New A.geniculata not eating

Reest

Arachnopeon
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Feb 9, 2017
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Hey, I'm a fairly new tarantula owner and i just bought a female Acanthoscuria geniculata two weeks ago, it's about 10cm. The problem is it refuses to eat. I waited a week untill i tried feeding it and have offered food items about every other day since then. But it is just completeley uninterested. It still has a healthy sized abdomen so it isn't starving but I'm concerned since I've read T's of her size eat several prey items per week. And A.geniculata is said to "never refuse prey".
Am I overreacting? Will it just start eating when it needs to? Or is this an issue?

I've attached pictures of the T and the enclosure. DSC_0007.JPG DSC_0009.JPG
DSC_0010.JPG
I'm thankful for any help and I welcome opinions on the enclosure since this is my first enclosure for a T of this size.
 

Dylan Bruce

Arachnosquire
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Dec 4, 2016
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If you have only had the T a few weeks it could still be settling in. sometimes a Tarantula climbing the walls of its enclosure is a sign that its still settling in. most tarantulas do this for a while after a rehouse or having their substrate changed. it could also be due to the fact that substrate is too damp for the T but I'm not sure on the requirements for A. geniculata so I cant comment on that. But like you said the T still looks nice and healthy so no need to worry, just be patient and offer food maybe once a week and eventually she will eat. any more frequently than that might stress it out and could extend the period it takes to settle in to its new home.
 

Reest

Arachnopeon
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Feb 9, 2017
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If you have only had the T a few weeks it could still be settling in. sometimes a Tarantula climbing the walls of its enclosure is a sign that its still settling in. most tarantulas do this for a while after a rehouse or having their substrate changed. it could also be due to the fact that substrate is too damp for the T but I'm not sure on the requirements for A. geniculata so I cant comment on that. But like you said the T still looks nice and healthy so no need to worry, just be patient and offer food maybe once a week and eventually she will eat. any more frequently than that might stress it out and could extend the period it takes to settle in to its new home.
Thanks! I'll be more patient with the feeding from now on.

The pictures are a little misleading cause she usually doesn't climb that much, she usually sits on top of its hide or with her front legs on the glass and back legs on the substrate as seen in the first picture. This is the first time she's climbed this much and it is a result of a cricket spooking her. I mist the substrate daily since the care-sheets I've consulted have said they prefer damp substrate. I could try and tone down the misting but since she goes on strolls through the enclosure daily I drew the conclusion that she is happy with the substrate. I'm no seasoned keeper though so I may be wrong.
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
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Am I overreacting? Will it just start eating when it needs to? Or is this an issue?
Acanthoscurria geniculata is usually an eating machine, so if it's not eating, it may be in pre-molt. (Tarantulas often fast for weeks or sometimes even months before molting.) I would offer prey once a week and remove anything it doesn't eat within a few hours.

I'm thankful for any help and I welcome opinions on the enclosure since this is my first enclosure for a T of this size.
On the enclosure:
  • I would add some more substrate, especially on the right side, to limit the height of any potential fall. (Tarantulas can rupture their abdomens from even a short fall.) For a bulky tarantula like this, you want the distance between the top of the substrate and the lid not to exceed 1.5x its leg span.
  • For a genic, I would keep about half of the substrate slightly damp and the other half dry, so they can choose whichever is more comfortable. (Let the substrate dry out between moistening.) No need to mist!
  • The water dish is probably an adequate size, but a wider dish may be easier to drink from. (It will also provide more humidity.)
 

Reest

Arachnopeon
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Feb 9, 2017
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On the enclosure:
  • I would add some more substrate, especially on the right side, to limit the height of any potential fall. (Tarantulas can rupture their abdomens from even a short fall.) For a bulky tarantula like this, you want the distance between the top of the substrate and the lid not to exceed 1.5x its leg span.
  • For a genic, I would keep about half of the substrate slightly damp and the other half dry, so they can choose whichever is more comfortable. (Let the substrate dry out between moistening.) No need to mist!
  • The water dish is probably an adequate size, but a wider dish may be easier to drink from. (It will also provide more humidity.)
I added some more substrate and dampened only half this time. The guillotine-opening limits the substrate amount a bit in the front but i made sure it didn't allow more than 1.5x her leg span. I'll try to find something wider that is suitable as a water dish as well. Thanks a lot for the help!

Acanthoscurria geniculata is usually an eating machine, so if it's not eating, it may be in pre-molt.
Way to switch my uncertainty for excitement, I haven't had any spider molt in my care yet :D
 

The Grym Reaper

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I've had mine since she was about the same size as yours and the only time she stops being a ravenous murder tank is when she's in premoult. She looks a bit on the fat size so I'm betting that she's already had enough to see her through to her next moult so you'll just have to play the waiting game, when that bald patch turns black you'll know she's close to moulting.

I received a very fat and bald juvenile P. cancerides that I haven't fed since I got it over a month ago, it has a black bald patch now so it should hopefully moult within the next week.

I'll second @Ungoliant in saying that they do actually appreciate a bit of moisture in the sub and a large water dish to drink from, climbing is pretty much normal from what I gather, mine has random "arboreal wannabe" phases.
 

Nightstalker47

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Way to switch my uncertainty for excitement, I haven't had any spider molt in my care yet :D
It might not molt for a while, as it hasn't darkened at all yet. That bald spot is a perfect way to tell how far in pre molt your T is. The skin underneath will change from the current color to a dark and shiny black. If this doesn't happen soon, your specimen may not be molting just yet. In that case, let your T settle in and try feeding again in a week or so, I've seen A.geniculata get way fatter then that approaching a molt...
 

D Sherlod

Arachnoknight
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Both of my A genics prefer the sub on the damp side. They almost stay off the dry stuff.
What are you using for feeders?

My male was premolt for over a month ..wouldn't eat and got very lethargic.
 

Chris LXXIX

ArachnoGod
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Ah ah, I have an enclosure like yours: one of the cheap, glass, European classics here :-s

- add more substrate

- add a piece of cork bark (trust me, it's better)

- keep part of the substrate slightly moist (not wet) and pour directly room temperature water in the substrate for achieve that: no misting, useless, noisy, annoying for your Theraphosidae.
 

D Sherlod

Arachnoknight
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Offer 1 cricket once a week. If it shows no interest remove after an hour.
It will either eat or molt.
After molt wait about 10 days to offer prey.
Make sure water bowl is always full.
 

boina

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It might not molt for a while, as it hasn't darkened at all yet. That bald spot is a perfect way to tell how far in pre molt your T is. The skin underneath will change from the current color to a dark and shiny black. If this doesn't happen soon, your specimen may not be molting just yet. In that case, let your T settle in and try feeding again in a week or so, I've seen A.geniculata get way fatter then that approaching a molt...
Most Europeans promote a feeding schedule close to starvation, especially when it comes to slings and juveniles, like NEVER letting the abdomen get more than 1.5 or at best 2 times the cephalothorax - and they are very proud of not "overfeeding" their spiders :grumpy:. Try talking them out of it... :sour:. I get attacked constantly for letting my Ts get "too fat", whatever that's supposed to mean. I think this poor spider is a victim of this misguided "thin = healthy" regimen and that's why it isn't all that fat but probably still in premolt. Pure idiocy, of course, especially with slings and juveniles of fast growing species.
 

Nightstalker47

Arachnoking
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Most Europeans promote a feeding schedule close to starvation, especially when it comes to slings and juveniles, like NEVER letting the abdomen get more than 1.5 or at best 2 times the cephalothorax - and they are very proud of not "overfeeding" their spiders :grumpy:. Try talking them out of it... :sour:. I get attacked constantly for letting my Ts get "too fat", whatever that's supposed to mean. I think this poor spider is a victim of this misguided "thin = healthy" regimen and that's why it isn't all that fat but probably still in premolt. Pure idiocy, of course, especially with slings and juveniles of fast growing species.
Wait overfeeding? For slings and juveniles? You should introduce them to this site. How can they be so misinformed?

Maybe they get that false impression from the "ruptured abdomen risk" wich is not a risk at all if the T is housed appropriately. God I hate that, especially if they pass off that belief to unsuspecting new hobbyists. Nothing worse then close minded people...
 

boina

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Wait overfeeding? For slings and juveniles? You should introduce them to this site. How can they be so misinformed?

Maybe they get that false impression from the "ruptured abdomen risk" wich is not a risk at all if the T is housed appropriately. God I hate that, especially if they pass off that belief to unsuspecting new hobbyists. Nothing worse then close minded people...
I can't introduce them to this site, most don't speak English. And those people really, seriously believe that it is "unhealthy" for a spider to be "fat", like for a mammal :banghead:.
 

Reest

Arachnopeon
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UPDATE: Her abdomen has now turned dark, seems like the suspicions about molting where right :D
Thanks for all the advice everyone.
 

darkness975

dream reaper
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UPDATE: Her abdomen has now turned dark, seems like the suspicions about molting where right :D
Thanks for all the advice everyone.
Post molt you will have plenty of use for all the feeders.
 

Reest

Arachnopeon
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She just started molting, hope everything goes well!
My G.rosea/porteri/whatever stole the "first molt award" two days ago though :p
 
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Reest

Arachnopeon
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Most Europeans promote a feeding schedule close to starvation
I know this is super late but this has bugged me A LOT recently. I keep seeing supposedly experienced tarantula owners on Swedish forums telling new people that "spiders only need to be fed maybe 6 times a year" and I'm not even exaggerating. They say this no matter the growth rate, age or feeding response of the T in question and don't even mention to look at the abdomen size to determine how well-fed they are.
I try to add a "this is not true for all species though and you should keep an eye on the size of the abdomen" but it's my word against the "experienced owners". Annoys me severely.
 

The Grym Reaper

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Most Europeans promote a feeding schedule close to starvation, especially when it comes to slings and juveniles, like NEVER letting the abdomen get more than 1.5 or at best 2 times the cephalothorax
1.5-2 x the size of the carapace isn't that bad tbh, go on Wastebook and you'll see complete and utter mongoloids telling you that the abdomen shouldn't be any bigger than the carapace, that kind of equine faecal matter makes me want to smash my head into a wall.

I like mine to have a little junk in the trunk but I try not to let them get too fat after they hit 3", I'm not worried about them spontaneously bursting open as there is no substantial fall risk in my enclosures but I'd still be concerned about drag injuries if they got so fat that they couldn't lift their abdomen off the ground.
 

Reest

Arachnopeon
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6 times a year
Just searched through some threads on the swedish forum. 6 times is being generous, 2-3 times a year is being recommended.
And keep in mind this advice is not just given to G.rosea/porteri-owners, but rather everyone asking about their first tarantula and its feeding.
 
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