Need some advice: I think my sling is starving to death and won't eat.

TheSeanis

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hello all,

I have a B. Smithi sling that I've had for between 18 months to 2 years. In that time, she has molted twice and as of today she is between a US dime and a US nickel (including leg span).

The problem is that she only eats like two times a year, and hasn't eaten in months. She appears normal but leaning more towards emaciated. About two months ago I saw her in what appeared to be a death curl. She lives in a medium sized deli cup and when I softly picked it up to inspect the situation she just rolled about in place, I thought she was dead.

I immediately placed her in an ICU and she rapidly recovered after doing nothing but drinking for about 24 hours. Since then, this has happened several times. She didn't have a water dish in her enclosure at first for fear of drowning but now one is in there and she just drinks it dry (or sits there until it evaporates? Idk).

I've tried feeding dubia roaches, wax worms, and meal worms. I have tried live, prekilled, and eviscerated prey and she just won't eat.


For reference, it's never lower than 70 degrees in her room. She lives on 100% coconut fiber, and has a hide.



Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated!
 

nicodimus22

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At sizes under 1 inch, leaving prekilled things for it to scavenge off of is probably best. For my slings, I get small crickets, and on feeding night I'll put some in the freezer to kill them, and then thaw them out, cut them in half, and leave one half in each enclosure for 24ish hours. I do that twice a week until they are over an inch, and then I start feeding live. It's best to do this at night, because they are nocturnal and will be more likely to come out and eat in the dark.

As far as moisture goes, it's good that you gave it a small bowl. I would also spray one side/small area of substrate in the deli cup to keep it moist at all times. If the sling likes it, it can hang out there and even drink off of droplets on the wall. If not, it can hang out in the dry sections. B. smithi usually likes it dry, but you have to keep slings more moist than adults.

Best of luck!
 

EulersK

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Spiders will refuse food if they are dehydrated, which is certainly what's happening here. Try boosting the humidity a bit - overflow the water dish when you fill it. Just ensure you have plenty of ventilation, a stagnant enclosure will kill it.
 

jobforacowboy

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Hello! Im Attila and I am from Hungary and I am new to the hobby. My english is pretty broken but I will try to explain myself as correctly as possible.

I bought a Euathlus sp. red sling last month. She is my first one. They told be that she is a girl but she only molted twice before i got her so idk how they know her sex. BTW. When i got her home I put her in a bigger dinner-can. Just to be able to put a hide and a cap for water.

But the soil is surf (used vocabulary here) and it is so wet that the dinner-can's side is filled with bubbles and water. Is it a bad thing? I dont want to hurt her so thats why i am asking it. 2nd question: she didnt eat since saturday and refusing food. She is not hungry or the moisture can be the reason? I cannot upload pictures now but if it helps i can do it when i get home.

Greetings: Attila from Hungary
 

nicodimus22

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Hello! Im Attila and I am from Hungary and I am new to the hobby. My english is pretty broken but I will try to explain myself as correctly as possible.

I bought a Euathlus sp. red sling last month. She is my first one. They told be that she is a girl but she only molted twice before i got her so idk how they know her sex. BTW. When i got her home I put her in a bigger dinner-can. Just to be able to put a hide and a cap for water.

But the soil is surf (used vocabulary here) and it is so wet that the dinner-can's side is filled with bubbles and water. Is it a bad thing? I dont want to hurt her so thats why i am asking it. 2nd question: she didnt eat since saturday and refusing food. She is not hungry or the moisture can be the reason? I cannot upload pictures now but if it helps i can do it when i get home.

Greetings: Attila from Hungary
Hello Attila!

I also have a Euathlus sp red sling. It's a very nice species, but one that doesn't eat very often, and grows very slowly. So, the fact that your sling hasn't eaten in 5 days is nothing to worry about. They can go a very long time with no food and be healthy.

On the topic of moisture, it is important to keep your sling hydrated, but it won't be comfortable in a completely wet enclosure. What I would recommend is spraying a bit of water around the water dish, and keeping that area of substrate moist. I do this every evening. If the sling is thirsty, it can come and stay in the moist area, and even drink water droplets off the side of the enclosure. If the sling is not thirsty, it can stay in the dry part of the enclosure. If the entire enclosure is moist, the sling may be stressed, and you should empty it out and start over with new substrate. I keep about 25% of my sling enclosure moist, and the other 75% dry, so the T can choose where to go depending on its comfort/thirst/whatever goes through its tiny little mind.

Hope this helps!
 

jobforacowboy

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Thanks for the fast reply! So i should remove everything and make the turf dry and just spray the cap and the place around it?
 

TownesVanZandt

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Hello! Im Attila and I am from Hungary and I am new to the hobby. My english is pretty broken but I will try to explain myself as correctly as possible.

I bought a Euathlus sp. red sling last month. She is my first one. They told be that she is a girl but she only molted twice before i got her so idk how they know her sex. BTW. When i got her home I put her in a bigger dinner-can. Just to be able to put a hide and a cap for water.

But the soil is surf (used vocabulary here) and it is so wet that the dinner-can's side is filled with bubbles and water. Is it a bad thing? I dont want to hurt her so thats why i am asking it. 2nd question: she didnt eat since saturday and refusing food. She is not hungry or the moisture can be the reason? I cannot upload pictures now but if it helps i can do it when i get home.

Greetings: Attila from Hungary
Hello and welcome to the forums!

First of all, I doubt that whoever sold it to you have been able to sex a sling at that size. From your description, it sounds like your substrate is really wet. Even though slings do need more humidity than bigger specimens, it should not be soaking wet. The reason for the tarantula not eating since Saturday can be caused by a number of reasons. It might be in premoult, it might be stressed or just not hungry. I would like to see a picture of the enclosure if you can take one.
 

nicodimus22

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Thanks for the fast reply! So i should remove everything and make the turf dry and just spray the cap and the place around it?
Mostly dry, with one moist area that the sling can go into if it wants to.

I'll give you an idea of what my terrestrial sling enclosure looks like:

View media item 38921
You can see that one corner of it is moist, and the rest of it is dry, including the hide.
 

nicodimus22

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I would dump it out and start over. You can get Eco Earth at a pet store, or plain old topsoil with no fertilizer at most hardware stores.
 

nicodimus22

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Also, the container looks really big for a sling from the photos. How big is your sling? Euathlus sp red is a small species to begin with, and a sling could certainly be housed in a 32 oz deli cup or similar container for a long time.
 

nicodimus22

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Very cute! :)

I'm actually not sure if that's a sling or not...it has the adult coloration. It might be a juvenile or sub-adult. How large is its diagonal legspan?
 

jobforacowboy

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Well i have no idea. Honestly. I wanted to start the hobby and googled beginner tarantula guide. And i have found her selling for 20 euros. And they told me that her legspan is 2cm, she is 1 year old and molted twice already. I read a lot of guides about tarantulas in general before getting her but i didnt dared to question their info related to her. But i think she is a bit bigger 3-4cm if you ask me. She likes to dig around and wandering on the walls!
 

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nicodimus22

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Gotcha. You seem to have a juvenile there. The females of this species max out at about 3.5 inches (8.75 cm) so it's still got a ways to go, but it looks to be past the more delicate sling stage, which is good news. They definitely wander around quite a bit!
 
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jobforacowboy

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I am looking for an another cutie to get. Any tips?

First i try to get some experience with this one. But she is always afraid when I open the top to refill the cap with water. Hard to resist to not touch her kindly. :D
 

nicodimus22

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I am looking for an another cutie to get. Any tips?
What's cute is a very subjective thing. I tend to stick with the new world terrestrial species, as they are usually the most docile, easy to care for, and often make good display spiders. These are ones that I've owned so far:

Aphonopelma chalchodes
Brachypelma albopilosum
Brachypelma boehmei
Brachypelma emilia
Euathlus Sp. red
Grammostola pulchripes
Lasiodora klugi
Nhandu tripepii
Pterinopelma sazimai
Grammostola pulchra

The G. pulchra, G. pulchripes, and A. chalcodes are adults, and the rest are slings. The N. tripepii and L. klugi are a lot feistier than the rest so far, so if you want something really docile, avoid those.
 
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jobforacowboy

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So I should put her into a smaller place? I am looking around for solutions right now.

Thanksfor the list I am checking them one by one right now.
 
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