How to Easily Moisten Substrate

Tenevanica

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Feb 18, 2015
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I haven't posted in a while, but here I am. This isn't so much a how to guide as it is just an idea worth sharing. I'm soon acquiring several new additions, including an Ephebopus cyanognathus sling at about an inch. This species requires moist substrate, but it's very difficult to keep vial substrate moist. Spraying does nothing, and you can't really pour water in super effectively without the vial becoming a swimming pool. So, I've come up with this nifty little invention. (Pictures below) It's a straw cut to a length so it reaches the bottom of the substrate, and touches the lid of the vial. I can pour water down the straw and moisten the substrate without temporarily flooding the surface. (I could also see this useful for species that web heavily and need it wet, like Chilobrachys sp.) It's cut so that when the lid is on there's no space between the straw and the lid. A T can't climb down the straw from the surface. There's a little notch at the bottom of the straw to allow water to difuse into the substrate. The spider could potentially burrow next to the straw and get in it that way, but I think that's unlikely, and I've made a little starter burrow on the opposite side of the vial. The straw is secured to the side of the vial with a dab of hot glue.

image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
My Tenevanica trademark crappy photos! (Also, I'm a bit concerned about ventilation. There's four ventilation holes on the sides of the vial providing cross ventilation. If I need to add more, let me know. As this is a moisture dependent obligate burrower, I don't think ventilation is a major concern, especially since there's cross ventilation.)
 

Venom1080

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thats why i use deli cups, lots more room.

i only use vials for slings up to 3/4" or a little less.
 

Tenevanica

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thats why i use deli cups, lots more room.

i only use vials for slings up to 3/4" or a little less.
thats why i use deli cups, lots more room.

i only use vials for slings up to 3/4" or a little less.
These are 40 dram vials. The cap's 2.5 inches in diameter. I keep slings up to about in inch in them. I'll have to see how large the specimen actually is, but my guess is it'll be rehoused at the next molt.
 

Venom1080

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These are 40 dram vials. The cap's 2.5 inches in diameter. I keep slings up to about in inch in them. I'll have to see how large the specimen actually is, but my guess is it'll be rehoused at the next molt.
maybe put it in a deli cup so it doesnt have to rehoused so soon?
 

sdsnybny

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I add some very tiny holes just off the bottom of the vial around the outside to allow airflow through the sub which will help to keep it from becoming moldy or stagnant. This has worked very well for me in my E uatuman enclosure with 8" of sub for them to burrow. For that sized vial I would put about 4 evenly spaced around the outside
 

EulersK

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Feb 22, 2013
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I add some very tiny holes just off the bottom of the vial around the outside to allow airflow through the sub which will help to keep it from becoming moldy or stagnant. This has worked very well for me in my E uatuman enclosure with 8" of sub for them to burrow. For that sized vial I would put about 4 evenly spaced around the outside
Couldn't agree more. All of my slings and burrowers get this treatment. Just to add, though, you then fight the problem of moisture being lost through the ventilation. I slap some tape over the holes to prevent this, so the moisture has nowhere to go but up when evaporating.
 

Venom1080

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I add some very tiny holes just off the bottom of the vial around the outside to allow airflow through the sub which will help to keep it from becoming moldy or stagnant. This has worked very well for me in my E uatuman enclosure with 8" of sub for them to burrow. For that sized vial I would put about 4 evenly spaced around the outside
i tried that but water gets through every time. hate it. :(
 

Spidermolt

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May 29, 2015
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203
the straw idea reminds me, has anyone ever used plant watering spikes? they're suppose to automatically water your plants but they might work with borrowing ts too. Ive been wanting to test this in an empty cage for a while to see if could work but I haven't gone around to trying it and some are plastic that you have to punch your own holes in which will help to dial the water release so you don't end up with a muddy tank. if it does work you probably will have to clean it often to prevent mold though and for the size can only be used for adults.

...just an idea to throw out there.
 

viper69

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Dec 8, 2006
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11,531
I haven't posted in a while, but here I am. This isn't so much a how to guide as it is just an idea worth sharing. I'm soon acquiring several new additions, including an Ephebopus cyanognathus sling at about an inch. This species requires moist substrate, but it's very difficult to keep vial substrate moist. Spraying does nothing, and you can't really pour water in super effectively without the vial becoming a swimming pool. So, I've come up with this nifty little invention. (Pictures below) It's a straw cut to a length so it reaches the bottom of the substrate, and touches the lid of the vial. I can pour water down the straw and moisten the substrate without temporarily flooding the surface. (I could also see this useful for species that web heavily and need it wet, like Chilobrachys sp.) It's cut so that when the lid is on there's no space between the straw and the lid. A T can't climb down the straw from the surface. There's a little notch at the bottom of the straw to allow water to difuse into the substrate. The spider could potentially burrow next to the straw and get in it that way, but I think that's unlikely, and I've made a little starter burrow on the opposite side of the vial. The straw is secured to the side of the vial with a dab of hot glue.

View attachment 226736 View attachment 226737 View attachment 226738
My Tenevanica trademark crappy photos! (Also, I'm a bit concerned about ventilation. There's four ventilation holes on the sides of the vial providing cross ventilation. If I need to add more, let me know. As this is a moisture dependent obligate burrower, I don't think ventilation is a major concern, especially since there's cross ventilation.)

Funny, dart frog people do something similar, except they use the "pipe" to remove water. Clever idea. I've always used a syringe and inserted water that way from the bottom. Hot glue doesn't always work well, not saying don't use it, but IME it's cheap for a reason hah.
 

TheRedKnee

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Nov 9, 2017
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12
There's a little notch at the bottom of the straw to allow water to difuse into the substrate. )
What do you mean by a notch? Have you angled the bottom of the straw in a certain way or added holes to the bottom?

I'm thinking about using this technique to keep the bottom of my pill vial substrate moist for my 1cm sling. I work in a bar and we have these very thin cocktail straws that even a 1cm sling couldn't get down! Great idea!
 

Tenevanica

Arachnodemon
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
727
What do you mean by a notch? Have you angled the bottom of the straw in a certain way or added holes to the bottom?

I'm thinking about using this technique to keep the bottom of my pill vial substrate moist for my 1cm sling. I work in a bar and we have these very thin cocktail straws that even a 1cm sling couldn't get down! Great idea!
Sorry for the late reply! I've basically just cut a square shaped hole on the bottom of the straw, it allows the water to touch the substrate. The straw isn't angled, it's just the hole. Thanks for asking!
 
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