pain to take top off sometimes
It get easier the more you do it...but sometimes you can get a stubborn one...when this happens, run a finger around the outside till you find a spot that gives...I don't really have a problem being overly disruptive.....although I'm sure that was once the case.
 

ccTroi

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I love this design! Great use of the nail, too. I've used glue gun to secure the cork bark, but I'm definitely going to try the nail-hole method. Thanks for sharing! :)

Here is my current design that I will be updating :) :
IMG_1481.JPG IMG_1482.JPG IMG_1480.JPG *
*Excuse the stacked clutter in the background :embarrassed:
*Big thanks to @Trenor for sharing his enclosure design!
 
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Spidersfrommars

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Apr 23, 2018
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Great post, I've made one too. My little guy is on its log right now, but I was wondering 2 things..

1. Its not likely for it to fall off and land in the water dish and drown right?

2. How do I go about feeding it this way? Put my cut up mealworm on the bottom substrate and hope that it goes down and hunt for it?

Sure was a little hard getting this guy into the new enclosure though lol, I had put the enclosure inside another container just in case and it ended up running around all over, but eventually I guided it in, it was nice to get a good look at it. But it was fast!
 

ccTroi

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1. Its not likely for it to fall off and land in the water dish and drown right?
Correct, it is not likely to fall off and land in the water to drown. Being on the cork bark gives a better grip than the walls of the AMAC. The fall isn’t much of a height so I wouldn’t worry if it does. Tarantulas (even slings) are covered with hair-like structures called setae all over their body. This increases their surface area over water and makes it highly unlikely to break the water tension thus drowning.
2. How do I go about feeding it this way? Put my cut up mealworm on the bottom substrate and hope that it goes down and hunt for it?
If you have a sling under 1/2”, I would leave the sliced mealworm on the webbing. When it gets bigger, they are more willing to hunt. I only provide live prey under supervision; if not, pre-killed prey. Throw a live cricket, for example, on the webbing and enjoy as it senses the vibrations and hunts.
I had put the enclosure inside another container just in case and it ended up running around all over
I find that Avicularia spp. along with other very similar species tend to move slow and generally predictable. However, they can bolt without notice. They make small bursts of movement and then shortly continue to crawl slow.
 

Spidersfrommars

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cc Troi, thanks for your responses. Good info, I learned something new about their body hair and the surface tension, pretty cool.

Guess I need to wait for it to web some, it recently molted so it needs to wait for food anyhow. Hey another question which may seem silly. I don't think I made the holes too big for it to escape, they are much smaller then its body, but spiders cant do what mice can when it comes to collapsing its body through a hole right?

IMG_4245.JPG yeah it ran around and then slowed down a bit, so I see what you mean. Sure was cute though! even though I was a little bit freaked out it would escape.
 

ccTroi

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Guess I need to wait for it to web some, it recently molted so it needs to wait for food anyhow.
Ensure a full water dish at the bottom for it to drink. When thirsty, they will go down and grab a drink as has been observed with all tarantulas I’ve housed in AMACs. Five days after molting would be a good time to feed it. If no webbing has been made since, leave the mealworm slice on the substrate to see if it would pick it up. Remove the next day to avoid mold.
I don't think I made the holes too big for it to escape, they are much smaller then its body, but spiders cant do what mice can when it comes to collapsing its body through a hole right?
As long as the holes are no bigger than the size of its carapace. The holes on my AMACs are drilled with 1/16” drill bits. If you have doubts of the ventilation holes, I suggest you keep your sling in a 2oz portion cup or a vial until it molts one or two more times - use a thumbtack to puncture holes.
 

Spidersfrommars

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I'll try to feed it half of a meal worm tomorrow, its fangs should be hardened up by then, I think the holes should be fine.
 

konythug

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May 29, 2020
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This was an extremely helpful thread and I just built a replica for my versi sling for under $12. How often did you mist the sides of this enclosure? I am not doing a water dish until my sling is older. 20200530_151149.jpg
 
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