I need help already!

Rookie

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
283
Hey all,
I haven't posted in a few weeks, but I have some pretty exciting news: I'm ordering my very first Tarantula (Gramastola Pulchra) later this week.
I bought a little 'kritter keeper' for him/her today, since it'll only be a spiderling when i get it. Suggestions for substrate?
My big, huge question is.....what do I feed it? I'm very concerned because no nearby pet stores have pinhead crickets, only big fat crickets. What else is suitable to feed spiderlings? Please help me out; i'll need to be feeding him in a matter of days.
You people have been a great help, and i'll be sure to post pictures when he/she arrives.
The Rookie
 

Henry Kane

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
1,885
Hey there Rookie! Great choice of Tarantula!

Do you know how big it's going to be? That will determine what type of housing to start with. If it's a REALLY small spiderling, it may be best to let it live in a pill tube for the first while. For substrate, vermiculite is good for s'lings or a 50/50 vermiculite, peat mix. Simple, cheap and inexpensive.

As far as pinheads go, your options are to either breed crickets, order them on-line, or get in the phone book and go down the list and hope you find a supplier somewhere relatively near to you. Another option, depending on the T's size, is flightless fruit flies.

Good luck with the new buggie and feel free to e-mail me with any questions. OK?

LAter.
Atrax
 
Last edited:

Paul Day

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 8, 2002
Messages
123
You can buy some big crickets and tear off pieces for it to eat. Use an Exacto knife. While gross, I've supported several small spiderlings through their entire childhood this way without ever buying pinheads. Spiders will scavenge, but make sure it eats the parts before they go rotton! I would suggest buying online, but since you only have one spider, that might not be the best idea since they come in 500's.

As for a Kritter Keeper, I wouldn't put it in there unless it was bigger than an inch. I would find a peanut butter jar, or some other small jar and keep it in there in the meantime, otherwise the Kritter Keeper has large holes that the spider will be able to crawl through, plus it'll be difficult maintaining high humidity unless you mist very often. A plastic vial (such as a pill tube) also works well until the spider gets larger, but don't use film canasters as they contain chemicals, nor tobacco boxes. Of course, if the spiderling is larger than an inch, by all means use the kritter keeper, but seal off some of the ventilation (not all, but some) with some masking tape.

Some moist peat should do fine for the spider throughout it's lifetime.

Good luck,
Pauly
 

Botar

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Messages
1,442
Rookie,

I'm no expert, but I've been paying attention to responses for similar questions. Substrate seems to be a matter of personal preference. Most common are potting soil, vermiculite, and peat moss, or any combination of the three.

For small slings, humidity seems to be very important and a small kritter keeper may be too large and have too much ventilation. There seems to be a concern about enclosures being too large for a tiny sling to find it's food. Some have even recommended baby food jars. I'm using pill bottles from shipments of larger T's in the past and deli cups. Gladware makes a small container that would also work well. Small holes for ventilation would be in order for whatever container you choose.

As for feeding, a "smooshed" cricket has been suggested many times and I've even done this once myself with success. Others have also suggested cricket legs. Luckily, I have 4 different meal worm cultures going and I have a wide variety of sizes of meal worms to work with. I also received a bottle of pinhead crickets from Kelly Swift (Swifty) when I ordered some slings from him.

Good luck and let us know about your success in feeding and when you're little one has his first molt... pictures are always a plus.

Botar
 

Henry Kane

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
1,885
*Sorry Paul*

Rookie, I would strongly advise against any kind of tape on, in or around your T's enclosure. Lest you think 8 legs is too many.;)

Atrax
 

Paul Day

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 8, 2002
Messages
123
Masking tape (especially exposed to the humidity in a tarantula's enclosure) is hardly sticky enough to trap a tarantulas legs. I've never had problems with this, in my years of using it. Any other tape of course, would have problems.

And I never said to place it on the outside of the enclosure. You can easily place it on the inside of the lid so the sticky part is facing outwards. I should be been more clear.

Pauly
 

Henry Kane

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
1,885
STRONGLY advise against it, Rookie. I highly doubt anyone has ever experimented with the adhesive strength under humid conditions...especially in relation to a spiderlings legs. S'lings are VERY delicate and I really don't think it's worth the risk.:D :D :D

Why take a chance...at least that's the way I see it.

To be honest, keeping a s'ling isn't even complicated enough to have to be taping or constructing anything. It's very easy to just keep them in the appropriate sized pill tube until they graduate to the smallest sized kritter keeper. No modifications are necessary to either enclosure for humidity. Simply control the level of humidity by misting more or less frequently.

Atrax
 
Last edited:

Rookie

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
283
Me again..

Hmm..interessting points all around. How small are we talking, first of all. If I have a 1" s'ling, compare that to something I see in everyday life. Maybe I didn't realize how tiny this guy's gonna be.
Not only do I have a kritter keeper, but I have a medium KK. It's: Length-9", Width-6", height-6". is this too big? there was a smaller KK there, should I get that instead? What size of T is considered a pill bottle T?
As for the crickets, I may try to go into the city (Halifax, Nova Scotia, if you're curious) and find some pinheads. When is it time for the s'ling to graduate to something larger?
Please keep helping. Sorry, I'll know all of this stuff eventually.
The Rookie
 

Henry Kane

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
1,885
Hey again Rookie. I think at 1" you should be fine with the small kritter keeper. Any less than an inch though and it may still be a little risky. Also, at 1" you can probably feed it small (1/4 to 1/2 and inch) crix instead of pinheads. Those should be a little easier to find.
Oh, and there's absolutely no need to apologize for asking ANY question. Not one of us here was born knowing any of this.
Atrax:D
 
Last edited:

Botar

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Messages
1,442
I haven't got the experience of some of the people here, but I've got enough paranoia to make up for it!! I've got my one-inchers in deli dishes. I'm still a bit concerned about keeping the humidity up for them at that size. As I mentioned earlier, Gladware containers would work great. I'm with Atrax on the crickets. My one-inchers attack "small" crickets with ferocity. You just don't want to put anything in that's "too big". Also, if you put it in and the T doesn't eat it, don't leave the cricket in there. There is a chance that you're T will be the prey instead of the predator. Good luck and enjoy. I really enjoy the "little ones".

Botar
 

belewfripp

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Messages
345
S'ling Food

Paul and Botar both gave good suggestions for food. Pieces of cricket and/or smooshed crickets work well. Another option is to freeze the crickets and store them, and you can thaw them out. I generally freeze a batch and crack the frozen cricket in half and toss it in. As said before, make sure you clear any remains out within the next day, as fungus can sprout on cricket pieces awfully quick in a small, humid environment.


Adrian
 

atavuss

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
1,034
Re: Me again..

Originally posted by Rookie
Hmm..interessting points all around. How small are we talking, first of all. If I have a 1" s'ling, compare that to something I see in everyday life. Maybe I didn't realize how tiny this guy's gonna be.
Not only do I have a kritter keeper, but I have a medium KK. It's: Length-9", Width-6", height-6". is this too big? there was a smaller KK there, should I get that instead? What size of T is considered a pill bottle T?
As for the crickets, I may try to go into the city (Halifax, Nova Scotia, if you're curious) and find some pinheads. When is it time for the s'ling to graduate to something larger?
Please keep helping. Sorry, I'll know all of this stuff eventually.
The Rookie
hey Rookie, if I were you I would get the smaller kritter keeper, one can never have too many kritter keepers.....keep in mind many of us started with one tarantula and ended up with many. I would not use the tape idea, why take a chance? I cut up those clear plastic desk protectors and use them to cover the top portion of kritter keepers to keep the humidity up for those species that need it.
BTW, have you ever heard of Kysa Braswell in your neck of the woods?
Ed
 

Immortal_sin

Arachnotemptress
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 17, 2002
Messages
3,955
A short story for you Rookie:
I ordered my first sling, an E campestratus, from Spiderpatch. She arrived in a tiny vial, and she wasn't even 1"....scared me to death!
I thought to myself, 'self, that damn vial is WAY to small for her', so I put her in a small critter keeper, with 5 tons or so of sustrate!
Well, I got up the next morning, and came in to see how my baby was doing....but I COULDN"T FIND HER! 'Oh holy hell', I thought to myself....she escaped, those holes in the kritter keeper WERE too big after all... :(
I started to tear my office apart...where was I going to find a .5" sling? I happened to look over at the kritter keeper, and guess what?! She had burrowed to the very bottom of it. (being a burrowing species, I guess that should not have surprised me like it did!)
For the next 2 molts, she was in there...I could never find her, or see how close to her next molt she was...it drove me nuts. I finally dug her up (talk about unhappy!) and put her in a deli cup!
It was much easier to keep track of her that way.
Now, all my slings are in vials....
Just my .02!
 
Top