M. balfouri Communal advice?

mvbrown21

Arachnopeon
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Hey everyone,

I’m getting 7 slings here soon and wanted your opinion on what size enclosure you think I should start with for them? I’d like to only rehouse once if possible but maybe that’s unrealistic. Also, do you think the whole excavator clay setup commonly seen should be saved for the adult enclosure or would it be prudent for the sling/juvi enclosure as well? Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated. Thank you
 

jrh3

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5 Gallon aquarium with work. put a large piece of cork bark in the center and dig them out a cave under it. Add fake plants all around to give them stuff to attach too.

Something like this will work.
3D643BFC-72D6-41E2-9765-2402F420D0F7.jpeg
 

Liquifin

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If you're getting slings then there really isn't a way to do only a single rehouse. How large are your slings that you're getting? If they're under a 1'' inch then you can house them in a 16 oz delicup just fine or you can find a decent size food container at the dollar store for an enclosure as it works as well.

Excavator clay will work fine, but I don't really like recommending it as M. balfouri like to burrow and dig there enclosures out as well, besides just webbing as in the wild they're burrowers. But it can work as I've seen people do it. I wouldn't recommend using it for a sling or juvenile enclosure, but for an adult it could possibly work.
 

mvbrown21

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5 Gallon aquarium with work. put a large piece of cork bark in the center and dig them out a cave under it. Add fake plants all around to give them stuff to attach too.

Something like this will work.
View attachment 354619
You think that will work for the sling stage just fine? I have a 18x18x12 waiting for them when they’re ready for their permanent enclosure. Have you had a sling communal in this setup?
 

mvbrown21

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If you're getting slings then there really isn't a way to do only a single rehouse. How large are your slings that you're getting? If they're under a 1'' inch then you can house them in a 16 oz delicup just fine or you can find a decent size food container at the dollar store for an enclosure as it works as well.

Excavator clay will work fine, but I don't really like recommending it as M. balfouri like to burrow and dig there enclosures out as well, besides just webbing as in the wild they're burrowers. But it can work as I've seen people do it. I wouldn't recommend using it for a sling or juvenile enclosure, but for an adult it could possibly work.
The entire communal in one 16oz deli cup?! I’m not sure what size they’ll be upon arrival tbh. They weren’t listed as juvi’s so I’m assuming around 1”
 

jrh3

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I kept 5 slings in That tank all 1 inch DLS and no issues other than you never see them.
 

Chebe6886

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You need to do what’s best for the animals not what’s best for you. You may want 1 rehouse but that means you’re putting tiny slings in an entirely too large container that they won’t feel comfortable in. Also if you give them too much room it’s possible some may carve out it’s own little spot and become territorial.
In the wild these guys stick close to moms burrow for a while but inevitably go off to live solitary lives
 

mvbrown21

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You need to do what’s best for the animals not what’s best for you. You may want 1 rehouse but that means you’re putting tiny slings in an entirely too large container that they won’t feel comfortable in. Also if you give them too much room it’s possible some may carve out it’s own little spot and become territorial.
In the wild these guys stick close to moms burrow for a while but inevitably go off to live solitary lives
You’re right and I appreciate it. So what size do you recommend then for 7 slings? Like a 6x6x6 or would that even be too big?
 

Chebe6886

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They are fast but fairly easy to work with so rehousing shouldn’t be tough if you take your time.
It really depends on the size. I think the general idea is if you are doing a communal keep it small enough for them to be more or less forced to share space.
I was thinking of doing a communal but the slings I got were incredibly small so I didn’t want to lose track of any. Im glad I didn’t put them together and they are growing great, some much faster than others so could have been some lunch options.
Also I definitely wouldn’t bother getting to crazy early on with design of enclosure bc they are going to reshape the entire landscape regardless
These guys build hella tunnels all over. If the container is small enough they don’t mind staying close to the side of enclosure so I can all of them even when “hiding”
 

mvbrown21

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They are fast but fairly easy to work with so rehousing shouldn’t be tough if you take your time.
It really depends on the size. I think the general idea is if you are doing a communal keep it small enough for them to be more or less forced to share space.
I was thinking of doing a communal but the slings I got were incredibly small so I didn’t want to lose track of any. Im glad I didn’t put them together and they are growing great, some much faster than others so could have been some lunch options.
Also I definitely wouldn’t bother getting to crazy early on with design of enclosure bc they are going to reshape the entire landscape regardless
These guys build hella tunnels all over. If the container is small enough they don’t mind staying close to the side of enclosure so I can all of them even when “hiding”
I’m not really too worried about the act of rehousing. I’m just of the belief that the longer they can be left alone the better they do in general. I’ve kept all of my slings(even 1” specimens) in 4x4 AMAC boxes, minus my dwarf species, and they’ve all done really well. I’ve seen all of them use the space whether for webbing, burrowing, or hunting so I don’t agree with the small dram vial or deli cup recommendations. I think that’s more a collector logistics preference vs a necessity. The few problems I have had wasn’t related to enclosure size but my own learning mistakes with substrate and one time I believe a cricket might have had a parasite. Anyways, I appreciate the advice. I was leaning towards a 8x8x8 but maybe I’ll go smaller per your territory recommendation potential
 

Chebe6886

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Yeh enclosure size is more of a personal preference. Just takes slings longer to adjust to large enclosures
The one thing I like to do Is put burrowing species in as small as I can get away with. Also like to us as little substrate possible so they can’t burrow down to where I can never see them while real young.
 

EvilTrailMix

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I have a small communal of four 1" balfouri slings in a 5.5 oz. deli cup. They were one molt smaller than this when I got them. I gave them several starter burrows, but they've chosen to all stay together in the same burrow, anyway. I wouldn't go any larger than a 16 oz. deli cup for seven 1" slings, myself.

M. balfouri slings enclosure.png M. balfouri slings eating2.png
 

jrh3

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You’re right and I appreciate it. So what size do you recommend then for 7 slings? Like a 6x6x6 or would that even be too big?
5 gallon tank is perfectly fine, I know a lot of people that have had success with this size. This is an unusual species of communal that can go larger than normal, they will web the whole enclosure bottom of a 5 gallon tank, thats 5, 1 inch slings. If anyone says they need to be cramped in a small container has either not kept them or is misinformed.
 

Chebe6886

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Sorry didn’t know you were the definitive source on all things balfouri and communals
 

RezonantVoid

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I still dont get the issue around "your enclosure is too big". Too high is one thing, but not overall width and length. but ill make the same point everyone says on this topic:

They dont have set enclosures in the wild. They are designed to live as such, have done so until now and will continue to do so.

Frankly, if youve got half a dozen OW's in one tank, you really dont want to be doing rehousing more than once, if at all. If you're worried about slings not being able to locate food, just tweezer feed them or offer prekilled food outside their burrow and problem solves itself. The only valid reason ive ever seen for keeping slings in tiny enclosures is if a keeper has a large collection and limited space.

For this reason, i definitely agree with @jrh3 's suggestions of a larger tank, even if it seems overkill at first. I think there'd also be a higher chance of cannibalism when rehousing them together at a larger size than if they stay in one permanent enclosure
 
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mvbrown21

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Thank you everyone for your responses. I think I’m going to go with a 8 wide by 10 long initially and rehouse them one time into my 18x18x12 exo terra when 3-4 inches.

I think I’m going to start with the hides available mainly on one side of the enclosure as slings and gradually add more cork bark as they grow.

Once again, thank you!! I’m stoked for this communal!
 

viper69

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Communals :vomit: They can/do cannibalize each other I’ve posted link to this data.

Good luck with your experiment

And then there was one...
 

mvbrown21

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Communals :vomit: They can/do cannibalize each other I’ve posted link to this data.

Good luck with your experiment

And then there was one...
You’re unhelpful and I’m not searching to find the link you didn’t provide.

Many people have successfully had M. balfouri communal’s. The only species I’d ever attempt it in. ‘Ian Tarantula’ has a 25 large communal very successfully!! Tom Moran, Dark Den, Mark’s Tarantula’s, The Tarantula Collective, etc. at various numbers.

I see your an ‘old timer’ but you also write like one, close minded and unproductive to sharing YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with a communal. If you’ve never tried then you really have no business saying anything to be honest. Have a great night!!
 

MBArachnids

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Hi OP,

There has been some really helpful replies here and some not so helpful replies. (IMO)

This is personal preference and like most things there will be people that disagree with me. (That is fine)

I have 2 communal setups, of the 2 the one is a M. Balfouri enclosure. I put the slings in a enclosure that was much bigger than what they needed (a lot bigger) but my anchor points and cork bark was in the middle and they seemed to hover towards it. I used to give them bigger meals (crickets, heads crushed) and would often see 2 slings feasting on once carcass. I also did not want to rehouse too often and since I got them about 3 years ago I have only had to rehouse them twice. Of the 9 I had one has died. (Cause was not clear, was around 11 months since getting them)

My PERSONAL opinion has always been that enclosure size isn't that big of a deal as many make it out to be, it is just more convenient to use appropriately sized enclosures when it comes to feeding and maintenance.

Good luck with your enclosure, it is really something else knowing that you have more than 1 T in a enclosure :)
 
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