New member with Avic. avic. questions

Abaddon749

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 2, 2016
Messages
9
Hey everyone, I just found this forum last night while preparing to upgrade our Avic's enclosure. I'd like to start this off by saying that after reading numerous Avic threads since last night, I'm really surprised we have never killed our first spider. I got her (no idea on the actual sex, we just heard females last longer and are hoping for the best) as a tiny sling a little over three years ago for my now fiancé. Her leg span was less than a centimeter across and now she's a little more than 3" across.

What we've done over the last 3 years: Ever since she was about 1" or so across we've had her in a vertical 6"x6"x12" glass terrarium with screen on the sliding lid and the top 6" of the front panel. It had a corkwood backing with a small piece of driftwood glued near the top and 2-3" of ecoearth on the bottom. We've always kept the ecoearth pretty moist (no puddles, but definitely overkill from what I've been reading here) and had a small under-the-tank reptile heater. We used to give her 2-3 "small" crickets per week, now we give her 3 "medium" crickets per week. We used to handle her a couple times a week, but with needing to put up the cats every time now we only handle her every few weeks. She's never bit us, and only rarely does one of her crazy fast jumps while she walks around our arms and hands.

My apparent mistakes: Apparently her ecoearth shouldn't be moist. That would help explain the little bugs always hanging out down there. I never see them on the spider, so I don't know if they're mites, but they are tiny. I've seen a lot of negativity about the under tank heaters, but I don't know if that's just because many Ts burrow. Normally it is pretty warm here in southern California, but my cheap old apartment has horrible insulation, making our electric bill go well over $100 if we use it. Due to that we are big on opening windows at night, which means that in the spring/fall/"winter" it can sometimes get well below 60F in here while we sleep. Our Avic has never burrowed and occasionally likes to sit on the moist but warm ecoearth when it's cold in here. As for the screen sliding lid of her current tank, she's never been stuck on it, and usually doesn't sit on it since the act of us opening it at least once a week always messes up any webbing she attaches to it. On the rare occasion she is on it, we gently blow on her until she moves to the side of the tank so we can open it.

What we want to do now: She seems very stuffed in her current tank now, and can barely squeeze being her tiny driftwood when she wants to hide so we are planing on moving her into a spare 12"x12"x12" ecoterra tank we have from our late pac-man frog. I'd rather get her the 18" tall one, but the money isn't there right now. We have corkwood on the back again with much larger hides and cool decorations. She's going to have her first water container in this tank.

My questions: If she never burrows, is the same small heater we have okay? I'm guessing the answer is no, so is she going to be okay when it gets in the 50s at night? If not, what should we do for warmth? We need the windows open at night to help keep the AC bills down during the day. We don't have a spare room to stick her in with a space heater either... she lives in the living room. Should we definitely keep the ecoearth dry with just the shallow water dish? Is it okay for her water dish to be on the bottom of the tank? She only rarely sits on the bottom and I'm worried about her getting dehydrated if we aren't going to be keeping everything as dangerously moist as we always have before. Lastly, does 3 "medium" Petco crickets per week seem like a good amount of food?

I'm looking forward to your comments and hopefully not too harsh criticism on all the past mistakes. If you want, I can figure out how to upload pics of the current and future enclosure. Just let me know!
 

Andrea82

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
3,610
First of all, very good to see a new person doing all the reading first, and realizing his mistakes!
Thread linked below has everything you need for Avicularia husbandry:
Avicularia Husbandry? | Arachnoboards
Pictures are always more helpful, so it would be appreciated if you could provide them.
Welcome to the Boards!
 

Abaddon749

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 2, 2016
Messages
9
This is the future enclosure. I'm in the process of gluing the hide log for the new tank right now so please ignore the dumbbell. The log is pretty big so I'm hoping she doesn't hide in there forever once she gets moved. After we verify that the log isn't going to fall off tomorrow, we will be standing the tank up, adding the ecoearth to the bottom, then using the fake plant, mushrooms, and water dish you see on the counter. I put Arachne as my profile pic if you want to see her and I just read the replies (especially the one from Venom69) on the Avicularia husbandry post.
 

Attachments

YagerManJennsen

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 3, 2016
Messages
508
Exo terras can be made work but they are not ideal. There are many cheaper and more ideal containers to use for avics. Consider other options that are out there. Personally I use sterilite tubs with just a simple window modification.
 

Abaddon749

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 2, 2016
Messages
9
Exo terras can be made work but they are not ideal. There are many cheaper and more ideal containers to use for avics. Consider other options that are out there. Personally I use sterilite tubs with just a simple window modification.
I'll definitely look into the sterilite tubs for the future. Using the exo terra is just a matter of convenience since I already had it laying around the apartment. The only thing I needed to buy was new decorations.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
11,544
I'll respond when I get a chance.

Impressed your T didn't die for many reasons- including your handling of it.

Impressed you've done research and observed things that should be changed.

An ExoTerra will work fine. Just replace the screen top with a piece of acrylic with drilled holes in it. Don't destroy the exoterra screen lid mind you.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
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Exo terras can be made work but they are not ideal. There are many cheaper and more ideal containers to use for avics. Consider other options that are out there. Personally I use sterilite tubs with just a simple window modification.

Why do you think ExoTerras aren't ideal?

Many experienced Avic owners and breeders use them with no issue.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
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Messages
11,544
@Abaddon749

It isn't wise to handle your Avic. I'm shocked it hasn't jumped off someone and fallen to its death. You have been exceedingly lucky that it's still alive.



Your questions specifically in order asked:

Your T never burrows because it's an arboreal T. We don't recommend a heater, unless it's a space heater of some type.

No, your T will no do well, likely die if you keep it at 50s at night at some point. They are tropical animals in case you didn't know. I keep mine at 75 during the day, and 68F at night. No additional heat. I'm quite familiar w/your areas weather.

I would keep the substrate dry with a dish. A deeper dish is better so you don't have to refill it often. At 3" I use these pill containers, they hold 15 mLs, 6 for a 1$ at the dollar store. Or condiment cups are good as well.

Most Avics will drink from a dish, some won't. I have a couple that tend not to, esp. post-molt. It's wise to keep a syringe with a blunt tipped needle to add water onto its canopy for drinking. PM me if you need to buy the needles, I bought mine on Amazon, called liquid dispensers as they are not hospital equipment.

At 3" DLS your Avic is large enough to eat adult sized crickets and other prey items too. Personally I feed my Avics as often as they will eat. I don't believe in rationing out food. Yours will survive at 3 crix/week, but that's too little IMO, mind my opinion is not based on science, merely observation of raising various Avics.

Before you put your Avic into the new setup, upload some pics when you think it's done, so we can give you advice. There are other Avic enthusiasts on here, some with a lot of experience, and some with very little so your mileage may vary on a given response.

Pills.JPG
 
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cold blood

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11,875
Op, you are way over-complicating things here...this is a case where simple is easiest, and best.. I've never once glued anything in any of my enclosures, there's no reason to unless you are trying to do some gravity defying set up...like you are.

I'd start off with a much bigger piece of wood, or more than one, and lean them against the side. Plants should be surrounding the middle, to upper half of the wood, as this is where the avic will prefer to make its home. The bottom needs no hide, or plants, in fact the less there is, the easier hunting will be for the t.

I'm curious about the heating...you say you need to open windows at night to keep bills for a/c down...which would imply that the A/c is running during the day...if this is the case, the house shouldn't bee so warm that you need to open windows, it should be as simple as turning off the A/C at night. That said, I understand many people like it cold when they sleep, so I will suggest putting the t into a closet, or something that can be shut away from the rest of the areas of the house exposed to such cool night temps...the heat pad just should not even be an option. But if you have a closet or something, it really wouldn't take much to maintain or raise the temps slightly. 70 is about the minimum number you want to shoot for.

As for feeding, I'd offer one large cricket per week.

I agree on sterilite, an entire set up can cost you less than $10, so there's really no reason to have to wait for something ideal, its already available for less than that piece of wood you bought.

Good luck.
 

cold blood

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At 3" DLS your Avic is large enough to eat adult sized crickets and other prey items too.]
Agreed At 3" it should easily be able to handle the largest cricket without issue. Mealies, waxies and superworms, too.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
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Agreed At 3" it should easily be able to handle the largest cricket without issue. Mealies, waxies and superworms, too.
I do it all the time. Medium crix is a waste of money at that size.
 

Abaddon749

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 2, 2016
Messages
9
@viper69 and @cold blood Thank you for the responses. I'll check out both the acrylic lid conversion and sterilite, run them both by my woman and choose from there. I'm assuming she'll want me to just convert the eco terra for now. I'll also talk to her about cutting up the fake plant we got and gluing pieces of it to the top half of the cork wood to keep the substrate plant free. The silicone glue for that log is already dry, but we can probably scrounge up a few sticks to lean against the wall to give more climbing space. With that the only other things that should be on the ground is the water dish and mushroom decoration.

CB, in response to your heating question, we only run the AC if it gets higher than 90F outside, which translates to about 85F inside according to my thermostat. If we need to run it we only set it to 77F, so we always welcome a chance to open the windows at night anytime we know its going to drop below 70F. 60F nights are heavenly for us, but relatively rare. It's the difference between a $60 electric bill and a $160 bill. That being said, I never thought of using the closet for cooler nights and its an excellent idea. We can't have it as a permanent home, but since we check the weather daily anyways, we can always move her tank there on an as needed basis. Once our very brief SoCal winter comes around, she'll be fine since the gas heater is much cheaper to run.

Thank you again for your responses, and I'll update with pictures once we get the new enclosure fully set up.
 

Abaddon749

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 2, 2016
Messages
9
Oh one more thing... What do you think the cutoff should be for the low temperatures? 65F? 60F? We'll make sure she spends the night in the closet whenever the night temp is going to drop below that temp.
 

YagerManJennsen

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 3, 2016
Messages
508
Why do you think ExoTerras aren't ideal?

Many experienced Avic owners and breeders use them with no issue.
Ive just read many times that exo tetras aren't ideal because of the pricing and cross ventilation. I've used them in the past before i knew about criss ventilation so I switched over just to be safe.
I remember putting up a post asking about avics and mentioned using exoterras and a bunch of people told me to switch or the avics would die from lack of ventilation.
 

Moonohol

Two Legged Freak
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
115
@Abaddon749

It isn't wise to handle your Avic. I'm shocked it hasn't jumped off someone and fallen to its death. You have been exceedingly lucky that it's still alive.



Your questions specifically in order asked:

Your T never burrows because it's an arboreal T. We don't recommend a heater, unless it's a space heater of some type.

No, your T will no do well, likely die if you keep it at 50s at night at some point. They are tropical animals in case you didn't know. I keep mine at 75 during the day, and 68F at night. No additional heat. I'm quite familiar w/your areas weather.

I would keep the substrate dry with a dish. A deeper dish is better so you don't have to refill it often. At 3" I use these pill containers, they hold 15 mLs, 6 for a 1$ at the dollar store. Or condiment cups are good as well.

Most Avics will drink from a dish, some won't. I have a couple that tend not to, esp. post-molt. It's wise to keep a syringe with a blunt tipped needle to add water onto its canopy for drinking. PM me if you need to buy the needles, I bought mine on Amazon, called liquid dispensers as they are not hospital equipment.

At 3" DLS your Avic is large enough to eat adult sized crickets and other prey items too. Personally I feed my Avics as often as they will eat. I don't believe in rationing out food. Yours will survive at 3 crix/week, but that's too little IMO, mind my opinion is not based on science, merely observation of raising various Avics.

Before you put your Avic into the new setup, upload some pics when you think it's done, so we can give you advice. There are other Avic enthusiasts on here, some with a lot of experience, and some with very little so your mileage may vary on a given response.

View attachment 221752
3 large crickets a week at 3" DLS? Holy shmoly, I feed my 4" L. difficilis 3 large crickets a week and she looks like she could stand to hit the gym... :rofl:

I just got a 3" A. metallica and was planning on feeding it 1 or 2 large crickets once a week, do you think that'd still be an acceptable regimen?
 

cold blood

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Messages
11,875
Oh one more thing... What do you think the cutoff should be for the low temperatures? 65F? 60F? We'll make sure she spends the night in the closet whenever the night temp is going to drop below that temp.
upper 60's, and only over night.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
11,544
3 large crickets a week at 3" DLS? Holy shmoly, I feed my 4" L. difficilis 3 large crickets a week and she looks like she could stand to hit the gym... :rofl:

I just got a 3" A. metallica and was planning on feeding it 1 or 2 large crickets once a week, do you think that'd still be an acceptable regimen?
Why would you feed a growing tarantula only 1 crix a week? What's the logic or rationale behind that?

I don't believe in Nazi feeding regimes ;) I have had several Avics at that size in the past, and current a few at that size too. I leave it up to the T. Their metabolism changes at times even when the temps don't (not including post-molt either).

I have some that have eaten 3/day for 3 days straight.

You either want your T to thrive or survive in your care; I opt for the former.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
11,544
Ive just read many times that exo tetras aren't ideal because of the pricing and cross ventilation. I've used them in the past before i knew about criss ventilation so I switched over just to be safe.
I remember putting up a post asking about avics and mentioned using exoterras and a bunch of people told me to switch or the avics would die from lack of ventilation.
I think if a person mentions why it's not a good idea, they should at times mention why. I try, but don't always do it! It doesn't help a person like the OP to know "don't do this/do this" right? hahah. That's part of the reason why I asked you.

Pricing isn't an issue for the Ts health, only the owner's wallet. So it's not a factor I consider initially. But it may be the first factor someone else considers. In short, I don't use it to tell someone "don't do X", at least without telling them why ;)

Cross ventilation. Avics really require good air exchange as moist/stagnant air in captivity will kill them. In the USA, this has been achieved by cross ventilation (side to side). I've previously posted my thoughts on how dry sub/cross ventilation became the defacto standard to raising Avics whewre as the Europeans do not necessarily use the same approach. It's speculation mind you. I posted it this year, so it shouldn't be a hard post to find.

ExoTerras will work fine. I point out to you the European model of a glass cube, that has been used successfully for a very long time. It has ventilation at the bottom front and the top. usually with strips of a silver/grey metal grating. Hagen, the maker of ExoTerra and a Germany company, modeled their product after the European design so often used.

The one thing both approaches have in common is a decent amount of air exchange allowing the Avics to thrive and reproduce.

Perhaps @Chris LXXIX can drop in a link for us. They are super cheap that's for sure. But no one makes them in the USA really, as they are often found in the EU, often on eBay.
 
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