New To Owning A Tarantula

valkyrie4488

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 27, 2016
Messages
4
I'm extremely new to taking care of a T, and I just got my Avicularia Versicolor a few day's ago at Petco. He was fairly big when I got him, and the lady said he had already gone through his first molt, but he is still a little small. I didn't know anything really, and I found out neither do the staff at my local Petco at least when it come's to T's. I originally went to Petco the day before I bought the T to look at them, and the lady I met the first time seemed to know more, but when I went back the next day to buy my T she wasn't there. I picked up a pet keeper that would be more for a terrestrial T, and I asked the lady who was helping me if he would need a taller habitat or a longer one and she said the one I picked up would be okay. I didn't know until afterward that he was an arboreal specie's, and needed a taller habitat. He is really smart though, and actually pulled the fake plant I put in the pet keeper from his original tarantula hut up higher in the corner for support using web from where it was on the ground and he built a nice looking web around it stretching up the corner. I've been trying my best misting his habitat daily to keep humidity up, and I bought a heating pad attaching it to the bottom of the pet keeper. It's normally hot and humid here in FL, but in winter like it is now it can go from the mid 80's to high 90's all the way down to the 40's at night when winter really set's in. To be completely honest as well I'm kind of on the poor side, and the place where I live is infested with critter's like the possum's that come in through the hole's, and lizards as well as insect's like roaches. I tried to keep the roaches away, but they get into everything, and he was eating like a buffet for the first couple of days. His abdomen has gotten really plump as well, which is cute sense he's still small. lol This is the third day he hasn't eaten though, and by the time I got to town today Petco was closed so I tried getting worms from Walmart. He wouldn't eat it though, and actually ran. He seems allot less active as well. I hope he's alright, and I just hope to see him grown up when he turns those bright vibrant beautiful color's. Thank you for reading, and I hope to get some advice or opinion's. Thanks again. :) Also, I hope it's okay but I included a video I did when I first got him for reference.

 

Ellenantula

Arachnoking
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Sep 14, 2014
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Too much to address! Are neighbors treating for roaches -- yours could eat a poisoned roach. How would they get into an enclosure anyway? Avics require an arboreal enclosure with good ventilation. An avic is more likely to suffer from a stuffy enclosure with too much moisture -- esp if ventilation is lacking. Unless it's a sling, I only offer a water dish for moisture/drinking water.
Avics web a lot and need anchor points (plants/cork bark) to attach their webs.
Maybe someone else will chime in.... I wouldn't rely on a pet store for advice -- very hit and miss.
I avoid heating pads like the plague -- if room is that cold, a space heater is better bet.
 

Marijan2

Arachnobaron
Joined
Oct 21, 2012
Messages
505
Welcome to hobby mate :)
Well, for firsts, you probably already noticed, but tarantulas aren't really pets that like handling. Also, tarantulas will not drown, use just pure water in some cup and that's it. You need to stop roaches from entering its cage, because they could have pesticides on them, or even gang up on T when it moults and eat it. For now cage is fine, but after 2-3 moults it will need rehouse to vertical enclosure. As feeding goes, one prey a week size of his abdomen is some usual feeding tempo on slings that is widely used, no need to overstuff it in short period of time.
 

valkyrie4488

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 27, 2016
Messages
4
Too much to address! Are neighbors treating for roaches -- yours could eat a poisoned roach. How would they get into an enclosure anyway? Avics require an arboreal enclosure with good ventilation. An avic is more likely to suffer from a stuffy enclosure with too much moisture -- esp if ventilation is lacking. Unless it's a sling, I only offer a water dish for moisture/drinking water.
Avics web a lot and need anchor points (plants/cork bark) to attach their webs.
Maybe someone else will chime in.... I wouldn't rely on a pet store for advice -- very hit and miss.
I avoid heating pads like the plague -- if room is that cold, a space heater is better bet.
The entire lid of the pet keeper is ventilated, and though the vent hole's seem small they still squeeze in. I will try to prevent them from getting in more, and stop the misting. I just found conflicting stuff on youtube on whether to mist or not to mist, and wasn't sure. Thank you. ^^

Welcome to hobby mate :)
Well, for firsts, you probably already noticed, but tarantulas aren't really pets that like handling. Also, tarantulas will not drown, use just pure water in some cup and that's it. You need to stop roaches from entering its cage, because they could have pesticides on them, or even gang up on T when it moults and eat it. For now cage is fine, but after 2-3 moults it will need rehouse to vertical enclosure. As feeding goes, one prey a week size of his abdomen is some usual feeding tempo on slings that is widely used, no need to overstuff it in short period of time.
Thank you, and as you said I noticed. lol I will stop the misting, and I have a bottle lid in there with water in it that should work. I will try harder to keep them from getting in, and I had actually considered that when he molt's and wouldn't want that to happen. I plan to order a regular arboreal habitat soon, and I will keep it on hand to transfer him over after 2-3 molt's as you said. I had worries about the cage he's in currently, but thank you for clearing that up. ^^ I will start feeding him once a week as well. Thanks again, I appreciate the help, and the information. :)
 

Marijan2

Arachnobaron
Joined
Oct 21, 2012
Messages
505
Thank you, and as you said I noticed. lol I will stop the misting, and I have a bottle lid in there with water in it that should work.
Yup, stop the misting, but that doesn't mean it should be dry in there. Simply pour little water on substrate when you see it dried up. It shouldn't be soaking, slightly moist is fine
 

Ghost56

Arachnobaron
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Messages
443
Definitely no heating pad like was previously mentioned, but you could still use the heating pad by building a simple little microclimate if it gets cold in your living space. As long as it doesn't drop below around 68 though, you shouldn't have to worry about heating at all.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
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Dec 8, 2006
Messages
11,531
@viper69 i know you had a great post on avics somewhere for threads like these, not sure where it is though..
Thanks will do!

@valkyrie4488

There are many Avic enthusiasts here that can help. The bad news--- Your T needs some help, the good news-- we can help you if you listen and follow this board's collective advice. Read the below info, post your questions about what I wrote back in this thread.

http://arachnoboards.com/threads/avicularia-husbandry.282549/#post-2461399

I watched your video, and listening to you it's clear you did some research, like adding a water bowl cap (always provide one) . If you read CARE SHEETS, forget what you read, CARE SHEETS KILL TARANTULAS!!

Your Avic is larger than most I've seen out of petco, that's good! The things I would caution/change are the following:

1. The vent slats may be wide enough to your allow your T to escape. If the width of the vent holes is about the size of its carapace, you will have an escape at some point.
2. You mentioned they aren't that fast. Actually Avics can be quite fast as you noticed in your video, they can be MUCH faster trust me. Faster than a human. Also, they do JUMP. You are lucky your T didn't get hurt.
3. You mentioned handling your T when it gets larger in the video. This is a terrible idea unless you want to end up with a dead or injured T, esp an Avic. Avics will jump as you noticed. They will jump off your hand/head/shoulders at any height. They expect plants BELOW them, not empty space and a hard wood floor. SO, if you handle it and it dies or gets injured it's your fault. No reason to risk your cherished pet's life, right?
4. They don't like being handled. They don't have emotions, they don't derive any benefit from holding. These are wild animals, not domesticated cats/dogs.
5. Your substrate, could be wrong, but seems to be rather wet. It's OK if the sub is a bit moist/dry.
6. Heating pads kill tarantulas generally. General rule, if you are comfortable, your T will be too. I keep all of my Avics at about 70-75 day/68 night, no heating pads ever. If it gets colder, a space heater is your best bet.
7. STOP relying on YouTube as your source info! Come here instead :D The info on AB here is consistent generally speaking. YouTube on average is a video version of CARE SHEETS.
8. Don't let insects into your Ts HOME! It might die, god knows what pesticides are in those insects around there. Let alone insects getting in if its molting.
9. Feed your T more than once a week, no need for it to be on a Nazi feeding regime. Your T is young, it's in its growth phase. Only job it has is to get larger to avoid predators. Feed it as often as it will eat. A. versi are excellent eaters too. They are also quite SKITTISH compared to other Avics.
 

scott308

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 6, 2008
Messages
74
Congratulations on your new pet, and welcome to the board! Avicularia is a great genus, very popular. As you've noticed, the advice you get from pet stores and online care sheets can be contradictory. Remember, pet stores want to sell you an inexpensive pet, and then sell you lots of equipment to go with it, often making you feel like your pet can't survive if you don't buy a bunch of stuff, and anybody can post info online and make themselves seem like an expert. Fortunately, you didn't fall into the common trap of buying temperature and humidity gauges. Temperature was already mentioned so I won't repeat, but every care sheet you find will give a humidity range. Ignore that. Avics should be kept mainly dry with a water dish and good ventilation. When smaller, I will sprinkle a little water on their webbing, but you really don't want to mist your tarantula's enclosure.

You mentioned a sponge in the water bowl- bad idea. The tarantula won't drown, although crickets definitely will. If you want to put some aquarium glass rocks or marbles to help out the crickets, that is fine. Sponges will keep crickets from drowning, but they will also harbor bacteria which can harm your T. I know it seems pet stores put a sponge in the dish of every tarantula/ scorpion/ centipede they sell, but that does not mean you should.

Avicularia versicolor is a nice species (not breed). If you follow Viper's guide and ask questions if you are unsure about something, your spider should be fine. Also, use the site's search function to find info on tarantulas in general, versus in particular. There is a lot of good information that has been posted in the past, so you may be able to find the answers you are looking for.
 

valkyrie4488

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 27, 2016
Messages
4
Thank you everyone, I really appreciate all the help and information. Thank you as well Viper69, Scott308, Marijan2 and Ghost56. I will listen to your advice, and I've been reading the advice in the thread you linked me to as well Viper69. :) I've stopped misting him, and removed the sponge from the bottle cap water bowl as well and his web is in the corner of the cage facing out so I can get a good view of him and his belly. lol ^^ I have also left the heating pad off, and as I mention before within the next couple of day's I will be ordering him a regular arboreal enclosure for when he get's a little bigger after 2-3 more molt's. He isn't that active, but from time to time I see him spinning more web with his abdomen working. :p I can see by the look of the substrate it's drying up as well sense I stopped misting. The entire lid of the pet keeper is covered with vent hole's so hopefully that will be enough, and he walked all over the lid when I first put him in there and none were big enough for him to get through, but I will keep that in mind to keep an eye on that. Thank you again guys, I really like Jeff my A. Versicolor. lol :p
 

Ghost56

Arachnobaron
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Messages
443
Thank you everyone, I really appreciate all the help and information. Thank you as well Viper69, Scott308, Marijan2 and Ghost56. I will listen to your advice, and I've been reading the advice in the thread you linked me to as well Viper69. :) I've stopped misting him, and removed the sponge from the bottle cap water bowl as well and his web is in the corner of the cage facing out so I can get a good view of him and his belly. lol ^^ I have also left the heating pad off, and as I mention before within the next couple of day's I will be ordering him a regular arboreal enclosure for when he get's a little bigger after 2-3 more molt's. He isn't that active, but from time to time I see him spinning more web with his abdomen working. :p I can see by the look of the substrate it's drying up as well sense I stopped misting. The entire lid of the pet keeper is covered with vent hole's so hopefully that will be enough, and he walked all over the lid when I first put him in there and none were big enough for him to get through, but I will keep that in mind to keep an eye on that. Thank you again guys, I really like Jeff my A. Versicolor. lol :p
Glad everything's working out, anymore questions you have, definitely ask them here. These guys know what they're doing plus some lol.
 

MeAndMyRosie

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 10, 2016
Messages
21
Definitely no heating pad like was previously mentioned, but you could still use the heating pad by building a simple little microclimate if it gets cold in your living space. As long as it doesn't drop below around 68 though, you shouldn't have to worry about heating at all.
How exactly do you build a microclimate??
 

scott308

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 6, 2008
Messages
74
I think your spider should do just fine. We will often get posts from people who just got their first tarantula and come asking for help. They are quite often argumentative and unwilling to accept advice and make changes, even though they came asking for help. It is nice to see someone who is willing to accept constructive criticism and make changes for the betterment of the spider.
 

scott308

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 6, 2008
Messages
74
How exactly do you build a microclimate??
You could put the tarantula enclosure inside a larger enclosure, such as a fish tank. Put the heat pad on the fish tank- not directly next to the spider enclosure- so that it will heat the air inside the tank, thereby passively heating the tarantula enclosure.
 

Ghost56

Arachnobaron
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Messages
443
How exactly do you build a microclimate??
You can do like scott said, or you can wrap the heat pad around a glass container with water in it like this vid (
) if you need a little extra humidity. But that may or may not work good depending on where you live.

BTW, that's not my video.
 

valkyrie4488

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 27, 2016
Messages
4
Well, I went today and especially bought some small meal worms for my A. Versicolor. It's been at least five or six day's sense I've seen him eat, and low and behold he ran from meal worms as well. I don't know what's with him, but maybe if I leave it in there he will come around, and eat the meal worm. I got meal worm's because there easier to pick up with tweezers or tong's than cricket's are.
 

AlbatrossWarrior

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 6, 2016
Messages
147
Well, I went today and especially bought some small meal worms for my A. Versicolor. It's been at least five or six day's sense I've seen him eat, and low and behold he ran from meal worms as well. I don't know what's with him, but maybe if I leave it in there he will come around, and eat the meal worm. I got meal worm's because there easier to pick up with tweezers or tong's than cricket's are.
It's nothing to worry about if your T's not eating, don't worry :D Hey may molt soon, or he may just not feel like eating. Some adult tarantulas will go over a year without eating, so a week is nothing!
 

Ghost56

Arachnobaron
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Messages
443
Well, I went today and especially bought some small meal worms for my A. Versicolor. It's been at least five or six day's sense I've seen him eat, and low and behold he ran from meal worms as well. I don't know what's with him, but maybe if I leave it in there he will come around, and eat the meal worm. I got meal worm's because there easier to pick up with tweezers or tong's than cricket's are.
Crush the meal worms head so he can't burrow, and toss him in. If he's still not gone after 24hrs, remove it. Your versi may be in premolt if it doesn't take it during those 24hrs, or possibly just not hungry. If it still doesn't eat, just try again in a few days.
 
Last edited:

CyclingSam

Arachnoknight
Joined
May 22, 2016
Messages
220
You can do like scott said, or you can wrap the heat pad around a glass container with water in it like this vid (
) if you need a little extra humidity. But that may or may not work good depending on where you live.

BTW, that's not my video.
Thanks for sharing my vid!!! I was going to post it but you beat me to it. It has been working great for me. Even when it gets colder at night the tarantulas still stay around 75 degrees. They will all be huddled in the corner of the cage nearest to the glass. It is kind of funny to watch.
 
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