- Sep 24, 2015
*I wrote this years ago for a facebook group, dont believe ive posted it here and figured it could help.
“Do more Research!”
“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.