In 1998 I purchased 4 newly emerged T. blondi slings. Several months later, they had molted several times, grown alot, and were generally doing great.
"What's the big deal?" I sez to myself "these guys are easy".
Then, one dies while molting.
"Bummer, but it happens. There's a percentage that never make it to adulthood. Oh well, I'll up the humidity on the remaining 3."
Then, the second one dies, also while molting.
"Uh-oh, this is trickier than I thought, I better work on the set ups for the two that are left." I then move them to bigger digs, with deeper substrate, which I moisten by pouring water onto the substrate (Peat and verm). These do fine for, for awhile, molting again. Then, about 3 days after the molt...
Blondi #3 is dead, for no aparent reason. No sign of bleeding or other injury. Just dead.
Blondi #4 did survive to adulthood, but in accordinance with Murphy's law, he was a male. He was shipped off to John Hoek, where he failed to pass on his genes, but apparently did get some sex. Ah, well.
1 out of 4 is not a great track record, so I'm no "blondi master" myself. However, I have raised many, many other T's to adulthood with very few deaths, but this was very frustrating and heartbreaking. I will not be purchasing any more slings of this species in the near future, although I would consider an adult.
I do wonder if all the problems are really humidity related. Mine were quite moist. I often wonder if other factors are at play, such as soil ph for example (peat is very acidic). Comparing notes here is one way we will unravel the myteries of this species. For those of you have raised them to adulthood with no problems, lets here the details.
Wade brings up an interesting point, based on experience (not rumors... from a book which was published years ago, and other sources). I do think Sam Marshall's book is better then Schultz. It doesn't contain as much information, but none-the-less I think it is better organized and more clear, with much more information on individual species. That's just my opinion.
My T. blondi is doing great. It's a little bigger then 4 inches now, grown from a spiderling. It lives in a large pet pal enclosure, with premoistened peat/vermiculite. It hides under some fake leaves I've put in the enclosure. The ventilation is sealed 2/3rds of the way up, and misted lightly daily to prevent drying out. No water dish yet, but I was thinking of adding one. Humidity is not a problem though. I think I need to raise the temps, but generally I keep it at 80... with occasional drops to 77-78, and flirts with 85. Never had a molting problem, in fact they molt quite fast! Mine is fat, healthy, and eats a lot, just as it should. It is in premolt right now, possibly on it's way to 5 inches!! If anything kills them, I still think it's a lack of ventilation, or too humid of enclosures. It sounds like people overcompensate sometimes. But I do like the towel idea, I am going to give it a try.
I do intend on buying a couple more, and gaining more "personal" experience like others say I don't have just to prove my point.
First off,, i dont know what it is that im doing right other than mine are all raised on sypress mulch coverd by peatmoss mix and then by moss from outside that i soak for hours in hot boiling water to kill all bugs excetra,, and then all is wetted down good and they have hide houses and pre made burrows. they are not kept at any certian temps other than room temp. they get misted once in awhile and there water dishes are always filled. they get feed as much as i can give and also have a light on them for only few hours a day. I do not have there tops coverd nor do i keep the humidity up. For some reason i have no probs with them,, they molt ok and are doing very well as i did have weaponX over here and he saw everything. He even saw how dry i keep the cages.. all are fat and healthy.. I dont know how to explain it other than i must have a green thumb when it comes to the Ts.. :? =D
"First off,, i dont know what it is that im doing right other than mine are all raised on sypress mulch coverd by peatmoss mix and then by moss from outside that i soak for hours in hot boiling water to kill all bugs excetra"
I don't know what cypress mulch is, but it doesn't sound bad. As for boiling it, you really don't need too. Soil and peat itself is more sterile then you'd think it is, it so happens that the bacteria in soil prevents explosions of worse bacteria from forming (Sam Marshall, Tarantulas and Other Arachnids). Besides, I believe peat is normally steam treated before it gets in the bag, I could be wrong.
"and then all is wetted down good and they have hide houses and pre made burrows. they are not kept at any certian temps other than room temp. they get misted once in awhile and there water dishes are always filled. they get feed as much as i can give and also have a light on them for only few hours a day"
The light is ok, but not nessisary , but it is good you are turning it off for a greater duration of the day. Sounds good.
"For some reason i have no probs with them,, they molt ok and are doing very well as i did have weaponX over here and he saw everything. He even saw how dry i keep the cages.. all are fat and healthy.. I dont know how to explain it other than i must have a green thumb when it comes to the Ts.."
Well, that brings me to my theory of feeding them a lot to suppliment moisture... as a well fed spider in a dry tank is far better off then a not-well-fed spider in a wet one. But that is just my theory. I wouldn't jump to conclusions about being a green thumb, but I certainly am not one to talk
What temp is room temp for your blondis? I have only kept two, for about a year, with no probs, one started as a 3 in. and the other as a 1 and a quarter incher. My spider room rarely drops below 80 degrees and frequently is higher than that. I also have two big aquariums that help to add ambient humidity to the room. I have a feeling some of that may be related to my success with this species and am curious to know if similar conditions might exist in your spider room.
My temp in the house veries from around 70 to 80 but at this time its reading 70 and the humidity is reading 72 and the barometer is reading 27% so as for the winter time yah it gets alot colder in here.. and i have huge fish tanks as well but i also have tons and tons of house plants.. almost like im in a jungle.. and still my cages are dry not wet or super humid.. Even my king baboons have no prob molting and seem to do real well along with all my others i have.. =D :?
I agree that soil and peat shouldn't need to be sterilized. In fact, neither can ever truly be sterile -- that's why they use vermiculite as a growing medium for plants whose soil/roots are destined for microbiological analysis (vermiculite, being inorganic, can be properly sterilized in an autoclave).
I would say that Bearacuda is doing the right thing in sterilizing moss, however. You never know what little critter population is hiding in there, waiting to explode into your enclosure. The same goes with wood, bark etc. that is collected from the wild. Boiling/baking/microwaving is a good precautionary measure.
no i dont boil the peatmix i have said that befour and yes all logs and stuff from outside is always cleaned and boiled good.. ;P ;P No need for microwaveing as the long boiled soak for few hours to days works wonders...;P ;P