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Getting First T...Sling, sub-Adult, or mature specimen?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by PeteParker240, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. PeteParker240

    PeteParker240 Arachnopeon

    Hello all....My question is for my first T should I get a sling, Sub-adult or mature tarantula. I am an ULTIMATE novice and have never had a spider or been around anything other than common house spiders. I am doing this to combat mild arachnophobia. So I feel that getting a sling will help me grow in comfort with the T as it starts small and gradually grows...but I hear slings are typically very fast. So then I figured I would get an adult to have a specimen to watch and enjoy...but worried about my ability to deal with an escape, lol. So as far as getting comfortable with T's as pets what do you guys suggest? Also...I want to get a Grammostola Pulchra as my first and understand they grow PAINFULLY slow.

    Any suggestions on what phase to buy or maybe a change in the species to get something small that will grow quickly while still being on the lower side of the scale when it comes to defensiveness? Thanks in advance for the input...
  2. Liquifin

    Liquifin Arachnoangel Active Member

    G. pulchra is a good start especially as a sling, the colors of jet black slowly grows into them with age. The choice of species to best start in the tarantula hobby is Brachypelma or Grammostola genus. So G. Pulchra is a good starter tarantula. The only problem is that G. pulchra is kind of hard to come around in the hobby. But they are worth it imo.
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  3. Wolfspidurguy

    Wolfspidurguy Arachnobaron

    well id say if you are the "ultimate noob" get a juvenile because imo slings are pretty hard to feed and a full adult you said would scare you if it escaped so a juvenile seems just right. my first T (and currently only T) is a 0.5" brachypelma albopilosum but ive been keeping true spiders for about a year so i kind of already knew how to handle basic situations and i have been watching tarantula youtubers so i know a good amount about keeping them but not enough so that experience isnt teaching me as well
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  4. nicodimus22

    nicodimus22 Arachnomancer Arachnosupporter

    That's exactly how I started. Got a G. pulchripes and G. pulchra sling, and got more comfortable with them as time went on and they grew up. A lot of people advise against starting with a sling, but at least with NW terrestrials, they're fairly tough and forgiving of husbandry issues.
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  5. nicodimus22

    nicodimus22 Arachnomancer Arachnosupporter

    1) Buy small cricket.
    2) Put in freezer.
    3) Thaw for 60-90 minutes.
    4) Place in enclosure. Remove any leftovers in 24 hours.

    If you're keeping adult crickets already, you can just pop a rear leg off of one, and they'll chow down on that too.
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  6. Olan

    Olan Arachnodemon Old Timer

    Maybe try to get a 1” legspan brachypelma (any species) or grammostola (G. pulchripes is affordable and great). Good compromise of small size and tough enough for a beginner. Won’t grow very fast either, so you can get used to it.
  7. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Malleus Aranearum Staff Member

    I generally recommend juveniles to first-time keepers just because many new keepers are looking for something bigger and more exotic than a nondescript brown sling. With juveniles, you still get to watch them grow, but you skip the sling stage (when they are nondescript brown spiders and are less hardy than adults).

    However, if you're patient, slings aren't much harder to deal with than juveniles or adults, speed-wise. They also tend to be less expensive, and your confidence and skills can grow with them.

    Unfortunately, a lot of the fastest growers are species that aren't great for beginners.

    Species that are generally docile and not too skittish or fast:
    • Aphonopelma chalcodes: glacial growth (you may want to get a juvenile)
    • Brachypelma albopilosum: fluffy
    • Brachypelma emilia: glacial growth
    • Euathlus sp. "red" (may now be Homoeomma sp. "red"): often described as cute and inquisitive, and they don't get huge
    • Grammostola pulchra: glacial growth; the "black lab" of tarantulas
    • Grammostola pulchripes: grows faster than G. pulchra; gets big
    • Thrixopelma cyaneolum

    EulersK made these videos highlighting some beginner species:

    Tomoran also has these recommendations for beginner species:

    If you get a sling, Tomoran recently posted a helpful guide for people who are new to slings (long but worth watching, IMO):

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  8. Scarabyte

    Scarabyte Arachnosquire

    I also second G. pulchripes, B. hamorii is also great :) Sling-Juvie would be fine, they're both on the easier spectrum of slings, just keep the sub slightly moist on one side of the enclosure, let the T choose whether it prefers the moist sub/dry sub.
    I provide a starter burrow on the moister end and the drier end, although both my Pulchripes and Hamorii slings like to be on the dry side though.
    If they won't eat live food, prekilled works fine for most slings, they'll scavenge.
    And also make sure to provide a waterdish. :)
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  9. PeteParker240

    PeteParker240 Arachnopeon

    Thank you much...loved the video. I might end up with 3 or more T's in the first few months now, lol.
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  10. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Malleus Aranearum Staff Member

    You can't have just one.
    • Agree Agree x 7
  11. Mvtt70

    Mvtt70 Arachnobaron Active Member

    I agree with what you were saying about slings being good to grow with, however the fast part depends on species. My first T was an L. parahybana sling which I never have had any problems with, it hasn't tried to bolt or anything even during rehousing (highly recommended as a first T, get one about an inch so its not too small). I got a C. versicolor sling like 2 weeks ago and that thing is a little more difficult to deal with, unpredictable and very fast.
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  12. Michael92

    Michael92 Arachnopeon

    My first T was a B. albopilsom, highly recommend that sp as others have said. I would say a juvie would be good but to be fair, slings are not as hard to keep as they are made out to be.
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  13. octanejunkie

    octanejunkie Arachnopeon

    We started with a B. albo sling three years ago and did fine. You will too. There's so much info available today that you almost can't go wrong as long as you start with a beginner-appropriate species.
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  14. FrDoc

    FrDoc Gen. 1:24-25 Arachnosupporter

    My first was a juvie A. Geniculata. She was the perfect starter (for me). She was also the catalyst for my shelves now being covered with over twenty other various specimens. She still has the place of honor on my desk, not on a shelf.
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  15. johnny quango

    johnny quango Arachnoknight Arachnosupporter

    In my opinion you would be better served getting a juvenile as they are less vulnerable than slings. On the other hand slings aren't really that hard to care for as the beginner friendly tarantulas tend to be hardy and unlike the more advanced species that are slightly more fragile due to needing specific care requirements.

    Also G pulchra even as a sling is a pretty good place to start they are very forgiving and tend to be calm in general (although not guaranteed). They also don't grow as slow as some other genus like Aphonopelma or even Brachypelma, as with most slings they grow at a decent pace until they hit around 1.5-2" and then they sort of stop but the size gains are pretty significant between moults. I've also found if you feed them ever other feed as opposed to ever feed it stops them fasting as long as they are capable of.

    Of all the species mentioned as good starters on this thread I've found in my experience that Grammostola tend to be less moody lets say and i have 6 different species, as a reference i also have 10 or 11 species of Brachypelma and a few Aphonopelma , Thrixopelma etc and i can say hand on heart none of my Grammostola have flicked hairs or been grumpy with me yet I can't say the same for the other starter tarantulas i have although each one is different and individual
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  16. Something ive noticed: All spiders are fast, regardless of size. Yeah, some are faster than others, but they all move faster than YOU. Not trying to scare you, but its good stuff to know.
    I started with an Avicularia avicularia large sling that hit juvie pretty quick. Then i got two more slings, then a subadult, all different species.
    Slings are pretty easy, even feeding. And if one bites you, it probably wont effect you unless youre allergic, which would take two bites to discover anyways. Feeding slings has never been hard for me. Rip the legs off of big crickets, or just pre-kill a tiny one. Cut a big mealworm in half, feed two slings, no risk to spider. Leave in the food until it molds, but only if its prekilled.
    Juvies are the most recommended starter size because theyre not TOO big, but big enough to show color.
    Sub-adults/adults are fine for beginners so long as you get a good species for it.
    Species-wise, there are literally hundreds of acceptable species. My first three were A. avicularia, Acanthoscurria geniculata, and a GBB. The avic was a spontaneous petco purchase because im impatient. Id recommend doing a lot of research before getting an avic as your first, they tend to be pretty fragile until they hit a certain size.
    I got the other two because i wanted to get a feel for all of the various types (arboreal, terrestrial, webbers, fossorial, etc.) at the same time, and knew i could handle it. I added a subadult A. seemani a few months later to get the fossorial aspect.
    You have options. Loads. G. pulchras are pretty, and great beginners, but theyre expensive and hard to find. G. pulchripes is the same genus, also a great spider, and super cheap for the great quality. Along with most of the genus. Brachypelma is also pretty fool proof. Avicularia is easy, so long as you get the right info. I dont have the links on hand, but viper69 and venom1080 have great threads with all the info you need to keep any avic/caribena/ybyrapora.
    Aphonopelma gets overlooked a lot because a lot of them look very similar, but theyre pretty chill and easy for the most part. Seemanis are known to be on the more nervous end of the spectrum, but its not so bad. And theyre absolutely beautiful. The tunnels are cool, too.
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  17. Nightshady

    Nightshady Dislike Harvester

    I’m only like six months into the hobby and had the same dilemma. I went with a GBB sling (about 3/4”) and am very happy I did. I’ve really enjoyed watching it grow, and it’s growth has given me the experience of taking care of a sling as well as re-housings and such. My sling has grown into a 3” juvenile at this point.
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  18. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    For me it would depend completely on the species the op wanted.

    If the t you want is known for being faster growing and good eating as slings, get a sling. It will allow a good learning experience and be quite enjoyable as you watch colors come in over 6 to at most 12 months. Ts like the LP, B. alboplosum, G. pulchripes, a GBB or even A. geniculata and N. chromatus would be examples of ts I would strongly recommend as a sling....and even discourage a juvie with just because they are exceedingly easy and fun to raise.

    If the t you want is known for being very slow growing, I would recommend a juvie to a beginner every time.

    Reasons are several...these ts tend to be less consistent eaters, fast longer, hide more and take significantly longer to grow out of the sling stage. So you could get a small sling, and have it for 2 years and still have a non-descript looking little t with no adult colors yet. The long fasts and sporadic appetite is also a source of frustration for first time owners. If its your first, you want to see it grow in a timely manner, these slower growers won't do that. A juvie would be perfect, because by this time, they are still small, but by this time almost all these slow growers will have become very good (or at least much better) eaters, and while they may still fast, at least they look like the t you desire and will be much less worrisome and hardier.

    Examples of these super slow growing slings would be G. rosea/porteri, G.pulchra, the red legged Brachypelma, B. albiceps (god awful slow growth as a sling), most Aphonopelma and Euathlus sp red/yellow.

    Now if you want one of these, but really want the sling experience...I would suggest getting the largest sling you can...shoot for over 1", more like 1.5" if at all possible...by this size their appetites usually start to pick up considerably and they are getting very close to showing adult colors, so you would still get to watch the colors come in, just in a more timely manner.

    Raising a super slow growing sling as your first, means that the experience you gain and the experiences you observe, all happen at a much slower rate.....A fast growing sling can offer more educational value for a beginner in 6 months than a slow growing sling often can in 2 years....slow growers are really only good for teaching supreme patience and learning how to keep the substrate properly damp.

    Faster growing slings make better educational tools for a beginner IMO.
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  19. PeteParker240

    PeteParker240 Arachnopeon

    Posted on the wrong response, lol...but thank you as well for your feedback. all of you have made me feel 100% more comfortable as I enter this hobby.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  20. Youll be fine with a genic so long as you remember tongs are your friend.
    "Juvenile enclosure" is kinda vague, giving us actual dimensions would help get a better answer.
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