Climbing Grammastola

Factanonverba

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 24, 2010
Messages
3
Its been over 16 years since I've owned a tarantula, and for whatever reason I decided to check out the local herp & invert specialty shop and walked out with a Chilean Rose labeled as a Grammastola Porteri. ;)

Anyway, I bought a 5.5g for it (The T came with a plastic circular container about 6" in diameter), but when I placed it inside the tank with dried out coco bark substrate, it immediately started to climb up the sides of the glass, which made me nervous that it would fall and injure itself. So I placed it back in its store container for now.

I've done a little research and read that Ts sometimes do this because there is something they don't like about the substrate? I guess I cant blame it, the substrate had fairly large chunks of coconut in it that weren't apparent in block form.

So I purchased some zoo med coco fiber instead (which looked very fine in block form) and so far, it seems to be very soft, but still very moist and is taking longer to dry out than the coco bark. Anyway, I'm wondering, if the T continues its climbing behavior even with the newer substrate, is there anything I can do to make it more comfortable inside its new home to mitigate this behavior? :confused:
 

Chris_Skeleton

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 31, 2010
Messages
1,310
Coco fiber is what I use at the moment (I need to get around and try peat sometime though). Your substrate should be dirt like and not have giant chunks like bark or wood chips, these can be abrasive and cut your tarantula. Your tarantula roams because it is getting use to it's new home. It will stop after it's accustomed to it. If you are worried about falling then that probably means you don't have enough substrate in there. You need to fill it up with substrate so that if the Ts front legs can reach the top, then it's back legs can reach the bottom.

How big is your tarantula?
 

Bill S

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
1,399
Part of the issue is simply that the substrate is new to the tarantula. Once the tarantula gets used to it you'll see more typical "terrestrial" behavior. And part may be that the substrate is too moist. Try drying the substrate a bit more and see if that helps. (Spread the substrate loosely over the surface of a cookie sheet and warm it gently in the oven for a little while.)
 

NikiP

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 16, 2006
Messages
540
Agreeing with what the others have said. Give it a few days to settle. Sometimes it takes forever to dry, my climate is very humid & I think it takes a couple of weeks for my substrate to actually look dry.
 

Factanonverba

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 24, 2010
Messages
3
My T is about 2 1/4" long in body length.

Coco fiber appears to be what the T came with, so hopefully it will be happy with the new substrate. If it isn't high enough to limit the T's climbing height to body length, I can just make use of the coco husk as a bottom layer and the fiber on top to bring the ground level higher.

I'll try baking it in the oven to dry it out faster, I've just had it drying in a large Tupperware container with a fan blowing on it for a couple days.

I'm eager to get it out of that little plastic container and allow it some more room, especially room for a wider water dish. Poor guy (girl?) didn't have one when I got it, so I placed a medicine bottle cap in there and the first thing it did was dip its cephalothorax to the surface of the water. Must have been thirsty.

I appreciate the advice so far! :D Oh, and can anyone click my images and tell me whether this is a m or f? I took the best pictures I could with my phone, but I'm not 100% certain what it is I'm looking for. I've compared the m & f pictures and they look almost similar to me.:?
 

Factanonverba

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 24, 2010
Messages
3
I tried using some dry moss instead. The tarantula seems less bothered by it, and even begun burrowing around in it. I also found a container that seems better suited than the 5.5g. A plastic shoe box from the container store, already with vent holes. This is rather fortuitous as a coworker offered me a california kingsnake, which now lives in the 5.5g, temporarily. It seems to be enjoying that very deep coco substrate and burying itself. :D



Also by any chance can anyone tell me the sex of this T?
 
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