New B. Vagans Sling - a couple of questions?

elissak

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
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0
Hello,

I'm new to T's - just got a B. vagans spiderling as a present. Upon further research, we discovered that spiderlings are not the best for beginners, but I have it now.

It's not eating as far as I can tell, but I've only had it a week or so. I can't tell if it is about to molt, was stressed from the recent change in home, or if it maybe is just eating small amounts of the food I give it. So far it has had a small, already dead cricket, which was in the enclosure when I received it, another small cricket two days later that was dead, and half of a small roach (even the tiny roach was larger than it). I didn't see any of the food missing when I pulled it back out later.

I received a couple of contradicting opinions - one that you should give it dead food while so young so as to not injure it, and another that it won't eat unless its prey is alive/moving. I was also reading on this thread, which says they may not eat much while so young. But then, others say you should feed as much as they are willing to eat. I have just been offering the food and taking it out after a day and a half if the T doesn't eat it. Should the food be alive or already dead?

Am I overthinking it? The little guy seems pretty healthy so far. It hangs out in the corners but will move around every so often and find somewhere else to stay. Hasn't been burrowing any, just "hiding." T is brownish with little black tips on the legs, which seems normal as far as I can tell. Can't be much more than a cm long (haven't measured yet), but has grown some since I got it. I've been keeping it warm and making sure the enclosure is a little humid but not damp.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
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Dec 8, 2006
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Post a pic of the Ts home it's in.

This species will scavenge feed. Given your small amount of experience, a wise idea. They are miniature adults, and are excellent ambush predators. I would not feed it prey larger than it given your experience.

No rules to feeding a T. I feed mine as often as they will eat. Some feed less, why? Because it's easier for them to pick up food once a week because they live far away from a pet store, or some other reason/s.

Some Ts don't always take to scavenge feeding well, many will, but they aren't clones.

In short, always ask someone WHY they do what they do. Use your critical thinking skills, don't accept information blindly, it's good you are asking questions.

I feed mine frequently because Ts won't over eat like HUMANS, they will stop eating. A sling's job is to grow, evade predators so as it gets larger it becomes more confident. This is very obvious behavior change across many species, including yours.

Also, temperatures dictate T metabolism too.

Make sure it has a water bowl, or your T might die.

Don't read care sheets, they kill tarantulas.

How are you keeping it warm??
 

nicodimus22

Arachnomancer
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Sep 26, 2013
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I hear all the time that slings are bad for beginners. I've gotten nothing but 1/4 inch slings since I started. It's preferable IMO, because they are much cheaper and it's fun to watch them grow up. I have heard that arboreal slings are more fragile, so maybe that's why people say to avoid them, but if you're getting a hardy terrestrial species and you do your research, there's no reason to avoid them.

All my slings have scavenged with no problems, and to me it's preferable because something like flightless fruit flies are obnoxious to deal with and aren't that nutritious compared to cricket parts. Also, cricket parts aren't going to bite or stress out your sling...live prey might. Many people (with the best intentions) keep their first tarantula in a container that is too large. They're actually more comfortable in a smaller container, so if you're keeping the little bugger in something much larger than a pill jar, you might want to downsize until it grows a bit, then graduate to a small jar or deli cup.
 

gypsy cola

Arachnoknight
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Jan 16, 2014
Messages
195
My only tip is to watch your fingers around these spiders. They aren't defensive they just believe everything is food.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
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Dec 8, 2006
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They're actually more comfortable in a smaller container
This is not entirely accurate. We do recommend slings in smaller containers, TRUE. It is primarily for 2 reasons

1. Smaller containers facilitate increased prey/predator interactions
2. Easier for owner to check on health of animal

One could keep a sling in a large setup, such as 20 gallons or more, PROVIDED the setup was designed to have many places for cover so it feels secure AND owner provides A LOT of prey items that don't end up hiding/die and never interact w/the sling.

The sling doesn't know it's living in a deli cup or a 20 gallon tank. But a sling may feel scared in a small setup that is not decorated appropriately. I've observed this many times.
 

cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
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Jan 19, 2014
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Slings are not "bad" for beginners, they just require more patience, especially ones that grow slowly.

Just keep part of the sub damp and offer pre-kill weekly. As a small sling, it will not take much to fill it up, which means you will offer food a lot more than it will actually eat...don't worry about this, I've had brachy slings (teeny ones) go 5 months or more without food, although this is extreme and not the norm, its important to note that it can happen

I would suggest keeping it as warm as possible to help facilitate growth.

I have yet to raise any sling that wouldn't eat pre-killed prey items...IMO with small slings, it just makes things easier...for the t, and for the keeper who doesn't have to worry if it was eaten or if its hiding, nor will you have to chase down and catch uneaten prey in a tight place....so much easier to just be able to calmly pick it out with a tweezers.

Because small slings fill up quickly, it may only take a meal or three before its got what it needs, and from there its just a matter of the new exo growing to allow the next molt.

After molting, always give it time to harden...juvies may be ready in a week, adults may not be ready for close to a month, but small slings are generally ready to eat in just a few days, and at this time, they will also be at their hungriest.

Over-thinking is, IMO, the #1 issue for beginners.....keep it simple.
 

Kayis

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 26, 2016
Messages
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I hear all the time that slings are bad for beginners.
This is one of the main reasons i don't recommend slings to beginners....people may end up too worried or just aren't patient enough. I throw in dubia's with a crushed head....they get 24hrs to take it and if they pass on it than it's a wait till next feeding session.
 

nicodimus22

Arachnomancer
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Sep 26, 2013
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This is one of the main reasons i don't recommend slings to beginners....people may end up too worried or just aren't patient enough. I throw in dubia's with a crushed head....they get 24hrs to take it and if they pass on it than it's a wait till next feeding session.
More people should own tarantulas. If the people are not already patient, tarantulas will teach them patience. :)
 
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