HELP! my fire leg (B.bohemi)

Aaron Evans

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hi i recently bought a brachypelma boehmei (mexican fireleg) its my first tarantula and its only a baby, first off the enclosure seams to get alot of condensation on the lid and side, i've spoke to the pet shop owner he said this was the norm and i should just wipe the lid down,i do this when i can as i work 12 hour days so out the house a lot . i have the enclosure on a heat mat as it is around 18-20 degrees Celsius (around 70 Fahrenheit i think) in my house . the next thing is it usually has a black abdomen and in the two weeks I've had /he or she (just called spidery ATM) it has developed a bald spot on its abdomen that seams to be growing by the day , i didn't feed it for a week after i got it but the owner said only around 1 cricket a week is this true ?i have put 2 in now as i think it might be hungry, also the temperament shes to be quiet skittish and shy i know this is common for this type of spider but it seams to just run from everything even food seams to take a while for it to take interest. do you think it is just really stress or multiple factors combined ? any help would be appreciated as i've quiet the soft spot for this beautiful animal and i will post pictures if need (camera is a fresh patato out of the ground tho). Thanks in advance.
 

ledzeppelin

Arachnobaron
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Jan 8, 2013
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434
First off the petshop caresheets kill tarantulas. Boehmei dont require so much humidity and everything that results in condensation is a big overkill. Just dampen 1/3rd of the enclosure, and repeat when it dries out. Provide a waterdish and youre good.

Bald patches are normal because it is their way of defence. Slings usually are skittish and some will run from live prey so try to crush the head of the cricket and offer it that. If it is hungry it will scavenge off it. Leave it in overnight and remove if not eaten.

Your T might be in premolt but without the picture I cannot confirm it. Premolt makes them more skittish than usual and they also refuse food during this period. A picture would help us a lot.
 

boina

Lady of the mites
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hi i recently bought a brachypelma boehmei (mexican fireleg) its my first tarantula and its only a baby, first off the enclosure seams to get alot of condensation on the lid and side, i've spoke to the pet shop owner he said this was the norm and i should just wipe the lid down,i do this when i can as i work 12 hour days so out the house a lot . i have the enclosure on a heat mat as it is around 18-20 degrees Celsius (around 70 Fahrenheit i think) in my house . the next thing is it usually has a black abdomen and in the two weeks I've had /he or she (just called spidery ATM) it has developed a bald spot on its abdomen that seams to be growing by the day , i didn't feed it for a week after i got it but the owner said only around 1 cricket a week is this true ?i have put 2 in now as i think it might be hungry, also the temperament shes to be quiet skittish and shy i know this is common for this type of spider but it seams to just run from everything even food seams to take a while for it to take interest. do you think it is just really stress or multiple factors combined ? any help would be appreciated as i've quiet the soft spot for this beautiful animal and i will post pictures if need (camera is a fresh patato out of the ground tho). Thanks in advance.
First and most important:
- Do not ever listen to people in pet shops!

- As @ledzeppelin alredy said: if there is condensation it's A LOT too moist. Keep most of the sustrate dry and only part of it wet, but you do need to provide a water dish. It also may benefit from a bit more ventilation, but I can't know that without knowing what kind of enclosure you have.

- Take the enclosure off the heat mat! Heat mats can kill spiders, especially at the bottom of the enclosure - you get a dried out/overheated spider VERY easily. A spider that gets too hot will bury downward - bad idea if there's the heat mat. 18-20C is enough - it's what my spiders are at for the whole winter. If you want to raise temps a little you can use to heat mat to raise the ambient temps, like putting it at the side and a little away from the enclosure - with a thermostat, those things have a tendency to malfunction. Generally it isn't necessary though.

- If it is developing a bald spot and running away from food it may actually be in premolt (again, I can't know that without having seen the spider - how about a pic?). If it is in premolt you should NEVER EVER let crickets in there with your T. Crickets have the bad habit to simply eat a molting and therefore defenseless spider. You may come back to some very fat crickets and some left over spider legs.

- If the spider is still a baby as you said you can feed it as much as it will eat - it will grow faster. As it gets bigger you may want to cut down on the food a bit.
 

boina

Lady of the mites
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ok thankyou heres some pictures of my T
Sorry, I was writing while you were posting the pics. That doesn't look like imminent premolt, but your spider is pretty fat - it doesn't need to eat anything before the next molt and is probably not hungry.

It is A LOT, and I mean really A LOT too moist in there!!! Your spider is not a baby anymore, but already a juvenile and as such it should be kept mainly DRY!! Just dry it out completely and only overflow the water dish from time to time. I'd actually change the substrate out for something dry, because this is bad.
 

Nightstalker47

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Jul 2, 2016
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ok thankyou heres some pictures of my T
That's way too much moisture for this species, they don't do well in that kind of setup. The previous owner clearly doesn't know what hes talking about, condensation is not something you be should be seeing in their enclosures.

They are super simple to keep. Its an arid species so keep the substrate predominantly dry, just supply a water dish for it, no wet sub.
 

Devin B

Arachnobaron
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Sep 30, 2016
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326
I believe B. Boehmei are notorious hair kickers so the bald spot is nothing to worry about. Also like others have said the substrate needs to be dry.

It would be nice if pet shop owners knew literally anything about the animals they sell.
 

Aaron Evans

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May 20, 2017
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ok thankyou all very much.

i had my doubts about what the pet shop owner was saying ,this proves they were true. really cant thank yous enough i will swap the substrate for dry stuff and hopefully make it feel more at home.

i will also reduce her feeding for a while.

thanks again.
 

ledzeppelin

Arachnobaron
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Jan 8, 2013
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434
yes this is not a sling anymore. I thought you had a little one when I suggested damping the substrate. This size doesnt require that anymore. Just overfill a waterdish once a month so the area around it is moist and let it dry out and repeat. That should be enough.
 

Aaron Evans

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its like a cotton wool substance ,something the shop owner said to keep in.

why ? your guess is as good as mine , should i take it out ? seams like all his advice was BS haha.
 

ledzeppelin

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its like a cotton wool substance ,something the shop owner said to keep in.

why ? your guess is as good as mine , should i take it out ? seams like all his advice was BS haha.
Take it out. This is stupid. I cant believe the caresheet you got.. good god.
 

nicodimus22

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Sep 26, 2013
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its like a cotton wool substance ,something the shop owner said to keep in.

why ? your guess is as good as mine , should i take it out ? seams like all his advice was BS haha.
I can't think of any reason for it to be in there. Tarantulas tend not to like walking on soft things, even stuff like moss can make them uncomfortable. Things like cotton can also harbor bacteria...sometimes people put cotton balls in the water dish. :banghead:
 
Last edited:

Moakmeister

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MY WORD the advice he gave you. It's LITERALLY EVERY STEREOTYPE of pet shops thrown into one: waterlogged, paper-thin substrate, a sponge instead of a water dish, and a heat mat. We're not crazy. These people DO exist lol. I'm glad you found Arachnoboards to help you out.
 

sdsnybny

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One other thing I dont see any ventilation holes in the enclosure??
Should be a couple of rows of small holes on each of the long sides up near the top
 

viper69

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One other thing I dont see any ventilation holes in the enclosure??
Should be a couple of rows of small holes on each of the long sides up near the top
OP could have them on the lid. I have plenty of T containers with vents only on the lid, no issues. I also have plenty with holes on the container walls too hah
 

sdsnybny

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OP could have them on the lid. I have plenty of T containers with vents only on the lid, no issues. I also have plenty with holes on the container walls too hah
Me too but with the amount of condensation I was worried it didn't have any/enough.
 

viper69

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Me too but with the amount of condensation I was worried it didn't have any/enough.
I hear ya there, I was hoping the OP would get the message to change the setup regarding water and they wouldn't have to mod anymore IF they had vent holes...Keeping it more simple for them.
 
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