First time sling owner

big54bob

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
5
Hey there, I attended a local reptile expo on Sunday and came home with my first old world T's/slings (H. Pulchripes, O. philippinus, L. Violaceopes, and a young Chilobrachys sp. Vietnam Blue). I managed to get the Vietnam blue and the Violaceopes to take down crickets with no problem and I believe the Philippinus is eating prekilled crickets since I can't find a body after I check in on it later but the Pulchripes hasn't shown interest in eating and today I found it sealed off its burrow. I do have a picture of when I rehoused it and the abdomen looks kinda big but I can't really tell for sure. Could this be a sign that it's in premolt?

My only other experience with T's is with my Curly Hair and I know she'll stop eating before a molt but would never seal herself in a burrow.
 
Last edited:

z32upgrader

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
340
Just being fat isn't itself a premolt sign. No worries if it doesn't eat. A molt isn't too far off anyway for a sling that size. Old Worlds often don't show physical premolt signs like their New World counterparts and sometimes still eat right up until the very day they molt.
 

Andrea82

Arachnoemperor
Active Member
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Jan 12, 2016
Messages
3,594
The H.pulchripes looks fat enough to last it two moulting sessions.
You went from a B.albopilosum to H.pulchripes and L.violaceopes?
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,260
As has been said, a large abdomen in and of itself has nothing to do with premolt. It simply means they've been eating well. Not exactly the best choices for what amounts to your second T, but what's done is done.

All of the species you got are extremely fast and quite skittish to boot. I would highly recommend doing any maintenance/feeding in the middle of a wide open floor with a catch cup nearby. Your setup actually doesn't look bad, good job on that. Be sure that none of the enclosures ever dry out completely, but you don't want it to be a swamp either. It's all about balance.

As a last note, what substrate are you using? Those little white pebble things make it look like potting soil. If you're using potting soil, they all need to be rehoused immediately.
 

big54bob

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
5
It's a mix of organic potting soil and eco earth, I didn't have enough eco earth to rehouse the slings that needed to be reused so I used some organic potting soil I had around. On the bag it said its dirt and vermiculite so I should be good right?

I did take a cannonball into old worlds but I've been doing a bit homework as far as caring for these species so I think I should be ok. Haven't had any bolting yet when I rehouse the Pulchripes and Philipinsis but I will keep a catch cup handy.
 

Asgiliath

Arachnoknight
Active Member
Joined
May 4, 2019
Messages
282
The H.pulchripes looks fat enough to last it two moulting sessions.
You went from a B.albopilosum to H.pulchripes and L.violaceopes?
I was thinking the same thing. Hope OP is up for the challenge.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
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Feb 22, 2013
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3,260
It's a mix of organic potting soil and eco earth, I didn't have enough eco earth to rehouse the slings that needed to be reused so I used some organic potting soil I had around. On the bag it said its dirt and vermiculite so I should be good right?
"Organic" kind of means nothing, to be honest. Manure is 100% organic, and I still wouldn't use it in any of my enclosures. Potting soil, by definition, is there to aid plants in growth. There's a reason a 16oz bag of potting soil costs more than 50lbs of topsoil (which is just plain dirt). That being said, it's almost certain that there are additives in that potting soil that aid a plant in growth. Some may be harmless, others not so much. The problem is that you don't know.

Myself? I'd suggest a complete rehouse. Toss all of that soil and don't look to potting soil for substrate again. I personally use topsoil which, as I said, is cheap - under $5 for a 25-50lb bag, depending on where you live. Just check the ingredients on topsoil and avoid cedar like the plague, as it's a natural pesticide. Either that or stick to your expensive, albeit admittedly foolproof, Ecoearth. But either way, ditch the potting soil.
 

TwiztedNinja

Arachnoknight
Joined
Sep 18, 2019
Messages
164
"Organic" kind of means nothing, to be honest. Manure is 100% organic, and I still wouldn't use it in any of my enclosures. Potting soil, by definition, is there to aid plants in growth. There's a reason a 16oz bag of potting soil costs more than 50lbs of topsoil (which is just plain dirt). That being said, it's almost certain that there are additives in that potting soil that aid a plant in growth. Some may be harmless, others not so much. The problem is that you don't know.

Myself? I'd suggest a complete rehouse. Toss all of that soil and don't look to potting soil for substrate again. I personally use topsoil which, as I said, is cheap - under $5 for a 25-50lb bag, depending on where you live. Just check the ingredients on topsoil and avoid cedar like the plague, as it's a natural pesticide. Either that or stick to your expensive, albeit admittedly foolproof, Ecoearth. But either way, ditch the potting soil.
Quick question - I haven't seen anything that says "top soil" at the stores, but I have seen Kellogg brand "topper" soil for lawns, sod, and seed. Is it the same?
 

big54bob

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
5
"Organic" kind of means nothing, to be honest. Manure is 100% organic, and I still wouldn't use it in any of my enclosures. Potting soil, by definition, is there to aid plants in growth. There's a reason a 16oz bag of potting soil costs more than 50lbs of topsoil (which is just plain dirt). That being said, it's almost certain that there are additives in that potting soil that aid a plant in growth. Some may be harmless, others not so much. The problem is that you don't know.

Myself? I'd suggest a complete rehouse. Toss all of that soil and don't look to potting soil for substrate again. I personally use topsoil which, as I said, is cheap - under $5 for a 25-50lb bag, depending on where you live. Just check the ingredients on topsoil and avoid cedar like the plague, as it's a natural pesticide. Either that or stick to your expensive, albeit admittedly foolproof, Ecoearth. But either way, ditch the potting soil.
Is vermiculite safe to use with T's then? I saw on one of Tom Moran's videos that he uses it in some of his spiders that like it wet in there enclosures. That was the reason I thought the organic potting soil would be alright.
 

Liquifin

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1,025
Is vermiculite safe to use with T's then? I saw on one of Tom Moran's videos that he uses it in some of his spiders that like it wet in there enclosures. That was the reason I thought the organic potting soil would be alright.
Tom Moran is a great source for information on Youtube. He uses vermiculite and top soil (not potting soil) for his enclosures. Vermiculite is more of an additive than a substrate as the purpose of vermiculite is to hold moisture within the substrate, nothing else more. So it's quite useful for species that require a bit more moisture for care, but overall vermiculite shouldn't be used as a substrate alone, but rather with another substrate for maintaining moisture purposes. I wouldn't really use vermiculite for species that thrives on dry substrate since moisture isn't much of importance to their health in comparison to those moisture loving species.
 

EtienneN

Arachnonovelist-musician-artist
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Jul 15, 2017
Messages
947
I would only put vermiculite in the two slings' enclosures that like damp substrate. I'd just use straight top soil for the H. pulchripes. I'm not sure how efficient vermiculite is at moisture retention in such a small closed environment. I know people like Tom Moran use it and like it; but we also need remember that vermiculite is designed for plants and tarantulas are not plants. ;) I think I've heard anecdotal stories of some individual spiders just flat out hating it and clinging to the walls of their enclosures. You can try it and see if you like it, but you can certainly raise your slings just as well and fine without it. ;)
 

big54bob

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
5
Just a quick update, my hunch that the H. Pulchripes was in premolt got confirmed this morning. I'll wait a couple of days to feed and probably rehouse it next weekend along with the Violaceppes. On a somewhat unrealated note the Violaceopes took down a med/large cricket with ease yesterday.
 

Mvtt70

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jul 31, 2017
Messages
585
Pretty fat it could be premolt, but it isn't as easy to tell as with New World species because there are no other tell-tale physical signs. I'd just keep trying to feed once a week and removing the food if it doesn't take it.
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
Staff member
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Mar 7, 2012
Messages
3,644
Is vermiculite safe to use with T's then? I saw on one of Tom Moran's videos that he uses it in some of his spiders that like it wet in there enclosures. That was the reason I thought the organic potting soil would be alright.
Vermiculite is a fine additive -- it helps substrate retain moisture -- but don't house it on 100% vermiculite. I just mix in a handful or two when preparing a large tub of substrate.

Even when labeled "organic," potting soil often contains undesirable materials. If you want to use soil, get a bag of topsoil. Make sure the bag doesn't say it contains pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, etc. (What you want is generally the cheap stuff advertised for filling or landscaping.)
 

l4nsky

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
238
Disclaimer: I don't use topsoil and this is just my opinion.

If your going to use a substrate that isnt specifically marketed for animal use, I'd recommend testing it first by housing some feeder insects on it for a bit and observing them. I've read horror stories of accidental contamination of topsoil with pesticides during shipping, handling, and storage prior to purchase and one cant be too careful. Not meaning to scare or dissuade. A lot of people, especially those with larger collections, swear by this sub for being cheap and effective. Maybe they can weigh in regarding test vs no test.

Thanks,
--Matt
 

Feral

Arachnobaron
Active Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2019
Messages
408
Disclaimer: I don't use topsoil and this is just my opinion.

If your going to use a substrate that isnt specifically marketed for animal use, I'd recommend testing it first by housing some feeder insects on it for a bit and observing them. I've read horror stories of accidental contamination of topsoil with pesticides during shipping, handling, and storage prior to purchase and one cant be too careful. Not meaning to scare or dissuade. A lot of people, especially those with larger collections, swear by this sub for being cheap and effective. Maybe they can weigh in regarding test vs no test.

Thanks,
--Matt
I think I remember hearing somewhere... I'm trying to remember where... that this test is most effectively performed with crickets. Other feeders, especially roaches, can be too hardy and so be misleading, the source said.

... I'll edit if I remember source. [Oh! It was an @EulersK video, I think!]

Also, I think this test sounds logical and like a good preventative (except for those poor crickets) as long as you realize it's not entirely foolproof. But I still think it could be quite valuable!
 
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