Just finished reading The Tarantula Keeper's Guide...

Socfroggy

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I've read on here that some of the info in the book is outdated. What do I need to know??
 

Jason B

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Its been a while since I read the book, but I'm pretty sure it mentions humidity being a requirement for Avics. If it does unlearn that part of the book for sure. In the past it was thought Avics needed high humidity and that low humidity a primary cause of death. In reality it was just stuffy cages and poor ventilation Avic husbandry has been well covered on these boards. Put ventilation is the most important, good cross ventilation..

I think the worse thing the book mentions is the uce of icu, people tend to think any spider thats not doing well should be put in an icu when in reality there are alot of species icus just cause them more stress. Icus don't really accomplish anything that you can't better achieve in other ways. For a really dehydrated T it may do some good, but dropping water onto their fangs is better.

So many threads start out something is wrong with my T so i put him in a icu. Then the first page is filled with responses telling them to get them out of the icu cause most beginner Ts like it dry so the icu just adds to a bad situation.

There could be more, but those are two of the main ones... I mean there is alot of good in that book as well. just remember in general the information on this forum is greater then the information in that book.
 

Socfroggy

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Yeah, though my time on here I can tell that an ICU usually just adds stress and that cross-ventilation is crucial for arboreals.
 

sasker

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I was thinking about buying this book, but I decided not to. So far, all information I needed I could find on AB, all proven techniques, thoroughly discussed with first hand experiences, constantly updated, enhanced and improved. And the best thing: it's for free ;)
 

Socfroggy

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I was thinking about buying this book, but I decided not to. So far, all information I needed I could find on AB, all proven techniques, thoroughly discussed with first hand experiences, constantly updated, enhanced and improved. And the best thing: it's for free ;)
I see what you mean, I've ran into slot of the same or better info on this site but I like the offline reference.
 

Jason B

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I was thinking about buying this book, but I decided not to. So far, all information I needed I could find on AB, all proven techniques, thoroughly discussed with first hand experiences, constantly updated, enhanced and improved. And the best thing: it's for free ;)
I bought it read it from front to back don't regret it for sure. I've kept it I like the book, sometimes i just enjoy skimming it. Not any time recently.. But at the same time if I had a question, I would google it and click thread on this site that came up, maybe try a few more, then ask the question here and most likely get a direct answer. to my question.

Then theres stuff like the discovery of T. Stirmi that didn't happen until after this book had been released, this was significant not just because T. Stirmi was new to science but because we already had them in the hobby. Not only were they in the hobby but they were being sold as T. Blondi. T. blondi isn't the easiest to breed to begin with, and when you add in an increased amount of pairing failings cause the chances were one of the Ts was most likely a T. Stirmi.
 

BishopiMaster

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I was thinking about buying this book, but I decided not to. So far, all information I needed I could find on AB, all proven techniques, thoroughly discussed with first hand experiences, constantly updated, enhanced and improved. And the best thing: it's for free ;)
Thats a terribly inaccurate statement, there is good information on AB, there is also tons of conflicting viewpoints, stans book provides centralized info, his explanations on humidity for instance are excellent. There are a lot of things in that book that are downright hard to find, but can be found.
 

boina

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I read the book front to back and I really, really, really liked the general explanations about temps, humidity etc. etc.

However:
- I blame the TKG for the wide spred mite phobia. His take on mites is about as wrong as it gets.
- I don't agree with his minimalistic setups for spiders - I like to give my spiders the comfort of more substrate and a hide
- The dangers of ICUs have already been covered.
- A few details about breeding and instar counting are wrong, but nothing major.

Edit: And I don't like his way of handling either, but that's personal preference.
 

sasker

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Thats a terribly inaccurate statement, there is good information on AB, there is also tons of conflicting viewpoints, stans book provides centralized info, his explanations on humidity for instance are excellent. There are a lot of things in that book that are downright hard to find, but can be found.
As with most of your provocative statements, you probably want to start a heated debate. Well, @BishopiMaster, I am not falling for that ;) I just stated my opinion, not a fact. So there is nothing 'terribly inaccurate' about it.

However, I do agree with you that some viewpoints on AB are conflicting, so one needs a certain degree of common sense to sift through the information, but this goes for any source of information on any topic. I don't think at all that The Tarantula Keeper's Guide is a bad book, but written words can become outdated (such as the use of ICU's, the care of Avic slings, scientific names, etc.).

I much rather hear directly from someone who successfully raised a certain species how to care for this species, especially if other experienced keepers chime in and support this approach. I am yet to come across a situation that has not been discussed on this forum, and I can always start a thread on this forum if such a situation occurs, knowing that I will receive almost immediate help from the members of AB.

Perhaps I will buy the book one day. I am just not in a hurry.
 

BishopiMaster

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As with most of your provocative statements, you probably want to start a heated debate. Well, @BishopiMaster, I am not falling for that ;) I just stated my opinion, not a fact. So there is nothing 'terribly inaccurate' about it.

However, I do agree with you that some viewpoints on AB are conflicting, so one needs a certain degree of common sense to sift through the information, but this goes for any source of information on any topic. I don't think at all that The Tarantula Keeper's Guide is a bad book, but written words can become outdated (such as the use of ICU's, the care of Avic slings, scientific names, etc.).

I much rather hear directly from someone who successfully raised a certain species how to care for this species, especially if other experienced keepers chime in and support this approach. I am yet to come across a situation that has not been discussed on this forum, and I can always start a thread on this forum if such a situation occurs, knowing that I will receive almost immediate help from the members of AB.

Perhaps I will buy the book one day. I am just not in a hurry.
Absolutely it was an inaccurate statement, you painted AB as if it was an absolute source of knowledge, with no mention of cons such as "constantly updated,enhanced and improved." I'll give you an example, I use Linux on my computer, it's open source, constantly updated, enhanced, and improved, and the way you describe AB with this rigidity and scalability is betraying of reality. You stated your opinion, not a fact, but your opinions have an affect, especially when you make false comparisons on a book that is not wrought with, as you say, heated debates.

@boina,

I completely agree with you about the substrate and hide part, i remember
there is a part where hes got this bare bones cage, and a water dish, and the underline is "but the tarantula doesnt seem to care". I believe that more substrate and, if terrestrial/burrowing, a burrow offers more regulation ability with regards to temperature and humidity. I've never had much of an issue with mites, so i cant speak here, but i am curious, what was wrong with his mite explanations?
 

Nixphat

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There is a 4th edition in the works (at least, since 2013 -- I imagine it's still in the works at least), so there is that. I think it will be interesting to see the differences between the 3rd and 4th edition. It seems there is always something new being discovered about tarantulas, so it's good to keep an eye out for updated information :)
 

boina

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Absolutely it was an inaccurate statement, you painted AB as if it was an absolute source of knowledge, with no mention of cons such as "constantly updated,enhanced and improved." I'll give you an example, I use Linux on my computer, it's open source, constantly updated, enhanced, and improved, and the way you describe AB with this rigidity and scalability is betraying of reality. You stated your opinion, not a fact, but your opinions have an affect, especially when you make false comparisons on a book that is not wrought with, as you say, heated debates.

@boina,

I completely agree with you about the substrate and hide part, i remember
there is a part where hes got this bare bones cage, and a water dish, and the underline is "but the tarantula doesnt seem to care". I believe that more substrate and, if terrestrial/burrowing, a burrow offers more regulation ability with regards to temperature and humidity. I've never had much of an issue with mites, so i cant speak here, but i am curious, what was wrong with his mite explanations?
Most mites are helpful scavengers that do the same job as springtails. They only pose a problem when they take over the enclosure. Parasitic mites are extremely rare and are only a threat to weak/sick tarantulas. http://www.reptileforums.co.uk/forums/spiders-inverts/388524-guide-mites.html
 

Venom1080

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Thats a terribly inaccurate statement, there is good information on AB, there is also tons of conflicting viewpoints, stans book provides centralized info, his explanations on humidity for instance are excellent. There are a lot of things in that book that are downright hard to find, but can be found.
i have to disagree with that.
he keeps humid species as dry as he can get away with. this may work for someone very experienced but not at all for beginners. this is a guy who kept 90% arid species. he doesnt have nearly as much experience with tropical spiders and OWs. Stans book is good for giving beginners a good taste of husbandry and some anatomy info for those that read it. it gives the reader an idea of whats out there in the hobby. he does give the impression of Theraphosa and Ephebopus being swamp dwellers, something we still correct people on today.
AB is the ultimate source of info, and as with any new hobby, the knowledge is growing by the day.
 

BishopiMaster

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i have to disagree with that.
he keeps humid species as dry as he can get away with. this may work for someone very experienced but not at all for beginners. this is a guy who kept 90% arid species. he doesnt have nearly as much experience with tropical spiders and OWs. Stans book is good for giving beginners a good taste of husbandry and some anatomy info for those that read it. it gives the reader an idea of whats out there in the hobby. he does give the impression of Theraphosa and Ephebopus being swamp dwellers, something we still correct people on today.
AB is the ultimate source of info, and as with any new hobby, the knowledge is growing by the day.
This flies in the face of everything i have read on AB, anytime you go on here asking anything about humidity, people sing "dry with a water dish". That has been my experience, i see that very strongly adhered to and i dont see the difference with what stan is advocating.

He only recommends keeping them drier after the sling stage is past. The swampdeller thing is just a name, man, here is what he actually says.

TKG, 2nd edition, pg 245, top left paragraph:

"The substrate (presumed to be peat; see the discussion under "Substrates" on page 135 for more information) should be damp enough to hold its shape after being squeezed in the hand, but dry enough that no liquid water can be squeezed from it. "

This would mean that stan is NOT suggesting we keep T. Blondi in standing water, as per the name "Swamp Dweller" would suggest. This seems perfectly reasonable to me, the devil is in the details, boys.
 

Jason B

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The Obligate burrowers shows represenatives of H. lividum and P. muticus and that of the time of the writing of the book and that the others did not know of any other species that were obligated burrowers. Then 2 pages later they H. gigas and E. murinus as swamp dwellers when they are both fossorial. I wouldn't even attempt to count the amount of fossorials that are in the hobby now. Even back when I was new I knew more then 2 types of fossorials. Including the obts he stuck in the arid section who also prefer to burrow, sure they can adapt to other situations. But given the chance they will burrow.

The first paragraph in swamp dwellers reads" Because these tarantulas require an excessive amount of dampness, their cages should be water tight to avoid leaking, aquariums are ideal." This just gives the wrong impression that they need to keep more wetter then they do. Not to mention I would avoid aquariums whenever possible, as they don't provide cross ventilation. I've used them with success back when I was new cause I had half a dozen lying around, there are better options and I wouldn't list them as ideal.

On pages 249 and 253 he shows two arboreal containers neither one of them provide cross ventilation, not to mention the one on 249 is just an aqaurium on the side with no substrate and he mentions it good for avics. Its not unheard of for an avic to fall out of there web hammocks while molting, in this enclosure that would likely lead to a dead avic where a layer of sub and a smaller water dished glued to the side of the enclosure may prevent said death. The one on 253 with more ventilation added would be ok for avics and their cousins but putting a psalm or a pokie in an upside-down enclosure is just asking for trouble, they don't run up when startled like avics they run down and possibly out in this enclosure.

Just like these boards there is often good information and bad information mixed together in this book. I pulled mine out to give some examples of some of the bad. I'm also not planning on getting rid of it any time soon, because there is good stuff in there.
 

Venom1080

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This flies in the face of everything i have read on AB, anytime you go on here asking anything about humidity, people sing "dry with a water dish". That has been my experience, i see that very strongly adhered to and i dont see the difference with what stan is advocating.

He only recommends keeping them drier after the sling stage is past. The swampdeller thing is just a name, man, here is what he actually says.

TKG, 2nd edition, pg 245, top left paragraph:

"The substrate (presumed to be peat; see the discussion under "Substrates" on page 135 for more information) should be damp enough to hold its shape after being squeezed in the hand, but dry enough that no liquid water can be squeezed from it. "

This would mean that stan is NOT suggesting we keep T. Blondi in standing water, as per the name "Swamp Dweller" would suggest. This seems perfectly reasonable to me, the devil is in the details, boys.
Yes, beginner species all require dry sub and water dish. ;)
Humidity varies from species to species as I'm sure you know.
Keeping them drier once past the sling stage? That works for beginner spiders. Not for everything. Where does he say that?
The substrate moisture level you described is too damp for beginner species.
He calls them swamp dwellers. He obviously doesn't explain himself well enough if we have to answer questions on this on AB time to time.
Regardless, it's a good starting point for beginners. Just needs some heavy updating.
 

BishopiMaster

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Yes, beginner species all require dry sub and water dish. ;)
Humidity varies from species to species as I'm sure you know.
Keeping them drier once past the sling stage? That works for beginner spiders. Not for everything. Where does he say that?
The substrate moisture level you described is too damp for beginner species.
He calls them swamp dwellers. He obviously doesn't explain himself well enough if we have to answer questions on this on AB time to time.
Regardless, it's a good starting point for beginners. Just needs some heavy updating.
What do you mean beginner species? He's specifying theraphosa blondi, he explains himself fine if you actually read the book, ok here we go.

"Humidity varies from species to species as I'm sure you know. "

Chapter Eight, Five Paths to Nirvana, subsection: The Arid Species, pg. 240, "Water/Humidity"

"Virtually all members of this group are more or less sensitive to excessive humidity or wetness in their cages. For none of these should the substrate be kept damp, and misting or spraying is definitely to be avoided. The only two sources of water that these tarantulas require are their food and the water dish.

Chapter Eight, Five Paths to Nirvana, subsection: The Obligate Burrowers, pg. 242. "Water/Humidity"

"These tarantulas pose a special problem with supplying water because many of them seem to take great delight in burying their water dishes. Thus, drinking water is almost always unavailable.
Neither of the two tarantulas mentioned here seems to require excessive humidity or a damp cage because quite a number of enthusiasts have kept them successfully as arid setups. As a result these authors have resorted to merely dumping one-fourth to one-third cup of room temperature tap water into their burrows every 2 weeks. For a few minutes, until the water is absorbed by the substrate, they have an opportunity to drink. For a few days thereafter, the damp substrate maintains a higher-than-ambient humidity in the burrow, serving to retard water loss from the tarantula.

I've already covered the swamp dwellers section

Chapter Eight, Five Paths to Nirvana, subsection: The Arboreal Species, pg. 250. "Water/Humidity"

"These tarantulas are said to do best with both high humidity and good ventilation."


As for, where does he mention moving them to drier conditions past sling stage

Chapter Eight, Five Paths to Nirvana, subsection: The Babies, pg. 255. "Water/Humidity"

"As the tarantula approaches one-fourth to one-third it's adult size. It's substrate should gradually be allowed to dry out. By the time it is one-third grown, most tarantulas may be kept in the same manner as the adults of their kind."

Hmm, sounds like he isn't referring to keeping everything exactly the same, nor is Theraphosa Blondi, the species in question as per swamp dweller, a beginner species. It's also clear the book illustrates varying needs of humidity for different species.

As for Jason B's post above,

The first paragraph in swamp dwellers reads" Because these tarantulas require an excessive amount of dampness, their cages should be water tight to avoid leaking, aquariums are ideal." This just gives the wrong impression that they need to keep more wetter then they do.

-This is sort of a misrepresentation on your part, if you read past, you will see the specifications on humidity that I have outlined above, you only need read 1 or 2 pages past, in fact that sentence doesn't even say, "we need to keep t. blondi and other "swamp dwellers" in standing water conditions".

EDIT, NOTE: Please note that the quotes specified were for the 2nd edition of TKG.
 
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