My first Spider! (G. Rosea)

Raine

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Messages
10
I just found and joined this site on recommendation of a friend who breeds tarantulas. I never thought I would own a tarantula. It's not that I'm arachnophobic or anything. I just thought they were neat but couldn't see the interest in keeping them as pets for more than their neat look. Well, that was BEFORE I got my own.

I went to view an apartment where the guy was moving. He had this Chilean Rose tarantula sitting in her tank with a sign saying 'WARNING GIANT ARACHNID'! I thought it was funny so commented on it. I recognized the breed immediately as my friend had let me see some of his before. I was quite fascinated with his specimen though. So lovely in coloration! I asked if she was handleable. Don't know why I did it, but he laughed and confessed he had gotten her about a year ago and only held her once. I was curious as to why that was until he explained a friend who breeds tarantulas had given her to him to help him get over his arachnophobia! Well after staring at her and oohing and awing about how lovely she was, I stood up and said: "You know, this is the most lovely tarantula I have ever seen. You're lucky to have her I think if I would have found one like this I would have been apt to purchase her!" Well, little did I expect what he said next.

"Do you want her?"

At first I thought he was just kidding. So I laughed and said "you're joking, right?" with a friendly smile. And he shook his head and replied that he was going back home in a month and his parents would not approve of the tarantula. That and he wanted a better home for her because try as he might he could not bring himself to handle her or care for her the way someone else could. So I found myself on my way home with my new three year old G. Rosea in her little five gallon tank. Well, she is a lovely spider. Immediately I went to my pet store and purchased her a ten gallon instead. I bought her a little shallow water dish and a half log hide, and put some rocks at the bottom with a bunch of spaghum (sp?) and some pesticide and fertilizer free dirt. I set up her little terrarium, eying her curiously. I realized I really didn't know much about tarantulas--time to change that!

I looked on recommended sites and they said she is to eat about 3-4 crickets every two weeks. They said that coconut stuff and spaghum was the way to go for substrate. I use the same for my ball python, you see, so it was no issue there. That they do not need under tank heaters in a room that is about 23 degrees Celsius (and mine is always warm because of my free range Savannah Monitor and his flood light set up and the humidity misters in my room. So far, so good. Only I'm no tarantula expert. I was told that the bites hurt as much as a yellow jacket sting. I've been stung by wasps and queen bees with no allergic reaction. So I decided to look up how I could even tell if she wanted to bite me or was fine to be picked up.

I learned the way to pick her up was to place a flat hand and then gently touch her abdomen. That she could 'kick hairs' at me that itched and release a smelly substance were not happy things to learn, but it is what it is. I also read that if she hisses, goes up on her two sets of back legs and rears or is molting or has molted the day before it is best to let her be. Well, I had to move my new pet into her bigger terrarium. Now that I think about it I was probably foolish to use my hands and not something else. Especially since she had not been handled in eight months! I watched her closely for a while, feeling nervous. I have never been spider bitten. I did not want to experience it. But I now own a tarantula and I realized it could bite me at some point or another.

So I put my hand down flat and she didn't do anything. Nothing at all. She just sat there and one front leg would occasionally raise a little then be put back down. Good sign, right? I inched the hand a little closer. Still no reaction. So then I ever so gently began to stroke her abdomen. No reaction. So I prodded her backside gently and much to my surprise she went into my hand. Of course I had forgotten to breathe and I had also read if they fall from more than a foot or so they could burst. So I carefully lifted my hand out of the tank and stared in fascination at her. She was just SITTING there on my hand, acting as though nothing could bother her in the world. Me, first time holding a big spider, was half totally nervous and half pleased and excited. Newbie, I am!

Then she began to move slowly up my arm and I didn't know what to do, so just put a hand in front of her. She went on it and proceeded to crawl hand to hand until she was done and was still again. So I put her into her new home and that was that.

I'm a new tarantula owner. I had never thought to own one but now I completely love her after only three days having her. I named her Charlotte though I call her Char. I figured it would help my arachnophobic guy relate her to the friendly spider from Charlotte's web. Ironically he held her the other day! Stiff as a board, looking terrified, but shocked that this 'creepy crawly thing' wasn't trying to bite him or attack him. I was delighted!

So, any advice would be GREAT. On feeding routine, on my set up for her (I think there is about a few inches of dirt but the way it is set up she has MANY places to burrow down into. I can take pictures if needed. She seems very happy in there. So is there any advice you other more experienced owners can give me? I want to make sure I do this right! I own a Sav. and Ball Python so I am used to exotics. I have always kept reptiles and not arachnids though! :) Nice to meet you all!

Rai
 
Last edited:

Tindalos

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Messages
158
congrats

you have done your research, congratulations, :clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:

and im not going to answer your questions, you pretty much have it down, just pick up The Tarantulas Keepers Guide, and for your next tarantula..because you are going to get another one pretty soon, i suggest Brachypelma vagans.

and again wow! congrats on your new T and thanks for sharing the fascinating story.
 

Chris_Skeleton

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 31, 2010
Messages
1,310
Sounds like you got some good info there. The only thing I saw that you were told wrong is that they release a smelly substance in defense. They do not.

Also if it has molted you need to leave it alone for about 1-2 weeks. And do not try to feed it during this time either.

Your enclosure sounds perfect *Edit: I though you were keeping it in a 5 gallon, honestly it would be better than a 10g IMO. Also make sure you have the substrate filling up at LEAST half the tank* and 1-2 crickets a week is fine.

And one more note, tarantulas can not be tamed.

Congratulations on your new tarantula.

Welcome to the boards and the hobby.
 
Last edited:

Raine

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Messages
10
Thanks for the welcome and the advice! :)

I will need to put more substrate in then. It is about 1/4 of the tank, not 1/2 at the present time. As for molting, thanks for that bit of information too! I knew you were not to feed it for a couple weeks due to it being 'soft' and the crickets potentially biting it. But not that I couldn't handle it for 1-2 weeks. So good to know.

I'm curious...why is a five gallon better than a 10 gallon? I know that with reptiles the more space the better. Is this not true for tarantulas? I already gave away my five gallon. ): Also I realize that like snakes tarantulas can not be tamed. There are just some that don't mind handling and some that do. So no worries there. My Savannah is totally a big suck up though! Still, it is true that if you don't handle them at all they will likely not want you to later?

As for the Brachypelma vagans...what a pretty tarantula! Or T as you call them here. :D I'm content with just the one until my guy gets used to the idea. I would also not purchase a T that is more venomous. I have 2 cats and really don't need one getting out that could kill them with a bite, or my dog. I also wouldn't really be interested in keeping a species that is known for being ill tempered. So that Brachypelma Vagans? Nice choice. IF I DO get another? I will definitely take a look at that. ;)
 
Last edited:

Chris_Skeleton

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 31, 2010
Messages
1,310
I'm curious...why is a five gallon better than a 10 gallon? I know that with reptiles the more space the better. Is this not true for tarantulas? I already gave away my five gallon. ):
A 10 gallon would be fine. I like 5 gallons better for G. rosea because they don't get too large. Tarantulas, in the wild, will utilize a burrow and stay there it's entire life. They don't need vast amounts of space.


Also I realize that like snakes tarantulas can not be tamed. There are just some that don't mind handling and some that do. So no worries there. My Savannah is totally a big suck up though! Still, it is true that if you don't handle them at all they will likely not want you to later?
I thought snakes could be tamed? :? They don't actively mind or not mind handling, some are just more docile than others. They certainly don't understand that they are being "handled" in the way we call it. If you don't handle them at all, it does not affect them in any way.
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,659
I'm curious...why is a five gallon better than a 10 gallon? I know that with reptiles the more space the better.
It isn't, but some keepers prefer to keep their Ts in a smaller enclosure. We have our G. rosea in a 10 gal. and she uses every inch of it. She even has a multi story complex of tunnels, which she couldn't have if we had her in a 5 gal. We will always keep adult Ts in 10 gal enclosures, because we feel better giving them more space and it isn't detrimental either. It all boils down to personal preference, so if you have the 10 gal. make sure you have enough substrate in there to only allow a legspan and a half between the top of the substrate and the top of the enclosure to help prevent injury from falls.

Still, it is true that if you don't handle them at all they will likely not want you to later?
I believe the jury is still out on this subject. Some say yes, some say no.

I have 2 cats and really don't need one getting out that could kill them with a bite, or my dog.
We have 2 cats as well and we have never had an escapee. If you are worried, clear packing tape makes a good safety precaution.

Welcome to the forum and to the hobby!:D
 

Raine

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Messages
10
I will keep her in her lovely new 10 gallon then! She is 3 years and she seems to be enjoying her new home. She goes from one end to the other though she has a favorite dug out corner she likes to sit in. I would always go with 10 gallons for my adults, if I get more. It is a nice size and leaves room for multiple burrows and hides and plants and rocks. :D

Well, I just did some more research on the forum about Chilean rose T's. And all of it mostly points to the fact they are one of the more docile species and make one of the better hand pet tarantulas. Though I don't immediately expect to never be bitten if I'm not careful! :)

I'm not really worried. The lid is secure and heavy enough that she won't be moving it on her own any time soon. She seems content to come out when I take the lid off myself though!

Oh, quick question: why do I itch when and after I hold her? She isn't kicking hairs at me but I still itch.
 
Last edited:

AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
590
I would like to request a normal font site. :)
And i have never heard of a G. rosea hissing or stridulating. Welcome to the forums and hobby.
 
Last edited:

Raine

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Messages
10
There we go, regular size! :)

I read they fling hairs and posture. Someone else told me they will hiss. Guess he was wrong? It's hard when you hear one thing from someone and find out it's not right. :(

But as for snakes, they can be handled and don't mind it. I'm not so sure you can totally tame them, though. I've heard a lot of experiences of boas or pythons attacking their handlers and causing serious damage. There was one man who had a boa that he had for years and used it to teach kids. One lesson it just struck him in the face for apparently no reason at all! So unsure if snakes will ever be totally tamable. So I don't really know. It has been a topic of debate for a long time.

I got rid of my five gallon so I'm not about to switch her over again when she is already making changes and beginning burrows in the new ten gallon. But good to know I guess? She goes from one end to the other periodically, though. And it's much neater to watch her hunt down crickets in a bigger tank! :D
 

Stewjoe

Arachnosquire
Joined
Sep 4, 2010
Messages
102
It does not need to kick the hairs for you to get itchy, thay can naturally rub off so be careful when poking around their home as there is usually hairs covering their home.
 

Raine

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Messages
10
Thanks for the tip! I did not know they rub off naturally, I thought they could only kick them purposely. It certainly explains the itching. Is there a way to prevent it other than wearing gloves? It isn't a very comfortable feeling to have itchy hands. I washed them after handling but it didn't seem to stop it entirely.
 

Raine

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Messages
10
Well then, it's well worth it! :D I enjoy handling her a little here and there. Wouldn't have gotten a G. Rosea if I didn't find out they were usually more docile and handleable than many.
 

LadySharon

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
201
Welcome to the hobby. :)

One thing... How big is this T? G Roseas are slow growing. I've had mine sence 2006 and they are not full grown. Many people make the mistake of under-estimating how old their T is. If it is an adult size (5-6 inch leg span) then it is most likely more then 3 years old.

- Sharon
 

Tindalos

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Messages
158
Welcome to the hobby. :)

One thing... How big is this T? G Roseas are slow growing. I've had mine sence 2006 and they are not full grown. Many people make the mistake of under-estimating how old their T is. If it is an adult size (5-6 inch leg span) then it is most likely more then 3 years old.

- Sharon
When it comes to G.rosea dont estimate age. when it comes to wild caught.
they are very slow growing T's

A 3 inch wild caught G.rosea could be several years old
 

Raine

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Messages
10
Hey all. She was captive bred by someone I met's friend. He breeds Chilean Rose T's and said she was three years old. He was two and a bit when he got her. I can take a picture or a measurement? She's not small, though. I read they grow slow. I'll go attempt to take a measurement!

She is approx. 3 1/2 inches. I measured her with a ruler and she's about 9cm. Does that sound about right? I mean, he said she was three. And wait...you just said what I thought you said? She's going to get BIGGER? o.o; Wow. I thought she was big already! How long will it take her to be full size? Do they get bigger than 6 inches? Thanks for the welcome!

 

Tindalos

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Messages
158
if its captive bred then aging is right.

but in the case of wild rose hairs in extreme cases it could be over 20 years.
 

Hobo

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Staff member
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
2,206
Hey all. She was captive bred by someone I met's friend. He breeds Chilean Rose T's and said she was three years old. He was two and a bit when he got her. I can take a picture or a measurement? She's not small, though. I read they grow slow. I'll go attempt to take a measurement!

She is approx. 3 1/2 inches. I measured her with a ruler and she's about 9cm. Does that sound about right? I mean, he said she was three. And wait...you just said what I thought you said? She's going to get BIGGER? o.o; Wow. I thought she was big already! How long will it take her to be full size? Do they get bigger than 6 inches? Thanks for the welcome!

They get to be about 5" and a bit more. How long it will take her to get there depends on how warm you keep her, how much/often you feed her, and if it's even a "her" at all! At the very least, from what I've read, it could take a few years.

Also, I'm assuming you measured leg span? A ten or even a five gallon would be much too big to be practical for something that size. I'm no saying it wouldn't work, but with 'larger than necessary' enclosures you need to add a lot more substrate to make it safe, need to worry about feeders living and dying in there (assuming you don't "tong feed"), and most importantly, they take up valuable space that could be used for more spiders!

Which brings me to my final bit of advice.
You will most likely end up with more Ts in the future. Just a heads up. Welcome to the boards and hobby!
 

Raine

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Messages
10
Everyone seems so very sure I will end up with more Ts. {D

I'm already eying the brachypelma vagans! And yep, I measured leg span. She's not even 4" but I'm sure she'll grow. I watch for feeders and I don't mind putting in more substrate etc. She's my very first, so perhaps any others I get could be in 5 gallons unless they need bigger. ;)

You guys are super worrying me with the 'if it's a her' thing though. :( I mean, since she's not fully grown a few have been saying I can't know for sure until she molts--and no one seems to know how long that will be. I have no clue how to tell either, save to wait for her to flip upside down.
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,659
Everyone seems so very sure I will end up with more Ts. {DI'm already eying the brachypelma vagans!
It happens to be an addicting hobby. ;) We went from 1 adult G. rosea, to 4 spiderlings and 2 adults in the space of three months. Since tarantulas don't always move around alot, the more you have, the better your chance is to see one being cute/ cool.:D

And yep, I measured leg span. She's not even 4" but I'm sure she'll grow. I watch for feeders and I don't mind putting in more substrate etc. She's my very first, so perhaps any others I get could be in 5 gallons unless they need bigger. ;)
Yikes! I didn't realize the T was quite that small and the 10 gallon could be a bit big for it. We use the 10 gal. for adult Ts and at that size it has a few years to go before I would consider it old enough to buy alcohol. However, as long as you have enough substrate in there and are able to see that it is eating and have a smallish water dish you should still be fine.

When you measure legspan, are you measuring diagonally from the front leg on one side to the back leg on the other side? When people ask if you are measuring legspan they mean D(iagonal)L(eg)S(pan).:)

You guys are super worrying me with the 'if it's a her' thing though. :( I mean, since she's not fully grown a few have been saying I can't know for sure until she molts--and no one seems to know how long that will be. I have no clue how to tell either, save to wait for her to flip upside down.
Here this will lead you to a list of signs to look for when trying to determine if your T is in premolt. Tarantulas don't work on a set schedule though, so there isn't a way to tell how long it will be until it molts. Our W(ild)C(aught) adult G. rosea has averaged one molt a year. Our C(aptive)B(red) spiderling has averaged 2 molts a year, but grown very little. Since yours is CB, perhaps that average will help you a bit, at least as far as anxiousness. ;)

About the hairs...... they are barbed at the ends, so simply washing your hands may not do the trick. We(Mr. Gone & I) have never had problems with urticating hairs bothering either one of us luckily, but we do not handle often. However, I have read that using duct tape on the affected areas, like you would to remove cat or dog hair from clothing sometimes helps though, so you could try that. :D


As far as stridulating(hissing) our adult G. rosea has done it before. She got in a tizzy one day when we were trying to re-landscape her enclosure and she wasn't happy about it! I don't care to hear her do it again, because we could tell that we were stressing her out and she was telling us in no uncertain terms that we were messing with her territory.

It doesn't get much clearer than this! She was so 'upset', she was doing the threat pose on her back!:eek:

 
Last edited:
Top