Live Plants & G. rosea behavior question.

dukegarda

Arachnobaron
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Mar 22, 2007
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this is my second post ever! YAY!


So, recently (today actually), I renovated my G. rosea's (my in-browser spell checker keeps trying to change rosea into toaster... Hah. So if you see G. toaster don't get too upset) tank. I took out the wood chips and sand. I know those are horrible. I did some reading, on this forum and found that out yesterday. So today I went and picked up some potting soil. It's a peat mixture, has no fertilizers and additives.

I took time to sculpt and landscape the substrate in the tank. Took a step back and looked at it. It looked kind of, well, bare. Her hiding log, a few granite rocks, a flat lava stone I found at the beach a few summers ago, her water dish, and the thermometer stuck into the ground. And I heard about a few people doing things; What's the deal with live plants? By that I mean, what is your people's opinions. From reading some of your posts, a lot of you seem like knowledgeable and trustworthy sources. Does anyone have any experience with live plants in the T.'s habitat? Pros and/or cons?

Secondly, Lydia has been really really really lazy lately. Just sits around, either on her fake log hideout, on the lava rock, or inside the fake log. Moisture is a 60%, temperature is at 24 degrees Celsius (I'm Canadian. Not sure what that is in Fahrenheit.) I've had her for a month now, and only have fed her once, a really large, fat, juicy, succulent cricket. I tried feeding her again, and she really didn't seem interested at all. It's been about two weeks since I've fed her, and her abdomen has reduced in size noticeably. I'm not to worried, and realize this is normal at times, but I guess what I'm getting at is; is this PMS?(Pre-Molting Syndrome). Her exoskeleton does seem a bit worn and torn. That, and one of her legs is smaller than her others, which I know means she lost it before, has molted and grew it out, will molt again and the leg will achieve its regular size. Anyone have any insight into this?
 

mikeymo

Arachnoknight
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Jan 14, 2007
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in regards to the live plants, you want to avoid the obvious: make sure they arn't poisonous, make sure there arn't any sharp thorns or needles. I know that some people have expressed concern about T's digging up plants but i don't think you have to worry about that with your rosie.

Which brings me to the next part of this reply: a rosie's temperment. GENERALLY rosies are pretty docile. My rosie spends the vast majority of the day sitting on this log type thing i have in her tank. so i wouldn't worry too much about inactivity. I WOULD WORRY about reduced abdomen size.

Granted, rosies are famous for going long periods without eating (mine only eats 1 cricket about once every 2 weeks) but a reduced abdomen is not a sign of PMS (haha) The abdomen should only be reduced in size after a molt (which makes sense b/c the T has gotten bigger all over)

Perhaps someone with a bit more expereince can confirm or deny. But from what i've read and from what i've witnessed first hand, a reduced belly size means it needs food.
 

dukegarda

Arachnobaron
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Mar 22, 2007
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Well, I did throw in a cricket yesterday. The cricket did run all over the place like a maniac, but she wasn't interested. She had plenty of opportunity to strike, catch and eat it. Oh, and her water dish is always full of water, I change the water every day.
 

mikeymo

Arachnoknight
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VERY good job on keeping the water dish full. Dehydration is almost as bad as starvation, so at least it can get H20.

The general rule of thumb is to keep the cricket in there for 24 hours. Some T's don't strike right away, but might wait until the darkness of night to feed (i know this is how my rosie feeds. i only watched it catch a cricket by accident one night when i couldnt' sleep).
 

TJPotter

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
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13
For a rosea, I would stay away from live plants, since they need more water than what your rosea will (happily) tolerate. I would go the route of fake plants in the tank. As for the laziness, thats what rosea are all about (normally). Other than that, I second everything mikeymo said!

T

P.S. thinking about it, I suppose you could keep the plant in a pot, burried in the substrate, that way the moisture would be a little more contained. But it may still lend a little too much humidity to the air.
 
Last edited:

mrbonzai211

Arachnobaron
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Feb 6, 2007
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My G. rosea goes crazy even if I overflow her water dish even a little. They hate water and come from a very arid region.... plants require too much water (even cacti)..... your rosea will hate it.

Honestly, T's are happier with sparse surroundings. All they really need is a hide and a water dish and they'll be happy for their entire lives.
 

Alice

Arachnoangel
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Sep 29, 2006
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hi, and wellcome to the boards.

i second the posts about live plants - a rosie will not be happy with you watering the plants, so if you want some, use fake plants.

and i also WOULD worry about a shrinking abdomen! yes, rosies can fast for a long time, even half a year - but their abdomen size should not decrease noticable during this time.

are you sure that she didn't molt when you didn't see it and that's why her abdomen is smaller? they will refuse food a while before and after a molt. or is her abdomen shrinking continually? is she wild caught? then there is the possibility of parasites. or maybe she is a he? they tend to have smaller abdomens, stop eating and grow thinner when they are sexually mature.

so a pic would be nice, maybe than we can tell you more.
 

dukegarda

Arachnobaron
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Mar 22, 2007
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498
Well, I'm fairly sure she's a she. Also, I'm pretty sure that it isn't parasitical. I've picked her up and glanced her over before to make sure. I'm currently taking entomology in University, and know a bit about these parasita=ical things (I'm no genius). I also know more than average about T.s. However, I'm still earning (we all are) and am no tarantual guru (yet. HAHA).

Here's a link to my facebook album.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=5305&l=b1128&id=769160229

Enjoy. Please, if you notice something wrong with my set, please point it out, I won't be offended. I'd rather hear someone yell at me, than my T. being injured, or me harming it with the incorrect setup without my knowledge. Thanks.
 

Inuleki

Arachnobaron
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Mar 10, 2003
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just thought I'd throw this in. In my experience I've had a few rosehairs. Two which wouldn't eat for months on end, and one that was a complete pig and would try to kill anything that came near it. So really that is all based on the temperament of the individual spider.

I'd say just try throwing a cricket in every 3 weeks or, and see if she eats it. If not, of course go and take the cricket out and feed it to another spider, or hold onto it until the next tmime you want to try.

And as well, the two that didn't eat often (once every two months or so) wouldn't move around a whole lot either, so it's not too much to worry about as long as they look healthy.

Your setup seems okay, but you may want to think about putting more substrate in there, seeing as how if she does want to climb, she may fall and hit one of the rocks. which would be bad. Just something to think about.
 

dukegarda

Arachnobaron
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Mar 22, 2007
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498
She can't climb the glass. It's been buffed out, there's no way she can hook onto it. Unless I'm wrong. That, and I have yet to see her climbing it.
 

MizM

Arachnoprincess
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You'd be surprised. Heavy bodied terrestrial Ts can climb glass quite easily.

As far as live plants, I would avoid them in a G. rosea enclosure, simpy because you would have to keep it moist. I'm a firm beliver in bone dry subsrate. 60% humidity is way too high IMHO. You are begging for mold, scuttle flies, etc. Go to the craft store and buy some nice silk plants. (They're easier to keep alive too!!;) )

For moisture-dependant species like blondi, I keep the soil moist and use some pothos and ivy varieties. I also keep "roly-poly" or "pill" bugs in the enclosure to eat and nasties that might arise from the higher moisture.
 

dukegarda

Arachnobaron
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Mar 22, 2007
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Are those very similar to Wood Lice? And, I guess they're the trash keepers of the terrestrial world, like Shrimp are in aquatic environments?
 

Ungweliante

Arachnosquire
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Jul 24, 2006
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I have live plants in my rosea's terrarium and they seem to be doing fine. One of them, a pothos, has been there for about 10 months. The T can be seen climbing on it sometimes and also uses the leaves as a sort of shelter.

The other plant belongs to the Sansevieria sp. I put it to the terrarium about a month ago. I've seen the T dig around near it and inspect it as well.

In my opinion you can choose either live or silk plants and it's really up to the T keeper to decide. Perhaps the Ts can find more enjoyment from the live plants? I don't know. But I know that for me the terrarium seems more "authentic" when the plants there are real ones.

Both of the plants seem to be thriving just on water.
 
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