G. rosea LIKES wet substrate!?

hassman789

Arachnobaron
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Yesterday my G. roseas water was getting low so I refilled it and over flowed it a little, just enough to make a wet spot next to the dish. And since last night now she has been parked on the wet spot. She had to cram herself onto it. So I pourd some more water to make a bigger wet spot for her. well she ran away from it (as expected), but now she is back on it! I don't think there is anything wrong with her, but it seems strange because G. roseas usualy HATE wet substrate. And it's not like she wants to drink from the substrate because I've seen her drink from her water dish before with no problem. Has anyone else experienced this before?

PS I have been using an electric heater to give the room some warmth for the day, could that be making things TOO dry for her?
 

webbedone

Arachnobaron
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i heard electric heaters dry the room up so its possible she is thirsty
 

hassman789

Arachnobaron
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Yeah but it's wierd because she isnt over he water dish. shes next to it on the wet part. I know she knows how to drink from her water dish.
 

webbedone

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thats a little wierd then , i know that the slings i raise usually dig their burrows in the spots where i inject water in the substrate, Does she have her hide or a burrow dug?
 

dannyboypede

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The weirdest thing I have ever seen a rosea do is act normal. Mine does the same thing.

--Dan
 

AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
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Sounds like she is seeking higher humidity. Do you know what the humidity in the room is?
 

hassman789

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I just checked one of those cheap petco ones from an empty tank and it says 40% Should I spray the walls of the enclosure? She has a log hide, but honestly doesn't have enough substrate to burrow. I have given her enough before but she has never tried.
 

AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
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I wouldnt. Let her be and monitor her behavior. Make sure she has water to drink and she will be fine.
 

AphonopelmaTX

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My own experience with all types of tarantula species, including G. rosea, has shown over and over that when given a choice, the tarantula will drink from the substrate instead of a water dish. This behavior can be recognized in dehydrated individuals by the appearance of them "eating dirt" or in this particular instance, a preference for higher humidity (neither is actually the case at least with G. rosea). It is especially true for burrowers which housed appropriately in captivity will construct a burrow and never leave the safety of that burrow (even to reach a water dish) including Brachypelma spp.., Aphonopelma spp., Haplopelma spp., and Theraphosa spp. as other examples. Tarantulas are survivors and will take in moisture from the easiest means necessary. It's interesting in that it is possible for one to care for a fully grown tarantula the same way as a spiderling. Figuratively speaking, they would rather eat dirt than drink from fine China in order to hydrate.

While we are at it, lets discuss humidity. Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. A tarantula in need of hydration will not benefit from a higher humidity alone and for those species from arid regions of the world, may become more stressed in that type of situation. Of course, tarantulas can not drink from the air and can not by any means absorb moisture through its cuticle (exoskeleton if you will). The exocuticle is designed to hold moisture in the body and it is thought that the species from arid regions have a thicker exocuticle to prevent a high loss of moisture where those species from a tropical environment have a thinner exocuticle due to a constantly high relative humidity in its microhabitat. Both will perish if not provided with water to drink- the tropical species will, of course, perish quicker due to the inability to retain moisture as well as the arid species.

What this means to captive husbandry is that fresh water will need to be provided by some means; either through soaking a portion of the substrate (tarantula's preference), a water dish, or both. I personally use both using a water dish as a backup in the event the substrate absorbs the water too quickly or dries out. I'll also quickly touch on the type of substrate as it applies to a tarantula properly hydrating by drinking from it. The soils that have a high absorbency such as cocofiber, straight peat moss, vermiculite, soils with a high sand content, etc. will be no good as the tarantula will not be able to suck up the water from it. Soil mixtures that use a higher mixture of top soil combined with peat moss is ideal as the top soil will not absorb water as quickly as the others mentioned giving a tarantula more opportunity to drink, but it will hold onto that water longer which will make the tropical species comfortable. It should be noted though, that a substrate using a high proportion of top soil will turn to mud when a cup of water is poured on it. This is fine for the tarantula as it's the mud that it will drink from, but enthusiasts will probably become weary as we have a certain prejudice against it. :)

This should give you all plenty to ponder and again, this is from years of experimentation and observation of many different tarantula species. One size does not fit all when it comes to tarantula husbandry so always question mainstream advice and pay attention to your tarantula's behavior. Never fear trying something new or different from the books or internet sites.
 
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hassman789

Arachnobaron
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Oh I never knew they could drink from the dirt! Shestill has been going back to that spot shoving her body up close to the water bowl. But shes got water in the bowl and wet substrate on the ground so I think shes fine. :)
 

Moltar

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Rosies do prefer it dry but that doesn't mean the don't like water sometimes. There is such a thing as too dry for a G. rosea. In the wintertime when the air gets really dry I will moisten some substrate for my rosies and they generally do seem to appreciate it. A moist spot near the water dish is fine, it's when you moisten all of the substrate that they get their panties in a bunch.
 
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