Chaco Golden Knee

superfunTtime

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
2
I'm considering getting a Chaco Golden Knee and I have some questions that the various articles and videos I've found have not been able to answer.

My main issue is with cage size, particularly once a chaco becomes a full 8" adult. When I buy the spider it will be about 4". I have a 29 gallon aquarium that I was going to convert into a terrarium. The dimensions are 12.75"(wide) x 18.5" (tall) x 30" (long). I planned to fill it halfway up with substrate to make sure the T can't climb the glass and fall. I was considering adding a temporary partition to make it not so long while the T is still growing and then I can just remove the partition when it gets to be 6-7". Does this sound like a good plan? If not, does anyone have suggestions for a better one?

I also have been wondering about common experiences as a beginner keeper. I have 1 T, which was my first ever, a 2.5" Avic avic. I have had a lot of good experiences with him and my confidence about keeping spiders has grown a lot as I have watched him and kept up his enclosure (and even had to transfer him from an old enclosure to new one) and what not. I was afraid of him when I first got him, but now my fear of him has changed to awe and respect. However, he is still a little guy and when I look at some of the adults out there I am a bit intimidated. When I think about one day being responsible for a G. Pulchripes the size of a small beaver, I wonder if I will be up to the task. I tell myself that it is because of my lack of experience and I just need to spend some time with the larger T's and my confidence will grow again just like it did with my first spider. Have any other T keepers experienced these same feelings when they first got into the hobby?
 

Redneck

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
1,393
I'm considering getting a Chaco Golden Knee and I have some questions that the various articles and videos I've found have not been able to answer.

My main issue is with cage size, particularly once a chaco becomes a full 8" adult. When I buy the spider it will be about 4". I have a 29 gallon aquarium that I was going to convert into a terrarium. The dimensions are 12.75"(wide) x 18.5" (tall) x 30" (long). I planned to fill it halfway up with substrate to make sure the T can't climb the glass and fall. I was considering adding a temporary partition to make it not so long while the T is still growing and then I can just remove the partition when it gets to be 6-7". Does this sound like a good plan? If not, does anyone have suggestions for a better one?
I dont see no harm in adding a partition. If you decide to place the T in it with or without the partition, I suggest filling it more than half way with substrate. If the spider is only going to be 4" when you get it.

You will never need another enclosure. Ever.

I also have been wondering about common experiences as a beginner keeper. I have 1 T, which was my first ever, a 2.5" Avic avic. I have had a lot of good experiences with him and my confidence about keeping spiders has grown a lot as I have watched him and kept up his enclosure (and even had to transfer him from an old enclosure to new one) and what not. I was afraid of him when I first got him, but now my fear of him has changed to awe and respect. However, he is still a little guy and when I look at some of the adults out there I am a bit intimidated. When I think about one day being responsible for a G. Pulchripes the size of a small beaver, I wonder if I will be up to the task. I tell myself that it is because of my lack of experience and I just need to spend some time with the larger T's and my confidence will grow again just like it did with my first spider. Have any other T keepers experienced these same feelings when they first got into the hobby?
As for this... When I started in the hobby, I was more fearful of the larger Ts. I found it best (for me) to get a sling, and my confidence grew with it. After a while, I lost fear, and gained respect.

As for the pulchripes being the size of a small beaver... If you get it at 4", its going to take a little while to hit 6"-8". Depending on the temps you keep it at, and of course how much you feed it. So, maybe, by the time it actually hits that size, you will be comfortable enough with it, to not be intimidated by it.

Best of luck!
 

Dr Acula

Arachnobaron
Joined
Dec 22, 2010
Messages
336
Well i heard somwhere in these forums that an enclosure should be as long as 4 x the legspan and that the height should be 1.5 x the height of the T. You maay wanna double check on that though.

As for your second question. When i first got into the hobby, i immediatly wanted the biggest tarantula out there but i was no where near experienced enough to even think about caring for it, or even purchasing it for that matter (i was 8 lol) but there are large Ts that are pretty docile (well, tolerant) and will make transitioning from small to large species alot easier. B smithi is sort in between the big and small growing to 6-7 inches. They're a good size and not very aggressive. If you don't feel up to getting an 8-legged small beaver, theses are great for beginners. If you do, I won't say for certain since it's my own particular opinion, watching and observing a large species like a chaco, or any other kind, not only makes it easier to study all the little bits and pieces of the tarantula, but can open your experience level with these critters by an incredible amount. I hope this helps you out
 

RyTheTGuy

Arachnoknight
Joined
Mar 2, 2011
Messages
231
G. Pulchripes are terrestrials, They dont climb(much). No need to make a terrarium, use the tank how it normally sits.
 

Spidershane1

Arachnoknight
Joined
Apr 11, 2010
Messages
170
G. Pulchripes are terrestrials, They dont climb(much). No need to make a terrarium, use the tank how it normally sits.
Terrarium doesn't mean turning the tank on its side. I think he meant that he was going to convert it from an aquarium for water dwellers to a terrarium for land dwellers.
 

Querx

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
41
If you are getting a chaco then I'd say you have nothing to worry about. They are not aggressive unlike some other species such as the OBT. The longer you keep Ts the more you like them.

As for the enclosure, it sounds fine what you have planned and (as I think someone here previously said) you will never need to buy it a new one. The only reason a chaco would really be climbing would be if the substrate was too wet so just remember this if you should ever find it hanging from the roof of it's enclosure.
 

madamoisele

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Messages
141
My Chaco, Legs, was my first spider and about 6 inches when I got her. She's about 6.5, maybe 7 now. I have her in a 10 gallon aquarium and believe me, it's plenty big for her. She used to be out a lot but these days, she's hanging out in her hide and she's a happy girl with plenty of space. They're a good price for a beginner and most are super sweet.

I also recommend the Aphnopelma Chalcodes - mine is without a doubt the sweetest girl I have. Super, super docile and she hasn't flicked a single hair since the day I got her. She even sits there and lets me pet her.
 

superfunTtime

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
2
Well I put in the order for my chaco and she will be available to pickup Friday the 25th. Any opinions on Black Gold Seedling Mix for a substrate?
 

newspidermom

Arachnosquire
Joined
Nov 13, 2010
Messages
57
Chaco is great choice for beginner terrrestrial T. Very calm and docile. I like the idea of using a larger tank with and expansion panel. It just makes it easier to give them more space as they need it without them getting used to a whole new enclosure. I've used them before. Never heard of that black gold seedling mix. Make sure there's no pesticides or fertilizers. A common substrate choice is the coconut husk and spagnum moss. Chacos like it pretty dry so you won't have to worry so much about humidity like you do with your avic. They do fine at room temp or slightly above 72-75. Very low maintenence. Just provide a good hide cause they're not big burrowers , but they will use a hide and water dish. One word of caution. When you get it in it's new home you might notice it wants to crawl up the sides and all over the place for awhile. Mine did it & I read a post from another member who had the same experience with theirs. They seem to do that for awhile until they settle in. Also it might mean the substrate is too damp. Like I said they like it really dry. Just make sure you put enough substrate in to reduce the headspace to about 5". That way if it does happen to crawl up high it can't get hurt if it falls. They're not as graceful as avics...lol. And as far as being intimidated by the size...the Chaco grows so slow you won't even notice. You're confidence will grow with it. Have fun with your new addition!
 

superfunTtime

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
2
Well now I am a bit worried. When I was picking out potting soil with a guy at a local pet store, I explained that it was for a tarantula enclosure and that the soil needed to be free of pesticides and fertilizers. We looked through many different brands and types and eventually came upon Black Gold Seedling Mix. Here are the ingredients:

* 70-80% Canadian Sphagnum peat moss
* perlite
* Dolomite lime
* Yucca extract (an organic wetting agent)

Everything looked good so I went ahead and bought a couple bags. Today I noticed this warning at the bottom of the bag, "This product may be manufactured in a facility that processes peanut byproducts. Do not swallow. Avoid breathing dust. Avoid contact with eyes, open sores, or cuts. Wash exposed skin thoroughly after use. Keep out of reach of children and pets."

So the plan was for my T to be living in this stuff. Did I buy some bad soil that is going to hurt my T?
 

newspidermom

Arachnosquire
Joined
Nov 13, 2010
Messages
57
Lime IS fertilizer. Stay away from potting soils. Most have ingredients that may harm your T. Even if the ingredient list looks ok I still wouldn't use it. Please look into getting plain spagnum/terrarium moss and coconut fiber. I mix both. The moss is good for moisture and is good for burrowing Ts cause it holds its shape. The coconut fiber comes loose in a bag OR in a pressed brick that you soak with water. It swells up and you break it apart and you get ALOT in one brick. Just make sure you let it dry really well before putting in your T. Like I said Chacos like it really dry.
 

NikiP

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 16, 2006
Messages
540
Return it. Lime is going to be a no-no, & I don't think i'd chance it with the yucca extract either.

Do you have a Lowe's or Home Depo nearby? You said earlier that you would be filling up a rather larger tank. I bought my huge bag of straight peat moss from Lowe's for about $12.
 

JC50

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
Messages
325
Well now I am a bit worried. When I was picking out potting soil with a guy at a local pet store, I explained that it was for a tarantula enclosure and that the soil needed to be free of pesticides and fertilizers. We looked through many different brands and types and eventually came upon Black Gold Seedling Mix. Here are the ingredients:

* 70-80% Canadian Sphagnum peat moss
* perlite
* Dolomite lime
* Yucca extract (an organic wetting agent)

Everything looked good so I went ahead and bought a couple bags. Today I noticed this warning at the bottom of the bag, "This product may be manufactured in a facility that processes peanut byproducts. Do not swallow. Avoid breathing dust. Avoid contact with eyes, open sores, or cuts. Wash exposed skin thoroughly after use. Keep out of reach of children and pets."

So the plan was for my T to be living in this stuff. Did I buy some bad soil that is going to hurt my T?
Go to home depots garden section.They sell all natural soil called "Earth Grow" top soil.It comes in a white bag with red lettering and has no additives or chemicals that will be harmful to your Spider.It will be very moist when you take it out of the bag,but will dry out once in the enclosure in a day or two.This way you can set up the enclosure for your spider in advance and it will be ready when you bring your spider home.Best of luck.
 

Big_nito

TRISKELION
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Messages
255
JC50: just a quick question... Have u tried using "earth grow"? I think I saw it once in home depot but the guy incharge in their garden section told me that he cant assure if its 100% safe to inverts coz simetimes they put some "secret" ingredients that would kill "harmful" pests so he told me he doesnt know if tarantulas wont be affected. His advise to me was try it on some of my Ts first. If you tried ut and found out that its safe then probably ill go for it coz its more economical th as n buying eco earth....

As to the chaco topic... Its one of the classic Ts I will recommend for beginners. A docile specie with nice coloration and a good eater...
 
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JC50

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
Messages
325
JC50: just a quick question... Have u tried using "earth grow"? I think I saw it once in home depot but the guy incharge in their garden section told me that he cant assure if its 100% safe to inverts coz simetimes they put some "secret" ingredients that would kill "harmful" pests so he told me he doesnt know if tarantulas wont be affected. His advise to me was try it on some of my Ts first. If you tried ut and found out that its safe then probably ill go for it coz its more economical th as n buying eco earth....

As to the chaco topic... Its one of the classic Ts I will recommend for beginners. A docile specie with nice coloration and a good eater...
Hi Big_nito
Yes i have been using the Earth Grow for several years now with no problems of any kind.It was a substrate that was recommended to me by someone i trust and respect in this hobby so i knew it would be good to use.
 

superfunTtime

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
2
Thanks for the info everyone. Very helpful! And I still have a few days before the T arrives, so I have time to make a change. Phew! Glad I asked!

Oh, and I have a Lowe's and a Home Depot down the street. I might just go with the bricks of expanding coconut fiber.
 
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superfunTtime

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
2
I returned the Seedling Mix and got 2 bricks of the expanding coconut fiber. Also went to Lowe's and got one of this giant 3 cubit ft bails of sphagnum peat moss (for $12.55 after tax). All is right in the world again. :)
 

astraldisaster

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 5, 2011
Messages
311
Congrats! Post pictures once you have her. :D I just got a Chaco, as well (though the pet shop told me she was a PZB, haha). They're beautiful spiders, and mine has a great temperament. I have her on coconut fiber bedding, too.
 

superfunTtime

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
2
So the pet store I place my special order through said the T didn't ship because of cold weather. So... they say 2 more weeks. Pretty pissed. Just out of curiosity, what would it cost me to buy a 4" female chaco golden knee from one of you folks?
 

NikiP

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 16, 2006
Messages
540
So the pet store I place my special order through said the T didn't ship because of cold weather. So... they say 2 more weeks. Pretty pissed. Just out of curiosity, what would it cost me to buy a 4" female chaco golden knee from one of you folks?
Keep your eyes open in the sales forum. Good deals can be had. I just got my 6" MF & 3 other slings for $100 shipped.
 
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