Is my new T doing okay?

Garth Vader

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Hi all,
I've had my A. anax sling for a few weeks now and like to think he's settled into his new home. As a newbie to this hobby, and a person with little to no scientific background, I'm not sure what exactly I'm observing and if the little guy is doing okay.

I wonder about the spot where I keep his enclosure. He lives in the kitchen of my therapy clinic. It's a quiet room, we make our microwave meals in here, do dishes, and I often do my paperwork at the table. There are blackout curtains, it is pretty quiet, and I have a space heater so it doesn't get below 70 degrees in the room (its usually around 75). However, there is movement around his enclosure a lot since he's near the sink and the fridge. Sometimes I see him run into his hide and sometimes he runs out when I show up. During the weekends, when he's alone for a few days, he BURROWS and I come in to dirt thrown all over, his water dish covered, and some cool tunnels. Is he happier to be burrowing? Does it matter? Do I need to worry about if he's out, in his hide, or burrowing? I'm not sure to expect that he'll show a variety of behaviors or what. I have wondered if it makes more sense to move him into a quieter area with little to no activity, especially since I'm getting a second T next month. I have a small closet in my office that I could keep them in and it would be dark and very quiet in there.

How much should I be interacting with him? I like to watch what he's up to, but does he get stressed out by me hovering near his enclosure? I sometimes open the lid to see him better, he doesn't do much when I do that, but then I wonder if I am stressing him out.

He doesn't have to "work" much, I only bring him into therapy sessions once per week (for now) during which time I keep him in his enclosure. I have been continuing to use spiders I catch in my shed and my garden for the hands on exposures.

Last, his abdomen is starting to look bald. He had a black spot on it a few weeks ago and now it is starting to look bald. Does this mean he's going to molt? He's been eating heartily whenever I feed him.

Thanks for any information on this. I've learned a lot on here and I'm very thankful.
 

SausageinaNet

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Moving them into a quiet space is always a good idea. Ts don't need any interaction and usually you should only bother them to bring food and water. That being said if you want to observe it thats fine. Just make sure there isn't much movement that could irritate it. Yes a black spot and kicking off hairs means that they are soon to molt. About the closet: I am not 100% sure if they need light at all. IMO I don't think so but you would have to do some research on that to make sure.
 

sdsnybny

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They do need a light cycle just like every animal to tract the seasons, time of day/night.
Quieter would be nice as well it would lower its possible exposure to anything that might be used to clean the kitchen area.
 

EulersK

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They do need a light cycle just like every animal to tract the seasons, time of day/night.
Quieter would be nice as well it would lower its possible exposure to anything that might be used to clean the kitchen area.
They don't need a day/night cycle. I keep my T's in a room that is nearly black for about 20 hours per day. Do they benefit from a cycle? Perhaps, but they don't absolutely need it. If I have a sick tarantula, I tend to stick it in a pitch black room and only bother it if need be.
 

Garth Vader

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There is a bit of light that comes through the crack in the doors (they are sliding doors) and I'd probably open it up sometimes to check things out. I can also keep the door partly open when I am out of the office so there's some light. The closet is far from the window so there wouldn't be any direct sunlight. I might look into moving the Ts into there. I think I've been bugging him a bit too much out of curiosity- opening his enclosure, moving him into my office for sessions, also have moved his enclosure sometimes to see what he's doing in there. I will stop doing that. I will reserve my urges to bother an animal for my dogs and my cat because they love the attention! The more I'm reading and learning, I am really getting that they just need to be left alone, only observed, and as nice as I may be, he doesn't need to have any kind of connection or affection from a human! haha.

Thanks for the point about cleaning materials, @sdsnybny - I didn't even consider that. I do sometimes use a diffuser for essential oils in my office, so he's not around that now while he's in the kitchen but would be exposed to it if he went into my office. Would that be problematic for a T?
 

cold blood

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They do need a light cycle just like every animal to tract the seasons, time of day/night.
No, they don't.

My t room is perpetually dark, I only use a small light on the floor (below the ts) so I don't trip all over the room. I use a flashlight to observe them. Ts do not require light to survive.

For a few years I had a few ts in the basement, no light in that room ever, either...yet the ts still reacted to the seasonal changes...they know.

Of course, light isn't an issue either. I find that with less light, they just spend more time out and less time hiding away, that's about the only difference in the ts life that light provides IME.
 

Garth Vader

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No, they don't.

My t room is perpetually dark, I only use a small light on the floor (below the ts) so I don't trip all over the room. I use a flashlight to observe them. Ts do not require light to survive.

For a few years I had a few ts in the basement, no light in that room ever, either...yet the ts still reacted to the seasonal changes...they know.

Of course, light isn't an issue either. I find that with less light, they just spend more time out and less time hiding away, that's about the only difference in the ts life that light provides IME.
That makes sense if their natural habitat is a hole in the ground!
 

spiderbesideher

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Sounds like my little A. anax guy! S/he has a personality. I keep my t's in a cupboard with a few holes drilled in the side for ventilation. I check on them every other day or so. So far so good.
 

Garth Vader

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Yeah! He's a busy one. (I don't know if it's actually a male!). So much moving around and remodeling the enclosure.
 

WeightedAbyss75

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Yeah! He's a busy one. (I don't know if it's actually a male!). So much moving around and remodeling the enclosure.
My G. pulchripes does the same thing :D I wouldn't worry about whether it burrows, is in the open, etc. When I asked about my first burrowing old world, people told me the T is always right. As long as it is eating/drinking, it should be fine doing whatever it wants.
 

lanny

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I was just on another forum + the light question came up, I had 50 or so different species in my garage for years OW + NW with no lights. The only time there was light is when I was feeding or checking on my T's, So I say no light is needed { it keeps your electric bill down so you could afford more T's] Lanny
 

Shrike

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Last, his abdomen is starting to look bald. He had a black spot on it a few weeks ago and now it is starting to look bald. Does this mean he's going to molt? He's been eating heartily whenever I feed him.

Thanks for any information on this. I've learned a lot on here and I'm very thankful.
Oh man...I've got some really bad news for you. What I'm going to tell you is going to hurt. Bad. Are you sitting down yet? If not, I would, because what I'm going to say will ruin your day, maybe even your entire week. You're going to be emotionally wrecked when I tell you what's happening to your tarantula, and I will get around to telling you, but first I need to make sure you're prepared. If you're sipping an alcoholic beverage stop immediately. We don't want a scene on our hands. Things are going to be ugly enough with the gallons of tears and snot that will be streaming down your face. Run through a few deep breathing exercises before reading any further. Did you do them yet? You're a liar! Step away from the computer focus on reigning in your emotions. You're probably already a inconsolable, blubbering mess and I haven't even told you what's happening yet.

A bald spot alone isn't an indication of a molt. If the bald spot begins to turn black, that's a clear indication a molt is on its way. In addition to that, the tarantula won't be eating and it may hide itself away.

OK, are you ready for the bad news? Don't worry, we'll get through this in one piece, and so will your tarantula. Here it is: your tarantula is going to look like a janky, broken down hobo tarantula until it completes its next molt. It sounds like it's well on its way to some serious, cringe inducing bad looks. And it's going to get worse before it gets better.

The good news is this is perfectly normal and your tarantula will look good as new once the molt is completed. It sounds like you're doing a great job.

;)
 

Mauri

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Generally I never keep my T's in full daylight. If I did I would make sure each had a hide.

Re my Ap.anax he/she just moulted. Took ages to moult and was skittish..i.e running off. Since moulting and like my B.Smithi this can take at least 2 weeks is eating now like a demon. Left 7 days but since then has been feisty and doesnt bolt around when I open the lid. Last time I fed took down a cricket that was pretty big. Surprised.

Oh and feeding it black crickets (fed on carrot and quaker oates ((protein)) ) seems to love them as do a lot of my t's. If you do use things like oats make sure you check they are safe. (I guess there's no way to be sure but all my inverts doing great n healthy).

Def have to be gentle though or it will spook.

No signs of burrowing whatsoever....perhaps it doesnt like my substrate. Will see next rehouse...it has 1-2 moults to go.

p.s might take a pic later he/she is looking good (fat i'd say).
 

Vanessa

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I have half my tarantulas in the dining room inside a glass door unit. I have the other half in my linen closet temporarily. So, half of mine get light (not direct sunlight) all day long and the other half don't. I have not seen any difference in their behaviour. The juveniles and adults are all pretty much out and about in both groups. Half of the spiderlings who are in the glass unit getting a day/night cycle have burrowed and the other half have not.
I, personally, see no difference in the behaviour of my day/night cycle group versus my pretty much always dark group. Both groups are exhibiting the same behaviour. Sometimes they are active and sometimes they aren't. Except for half the spiderlings, and my C. elegans, none of them have burrowed or looked as if they are trying to escape the light.
This weekend I will be doing a DIY project that will result in the ones in the linen closet being out where they will also get a day/night cycle and I am not concerned. I will certainly update this if I feel that they are stressed out by all of a sudden having a day/night cycle.
Also, I don't have any species who are considered light sensitive. Some species definitely are and would probably benefit from being left primarily in the dark. I don't believe that Aphonopelma species are one of those, but I am sure I will be corrected if I am wrong.
 

Garth Vader

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Okay so last questions-
If he's going to molt sometime soon (maybe) should I keep feeding him? My assumption is if he doesn't wanna eat then he won't and I'll take the cricket out after 24 hours. Please let me know if I'm wrong.

Also can Ts be around essential oils? I used a diffuser in my office, about 10 feet from the closet where I will move the Ts. I tried to look this up and couldn't find definitive info, but that sprays are an absolute no-no. I do not get the oil on my hands and wear gloves when I go into the enclosure. I like the diffuser because it smells good and my clients enjoy it. I don't have to use it.
 

WeightedAbyss75

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Okay so last questions-
If he's going to molt sometime soon (maybe) should I keep feeding him? My assumption is if he doesn't wanna eat then he won't and I'll take the cricket out after 24 hours. Please let me know if I'm wrong.

Also can Ts be around essential oils? I used a diffuser in my office, about 10 feet from the closet where I will move the Ts. I tried to look this up and couldn't find definitive info, but that sprays are an absolute no-no. I do not get the oil on my hands and wear gloves when I go into the enclosure. I like the diffuser because it smells good and my clients enjoy it. I don't have to use it.
If you think your T is going to molt (hasn't eaten for a few weeks), then taking the prey out after 24 hours will probably work too. Also, not sure about essential oils.
 

Trenor

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If he's going to molt sometime soon (maybe) should I keep feeding him? My assumption is if he doesn't wanna eat then he won't and I'll take the cricket out after 24 hours. Please let me know if I'm wrong.
I'd feed it as long as it will eat. Once they start consistently refusing and their abdomen is nice and plump I let them go until they molt. Make sure they have fresh water.
Also can Ts be around essential oils? I used a diffuser in my office, about 10 feet from the closet where I will move the Ts. I tried to look this up and couldn't find definitive info, but that sprays are an absolute no-no. I do not get the oil on my hands and wear gloves when I go into the enclosure. I like the diffuser because it smells good and my clients enjoy it. I don't have to use it.
I'm not sure about this.
 

Mauri

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IMG_20160713_192715424[1].jpg I wouldnt use oils myself and i'd want some fresh air at some point where you are...n quiet and not overly bright.

p.s I wouldnt leave livefood in for 24hrs. Perhaps half a day. If in doubt leave pre-killed in and remove after a few hrs. If the T is hungry it will have a munch. I found with my anax after I tried a few times over say a week or so then it's def pre-moult and I just left him/her. (think it was 2-3 weeks in pre-moult).

Make sure the water dish is full and I add a bit of extra moisture by pipetting a few drops of water in every 4 days or so. (leave a dry route to the water dish).

Ofc course dont open/disturb if they are moulting. If you cant see the Anax I wouldnt disturb. I leave mine a day or so after moulting then I perhaps drop in a bit of extra moisture. Not much mind you...(whether this is worth it is def up for debate).

noticed actually for some reason my subs isnt a soft as it should be (yeah found it was all a bit course and stringy..odd none of my other enclosures are like this). Perhaps why it isnt burrowing. Will also improve it's hide situation. Def needs to go on a diet...but that last cricket was a whopper for it's size.

Actually rehoused it. Gave it some nice soft substrate to burrow in. With an abdomen like this am going to leave at least a week before feeding.
 
Last edited:

Octagon

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Okay so last questions-
If he's going to molt sometime soon (maybe) should I keep feeding him? My assumption is if he doesn't wanna eat then he won't and I'll take the cricket out after 24 hours. Please let me know if I'm wrong.

Also can Ts be around essential oils? I used a diffuser in my office, about 10 feet from the closet where I will move the Ts. I tried to look this up and couldn't find definitive info, but that sprays are an absolute no-no. I do not get the oil on my hands and wear gloves when I go into the enclosure. I like the diffuser because it smells good and my clients enjoy it. I don't have to use it.
I am a tarantula newbie compared to everyone else answering your questions here, but I do have some knowledge of essential oils from working with them in cosmetology and if I may say so, my instinct would be not to use them around T's. I have learned on this forum that spraying chemicals around T's can be dangerous to them, and essential oils are also chemicals, albeit of natural origin. And although you are diffusing the essential oils rather than spraying them, they are still vapourized.

Furthermore, many essential oils, especially when they are of high quality, i.e. very pure, have a remarkable ability to penetrate human skin (which makes them very desirable in skin care products, where they act as carriers to aid the penetration of other ingredients and to stimulate microcirculation.) Also, they can travel fast within the body. I recall a demonstration I attended where to demonstrate their potency, it was shown that after inhaling a certain oil, you would also actually taste it within a few seconds.

Obviously the human body is different from the T body. But it would not be unreasonable to suppose there could be a susceptibility in T's as well, through their skin or lungs. Whether a particular oil would be damaging or not it is impossible to know but I would not risk it.
 
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