Never Mistakes of Tarantula Husbandry

Tenevanica

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In the medical world, there is a list of 28 "never events." These are events that should never happen to a patient under medical care regardless of the experience of the practitioner. Despite this, it is estimated that about 1,500 never events occur every year in the United States alone.

In tarantula husbandry, I feel there should be a list of "never mistakes." Mistakes a keeper should never make regardless of their experience. Things like putting a sponge in the water dish, not providing a water dish, having an artificial heat source other than a space heater, an unnecessary handling mishap, etc.

What do you think a few "never mistakes" should be?
 

basin79

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In the medical world, there is a list of 28 "never events." These are events that should never happen to a patient under medical care regardless of the experience of the practitioner. Despite this, it is estimated that about 1,500 never events occur every year in the United States alone.

In tarantula husbandry, I feel there should be a list of "never mistakes." Mistakes a keeper should never make regardless of their experience. Things like putting a sponge in the water dish, not providing a water dish, having an artificial heat source other than a space heater, an unnecessary handling mishap, etc.

What do you think a few "never mistakes" should be?
The heater remark is absolute pish. A statted heat mat is perfectly fine and safe.

A never mistake I'd say is:

Unboxing on a table or at height.

Unboxing and not having a catch cup ready.

Handling a T at height (unnecessary handling fullstop).
 

Chris LXXIX

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In all honesty I can't tolerate to see an enclosure (no matter which Theraphosidae is housed) without a piece of cork bark inside (or, if not exactly cork bark, that kind of wood cold blood use) even if I wouldn't call that a "mistake".

I think the wrong mistake/s are following those laughable "humidity" numbers, that (lol) varies and keep vary from (certain) site to sites.

But the most epic, wrong, damn mistake is to overexaggerating and being worried about basically everything when it comes to the keeping of animals that, hands down, are among one of the most easy to keep u_u
 

basin79

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In all honesty I can't tolerate to see an enclosure (no matter which Theraphosidae is housed) without a piece of cork bark inside (or, if not exactly cork bark, that kind of wood cold blood use) even if I wouldn't call that a "mistake".

I think the wrong mistake/s are following those laughable "humidity" numbers, that (lol) varies and keep vary from (certain) site to sites.

But the most epic, wrong, damn mistake is to overexaggerating and being worried about basically everything when it comes to the keeping of animals that, hands down, are among one of the most easy to keep u_u
I think not overly worrying comes with experience. If you've never kept a T before and it disappeared for 8 weeks you're bound to worry.
 

Tenevanica

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The heater remark is absolute pish. A statted heat mat is perfectly fine and safe.

A never mistake I'd say is:

Unboxing on a table or at height.

Unboxing and not having a catch cup ready.

Handling a T at height (unnecessary handling fullstop).
I suppose if you like dessicated spiders a heat mat works wonders. I'm hesitant to rate that post disagree because the rest of things you said I agree entirely with. I thought we were passed the days of those awful heat mats...
 

basin79

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I suppose if you like dessicated spiders a heat mat works wonders. I'm hesitant to rate that post disagree because the rest of things you said I agree entirely with. I thought we were passed the days of those awful heat mats...
Here in the UK heat mats are popular. I've used them for over 20 years and all my T's have thrived.

It's about time heat mats used correctly stopped getting demonised.
 

Paiige

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Never feed a T immediately after it molts
Never try to flip a T when it's molting
Never leave uneaten prey if in premolt
 

Tenevanica

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Here in the UK heat mats are popular. I've used them for over 20 years and all my T's have thrived.

It's about time heat mats used correctly stopped getting demonised.
Just because it works for you doesn't necessarily mean it's the best way to do things. Heat mats are designed for reptiles, which require belly heat to regulate their body temperatures. They purposely create hot spots. This is beneficial for a reptile, but can be a death sentence for a spider that as far as we can tell can't feel pain. It may sit right there in the hot spot and slowly dry out without realizing it. If it feels it's getting too hot it will likely burrow closer to the heat source on accident....
 

Chris LXXIX

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I think not overly worrying comes with experience. If you've never kept a T before and it disappeared for 8 weeks you're bound to worry.
I don't disagree man with that, of course. But view my statement just like a 360° in general 'rant', thinking now about the 'incredible' things we had read (and that we will continue to read) during years, clearly a sign that a lot of people never had even the good will to at least educate themselves a bit before purchasing an animal.
 

basin79

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Just because it works for you doesn't necessarily mean it's the best way to do things. Heat mats are designed for reptiles, which require belly heat to regulate their body temperatures. They purposely create hot spots. This is beneficial for a reptile, but can be a death sentence for a spider that as far as we can tell can't feel pain. It may sit right there in the hot spot and slowly dry out without realizing it. If it feels it's getting too hot it will likely burrow closer to the heat source on accident....
Well yes. Like I typed mats used correctly. Putting a heat mat under an enclosure that's got deep sub is just plain stupid. Not only do T's or other inverts bury down to escape the heat but you'll also get thermal blocking.

Many, many reptiles have been burned badly by mats not being used properly. And many heavily bodied snakes have been badly burnt even on statted mats due to thermal blocking.

Commonsense/research is needed when using any heat source. Not using both of those are what have given heat mats a bad name.
 

Tenevanica

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Just a bit more on the "it's worked for me for _____ years" attitude, I once went into a nature education center that had a G. rosea. It was a big girl, a good 6" in length. However, they had her in a 55 gallon long on soaking wet peat moss with dirty sponges on the three water dishes they had in there. There was no lid either. They had smeared Vaseline across the top of the tank to prevent escape, like you do with roaches. I tried to educate them but they refused to listen to me. Why? They had kept her like that for 15 years.

I'm not calling out @basin79 or anything like that specifically, but the "it's worked for me for ____ years so it must be correct" attitude can be dangerous.
 

Tenevanica

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Well yes. Like I typed mats used correctly. Putting a heat mat under an enclosure that's got deep sub is just plain stupid. Not only do T's or other inverts bury down to escape the heat but you'll also get thermal blocking.

Many, many reptiles have been burned badly by mats not being used properly. And many heavily bodied snakes have been badly burnt even on statted mats due to thermal blocking.

Commonsense/research is needed when using any heat source. Not using both of those are what have given heat mats a bad name.
I suppose they're alright when meticulously monitored, but very few people are willing to do that much work, and may end up just leaving the mat by itself... And then killing their spider.
 

Sarkhan42

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The heater remark is absolute pish. A statted heat mat is perfectly fine and safe.

A never mistake I'd say is:

Unboxing on a table or at height.

Unboxing and not having a catch cup ready.

Handling a T at height (unnecessary handling fullstop).
+1 to the free handling at height. If you simply have to handle(I'm not about to argue either way) you do it responsibly, or you get a new pet. That kind of reckless disregard for the animals well being grinds my gears.
 

Rittdk01

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I kept a sponge in my rosehair and avic enclosures for more than two years. I know better now. Still, sponge in tthe dish isn't a critical mistake. I would say not providing a water dish, not using suitable substrate, not leaving by a window where sun shines in, not letting them get cold, not leaving them damp, not letting condensation accumulate (cause u probably have a ventilation problem). That's a few right off the bat. Nearly any problem can be avoided by looking in on your pets every couple of days.
 

BobBarley

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I suppose they're alright when meticulously monitored, but very few people are willing to do that much work, and may end up just leaving the mat by itself... And then killing their spider.
As long as they are placed on the side, and have an appropriate thermostat to control the temp, I think heat mats are fine. However, many beginning keepers get the mat without the thermostat, and some heat mats can get verrrrrry hot without any regulating.
 

Kendricks

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Just because it works for you doesn't necessarily mean it's the best way to do things.
And no one said it is.

Heat mats are designed for reptiles, which require belly heat to regulate their body temperatures. They purposely create hot spots. This is beneficial for a reptile, but can be a death sentence for a spider that as far as we can tell can't feel pain. It may sit right there in the hot spot and slowly dry out without realizing it. If it feels it's getting too hot it will likely burrow closer to the heat source on accident....
Can you please stop arguing against heat mats by using examples where they are used wrongly just to support your opinion?
He said earlier:
It's about time heat mats used correctly stopped getting demonised.
That clearly excluded heat mats used the way you described, doesn't it?
Btw, deli cups and tons of other things we use in the hobby weren't designed for T's either, but do the trick just fine.

I don't use any, nor will I, but a heat mat used with care, doesn't do any harm at all. How would it!?
It's just another heat source and since these little bugs do indeed feel temperature, it seems they even appreciate them.
At least I can clearly see my T's sitting usually in the warmest corner of their enclosures.

Again, no one said anything about heat mats underneath the enclosure, THAT sure is a classic "never mistake".
 

Moonohol

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One that hasn't been mentioned yet that particularly bothers me is improper substrate; wood chips in particular. I see this so often at pet stores, it drives me up the wall!
 

Andrea82

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Heat mats/cables are fine when used correctly. If an owner doesn't know about the correct way of using one, he shouldn't get one in the first place. Or get a T, for that matter, since research is apparently too much to ask.
Calling something dangerous because it can be used wrong, and creates a hazard because of that is not really fair. I'm not telling people to not drive a car because if they speed to hard they'll go off the road now am I?
If you don't know how to use a heat mat/cable, don't use 'em. Simple.
A hard 'never' mistake for me is handling/transferring a spider at height instead of on the floor. Handling itself is a hard no no really...
 
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