My new Brachypelma annitha shows a weird and dangerous climbing behavior. What can I do?

Gobbo

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
7
Hello Everyone

I've got my first tarantula last week without much time to prepare, because a relative had to give her away and since fryday, she is living in her new terrarium (see picture). She is a 5cm long female Brachypelma annitha. The Terrarium is measuring 30x30x30cm and is filled 10-14cm with subtrate. I sprayed the whole terrarium for the first 1-2 days with water to keep the humidity up, but now I'm trying to keep it dry because I read, that you don't need humidity for brachypelmas.

Now my problems: I often heard, that you don't use special heating equipment in tarantula terrariums, but I live in northern germany in a rented apartment and my room temperature is between 16-20 °C (60-68 F). I installed a heat mat on the side to keep the temperature at night at at least 20 °C and a 25W spot lamp for the day. With that, I am able to keep the temperature inside at 28-30°C during the day. Also, there is a light tube in the back wich I got from the previous owner.

Now I know, that my tarantula is a terrestrial tarantula, but she realy likes to climb. The terrarium is one from Exo Terra and has very much top ventilation with a fine metal grid (see picture). During the day, she is always sitting right under the spot and doesn't even try to hide, or walks a bit around in the terrarium.
In the evening hours, she starts to get realy realy active, wanders nonstop through the terrarium and starts climbing the back wall and also very often upside down under the ceiling. She always trys either to climb under the light in the back, or directly climbs under the spot in the front, her belly just a few centimeters away from the bulb (where it should be 35°C or more).

Also, she is not very good at climbing on glass, so everytime she trys to get from the ceiling back on the floor using one of the sides, she falls like 15cm.
I am realy, realy worried that she will get hurt.

So, has anybody here experience with this sort of behavior? Is it normal, or what am I doing wrong? Is the Terrarium okay the way it is or should I change something? And is it to warm or to cold?

I'm realy lost right now and I'm afraid to do something wrong and hurt her with that.

Best regards,
Gobbo

P.S. Please excuse my horrible english^^
 

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ColeopteraC

Arachnoknight
Active Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
279
Few things need changing, any of these could be stressing the T out so change them and see...

1:Heat (or most) lamps will stress out and potentially dry out the T, as will heatmats to an extent. If it gets too cold either use or invest in a good space heater.

2: Those jelly bubbles in the water bowl can go, T’s have difficulty extracting moisture from those. Just use water, they won’t drown in a shallow bowl like yours.

3: Remove the mesh at the top and replace it with a sheet of perforated acrylic, if the T climbs to the top it could get its tarsi stuck in those and lose limbs etc.

Hope this helps:)
 

Poonjab

Arachnodemon
Active Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
690
That whole setup needs to be changed immediately. Lose the light, lose the heat mat. Lose the water orbs in the dish. Put in terrestrial enclosure that doesn’t have mesh lid to prevent injury from fall.
 

moricollins

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 15, 2003
Messages
2,300
Hello Everyone

I've got my first tarantula last week without much time to prepare, because a relative had to give her away and since fryday, she is living in her new terrarium (see picture). She is a 5cm long female Brachypelma annitha. The Terrarium is measuring 30x30x30cm and is filled 10-14cm with subtrate. I sprayed the whole terrarium for the first 1-2 days with water to keep the humidity up, but now I'm trying to keep it dry because I read, that you don't need humidity for brachypelmas.

Now my problems: I often heard, that you don't use special heating equipment in tarantula terrariums, but I live in northern germany in a rented apartment and my room temperature is between 16-20 °C (60-68 F). I installed a heat mat on the side to keep the temperature at night at at least 20 °C and a 25W spot lamp for the day. With that, I am able to keep the temperature inside at 28-30°C during the day. Also, there is a light tube in the back wich I got from the previous owner.

Now I know, that my tarantula is a terrestrial tarantula, but she realy likes to climb. The terrarium is one from Exo Terra and has very much top ventilation with a fine metal grid (see picture). During the day, she is always sitting right under the spot and doesn't even try to hide, or walks a bit around in the terrarium.
In the evening hours, she starts to get realy realy active, wanders nonstop through the terrarium and starts climbing the back wall and also very often upside down under the ceiling. She always trys either to climb under the light in the back, or directly climbs under the spot in the front, her belly just a few centimeters away from the bulb (where it should be 35°C or more).

Also, she is not very good at climbing on glass, so everytime she trys to get from the ceiling back on the floor using one of the sides, she falls like 15cm.
I am realy, realy worried that she will get hurt.

So, has anybody here experience with this sort of behavior? Is it normal, or what am I doing wrong? Is the Terrarium okay the way it is or should I change something? And is it to warm or to cold?

I'm realy lost right now and I'm afraid to do something wrong and hurt her with that.

Best regards,
Gobbo

P.S. Please excuse my horrible english^^
Firstly, welcome aboard :)

Advice:
1. the heat lamp is going to cook your tarantula. It is far more likely to do harm than good. 28C is way warmer than it needs to be.

2. You don't need to worry about misting, provide a water dish with clean water (there's no need for the marbles you have in there), and overfill the dish occasionally so that there's a bit of moisture in the substrate, but only occasionally, like once a month.

3. Unfortunately, these types of enclosures aren't great for beginners with tarantulas. There's too much height so a fall could be fatal and the doors mean you can't put enough substrate in to make it safer.

4. Most new keepers find that their tarantulas climb a lot, part of it is exploration in the tarantula's part and part is avoiding things that the tarantula doesn't like.
 

Gobbo

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
7
Hey, thanks for your fast replies!!

Unfortunately, buying a heater that heats up my whole room is more than I can afford. I have a 4,2m ceiling and the house is like a 100 years old. Is there any other way to heat up the air arround the terrarium?

Okay, yes, I heard that this Terrariums aren't great for tarantulas...
Do you have a suggestion which kind of terrarium I should buy?

Thanks for all your answers, you help me a lot!!! :)
 

TwiztedNinja

Arachnobaron
Active Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2019
Messages
427
It seems the red leg type species like to climb glass/sides a lot

Mine does it often. More than my others

You already know about the lights

The lateral dimensions of that terrarium look ok, you just need to find something similar that is shorter and top opening only, so you can add more sub and make it a safer environment for the T
 

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cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
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Messages
11,555
Yeah, you really would be hard pressed to get a more dangerous set up. First, the height....you say dangerous climbing, but climbing is ONLY dangerous if you give them the height to make it dangerous. On top of that, you have a lamp above it that its climbing to....this illustrates the dangers of lamps or direct heat sources like mats. Ts are drawn to heat, much like a moth is drawn to a flame....and like the poor moth, they can be drawn to their detriment.

I get that you want it warmer, and also get that not everyone can justify heating a whole room, for those with just one or a few ts we need to look for other alternatives.

Now you basically have all the tools to fix everything. I suggest getting a smaller enclosure for this t....you can get one small enough to fit inside that exo terra...you could then heat that exo with a heat mat (high on the side), making the mat a secondary heat source, basically creating a micro-climate within that exo terra.

Also you note that Brachypelma don't need maintained humidity...just to clarify, its not just Brachypelma, its all ts....humidity isn't relevant for keeping any t...some just require damp substrate, but even for those, the ambient humidity doesn't matter and will only dictate how much and how often one needs to dampen sub...but as already noted, just dry with a water dish is all you will ever need for this t.

I will say, they way you have the floor set up looks quite nice, so you weren't all bad, at least you know what to do with the smaller enclosure if you choose that route.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
10,206
Humidity not an issue.
Lamp- dump it, you need a space heater

Too tall. recommend you keep sub to lid distance no more than 1.5x I keep a lot of my NW adult females in ExoTerra Breeder Boxes to prevent fall death/injury.


Edited due to @Thekla
 
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Gobbo

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
7
Thank you very much!!

I found a terrarium with only top opening (pics), but it is only 20x20x20 cm in dimensions and I find no similar one that is bigger. Could this work?
 

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ColeopteraC

Arachnoknight
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Joined
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Messages
279
Thank you very much!!

I found a terrarium with only top opening (pics), but it is only 20x20x20 cm in dimensions and I find no similar one that is bigger. Could this work?
How big is the larger one? you may find better deals on acrylic enclosures...
 

Vanisher

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 2, 2004
Messages
2,479
I dont know many people put tarantulas in Exo terra terrariums. First off the front opened Exo terra is not suitable for a terrestrial. ( there are front opend terrarium that are suitable, but not Exo terras. They are too tall) secondly they have metal mesh that is not suitable. Tarantulas get their tarsus claws stuck if climbing. A simple search will tell you that. I wish new keepers would take their time doing research, before putting a tarantula in an enclosure. All of this would easily be avoided.
You now have to rehouse it to something more apropriate, like a low acrylic tub or a Critter keeper or similair.
Good luck with your new tarantula
 

Thekla

Arachnoprince
Arachnosupporter
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Oct 13, 2017
Messages
1,697
good German forums from what other Germans told me. In fact Germany was/is one of the leaders in tarantula science and husbandry. I'm shocked to be honest to see such a setup coming out of Germany. This is something you see more than in the USA.
Gosh! I'm sorry, but you got that totally wrong. In the biggest German forum, there're exactly those keepers who will tell you to use such a terrarium (and you'll be attacked if you dared to say it's too high), to use heat lamps (because Ts apparently need a warm spot with at least 26-28°C in the enclosure) and there're no problems with mesh lids. :meh: I had numerous discussions about all of that and just gave up at some point.

@Gobbo If you'd like to get a nice glass enclosure I can recommend HX Terraristik. Google them, they're great. They will build a customised enclosure for a very fair price, way less than an Exo Terra. Or you could choose one of their spider enclosures, where you can fill in enough substrate, so, it's safe for your T. Only downside is, delivery could take a few weeks if you're not near Höxter. ;) In the meantime just get an appropriately-sized plastic box. :)

As for the temperature... is it really that cold with you? As long as you have about 20°C your T will be completely fine. :)
 

Gobbo

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
7
How big is the larger one? you may find better deals on acrylic enclosures...
I found one that is top opend only, with a perforated metal sheet for ventilation and the measurments 40x20x25cm. I'm planning to fill it 15 to 20cm high with substrate so it is not high, but she can dig if she chooses to.

Gosh! I'm sorry, but you got that totally wrong. In the biggest German forum, there're exactly those keepers who will tell you to use such a terrarium (and you'll be attacked if you dared to say it's too high), to use heat lamps (because Ts apparently need a warm spot with at least 26-28°C in the enclosure) and there're no problems with mesh lids. :meh: I had numerous discussions about all of that and just gave up at some point.

@Gobbo If you'd like to get a nice glass enclosure I can recommend HX Terraristik. Google them, they're great. They will build a customised enclosure for a very fair price, way less than an Exo Terra. Or you could choose one of their spider enclosures, where you can fill in enough substrate, so, it's safe for your T. Only downside is, delivery could take a few weeks if you're not near Höxter. ;) In the meantime just get an appropriately-sized plastic box. :)

As for the temperature... is it really that cold with you? As long as you have about 20°C your T will be completely fine. :)
Yes, I know exactly waht you mean!!! I was totaly confused what to do the first cuple days of reading german forums, until I found Arachnoboards :/

Thanks for the info :) I found there Website yesterday and if you say they are good, I will contact them for future enclosures :)

Unfortunatly yes, the temperatures in Kiel rarely get to 20°C at the moment and my aparment has not the best isolation and gets no sun at all :/
 

Thekla

Arachnoprince
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Unfortunatly yes, the temperatures in Kiel rarely get to 20°C at the moment and my aparment has not the best isolation and gets no sun at all :/
Please don't tell me your apartment doesn't reach at least 19°C ... :astonished: Gosh, I would freeze to death. :rofl:
At least, it will get warmer now, even with us here in the north. ;) I live in Lübeck, so, basically around the corner. *gg*


HX is really good and they're dead cheap in comparison. They made a customised dart frog enclosure for me and I love it. I don't have their spider enclosures but I know @boina loves those. :) They come in very handy because they have these angled front doors you can open even when the enclosure sits on a shelf.
 
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Wolfram1

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
59
Some nice input there guys, when it comes to temperature some birdspiders do tolerate lower temps quite fine. I have no experiece with this species but i have 2 L. parahybana from Brazil as well as 2 P. sp. machala from Equador that keep in my bedroom at roomtemp just fine for over 2 years now. And in winter it can dip as low as 16-17°C since my heater is the last one of the flat the hot water gets to, though i try to keep it at 18°C minimum.

They are doing just fine, one molted tonight.

I wouldnt worry about temperature unless u are freezing yourself
 
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viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
10,206
Gosh! I'm sorry, but you got that totally wrong. In the biggest German forum, there're exactly those keepers who will tell you to use such a terrarium (and you'll be attacked if you dared to say it's too high), to use heat lamps (because Ts apparently need a warm spot with at least 26-28°C in the enclosure) and there're no problems with mesh lids. :meh: I had numerous discussions about all of that and just gave up at some point.

@Gobbo If you'd like to get a nice glass enclosure I can recommend HX Terraristik. Google them, they're great. They will build a customised enclosure for a very fair price, way less than an Exo Terra. Or you could choose one of their spider enclosures, where you can fill in enough substrate, so, it's safe for your T. Only downside is, delivery could take a few weeks if you're not near Höxter. ;) In the meantime just get an appropriately-sized plastic box. :)

As for the temperature... is it really that cold with you? As long as you have about 20°C your T will be completely fine. :)
Thanks for the correction!

I thought you told me they were pro humidity unlike the states??
 

Gobbo

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
7
At least, it will get warmer now, even with us here in the north. ;) I live in Lübeck, so, basically around the corner. *gg*
Oh, very cool :)

HX is really good and they're dead cheap in comparison. They made a customised dart frog enclosure for me and I love it. I don't have their spider enclosures but I know @boina loves those. :) They come in very handy because they have these angled front doors you can open even when the enclosure sits on a shelf.
Thanks, I will check them out :)

Some nice input there guys, when it comes to temperature some birdspiders do tolerate lower temps quite fine. I have no experiece with this species but i have 2 L. parahybana from Brazil as well as 2 P. sp. machala from Equador that keep in my bedroom at roomtemp just fine for over 2 years now. And in winter it can dip as low as 16-17°C since my heater is the last one of the flat the hot water gets to, though i try to keep it at 18°C minimum.

They are doing just fine, one molted tonight.

I wouldnt worry about temperature unless u are freezing yourself
Okay, thank you, then I will stop worrying so much about the temperature^^
 

Dorifto

Arachnobaron
Active Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2017
Messages
428
@Gobbo

Being from Germany you have much easier to source euro style terrariums like this:


They have better ventilation and you don't have to mod anything.

For the enclosure, you can use a led light on top that doesn't produce any heat, so the T isn't attracted to the there.

I'm telling you this, because my first setup was an exo terra enclosure, and my pulchra didn't stop climbing to the top part atracted by the heat from the lamp.

I have two of these enclosures and never again have had climbing problems.

For the substrate I would use a clay based substrate, dry grass, some branches and a starting burrow. Also you can make her a stagered setup, low part and a high part. This way you can play with diferent levels of humidity etc, so it she has all their need in the same enclosure.

If you house is too cold, and the last option you have is a heat mat, they are some threads regarding this issue.
 

Gobbo

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
7
Thanks for all your help the past couple of days :)
I tried to follow the points you suggested with her new enclosure (See pictures). I would realy like to here what you experienced people think about it.

Also, I have a new question: I know now that she doesn't need any humidity, but is there a thing like to much humidity in the air? For some reason, the humidity is up at 80-90%, and I was sure that the substrat was dry when I put it in. Not dry like sand, but realy dry for topsoil (no sticking to the hands etc.). Or is that an effect, that the plant has?
 

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