First T - B. Smithi - Pictures with questions

Unravel

Arachnosquire
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
140
Hello,

This is my first tarantula, B - Smithi. I just received her today and might have overestimated her size, getting an enclosure that is too big. It is a 5.5 gallon tank and she is 2-2.5. Her abdomen is huge and i've been informed she has not eaten for 2 weeks, so she is probably in for a molt.

My question is - can i house her in the current set-up? Is her hiding hole too big? I've used a leftover piece of wood from my bearded dragon and im afraid i made a bad choice, it is rather hard and large and im afraid of it somehow hurting her.

The tank is at 75f with 50 humidity and using 100% eco earth.

What size enclosure would be optimal at the moment? Is a hide required for a spider going into a molt? Any help is appreciated.

Thanks



 

Midknight xrs

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
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May 25, 2010
Messages
132
It does not look like it will need to eat for a long while lol. it doesn't look to be about to molt since the bald area on the abdoman is not as dark as it would be if it was ready to molt. As for the tank, yes it is definately big for the T, but it can grow into it. if you want to make it safer, it is recommended to increase the substrate so that any fall is minimal and the hide should definately be smaller or just allow it to burrow.
 

Unravel

Arachnosquire
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
140
is there a thing as too deep? substrate wise. Could i add 2 more inches to it (would cover the wood a bit more and cover a possible fall better)
 

Chris_Skeleton

Arachnoprince
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Jan 31, 2010
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1,310
is there a thing as too deep? substrate wise. Could i add 2 more inches to it (would cover the wood a bit more and cover a possible fall better)
Never too deep. Fill'er up so your T doesn't get injured. I would recommend at least half way up, but more would be good. Nice T.

Welcome to the boards and the hobby :D
 

8by8

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 17, 2009
Messages
234
I agree, put more substrate down. I would leave the hide, add a slab of cork on top, and fill the tank up with substrate till about 5 inches from the top. She will build her hide to her liking. Welcome
 

jt39565

Arachnoknight
Joined
Aug 28, 2010
Messages
179
I like that T, nice junk in the trunk. You could start a pool on when her next meal will be. I'm taking two weeks from today.
I would probably take that wood out until her abdomen shrunk a bit, just use a small terracota pot from a craft store, I got mine from Micheal's.
 

Kirsten

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
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Jan 9, 2010
Messages
205
Nice liitle T =)
S/he needs a smaller enclosure with the substrate filled to where there is 1 1/2 times the spiders legspan from the top of sub to top of enclosure. A 2.5 gallon is ok if not still a bit big. A nice flower pot half would suit it well.

Enjoy your new addition; they are nice T's.
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
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Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,660
Hello,

This is my first tarantula, B - Smithi. I just received her today and might have overestimated her size, getting an enclosure that is too big. It is a 5.5 gallon tank and she is 2-2.5. Her abdomen is huge and i've been informed she has not eaten for 2 weeks, so she is probably in for a molt.
Welcome to the boards and the hobby! :D

I wouldn't hold your breath for the molt. ;) The abdomen is very pink still and will start to darken when the molt is near. You will know it is imminent when that bald spot turns black and shiny. :) She also won't need to eat for awhile either, since her abdomen is HUGE! As long as you provide water, she will be alright without eating for the next few weeks.

My question is - can i house her in the current set-up?
Yes, you can, but I would suggest some alterations to make it a bit safer for her.

Is her hiding hole too big? I've used a leftover piece of wood from my bearded dragon and im afraid i made a bad choice, it is rather hard and large and im afraid of it somehow hurting her.
If you take out the wood and add several more inches of substrate, then put the wood back in and fill up the rest of the area around it with substrate; it should be fine. However, if she were to fall on that from the top of the cage as it is set up now, with her abdomen as plump as it is; she could be seriously hurt. Now that is considering that all things that could go wrong do. As far as the substrate level, a good rule of thumb is to have enough substrate in the enclosure to only have about a legspan and a half of air, between the top of the substrate and the top of the enclosure. So, just adding a couple of inches might not be enough.

The tank is at 75f with 50 humidity and using 100% eco earth.
Throw out the humidity gauge, you do not need it with this species. The only thing it will accomplish is giving you something to fret over, that doesn't need to be fretted over. Eco earth is just fine as a substrate.

What size enclosure would be optimal at the moment?
We kept our B. smithi in a 8 X 8 X 3 3/4" enclosure that we made ourselves at when she was that size. There really isn't an "optimal" sized enclosure, but you might need to watch the feedings to make sure that your T is getting her food. However, I don't really see that as being much of a problem either.

Is a hide required for a spider going into a molt?
You should always provide a hide for your tarantula. They may choose not to use it, to modify it, or to dig their own; but providing one to begin with gives the T the option of being hidden and out of the open area.

Once again, welcome to the forum and the hobby! :)
 

malevolentrobot

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Jan 21, 2010
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310
i've noticed with my smithis that have been overfed to that extent they do a pretty decent size jump after a moult, so while 2-2.5" is way small for that enclosure it will probably be pushing 3" after the moult. for now i'd switch it to a smaller tupperware-style container personally until after it hits past the 3" mark.

also, more sub is a great idea so it doesn't sustain injury from a fall. also, every single one of my brachys has burrowed or bulldozed to some extent (especially the smithis when younger) when offered enough substrate to do it with.
 

Joelolly

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 25, 2010
Messages
62
My emilia's bald spot as gotten BLACK over the past few days. I know this means it will molt soon. My question is, how soon?

I envy you lol. I bought my first T recently and bought it as a 'Mexican Redknee'' from a local pet store. I now know it's a B. Emilia. It's still very pretty, but not near as gorgeous as this T in my opinion. Good luck with your new T. I've already bought a C. Cyaneopubecens lol! To me, this is gonna be a very addictive hobby. I'm already wanting to breed.
 

Unravel

Arachnosquire
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
140
Thanks for the replies guys,

i redid her set up a little bit and now the tank is halfway full with eco earth. I also flipped the wood over and buried it fairly deep in there. She already managed to find two small openings in the wood itself, dig through the substrate that was blocking them, and dig deeper inside her new hide spending most of the time in it. There isn't endless space under her when she is inside the burrow because the wood is still there, but i'll let her explore and see how things go. She already drank infront of me. I guess i'm just gonna let her be for awhile and hope for the best haha.
I'll update with pics later
 

JOHN 3:16

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 8, 2008
Messages
165
I would say that the enclosure is a good size for her. In nature they live in the world. It'll help bring out the nature instinct. I would increase the substrate to give her an option of burrowing and to prevent a fall.
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
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Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,660
Thanks for the replies guys,

i redid her set up a little bit and now the tank is halfway full with eco earth. I also flipped the wood over and buried it fairly deep in there. She already managed to find two small openings in the wood itself, dig through the substrate that was blocking them, and dig deeper inside her new hide spending most of the time in it. There isn't endless space under her when she is inside the burrow because the wood is still there, but i'll let her explore and see how things go. She already drank infront of me. I guess i'm just gonna let her be for awhile and hope for the best haha.
I'll update with pics later
I look forward to the pictures, but fear that halfway full may not be enough substrate in this situation.
 

lordddelgado

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 24, 2010
Messages
21
New Emilia

Hello, May I ask, I bough a B. Emilia yesturday, I transferred her to a new container, Im Pretty sure she is in premolt because of the balding spot, swelling of the abdomen & pink to black skin, when I put her beside her hide she stays there and not moving at all like a rock, when I poke her she respond like she's saying WTF, but not moving in other area, shes still on that spot until now, my other tarantula does not behave like this, is my emilia sick?:?:?:?
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,660
Hello, May I ask, I bough a B. Emilia yesturday, I transferred her to a new container, Im Pretty sure she is in premolt because of the balding spot, swelling of the abdomen & pink to black skin, when I put her beside her hide she stays there and not moving at all like a rock, when I poke her she respond like she's saying WTF, but not moving in other area, shes still on that spot until now, my other tarantula does not behave like this, is my emilia sick?:?:?:?
A bald spot is not a sign of premolt, but the exoskeleton underneath being dark/ black is. Most tarantulas do not move around a lot and normally a happy tarantula is one that doesn't move a lot. In your case though, it sounds as if you need to leave it alone and quit poking it. Let it settle into its new enclosure, which can take a few days/ week/ month, and then maybe you can determine if it is in premolt. Nothing you have described is worrisome behavior, but if you start your own thread you can add pictures if you want experienced eyes to take a look at it. :)
 

Unravel

Arachnosquire
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
140
some new pictures of the enclosure







i will add some more eco earth as soon as it dries out, and will remove the thermometer as soon as i get a better handle on how the temperature usually is in that part of the house + humidity. Water dish is there just took it out before taking a picture to replace it. She has spent over a day in that log now, even spinning some web as seen in the picture. I'm a bit paranoid and i hope those openings wont scratch/hurt her as she gets bigger, but im guessing she knows what she's doing.

Thanks!
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,660
some new pictures of the enclosure

i will add some more eco earth as soon as it dries out, and will remove the thermometer as soon as i get a better handle on how the temperature usually is in that part of the house + humidity.
Honestly, there is nothing to get a handle on. It is to the size that it appreciates it dry, so you keep it dry. The temperature in your house, in Philadelphia should be just fine for it, as long as you aren't trying to get in touch with some Eskimo roots via temperature. ;)

Water dish is there just took it out before taking a picture to replace it. She has spent over a day in that log now, even spinning some web as seen in the picture.
That is a good sign. It means that you have provided it an adequate environment in which it feels comfortable enough to set up house in. However, I would really recommend more substrate, a couple more inches at least at its lowest points.

I'm a bit paranoid and i hope those openings wont scratch/hurt her as she gets bigger, but im guessing she knows what she's doing.

Thanks!
A bit paranoid, but the bolded is very good advice. ;)
 
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