How do you manage your collection?

Arthroverts

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Hello everyone, I was thinking how do you manage your collection! I have a small number of invertebrates, and they all ready take up quite some time. How do you all with 20+ creatures manage? How do you keep up with feeding and watering, observation and maintenance?
Thanks
 

ErinM31

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Feb 25, 2016
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Well, tarantulas don't need to eat that often and millipedes, once set up, can go many weeks or even months without maintenance. When I'm busy, I may only check on most things once a week. If I have more time (and more feeder insects) my slings get extra food if they'll eat it. Every so often, I'll do a thorough check of moisture levels and how much substrate has been turned to frass in my millipede enclosures and transfer when necessary.

What invertebrates do you have that take up a lot of your time? I LIKE to check on my creatures and take care of them so for me, it is helpful to have a larger collection so that when I feel the need to do something, there is something that can benefit from some care and attention -- otherwise I would end up annoying my creatures! When will this sling molt? Why have these millipedes been buried so long? Are my roaches reproducing? :rolleyes: I have an Aphonopelma chalcodes that's been webbed in her hide for more than a month so nothing to do there! But I recently rehoused several hundred pedelings that are little eating machines! :happy:

Sorry if that's not at all helpful... It's really a matter of observing and seeing what your creatures need over time and with most inverts, the baseline is pretty minimal once you've a proper set-up. :)
 

volcanopele

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Sep 11, 2016
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I have a collection of 7 (soon to be 8 with an LK sling coming tomorrow morning). I have a spreadsheet where I keep track of feedings (when they've eaten, when they refused food, how big, and how many), molts, and any notes I need to keep in mind, like changes I've made to the enclosure.

I'm weird, I feed all my tarantulas on different schedules. My slings get fed one cricket every 3 days to get them through that stage as fast as possible. My juvies are fed every 4-6 days depending on the individual. My AF L. klugi has been fed once a week, though we'll see if I change that now that she is coming out of post-molt and has a potential lesion on her abdomen. I keep track of all that with my to-do app, OmniFocus. I just have a to-do to remind me to feed one of my Ts and these todos repeat based on the schedule I set for each spider. So when I'm checking the app for what things I need to get done with at work and what errands need to be run, I can also check to see who needs to be fed today.

This is probably too complicated for larger collections, but it's scaled nicely so far.
 

BobBarley

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Sep 16, 2015
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It's fairly easy lol. Feed when hungry, change dishes, pick out blouses. I don't have a set schedule I just plump up the slings and jeep the rest at a healthy size. I've got 23(?) predatory inverts and it's really not too much harder than back when I had 7. Just much more interesting because there's always something going on.:D
 

Walker253

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Jun 12, 2016
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556
It's not bad. I usually spend about 30 to 45-min a week in their area doing maintenance. It goes pretty quick. I look in every day just to see what's going on. I only have one tiny sling that takes up a touch more time just because I have to feed with more frequency than my adults. My Dubia roach colony demands more time than my T's
 

AlbatrossWarrior

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Feb 6, 2016
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What invertebrates do you have that take up a lot of your time? I LIKE to check on my creatures and take care of them so for me, it is helpful to have a larger collection so that when I feel the need to do something, there is something that can benefit from some care and attention
So true, I don't know how I survived a year ago with my having a spider molt once every few months :drunk: Now that I have a variety of 13 different T's and two scorpions, I get at least one molt every few weeks, which is nice. I also enjoy feeding and taking videos of feeding, so the more T's the longer I spend feeding and the longer I spend out of my bed and not sleeping :D This hobby is great for me.
Also I have my two crested geckos to keep me entertained, and of course the rats ;)
 

scorpanok

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Feb 9, 2016
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my collection contains about 20 species of predatory inverts most of which I have multiples. I keep two note books one of which contains breeding notes and the other molt dates as far as feeding goes I do it whenever I have the time and I rehouse them when they need to be.
 

viper69

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Dec 8, 2006
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How do you all with 20+ creatures manage? How do you keep up with feeding and watering, observation and maintenance?
It's not rocket science, I do it all by memory. If it's hard for you to remember, don't expand your collection. It's important to know your limits. Nothing wrong with owning 1 T, a few, or over 1,000.

As far as records, I keep everything written down in a bound book in case a nuclear war goes off.
 

EulersK

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Feb 22, 2013
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How do you manage your collection?
Very carefully with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire.

I flip-flip days, basically. I rarely have the time to water and feed everyone on the same night. I tend to water one night and feed the following night, each taking roughly an hour. As @viper69 said, I feed based off of memory. Slings get a meal every day, and gravid spiders get fed about triple as often as they normally would. They're the only exception. The only thing I keep a record of is molting and anything related to mating.

I found that cutting syringes out of my arsenal cut my time way down. Invest in a decent sprayer from Home Depot, it will save you literally hours per month.
 

Rittdk01

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Oct 4, 2016
Messages
264
My collection is officially complete at 8 and a few slings. I often wonder how long it takes for some collectors with rooms full of tarantulas in shoe boxes to water and feed. I look in on mine every day just to see what's happening. Don't have enough that I can't keep track in my head.
 

KezyGLA

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Apr 8, 2016
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It is a tedious task at times but caring for these creatures is what makes the hobby so interesting to me.

It takes me a couple of hours to feed water my collection. It is quite rewarding though.

I have recently sold a chunk of my collection. That has helped cut down the time. I try to organise the work on rotating days, say NW shelves one day and my OW shelves the next. It stops me from getting bored with it.
 

Chris LXXIX

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Dec 25, 2014
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It's very easy for me and within 10 minutes all the feeding/watering/maintenance (including crickets/B.dubia etc as well) is done.
 

Marijan2

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Oct 21, 2012
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505
At height of my collection at around 50 T's + ~300 slings from pairings, and several roach species, it took me approximately an hour per week to do all around them. Compare that to hour a day just looking at them for pleasure. It's all about how you manage your feeders, it used to take me a lot of time to separate roaches by sizes, but when i started to separately incubate lateralis ooths it was magnificent. I also do the things by my memory, i tried to do some sheets but they take more time to write on than you actually spend feeding spiders
 

Chris LXXIX

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Dec 25, 2014
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As far as records, I keep everything written down in a bound book in case a nuclear war goes off.
I beg you to go the extra mile, man, and directly seal those books into a "Time Capsule". One day our "Mad Max" childrens will discover those books and they will create a brand new Theraphosidae religion :-s

" ... We don't need another 'grammos' " :singing:
 
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ErinM31

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Feb 25, 2016
Messages
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I have a collection of 7 (soon to be 8 with an LK sling coming tomorrow morning). I have a spreadsheet where I keep track of feedings (when they've eaten, when they refused food, how big, and how many), molts, and any notes I need to keep in mind, like changes I've made to the enclosure.

I'm weird, I feed all my tarantulas on different schedules. My slings get fed one cricket every 3 days to get them through that stage as fast as possible. My juvies are fed every 4-6 days depending on the individual. My AF L. klugi has been fed once a week, though we'll see if I change that now that she is coming out of post-molt and has a potential lesion on her abdomen. I keep track of all that with my to-do app, OmniFocus. I just have a to-do to remind me to feed one of my Ts and these todos repeat based on the schedule I set for each spider. So when I'm checking the app for what things I need to get done with at work and what errands need to be run, I can also check to see who needs to be fed today.

This is probably too complicated for larger collections, but it's scaled nicely so far.
Wow, that is WAY more work than you need to do unless you are conducting a scientific experiment! :wideyed: I mean, there's nothing wrong with it if you like doing things so... precisely... but of course feeding would not be anywhere near that regular and consistent in the wild! I wing it and keep general track in my head. ;) When I've a fresh supply of feeders, my slings might be fed every day or every other but then might wait a week. They really can fit into your life and don't need such a precise regular schedule like some creatures would. My kitties need their regular schedule but will meow in my ear if their human servant is so absentminded as to not notice that it is feeding time (or more precisely, an hour before :rofl: ). :cat:
 

cold blood

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I have around 100+ adults and juvies, and another 150 or so slings (just moved 150 slings as well, so that number was double just a few weeks ago). Your collection will just in time, become part of your life and how you live it. Had someone given me this room 15 years ago, it would have been a daunting task that probably would have overwhelmed me, but as it gradually progresses, so did I, and bit by bit it just became my way of life and its hardly stressful in the least.

Like others, I keep a couple notebooks, where I record all feedings, molts, pairings, sacs laid, etc. Every couple of days when I have the time, I go through the notebook. I have an erasable weekly calendar, and when I go through, I check every ts last date of feeding, and evaluate when, or if, it needs to be fed for the week...anything that's getting fed, gets marked on the calendar for the week so I know where the feeders should go.

I check water and such every day, but I really only water everyone weekly (of course there are exceptions...MMs for instance, shouldn't be without water as they as more prone to dehydration, as are some species of slings)...if someone dumps the dish, its generally getting fixed at the same time as everyone else.....watering can be the biggest pain, so I try to do it all at once....I laugh at some who are constantly filling their dishes, its not like a few days dry is gonna kill them....although for newer keepers, filling regularly keeps the guesswork out of it...after 16 years with these things, I'm done with the basic guesswork, most of what I see is obvious to me most of the time.
 

Red Eunice

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Mar 2, 2014
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667
I guess its a matter of how much time and how meticulous the husbandry you want to invest as a keeper. Everything takes time, opening enclosures to feed/water/maintenance, rehousings, breeding feeders and etc. The more you keep the more time spent, simple mathematics.
As far as logs go, I keep mine simple. Excel spreadsheet with species, country of origin, when acquired & size, molt dates and pairing statistics.
I do have a cheat of sorts when one has molted. I printed 1-31 in size 72 font and laminated each, repeated this 6 times. When a molt is discovered I simply affix that days date to the enclosure to avoid feeding prematurely post molt.
In my T room EVERYDAY is feeding day, something is always ready for a meal.
Although I've never really kept track of the time spent doing husbandry I'll guess 18-20 hours per week. :rolleyes:
 

Jeff23

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Jul 27, 2016
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I have went from 0 to 60 in less than 4 seconds.... I mean months.

I am currently in a holding pattern on slings, but there are still a few female juvenile/adult T species I would love to obtain, but can't find anywhere. Since a huge number of mine are slings I am currently using most of my spare time in the evenings for four days for feeding and maintenance. I only have around 10 sexed T's.

I am in the process of rethinking my feeders. I currently keep all of the crickets in one huge tub. This works great since they are happy in this container (except for T feeding nights) and thus never try to escape. This large tub makes cricket feeding, cleaning, and retrieval easy. However, it is a little work to pick out the size crickets I need during T feeding. For this reason I usually end up using a few extras during pre-kill feedings for my slings. I am debating on the idea of breeding crickets to save on the store purchases but am hesitant. I want to spend my time on T's not crickets so more research is needed. Now I do have some chirping crickets due to the number of them but the noise doesn't really bother me.
 

ErinM31

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Feb 25, 2016
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I have went from 0 to 60 in less than 4 seconds.... I mean months.

I am currently in a holding pattern on slings, but there are still a few female juvenile/adult T species I would love to obtain, but can't find anywhere. Since a huge number of mine are slings I am currently using most of my spare time in the evenings for four days for feeding and maintenance. I only have around 10 sexed T's.

I am in the process of rethinking my feeders. I currently keep all of the crickets in one huge tub. This works great since they are happy in this container (except for T feeding nights) and thus never try to escape. This large tub makes cricket feeding, cleaning, and retrieval easy. However, it is a little work to pick out the size crickets I need during T feeding. For this reason I usually end up using a few extras during pre-kill feedings for my slings. I am debating on the idea of breeding crickets to save on the store purchases but am hesitant. I want to spend my time on T's not crickets so more research is needed. Now I do have some chirping crickets due to the number of them but the noise doesn't really bother me.
I would recommend breeding roaches instead -- they're quiet and don't smell. I tried breeding crickets and also bought pinheads and, IMHO, neither is worth it as it is difficult to get them out of the substrate (if you've bred them) and otherwise, they are HORRIBLY cannibalistic, even with food present, making them ridiculously expensive. I think you would need to regularly separate the cricket eggs from the adults to prevent them from being eaten.

I am still feeding my tarantulas and toads crickets but am working on getting a colony of Shelfordells lateralis established but I also keep a small colony of mealworms for variety. It takes a while for there to be enough cockroaches to be able to use them regularly as feeders (I bought two dozen nymphs and am waiting for them to reach adulthood) but I have not seen any die-off (unlike the crickets I buy from the pet store). Plus, they do not leap, climb glass or plastic nor burrow! :D
 

Andrea82

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Jan 12, 2016
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My collection is officially complete at 8 and a few slings. I often wonder how long it takes for some collectors with rooms full of tarantulas in shoe boxes to water and feed. I look in on mine every day just to see what's happening. Don't have enough that I can't keep track in my head.
Your collection is officially complete?!? :rofl::rofl:
Ladies and gentlemen, here is a perfect example of the phase in the addiction which is called DENIAL
:D

On topic,
Half an hour a day keeps the mites and illness away ;)
This includes my praying mantids and feeders.
 
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