Left with a few OWs. What action to take?

Tenevanica

Arachnodemon
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Feb 18, 2015
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I got a nice deal on Craigslist recently. $150 for six adult or juvenile Ts, a large Heterometrus spinifer, and a fire belly toad along with the enclosures they were in. The collection I bought used to belong to the son of the seller, and she didn't know what species she had beyond a few vague common names. The Ts were in deplorable setups, so I've been spending my free time the last few days cleaning up enclosures, rehousing spiders, getting them ID'd and ventrally sexed if possible. First few specimens were nice: a 6" female B. smithi, 4.5" male A. seemanni "blue", a 4" male A. rufa, and a 3.5" specimen that I think is a female LP.

The last two scare me a bit. In one of them was a large Heteroscodra maculata. I've been in the hobby for about two years now, and I've only kept new worlds. I was in the market for my first OW, but I was looking for something more like Ceratogyrus or Pterinochilus lugardi. I don't know if I'm ready for an advanced OW like an H. maculata!

Things get better still... The last enclosure looked to be a terrestrial setup. About an inch of dry coco fiber with a little webbed up hide at one end. Given these conditions, I expected a nice calm NW terrestrial. Looked inside the hide, and it's a bloody Cyriopagopus lividum.

I'm scared to even open the enclosures of those two. Both are in awful conditions: terrestrial setups, an inch or two of dry coco fiber, sponges in the water dishes. Feisty OWs in terrible stress inducing conditions sound like disasters waiting to happen. I have a guy who said he'd buy or trade for them, but he won't be available for another week. I feel bad for the poor T's too. I want to at least get them in appropriate setups, but I've never worked with OW's before. I wet down the substrate in both enclosures, removed the sponges, and filled the water dishes but I'm terrified of one getting out if I do any more maintenance than that.

My options are as follows. I could let them stay where they're at until I can sell them. As much as it pains me to see them in stress positions in unsuitable environments, I think they'll survive another week. Or, I could try to keep them. It would be a big jump, and definitely a challenge. I've kept fast semi-defensive species before, I was on the market for an OW anyway, and I know people have successful kept these species with much less experience than I have. I'm not a huge risk taker, but because I got such an awesome deal on them I'm (tentatively) tempted to make the leap to these...

I know this post was long, but I'm just looking to see any opinions or suggestions about the situation. Also, what are the two worth? The C. lividum is about 4.5-5 inches DLS. The H. maculata I didn't see all the way because it was hidden pretty well in a piece of cork bark, but I'd say it's at least 4 inches. I don't know the sex on either of them. What could I sell them for?

 

awiec

Arachnoprince
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Feb 13, 2014
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If you're that worried about it, just leave them in there, could offer them some food and water but transfers are where you have to be on your A game. They have managed just fine this far, another week won't kill them.

As for price, I'd look on the classifieds, they aren't super expensive species.
 

Rittdk01

Arachnoknight
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Oct 4, 2016
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You sound unsure of your abilities and nerve with handling them. I would sell them in a week and let the new owner rehouse them in suitable conditions.
 

Jeff23

Arachnolord
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Jul 27, 2016
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Looks like you got a nice deal. The situation with the OW's is probably something that only you can answer. If you can figure out how to rehouse the OW's safely, it would buy you some time to figure out your comfort level in working with them.

EDIT* Is there a way you can create a link between old enclosures and some new enclosures and let the tarantulas rehouse themselves?
 
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edesign

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Try the Colorado Arachnid Club group on FB, they allow FS/FT posts. I'm not big on OW pet holes and don't really want an Hmac or I'd help ya out myself. Definitely not how you want to start with OW's imo. Could turn you off of them for a long time if things went wrong. Scales'n'tails in Northglenn had a lividum about the same size for sale but I forget what the price was. You could call and ask if they have one and how much :p I think they had some Hmacs too. Or just PM Lance Lacroix, I think he's kept and sold both before and could help you out. Or Louie Morales, I think he lives over in Aurora, and the spiders for sale at SnT in Northglenn are his.
 

Tenevanica

Arachnodemon
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Feb 18, 2015
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Is there a way you can create a link between old enclosures and some new enclosures and let the tarantulas rehouse themselves?
That's not a bad idea. I might be able to set the old enclosures inside of the new ones and let them walk out. The new enclosures would have to be pretty big, but I bet I could find something.
 

Tenevanica

Arachnodemon
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Feb 18, 2015
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Or Louie Morales, I think he lives over in Aurora, and the spiders for sale at SnT in Northglenn are his.
Louie's the guy I might sell to actually. I've done business with him before. He's in Kansas at the moment, hence while I'd have to wait to sell to him.
 

Jeff23

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That's not a bad idea. I might be able to set the old enclosures inside of the new ones and let them walk out. The new enclosures would have to be pretty big, but I bet I could find something.
Before you rehouse or make a choice, I would get plenty opinions of the personalities of these T's (unless you already know about them).

I only own one OW sling so I am not good for advice on that area. I would only rehouse if you are going to try to keep them or if you think the current enclosures will lower your selling price by a lot.
 

EulersK

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Honestly man, I say keep them. People always go on about not keeping tarantulas you're scared of... there's a firm difference between fear and a healthy respect. I think you have the latter. You're not a new keeper by any means, and I think you can handle this. Take a look at this video (can someone link the user who made this on here? I forgot his name!). It is about packaging, but he's got some great tips for transfers. Basically, when you get to the point that the spider is in the soda bottle, just put the whole damn bottle into the new enclosure and take it out when the spider leaves.

These aren't the best beginner OW species, but you're not a beginner keeper. Don't be terrified of the C. lividum - once it's set up, it'll be more interested in staying safe in its hole than messing with you. As for the H. maculata... yeah, have a small feeding door. They're an angry snowflake.

Also, @Tenevanica, clear your inbox mate.
 

Avel

Arachnopeon
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Mar 20, 2017
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I'm new to all this, but why don't you cool the T down before transferring it? Or do it in the bathtub, and just leave the old enclosure in the new one.
 

cold blood

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I'm new to all this, but why don't you cool the T down before transferring it? Or do it in the bathtub, and just leave the old enclosure in the new one.
Chilling a t down can even the playing field a little for an inexperienced keeper. I chilled an OBT the first time I ever transferred one. Just don't go forgetting its in the fridge.
 

WeightedAbyss75

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Feb 22, 2014
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Tbh, a lot of people would be glad to take a T such as an H. mac (including me, hint hint wink wink ;) Been looking for one, starting to get into the African arboreals) In all honesty, they're not very difficult to work with. Just give it a bigger enclosure. I recently bought an S. cal and thought I'd have a nightmare in store. Contrary to that, it's not bad at all if you make sure to keep your distance and give it a good hide. Never had one charge out at me, just retreat into the burrow it creates. Love them, and it's really not a huge challenge to care for an African arboreal.
 

edesign

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Chilling a t down can even the playing field a little for an inexperienced keeper. I chilled an OBT the first time I ever transferred one. Just don't go forgetting its in the fridge.
I did as well. I can all but guarantee it prevented a bite to someone who got in too deep too fast once. I think I did it in one minute increments.
 

Paiige

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I think it's all a matter of what you think you're capable of. I don't have any OW Ts and I've been keeping for about 8 years, and have no interest in owning one for a while. But I've always known it's a possibility that I'll get one as a freebie someday, or maybe buy a wrongly ID'd one from Craigslist or a crappy pet store, or buy one I've never heard of before because I think it's cute and find out after. I've mentally prepared myself for that. Granted, two large badly-housed OW Ts, especially ones with particularly nasty venom and crappy attitudes as it is, are a lot different than the odd sling or juvie. There's some pretty solid advice in this thread, maybe give it a try if you're feeling ambitious.

I'd at least attempt to rehouse them if I was in your situation. If immediately I was super uncomfortable and things were looking bad, I'd walk away. But I'd definitely at least try. If it's awful, sell them. If it's not, don't. You got a great deal. Everything I've read about dealing with OW Ts stresses that you need to be calm, have a backup plan, and anticipate every possible thing that could happen. Just don't get cocky, and have some respect for the spider, and it will be fine. Maybe everything will go awesome and OW Ts will be your next love and and you'll get to come back here and say "I DID IT!"
 

viper69

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I put my G. pulchripes in the freezer for at least an hour, if it gets too cold, a quick microwave zapping will fix that too.
 

Kayis

Arachnopeon
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Sep 26, 2016
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I'd definitely keep them, that's a nice haul. I'm also going to say give it a shot and attempt to rehouse them if you're up for it.
 
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Trenor

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Jan 28, 2016
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If you're keeping them I'd rehouse. If you're just going to local sale them I wouldn't bother. They should be fine in a ruddy enclosure for a week or so as long as they have food and water.

My tips for rehousing them is cut several 2 liter bottles for catch cups. Place them all around the work space so you don't have to hunt for one should you need it. I like to rehouse in a wide open space so if they bail I have time to retrieve them using the catch cups. I use tongs with straws pushed on the ends so I have a good amount of distance between me and the T. Have everything ready and take you time.

IMO those are two great Ts and were it me I'd keep them. Like @EulersK said once you settle the C.lividum in it shouldn't give you much problems until/unless you need another rehouse in the future.
 

Tenevanica

Arachnodemon
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Feb 18, 2015
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Well guys, I've decided to keep. (Sorry to anyone looking to buy! :embarrassed:) Rehoused them this morning in my garage when it was a bit chilly out. I put both in the fridge for two one minute increments with thirty seconds in between them to make sure they didn't get too frosty. The C. lividum was a piece of cake. The cooling must have done the trick, because I simply lifted up the hide, cupped it, slid under a piece of cardboard, and moved it to the new enclosure. It started a bit when I slid the cardboard under it. Shot up to the top of the cup. I've never seen a spider move that fast. A bit eye opening actually. I'll let it crawl out of the cup in the new enclosure on its own time. The H. maculata was even easier. I didn't even see it, I just moved the piece of cork it was in to the new enclosures. No threat postures from either of them. The enclosures they're in are big enough that I should never have to rehouse them again.

Thanks to @Paiige, @Trenor, @edesign, @cold blood, @Avel, @EulersK, and everyone else who posted. Arachnoboards and everyone on it are awesome!
 
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