Hack my Hobby

aprilmayjunebugs

Arachnosquire
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Nov 7, 2019
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140
You know, life hacks but specifically invert hobby related.

Whenever I have a dead roach or an overdue feeder substrate change, I pop a cough drop in my mouth and put my mask on, can't smell anything but cough drop.

Anyone else have any tips or tricks to share with the group?
 

EnigmaNyx

Arachnoknight
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Oct 21, 2020
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228
Something I learned from viper today:

Heating pads underneat T's will kill all of the animals in your house simultaneously. Quick euthanization method!
 

CommanderBacon

Arachnobaron
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May 21, 2018
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384
I have the following:

Use old NW T substrate for your plants (but use gloves)

If you have a lot of slings that are small enough to still scavenge, buy the huge container of small crickets and freeze whatever you didn't feed them that week. If they're small enough to scavenge, this makes feeding loads easier, too, because you don't have to kill a buttload of crickets and you can just toss them into the enclosures and move on with your life.
 

aprilmayjunebugs

Arachnosquire
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Nov 7, 2019
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140
Something I learned from viper today:

Heating pads underneat T's will kill all of the animals in your house simultaneously. Quick euthanization method!
Sweet! Now we're all set for the apocalypse. All hail the Mighty King @viper69 , our very own personal arachno-sherpa!

You got any actual tips Mr. Smartypants?

Edited to tag the King himself, don't want him to think I'm just smack talkin, lol.
 
Last edited:

aprilmayjunebugs

Arachnosquire
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140
Use old NW T substrate for your plants (but use gloves)
I suck with plants, but this is a great idea.

If you have a lot of slings that are small enough to still scavenge, buy the huge container of small crickets and freeze whatever you didn't feed them that week. If they're small enough to scavenge, this makes feeding loads easier, too, because you don't have to kill a buttload of crickets and you can just toss them into the enclosures and move on with your life.
This is a good one too, I'm going to have to get more slings. I hate cutting up mealworms and driving to the store for 6 crickets just for one big jumper and one little versi is not all that convenient plus I always want to buy other things or rescue something, lol.
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
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Not hacks but.........

Wet 1 or 2 eco earth type bricks and allow the sub to expand and dry out. Keep in a bag or large tub. Always handy having dry sub to hand.

Keep all manner of plastic bottle caps, jar lids etcetera. Those buggers can come in handy.

Get a soldering iron. The best tool for making air holes in plastic tubs (use in a well ventilated area).

Have a few extra tubs about with air holes already in. You never know when a bargain or a must have comes up.

So there you go. More commonsense than hacks.
 

EnigmaNyx

Arachnoknight
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Oct 21, 2020
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228
Get a soldering iron. The best tool for making air holes in plastic tubs (use in a well ventilated area).
Forgot about that “well ventilated area” a couple of times so I had an angry wife asking me why the kitchen smelled like buttcrack.

Not a great hack, still a work in progress, but the best method I’ve found so far:
When you drill vent holes in plastic, you get those little sharp/spindly plastic tags on the inside of the container. Rather than sand or file them off, since it can destroy the viewing window aspect of the container, I use a wand lighter and get them hot, then use some tweezers and pull them off. Makes it nice and smooth.
 

aprilmayjunebugs

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2019
Messages
140
Not hacks but.........

Wet 1 or 2 eco earth type bricks and allow the sub to expand and dry out. Keep in a bag or large tub. Always handy having dry sub to hand.

Keep all manner of plastic bottle caps, jar lids etcetera. Those buggers can come in handy.

Get a soldering iron. The best tool for making air holes in plastic tubs (use in a well ventilated area).

Have a few extra tubs about with air holes already in. You never know when a bargain or a must have comes up.

So there you go. More commonsense than hacks.
Check, check, check. I do all of these except the eco earth bricks, I'd rather just buy the loose stuff because I don't really want to babysit dirt, lol. Wet, flip, keep the dust out, flip, wait to dry, prevent mold, store away again... If I had a bigger collection it would be more worth it.
I have a dremel but I haven't personally used it yet, I need to drill the vents in my versi's new enclosure but I'm scared of cracking it. I also have two soldering irons which are kinda fun to use but I'm not too fond of the melty look for my beautiful Ts. Someone else (wish I could remember who) had the idea to wrap a paper clip around the iron for doing really small holes, I thought that one was pretty creative.
 

aprilmayjunebugs

Arachnosquire
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Joined
Nov 7, 2019
Messages
140
Not a great hack, still a work in progress, but the best method I’ve found so far:
When you drill vent holes in plastic, you get those little sharp/spindly plastic tags on the inside of the container. Rather than sand or file them off, since it can destroy the viewing window aspect of the container, I use a wand lighter and get them hot, then use some tweezers and pull them off. Makes it nice and smooth.
Nice, I might be using this one real soon, versi needs an upgrade desperately but I've been too scared to drill the vents in the container that I've had for a month now.
 

Frogdaddy

Arachnobaron
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Nov 13, 2019
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460
Here's my secret.

When I feed my T's................I also give them water at the same time. :p
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
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5,288
Check, check, check. I do all of these except the eco earth bricks, I'd rather just buy the loose stuff because I don't really want to babysit dirt, lol. Wet, flip, keep the dust out, flip, wait to dry, prevent mold, store away again... If I had a bigger collection it would be more worth it.
I have a dremel but I haven't personally used it yet, I need to drill the vents in my versi's new enclosure but I'm scared of cracking it. I also have two soldering irons which are kinda fun to use but I'm not too fond of the melty look for my beautiful Ts. Someone else (wish I could remember who) had the idea to wrap a paper clip around the iron for doing really small holes, I thought that one was pretty creative.
If you take your time you can make extremely neat holes with a soldering iron. But you do have to take your time. I'm not fused about how they look. I just like how quick it is and the holes are smooth. Plus there's no clean up.
 

Frogdaddy

Arachnobaron
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Nov 13, 2019
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460
If you take your time you can make extremely neat holes with a soldering iron. But you do have to take your time. I'm not fused about how they look. I just like how quick it is and the holes are smooth. Plus there's no clean up.
Do you use a variable wattage soldering iron, or just one with a pre set wattage?
 

TheInv4sion

Arachnobaron
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Feb 26, 2015
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467
If you have tiny slings and want a visually appealing hide just grab a leaf and toss it in done. Also tattoo ink cups for sling water dishes
 

CommanderBacon

Arachnobaron
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384
Straw with pantyhose over the end to suck up large fruit flies for the tiniest inverts, like baby jumpers and baby mantids.
 

l4nsky

Arachnoknight
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
254
Couple already mentioned here:
  • Soldering iron works great for quick and dirty ventilation, leaving nice smooth holes and you can vary the hole diameter by switching tips. A hole reamer can also produce cleaner holes, but at a slower pace.
  • Have more enclosures then animals. You never know when you'll score a sweet deal or need to do an emergency rehouse.
  • Buy in Bulk. This only really applies to large collections or those with dreams of aggressive expansion like me, but I have enough substrate and corkbark to redo all of my enclosures multiple times over. You get better prices and can have a fully setup enclosure on a moment's notice.
  • Keep a jar in the kitchen to collect bottle caps for water bowls.
  • Get a R/O water filter. I have hard water and a notoriously bad public water source with frequent boil orders. I dont even drink it. I just fill up 20 1 gallon jugs every few months and that holds the tarantulas and plants over. I dont have to worry or deal with water spots obstructing my view. Investing upfront in enclosures, substrate, cork, the water filter, and a feeder colony was one of the smartest moves I made in my opinion.
  • Standardize your enclosures. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but mismatched and missing lids become a thing of the past.
  • Keep tongs and catch cups handy. I have a station consisting of a large safety tote which I hang water bottles, tongs, hemostats, a tape measure, and various other tools of the trade on. Any enclosure under 5 gallons goes into this tote for any husbandry required.
  • Invest in a pair of 15" hemostats. These are my go to choice when removing corkbark from enclosures during rehouses. Grabbing the cork with tongs, especially long tongs, isnt ideal as the cork can slip and injure the T or spook it. Hemostats offer much better control.
  • I have a 12"x6" piece of 2" insulation foam that I imbedded a pin container in. Easy molt sexing board.
I'm sure more I'll think of more at some point.
 

CommanderBacon

Arachnobaron
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384
I would say, keeping several gallons of distilled water in your emergency preparedness kit is not only a good idea, but you can rotate fresh ones in as you use the ones you have on hand to hydrate your spiders.
 
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