General Questions on Smithi and Lividum

Flintloch

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 24, 2007
Messages
10
Hi All

I just wanted to get a few opinions on my enclosures and substrate, as well as ask a question or two. Both enclosures are identical and measure roughly 30cm (12") across their widest side.

First off, my Lividum (Electra) on the side of her enclosure:


The enclosure itself:


As a few people suggested, I plan on significantly increasing her substrate level so that she is free to burrow as deep as she likes. What she currently has won't suffice when she gets bigger. I'm not sure where I can buy nice, clean substrate sans additives here though, so I will look around.

She also hasn't bothered eating for a week or two, and has taken to sealing herself off in her burrow with a light webbing, which means crickets can't get in anyway. Anyhow, I've taken to offering a cricket every second day or so, since they're a pain to get out of the tank if she doesn't eat them.

Otherwise, she seems a healthy specimen. I was informed that she was only around half a year old by the pet store, but clearly she's quite a bit older! Not sure how old exactly.

My Smithi, Shelob (poor image unfortunately):


Her enclosure:



As you can see, Shelob is a lot more visible due to the fact that she only has vermiculite in her tank, and therefore can't burrow. She does like to push the stuff around though, and has made herself a little nook which she spends pretty much all her time in. I was thinking that perhaps she might be more comfortable with some peat (or similar) mixed into her substrate, but she seems content so far.

She's a little skittish at times, hasn't kicked hairs at me though. When I first got her I was feeding her a cricket a day! :D Have cut down the diet though, so no worries. She also isn't the world's greatest climber. Whilst Electra seems quite at home on the glass of her tank, Shelob just slides down all the time. :)

When I first got her, her abdomen was pitch black, and has now started going a bit lighter, which you can sort-of see in the picture. Is this normal say, after a molt?

Based upon feedback from Windchaser, and considering I am new to all this, she must be at least around 3 years old? Have not measured, but must be between 3" to 3.5" I think.

Cheers.
 

Cirith Ungol

Ministry of Fluffy Bunnies
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 22, 2004
Messages
3,889
Good you already got some info, but just for the record:

Switch substrate in the lividum tank to 100% peat or peat with some vericulite mixed in. It's up to you how you mix, or if. That the T is on the glass is an indication of stress for that species. Once you have put a deep layer of peat into the tank (you could fill up to 3-4 inches from the top, the peat will shrink when it dries), poke a hole in one corner (with a broom handle) and I'm sure after 1-2 days the T will have moved in and will expand on the burrow.

I'd recommend the same substrate change for the smithi, also add more subtrate. The optimal substrate depth is up to 1 legspan of an adult between substrate surface and lid, that will almost eliminate any risk from injury in case the T falls. Otherwise a nice setup.
 

Mushroom Spore

Arachnoemperor
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Oct 14, 2005
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4,598
She also isn't the world's greatest climber. Whilst Electra seems quite at home on the glass of her tank, Shelob just slides down all the time.
The other person already covered the "lividum on the walls = stress problem" issue, but I just need to say GAH! Your smithi needs WAY more substrate, and her tank is WAY too tall. You're going to need a ton of dirt just to get it to the proper height in that thing, and you need to do so immediately. If she falls, she could be dead in seconds.

We just had a resurrected thread of someone who lost their rosie to the same accident, and couldn't stop thinking about how often they'd been told to fix the distance between the dirt and ceiling. Let's not have another thread like that, okay? :(
 

Mr.Scorpion

Arachnobaron
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Sep 27, 2005
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326
When you said her tank wont suffice for when she's older, did you mean the current tank? It appears to be a fine size to me. And as the others said, add about 8 inches+ of substrate when you can to the tank. Secondly, it's not uncommon for tarantulas to fast for a few weeks, so don't worry, it could be an approaching molt too. Other then that, nice T's!
 

mr_jacob7

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
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222
I was informed that she was only around half a year old by the pet store, but clearly she's quite a bit older! Not sure how old exactly.
I was once told by a user of this forum that...
"99% of pet store people are total morons who know nothing about tarantulas..."
I thought that was really funny, because i could relate; The pet shop people told me a cric a day, but i was supposed to feed a cric a week. also, they told be the legspan was 3", but that was the body span. the leg span was around 4.5". anyways, i totally agree with the 2nd quote i put. :D
 

syndicate

Arachnoemperor
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Aug 26, 2005
Messages
4,508
the tank sizes are fine for these spiders.liek people said the livdum needs alotttt more substrate.id fill that thing like 3/4 of the way up with dirt so she can build a proper burrow.enjoy her out now cause once she burrows in u may not see her again for a year or so lol.
 

Flintloch

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 24, 2007
Messages
10
When you said her tank wont suffice for when she's older, did you mean the current tank?
No, I think the tanks are fine, I meant more the substrate depth. Based upon all the suggestions I will certainly look to changing and increasing the substrate in both tanks as soon as I can!

Just to be clear, the Lividum is not on her glass very often. She spends the vast majority of her time in her burrow, and seems to sometimes come out to wander at night. When I said she was "comfortable" on the glass I meant more that she seems more "secure" or "stable" than the Smithi (who is hardly ever on the glass).

Thanks for the input. Will go today or tomorrow and try to find some suitable replacement substrate.

How do you guys get the handle moving Ts like the Lividum? Do I gently try and coax her into a cup and close it? Precautions? Like shutting myself up in a small room with no nooks and crannies and have the fire brigade on stand-by? :D
 
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