First A. seemani tarantula questions...

Stella Maris

Arachnoknight
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Jan 28, 2017
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172
I'll be getting (hopefully) an Aphonopelma seemanni "blue form" sling soon as my first-ever tarantula, and I have some additional questions regarding caring for the sling:

1. I've read that slings can start their housing in a deli cup with air holes. Now I know the A. seemanni slings like to burrow...is a deli cup sufficient for them? I figure since they like to burrow, height/depth of substrate is important. Also, where can I actually purchase deli cups (Walmart?)? If I can't find deli cups what other kind of container can I get for my sling?

2. Recommended substrate for A. seemanni sling? I know the answers will vary, but I need to be able to purchase the substrate in advance. Also, what is the recommended depth for the substrate when I will first be housing my sling?

3. Do slings only drink water from the substrate or if it's sprayed on the walls of the container? No water bowl starting out as a sling I'm assuming?

4. I will be transporting my sling from place of purchase to my home. Currently it's in the 20's/30's degrees Fahrenheit where I live. Do I somehow need to exercise extra caution when I'll be bringing my sling home with me? Any idea as how to keep it warm when being transported?

5. Generally how soon will my sling need to be fed upon being rehoused in their new container?

6. How long will it take for the sling to mature?

7. Any tips on how to safely and carefully rehouse the sling from its purchase container to its home container? Being a small sling I'm horrified that it could get away and be lost forever in my house.

Other questions that are tarantula-related:

1. How do I keep the humidity at 65%-80% for this species? My bedroom tends to stay between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit year round but I don't know about the humidity level.

2. Do the slings eat fruit flies or pinhead crickets starting out? Can you purchase live flies/pinhead crickets at pet stores like Petsmart, Petco, Pet Supplies Plus, etc.?

Also, can anyone point me to some videos or webpages about keeping feeder pinhead crickets? Do you usually just raise your own feeder insects or do you just buy a certain amount in the store?

It's been many years since I've kept feeder crickets (for my anoles) and I'm not sure where to find them, how to house them, etc. Do you always need to keep a large amount of pinhead crickets on hand?

Sorry if these are stupid questions but I have a week to figure this out. Would greatly appreciate your input!
 

Venom1080

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Sep 24, 2015
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1. deli cups are great, but if the slings smaller than 1/2", i prefer to use a vial. make some air holes, doesnt have to be more than 5, with a heated up needle or screwdriver. if you have a soldering iron, just be careful not to make the holes larger than the carapace. i buy mine off amazon in lots of 12-50. you can probably find some food item in them at a superstore, eat said food and than use the cage. :)
2. peat moss and eco earth mixed is my personal favorite, absorbs water well, holds said water, holds up a burrow, and looks great. straight eco earth or peat moss is fine too. alot of people use topsoil as well, i despise the stuff however. (mold, flies, mushrooms etc. etc. pure crap IME)
3. dont bother misting. use a water bowl, its safe for even tiny slings. overflow the dish once a week or so.
4. cant you just warm the car up beforehand? if not, i wouldnt trust those temps for more than 5 min.
5. you can try prekilled prey as soon as you want.
6. a very long time. Aphonopelma are super slow growing, id think maybe 10 years for a female. youll probably have plenty more before than.
7. do the rehousing in a large tub, a bathtub with a plugged drain will work. i prefer a plastic bin, just lightly prod the spider into the new cage with a paintbrush or chopstick.
8. dont chase magic humidity numbers, just follow what i said about water above. they get alot of their water from their prey, the rest they can get from their dishes and from when you overflow said dish.
9. prekilled is the best option. just crush the feeders head and throw it in, they can eat much bigger prey than you think.
hope this helps!:)
 

Stella Maris

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
172
1. deli cups are great, but if the slings smaller than 1/2", i prefer to use a vial. make some air holes, doesnt have to be more than 5, with a heated up needle or screwdriver. if you have a soldering iron, just be careful not to make the holes larger than the carapace. i buy mine off amazon in lots of 12-50. you can probably find some food item in them at a superstore, eat said food and than use the cage. :)
2. peat moss and eco earth mixed is my personal favorite, absorbs water well, holds said water, holds up a burrow, and looks great. straight eco earth or peat moss is fine too. alot of people use topsoil as well, i despise the stuff however. (mold, flies, mushrooms etc. etc. pure crap IME)
3. dont bother misting. use a water bowl, its safe for even tiny slings. overflow the dish once a week or so.
4. cant you just warm the car up beforehand? if not, i wouldnt trust those temps for more than 5 min.
5. you can try prekilled prey as soon as you want.
6. a very long time. Aphonopelma are super slow growing, id think maybe 10 years for a female. youll probably have plenty more before than.
7. do the rehousing in a large tub, a bathtub with a plugged drain will work. i prefer a plastic bin, just lightly prod the spider into the new cage with a paintbrush or chopstick.
8. dont chase magic humidity numbers, just follow what i said about water above. they get alot of their water from their prey, the rest they can get from their dishes and from when you overflow said dish.
9. prekilled is the best option. just crush the feeders head and throw it in, they can eat much bigger prey than you think.
hope this helps!:)
Can the slings eat mealworms? If you crush the head of the mealworm?
 

Stella Maris

Arachnoknight
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Jan 28, 2017
Messages
172
yup, i use nearly only mealworms for my slings.

I was thinking of trying mealworms for my sling. I'm not sure I'm ready to keep a large colony of crickets yet, but purchasing a few mealworms is definitely viable for me.

Stupid question but you obviously pre-kill the mealworm first, then cut it into pieces? How long will the individual pieces last of the mealworm? How do you store mealworms?
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
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3,825
Stupid question but you obviously pre-kill the mealworm first, then cut it into pieces? How long will the individual pieces last of the mealworm? How do you store mealworms?
Keep the mealworms alive until just before feeding. Offer one small mealworm (with the head crushed) or half a mealworm if you don't have any baby mealworms.

I keep my mealworms in a plastic container. I use raw oatmeal as their bedding/food and fresh carrots for moisture.

Mealworms can't climb, so you don't need a lid. (Having a lid just increased humidity in my container, leading to mold outbreaks.)
 

Stella Maris

Arachnoknight
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Jan 28, 2017
Messages
172
Keep the mealworms alive until just before feeding. Offer one small mealworm (with the head crushed) or half a mealworm if you don't have any baby mealworms.

I keep my mealworms in a plastic container. I use raw oatmeal as their bedding/food and fresh carrots for moisture.

Mealworms can't climb, so you don't need a lid. (Having a lid just increased humidity in my container, leading to mold outbreaks.)

How do I prevent the mealworms from becoming beetles?
 

Venom1080

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I was thinking of trying mealworms for my sling. I'm not sure I'm ready to keep a large colony of crickets yet, but purchasing a few mealworms is definitely viable for me.

Stupid question but you obviously pre-kill the mealworm first, then cut it into pieces? How long will the individual pieces last of the mealworm? How do you store mealworms?
i crush ther heads with pliers, i only cut them up if im feeding a really small sling. i raise my own, super easy and cheap and gives me a permanent food source for all my slings and juvis.
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
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How do I prevent the mealworms from becoming beetles?
You can't entirely prevent it without killing the mealworms, but you can slow the rate of maturation by keeping them cooler.

You may even find that you want to let some of the beetles breed, as you will end up with baby mealworms that make great sling prey.
 

cold blood

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How do I prevent the mealworms from becoming beetles?
Just keep them in the fridge. They will go dormant and can be kept for many months.

Dice the mealworms into sizes appropriate for the size of the t. Even 1/3 of a mealworm is a large meal for a sling 1/2" or smaller.

"alot of people use topsoil as well, i despise the stuff however. (mold, flies, mushrooms etc. etc. pure crap IME)"

Hahaha, topsoil is the best, and most natural IMO, I have none of the problems you do. The lone downside is that enclosures requiring large amounts of substrate get very heavy. Its the only substrate you can use that actual wild tarantulas also use.:p:D

Op, in those temps I suggest bringing a cooler with a hand warmer inside for transporting while outside...cold bursts, even short ones can be bad.

Your inside house temps sound perfect.
 

Arachnomaniac19

Arachnolord
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Aug 23, 2014
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654
Just keep them in the fridge. They will go dormant and can be kept for many months.

Dice the mealworms into sizes appropriate for the size of the t. Even 1/3 of a mealworm is a large meal for a sling 1/2" or smaller.

"alot of people use topsoil as well, i despise the stuff however. (mold, flies, mushrooms etc. etc. pure crap IME)"

Hahaha, topsoil is the best, and most natural IMO, I have none of the problems you do. The lone downside is that enclosures requiring large amounts of substrate get very heavy. Its the only substrate you can use that actual wild tarantulas also use.:p:D

Op, in those temps I suggest bringing a cooler with a hand warmer inside for transporting while outside...cold bursts, even short ones can be bad.

Your inside house temps sound perfect.
I'm not too sure if you were implying this, but natural isn't always better. Not to say that I don't approve nor use topsoil (I mean I don't, but I will in the future as its cheaper), but just because that something is natural doesn't make it better than artificial things.
 

Stella Maris

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
172
Thanks everyone for your answers.

I just realized that the sling I'll be getting is 1.5''. Does that mean it will need to be rehoused in a container bigger than a vial/deli cup?
 

Venom1080

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"alot of people use topsoil as well, i despise the stuff however. (mold, flies, mushrooms etc. etc. pure crap IME)"

Hahaha, topsoil is the best, and most natural IMO, I have none of the problems you do. The lone downside is that enclosures requiring large amounts of substrate get very heavy. Its the only substrate you can use that actual wild tarantulas also use.:p:D
maybe the stuff in my area sucks, but i cant see why anyone would use that stuff. i have numerous problems with it.
 

Walker253

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
556
Everything Venom1080 said in his breakdown earlier with the 16oz deli cup do to it's size.
The only thing I would differ on is growth rate. A seemanni tend to grow a little faster than their North American counterparts, which could be considered a glacial growth pace.
 

Stella Maris

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
172
Where can you buy 16oz deli cups though? I might try to see what kinds of similar sized containers I can find elsewhere first. How many air holes need to be poked at the top? I'm assuming for the size of the sling air holes only need to be needle-thin?

Also is it recommended to feed your sling immediately after rehousing or wait a few days to get used to its new home?
 

dopamine

Arachnobaron
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Feb 7, 2010
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341
You can get them on Amazon. Pretty sure they come in packs of 20, though. But since you'll no doubt be buying more T's very soon :p that shouldn't be a problem.
 

Jeff23

Arachnolord
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Jul 27, 2016
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  • coco fiber: #1 brand recommended by tarantulas
  • peat: 9 out of 10 tarantulas recommend peat
  • topsoil: the brand more tarantulas use worldwide
While I like that sense of humor it has been a struggle on 2 out of 3 for me.

Coco fiber is very easy for me to obtain so I use it on everything.
I had to order peat online because everything at my local stores was either in giant bags or had forest products added to it. I haven't used mine yet.
I have never found top soil I can trust during my entire duration of keeping tarantulas. I did try to find it at local stores and online. All of them mention additives or include the phrase "includes forest products" in the description.
 

Rittdk01

Arachnoknight
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Oct 4, 2016
Messages
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Where can you buy 16oz deli cups though? I might try to see what kinds of similar sized containers I can find elsewhere first. How many air holes need to be poked at the top? I'm assuming for the size of the sling air holes only need to be needle-thin?

Also is it recommended to feed your sling immediately after rehousing or wait a few days to get used to its new home?
Walmart or Kroger is where I get them. I use a toothpick to poke holes. I switched over to little tubs that I found in the office section of Meijer. They look exactly like great big rubber maid containers, but fit in your hand. Much more secure than deli cups. Plastic needs burned or drilled though, since it's much harder than deli cup plastic. They r also stackable. I always offer new tarantulas food, since I don't know their feeding schedule and feed them to immediately make a new one. The little slings normally eat right away.
 
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