How to care for a G.Rosea Sling

0siris

Arachnosquire
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
127
Hello fellow arachnophiliacs! :worship:

I have recently become very interested in tarantulas and soon after I stumbled on these forums. I have to say, there is a stunning amount of good information on these boards, I have been reading up on basic care of tarantulas for the past week or so.

I decided that I'd like to rear one of these fascinating creatures. After an extensive search of reputable online dealers I decided to purchase my sling from swiftinverts. I opted for the G.Rosea (Red Morph) after reading about it being an excellent beginner species

The sling should be here tomorrow, and I have just realized that all of the information that I have been reading up on over the past week was about care for adult tarantulas! Having said that, can someone shed some light for me how to care for spiderlings?

I read that you should keep slings in the vial they come in until they outgrow it. What would be the downside of putting the sling in the 10 gallon terrarium I have prepared? It has about 4-5 inches of loosely packed eco-earth with about 80% humidity (it was 95% before I baked the stuff in the oven. I can dry it out more if needed. Humidity in the house is a comfortable 50%) Do spiderlings require higher humidity/temperature since they grow faster & subsequently molt more often?

I know I should feed it pinhead crix a couple of times a week, and make sure the water dish is smaller than the spider itself. I plan on getting a buried half clay pot for a hide and perhaps a small log for a perch.

I'll cut this short before it becomes a novel {D

Thanks in advance for any input! I really appreciate it.
 

NikiP

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 16, 2006
Messages
540
I looked on Swift's site & the sling you bought should be around 1/2". Take a dime, put it on the substrate in your tank. Do you want to be looking for something slightly smaller then that? :D Nooo, lol. Even though in the wild they live in huge areas, they have a lot more/different opportunities for food & you'll be less concerned if you can quickly locate it.

Just stick with keeping it in a vial, then progress to larger containers as it grows. G. roseas can take years & years to reach adult size.
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,659
Hello fellow arachnophiliacs! :worship:

I have recently become very interested in tarantulas and soon after I stumbled on these forums. I have to say, there is a stunning amount of good information on these boards, I have been reading up on basic care of tarantulas for the past week or so.
Welcome to the forums!:D

I decided that I'd like to rear one of these fascinating creatures. After an extensive search of reputable online dealers I decided to purchase my sling from swiftinverts. I opted for the G.Rosea (Red Morph) after reading about it being an excellent beginner species
We actually have a G. rosea R(ed)C(olor)F(orm) and it is a very easy to care for sling. :)

The sling should be here tomorrow, and I have just realized that all of the information that I have been reading up on over the past week was about care for adult tarantulas! Having said that, can someone shed some light for me how to care for spiderlings?
Spiderlings are only minimally harder to care for than adults. Until 2" or so, their epicuticle hasn't entirely hardened and they aren't as able to hold in internal moisture, so keeping it a bit humider than its adult counterpart is a good idea. The easiest way to achieve this is to simply wet(not soak or make swampy) a portion of the substrate once a week or so, because they also drink from the substrate.

I read that you should keep slings in the vial they come in until they outgrow it.
Replace should, with can. ;) We built our own enclosures that were 3X3X3" cubes to keep our little ones in. We felt that a vial wasn't enough space for all but one of our spiderlings.(the one was teeny tiny, micro sized and stayed in his vial for a few molts) Other people use acrylic hobby cubes from Michaels or Hobby Lobby, and other similar sized enclosures. Many do keep them in vials though and there isn't anything wrong with it.

What would be the downside of putting the sling in the 10 gallon terrarium I have prepared?
It would be a bad idea for the size spiderling you are getting. You can have trouble with the T finding its meal/ water. Also, in order to make it safe for a T that small you would need to basically fill the tank up with substrate except for about 1 1/2-2".

It has about 4-5 inches of loosely packed eco-earth with about 80% humidity (it was 95% before I baked the stuff in the oven. I can dry it out more if needed.
You won't need to dry it out more for the spiderling.:)

Humidity in the house is a comfortable 50%) Do spiderlings require higher humidity/temperature since they grow faster & subsequently molt more often?
Measuring humidity is just busy work, unless you have certain species or are breeding. G. rosea is definitely not one of those species. However, this species grows VERY slowly, very very slowly so do not count on molts coming often. We have had ours 2 years and it has now molted 4 times and gained very little size. Higher temps can help with rapid growth, but it will be negligible with this species I(n)M(y)E(xperience).

I know I should feed it pinhead crix a couple of times a week,
That's sounds good, but some would say 1 a week is fine. Powerfeeding(and I am not saying that is) is supposed to increase growth as well, but is something you should research the pros and cons on and decide whether it is for you.

and make sure the water dish is smaller than the spider itself.
I wouldn't do a water dish until at least 2". They can drink from the substrate that you wet and they get moisture from their food.

I plan on getting a buried half clay pot for a hide and perhaps a small log for a perch.
You may want to think plastic shot glass, or vial if you go bigger than the vial for its enclosure.

Here is ours, but you will have to scroll down to the 11th pic! That is when we first got it and after its first molt.

I can't seem to find a pic after the 2nd molt, but this is its size now. It is in its 3X3X3" cube for size reference. It does have a chunk of cork bark in there for a hide, but it bull dozed and now it is buried.



I'll cut this short before it becomes a novel {D
;) No problem! Glad to help! Once again, welcome to the forum!:D
 

0siris

Arachnosquire
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
127
Wow what a rundown. That was a great read, thank you all. I'm just twiddling my thumbs and staring out the window in anticipation for the mailman to come.

Will definitely post pics...and probably more questions :)
 

Travis K

TravIsGinger
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
2,529
They are almost hard to kill and practically thrive on neglect.
 

0siris

Arachnosquire
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
127
Back with pics! sorry it took so long :-/ I apologize for the poor quality pictures, I am in desperate need of a new camera :p


The enclosure is a 6 inch plexiglass cube that I put together after a trip to the local hardware store. It is probably much too large, but I have it filled about halfway with substrate.


Top down view, the sling is in the bottom right hand corner. I have a piece of egg carton and a dried up hibiscus leaf for a hide.


And a couple of pics of the sling itself.




And you probably knew this next part was coming...more questions! ;)

What are your thoughts on the setup? I keep one corner of the enclosure moist which keeps the humidity at a constant 60%. The temperature stays about 68-72*F although I expect this to get colder as winter is just around the corner.

I have noticed something interesting about this spider. For some reason she really loves to climb the walls of the enclosure. I see her there about 50% of the time. Does that mean she does not like the substrate? When she does hang out on the ground and I open the enclosure she immediately bolts for the wall and starts to climb. Is she just unusually sociable or does she really not like the enclosure? What worries me is that I have seen her fall a couple of times now from the very top of the enclosure (about a 3 inch fall). Should I be worried? Should I fill up the enclosure with even more substrate?

Also regarding feeding. I have had her since the 18th now (thursday) and I've watched her abdomen become gradually smaller. She seemed really full when I got her. Is this a sign that it's time to feed her? I remember reading that I should wait a week after I get the spider before I try to feed it, but her small belly is making me a bit uneasy.

Again, thanks in advance for all your input folks!
 

Chris_Skeleton

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 31, 2010
Messages
1,310
That setup is too big for that little spider. You need to put it in a deli cup and save that setup for a bigger spider.
 

captmarga

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
340
Re: Climbing - usually two reasons. One is getting used to their new enclosure - testing the boundary limits. Two, substrate may be too moist... or not to their liking.

Of course, some climb because they can, even the "terrestrial" species, not just the arboreals. One of my new suntigers (a burrowing sp.) is running all 'round his keeper at the moment!

Good luck with baby!

Marga
 

Chris_Skeleton

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 31, 2010
Messages
1,310
Re: Climbing - usually two reasons. One is getting used to their new enclosure - testing the boundary limits. Two, substrate may be too moist... or not to their liking.

Of course, some climb because they can, even the "terrestrial" species, not just the arboreals. One of my new suntigers (a burrowing sp.) is running all 'round his keeper at the moment!

Good luck with baby!

Marga
What species is your "suntiger"?
 

captmarga

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
340
What species is your "suntiger"?
P irminia. He quit running around as soon as I gave him a cricket....

Three of my P irminia are burrowed, one is curtained, and the sling (1") is partially burrowed.

My smallest slings (various sp) are in 2" and 3" acrylic cubes with substrate and cork bark.

Marga
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,659
That setup is too big for that little spider. You need to put it in a deli cup and save that setup for a bigger spider.
It is a bigger enclosure than normally recommended, but there is no need for the OP to toss out his work to get a smaller enclosure and save this one for a bigger spider.
 

Redneck

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
1,393
P irminia. He quit running around as soon as I gave him a cricket....

Three of my P irminia are burrowed, one is curtained, and the sling (1") is partially burrowed.

My smallest slings (various sp) are in 2" and 3" acrylic cubes with substrate and cork bark.

Marga
P. irminia are not a burrowing sp... ;) Most Ts will burrow as slings.. My pokies burrow.. Doesnt mean they are burrowers.. :)
 

captmarga

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
340
P. irminia are not a burrowing sp... ;) Most Ts will burrow as slings.. My pokies burrow.. Doesnt mean they are burrowers.. :)
Three of mine are over 3" legspans... and are not arboreal. They are opportunistic burrowers. I gave them the choice... they burrowed.

Regardless, a too-large tank for any species means you don't see your spider...

Marga
 

Abby

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 9, 2009
Messages
297
What a beautiful little baby! :D

I keep my slings that size in a small tupperware with small holes drilled on the sides.

I don't use egg cartons as hides because they will mold. I use a hide made of plastic like a bottle cap in which I make an "entrance" or something of that nature. Some slings like to burrow to be out of danger, so I give them about 3 inches of substrate. As they get bigger they will be more visible, but as babies all they want to do is feel safe.

I can send you some pics of my setups if you like. There are also lots of pics on the forum.

Good luck with your awesome, beautiful new baby :)
 

KnightinGale

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
170
Hello!

Here's my 2 cents: That enclosure is bigger than one would usually put a sling that size in, but if you want to try it, watch your sling when you feed it and make sure it isn't having any trouble catching food. As long as it can eat and drink, it will be fine...just don't lose it! :D
A rosea won't starve in a week, but maybe dampen some more of the substrate. Possibly it could use a drink and isn't finding the water in the larger enclosure?
Also, if you are worried about it climbing and hurting itself, then go ahead and add a little more sub. General rule is to look at the space if your tarantula has its back two legs on the "ground" and stretches up. Some people say that its front legs should touch the top and some say a span and a half, so no more than half the spider's legspan should be left above it in this position. Then any falls are very short and shouldn't do damage. On the plus side, you have good substrate and nothing hard or pointy in there for your tarantula to hurt itself on even when it does fall.
Enjoy your new tarantula! RCF roseas are beautiful.
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,659
I think the enclosure is a bit big, but the upside is that you will not have to rehouse it for a VERY long time.

I would moisten a larger section of the enclosure, maybe even as much as half.

I would also add more substrate. A good rule of thumb is to only allow about a legspan and a half between the top of the enclosure and the top of the enclosure, but in your case I would probably leave a tad more space. This is to prevent injury from falls.

I would find a better and more appropriate hide than the dried up leaf. It will eventually decompose and that is generally not something you want in your enclosure. If the sling came in a vial, you can use that for now, if not something that it can crawl in and be out of the open area. Since there is alot of open area, I would definitely make sure it had a better hide. We use cork bark and hollow out spots underneath it like a cave, but if that isn't available use your imagination. Clean things with a mild soap and rinse well.

Some people feed their Ts the day that get them and sometimes they eat too. Unless it has molted within the last week, there is no harm in trying to offer it a meal. It will help to herd the cricket towards the sling with a chopstick/ something blunt and possibly maim it/ crush its head to ensure that the sling will find its meal. Don't worry if it doesn't eat, just make sure you have a good portion of the substrate wet/ damp so it can have a drink. Remove the prey if it is still there in a few hours/ possibly overnight, try again in a few days if it doesn't eat.

Good job on the box, it looks great!:D
 

0siris

Arachnosquire
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
127
Thanks for all the input guys :)

I filled the enclosure with a bit more substrate. There are now only 2 inches of space from the substrate to the top of the enclosure. I took out the leaf and egg carton and replaced them with the vial the spider came in. I buried it at a slight angle so it kind of mimics a burrow. I wet some more of the substrate and just noticed the sling propped up against the wall sipping from one of the droplets.

I tried to give it a cricket but it seems scared of it. Either that or it is just not hungry. The cricket itself is about 3/4 of the size of the slings abdomen and cephalothorax combined. I tried first pulling off the legs to slow it down a bit, but the sling still kept running away from it. I finally crushed the crickets head and placed it in the enclosure and it has been there for about the past 4 hours. Is it alright if I leave it in there overnight?
 

Abby

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 9, 2009
Messages
297
I usually remove the crushed uneaten cricket, or food bolus the next day
They seem to eat when I'm not watching them :D
 
Top