M. Giganteus Care Questions

Grampus

Arachnopeon
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Apr 8, 2007
Messages
18
I recently purchased an unsexed 1" baby M. Giganteus (pic below) and am waiting for it to arrive on Wednesday. This is really my first arachnid I've kept, apart from a few solpugids I have caught- so I am a complete newbie and any help from some more experienced collectors would be greatly appreciated.

http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h73/padkison/Vinnie-1.jpg

(If anyone could sex it that would be awesome)

Habitat:

I know that these are commonly kept in a "deli cup", but I want something a little larger and I'm wondering what size and type of tank is best without being too large or too small? How should it be ventilated?

I have read up some on what to keep them in, and have found that an 80/20 mixture of sand and peat moss is widely reccomended. What type of sand should I get? What type of peat? Can I get everything at the local Petsmart? How deep should the substrate be? Do I need to change it frequently, if at all? How often should I mist? (I live in southern California in the desert and the vinegarone is coming from North Carolina- I don't know if that means I should give it more humidity, or what?)

Also, for helping the vinegarone create its burrow, I have read that cork bark or a flat rock should be buried down to the bottom. Could someone elaborate on how to set this up, or if any materials would work better? Any other decor items that it would like? I want to be sure it can create a burrow that it will be happy with, and help maximize its lifespan.

Climate:

I was told that room temperature is fine, that I don't need any heating or anything. I am planning on keeping it indoors, with whatever light happens to occur within that room as it normally would. Is this ok? Anything else I should know?

Diet:

I have read that babies should be fed pinhead crickets and adults should be fed larger crickets or cockroaches. What does mine qualify as? Are there any other food items that will provide the same nourishment- but are easier to keep? Should I put the prey in fully alive, prekilled, or give it a little squeeze to slow it down? What time of day should it be fed? How often and how much should I feed it- now and as it grows? I want to feed it for maximize size, but without overfeeding and risking a shorter lifespan.

Does it require a water dish- if so what type, how and where should I place it, and how often should I change the water?

Handling:

Do I have anything to worry about in the way of being pinched or bitten? I know they don't sting. The guy I bought the vinegarone from said the only time it ever sprayed was when it accidentally got a claw stuck in a ventilation hole in its deli cup (another reason why I want a proper cage), but are they likely to pinch or spray at humans if handled carefully? How should I go about picking up and putting down the vinegarone, to minimize disturbance to it? Does careful handling have any negative effects on the vinegarone? Is it likely to be really pissed off and better left alone when it comes out of its shipping container?


Well, I think that about covers it. Sorry if it seems like a lot to ask, but I am new to this and I really want to make sure I do everything right and have a successful first try.
Thanks in advance!
-Andrew
 

Cheshire

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 7, 2005
Messages
3,160
Habitat:

I know that these are commonly kept in a "deli cup", but I want something a little larger and I'm wondering what size and type of tank is best without being too large or too small? How should it be ventilated?
The cup I keep my specimen in is a cup that is decently ventilated. I keep mine on cocobark and I add water to only one point on the deli cup so the bottom is a shade halfway between soaking wet and dry. The top remains dry.

I have read up some on what to keep them in, and have found that an 80/20 mixture of sand and peat moss is widely reccomended. What type of sand should I get? What type of peat? Can I get everything at the local Petsmart? How deep should the substrate be? Do I need to change it frequently, if at all? How often should I mist? (I live in southern California in the desert and the vinegarone is coming from North Carolina- I don't know if that means I should give it more humidity, or what?)
Change it when you get mould. I'm keeping mine on 100% cocobark.

Also, for helping the vinegarone create its burrow, I have read that cork bark or a flat rock should be buried down to the bottom. Could someone elaborate on how to set this up, or if any materials would work better? Any other decor items that it would like? I want to be sure it can create a burrow that it will be happy with, and help maximize its lifespan.
Climate:

I was told that room temperature is fine, that I don't need any heating or anything. I am planning on keeping it indoors, with whatever light happens to occur within that room as it normally would. Is this ok? Anything else I should know?
Bugs don't really need a whole lot of light so bedroom conditions are fine.

Diet:

I have read that babies should be fed pinhead crickets and adults should be fed larger crickets or cockroaches. What does mine qualify as? Are there any other food items that will provide the same nourishment- but are easier to keep? Should I put the prey in fully alive, prekilled, or give it a little squeeze to slow it down? What time of day should it be fed? How often and how much should I feed it- now and as it grows? I want to feed it for maximize size, but without overfeeding and risking a shorter lifespan.
I fed mine once a week, but I'm backing off now. Mine are fat...like really fat. I'd say once every other week. It will eat when it's hungry.

Does it require a water dish- if so what type, how and where should I place it, and how often should I change the water?
I would keep an adult with a water dish. I don't give my nymphs water dishes, instead I always keep a portion of the substrate wet and give it food periodically.

Handling:

Do I have anything to worry about in the way of being pinched or bitten? I know they don't sting. The guy I bought the vinegarone from said the only time it ever sprayed was when it accidentally got a claw stuck in a ventilation hole in its deli cup (another reason why I want a proper cage), but are they likely to pinch or spray at humans if handled carefully? How should I go about picking up and putting down the vinegarone, to minimize disturbance to it? Does careful handling have any negative effects on the vinegarone? Is it likely to be really pissed off and better left alone when it comes out of its shipping container?


Well, I think that about covers it. Sorry if it seems like a lot to ask, but I am new to this and I really want to make sure I do everything right and have a successful first try.
Thanks in advance!
-Andrew
Don't worry about being pinched or sprayed, but be careful when handling.

I'm starting to believe pictures convey more accurate and less confusing care instructions than caresheets, so here's a pictorial sequence that should show how I keep mine.
 

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Cheshire

Arachnoking
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One more picture that wouldn't fit

This article is also a good source if you're planning on breeding.
 

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Grampus

Arachnopeon
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Apr 8, 2007
Messages
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Another question- are mealworms an adequate food for the baby 1" M. Giganteus? The pet store was out of feeder crickets and I thought I might give it a try.
 

Cheshire

Arachnoking
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Small mealworms are OK. You could probably wait until the petstore has crickets in. They're only ever gone for a few days at the most.

Most bugs can live months without eating. I'd give your vinnie two decent meals per week and he should be OK. That might even be over feeding it. Mine haven't eaten for like two weeks.
 

froggyman

Arachnoangel
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how old is yours chesire? neat looking bugs i think i may have to get one!
 

Cheshire

Arachnoking
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how old is yours chesire? neat looking bugs i think i may have to get one!

I don't really know. Definitely less than a year. They eventually grow up to 4 or 5 inches or so. My pair have yet to moult in my care.
 

Ganoderma

Arachnobaron
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Jan 24, 2006
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personally i feed newly hatched babies (of diffrent specie) 2 week crix, r equivelant. many insects will work, but i find soft bodied insects that actually move better (mealworms are slow to die from being crushed by a goon, also dont move much...just burrow). what is your room temperature. i would keep that specie in the 75-80 range, but others will have better ideas.

for soil, many people use coco/sand mixes. i use outside soil. a very loose sandy clay, if that makes sense. no organics, no mold...ever. holds a PERFECT burrow, and is great for wet or dry species (humidity). just play a bit.

i too give mine whatever light is in the room. they are somewhat hardy, jsut don't dry them out completely and feed them at least every month.
 

Mr. Mordax

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Here's my setup; hope it helps you out, Grampus. :)



You can see how I set up a "lean-to" with two pieces of cork, one big and one small. Putting it at the side of the tank lets me see what he's up to. He comes out at night to explore but spends all day in the cave.

The substrate is just coco fiber, and I don't have a water dish. I just mist occasionaly. He's been in this arrangement since December and seems to do fine.

This one seems to love Blatta lateralis feeder roaches but they're almost too fast for it. I've seen it "follow" mealworms into the substrate but I don't think it catches them, considering the adult beetles I find in the tank sometimes.

As for handling, if you browse the directory that photo is linked from (also findable in my signature's "bug pictures" link), you can see me handling it without a problem. As long as you're gentle then everything should be OK. The only time this one sprayed was when I was trying to remove it from a bare tank and it got scared when I cornered it. He didn't squirt me; I could just smell vinegar.

Good luck! These guys are fun.
 

Ganoderma

Arachnobaron
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i noticed mine once in captivity rarely sprayed. in teh wild they always spray me, but the ones i keep generally will only spray when they feel a pinching type motion. i am not sure how bad the acid is, likely nto that bad. but it really stings cuts and your eyes, so watch out for that.
 

Mr. Mordax

Arachnoking
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Check the first picture on this thread -- from the underside, the first segment of the abdomen on the male is broad and rounded, and on the female it's narrower and pointed towards the tail.

I tried sexing mine this way and came up unconfirmed, and I think it may have to be an adult to sex.
 
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