Molt Humidity myth or necessity?

Ando55

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This issue has been on my mind today and it would be nice to have some clarity on it. Is the environment humidity more crucial or is the T's hydration more crucial when it comes to molting? Also i've read up on AB that some blondi owners keep their blondi fairly dry and the only source of moisture is the water dish and the T does well, I'm also thinking that it must be doing well during molt time as well despite dry enclosure but the T is well hydrated with water source near by. Any input will help greatly! Thanks!


-Andy
 

cheetah13mo

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IMO hydration is crucial 100 percent of the time but humidity is crucial around molt time.
 

Ando55

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Ahh ok J, so I guess ill put a droplet in the thornton vial of my rosea.
 

cheetah13mo

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Just do a short mist from a spray bottle on the side. One or two drops would disappear pretty quick.
 

Cirith Ungol

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In pre-moult a T presses a film of fluid between the new and the old exo. Obviously it's there that hydration comes in which makes it possible for the T to slip out of the old suit. External moisture does nothing to improve on that layer of moisture. So come moulting 100% hydration, 0% (or close to) for humidity.
 

cheetah13mo

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Hydration would definitly be the deciding factor during a molt but humidity would attack dryness from the outside makeing possible injuries and other difficulties go easier where it might not be able to be reached from the inside. I still take that humidity is important during a molt.
 

syndicate

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i think it could be a myth.i believe it was codemonkey on here who says he keeps all his spiders on completly dry substrate and has no problems with molting.i personly dont use this method but mabey he will chime in here
 

Andy

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The shed skin shrinks when dry. Would you want it drying out while the tarantula still wears it :eek:

Heaven forbid the tarantula runs out of energy while trying to moult then the skin just tightens up and makes things a hell of a lot worse



Thats my logic anyway, anyone care to comment?
 

Code Monkey

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100% myth, crap, lies, distortion, and insert whatever other phrase you want.

Hydration is always important, but there is nothing whatsoever to the repeated more times than I can count claim that humidity should be raised at moulting.

May as well sacrifice a chicken for all the difference it will make.
 

Ando55

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100% myth, crap, lies, distortion, and insert whatever other phrase you want.

Hydration is always important, but there is nothing whatsoever to the repeated more times than I can count claim that humidity should be raised at moulting.

May as well sacrifice a chicken for all the difference it will make.
Ahh I see, what made me wonder was what about those rosies and dry species that are in the desert, dry areas; the GBB comes to mind also as they love it dry, if they didn't have issues molting bone dry environmental wise(well hydrated though) in the wold, then i wonder if the same song will play bone dry in captivity. That's what started the debate on my mind, how do you keep all of your Ts? Bone dry with a water dish as Syndicate said?
 

eman

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In pre-moult a T presses a film of fluid between the new and the old exo. Obviously it's there that hydration comes in which makes it possible for the T to slip out of the old suit. External moisture does nothing to improve on that layer of moisture. So come moulting 100% hydration, 0% (or close to) for humidity.
Where did you get this info?

I have a fairly large collection of different sized ts in a thermostatically controlled room. While the RH fluctuates constantly, it normally hovers around 60-65 % (during most of the year). I've noticed on many occasions that when the humidity goes from say 60-80 % overnight, a good number of ts will have taken the opportunity to molt during this period. I've found this not to be merely coincidental as it continuously repeats itself.

Essentially, I think that we seem to willfully ignore that most of the ts we own, come from considerably humid environments (tropical / sub-tropical rainforests). Even the desert/scrub-land species maintain relatively high humidity levels inside the comfort of their burrows. These are known and published facts.

So this "internal hydration" concept, while important, is only part of the picture IMHO. It does no good to the t to simply ignore its native habitat requirements, simply because it "looks fine" or "they are not in nature". These are very poor arguments IMO.

Cheers,

Emmanuel
 

Code Monkey

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Bone dry with a water dish as Syndicate said?
Pretty much. And the water dish may be empty for 4 or more days out of the week if the spider dumps it or fills it with substrate. These aren't soft animals, they need regular access to water, but that doesn't mean it has to be there 24/7.

I do try to keep slings below an inch or so slightly moist, but once they get some size on them, the spiders are all dry and all at ambient room humidity as well. I'm not claiming this is necessarily optimal, but it works, and it certainly proves the claim of humidity being tied to bad moults is nonsense.

I couldn't begin to offer a guess as to how many moults have happened under these conditions, but it's definitely hundreds, and the only out and out bad moult was a sling that arrived mid moult and lost several legs and later died.

The thing that nobody can offer is a plausible explanation as to why temporarily raising local humidity is supposed to decrease the chances of bad moults. You get a lot of "it keeps it from drying out" but that's a load of hooey. Lay down a thin layer of water at 35% RH and 90% RH and tell me with a straight face that there's a real difference in the time it would dry relative to how long a moult for a tarantula takes. No, they have their own personal store of moult fluid that lies between the old and new exoskeleton and that fluid is only exposed to the atmosphere after that section of the body has already successfully exited the old exoskeleton. Until it successfully moults, it's sealed up like a closed soda bottle. My personal hunch is that bad moults, other than the truly bad luck kind, are probably tied more to overfeeding than anything else.
 

stonemantis

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My 2 cents:

I agree that increased humidity does not speed up the molting process. I believe it may help the tarantula finish the molting process successfully (No Guarantees) but, I haven't actually witnessed it speeding up the process.

I know everybody has there own methods that have worked for them so I am not ruling them completely out.

Brian
 

Ando55

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Thanks for the input everyone, my rosie is still right side up on the floor now, and it's enclosure is not misted, if it wants to moult then it got all the time in the world to get on it's back..:D
 

eman

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The thing that nobody can offer is a plausible explanation as to why temporarily raising local humidity is supposed to decrease the chances of bad moults. You get a lot of "it keeps it from drying out" but that's a load of hooey. Lay down a thin layer of water at 35% RH and 90% RH and tell me with a straight face that there's a real difference in the time it would dry relative to how long a moult for a tarantula takes. No, they have their own personal store of moult fluid that lies between the old and new exoskeleton and that fluid is only exposed to the atmosphere after that section of the body has already successfully exited the old exoskeleton. Until it successfully moults, it's sealed up like a closed soda bottle. My personal hunch is that bad moults, other than the truly bad luck kind, are probably tied more to overfeeding than anything else.
Although I understand what you are saying, I consider my own experience and that of other fellow hobbyists "plausible" enough. The fact that this can be readily documented also makes it more than plausible to me.

Furthermore, I've had slings that were clearly stuck in their molts or at the very least, having considerable difficulty completing the process - I have usually been able to save them by simply spraying a little water around them and raising the temperature. This has worked almost every time for me and others (not that it is a common occurrence either ;)). I don't know if this "speeds up" the molt process per se but it has certainly gotten the ts out of their molts.

Since we are dealing with a bunch of hearsay, here is mine:
What if increasing the RH assists in softening/loosening the outer cuticle during the molting process, thus facilitating it?

I do agree with your personal hunch however - this makes sense to me as well.
 

Cirith Ungol

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Where did you get this info?
Right half of page 151 in The Tarantula Keepers Guide (Schultz & Schultz, Barron's Educational Series, Inc.;1998) should be good enough support for what I/CM said.
 

CedrikG

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Tell me Emmanuel, why are you wasting your time trying to make them understand what is obvious ... Its a lost battle, they're to many against us, they're all around :eek: We're in America!

God bless America
 

cheetah13mo

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I have had numerous slings stand and hover over their water dish before a molt. I've only had this happen with slings that have turned down food because they've entered premolt. Further more, every single tarantula that has done this, went through the molting process within 2 days of me increasing the enclosures humidity. As of today, my parahybana did just that and it's recovering right now.

@ Code Monkey:

As I said above, a plausible explanation would be that moisture would attack dryness from the outside makeing possible injuries and other difficulties go easier where it might not be able to be reached from the inside.
 

Cirith Ungol

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Tell me Emmanuel, why are you wasting your time trying to make them understand what is obvious ... Its a lost battle, they're to many against us, they're all around :eek: We're in America!

God bless America
I'm not. And I hope this is a joke.
 
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