Equipment and Setup for Breeding Tarantulas

Jeff23

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I will probably want to breed some species of T that I own one day. It will likely be a species that is not common in the hobby. Mine will likely be NW, but I welcome discussion of OW for the sake of others as well. How do you setup and control the breeding area to prevent escapes?

Arboreal enclosures are different from terrestrial. Are they pulled from their standard enclosure to a temporary enclosure for this process to give better control and access to the pair?

For terrestrial, I am wondering if anyone has been able to create an outer aquarium that houses both the male and female enclosure with a modified screen lid that will prevent the MM from a panic escape. I realize that at some point the screen has to get out of the way to allow you to protect the MM from the female once the objective is complete.

I welcome links to beneficial videos that show the correct method to fully control the process.

EDIT: Potential candidates might include Pachistopelma bromelicola, Psalmopoeus ecclesiasticus, Aphonopelma genus as examples.
 
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Sana

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To this point with both NW and OW terrestrial and arboreal I have introduced the male to the female's enclosure. I set myself and the enclosures up on the floor with all of my rehouse paraphernalia (catch cups long straw etc). I make sure that there is a lot of clear floor space around me in case I have to chase down a spider. With enclosures side by side I open both and gently nudge the male into the female's enclosure and standby with a catch cup. It's been my experience that a bolting male goes a little way and then stops (usually still inside the female's enclosure).

There are exceptions to this of course. Poecs I cohab overnight. Obligate burrowers are outside of my experience. In general though it's been a matter of not overthinking it for me. Keep things simple and minimal and let the spider be a spider. It's sort of what they do.
 

Jeff23

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To this point with both NW and OW terrestrial and arboreal I have introduced the male to the female's enclosure. I set myself and the enclosures up on the floor with all of my rehouse paraphernalia (catch cups long straw etc). I make sure that there is a lot of clear floor space around me in case I have to chase down a spider. With enclosures side by side I open both and gently nudge the male into the female's enclosure and standby with a catch cup. It's been my experience that a bolting male goes a little way and then stops (usually still inside the female's enclosure).

There are exceptions to this of course. Poecs I cohab overnight. Obligate burrowers are outside of my experience. In general though it's been a matter of not overthinking it for me. Keep things simple and minimal and let the spider be a spider. It's sort of what they do.
Great info. Thank you.

How do you know if a tarantula can be cohab overnight? For instance Pachistopelma or Psalmopoeus are both arboreal T's and it seems like I see more arboreal T's being okay for cohab beyond the short visit (example: Avic's). I know Pachistopelma are very closely related to Avic's.
 

EulersK

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I'm a novice breeder at this point - several pairings, no sac yet :( So far I've done P. striata, E. truculentus, B. emilia, L. parahybana, and C. fimbriatus.

But I just use the female's enclosure every time. It drives the males wild, so they usually start tapping immediately. It also helps to put in a bit of webbing from the female's cage into the male's a few days before pairing. The only time that the male was hesitant to go into her den was with C. fimbriatus, but it still worked out eventually. As for preventing escapes... I don't I have the female's enclosure in the middle of a wide open floor with the lid completely off. The males usually shoot for the hills once the deed is done, so I just have a catch cup nearby. I want them to run out of the enclosure!

A tip that has helped me a lot is using an envelope (filled with paper, like a bill) to separate if need be. You would just guillotine between the spiders if something goes bad. Now, I would never do this with potent tarantulas because they can easily end up on your hand with this method. But I'd take a bite from a NW to prevent losing a male.
 

cold blood

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I also just put the mm in with the female. I wouldn't leave any NW in for the night...100% supervision. Poecs are the only ones I leave overnight, but there are indeed others that people regularly cohab...LV comes to mind.

Psalmopeous are generally quick and to the point...just like you would expect from them. When I paired my cam, it was without planning...I fed the MM, not realizing he had matured...the next day I looked and was like, "oh my goodness, hes a MM"..."and there's a sperm web, holy ___, he's ready to go".

I literally walked them both to the tub, introduced him and he went straight to it and it was over in a minute. Both were separated and back in the t room probably not more than 5 minutes from discovering he was mature.

So, yeah, I do my pairings in the same place as transfers, the tub. When guarding I generally have either a large tweezers or a stick on one hand, and in the other I use a ruler as my main blocking tool....just fat enough to be effective, and just long enough so my hands aren't in the middle of things. The full envelope is a good one, too though, I could see that.

As you see, its a simple side by side transfer, just like a re-house. I do exactly the same thing for terrestrials.
 

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Jeff23

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Thanks a bunch for all of the advice. Right now I only have slings on the T's that I have in mind and they are pretty much from the same egg sac or were purchased around the same time so I will still most likely need to eventually obtain a second set of T's to get the timing lined up or find someone to work with for the process when they are ready. But I can't wait to get to that level.
 

Sana

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Great info. Thank you.

How do you know if a tarantula can be cohab overnight? For instance Pachistopelma or Psalmopoeus are both arboreal T's and it seems like I see more arboreal T's being okay for cohab beyond the short visit (example: Avic's). I know Pachistopelma are very closely related to Avic's.
I look at breeding reports and talk to people I know have good information before I start working with a new species to know whether or not to cohab. So far my only experience with this is Poecs as @cold blood said above.

The long term planning and patience required when you're still growing your females is agony. I just came through that stage not so long ago. It's worth the time because it lets you do a lot of research so that when you have that first pair you know exactly what your plan is.
 

Haksilence

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Great info so far and valuable resources for you to pull from. For your faster/ more aggressive species you are are going to want to do a side by side bag transfer or cup the male first and then introduce him to the females enclosure, an open top side by side transfer has not worked well with me for faster arboreals.

As for your question about "outer aquarium" this is a deviation of the "shark tanking method. I've used this in the past for some terrestrials where the males were not as cooperative. What you can do is either use a larger aquarium/terrarium or what I use, which is just one of the large coat sterilite boxes, the ones designed for under bed storage. Roughly 3' long and 1.5' wide, large enough to house both the male and females enclosures in substrate up to the lid. This allows you to give them a very large area to work in. To condition more hesitant pairs I will leave them in this enclosure, while inside their own enclosures for about a week or so, and then alternate a week of letting the female roam freely, and a week of the male roam freely. By the end of this conditioning I've seen much more responsiveness from both parties. I can provide photos of the exact setup later today.
 

Jeff23

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Great info so far and valuable resources for you to pull from. For your faster/ more aggressive species you are are going to want to do a side by side bag transfer or cup the male first and then introduce him to the females enclosure, an open top side by side transfer has not worked well with me for faster arboreals.

As for your question about "outer aquarium" this is a deviation of the "shark tanking method. I've used this in the past for some terrestrials where the males were not as cooperative. What you can do is either use a larger aquarium/terrarium or what I use, which is just one of the large coat sterilite boxes, the ones designed for under bed storage. Roughly 3' long and 1.5' wide, large enough to house both the male and females enclosures in substrate up to the lid. This allows you to give them a very large area to work in. To condition more hesitant pairs I will leave them in this enclosure, while inside their own enclosures for about a week or so, and then alternate a week of letting the female roam freely, and a week of the male roam freely. By the end of this conditioning I've seen much more responsiveness from both parties. I can provide photos of the exact setup later today.
Your outer tank method seems interesting, especially for species that might get stressed easier. I have a few M robustum which might benefit from something of this sort. But I am not sure of breeding needs for them in the market. Right now I don't have any species that are both highly defensive and fast. My H. Gigas is probably my most defensive, but I will probably provide it to someone else if breeding is desired. I have multiple species of Tapi's which could be interesting with their speed. I guess I need to locate a video for breeding of arboreal T's to better understand how you would separate them since you can't easily access all parts of the enclosure.
 

Haksilence

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Your outer tank method seems interesting, especially for species that might get stressed easier. I have a few M robustum which might benefit from something of this sort. But I am not sure of breeding needs for them in the market. Right now I don't have any species that are both highly defensive and fast. My H. Gigas is probably my most defensive, but I will probably provide it to someone else if breeding is desired. I have multiple species of Tapi's which could be interesting with their speed. I guess I need to locate a video for breeding of arboreal T's to better understand how you would separate them since you can't easily access all parts of the enclosure.
Arboreals typically are faster then terrestrials as well as they are USUALLY more tolerant on males. In most cases the male easily escapes on their own.

What I've done for my arboreals is just remove the lid/door (depending on enclosure type) and referee with a long pair of tongs. I think you may just be over thinking it over worrying about it
 

Andrea82

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@louise f has a lot of mating videos on her channel at YouTube, that might be a good place to start :).
I'll be right on your heels with this, also started to research breeding although i am not sure yet if i will actually breed or not. Knowledge is never wasted though. :)
 

Jeff23

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Arboreals typically are faster then terrestrials as well as they are USUALLY more tolerant on males. In most cases the male easily escapes on their own.

What I've done for my arboreals is just remove the lid/door (depending on enclosure type) and referee with a long pair of tongs. I think you may just be over thinking it over worrying about it
I definitely need to view more videos and learn more. It has been confusing on past reads because I have seen threads where people are saying they leave their Avic's together for breeding for multiple days. It almost seems like they are trying to do something beyond breeding (which usually fails at some point unless it is M. balfouri). I guess I was wondering if it takes a while for some of them to become acclimated to each other before the event happens.
 

Jeff23

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Her videos are great. I have enjoyed them. I am still not sure how much breeding I will do. I do not want to breed species that are already extremely common in the market. But I also realize that as a beginner I will probably need to initially choose a species that is easier to breed to get some experience. I am already getting huge amounts of experience with slings so that part is covered.

It bothers me a lot that some species are so hard to obtain. So I definitely want to be part of the solution if I am capable.
 

Andrea82

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Her videos are great. I have enjoyed them. I am still not sure how much breeding I will do. I do not want to breed species that are already extremely common in the market. But I also realize that as a beginner I will probably need to initially choose a species that is easier to breed to get some experience. I am already getting huge amounts of experience with slings so that part is covered.

It bothers me a lot that some species are so hard to obtain. So I definitely want to be part of the solution if I am capable.
I think the US can use more breeders, considering the import fees and difficulty.
Here in Europe, there is an abundance of breeders, so it is not really necessary for me to breed. But i think i would like the experience.
 

viper69

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For terrestrial, I am wondering if anyone has been able to create an outer aquarium that houses both the male and female enclosure with a modified screen lid that will prevent the MM from a panic escape.
This MAY help you. I know of people that have put olive oil around the top of glass tanks, and the Ts were unable to cross the olive oil barrier. The info is buried somewhere on this site. A guy I know here found it, and tested it out, no ill effects at all. Even after the Ts touched the oil. It seems to be the only natural barrier that prevents them leaving that isn't harmful, ie instead of man-made chemical barrier.
 

cold blood

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This MAY help you. I know of people that have put olive oil around the top of glass tanks, and the Ts were unable to cross the olive oil barrier. The info is buried somewhere on this site. A guy I know here found it, and tested it out, no ill effects at all. Even after the Ts touched the oil. It seems to be the only natural barrier that prevents them leaving that isn't harmful, ie instead of man-made chemical barrier.
So you say I can use olive oil instead of lids then, huh.....interesting.:bookworm::D
 

EulersK

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This MAY help you. I know of people that have put olive oil around the top of glass tanks, and the Ts were unable to cross the olive oil barrier. The info is buried somewhere on this site. A guy I know here found it, and tested it out, no ill effects at all. Even after the Ts touched the oil. It seems to be the only natural barrier that prevents them leaving that isn't harmful, ie instead of man-made chemical barrier.
Why would you want to prevent an escape, though? If the male is trying to get out of Dodge, then I want him out of there. Better to try again another day than to have him turn into a meal.
 

viper69

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So you say I can use olive oil instead of lids then, huh.....interesting.:bookworm::D
Well, technically the guy was doing a rehouse if I recall (have to dig up my emails, if I saved that one) of a ton of irminia slings, and had them in a single container at the same time. I THINK. But I definitely the oil part, as that surprised me, esp no issues of them touching it and not adhering to surfaces.
 

viper69

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Why would you want to prevent an escape, though? If the male is trying to get out of Dodge, then I want him out of there. Better to try again another day than to have him turn into a meal.
Jeff mentioned a tank within a tank.
 
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