Just got my first ever tarantula, a baby King Baboon! Need suggestions.....

cchardwick

Arachnopeon
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Oct 13, 2010
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I just bought my first ever tarantula and it's a 1.5 inch King Baboon! I need some help, I'm really confused about heating and humidity. I've read posts that say to heat the tank and keep it humid, and others that say it's a waste of time. Which is it? I assume it's species specific, and for this tarantula I'm guessing it's tropical? Right now I have him in a 5.5 gallon Critter Cage, like a small glass aquarium with a sliding screen top that locks with a padlock. I first had bark chips on the bottom and he dove in and hid for several days, so I changed it out with coconut fiber, which is like a finely ground up peat moss, and I keep it moist. I also have a heat pad on the side of the tank, one for reptiles and I spray the substrate with water. I also keep a styrofoam cover on it. Ever since I changed over to the coconut fiber he crawled up to the top of the tank and balled up in the corner above the heater. The guy I bought him from said he kept it in a heated cabinet at 82 - 88 degrees, I'm guessing he is heading to the top of the tank because it's warmer? The heat pad on the side of the tank isn't very effective, I'm wondering if I should get a different kind of heater, perahps heat it from the bottom? The heat pad I bought said it wasn't recommended for tank bottom placement without tank risers to get air circulation under the tank and a special protective mat on the inside of the tank to keep reptiles from getting burned, etc. etc.. Any suggestions on heating / tank setup / humiditiy / etc...????????? I've had him for about a week and he hasn't eaten anything yet, he doesn't seem very happy. Too cold maybe?
 
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nolan

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Sep 26, 2010
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Well being new to the hobby myself i don't have alot of knowledge but from research i've done i can say no heat pad on the bottom they are burrowing spiders and a heater on bottom will roast them and secondly king baboons are very hardy and can be fine with a wide range of temps so room temp is fine unless excessivly cold then i would use a 75 watt red night lamp and keeping humidity 60 or above which is easy if you spray it once in awhile
 

Death999

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Dec 14, 2009
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wow

A Pelinobius Muticus(spelling could be off) for your first T

I'm usually an advocate for giving T's more space than most but 5.5 gal for a 1.5 incher is a bit much, even 2.5 gal would be big. King Baboons grow quite slowly.

keep the substrate you have now, wood chips should never be used for any T
He is probably climbing away from the substrate because you changed it to something different give him a week or 2 to get used to it. Also make sure the sub is deep so he can burrow.

The heat pad on the side of the tank is exactly right never put it on the bottom because in nature the temperature drops the deeper you dig into the earth, so having heat on the bottom both confuses and harms them.

To keep humidity up don't mist just pour some warm water into the corners of the substrate just don't make it muddy, it should look a little damp and seeing condensation is a good thing just don't over do it or you'll attract mold

other than that KB's are awesome T's (I don't have one but I've done my research) they can be quite temperamental so don't plan on holding or playing with this T their venom is stronger than most because its an Old World T. Be happy you don't have to deal with urticating hairs at least

hope I helped~~~
 

GForce14063

Arachnobaron
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May 24, 2004
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I have 5 of these that I raised from slings they like it dry they love to burrow and room temps are fine with this species. I use for substrate a combination of 60% peatmoss that I strain through a metal grate and 40% vermiculite humidity at 75 to 80% when slings water dish when 3" or better with this species.
Have fun with your new spider but it is recommended not for beginners. I recommand googling this species for more information.
Also the tank is too large for the size of the spider get yourself a large deli cup fill with substrate.

Here a website with a caresheet http://www.petbugs.com/caresheets/C-crawshayi.html
 
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BigJ999

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Sep 1, 2010
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They are great T's mine is pretty defensive and only comes out at night to hunt and modify. Her burrow most of the time but they are great T's but very slow growing T's and their venom is pretty strong.
 
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DrJ

Arachnobaron
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Jan 11, 2008
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I have owned several king baboons. They are my favourite species!

What these other guys have said is spot on. However, I wanted to point out a couple of misconceptions.

1. Aggressive. Wrong. Any old world T I've owned has never been aggressive. Maybe defensive in the case of a couple P. murinus, but that's it. If you want aggression, look to new world species. My king baboons would let me work in their cages all day. Half of them tolerated handling well, the others would let you know they didn't like being touched. With that said, none offered to bite.

2. Potent venom. This issue is more "take it or leave it". Venom is venom. A bite from one of these guys is no more potent than what a Brachy could give you. However, the kicker is that these guys can get up to 9" in size...death of most prey items comes in the form of brute force and piercing 1/2" fangs. So, no, getting bit is not fun. It will hurt! But, it is nothing to be overly concerned about.
 
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haasdas

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Aug 6, 2010
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Congrats on your first T!!!! These guys are quite cool dont have one but they are on my list!

+1 to DrJ. And as you say that you have already changed the substrate I would say you are of to a good start.

Also if he looks nice and fat I wouldn't worry to much about not eating he might be in premolt. Put in a cric at night and take it out in the morning if he doesn't eat. Do this once a week until he eats or he has molted.

If he molts give him 5 days to harden up before you feed him.
 

cchardwick

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Why do people say not to keep a small spider in a big tank? Is it becaues he gets lost and you can't find him, or perhaps because he can't find the crickets? Putting tarantulas in stacked plastic containers drives me crazy. I think the tank and setup is half the beauty (or should be). Besides, once he starts walking around and up and down the glass the 5.5 gallon tank doesn't seem so big anymore.

Also, my 1.5" King Baboon hasn't eaten since I got him, but he does look pretty fat and healthy for his size. At what point should I worry about him not eating?
 

Chris_Skeleton

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Why do people say not to keep a small spider in a big tank? Is it becaues he gets lost and you can't find him, or perhaps because he can't find the crickets? Putting tarantulas in stacked plastic containers drives me crazy. I think the tank and setup is half the beauty (or should be). Besides, once he starts walking around and up and down the glass the 5.5 gallon tank doesn't seem so big anymore.

Also, my 1.5" King Baboon hasn't eaten since I got him, but he does look pretty fat and healthy for his size. At what point should I worry about him not eating?
As you stated
1. Gets lost
2. Can't find the crickets.

Housing it properly is more important than what is aesthetically pleasing to you.

Good luck
 

rbailey1010

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Apr 11, 2010
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As anyone will tell you, you will need at least 4-5 inches of substrate as these guys are obligate burrowers and do best with that.....They are not tropical at all and come from arid regions of Kenya.......

The reason why everyone is saying to stay away from a larger enclosure is two fold....

1. Since these guys are burrowers, they are used to close quarters and stay in the burrows for long periods of time - coming out at night to hunt and to excavate more. So a larger aquarium with all that floorspace is kind of a waste for a 1.5 inch sling. If you insist on having one an enclosure that big....you'll need to give it the recommended amount of substrate so it can do what it does best and burrow....

2. Since tarantulas do not have very good eye sight and depend more on their sense of "touch" so to speak, having a bigger enclosure is a waste and people have reported their tarantulas wandering aimlessly. Its also hard for them to naturally hunt for food for this reason to as a cricket might stay on the opposite side of the enclosure.

Use the search function to find great info on King Baboon husbandry. I've got my 3inch juvi in a tall 32 oz deli cup with the substrate 3/4 of the up and its doing great.
 

DrJ

Arachnobaron
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Honestly, there is no such thing as going "too big". The only problem would be finding/catching food, which is easily solved by encouraging prey items in the T's direction. Going big may also result in tall sides. KBs are burrowers, so resolve the issue with deeper substrate.

People have been known to keep adult females in 75 gallon aquariums. So, don't be shy!
 

sean-820

Arachnobaron
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In an insulated house a t should be fine at room temp (as long as its comfortable for you the t is fine). Additional heat could be ok to help it grow a bit faster but its not really needed. From what i hear substrate should be farily dry so additional heat wont be drying out the substrate too much.

For substrate i would probably do like 4-6" of just subtrate and do no deco or anything for a bit. Its alot easier to check on juvies when you can know where they are so if your adding fake plants, wood or whatever it will probably be harder to find the t and will give food places to hide and make the tank harder to clean.
 

LV-426

Arachnobaron
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To the OP: congrats on beginning your new hobby. i myself just got my first 2 Ts on wenesday: a N. chromatus and a P. cancerides. the question I want to ask is did you do your research before you acccquiered your king baboon. I myself did 2 months of reasearch online, bought the books The Tarantula keepers guide and Tarantulas and other arachnids. I know its cool to get a bad mama jama as your 1st T but u gotta do your due dilligence before jumping in head first.
 

rbailey1010

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Apr 11, 2010
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Agreed, but at least OP is asking questions and wanting to learn - I agree that buying the Tarantula Keeper's Guide would be next on my list if I was that person. I still refer back to that book when I have questions.......
 

cchardwick

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Oct 13, 2010
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I did research a copule weeks and decided on the King because he is unique and not your run of the mill tarantula. Plus it seems that the King Baboon has a certain loyal following not found with other species.

So I'm wondering, people are saying the King is an arid species. Should I keep styrofoam on the top and keep it so humid that condensation is on the glass? Or should I take off the styrofoam and keep the screen top on it and let it dry out a bit so the glass walls are clear?
 

LV-426

Arachnobaron
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Sep 26, 2010
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Agreed, but at least OP is asking questions and wanting to learn - I agree that buying the Tarantula Keeper's Guide would be next on my list if I was that person. I still refer back to that book when I have questions.......
its a great book. i know from first hand experince when u buy something that u have no idea how to care for it. in my younger days i got some iguanas and moniter lizards then come to find out they needed to eat like almost everyday and the moniters had bad attitudes. at 1st i thought it was cool to have them but after a while i realized lizards are not for me. It is good that there is an arachnoboards that can help out people in need, just make sure u do the proper research before buying anything that u dont have much knowledge about. remember u taking on the responsibility of another animal's life and u want to give it the best care u can possibly give it.
 

LV-426

Arachnobaron
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Sep 26, 2010
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also being new to the hobby I wanted to get something 3''inches or bigger. for me a tiny baby seems like there is more chance for it to die. hopefully one of these days i will get my own king baboon:D
 
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