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My first tarantula.

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by JSgrewit42, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. JSgrewit42

    JSgrewit42 Arachnopeon

    My Honduran curly hair will be here tomorrow and it’s expected to be 1/3 or 1/2 inch. I’ve read about feeding them fruit flies but I was curious if I could feed them baby crickets from the pet store. Any info would be great. Thanks.
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  2. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    Yes, they can take baby crickets. Try for food that is smaller than the spider's abdomen - or just prekill it. If the cricket is too big, you can also just give it a "drumstick" (cricket leg) or half of a mealworm or something similar. Most tarantulas will gladly scavenge as slings.
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  3. RezonantVoid

    RezonantVoid Hollow Knight Arachnosupporter

    If the sling is roughly 1cm in body length, they can usually take out the average small sized cricket. Pretty much anything they can overpower they will try and eat but as mentioned, try to keep prey smaller than the spider
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  4. JSgrewit42

    JSgrewit42 Arachnopeon

    Thank you I figure if I had to use a regular size cricket I would just kill it before hand
  5. Thekla

    Thekla Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    I wouldn't use fruit flies as they're are less nutritious than crickets, roaches or mealworms (which are all great feeders). Brachypelma albopilosum slings (try to use the scientific names ;)) are voracious eaters, mine took its first live prey (a roach nymph) when it was only 3rd instar.

    20180810_first baby roach.jpg

    IMO the easiest way to feed them at that size is to cut up mealworms. Just make sure you either cut their heads off or crush them as they can burrow quickly and might hurt your T later on (e.g. while moulting).

    Also, this is a pretty good guide for beginners: http://arachnoboards.com/threads/fantastic-beginner-tarantulas-and-how-to-keep-them.314840/ :)
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Teal

    Teal Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    If you're going to feed crickets from a pet store, you'll want to get them a day or two in advance and provide the cricket/s with food and water. This is called "gut loading" and it means your T is getting a more nutritous meal since crickets straight from the pet store are often hungry/thirsty. You can offer the cricket/s a slice of raw potato, carrot, or apple and a little cap of water with stones in it to prevent drowning (side note/pro tip, tarantulas don't drown so their water caps should be just water!).
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  7. JSgrewit42

    JSgrewit42 Arachnopeon

    Brachypelma Albopilosum. In the left corner. Going to wait a few days before it’s first feeding and let it settle in. Should I add a small water bottle cap for water or just mist the walls ??

    Attached Files:

  8. Thekla

    Thekla Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    I'd use a different enclosure entirely, to be honest. This one is too big and has way too much height. You probably got it with your spider, but those tiny terrestrial slings are better put in a small deli cup or such. @cold blood has nice example pics. :)

    And I'd always provide a tiny water dish if possible. A few strands of sphagnum moss which can be watered very easily are also useful. Don't mist. Water from misting will evaporate really quickly and does nothing for your T. ;) Pour a little bit of water directly onto the substrate instead.
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  9. JSgrewit42

    JSgrewit42 Arachnopeon

    Thank you great info. I thought I could get away with smaller home myself.
  10. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    No its not called gutloading:banghead: Its called feeding.

    Gutloading is a reptile term....it implies the addition of necessary nurtients specifically to keep the reptile healthy...ts do not have any such specialized nutrient needs, so that term is not applicable to this hobby..

    It should be kept on damp sub....the general rule is that if the enclosure has the room for a dish, add one.

    Compleyely agree. Its going to burrow away and not be observable...it also wont feed as consistently....so growth will be significantly slower....4-5 times slower by my experiments.

    Now this in its self isnt always detrimental, but IMO being able to see the t is important for a new keeper...most dont buy slings to not see them....faster growth will also help a new keeper be more successful, as the sling stage is the most "fragile" stage of a t, getting them past this stage quickly will mean less losses for a beginner.

    I would strongly suggest a simple condiment cup. Give just enough room to burrow, but not enough to do so excessively. A small cup means the sling will adopt the whole thing as a burrow, as a result, they tend to sit out in the open and eat more consistently.

    IMO the biggest mistake new keepers make with slings is housing thats too big and too well appointed....keep it simple.

    Once its over an inch, then you can house it more like you are...with a hide and water dish. I use 16oz deli cups at this stage and house them there till close to 3"
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  11. Flashback

    Flashback Arachnosquire

    Oh no!! Is this necessary?? I get my crickets from PetCo (I've had my T since Nov.) & I just feed him directly........:(
  12. chevy1375

    chevy1375 Arachnopeon

    Feeding the crickets before, as far as I understand it, simply provides the tarantula with extra nutrients, it is not necessary. Don't worry! Spiders in the wild eat what they can get, not necessarily food that's been 'gut loaded'.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. JSgrewit42

    JSgrewit42 Arachnopeon

    I was thinking rather than a water dish just a small wet paper towel in the corner
  14. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    NO, just a water dish. It cant drown, ts float.
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  15. Teal

    Teal Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    He certainly won't die if the feeders aren't gut loaded.

    Right, but food in the wild has access to food whereas feeders in a box at the prt store do not.

    Um, no. Absolutely not. Paper disintegrates and molds, and the spider cannot get moisture out of it anyways. They need clean, unonstructed water.

    "Gut loading is the process by which an animal's prey is raised and fed nutritious foods with the intention of passing those nutrients to the animal for which the prey is intended."

    "Gut loading simply means feeding the crickets nutritious foods so that the nutrition is passed on to your pet."

    Maybe you are thinking about the term "dusting" which refers to adding calcium and other vitamins/supplements for reptile feeder inverts... which doesn't apply to Ts. But "gut loading" does not specifically mean to add supplements that are reptile-specific.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2019
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  16. JSgrewit42

    JSgrewit42 Arachnopeon

    I took most of the greenery out and put a small piece of cork and a water bottle cap. Going simple with it. I wasn’t a fan of the leafy set up anyway
  17. The Grym Reaper

    The Grym Reaper Arachnoreaper Arachnosupporter

    "Gut-loading" to my understanding is the practice of taking feeders around 24hrs or so prior to feeding them off and sticking them in a separate enclosure with a food source (usually fresh fruit/veg if you don't usually feed these) to ensure they have a gut full of fresh food upon being fed off.

    As @cold blood already said, this practice is meant for insectivorous vertebrates that have different nutritional requirements ("gut-loading" is used in conjunction with dusting to ensure that the animal isn't missing out on any nutrients they may need), there's no need to do this for this for tarantulas.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Teal

    Teal Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    Okay, well ignore me then... who knew feeding your feeders before feeding them off was such a bad thing :rolleyes:
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  19. Thekla

    Thekla Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    Oh, I love some leaves in the enclosures because it gives your T places to hide and the opportunity to work with them. I'm still not fond of the enclosure itself as it's still too big and has too much height.
    Also, a normal bottle cap might be too big as well, not because it could drown (it won't!), but because it probably can't reach the water properly. I always use tiny things like caps of a sample tube (diameter about 1/3" - 1/2") or tiny moulding cases made out of silicone for pralines and such. These things are far easier to place them flush to the ground for easy access.

    This is my B. albo in two different small enclosures. The first one was about half the size of the second one.

    20180812_water dish example1.jpg 20181012_water dish example2.jpg

    Now it is in its third enclosure which is a 4" DIY cube:


    And now, at about 1 1/4", it actually has a bottle cap as a water dish. ;)
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  20. JSgrewit42

    JSgrewit42 Arachnopeon

    Just fed a baby cricket to my T. it seemed to scare him so I just crushed it and set it in the corner. I assume either he is not hungry or the baby cricket was to big ?
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