Disturbing your Tarantulas

Xafron

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Apr 5, 2017
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82
So, I've noticed there tend to be two kinds of people.

Those who can never leave their T alone to the point of driving it nuts, and those who can leave their T alone for months at a time.

My question is, do you believe there is an ideal middle ground? You don't want to annoy your T. But if you suspect there is an issue (mold, flies, fungus, etc) due to feeding too often, wet substrate, or some other factor, would it not be better to remove the T and replace the substrate? Start fresh with better information and care?

I see so many members tell scared keepers to just wait it out, and while sometimes waiting it out sounds like the right move to my novice ears, other times the things they describe going on in their enclosures sound like big red flags to me. Under those circumstances waiting it out just sounds baffling to me. Would it not be better to put a T through a little stress and replace substrate, than to ignore something potentially dangerous for your T? I understand not wanting to stress out pets, but isn't there a point where that should not be your main concern? Walking on eggshells around the enclosure until it's too late seems just as bad as poking and prodding at your T and it's enclosure daily.

Trying to understand the whys behind all of this.
 

Nightstalker47

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Jul 2, 2016
Messages
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So, I've noticed there tend to be two kinds of people.

Those who can never leave their T alone to the point of driving it nuts, and those who can leave their T alone for months at a time.

My question is, do you believe there is an ideal middle ground? You don't want to annoy your T. But if you suspect there is an issue (mold, flies, fungus, etc) due to feeding too often, wet substrate, or some other factor, would it not be better to remove the T and replace the substrate? Start fresh with better information and care?

I see so many members tell scared keepers to just wait it out, and while sometimes waiting it out sounds like the right move to my novice ears, other times the things they describe going on in their enclosures sound like big red flags to me. Under those circumstances waiting it out just sounds baffling to me. Would it not be better to put a T through a little stress and replace substrate, than to ignore something potentially dangerous for your T? I understand not wanting to stress out pets, but isn't there a point where that should not be your main concern? Walking on eggshells around the enclosure until it's too late seems just as bad as poking and prodding at your T and it's enclosure daily.

Trying to understand the whys behind all of this.
It would really depend on a great many variables, I wouldn't rush anything unless it's life threatening to your T.

There's also the individual spider to take into consideration, is it in pre molt or freshly molted, is the spider severely dehydrated, when was it's last meal, etc...

In the case of a serious mite infestation I would rehouse as quickly as I could, if it's just a little mold clean it off and wait it out. If the T is newly purchased and came in a bad enclosure that doesn't offer enough ventilation I would also rehouse. It really comes down to making the right judgment call.
 

darkness975

dream reaper
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So, I've noticed there tend to be two kinds of people.

Those who can never leave their T alone to the point of driving it nuts, and those who can leave their T alone for months at a time.

My question is, do you believe there is an ideal middle ground? You don't want to annoy your T. But if you suspect there is an issue (mold, flies, fungus, etc) due to feeding too often, wet substrate, or some other factor, would it not be better to remove the T and replace the substrate? Start fresh with better information and care?

I see so many members tell scared keepers to just wait it out, and while sometimes waiting it out sounds like the right move to my novice ears, other times the things they describe going on in their enclosures sound like big red flags to me. Under those circumstances waiting it out just sounds baffling to me. Would it not be better to put a T through a little stress and replace substrate, than to ignore something potentially dangerous for your T? I understand not wanting to stress out pets, but isn't there a point where that should not be your main concern? Walking on eggshells around the enclosure until it's too late seems just as bad as poking and prodding at your T and it's enclosure daily.

Trying to understand the whys behind all of this.
It really depends on the issue. If it is a molt going badly, for example, then disturbing it is the absolute last thing you would want to do. If it appears that the Spider is becoming dehydrated, for another example, then in that case you would intervene and attempt to re-hydrate it.
 

cold blood

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I see so many members tell scared keepers to just wait it out
You see this because experienced keepers have been through it many many times and know from this extensive experience that waiting it out is generally the correct choice...and most "scared" owners are scared, simply because they lack the experience to recognize a situation as insignificant.
 

Xafron

Arachnosquire
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Apr 5, 2017
Messages
82
Ok. There's not actually anything wrong with mine, I'm just asking because that's something I've been wondering about a lot. And the enclosure that was just posted about by someone else, with daily feeding, flies, and smell, made me want to ask some questions.
 

Trenor

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Jan 28, 2016
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To me it all depends on what it is and how much of a problem/threat it is to my T. A little mold/substrate a little damp no big deal let it ride.

Molting and other T related things, to me, is best left to the T unless it looks like it will not make it. Then you try to help if you can. It is way too easy IMO to hurt your T a lot more trying to mess with it during a molt. Often times I've seen people jump the gun on long molts thinking their T is stuck only later to find it molted out fine overnight.

I don't ignore my Ts or tiptoe around them. I also don't open their enclosures several times a day and poke them with paint brushes. I have a set scheduled for cleaning/feeding and watering that I mostly stick to. If I see something that needs to be done in between those times then I go and do it. I will rehouse if there is a valid need but not unless it is truly needed.

I do take photos and will often use a red light to watch my Ts go about their lives.
 

Xafron

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So then is mold not that big of a concern unless it starts to really spread?
 

cold blood

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So then is mold not that big of a concern unless it starts to really spread?
Mold has to be pretty bad to be an issue....its an indicator of other issues though that would need to be addressed...such as too much moisture, not enough ventilation (both), or dead prey or boli not being picked up.
 

Xafron

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Mold has to be pretty bad to be an issue....its an indicator of other issues though that would need to be addressed...such as too much moisture, not enough ventilation (both), or dead prey or boli not being picked up.
Good to know. I was under the impression mold was kind of a big deal even in small amounts.

I did not make this thread with this in mind but it is actually relevant. I have been wondering if the substrate in my enclosure is too low. When I set it up, I was in a hurry. The coco fiber has settled quite a bit I think over the weeks I've had it, and I don't know if I should be concerned with adding more or not. My T climbs the sides a lot, and a fall from the top of the tub is about 7 inches. My T is about 4 inches. Mostly what she would fall on is coco fiber and some moss, but there is a water dish and an aquarium decoration I stuck in there. Is 7 inches anything to worry about for such a small T?
 

cold blood

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The coco fiber has settled quite a bit I think over the weeks
Any time you use that sub, it needs to be tamped down....this helps it hold to burrows and makes it a more solid floor...many ts don't want to walk on fluff.
 

Xafron

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Any time you use that sub, it needs to be tamped down....this helps it hold to burrows and makes it a more solid floor...many ts don't want to walk on fluff.
I did pack it down some. However it seems like it settled even more. Or maybe I'm just imagining things. I've been doing that a lot lately :rofl: But is that distance anything to worry about?
 

Nightstalker47

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Good to know. I was under the impression mold was kind of a big deal even in small amounts.

I did not make this thread with this in mind but it is actually relevant. I have been wondering if the substrate in my enclosure is too low. When I set it up, I was in a hurry. The coco fiber has settled quite a bit I think over the weeks I've had it, and I don't know if I should be concerned with adding more or not. My T climbs the sides a lot, and a fall from the top of the tub is about 7 inches. My T is about 4 inches. Mostly what she would fall on is coco fiber and some moss, but there is a water dish and an aquarium decoration I stuck in there. Is 7 inches anything to worry about for such a small T?
I don't think it's that worrisome, what species is it? You can always get it in a catch cup and add some sub if it's making you paranoid, easy quick fix. I'm still fairly certain a 4 inch T would survive a fall from 7 inches without sustaining any injuries.
So then is mold not that big of a concern unless it starts to really spread?
Exactly, only if the entire enclosure is overrun. As far as we know mold is only dangerous to Ts if it starts growing in their book lungs.
 

Xafron

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I don't think it's that worrisome, what species is it? You can always get it in a catch cup and add some sub if it's making you paranoid, easy quick fix. I'm still fairly certain a 4 inch T would survive a fall from 7 inches without sustaining any injuries.

Exactly, only if the entire enclosure is overrun. As far as we know mold is only dangerous to Ts if it starts growing in their book lungs.
Wow! Didn't realize it could grow inside the T. It's a Pterinopelma sazimai. Not sure how long I've had her now, maybe a month. I have yet to see her actually fall, and she's webbing up the sides and sub (albeit slowly) so I will probably just leave it alone if it's not a big deal.
 

Eek

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May 15, 2016
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My routine consists of this:
Wake up, get dressed, check on T's and note anything amiss. Observe them for a few minutes then go about my day.
Get ready for bed, check on T's again and provide whatever was noted in the morning. Go to bed.
Rinse & Repeat.
 

Ellenantula

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There's definitely a middle ground. I used to check on mine 20 times a day when I was home. These days, I look in at least once daily and that's usually about it -- and that's mostly to notice if a water bowl was flipped or any issues noted. I will stop and enjoy a few moments if one is bulldozing or if Rosie is playing with her ping pong ball. But that's about it.
I have missed all their latests moults too. Now when I post in the 'who moulted' thread, I often don't know when they moulted - it just means on my scheduled feeding/watering day, I noticed an exo in a tank. I can remember checking on them so often I nearly always witnessed them on their backs. Now it's sheer luck to catch a moult in progress.
Not to seem too negative, but I figure they know more about beings Ts than I do; and there is probably little I could do if something went wrong... except to just wait and see what happens. As long as my husbandry is up to par, not much more I can do for them. I also no longer have slings (which I felt did require more checking on).
Once in a while, if I have insomnia, I will go peek in on all of them with a flashlight. Brings back fun memories of being new and doing this multiple times a night. lol
 
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GreyPsyche

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Jun 19, 2016
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92
I typically check on my Ts when I wake up and before I go to work then once when I get home and once before I go to sleep. On my off days I'll check on them the same way but more often and sometimes I'll just sit there watching them as it's fairly stress relieving and allows me to just relax. I also do most of my maintenance and feedings on my off days. I try not to disturb my Ts when I do look in on them, i try not to move their enclosures either. I don't really check up on them out of worry it's more about fascination, I'm still new to the hobby so I'm learning a lot and absorbing things day by day so that's the reason for so many "check ups."
 

JoshDM020

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Mar 24, 2017
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I typically check on my Ts when I wake up and before I go to work then once when I get home and once before I go to sleep. On my off days I'll check on them the same way but more often and sometimes I'll just sit there watching them as it's fairly stress relieving and allows me to just relax. I also do most of my maintenance and feedings on my off days. I try not to disturb my Ts when I do look in on them, i try not to move their enclosures either. I don't really check up on them out of worry it's more about fascination, I'm still new to the hobby so I'm learning a lot and absorbing things day by day so that's the reason for so many "check ups."
I do it pretty much the same. The only one i move unless im feeding is the A. geniculata because its enclosure is so small (shes only half an inch) and its hard to look without moving it. Doesnt seem too bothered once everything is stationary again. My dream is to have a large-ish shed with electricity to keep all of my tarantulas in. This will be more practical when i have more than three, though. Itd just be nice having a building where nothing else can bother me or them. Itd be less risky if there was an escape, too.
 
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