Good begginner arachnids?

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
594
Sorry for my terrible spelling(forwarned). I am looking into getting either some sort of tarantula, scorpion or an insect of a sort. Currently I was given this little nice terrarium from a friend. It was made by exo terra. Its 18inches long, 18inch wide and 18inch tall.

I was told I could use cypress mulch as bedding(I feel its cleaner and easier to spot poo). I was also given along with it a basking lamp(with bulb/powersun uvb).
I was also given this waterfall kit. Which what it really is its just a linen, a tube, a pump(somewhat cruddy pump), and these pebbles. I was figuring I could invent my own personal waterfall into the terrarium. Id really like to add in plants if its possible.

So for the most part Iam looking into something arboreal. Id like it to be calm, docile(RARELY strikes), and generally clean to keep.

If tarantulas are not for me Id like to be directed towards some other arachnid or insect(i know tarantulas arent insects but its what I call anything that has an exoskeleton. Yes even crabs. I know its an error.).

I was hoping I could keep something that is even slightly active. I'ved gone to petstores and all the animals I see are very inactive. RARELY moving at all.

I used to work in a petstore(petgoods), and there was this guy who had alot of tarantulas; after constantly selling him crickets I became interested in them.

He said he had I think something called mexican red knee, cobalt blue, king baboon, bird eater, and some other ones I cant quite remember. Iam looking for the most basic forest species.

I say forest, because Ived cared for desert species animals(we had geckos for sale) and the whole thing was dull. Except for the geckos themselves.

I dont care if the tarantula is brightly colored or anything. Just the basic: calm, simple, clean, active. I used to have a fear for tarantulas before. Now Iam interested in them somewhat. I figured I would come over here and ask before I jump into anything.


Oh yes I dont know scientific names. If you have any suggestion please include the common name and then the scientific name. Please and thank you. Hope Iam not too much of a bother. :]
 

PhobeToPhile

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
Messages
210
Hooo boy...this might be a bit long. Before you do ANYHTING else, PLEASE read the stickies at the top of the forum. They contain very useful information.

First, the waterfall...ditch it. Tarantulas sense their world almost entirely through vibrations (they have extremely poor vision), so unless you can eliminate the vibrations all you will do is severely stress out your tarantula.

The basking lamp is even worse, if possible. Not only do they not NEED it, it desiccates them. Tarantulas are perfectly happy living at room temperature-the basking lamp does nothing for them and could kill them through drying out (and in the summer, if the room gets hot it might outright kill them from heat). Tarantulas in the wild are mostly nocturnal creatures who spend much of their time in the shelter of their burrow or other hiding spot; a hide is far more usefull.

Now, the bark; as much as you may like it for being easier to clean, please, please ditch it. There is a possibility your tarantula could injure itself while molting from the edges of the chips in the mulchh, and there are far better substrates easily available; namely, peat moss and coconut coir (commonly sold as eco earth). The former especially can be ridiculously cheap.

Plants are a problem, though if you really would like to add them beware that they hold the potential to harbor pests and offer a refuge for harmful mites. There is also the problem that many tarantulas like it dry, while plants need a fair ammount of moisture. Moisture also helps create a breeding ground for mites. Robc seems to do well with pothos, however.

Spiders and many inverts are in general pretty inactive. Some species are more active than others, but many of the more active species are old world and as such are prone to striking and biting. Feeding time is always fun though. If you want, get several so you can increase the chance of at least one being active, and design an interesting enclosure so you can enjoy just watching them sit there, if that's what they want to do. This is where plants or fake plants may come in handy. That being said, spiders and most inverts are and will be far less active than a warm-blooded pet.

You're looking at spiders from the Avicularia (Pinktoes) and Psalmopoeus genuses for NW arboreals, though Psalmopoeus are much, much more prone to biting than are Avicularia. Both contain downright gorgeous spiders. Avicularia, however, is much, much calmer. Psalmopoeus has a bit of a reputation for being bitey.

Incidentally, besides the red knee virtually of the species he has are OW species with potent venom and a nasty temper, and ALL are terrestrial. Bird spider could be anything; in europe, they all are called bird spiders. I'm guessing, however, he has a Theraposa species. NW, terrestrial, and infamous for having a bad temper and the worst urticating hairs out of all the tarantulas. Stay away from these.

You do realize there's a difference between arid and desert, right? Also, we don't really classify spiders by forest, desert, savanah, etc; there are several setup categories. Arboreal, terrestrial/arid, terrestrial/swamp (Theraposa species, and a few others), and obligate burrower setups. How you decorate those setups is up to you, but be responsible. Cacti have no place in any tarantula enclosure, and water loving plants have no place in an arid specie's enclosure. Don't close yourself off to terrestrial species just yet; just a tip.



I know you asked for common names, but try learning the scientif names for four simple reasons:

1) personal experience: I found it easy to learn by simply googling the scientific names and see what the spider was
2) Common names are inconsistant: More than one species are known as "Goliath something or other bird eater), and few of them are related at all
3) Most online sellers I've seen use the scientific name
4) Not all species even HAVE a common name. Not sure if the psalmopoeus genus has one, for instance.

There is another option to have an active atarantula. But I do not recommend it. Mature males are more active because they are always tring to find a mate. But mature males are really captive breeding resources, and more importantly they will only live for a year or two, at most. Maybe even less. Females, in contrast, can live over ten or twenty years.

Oh, final word of warning: Most pet stores have wild caught stock. So if you buy from there, you have no idea of what problems may emerge in the long run from parasitoids, elderly specimens being sold, or other health problems. I recommend you buy from an online dealer; there are many reviews here, and you can ask if the spider is captive bred. Pet stores may say theres are captive bred...but some have been known to lie for the sake of the sale.

And on that note, I just noticed we live in the same state.
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
594
Well yes I do realize that cold blooded animals are inactive. But I like to see even SOME activity. Even snakes move around from time to time. But I never known anything about tarantulas enough to tell wether they be active sometimes or not. I got into tarantulas from a guy who used to come to the place I used to work at(petgoods). He used to tell me the tarantulas he asked when I asked him. Said he got them from breeders. I forget what the guy said. But out of sheer curiosoty I was trying to imagine what to expect. I just dont want to own a pet because of the novelty. Like the feeling that tells you "oh thats so cool!" same feeling that goes away in 3 days after owning that animal. Only animals I never truelly loose interest are animals like turtles, rabbits, amphibians, and some insects/arachnids. Have you ever kept a hermit crab? Or any sort of crab? Are they active as them? I dont wish to start with something incredibly hard or aggressive. I certainly dont want to hold it since by nature I am very timid and defensive. If the spider even moves on my hand chances are id flick it off subconciously out of fear. So its something that I want as a display animal that I can look at constantly. Yes we do live in the same state. As for scientific names. I can try, but itll take me a long time to remember scientific names. I have a terrible memory. There is alot of bad information out there and I want to seperate whats good info and whats bad. Sadly when I come into forums I get bagged on because I dont know squat. Thank god this is one of the forums that has been so far helpful.
Ived had interest in ant colonies(queen)... But I fear that somehow itd get loose in my room and have this huge swarm of ants that are destructive or what not. I like them because they work in unision, and peace. But I figured I may not be ready for that. So I figured Id go for something simpler. I was giving alot of thought into that and I came to the conclusion:
-How would I even keep them in?
-ants make huge colonies and need HUGE space.
-The queen will produce other queens and kings. I dont want to risk having ants flying all over my room and then stinging me.

I also had interest in slugs and snails. But I tried keeping some and the glass always got soo gooey it was a pain to clean. Though being one of my favorite gastropods... They would be not easy to keep as well. Then I went to those weird sophogus or whatever its called. Or was it wind scorpion? It was this thing with three huge eyes. It had a tarantula body. Sharp black fangs. It looked like straight out of a horror film. But then I was told that is extremely agressive and fast. I didnt want to risk that. I also like scorpions. But they have no appeal other than their physical look. They are not active. They scare me more than the tarantulas(the large stinger is what does it).
So thats when I came down to the tarantula. I just wanted some sort of invertebrate in this gift terrarium I was given. I was going to use it as the house for now and like in half a year when I get a new job I could buy a newer bigger exo terra. This one thats like 2-3feet long and I think it was 24inch tall? Or 24 inch wide? I forget. I wanted to make something that looks nice you know? But since my creativity is limited to something that looks like forest, jungle, woodlands, rivers, streams, lakes, etc. Iam bad at making anything that looks like a desert and in the long run I would loose interest because I failed to make something look nice. Obviously the tarantula will need a hiding place(any small animal does), but I was trying to figure out what I could use to make it. My parents arent thrilled about cold blooded pets except turtles. Because they are fearful of snakes, and insects. But are willing if the animal is passive and normally tame. Not saying any animal wont strike(theres always a chance) but I just didnt want to open the cage to have something launge at me and strike my face(it has happened before with some other animal). Normally Iam into aquatics, and before I was looking into diving beetles but then I saw they were extremely small and I got put off by that. I mean Iam comfortable with something thats atleast 3-5 inches. Anything bigger will need a bigger terrarium/aquarium.

If the animal wont be active----Will it ever move? If so how often?
Will it always be hiding? Or atleast sitting outside making a web or something? I mean thatd be appealing constantly working to remodel its home.

I can see other people probably have more interest in them. But my interest pretty much mainly lies on colors/activity/personality. Based on that Iam more leniant towards something active than colorful. I dont know if there is such a thing for what Iam looking for. But hopefully I can be guided in the right direction. I mean I get it that some people will like it for other reasons. Like I know people who adore pacman frogs and pixie frogs because of their color and size. Personally Iam more leniant to a simple fire bellied toad or anything from te family of the ranidae. But being as this is not an amphibian, or a reptile. This is an entirely new field for me. I have read such caresheets. I found this site a few hours ago through google. I was looking into yahoo answers and someone recommended this place. Then I remember I had an account there and logged onto here. A long time ago, about a year ago.... I was thinking of making a terrarium that is multispecies. Like nothing aggressive. But like say, pillbugs, slugs, etc. You know? But I thought it wouldnt be possible or more so appropriate.

@Phile: I also forgot to add. The reason I wanted arboreal is because I figured when it became active it would just climb alot, make webs. Just like a spider. Nah I havent given hope entirely on terrestrial tarantulas. Just trying to figure out what is appropriate for me. Above everything it has to be a very peaceful species. I know all in all tarantulas do not go after larger animals(including us). But there is still a chance of it striking. SO I wanted that very chance being lessened to the minimum. I realize that all those tarantulas that guy have arent best to be kept because the same day he told me about them, same day I read about them. Read how aggressive they can be. At first I was more leniant to spiders rather than tarantulas. Because spiders are generally(from what I see) arboreal and love to spin webs. Which is very amusing to watch. The water fall I can make it so it makes the minimum vibrations. But if I shouldnt have it. Then I wouldn thave it, animal comes first before pleasure. Again Iam also trying to learn scientific names but its not the easiest since I still have alot of reptilian names to remember. My weird friend pretty much knows any scientific name of any animal class which I envy him for. But I could nt remember every single one. Just the ones that interest me most and the common ones.
 

Scoolman

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
613
If you want "peacful" you have get a Grammostola pulchra "Brazilian Black".
 

Mr. Tinkletoes

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 16, 2010
Messages
7
I'm not really an expert but I'm on my second Pinktoe and they are extremely calm T's. I've loved both of them as neither have ever felt the need to get too jumpy, there was however one in the pet store that liked to run pretty fast.
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
594
Thanks. Do you have a photo of the brazilian black?


And do you have a picture of the pinktoed?
Personally what should I expect out of the daily life of a tarantula? Like could you give me an example what yours does all day?
 

belljar77

Arachnosquire
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
129
The stickies really are a great resource, and should answer most of your questions- plus, you'll save yourself some grief from the search police :) Good luck, welcome to the hobby!
 

NikiP

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 16, 2006
Messages
540
How about just keeping some true spiders? I'm thinking they would be way more active then a tarantula.

My pinktoe webs, but it's not a lot, & once she has it constructed, she just sits. Same with my P. murinus. It's webbed up it's container, but this morning was only the second time i've seen it out in the few weeks i've had it.

Maybe a green bottle blue? I've not personally kept one, but it seems like everyone says they are pretty active with their webbing. Someone with one can probably chime in on that.
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
594
How about just keeping some true spiders? I'm thinking they would be way more active then a tarantula.

My pinktoe webs, but it's not a lot, & once she has it constructed, she just sits. Same with my P. murinus. It's webbed up it's container, but this morning was only the second time i've seen it out in the few weeks i've had it.

Maybe a green bottle blue? I've not personally kept one, but it seems like everyone says they are pretty active with their webbing. Someone with one can probably chime in on that.
How big do they get? Are there any spiders that have atleast a body(thorax, abdomen) thats 3inches atleast? Or even 2inches is good. Just wondering. I do like true spiders. Because they arent furry looking and their body is kinda neat to look at. But I have an 18x18x18 terrarium. Is there any spider/tarantula that would be suited for that terrarium? Iam planning on getting a larger exo terra model along the year. But yeah

The stickies really are a great resource, and should answer most of your questions- plus, you'll save yourself some grief from the search police :) Good luck, welcome to the hobby!
Okay Ill see if I can find any stickies around. :) If my questions arent completely answered by the stickies Ill just post them here.
 

Scoolman

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
613
That is your suggestion for everything Mr. Bias. {D
Awwww :( Don't be jealous, just get you your own G pulchra and the joy will come.;)
Everyone who keeps Ts should have a G pulchra. Their simplicity is just beautiful.
 

Sleazoid

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
241
Perhaps I should, I have 19 T's and not one Grammastola. Not even a Rosea. :? Other species always catch my eye first.
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
594
I think what I may be looking for is a spider. Somehow I think they may have some activity level more than the tarantulas. Actually I never knew you could keep a spider. I always thought you can only keep tarantulas(some odd reasons). Whenever I think of something very small it ussually cant be kept. USSUALLY that is. Iam just trying to get pointed to the right direction. I looked on the FAQs and only found a few answers to some of my questions.
One of the things Iam curious about is---how can a spider only be fed every 1-2 weeks. o_O IT seems a tad harsh isnt it?(dont get that part well..) Also I remember where I used to live there were these weird spiders and I thought to myself(the hell is this?). I was quite frightened by them because I was 10. Ussually the spiders id find would be 2-3inches long(whole body) and have yellow and black legs. I used to live in puertorico btw. There were also these other spiders that have these butts that looked like faces. I think they are called orb weavers? I was terrified of them but fascinated because I never seen anything like that. The ussual black and yellow spider I think was called an agrigrope(I seriously dont remember well). Ussually itd have 4 legs backward and the rest of the legs were foward. The largest one I saw would be around 3inches with legs extended. I was fascinated by them. They were somewhat active in their webs or so I remember. Or maybe they were just terrified of me because I was walking past them. :p Sometimes Id use to catch em(Remember I was 10) and like mess up their webs(accidentally fall into them because of my weird plants). Then Id set the spider back down. The next day I would see one or two lines of webbing around the bush. Most of these spiders were commonly found around bushes. My mom would clip the bushes into squares and the spiders would make even more webs sometimes even congragating(I remember seeing SOMETIMES 2-3spiders extremely near each other).
Well what I want to know what is the activity level of tarantulas and spiders in general? Like how long will they sit there for? How often will they move about? Normally my sleeping pattern is kinda weird soo sometimes ill even go to bed at 5am. So if the spider is nocturnal isnt much of a bother. But chances are I may turn the light on to watch it for a while at night. My room right now is in the 70s? Maybe a bit higher? I dont know. But Iam moving to my basement since it has no carpeting and Iam allergy prone person. So Iam forced to move down there untill my family moves(in 2years or so?) The temps down there are always constantly steady. They dont ever spike. Maybe a couple of degrees(1-3 degrees) up or down depending on weather. But otherwise it stays a constant 60degrees.
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
594
Oh ps:
I remember always seeing the spider webs were always semetrically made and in perfect unision. I liked that. Ived seen tarantula webs not as pretty as the webs I saw from spiders. IT was ussually made into a hectagon. Once we found a wolf spider in our store. It was 3inches? I think? We end up giving it to this guy who loves spiders(different guy). I was wondering arent they aggressive and quite venemous(dangerous venom)?
 

PhobeToPhile

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
Messages
210
I hear the Nephila genus has some nice, big spiders in it that happen to be very colorful. Unfortunately, they also require a ton of space for their webs. Still, it's an option you may want to look into. Wolf or jumping spiders may also be a better choice if you want an active pet...even if they are-as far as I know-much smaller than most tarantulas.


Edit: And this is just a possibility...but perhaps for a tarantula you may want to consider an H. incei communal setup. With a fair number of spiders together, you increase the chance of one being active.
 
Last edited:

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
594
I hear the Nephila genus has some nice, big spiders in it that happen to be very colorful. Unfortunately, they also require a ton of space for their webs. Still, it's an option you may want to look into. Wolf or jumping spiders may also be a better choice if you want an active pet...even if they are-as far as I know-much smaller than most tarantulas.
How much space is required? What is their going price? Could you post some pictures of the common ones I could find for sale? I wonder how long do they live? As for wolf spiders. I kept hearing tales about them getting huge. To the size of a palm.
 

PhobeToPhile

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
Messages
210
Ah, there is a board specifically for true spiders on these forums. You might want to ask there. I don't know too much about them myself.
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Sep 15, 2008
Messages
594
Ah, there is a board specifically for true spiders on these forums. You might want to ask there. I don't know too much about them myself.
I googled the genus! Thank you! YES the one I used to see was an agriope orb weaver. Yellow and black legs. I used to see the spiny orb weavers! Those were the ones I was afraid of(spiny). I guess Ill have to look for that forum. Thanks! If all goes well I may have just found the perfect arachnid. Even if it isnt active it still gives me some sort of nostalgia and its colors are stunning. Normally I like bumble bee patterns.
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
594
A.Avicularia






G.pulchra
Oddly I find that to be pretty. Id call it aragog(thinking harry potter. Sorry). xD Btw whats the lifespan of an orbweaver spider? Iam very curious. Iam going to puertorico next thursday. Chances are I can find alot of these spiders. When I get back home I can possibly bring them with me?
 
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