Dead Slings. Help!

ccTroi

Arachnoknight
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Mar 27, 2017
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Hey guys! My first post and a serious one! I have a few A. geniculata slings. I've had them for about a month and a half so far, and they eat like machines. I love them. I keep them on moist substrate with cross ventilation. I check up on all my T's daily, every 2 days at most! I feed them as much as they can eat, daily in fact. They only refuse when in premolt. I remove all bolus that I see. Also, I pick up any uneaten feeders and their white poop. Unfortunately, I found all but one of my A. genics dead today. ***PICTURES FOUND AT THE BOTTOM***

I'm puzzled as to how this happened, I need help why and how. Please help! :-(

I keep them in a large tote along with all of my spiderlings. I have the tote facing a space heater (from WalMart) but I keep the lid on. I have a couple bottled water in the tote for humidity. Basically, I have a microclimate setup for my slings in which I try to maintain humidity to prevent dehydration. I also intended to keep the temperature in the tote higher than the room I keep them in (which is 69-74F), this way I "powerfeed" them until they reach around 2" where they are more tolerable of living conditions. This is the first time a situation like this happened. In addition, I've raised (3) P. cambridgei that are now 2"+, (5) B. vagans that are now 2.5"+, and (18) OBT slings that are in a similar setup which all have molted at least twice in my care.
***IT IS TO NOTE THAT I'VE HAD THE A. GENICS MOLT A FEW TIMES IN THE SETUP I EXPLAINED***

#1 molted a few days ago and I saw it in a death curl in its burrow.
IMG_1298.JPG

#2 was found in a similar stance right outside its hide which was in premolt.
IMG_1297.JPG

#3 was in a curl along the side of its enclosure, also in premolt.
IMG_1296.JPG

My last one, #4, is molting as I type this thread.
IMG_1295.JPG
 

Ddannison

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In my (limited) experience I have kept my A. geniculata slings in far drier conditions. If I ever see condensation (aside from my moist OBs) I see it as a bad thing. More people will chime in soon though.
 

KezyGLA

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The condensation is a sign of stuffyness. Stale air is bad for Ts.

Did you have any top ventilation?
 

Chris LXXIX

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No, no... I don't have condensation not even on my S.subspinipes enclosure. And I keep her more moist than the Asian/Tropical T's I had/have.
Clearly ventilation wasn't enough.

I keep sling on partially slightly moist substrate until I can re-house them in a enclosure bigger enough for add a little water dish.
 
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Paiige

Arachnobaron
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It definitely looks very, very moist in there. Slings should be kept on slightly moist sub and given a water dish if it fits in their cups. If you have them inside of a tote, near a heater, especially with a lid on, I'd imagine it got too stuffy in there for them.

IME, there's no such thing as too much ventilation. The worst that can happen is that an enclosure won't be able to hold the proper levels of heat and humidity but that's something we're responsible for compensating for.

Also, the sling in pic #2 doesn't look like it's in a full curl and may not be dead. Obviously you're able to see it in person and I'm not, but just judging on the state of the others in comparison to this one, maybe all hope is not lost?
 

cold blood

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Honestly it looks like it could have been too moist, especially with that much condensation around the enclosures.

@cold blood what do you think?
Here's my suspicion on this particular condensation...they're damp...and they look to be properly damp, but theyre also in a heated area, so as soon as theyre brought out or that is compromised, the falling temps will cause instant condensation/

Post pics of the heater and how you have it operating...if its blowing at them, this is likely the issue.
 

boina

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The conditions you (OP) describe would be warm, humid, and stuffy (closed tote). Warm and humid is always a very difficult combination. Pathogens (bacteria and fungal infections) find ideal conditions to thrive. If you then add stagnant air things become even more difficult. It may go well for a while but if just one tarantula pathogen makes it's way in there you will very soon be dealing with a lot of dead Ts. It does not always happen, sometimes there just aren't any pathogens around, but you increase the chances for something like this to happen exponentially in the circumstances you provided. I'd keep slings much less humid and I would ALWAYS make sure there is an air flow. Hot, humid, and stagnant air is just a recipe for desaster - even with humans.
 

ccTroi

Arachnoknight
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Here's my suspicion on this particular condensation...they're damp...and they look to be properly damp, but theyre also in a heated area, so as soon as theyre brought out or that is compromised, the falling temps will cause instant condensation/

Post pics of the heater and how you have it operating...if its blowing at them, this is likely the issue.
The space heater is contacting the large tote I keep my slings in, not directly the slings' enclosure.
 

ccTroi

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Thanks for all the comments, explanations, and suggestions!

From this point on, I plan to place all my slings on its dedicated shelf along with my adult T's. I have my shelving unit of T's situated at the corner of the room so that the heat emitted by the space heater may bounce off the wall thus maintaining constant airflow and ensuring all T's get warmth. I will place my adult T's towards the bottom of the shelf unit as hot air tends to travel upwards rather than ground level. I'm aware that higher temperatures increase the rate of metabolism of cold blooded animals such as T's. As a result, growth rate of such animals would be improved. By positioning the older T's at the bottom, I would, ideally, prolong the lifespan of my older T's. On the other hand, the slings' metabolism will be greater than being kept towards the bottom or in room temperature. The concentration gradient of the temperature is such that the warmer air towards the top half would stimulate an increase in metabolic rate in comparison with the cooler air towards the bottom.
 

Rittdk01

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Oct 4, 2016
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Darn :( I keep 1/4 of the dirt moist for tarantulas that size. There is never any condensation on the sides of my containers.
 

Spidermolt

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Your room that's 69-74° is more than warm enough for any sling I wouldn't even bother with a heater. Keeping the heater pressed up to the tote sounds like the makings of an oven, even if you check up on the totes frequently the temps couldve still easily spiked at unsafe levels at some point. Also like everyone else has stated there appears to be too much moisture and always make sure to have proper ventelation.
 

cold blood

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I'm aware that higher temperatures increase the rate of metabolism of cold blooded animals such as T's. As a result, growth rate of such animals would be improved.
Yes, but what many fail to realize is that the law of diminishing returns is in play here. Warmer is better, but only to a point.

There comes a point in which optimal temps are exceeded, when this occurs, things level off, and eventually lead to heat stress, which will not be increasing growth rates and could actually slow them. Someone here recently posted a publication which showed stress levels increased in their specimens at temps in the 80's...low to mid 80s if I am not mistaken.

Darn :( I keep 1/4 of the dirt moist for tarantulas that size. There is never any condensation on the sides of my containers.
This condensation was caused by a temp change, not too much moisture. If I take any of my slings from my 80 degree room and bring them to my 68 degree living room, condensation forms almost instantly.

It was definitely that heater being so close, not having significant ventilation release almost certainly compounded the problem...what you describe is pretty much how I keep my dubia, because I want them to be as close to 90 as possible...the side by the heater gets really hot.
 
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ccTroi

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Yes, but what many fail to realize is that the law of diminishing returns is in play here. Warmer is better, but only to a point.

There comes a point in which optimal temps are exceeded, when this occurs, things level off, and eventually lead to heat stress, which will not be increasing growth rates and could actually slow them. Someone here recently posted a publication which showed stress levels increased in their specimens at temps in the 80's...low to mid 80s if I am not mistaken.



This condensation was caused by a temp change, not too much moisture. If I take any of my slings from my 80 degree room and bring them to my 68 degree living room, condensation forms almost instantly.

It was definitely that heater being so close, not having significant ventilation release almost certainly compounded the problem...what you describe is pretty much how I keep my dubia, because I want them to be as close to 90 as possible...the side by the heater gets really hot.
Thanks for your insight! It really helped me understand all the things I've been doing. :)
 

nicodimus22

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Sorry for your loss. I'm sure that it was not a fun thing to find. Hopefully the surviving sling will still grow up and be an eating machine for you.
 
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