How small is too small?

inserirnome

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So how small is too small when it comes to food items? I understand it may be different among different genus and species, but there is a rulr of thumb to how big the prey should be ( ~ abdomen size).
I'm looking for some kind of answer other than you know it's too small when the T stops taking interest.
I've been feeding my adult T exclusively mealworms/beetles lately cz that's what I breed. It eats A LOT cz they're so small, but it is kind of cute seing the fangs holding "sphaghetti", or making a web bag to hold all those candies.
Is there any negative effects on this kind of feeding? I know a healthy diet should include variety. I also assume longevity is correlated with feeding schedule and amount. I'm also aware mealworms have a lot of fat.
It seems roaches are as easy to breed and to keep, but I feel like I shouldnt keep that kind of bugs in my house... I know the point of breeding roaches is bcs they get big, but I'm not confortable with how big some get.
Right now my T is recovering from a molt. It's been 2 and a half weeks, fangs looking dark, so it should be rly hungry. If it keeps not accepting worms, can I assume it is bcz they're too small?
(T is ~6 in LS)
 

darkness975

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Depending on the size and other factors of the Tarantula it takes them longer or shorter time frames to harden up after a molt.

Regarding roaches and cleanliness - they are actually fairly clean. It is the wild ones that go through your garbage can and then walk across your turkey sandwich that are more of an issue in the health department.

I do not think the "fat" of mealworms is as big of a deal for Tarantulas as it is for reptiles but others can chime in on that front.

Not all species of roaches get "big" although that is an arbitrary term that varies from person to person. Different species of roaches are different sizes when fully grown.
 

Andrea82

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Did it stop taking mealies because of pre-molt, or would it take other food, but not mealies?
If it is the first, it should accept it without trouble. When it is specifically refusing mealies, it is time to look for other feeders. If you don't like roaches, you could try crickets, or superworms. Make sure to crush the heads of the supers though, they'll burrow right down if you don't.
 

Trenor

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Is there any negative effects on this kind of feeding? I know a healthy diet should include variety. I also assume longevity is correlated with feeding schedule and amount. I'm also aware mealworms have a lot of fat.
Not as far as I am aware. I don't often feed them to my reptiles for that reason but Ts are fine. I've seen several people on here that only feed these.
It seems roaches are as easy to breed and to keep, but I feel like I shouldnt keep that kind of bugs in my house... I know the point of breeding roaches is bcs they get big, but I'm not confortable with how big some get.
Unless you have a lot of Ts I would recommend just buying the size and amount you need. Keep in mind in most places you can order most feeders online.
So how small is too small when it comes to food items? I understand it may be different among different genus and species, but there is a rulr of thumb to how big the prey should be ( ~ abdomen size).
I'm looking for some kind of answer other than you know it's too small when the T stops taking interest.
I've been feeding my adult T exclusively mealworms/beetles lately cz that's what I breed. It eats A LOT cz they're so small, but it is kind of cute seing the fangs holding "sphaghetti", or making a web bag to hold all those candies.
I feed dubia roaches for the most part. In general, I try to feed them prey that is slightly smaller than their abdomen. If they are really plump I'll feed smaller or if they are skinny (or slim from molting) I'll go bigger. If your T just molted, it is most likely that it isn't ready to eat yet if it's ignoring food. What size T is it and how long since it molted? What size is it's abdomen?
 

inserirnome

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If your T just molted, it is most likely that it isn't ready to eat yet if it's ignoring food. What size T is it and how long since it molted? What size is it's abdomen?
Fangs are dark. Maybe 6-6,5 in LS, almost 3 weeks. Abdomen is roughly 2x1 in . (why dont you use metric system? :arghh:)
Also, when you guys say size, do you mean width, length, area, volume...?
Did it stop taking mealies because of pre-molt, or would it take other food, but not mealies?
If it is the first, it should accept it without trouble. When it is specifically refusing mealies, it is time to look for other feeders. If you don't like roaches, you could try crickets, or superworms. Make sure to crush the heads of the supers though, they'll burrow right down if you don't.
I can't really tell if it was premolt, cz the last meals were store bought crickets (beetles were still laying eggs).
I believe no one in their right mind would be willing to breed crix, I'll go with roaches over them for sure.


I'll wait a couple more days, to be sure, and throw in a beetle. If it eats the beetle and ignores the worms I might think of getting roaches or super.
 

Estein

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I do not think the "fat" of mealworms is as big of a deal for Tarantulas as it is for reptiles but others can chime in on that front.
I agree that it's probably not a big deal for Ts comparatively, but I have noticed that my Ts get plumper much more quickly with mealworms than with crickets. Couldn't tell you for sure if it improves growth rate for slings, but it seems intuitive that it would. I'd love to hear whether anyone else has thoughts on that front.
 

Andrea82

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I recently switched to mealies for my slings, keeping them the same temperature as always, and they grow a lot fatter on this feeder than on crickets. For some reason they never turn down mealies except when in pre-molt, when with crickets I would find it often still there the next day.
 

dragonfire1577

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What species is it because if it's something like an A. geniculata I'd say it's weird it's refused food after 3 weeks and maybe offer something else but if it was for example a G. rosea or E. campestratus I'd say no big deal these guys tend to fast even when they are far from molting.
 

Trenor

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Fangs are dark. Maybe 6-6,5 in LS, almost 3 weeks. Abdomen is roughly 2x1 in . (why dont you use metric system? :arghh:)
Also, when you guys say size, do you mean width, length, area, volume...?
You can use metric if you like, I know how to convert it. ;)
When I say size I mainly wanted to know if the abdomen was plump, skinny, shriveled, tiny. My A. sp amazonia molted 3.5 weeks back and just ate last night for the first time since the molt. I wasn't worried about it because it had fresh water and it's abdomen was decently plump.

Edit: I missed where you put the DLS at the bottom of your post.

I agree that it's probably not a big deal for Ts comparatively, but I have noticed that my Ts get plumper much more quickly with mealworms than with crickets. Couldn't tell you for sure if it improves growth rate for slings, but it seems intuitive that it would. I'd love to hear whether anyone else has thoughts on that front.
I recently switched to mealies for my slings, keeping them the same temperature as always, and they grow a lot fatter on this feeder than on crickets. For some reason they never turn down mealies except when in pre-molt, when with crickets I would find it often still there the next day.
I've heard this a lot recently, but I've not seen any proof that mealies are better as far a plump slings and good growth rates go. I agree that mealies are good feeders but I get great growth rates with roaches and anyone who has seen my T photos knows I have fat slings. When it comes to Ts, I think temperature and adequate food is more important to growth than feeding one type of food over another.

I think feeders come more into play for reptiles and the like than they do for Ts.
 

inserirnome

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What species is it because if it's something like an A. geniculata I'd say it's weird it's refused food after 3 weeks and maybe offer something else but if it was for example a G. rosea or E. campestratus I'd say no big deal these guys tend to fast even when they are far from molting.
G.Pulchripes. Never refused a meal. It once ate 2 days before molting, as a matue female.
 

Andrea82

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You can use metric if you like, I know how to convert it. ;)
When I say size I mainly wanted to know if the abdomen was plump, skinny, shriveled, tiny. My A. sp amazonia molted 3.5 weeks back and just ate last night for the first time since the molt. I wasn't worried about it because it had fresh water and it's abdomen was decently plump.

Edit: I missed where you put the DLS at the bottom of your post.



I've heard this a lot recently, but I've not seen any proof that mealies are better as far a plump slings and good growth rates go. I agree that mealies are good feeders but I get great growth rates with roaches and anyone who has seen my T photos knows I have fat slings. When it comes to Ts, I think temperature and adequate food is more important to growth than feeding one type of food over another.

I think feeders come more into play for reptiles and the like than they do for Ts.
Maybe mine got fatter because they accepted mealies far more often than they did when on crickets, and not because of the feeder itself?
 

Trenor

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Maybe mine got fatter because they accepted mealies far more often than they did when on crickets, and not because of the feeder itself?
It could be, but it's really hard to tell. IMO there are so many factors that go into growth and molt times it'd be hard to pin down one thing as why a T put on weight/molted faster. Dubia roaches are leaner than a lot of feed insects but the are high in protein. Does it matter either way? I'm not sure. I used to feed my slings several times a week but lately (a month or two) I have been feeding everything once a week but offering a larger sized prey. I've not noticed them gaining or losing abdomen size and not much change in growth/molt times.

More so than food, I personally think temp is a much bigger factor.
 

Teal

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I have had Ts get "bored" of a feeder and stop eating it. I try to rotate between different roach species, crickets, and mealworms to keep their interest and because I believe food should be varied. As long as your T isn't looking skinny, I would just keep trying to feed every few days/once a week :)
 

inserirnome

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I have had Ts get "bored" of a feeder and stop eating it. I try to rotate between different roach species, crickets, and mealworms to keep their interest and because I believe food should be varied.
This makes sense to me.
Although I've read somewhere that spiders overall have somewhat of a memory. The more one fights with the same kind of prey in succession the better it gets fighting that specific prey, making the spiders hunt more effectivly in a given place where that food is abundant. Breaking this chain would make it forget about the perfected technique, so to speak, in order to start learning a new one, adapting to the new kind of food available. So in the wild a tarantula should benefit largely from always eating similar worms or moths or whatever, right?
 

Andrea82

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It could be, but it's really hard to tell. IMO there are so many factors that go into growth and molt times it'd be hard to pin down one thing as why a T put on weight/molted faster. Dubia roaches are leaner than a lot of feed insects but the are high in protein. Does it matter either way? I'm not sure. I used to feed my slings several times a week but lately (a month or two) I have been feeding everything once a week but offering a larger sized prey. I've not noticed them gaining or losing abdomen size and not much change in growth/molt times.

More so than food, I personally think temp is a much bigger factor.
At the end of the day it indeed doesn't matter, as long as our spiders are content and growing. I wasn't questioning your ideas, only trying for some interesting tarantula talk :)
 

Teal

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This makes sense to me.
Although I've read somewhere that spiders overall have somewhat of a memory. The more one fights with the same kind of prey in succession the better it gets fighting that specific prey, making the spiders hunt more effectivly in a given place where that food is abundant. Breaking this chain would make it forget about the perfected technique, so to speak, in order to start learning a new one, adapting to the new kind of food available. So in the wild a tarantula should benefit largely from always eating similar worms or moths or whatever, right?
I have never heard of that! Though I certainly believe they have memories, I didn't know anyone else did haha
 

Andrea82

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Is it memory, or thousands of years of evolutionary honing of instinct?
My guess would be the latter, since they don't seem to have the capacity for memory in their non existing 'brain'.
 

inserirnome

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I have never heard of that! Though I certainly believe they have memories, I didn't know anyone else did haha
There's also people here on AB who believe that if you handle Ts on a regular basis they get used to it and become docile, which is pretty much implying they have memory. I don't think it works that way in that particular case, but still, you're not alone :)
 

inserirnome

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Is it memory, or thousands of years of evolutionary honing of instinct?
My guess would be the latter, since they don't seem to have the capacity for memory in their non existing 'brain'.
I would call it memory not in a sense of an actual memory, but something more related to what we call muscle memory, applied to spiders.
 
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