Getting a Chaco - need help reg. care!

Morr

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Messages
46
Hello everyone,
I'm currently keeping my brothers a.avicularia, and have gotten so fascinated by her that I have decided to get a T of my own; a Chaco Golden Knee; Grammostola Aureostriata =)
I will order it in a few weeks, and it will be a fully grown female spider. So, I thought I'd ask you some questions on how best to make sure she'll feel as comfortable as possible in her new home.
I have a glass tank, terrarium/vivarium or whatever you call them, which measures 50cm (2.5cm = 1") x 30cm x 25cm. I believe it can hold 10 gallons, something like that. The measures I wrote was the "outside"-ones, meaning the actual space the spider will have to live in is a little bit smaller than that. Will it suffice? She wont feel cramped, eh? Dont want her to become claustrophobic, heh.
How thick a layer of substrate should I put in the tank? I have vermiculite and, um, torv in swedish, probably turf or peat moss or something in english; brown dirt-looking dry stuff. Will this do? If so, how thick a layer, and how much of each?
Chacos are burrowing I've read, so: will she dig a deep burrow? Or should I make a burrow for her? If so, would a flower-tin on the side halfway down the substrate do? Or should I put in some kind of tube? Maybe just dig a burrow for her? Should I but in some tree-piece or some kind of plant?
Do they require much moisture? The tank I'm meaning to keep her in doesnt have many any ventilation holes, but the top of it comes of, so the supply of fresh air should be sufficient. Should I moisture the substrate, or spray the tank once a week or something?
Ok, here's just some random questions I have, feel free to answer one or more if you have the time =) :
Do chacos spin a net? Can they climb glass? How many large crickets can they typically much down in a week? Maybe crickets will be insufficient, as she will be quite large? Chacos are quite non-active, typically, and move rather slowly, eh?

Lol, I know this post turned out to be a hundred questions thrown in randomly or something, but I only want to make sure the spider gets the care she wans/need/prefers. I have read the caresheet on this page, but the info I'm after here is just everyday detailed information one might need when caring for a Chaco.

Thanks for any input,
/Morr
 

ArachnoJoost

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 6, 2002
Messages
533
Hi Morr,
A few answers for you, hope you can do something with these answers:

1. terrarium: 50x30 is enough for a Chaco, you could even keep a goliath in such a tank...

2. The substrate: don't know how deep this should be, but because it is a burrowing spider, you should not use too much vermiculite, that stuff is nog good for making burrows.

3. burrowing: You better leave the burrowing to the spider, if you make a burrow yourself it can collapse on the spider. Give the spider a retreat (like half a flower pot) and the spider will usually choose this as starting point for its burrow.

4. Humidity: This T doesn't require a high humidity so a shallow water dish is probably enough, they don't like the misting anyway.

5. Ventilation: It is a good idea to have holes in the lid of your tank, because the spider will at times require no special care (like before molting) so constantly opening the lid for ventilation is probably not a good idea.

Greetz,
Joost
 

atavuss

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
1,034
Originally posted by Morr
Hello everyone,
I'm currently keeping my brothers a.avicularia, and have gotten so fascinated by her that I have decided to get a T of my own; a Chaco Golden Knee; Grammostola Aureostriata =)
Morr........
I keep my adult female chaco in a large sized kritter keeper. she has a half coconut for a hide but never uses it preferring to scrunch down next to it. she has never shown any inclination to burrow. I keep her on dry forest bed (ground up coconut husk) with a full water dish. she eats crickets, rat pups, etc., not a big eater but she is not skinny either. temps vary from lows of 75 to highs of 90 degrees. room humidity is around 30 to 50%. if you are going to use the ten gallon for it make the substrate deep enough so that she can almost touch the substrate from the top of the enclosure if she decides to climb the sides of the glass as large bulky t's as chacos can easily be injured or killed from a slight fall (this is one of the reasons why I use mostly kritter keepers as they are not real tall and I don't have to worry about falls) I assumme you have a top for the enclosure you will be using?
Ed
 

Morr

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Messages
46
Thanks!

Hello,
thank you both for your helpful info; I appreciate it!
It's nice to know I can use the terrarium I have, so I don't have to buy a new one. Of course I have a top for it; the top comes of in a lid, leaving a thin space between lid and tank, plus a little hole for easy grabbing it. The hole is only maybe 3cm from end to end, triangular, so I am sure she wont be able to crawl out.
Chacos can climb glass then? Nice, didnt know that =)
I think I will mostly use the torv (see description in earlier post), in a layer deep enough so she'll be ably do reach the floor if she gets caught at the top, as well as dig a burrow if she feels like it. I'll throw in a little vermiculite as well in a corner or something, for variation.
A shallow water dish as only source of water then, thanks for letting me know its enough. BTW I have a shallow plastic water dish I used for my hermit crabs, with a rough kind of stair so it gets deeper step by step, at the deepest a few centimeters. Its made for sticking in the ground, cornershaped, so it becomes sort of a pool, hehe, but I think the spider might prefer that over some kind of dish.
I will start off with crickets, and throw in something else when/if she seems to need it. Of course some mealworms or something now and then for variation, as well as bugs I find.
Nice idea with half a coconut shell there atavuss, I think I'll use that or half a flowerpot, for hiding. And damn you spider looks nice =) But what's that on her abdomen, has she(or he) flicked hairs?
Would you recommend putting in some kind of log or a plant?

thanks for the info, I feel more secure about buying the spider now
/Morr
 

veronyka

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
221
I would watch that little hole.. I hear spiders can get out of areas you wouldn't expect. so you might want to put screen or something over that little hole first, or you might be short a spider, especially if you buy a young one. :D
 

atavuss

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
1,034
Re: Thanks!

the top comes of in a lid, leaving a thin space between lid and tank, plus a little hole for easy grabbing it. The hole is only maybe 3cm from end to end, triangular, so I am sure she wont be able to crawl out.
Hi Morr, beware of ANY space that could be a potential escape avenue! tarantulas are amazingly adept escape artists!

Chacos can climb glass then? Nice, didnt know that =)
I have not had a tarantula yet that could not climb glass or plastic for that matter.

A shallow water dish as only source of water then, thanks for letting me know its enough. BTW I have a shallow plastic water dish I used for my hermit crabs, with a rough kind of stair so it gets deeper step by step, at the deepest a few centimeters. Its made for sticking in the ground, cornershaped, so it becomes sort of a pool, hehe, but I think the spider might prefer that over some kind of dish
a good rule of thumb is to use a water dish slightly smaller in diameter than the legspan of your tarantula so they don't fall in and drown.

. And damn you spider looks nice =) But what's that on her abdomen, has she(or he) flicked hairs?
I have never seen her kick hairs since I have had her, she was just looking "tattered" since her last molt (she molted not long after the picture was taken)

Would you recommend putting in some kind of log or a plant?
real log or plant from outside-no, too much chance of introducing parasites, mites, or who knows what.
fake plastic or resin log or plastic/silk plant from a pet store-sure, why not? again, watch the height of it because of falls.
Ed
 

savian

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 17, 2002
Messages
177
There is also a caresheets here if you need one. Just go to the Tarantulas in the left corner and you will be able to find it. I have a w/c one that I got from Pat. I have it in a medium kitter keeper on about 2 inchs of vermiculite/potting soil mix. A peice of cork bark and a small water dish. I really don't want mine to burrow, makes it really hard to take her out if ya know what I mean. They really are the great. Wish you the best of luck.:D ;) :)
 
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