Gather around if you've ever successfully bred Ts that have been kept in dry tank!

Cirith Ungol

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There is a discussion going on here
http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?t=187608

and I became curious about one statement. Roughly that "if tarantulas breed they are doing well in your care". The statement makes sense. But it all has an angle to it: since the statement was related to keeping tarantulas dry but there is a lack of data in that regard I address the masses with the following:


Have you ever bred tarantulas successfully after/while having kept them in a dry setup for a considerable time (or all the time)? (Especially noteworthy would be tarantulas that don't come from a relatively dry home environment!)
If that is the case, please state the species, and if you got spiderlings from the egg sac and how "dry" your setup was.


Thank you very much!
 
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Redneck

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I am incubating 100+ A. avicularia eggs right now.. I keep all my avics bone dry.. (Would you like pictures?) I paired her with the male.. She dropped 2 days shy of one month after being paired once..

I opened the egg sac 20 days after she droped.. Not one egg was bad..
 

Cirith Ungol

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I am incubating 100+ A. avicularia eggs right now.. I keep all my avics bone dry.. (Would you like pictures?) I paired her with the male.. She dropped 2 days shy of one month after being paired once..

I opened the egg sac 20 days after she droped.. Not one egg was bad..
Thanks a lot! :) Pictures, why not! Always interesting! :)
 

mcluskyisms

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In reference to the original thread (that this has spawned from) I prefer to keep my B.smithi on the dry side, although that doesn't necessarily mean they originate in dry environments. With a small amount of light reading you will actually find that there natural environment isn't in fact bone dry. In the hobby we can keep B.smithi with a dry enclosure because we offer a water dish, in the wild water isn't as available.
 

Cirith Ungol

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Just to make sure, as a derail seems to have been immediate:

Please if I may ask, no discussions about keeping Ts in dry environments unless that involves breeding. There are millions of threads about the first thing already. No need to make this thread into one too.

OP said:
Have you ever bred tarantulas successfully after/while having kept them in a dry setup for a considerable time (or all the time)? (Especially noteworthy would be tarantulas that don't come from a relatively dry home environment!)
If that is the case, please state the species, and if you got spiderlings from the egg sac and how "dry" your setup was.


Thank you very much!
 

sharpfang

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*Edit* My bunny is kept Dry 2

Cirith: My LP had a Sack that I did Not expect or Know about....and during Late Winter.....she cocooned herself up....I was busy in Life @ the time....and her cage dried out for two Months.....I opened the sack approximately 3 months from laying...

B 4 laying...maybe a couple weeks, or so....have to Up-load the sack Pic another time.......It got Way to Dry....Maybe 150+ infertile or Dried eggs outta 1700+ She is sitting on another Girls Sack currently....had to part w/ that Momma....but Not her Sack :D What a good Mommy - J
 
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Redneck

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Here are the pictures of my A. avics enclosure.. I didnt see a point in photographing every avic enclosure since these are the only ones that have been paired..

This is the girl that I had the sac from.. Her sub might be a tad damp right now due to watering her yesterday... She seems to only want to drink water from the sides of her enclosure.. Never seen her touch the water dish.. Drinks alot when its on the walls though.. I wont water her for another week.. So it will dry out in a few days..



This next one is the one I just paired the other day.. I water her the same way... Notice how the substrate is almost completely dry? It stays that way 90% of the time..



I will let you know how her first egg sac goes.. She is kept the same as the one that dropped the sac last month...
 

Cirith Ungol

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Thanks posters! Very interesting! Keep 'em coming! :)
 

Redneck

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I forgot to add.. I had 2 G. rosea drop a sac..
The first one had IIRC 250-300 eggs.. All but 5 were good..
The second one.. For some reason did not build her egg sac very well & the eggs & other juices were dripping out of the sac.. I believe she had a problem with building it because I didnt have any decor for her to properly build her sac..

Also.. I had an A. hentzi drop a sac.. There were 500 eggs.. She abandoned the sac.. Not sure why.. I noticed she wasnt messing with it at day 22 or 23 I dont remember for sure... All eggs were bad except for 15 or so..
 

barabootom

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I had a successful sac of Nhandu coloratovillosus in a very dry environment last year. I always had a large water dish available but never saw her drink from it. She was fed well hydrated dubias but didn't eat for a long time prior to producing the sac. In Wisconsin the house can get quite dry in the winter so there wasn't much humidity in the house, but I don't know what the humidity was in the tank.

I did the same thing with Nhandu chromatus but the sac dried out. It may have been a bad sac from the beginning but the females that weren't bone dry had good sacs.
 

zonbonzovi

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A. purpurea:

Only time that tank(jumbo, vert.KK) was kept moist was during breeding, otherwise water dish only. Pulled sac 6 wks. after found. Nearly 1/3 of eggs were dried up & no development. 2 days after incubating in moist conditions, 1/2 of remaining eggs have legs. The dried eggs could have been due to a "heat wave"(for WA anyway) occurring while I was away on vacation.
 

The Mack

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I became curious about one statement. Roughly that "if tarantulas breed they are doing well in your care". The statement makes sense. But it all has an angle to it: since the statement was related to keeping tarantulas dry but there is a lack of data in that regard I address the masses with the following:
That statement does seem to make sense, but remember that this is only a correlation not necessarily a causation. Of course, if you are able to successfully breed a pair of tarantulas in a certain set of conditions, it is safe to assume that these conditions are tolerable for the species. However, it is very difficult if not impossible to ever know what conditions are "ideal" for a given species. It would really depend on your definition of the word "ideal."

We can already see that people here are reporting very different experiences. Some are successful at breeding in dry conditions, while others aren't. And on top of these different experiences being reported, you still have no clue whether or not the breeding was unsuccessful for reasons other than the living conditions. You never know, maybe the tarantulas just weren't in the mood :} If you really think about it, as long as the conditions are kept in such a way that the organism can SURVIVE and all bodily organs/functions are fine then why wouldn't they be able to breed?


Do we really have an "ideal" set of conditions for humans? Not really. We just know which temperatures can cause death (excessive heat stroke or freezing to death) and we live our lives at different points between these two extremes. As you said, Cirith, right now you are living in the equivalent of Northern Alaska and I am here in sunny California :) Of course, despite the outside conditions of our respective habitats, we both have to maintain our body temperatures within a certain range or else we run the risk of death . . .This is the element of adaptability that has allowed our species (and every other organism) to survive and spread out in different places.

Simply put, the fact that you have successfully (or unsuccessfully) bred a given species in given conditions (humid or dry) can't really tell us anything useful about the species' needs in terms of living conditions.
 

Jmugleston

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When you say dry tank do you mean dry substrate or low relative humidity? The reason I ask is those that use water dishes with low ventilation in their cage may have a much different level of humidity than those that keep it bone dry and offer water only every once in a while. If you keep your avic in glass aquaria with a pleixiglass lid as pictured above, the water evaporated from the dish will affect the humidity. Contrast that with someone that keeps their T in a Kritter Keeper with a small dish. The ventilation will affect the humidity in that cage.

Successful eggsacs:
When I first started keeping Ts I successfully kept and bred Pterinochilus murinus (then referred to as P. sp. "Usambara") in a completely dry enclosure. It was a plastic container that I lightly misted once a week. Within a day or so all traces of moisture on the web was gone. I never soaked the substrate. When they produced eggsacs, I'd leave them alone and not water them the entire 30 days they kept their eggsacs.

I no longer do this. Now all my adult OBT cages have a 2 oz water dish that is filled weekly. I don't measure the humidity, but I wouldn't be surprised to find it is a bit more humid than I used to keep them. I do have more ventilation though in order to keep it from getting too humid. The grapevine in the cage that has not grown any mold is a testament to it being fairly dry.

As for failures:
I was away on a collecting trip last September. When I returned I found that my P. striata cages had dried more than anticipated. The eggsacs contained numerous dead eggs with legs and 1st instars. I cannot be sure if the humidity was the cause. I can say that there may be an association between the moisture levels and the unsuccessful eggsacs as recent eggsacs kept in a similar (not exactly) environment with mainly the humidity being varied were successful. Though my sample size is not adequate to draw any real connection between humidity and success of P. striat eggsacs, I'd recommend going with what works.
 

WARPIG

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I keep alot of avis, and all of them are on dry substrate, all have a water dish and all are doing well (at least 4 yrs).

I have gotten sacs/slings from:
A versi
A minatrix
A avicularia

Non-avi sacs
P irminia

All of the 100 or so T's I keep are kept on dry peat, I mist in the heat of summer but not always, what I do insure is that water dishes are always toped off and I feed at least once a week in hotter months, twice a monthe in the colder months.

Here's a female A versi I raised with no cross ventilation and no substrate, she is now 4" and very healthy.




IMO, T's are tougher than we may want to believe.

PIG-
 

Stan Schultz

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... Have you ever bred tarantulas successfully after/while having kept them in a dry setup for a considerable time (or all the time)? (Especially noteworthy would be tarantulas that don't come from a relatively dry home environment!)
If that is the case, please state the species, and if you got spiderlings from the egg sac and how "dry" your setup was. ...
Avicularia species, putatively A. avicularia (Guyana pinktoe tarantula). Kept for years in vertical 5-1/2 gallon aquaria with a large water dish, usually either with no substrate whatsoever or with a piece of dry Astroturf type carpeting. The cage cover (one of the "sides") was covered 90% with plastic food wrap to retard ventilation. Thus, the cage was xeric, but the humidity was rather high. Bred repeatedly and often. Here is a photo of a typical cage.



(Uploaded with ImageShack.us)

Brachypelma smithi (Mexican redknee tarantula), emilia (Mexican redleg tarantula), and albopilosum (Curlyhair tarantula). Note that none of these come from true desert or xeric habitats. In our cages they were kept bone dry on peat, but with a small water dish. The cage covers were kept covered with plastic food wrap to raise the humidity a bit. Here's a photo of a typical cage. (Click the thumbnail for a larger version.)



(Uploaded with ImageShack.us)

Bred B. emilia once or twice. Bred B. smithi a half dozen times. Bred B. albopilosum too many times to count.

Here is a photo of typical habitat for B. smithi. Many thanks to Tim Burkhardt for his permission to use this photo. Tim and the others (http://people.ucalgary.ca/~schultz/photocontributors3.html) contributed most of the photos for TKG3 and deserve a big round of applause for the book's success!



(Uploaded with ImageShack.us)

Unsuccessful at breeding Theraphosa blondi (goliath birdeater tarantula) on several occasions because the females failed to produce adequate eggsacs to hold and protect the eggs, and Ryan "Talkenlate04" Nefcy had not yet published his method for hatching loose eggs in an incubator. Ryan, too, is among the photo contributors for TKG3, and also deserves a hearty round of applause! Here is a photo of the incubator supplied by Ryan.



(Uploaded with ImageShack.us)

We bred a few other species, but my memory is failing with advancing age. Sorry.

Lastly, I was a party to a successful breeding attempt of Pterinochilus murinus (Usumbura baboon tarantula or "OBT") by a close friend. Ten gallon aquarium, dry peat mixed with a little vermiculite, water dish. I don't think Steve covered the cage with plastic food wrap. Hence, it was a very dry setup.

I must add that all this took place in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in the rain shadow of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. On most days the ambient, outdoor humidity was "dry enough to suck water out of a rock" according to one TV weather forecaster. Indoor humidity was a bit higher, but on a cold winter night one could raise a 6" arc off a doorknob if the correct socks were worn and the feet were properly shuffled on carpeting. And, removing a polyester sweater after the lights were turned out at night created a pyrotechnic event to rival just about any Canada Day or Independence Day fireworks display!

Hence, while virtually all of our tarantulas (except T. blondi and a few others) were kept in bone dry cages as a means of mite control, they were also covered with plastic food wrap to help moderate the low humidity a bit.

Good thread! But, we need even more photos!
 

JoeRossi

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Grammostola pulchripes

My #1 favorite docile species (Chacos) are all kept dry with a large water bowl when & if they wish to drink. My last sac resluted in 750 (and only a few bad eggs) beauty's....& I believe she is gravid again!

Enjoy:D
 

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Cirith Ungol

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Awesome! Thanks for the contributions folks! :clap:
I'll respond with more once I am home.
 

TalonAWD

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My GBB (Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens) is kept dry. I don't even mist her tank and she bred just fine. What i do when shes about to lay the sac is inject water below the surface of the substrate.

You also have to remember that though we can't feel it, most of the time ambient humidity is above 50% humidty in the enclosures.

With my GBB, where she never ever gets misted, she does have a water dish and my hygrometer always show above 50%. If I take out the hygrometer and place it outside her enclosure, the humidity drops to ambient which is about 30-40% (at least here in San Diego)
 

Cirith Ungol

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The conclusion? That nothing is conclusive.

What's the real humidity anyone has kept something in? Impossible to tell unless accurately measured. But I'd say that some good came from this, and that is that one can't categorically say anything about health vs humidity as dry or not, keeping works out even at its extreme ends, creating offspring.
 
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