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Mexican Fireleg Sling Molting?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Domondios, Jan 16, 2020.

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    2 weeks ago I bought my very first Tarantula, a 1inch Mexican Fireleg. (Her) environment is a glass box with Spider Peat bedding, thin edgy rock pressed into the Spider Peat with a tiny bowl containing 2-3 water gel balls.

    The day I got her, I managed to get her hunger resolved by feeding about 3 extra-small crickets and 1 small Dubia Roach. She hit all of them systematically, and then she didn't eat again. She spent the next week burrowing around the rock and creating her own tunnel space. She wasn't eating and I noticed a round bald spot on her abdomen. After some reading, I found out that this is a sign of pre-molt. She spent the next couple days working on her tunnel and ignoring a cricket I put in for her. She was becoming more skittish leading up to her tunnel preparation. Again, another sign of pre-molt.

    About 3 days ago, she was nowhere to be seen and I then noticed that she had moved a lot of the bedding back towards the burrow and she seems to have closed herself in the burrow. I believe she is molting and I have no idea how long I should wait before becoming concerned.

    I'll be watching the Forum closely to find out everything I can, so that my Fireleg gets only the best treatment and food etc.

    Thanks, and will post soon
  2. Paul1126

    Paul1126 Arachnodemon

    That doesn't sound ideal at all
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    Post pics.....beware of oversize enclosures for slings
    They cant drink from that. Any water dish should have water in it, nothing else. Ts float, theres no drowning risk.
    Theres no reason to feed that much. That is several weeks worth of food crammed into her all in one day. Binge feeding leads to one thing and that is an extremely long drawn-out fasting prior to a molt.

    Thats the patch of urticating hairs....either that or a bald spot, which simply means it kicked hairs.
    Its totally NOT a sign of anything. In pre molt the entire rump will turn black and get a stretched out shiny look.
    Stop feeding and certainly dont let live prey roam.
    Wait as long as it takes, when she emerges, that's when you feed. Even if that's months from now.
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  4. Vanessa

    Vanessa Grammostola Groupie Arachnosupporter

    Please get rid of these immediately. Gel balls are coated with a polymer coating that tarantulas cannot easily penetrate. They are more appropriate for animals who have proper mandibles to chew at the coating to get to the water inside. Using those gel balls is asking for your tarantula to dehydrate. Please replace them with a bowl containing fresh water only. Tarantulas do not drown, so do not put anything other than fresh water in the bowl.
    There are several reasons why your spider has a bald abdomen - it is not necessarily a sign of pre-moult. The will kick off their hairs when they are first moved, as they line their enclosure with them. They will kick off hairs if their enclosure conditions are substandard. They will kick off their hairs onto their moulting mat when they are just about to moult.
    A bald patch will allow you to easily see when the new exoskeleton is forming underneath the current one - the patch will become very shiny and black. However, a bald patch is not a sure sign of pre-moult at all.
    Her behaviour is far more likely due to being full and wanting to be left alone.
    In my experience, they become very lethargic when they are in pre-moult. The exact opposite of what you're suggesting. Skittishness is a sign of something else, in my opinion. It would really be helpful if you would provide photos of both the spider and the setup, so people can offer relevant feedback on the situation.
    • Agree Agree x 3
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  5. Brachyfan

    Brachyfan Arachnobaron Active Member

  6. Hi All,

    Thanks for the feedback. I know a lot of you freaked out at what I was mentioning, which i can understand from all my years being an active member on my own, and other, Bearded Dragon Forums. Let's just put it this way... If the 1.5 weeks, of what I've mentioned, was actually over months and months, then I'd be really guilty of neglect and would deserve the barrage. This isn't the case, and I've given my fireleg so much attention + time and did a lot of reading up about the basics and about behaviors. Fireleg's are voted as one of the easiest and prettiest New World T's for any beginner. This attracted me to the challenge. I was set up with everything from the T to the rock feature, by the pet store around the corner from me. I said I have zero ideas of the best set up, unless i quickly research it, but they said they will help by picking the enclosure, substrate, rock feature and crickets.

    I will remove the gel balls, and will also just research them a bit more because these gel balls are meant for T's. I crush them down and feed it to my Dubia Roaches and Crickets, and I've never had any issue, because if it's good enough for a T, it's more than good enough for live-feeders.

    I'll give an update on the situation and will take pictures etc.

    See you all soon!

    Fantastic. Thanks so much. So far so good, i hope. I'll update the status later when i get home.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2020
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  7. Vanessa

    Vanessa Grammostola Groupie Arachnosupporter

    Nobody is 'freaking out'. You asked for feedback and you got it. Nobody was rude, or belligerent, despite the fact that we just had a dead tarantula thread with sad photos of this poor, dying, dehydrated tarantula sitting in a water dish full of those gel balls and the fact that you obviously haven't been "watching the Forum closely to find out everything I can, so that my Fireleg gets only the best treatment and food etc.".
    People took the time to properly answer you and address your concerns with proper explanations and the only thing you can come back with is to accuse them of freaking out? Good grief.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
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  8. Geez, where did i mention anything about people being rude or belligerent? Sorry to hear about the thread on the dead T. You can't hit me with that thread and assume that I've read it. If you read my thread properly, without being negative while reading, and you'll understand the innocence and openness of the thread. I've read from more than just this Forum, so give me time to find everything you are mentioning. You are clearly wanting to raise the roof here, which is unnecessary. At this very moment, I do not care for your belligerent attitude. Show some respect because I respect everyone and appreciate the feedback I've received. I've been a member for a little over 48hrs, so just cool and calm yourself. I will be ignoring everything you mentioned in your response because it's already getting old now, and this thing only just started.

    I'm here for advice and not for idiotic discussions. Get your facts straight and take a chill pill. I've been on forums for many years and you are the first kind of member that's ever posted this nonsense on a newbie's FIRST THREAD. Congratulations! That's a first for me. This matter is closed. Good grief!!!

    Thanks for this info. Luckily I rectified everything with my sling from about Tuesday, prior to joining this group. My sling ate everything I gave it on day 1, so no surprise that it's been well over a week since then and nothing else has been eaten. I'm just glad that this over-feeding happened just once and will never happen again.

    My experience with Bearded Dragons was part of the reason that I didn't make stupid beginner mistakes with my T. Dragon enclosures, substrates, lighting, heating, decorations, water moisture, air temperature, sexing, mating, incubating fertilized eggs, breeding Superworms and Dubia Roaches: are the topics I can help with if you have a dragon :)

    My goal here will now be to learn everything I can about my T and because it's simple in getting and housing a T, I purchased my T with basic beginner questions which were answered immediately.

    Hmm, so the bald spot could mean that she's flicked her hairs. Her abdomen began swelling up a bit prior to her closing herself in and I read that she would look like she is about to explode if she was in pre-molt. She wasn't swollen that much. I will wait as long as needed. They survive so easily and for months on end. Once it reaches 8 months with no show, only then will I investigate. Thanks again for this feedback and I'll update the thread with my latest status this evening.

    Thank You

    Update: my T is still in her burrow. I've taken pics of the enclosure as well as the extra-small crickets that I feed her.

    Removed the gel balls and misted the substrate lightly.

    Below are pics of the enclosure type and size related to a 750ml drinking bottle, closeup of her burrow entrance and of the extra-small crickets. The last pic is of my T sling IMG_20200105_155226.jpg
    IMG_20200117_170935.jpg IMG_20200117_170935.jpg IMG_20200117_170945.jpg IMG_20200117_182654.jpg IMG_20200117_171029.jpg IMG_20200117_170935.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2020 at 9:29 AM
  9. MrTwister

    MrTwister Arachnoknight

    I would remove that rock. Might be unlikely, but if the spider digs around it enough and it shifts...squish.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Hi, the rock did fall over after the initial burrowing, which never injured the sling as it was outside of it. The rock is very light-weight and I redid the substrate and I meshed in the rock properly to be secure as possible. Do I wait or do I just dig it up? I've been told to leave the T alone until it resurfaces. If/when it comes out again, I will replace the rock with a little cave decoration for it to get safety and cover. What are the negative and positive outcomes when digging up a T, that could be molting, earlier than later?

  11. MrTwister

    MrTwister Arachnoknight

    Unless it is actually in the process of moulting their is no issue. Being in pre moult does not make them more delicate.
  12. I'll hold out for a Month, with periodically adding a cricket to tempt the T to come out. If the T doesn't come out after 10min, I'll then remove the cricket. My quickest way to locate the T will be to simply, and gently, lift up the rock. Thanks for the feedback

    Hi everyone,

    This is just an update on my T and nothing much to update on. My T hasn't come out yet and I can confirm that the entrance to her burrow is now only about 30% covered up which allows me to shine a light inside. It's been constructed really nicely and it snakes around the corner, so, unfortunately, I can't see the T, but I get to admire the T's ability to build a great space for it to feel safe and comfortable.

    The next post on this thread will be either when the T resurfaces, or if it's been 2 months, and I plan on finding the T myself. I will get all of your advice first before looking for the T. I'd hate to overlook something that could have been prevented. I remain optimistic that nothing is wrong, all thanks to everyone here who has made this easier than it would have been without all of you.

    Keep safe, well and I hope all your T's remain strong and healthy. Until then... Cheers :joyful:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2020 at 9:30 AM
  13. Oscart47

    Oscart47 Arachnopeon

    Awesome congrats on the new sling . I also got one of these for an early Xmas present . Lots of learning to do and definitely addictive as i wish I had the money for a dozen more , thinking on getting the whole Brachypelma species line that Tarcan sells .
  14. TriMac33

    TriMac33 Arachnoknight Active Member

    Why? Even if it's been 4 months, why would you "find it" yourself? No need. As long as you're not leaving in live feeders and have provided fresh water in a cap (and not those gel balls), you need to just leave well enough alone now. I also suggest just removing that rock completely. If the enclosure is an appropriate size (not too big), your sling will make the enclosure space it's shelter/cover.
  15. I just had to do a welfare check. I've had my sling in its burrow for 85% of the time since I bought it. I was told that it's best to leave it alone but if I'm genuinely concerned about her life, then I should just locate her. I did locate her under an inch of the substrate, in the far corner of the enclosure. My sling has grown a bit over the past 2 weeks. A nice color has emerged on its legs. This also gave me the chance to repack her enclosure so that I could get the rock repositioned, which offers my sling an ideal spot to get cover and feel safe too. If my sling decides to burrow and stay burrowed, I will be far more comfortable with the situation and won't ever go hunting for it again. The gel balls have been replaced for well over 1.5 weeks now, and I set up the water cap to be like a built-in pool, to make it easier for the sling to access the water. I've dropped in a legless extra-small cricket to see if it's is hungry. So all in all, I know she is fine and alive and her enclosure is better laid out now too. Pictures to follow soon...
  16. i know its hard not to check on your sling but you should in my opinion just let it alone and let it settle in on its own without all this poking around in its cage and looking for it is just stressing out how is it supposed to settle into its home? if you are digging it out etc when it wants to hide just because your worried about it
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  17. Well my sling settled in quickly and also drank water. I'm certain I'm not the only one who has made this choice before. I've been given lots of advice that
    What's done is done. I was concerned about the sling, so I had to find out if it was 100% OK. It was certainly interested in the water and drank within 10mins. I'm taking that as good news, as dehydration is a major issue and I'll never know if the sling was hydrated or not. Now that I've had actual, personal experience, I can now easily let things play out the way they need to and to not feel obliged to do a check up on the sling when it burrows again. I should have no need to do it again and it's next burrow will be untouched.
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