Is my tarantula okay??

Tatantulamom

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
3
I got a new curly haired spider about a week ago and he hasn’t eaten or spun a web. I had to change his house around a few times once I did some research on how he should be housed. This is my first spider and I love him so much i want him to be happy and healthy and not stressed. Although he is very friendly and lets me hold him Hes kinda skittish which makes me concerned a little bit. He also hasn’t eaten in a week and was kinda skittish to the crickets which made me a little worried but I figured he would be approaching a molt (which would be nice to confirm a gender); I took his crickets out his cage and he has been in his cave all day I held him a lot when I got him so I gave him a break and will continue to let him settle into his new home. Any tips guys on how to make him more comfortable or things to look out for a molt?!

Here is the cage! He’s pretty big I’d say 3-5 in And he’s either 2 or 3 yrs old
 

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Sgt7212

Arachnopeon
Active Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2020
Messages
16
Ok, first congratulations on your first T!

In addition to removing the heat lamp (if that’s what the red light is), and reading the thread referenced above and other information on this forum, whenever an animal behaves differently, the first thing I always look at is husbandry (Temperature, moisture, fresh water available, appropriate substrate level, enclosure size and set up, etc...)

If your T is staying in it’s hide and disinterested/skittish of prey items (given its being offered appropriately sized prey), then it could be in premolt, but there are other factors to look at and consider. Google signs of premolt for tarantulas.

With that being said, here are a few observations.

1) That looks like a fine mesh screen lid. It should be replaced. You can search this forum or YouTube for guides on removing the screen and replacing it with plexiglass or acrylic with holes drilled for ventilation. This is for a couple reasons. A) In the event your T decides to climb, his tarsal claws (little retractable claws in their feet) could get caught in the mesh or its fangs could get caught and you could find yourself with a dangling, stressed, injured or even dead Tarantula. And B) I haven’t ever experienced it but they can apparently ”chew” through the fine mesh and escape.

2) The distance from your substrate to the top of the enclosure should be 1 - 1.5 times the Tarantula’s DLS (dynamic leg span. Think front left foot to rear right foot when legs are outstretched). This is to prevent injury in the event of a fall

3) The majority consensus among keepers is that handling is generally frowned upon. This is because there is no benefit to either the T or the keeper. Handling exposes the T to risk of injury or death from a fall and it exposes the keeper to the risk of taking a bite. Temperaments vary among individual tarantulas And from moment to moment. They don’t know that we describe a certain species as being docile and they don‘t become accustomed or acclimated to handling like lizards or snakes do. Their brains don’t work that way. In fact, I’m no expert, but I’m not sure they have true brains as we would consider it. I’ve heard it described as more of a bundle of instinctual nerves.

Hopefully, this helps and I’m sure other folks will jump in to assist you and correct me if necessary.
 

Swagg

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
132
Ok, first congratulations on your first T!

In addition to removing the heat lamp (if that’s what the red light is), and reading the thread referenced above and other information on this forum, whenever an animal behaves differently, the first thing I always look at is husbandry (Temperature, moisture, fresh water available, appropriate substrate level, enclosure size and set up, etc...)

If your T is staying in it’s hide and disinterested/skittish of prey items (given its being offered appropriately sized prey), then it could be in premolt, but there are other factors to look at and consider. Google signs of premolt for tarantulas.

With that being said, here are a few observations.

1) That looks like a fine mesh screen lid. It should be replaced. You can search this forum or YouTube for guides on removing the screen and replacing it with plexiglass or acrylic with holes drilled for ventilation. This is for a couple reasons. A) In the event your T decides to climb, his tarsal claws (little retractable claws in their feet) could get caught in the mesh or its fangs could get caught and you could find yourself with a dangling, stressed, injured or even dead Tarantula. And B) I haven’t ever experienced it but they can apparently ”chew” through the fine mesh and escape.

2) The distance from your substrate to the top of the enclosure should be 1 - 1.5 times the Tarantula’s DLS (dynamic leg span. Think front left foot to rear right foot when legs are outstretched). This is to prevent injury in the event of a fall

3) The majority consensus among keepers is that handling is generally frowned upon. This is because there is no benefit to either the T or the keeper. Handling exposes the T to risk of injury or death from a fall and it exposes the keeper to the risk of taking a bite. Temperaments vary among individual tarantulas And from moment to moment. They don’t know that we describe a certain species as being docile and they don‘t become accustomed or acclimated to handling like lizards or snakes do. Their brains don’t work that way. In fact, I’m no expert, but I’m not sure they have true brains as we would consider it. I’ve heard it described as more of a bundle of instinctual nerves.

Hopefully, this helps and I’m sure other folks will jump in to assist you and correct me if necessary.
Two things,
Diagonal leg span.
And there is no benefit to the spider from handling, this is true. But I wouldn’t go so far as there is no benefit to the keeper. People handle to get over their fear of spiders and for a bunch of other reasons. This is why most keepers generally say it is a selfish act to handle.
 

Sgt7212

Arachnopeon
Active Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2020
Messages
16
Two things,
Diagonal leg span.
And there is no benefit to the spider from handling, this is true. But I wouldn’t go so far as there is no benefit to the keeper. People handle to get over their fear of spiders and for a bunch of other reasons. This is why most keepers generally say it is a selfish act to handle.
Hahaha... I have no idea why I typed dynamic instead of diagonal. Maybe my coffee hadn't kicked in yet.

Good point about the handling benefit for keepers. I have always been an arachnophobe, yet fascinated by them. When I first got my 1.75" G. pulchra I did handle briefly when transferring her into her enclosure. I did so while keeping the T low to the ground and over a soft surface. Psychologically, it had a positive effect, but I don't handle on the regular and have no real desire to do so. I'd rather admire, study and photograph while letting them do their spidery things without disruption. Safer and better for all involved in most cases. When I want to handle a pet, I have my bearded dragon or my ball pythons that will chill with me on the couch. If that's not enough, I'll get a dog. LOL
 

Tatantulamom

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
3
So it gets super cold in my house! The heat lamp stays at a set temp is this still a bad idea? I prefer using at night because it’s awfully cold we also don’t have a heater at the moment because ours broke.
 

ColeopteraC

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
118
So it gets super cold in my house! The heat lamp stays at a set temp is this still a bad idea? I prefer using at night because it’s awfully cold we also don’t have a heater at the moment because ours broke.
How cold? If so how do you stay warmIf that is the case I’d simply recommend getting a small oil heater to use at night for there is no other solution. They are not bank breaking (some T’s are the same or a higher price) and should be thought though as a necessity. It’ll make life far easier, the T will likely die anyway with the heat lamp...
 

cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
11,316
So it gets super cold in my house! The heat lamp stays at a set temp is this still a bad idea? I prefer using at night because it’s awfully cold we also don’t have a heater at the moment because ours broke.
yes, choose a safer alternate heating method, like a space heater.
 
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