My T's and me...

SpiderQueenLizzy

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
7
Hello, I'm just writing this to get this off my chest. I own two tarantulas, one green bottle blue and one costa rican zebra blue. I love them very much since I have a great passion for tarantulas and spiders in general. Both are still juveniles and are still growing, but I feel like I'm in a weird and scary place right now with them. My zebra blue stopped eating a long time ago, I thought she was getting ready to molt so I left her alone and checked up on her all the time. But just now, today 1/24/17, I went ahead and fed her a cricket and she ate it. I was shocked, I guess I might have been wrong about her molting. Even though I see some slight discoloration on her abdomen but no bald spot. The other T is a little different, recently I cleaned out her cage, nothing too big just dish soap, water and a good dry. I even got her a new better hide. She ate two days ago and now she has crawled into her hide and won't eat. I know she has done this before when she was getting ready to molt but I didn't think it would be so soon. But I'm still not sure if she's even molting or not yet. I know tarantulas go through stages of feasting and fasting but it scares me still. I have the tarantula bible for tarantula care, The Tarantula Keeper's Guide, that always helps. But I sometimes still feel on edge about my tarantula's health. It all might be nothing, and I'm just over thinking it. It might be also because I have had two other baby t's die on me in the past. The first one I could understand why it died. I was very ill prepared for it and it died as a result. But then, I got three more baby's on my birth day. Two were the ones I was talking about, but the third never made it and I don't know why. This time I was better prepared, but for some reason the one t, a baby brachypelma emilia, never molted or ate. I tried everything, crushed the crickets, wounded them, left them alive, and even not feed her thinking she was just stressed or ready to molt. But she never did a damn thing! Near the end, I put her in a tarantula ICU but that never worked for her and she died any way. She had clean substrate, a good hide, a warm environment, and since she was too small for a water dish I would wet her substrate just a little. Nothing too muddy or too dry. The other two continued too live on to this day but that one still haunts me. I don't wet the substrate any more for the green bottle blue because she's big enough now for a water dish. But I still do it for the zebra blue because she's still kind of small. The zebra blue is a borrowing type, so I gave her enough substrate to work with and a hide made out of a red plastic cup I cut in half. She uses it very well. So any way, I guess to wrap up this tirade of insecurities, I love my tarantula's and feel I little worried I might not be doing enough for them. Or I could just be going crazy. I just don't want a repeat of the two others that died. And I want more tarantulas, but I just don't feel confident enough about the two I have now. But who knows, it might be nothing. My green bottle blue will molt and everything will go back to normal. Still don't know what's up with my zebra blue though. I just thought that was weird. Oh well, good night for now.
 

Venom1080

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
4,584
misjudging premolt happens to me every now and then, no big deal. i would never clean out tarantulas cage unless there were mites or a ton of mold. when i do clean out cages, i only use water. i wouldnt trust dish soap, IME, tarantulas and any kind of chemicals = bad. id stop if i were you.. the TKG is outdated and most of the care in it is questionable at best. tarantulas are never too small for a water dish, their setae (hairs) push water away, forming air bubbles and letting them more or less float. theres a video of a Avicularia swimming in a river on youtube. hope this helps, if youre nervous, post pics of the cages.
 

Garth Vader

Arachnobaron
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Jun 25, 2016
Messages
436
I'm newer to this hobby and I'm a worrier and I gotta say, when I only had one T I fussed and worried about that little guy like nobody's business. Then I got another T and then a few more. Now I check on them but don't worry about them as much.

The way to build confidence is by building mastery so keep learning and reading here. Perhaps read into some other species that are good for beginners and get a few more Ts. If you notice issues, come to the forum and ask. People are so helpful here.

As for your current Ts, just leave them be. Thy will molt when they are ready, keep offering food and give water. If you haven't done so yet post a pic of your setup to get feedback from the folks on here.
 

Anoplogaster

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
675
You can't beat yourself up over Ts you've lost in the past. Just try your best to learn from those experiences to avoid repeats. We all still have tons to learn about them. Occassionally, you get a casualty that's just a mystery. Do your best and seek help when you're in question. But it's tough to really enjoy this hobby unless you let yourself off the hook for past losses.
 

scott308

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 6, 2008
Messages
74
Your spider just ate two days ago. That's like you eating dinner and having someone be concerned because you don't want to eat an hour or two later. As a juvenile, it might eat or it might not after only two days. I wouldn't be concerned. Do you always feed it every two days and have it eat every time?
 

SpiderQueenLizzy

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
7
Your spider just ate two days ago. That's like you eating dinner and having someone be concerned because you don't want to eat an hour or two later. As a juvenile, it might eat or it might not after only two days. I wouldn't be concerned. Do you always feed it every two days and have it eat every time?
I am currently powerfeeding them. I usually feed them once a day. They always eat if they're not getting ready to molt. My green bottle blue is currently moving around right now!
 

Paiige

Arachnobaron
Joined
Oct 2, 2016
Messages
331
I see something about aliens, the music of today sucking, a badger humping a leg, and Shadow of the Colossus. I'm actually pretty interested in what it says but it hurts my eyes to read it.
Point proven.

OP, don't stress too hard. Maybe for your next T, pick up a sub-adult. We all make mistakes, we all worry - it's part of the hobby. Just do your best and let them do their thing.
 

Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
1,899
Hello, I'm just writing this to get this off my chest. I own two tarantulas, one green bottle blue and one costa rican zebra blue. I love them very much since I have a great passion for tarantulas and spiders in general. Both are still juveniles and are still growing, but I feel like I'm in a weird and scary place right now with them. My zebra blue stopped eating a long time ago, I thought she was getting ready to molt so I left her alone and checked up on her all the time. But just now, today 1/24/17, I went ahead and fed her a cricket and she ate it. I was shocked, I guess I might have been wrong about her molting. Even though I see some slight discoloration on her abdomen but no bald spot. The other T is a little different, recently I cleaned out her cage, nothing too big just dish soap, water and a good dry. I even got her a new better hide. She ate two days ago and now she has crawled into her hide and won't eat. I know she has done this before when she was getting ready to molt but I didn't think it would be so soon. But I'm still not sure if she's even molting or not yet. I know tarantulas go through stages of feasting and fasting but it scares me still. I have the tarantula bible for tarantula care, The Tarantula Keeper's Guide, that always helps. But I sometimes still feel on edge about my tarantula's health. It all might be nothing, and I'm just over thinking it. It might be also because I have had two other baby t's die on me in the past. The first one I could understand why it died. I was very ill prepared for it and it died as a result. But then, I got three more baby's on my birth day. Two were the ones I was talking about, but the third never made it and I don't know why. This time I was better prepared, but for some reason the one t, a baby brachypelma emilia, never molted or ate. I tried everything, crushed the crickets, wounded them, left them alive, and even not feed her thinking she was just stressed or ready to molt. But she never did a damn thing! Near the end, I put her in a tarantula ICU but that never worked for her and she died any way. She had clean substrate, a good hide, a warm environment, and since she was too small for a water dish I would wet her substrate just a little. Nothing too muddy or too dry. The other two continued too live on to this day but that one still haunts me. I don't wet the substrate any more for the green bottle blue because she's big enough now for a water dish. But I still do it for the zebra blue because she's still kind of small. The zebra blue is a borrowing type, so I gave her enough substrate to work with and a hide made out of a red plastic cup I cut in half. She uses it very well. So any way, I guess to wrap up this tirade of insecurities, I love my tarantula's and feel I little worried I might not be doing enough for them. Or I could just be going crazy. I just don't want a repeat of the two others that died. And I want more tarantulas, but I just don't feel confident enough about the two I have now. But who knows, it might be nothing. My green bottle blue will molt and everything will go back to normal. Still don't know what's up with my zebra blue though. I just thought that was weird. Oh well, good night for now.
Post some photos of the enclosure and the Ts when you can get them. We'll be able to help a lot more that way. Good luck.
 

cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
11,864
I am currently powerfeeding them. I usually feed them once a day.
A reptile term that made its way into the t hobby and just won't go away.:wacky:

Feeding a t more often does one significant thing, it vastly increases the length of time the t will fast. With increased temps it can speed the molt process, but not significantly.

See, before a t molts, it needs a certain amount of time to grow a new exoskeleton, and as the t gains size, the amount of time this takes to grow increases exponentially.

At the same time, a t will eat only so much before it has its fill, this obviously increases with size. Because of this, heavier feeding programs are really only effective in speeding growth of spiderlings.

I'll use 2 examples based on experience and actual numbers for one of my females.

A sling of a nice fast growing species, say Nhandu chromatus in this case, at 3/4", may be able to grow a new exo in just 24-25 days, but it may require 7 or 8 small crickets. So if you feed them every other day, you can have the t filled up and ready to molt in 20 days (given 4 days after molt to await hardening), leaving what amounts to a 4 day fasting period, which is basically not fasting. Effective for sure, as a slower schedule would mean a longer molt cycle as its growth capabilities are accelerated beyond its slower feeding schedule.

Take the same species as a 3" juvenile. It may take 5 months to grow that exo and need 25 feedings to get its fill. Now feed this t every 2 days and its got its fill in less than 2 months...leaving you basically 3 months of fasting and waiting.


On the other hand...lol, if you fed tiny prey items every day, you might not get as much nutrition as someone who feeds one large prey item every 7-10 days, so even if you are feeding small items like mad, the guy who rarely feeds, but feeds large amounts is actually feeding at a more accelerated rate than you are every day....so size of the prey item also plays a role in feeding frequency and just how heavy your schedule actually is. I shorten the time between feedings when the last prey was small, but if it was something like a large dubia, I might wait 2 weeks or more before feeding again.

I'm all for heavy feeding schedules for slings, but once they become juveniles and molt times increase, there's just no point.
 
Last edited:

Paiige

Arachnobaron
Joined
Oct 2, 2016
Messages
331
A sling of a nice fast growing species, say Nhandu chromatus in this case, at 3/4", may be able to grow a new exo in just 24-25 days, but it may require 7 or 8 small crickets. So if you feed them every other day, you can have the t filled up and ready to molt in 20 days (given 4 days after molt to await hardening), leaving what amounts to a 4 day fasting period, which is basically not fasting. Effective for sure, as a slower schedule would mean a longer molt cycle as its growth capabilities are accelerated beyond its slower feeding schedule.
That's actually a really excellent way of putting it. I don't think I've ever heard it explained that way before.
 

gypsy cola

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
195
If you want to be in hobby you have to understand that sometimes, they just die. Is it keeper error or just a fluke, who knows?

The biggest appeal to me in this hobby is that there is so much unexplored territory. You could be the guy to discover a new species, successfully breed an unbred species, make advancements in husbandry, make your mark as a reputable vendor, or be an mentor to all the new hobbyists.

The important lesson I have learned in this hobby is that sometimes, you just have to sit back and let the spiders do their things. If you provide a good home, food, and water...you did everything you could.
 
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