Feeding tips for a noob

Dylan Bruce

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Hey guys,

Yet another noob question from me about my juvinile B. Smithi. I've had it for around a month now(10th ofJanuary). I'm sure it's in premoult due to a little dark bald patch it has as well as refusing everything I have tried to feed it so far. I've been trying to feed it about once a week just in case it isn't in premoult and today it threw a threat posture at a mealworm. After I put the mealworm in the enclosure the T slowly came out of it's hide and moved towards it, once it got close enough to touch it the T threw a threat posture and moved backwards. Is this another sign that it's in premoult? Or should I try another feeder?
I just think that a month is a little long for it to be in premoult since its only a juvinile at around 5-7cm
 

o0 Mr Ed 0o

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Try a smaller feeder, I have an old G. Rosea that doesnt like larger prey items, if that doesn't help I would leave it alone, keep the water dish topped up and just be patient, you will have a larger smithi soon enough.
 

Dylan Bruce

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Pictures would certainly help. It sounds like premolt to me. Smithis take their time in premolt.
Pretty poor photo but as you can see it has a fairly large abdomen and a bald spot which I've noticed get slightly bigger over the last few weeks.
20170210_182447.jpg
 

Dylan Bruce

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Try a smaller feeder, I have an old G. Rosea that doesnt like larger prey items, if that doesn't help I would leave it alone, keep the water dish topped up and just be patient, you will have a larger smithi soon enough.
I can all ways try small locusts if I can get a hold of them and see if it will take them, I've tried medium locusts in the past with no Luck.
 

Andrea82

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Pretty poor photo but as you can see it has a fairly large abdomen and a bald spot which I've noticed get slightly bigger over the last few weeks.
View attachment 231437
When in heavy premolt, those pink patches where she scratched the u-hairs off will turn to shiny black. So she doesn't look heavy premolt yet, but it could be she is just not hungry. Her abdomen looks normal and plump so I wouldn't worry. Like others have said, just top off the waterdish and leave her alone. Maybe try feeding again next week.
A month is not uncommon for this species to be in premolt, especially when they are bigger like yours, and regurlary fed :)
 

Dylan Bruce

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When in heavy premolt, those pink patches where she scratched the u-hairs off will turn to shiny black. So she doesn't look heavy premolt yet, but it could be she is just not hungry. Her abdomen looks normal and plump so I wouldn't worry. Like others have said, just top off the waterdish and leave her alone. Maybe try feeding again next week.
A month is not uncommon for this species to be in premolt, especially when they are bigger like yours, and regurlary fed :)
In person the bald patch looks like more dark brown than pink which is why I thought it was possibly in premoult. I'll see if I can pick up crickets or locusts next week hopefully smaller ones and see if it takes them. I know it's not uncommon for them to fast but it's hard not to worry about it being a new keeper.
 

darkness975

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In person the bald patch looks like more dark brown than pink which is why I thought it was possibly in premoult. I'll see if I can pick up crickets or locusts next week hopefully smaller ones and see if it takes them. I know it's not uncommon for them to fast but it's hard not to worry about it being a new keeper.
@Dylan Bruce I remember your post from before.
Given the size of your spider, its abdomen, and the behavior it is (continuing) to exhibit just keep the water dish full and forget about it. You constantly messing with it by throwing feeders that it doesn't want in there is doing nothing but irritating it. The reason it came out and approached the prey item is because it is a natural instinct. You triggered its feeding response. But the fact remains that it is refusing food right now, likely due to preparing for a molt.

Buying all kinds of different feeders right now is doing nothing but drilling a hole in your wallet.

Also, you are going to want to fix the enclosure at some point. I remember yours had a fall risk.
 

Dylan Bruce

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@Dylan Bruce I remember your post from before.
Given the size of your spider, its abdomen, and the behavior it is (continuing) to exhibit just keep the water dish full and forget about it. You constantly messing with it by throwing feeders that it doesn't want in there is doing nothing but irritating it. The reason it came out and approached the prey item is because it is a natural instinct. You triggered its feeding response. But the fact remains that it is refusing food right now, likely due to preparing for a molt.

Buying all kinds of different feeders right now is doing nothing but drilling a hole in your wallet.

Also, you are going to want to fix the enclosure at some point. I remember yours had a fall risk.
Thanks for the advice again mate
Yeah last time I posted a few people thought there was a little too much space in my enclosure. The only problem is my current enclosure won't allow for much more substrate to be packed in so I was considering buying a new enclosure for it. The other option is I have an aquarium sitting spare that I can move it in to and just pack full of substrate but it's 30cm x 45cm which I think will be waaay to big for a spider of that size.
 

cold blood

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Hey guys,

Yet another noob question from me about my juvinile B. Smithi. I've had it for around a month now(10th ofJanuary). I'm sure it's in premoult due to a little dark bald patch it has as well as refusing everything I have tried to feed it so far. I've been trying to feed it about once a week just in case it isn't in premoult and today it threw a threat posture at a mealworm. After I put the mealworm in the enclosure the T slowly came out of it's hide and moved towards it, once it got close enough to touch it the T threw a threat posture and moved backwards. Is this another sign that it's in premoult? Or should I try another feeder?
I just think that a month is a little long for it to be in premoult since its only a juvinile at around 5-7cm
A month is not long at all. Ive had little brachys less than half that size in pre molt for 6 months. The pre molt period for slow growing species can be crazy long....and at the size of yours, its growth is already starting to slow.

Many pre molt or fasting ts will threat posture at food, because if theyre not feeding, its just an irritant.

@Dylan Bruce I remember your post from before.
Given the size of your spider, its abdomen, and the behavior it is (continuing) to exhibit just keep the water dish full and forget about it. You constantly messing with it by throwing feeders that it doesn't want in there is doing nothing but irritating it. The reason it came out and approached the prey item is because it is a natural instinct. You triggered its feeding response. But the fact remains that it is refusing food right now, likely due to preparing for a molt.

Buying all kinds of different feeders right now is doing nothing but drilling a hole in your wallet.

Also, you are going to want to fix the enclosure at some point. I remember yours had a fall risk.
+1 on that post.

Just because its skin is not yet black, doesnt mean its not in the earliest stages. It certainly looks plump enough....i also wouldnt waste time offerring food.
 

Dylan Bruce

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@darkness975
Just went to check on it and it's sitting on the side of its enclosure so here is a good representation of how much distance there is between the substrate and top of the enclosure 20170212_200049.jpg
 

draiko

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@Dylan Bruce. You have been advised a few times that your spider needs more substrate. Its not an angle issue. Its an enclosure issue. That is way too high. It should preferably not even be able to get vertical on the side. In the end, its your spider if it gets hurt its your fault.

And the spider is fine. It looks healthy to me.
Seriously get more substrate. It gets spooked ans up the side and falls off in a second. Not one of us wants to read a thread of a dying T where it could have been prevented.
 

Sana

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I would personally want a little less distance than that.

As to feeding the longs fasts are indeed relatively normal in my experience with slow growing NW terrestrials. I can sympathize with worry over a tarantula not eating though. Patience is really your best option but failing that you could offer prekilled prey. Tarantulas do scavenge so if she wants something she will come snatch it. This option also insures that prey item can't hurt your premolt or molting tarantula. I've used this before (even recently) with tarantulas I'm not 100% sure what on earth they're doing. If you go this road just make sure not to leave the prey more than 24 hours so you don't end up with mold or pests. I also wouldn't try more often than once a week which you already seem to have down.
 

Dylan Bruce

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@Dylan Bruce. You have been advised a few times that your spider needs more substrate. Its not an angle issue. Its an enclosure issue. That is way too high. It should preferably not even be able to get vertical on the side. In the end, its your spider if it gets hurt its your fault.

And the spider is fine. It looks healthy to me.
Seriously get more substrate. It gets spooked ans up the side and falls off in a second. Not one of us wants to read a thread of a dying T where it could have been prevented.
And the last thing I want is to cause any harm to my T. All I am saying is that everywhere I have read including on this forum it's recommended that the spider has no more that 2x it's Dls in height. With it having a 5 cm Dls and a 9cm gap then surely that should be OK? I'm not disputing anyone's advice after all thatd why im here as a first time keeper but as I said I'm considering a few different options but the enclosure it's in at the minute doesn't allow for anymore substrate to be added.
 

Dylan Bruce

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I would personally want a little less distance than that.

As to feeding the longs fasts are indeed relatively normal in my experience with slow growing NW terrestrials. I can sympathize with worry over a tarantula not eating though. Patience is really your best option but failing that you could offer prekilled prey. Tarantulas do scavenge so if she wants something she will come snatch it. This option also insures that prey item can't hurt your premolt or molting tarantula. I've used this before (even recently) with tarantulas I'm not 100% sure what on earth they're doing. If you go this road just make sure not to leave the prey more than 24 hours so you don't end up with mold or pests. I also wouldn't try more often than once a week which you already seem to have down.
I've tried pre killed before about a week after I first received it and again had no luck so I think it's just in premoult and isn't interested in food at all. As for the height in the enclosure I'll be sure to get that sorted asap, I may just have to invest in a new enclosure:)
 

Andrea82

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And the last thing I want is to cause any harm to my T. All I am saying is that everywhere I have read including on this forum it's recommended that the spider has no more that 2x it's Dls in height. With it having a 5 cm Dls and a 9cm gap then surely that should be OK? I'm not disputing anyone's advice after all thatd why im here as a first time keeper but as I said I'm considering a few different options but the enclosure it's in at the minute doesn't allow for anymore substrate to be added.
it doesn't strike me as a dangerous situation, provided there are no sharp/hard objects at the front of the enclosure where the sub is at its lowest. (waterdish sufficiently buried?)
You could try to add substrate a little to the front, but that is not really necessary. I have seen lots and lots of keepers/breeders here that keep them in these enclosures.
 

The Grym Reaper

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I just think that a month is a little long for it to be in premoult since its only a juvinile at around 5-7cm
My female was 7cm when I purchased her, for her first moult with me she was in premoult for well over a month, she's in premoult again now and hasn't eaten for 20 days, just don't offer any more feeders (they will just annoy the T) and keep a full water dish.

Pretty poor photo but as you can see it has a fairly large abdomen and a bald spot which I've noticed get slightly bigger over the last few weeks.
View attachment 231437
When that bald patch changes from skin/tan coloured to jet black then you'll know she's really close to moulting, mine started developing bald patches on her abdomen over a week ago which only changed to black within the last 48hrs.


As for the fall risk, with those enclosures you can slope the substrate so that it's higher towards the back which does eliminate some of the problem, wait until it's hardened up after moulting before you make any alterations to the enclosure or rehouse though.
 

Dylan Bruce

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As for the fall risk, with those enclosures you can slope the substrate so that it's higher towards the back which does eliminate some of the problem, wait until it's hardened up after moulting before you make any alterations to the enclosure or rehouse though.
I've tried to do the same with mine although mines is higher at one side with the hide partially buried rather than higher at the back.
 
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