Do More Research!

Venom1080

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*I wrote this years ago for a facebook group, dont believe ive posted it here and figured it could help.

“Do more Research!”​

Hello all, for this community day id like to write about proper research in the tarantula hobby. I see a lot of people throw around the “Do more research” line without perhaps realizing what that line entails. The simple fact of the matter is, doing research on tarantula husbandry is a minefield for beginners. A minefield they don’t even know they have to try to navigate through. I remember when I did research on different tarantula species. The information was a mess. Particularly on the genus, Avicularia, the good care sheets and youtube videos are few and far between. And the inexperienced keeper ends up not knowing who they can trust. On one hand, that one youtuber has over a hundred spiders. Surely (s)he knows what they’re doing? But people on facebook are saying something else. Who can the beginner trust? Well, to be frank, theres no clear path. The beginner must throw in with someone. But who to choose? I firmly believe the best idea for someone in this situation is to reach out to someone they know is knowledgeable and simply ask them. Facebook is a reasonably see through place. If someone knows their stuff, they wont be blasted by people every time they comment and post. Names can stick out after a while. Mods are generally quite trustworthy in groups. Reach out to these people and ask. They can very likely lead you in the right direction. Getting into the mentorship program this group has is a great place to start as well. Im happy to answer questions and so are many other experienced keepers. The main idea here being to know without a doubt that the information youre getting is from someone who knows what theyre talking about. And not from some intermediate know it all or worse yet, a beginner. Another great idea is to sign up for Arachnoboards.com . this is a free arachnid forum with a great community of people. There is a “comments made” and “likes” section in each members profile. So its easy to check who beens around and knows their stuff and whos fairly new to the forum. This isn’t a perfect way to tell whos knowledgeable and whos a dunce but it’s a great start. The forum has many active members who are ready and willing to answer any questions you may have. In fact, its very likely the majority of your questions have already been asked. Use the search function to your full advantage. I learned the majority of what I know today from the folks there and am still active and answering questions. Its certainly worth a look. Anyways, back to proper research. My point in this entire article is to highlight the hypocrisy of the “do more research” statement. If the beginner follows that advice, its very feasible to see them posting the next week about how SADS killed their pet store Avicularia. So, theres two good places to get information. The arachnoboards forum and one on one online conversations with people you know are experienced. These are basically guaranteed to get you on the right track. But what about youtube? That’s a classic place for new keepers to research. Its also a very easy way to fall into the hands of “Jungle Bob” and his clones and end up with improper cages and dead spiders. Youtube can be a great place to do research or a terrible one. It all depends on who you trust for information. Because there are experienced keepers out there. Unfortunately, many of the largest spider youtubers rarely have good husbandry. Most falling around the mediocre level. The one place I can recommend beyond a shadow of a doubt for the new guy is “Toms big spiders”. Great husbandry, loads of hands on experience, and most importantly, a passion to share it with the rest of the hobby. This guy is one of the good ones. And can lead you to proper care of your spiders. Another popular place to get your spider knowledge is the pet store you bought it from. This is probably the most famous and common blunder for the new tarantula owner. Pet stores are in fact, almost ALWAYS a terrible place to get husbandry info. They rarely know a opisthosoma from a prosoma and care mostly about selling you additional crap like heat pads, fancy cages, lights, décor, etc. The actual husbandry of the animal is quite low on their list. This unfortunate trend may change with time, but for now, be very wary. A proper cage with everything in it can be under 15 bucks.

In conclusion, the next time you see a beginner with a bad set up, strongly consider whether more research in the Jungle Bob infested internet would even have helped them, or if taking a minute out of your day to properly educate them or point them to someone who can would be more effective. Happy keeping.
 

Liquifin

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There is a lot I agree with and some things I like to quote on because it's very fascinating or can be added on. Overall, I'm very pleased with this entire text which I hope many others read this to get a gist. I have to say, there is a lot of thought that went into this text. I can see some people might having some things they disagree on, but overall I find this quite impressive. Praises from me for sure.

Who can the beginner trust? Well, to be frank, theres no clear path.
This is absolutely true for any beginner. I totally agree with this statement as anyone and everyone has a different yet similar path, so there is no "100%" way of a clear path.
The beginner must throw in with someone. But who to choose? I firmly believe the best idea for someone in this situation is to reach out to someone they know is knowledgeable and simply ask them.
Knowledgeable in this hobby is a mix term for me so it would actually vary for me. The reason why I say this is because someone might have more experience in one genus than another, which knowledge in terms of care and experience can vary. But I can get behind this statement to an extent.
If someone knows their stuff, they wont be blasted by people every time they comment and post.
I actually don't quite agree with this, because someone may be right but the environment of the space, website, etc. may be aggressive, elitist, or self-correcting in a negative matter. An example is reddit, everyone always seem angry and blasting at everyone regardless how accurate or credential there information is. Youtube is another example in a way. Probably just me, but that's my .02 cents.
Getting into the mentorship program this group has is a great place to start as well.
I actually 1000% agree with this. While mentorship isn't necessary since the internet is around. I agree that apprenticeship should be practiced as it allows people to learn the niche way of how an experienced keepers raise, care, and practice husbandry. I believe that any hobbyists that is stepping into breeding or the market space should go with an apprenticeship. It always proves to work as you can learn a lot through mentorship/apprenticeship.
Youtube can be a great place to do research or a terrible one. It all depends on who you trust for information.
I agree, but if I was to word it out in my terms it would be like, "information on Youtube is a mix bag depending on if you watch the entertainment-type or knowledgeable-type Youtubers...".
Unfortunately, many of the largest spider youtubers rarely have good husbandry. Most falling around the mediocre level.
I've been around breeders here and there. So define what you would call good husbandry. Good husbandry is actually very debatable and I've seen quite a few breeders and their collections and I always say to myself, "wow, those enclosures are small and bare". A lot people get this idea that breeders, sellers, or big name businesses are perfect with great husbandry, when it actuality it's what I would call minimalists to save money, space, and resources. This is why you don't see many breeders on Youtube because of the backlash ideology of good husbandry when most breeders are minimalists. I've been breeding here and there for a while now and I have to say a lot of hobbyists get their idea of "ideal husbandry" skewed when it comes to breeders.

Overall, I like reading this text as it's a bookmark save for me. Great text and I recommend most people on this forums read and give their thoughts as well.
 

8 legged

Arachnobaron
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Very nicely written and certainly was. However, I keep learning that the main problem is different. Common sense actually says "first inform, then buy!". Unfortunately, in my experience, this does not coincide with reality. And when the animal then sits in the enclosure in the dead position, it is usually too late for adequate information!
 

Storm76

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Very nicely written and certainly was. However, I keep learning that the main problem is different. Common sense actually says "first inform, then buy!". Unfortunately, in my experience, this does not coincide with reality. And when the animal then sits in the enclosure in the dead position, it is usually too late for adequate information!
This...and the fact that people do not research much. Seems many think reading one source is enough and that's it. There's no whatsoever willingness to conduct more on their own, instead they want all the answers spoon-fed to them, instead of using the vast knowledge on archive using the search-functions on here, or anywhere for that matter. That, above all, is the biggest problem imho.

And, like 8-legged said, common sense. Doesn't seem to be so common nowadays...
 

8 legged

Arachnobaron
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I started keeping spiders in the 90s and the interesting thing is: the knowledge from the books that were very, very expensive at the time has now been revealed to be completely wrong and yet it worked! :rofl: ;)
 

AphonopelmaTX

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All research on tarantula husbandry should begin with the two books that are tried and true: "The Tarantula Keeper's Guide" by Schultz and Schultz and "Tarantulas and Other Arachnids" by Samuel Marshall. Taking a week or two to read through those two books would resolve the majority of the beginner questions. One should help themselves before expecting someone else to answer their questions. It's not hard to buy and read a book.
 

8 legged

Arachnobaron
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All research on tarantula husbandry should begin with the two books that are tried and true: "The Tarantula Keeper's Guide" by Schultz and Schultz and "Tarantulas and Other Arachnids" by Samuel Marshall. Taking a week or two to read through those two books would resolve the majority of the beginner questions. One should help themselves before expecting someone else to answer their questions. It's not hard to buy and read a book.
I would also read the books by P. Klaas, but an old classic by Rankin and Walls, for example, is very, very outdated and riddled with false information...
 
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Dumu

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Same applies for all animals. Just take a stroll to any dog park to see how many questionable pet owners there are. Multiply that number by 10 and you get those that are so negligent they don't even take the dog for a run in the park. T's are no different, and sadly, neither are people.

Experience is a great teacher, but experience alone makes for a hard lesson. Research is great and necessary. So too is patient instruction.

It's frustrating when people don't do any research or refuse to listen, but anyone who is open to learning for the sake of their animals is alright by me. Granted, I'm no expert. I like to think I'm careful and attentive to these things, but I know my limitations. I'll look up answers when I can, and when I can't, I put a lot of trust in the collective experiences here. There's enough negativity already, so I will pursue peace and understanding, as the saying goes.
 
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