Newbie seeks enclosure advice/critique (pics)

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David John

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I have my very first two tarantulas being shipped to me this week, a 4" female B smithi, and a 2.5" female G pulchripes. I have set up two 10 gallon aquariums for their new homes (pics below) using a 50/50 mixture of 100% organic peat moss and vermiculite for their substrate, and used some New Zealand sphagnum moss to cover their "hides" (which I used a broken clay pot on one side, and on the other side the 1/2 hollow log that came with the terrarium). I tossed in the artificial plants just to give it some color.

The end with the 40W lamps heats to a steady 85 degrees, while the other end stays right at 75 (with foil covering the screen). With the lamps off, the temp reads about 68 degrees...I was wondering if that's going to be too cold at night, and if I need to invest in some dimmer switches (rheostats).

Any advise is greatly appreciated




 

codykrr

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needs more substrate. like 6 more inches. Loose the tin foil on top as with these two species you wont need that much humidity. The light shouldnt be on 24/7. but a few hours for view pleasure is *OK*.

Other than that looks good.

Also, a 10 gallon is way to big for a 2.5 inch spider. a 2.5 gallon would be plenty.
 

Chris_Skeleton

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needs more substrate. like 6 more inches. Loose the tin foil on top as with these two species you wont need that much humidity. The light shouldnt be on 24/7. but a few hours for view pleasure is *OK*.

Other than that looks good.

Also, a 10 gallon is way to big for a 2.5 inch spider. a 2.5 gallon would be plenty.
+1. You really do not need those lamps at all. Your spiders will be fine at room temperature.
 

Great Basin Ben

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I'd lose the heat lamp/light things first and foremost. As long as your house temp, is regularly above 65 degrees, your T's will be fine. If you are comfortable, then the two species you've described, will be more than happy as well.

Second, those enclosures are HUGE for the spiders you've described. While there is truly no harm in having enclosures THAT big for 2 1/2 inch spiders, the real concern, is that with almost a FOOT between the top of the enclosure, and the substrate below, if a 2-4 inch spider fell that far, it could likely be catastrophic. You really only want as much room from the substrate to the top of the enclosure to be slightly higher than the length of the spider completely stretched out, which in this case would be approx. 3 inches on the smaller one, and approx. 5 inches on the B. smithi.

Finally, the 2 species you described, are quite happy in dry environments (Think Sonoran/Chihuahuan desert, and lowland South American foothill habitat), so don't go too humid. MANY folk make the mistake of making a virtual swamp out of things.

Also, A MUST is a copy of Schultzs' book, The Tarantula Keeper's Guide.

WELCOME ABOARD!!!
 

DawgPoundSound

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Those enclosures are really nice. The only thing I'd recommend is removing the heat lamps. Other than that, you're fine. When you place the T's in their new homes coax them into those hides immediately. It will drop the % of them climbing very dramatically. I do this with all my T's when I rehouse them. And I rarely get a climber (when dealing with terrestrials).

Now in the event that you do have one climb a bit, here's what I have seen. I have a 5.5" rosea in a 10 gallon (temporarily) and I watched her climb to the top for some odd reason, as rosea can be odd at times, and all of a sudden she just plopped down to the substrate. It's only about 3 inches thick. She landed on her legs. And she politely walked away as if to say, "I won't try that again". And she hasn't. Checked her for injury and she's perfectly fine.

So I wouldn't add anything to what you have there. They look lovely. But the 2.5" T will look like a dot in there. You won't have to rehouse it ever! LOL
 

Chris_Skeleton

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I would recommend that you DO add substrate unlike the previous post. Esspecially since you are dealing with a smaller spider in one of them. Better safe than sorry. There is no reason to risk it when you can just go ahead and add the substrate and not have to worry about it. You can't watch your Ts all the time so you never know when they are climbing. And since you have the water dishes in the corner, if they decided to climb there, that is a long way to fall and could injure it.
 

jt39565

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Welcome aboard, I have both of those sp. in my collection as well, your gonna love em! I agree with the previous posters with regards to adding substrate, losing the lamps & tin foil. I would also advise waiting about 3-7 days before atempting to feed once being placed in their new homes.
 

codykrr

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Those enclosures are really nice. The only thing I'd recommend is removing the heat lamps. Other than that, you're fine. When you place the T's in their new homes coax them into those hides immediately. It will drop the % of them climbing very dramatically. I do this with all my T's when I rehouse them. And I rarely get a climber (when dealing with terrestrials).

Now in the event that you do have one climb a bit, here's what I have seen. I have a 5.5" rosea in a 10 gallon (temporarily) and I watched her climb to the top for some odd reason, as rosea can be odd at times, and all of a sudden she just plopped down to the substrate. It's only about 3 inches thick. She landed on her legs. And she politely walked away as if to say, "I won't try that again". And she hasn't. Checked her for injury and she's perfectly fine.

So I wouldn't add anything to what you have there. They look lovely. But the 2.5" T will look like a dot in there. You won't have to rehouse it ever! LOL
This has to be one of the most ignorant posts I have seen since the honeybee thread!:wall:

First let me break this down.
HE does need substrate. a fall from a mear 5 inches is enough to rupture the internal organs of a tarantula. even if the appear fine, they can be bleeding from the inside.

Second. B. smithi are notorious for climbing the sides if the substrate is too wet.... this will result in a fall.

second, your G. rosea was probably climbing the sides trying to get off the substrate, as it was probably too wet.

also you cannot look inside your T to see if their guts are ruptured.

I suggest this OP take note of your post as WHAT NOT TO DO.

The lights. Those are fine. So long as they arent left of 24/7. I keep lights on a few of my arboreal enclosures for 4 hours each day for plant growth.(real plants inside).

to the OP. really, the enclosures are way too big. But if you have to keep them that size add at least 6 more inches of peat in each one and remove the tin foil. Other than that they look great.
 

DawgPoundSound

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This has to be one of the most ignorant posts I have seen since the honeybee thread!:wall:

First let me break this down.
HE does need substrate. a fall from a mear 5 inches is enough to rupture the internal organs of a tarantula. even if the appear fine, they can be bleeding from the inside.

Second. B. smithi are notorious for climbing the sides if the substrate is too wet.... this will result in a fall.

second, your G. rosea was probably climbing the sides trying to get off the substrate, as it was probably too wet.

also you cannot look inside your T to see if their guts are ruptured.

I suggest this OP take note of your post as WHAT NOT TO DO.

The lights. Those are fine. So long as they arent left of 24/7. I keep lights on a few of my arboreal enclosures for 4 hours each day for plant growth.(real plants inside).

to the OP. really, the enclosures are way too big. But if you have to keep them that size add at least 6 more inches of peat in each one and remove the tin foil. Other than that they look great.
Excuse me? Is this an attempt at starting some kind of opinionated feud, because you ARE NOT going to tell me how to care for my T's. And calling someone else's posts ignorant because they are assisting others is really stupid on your behalf. I wasn't addressing you in this thread. I was addressing the OP. Thank you kindly.
 

Josh1129

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Excuse me? Is this an attempt at starting some kind of opinionated feud, because you ARE NOT going to tell me how to care for my T's. And calling someone else's posts ignorant because they are assisting others is really stupid on your behalf. I wasn't addressing you in this thread. I was addressing the OP. Thank you kindly.
I doubt he is doing it as a slam to you. But I have to admit every point he made was true. Those cages are nice but really dangerous to those T's. More substrate is a MUST. You also have to remember that these species will burrow. My B.smithi is roughly 3.5-4 inches and she has a complete burrow system in her cage. My G. pulchripes also about the same size have burrows that they retreat into. Also for T's that small I think those water dishes may be a little large (I may be wrong on that one).
 

Chris_Skeleton

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As Josh1129 said, I think that water dish will be pretty big for the 2.5" spider. You should add marbles, pebbles, etc. so it's not so deep.

I know Cody said the lights will be fine and that he uses them with his arboreals, but I'm curious as to if the lamps would encourage them to climb in order to get closer to the heat source. I know my terrestrials will climb to get closer to heat. That would be the only thing I'd be worried about. If they don't do that then you should be fine with them.
 

Fran

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Keep them at 68F and by the time your kids gratuate college you will have your very first molt.
 

gmrpnk21

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As Josh1129 said, I think that water dish will be pretty big for the 2.5" spider. You should add marbles, pebbles, etc. so it's not so deep.

I know Cody said the lights will be fine and that he uses them with his arboreals, but I'm curious as to if the lamps would encourage them to climb in order to get closer to the heat source. I know my terrestrials will climb to get closer to heat. That would be the only thing I'd be worried about. If they don't do that then you should be fine with them.
Good point. My T's always get as close as possible to a heat source so it seems reasonable to think it might encourage climbing.
 

codykrr

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Excuse me? Is this an attempt at starting some kind of opinionated feud, because you ARE NOT going to tell me how to care for my T's. And calling someone else's posts ignorant because they are assisting others is really stupid on your behalf. I wasn't addressing you in this thread. I was addressing the OP. Thank you kindly.
I am sorry. but this isnt an opinionated feud. These are simple FACTS that have been learned by many keepers over a period of years. I dont care how you care for your Ts. you can do as you please. but dont go handing out WRONG advice to someone who is asking how to do something RIGHT.

Your post was ignorant. It goes against what EVERY OTHER hobbyist is doing to successfully keep there spiders alive and well.

People on here dont take the time to hand out info for nothing. we want people to succeed.

no offense, but maybe you should run a search, and read the hundreds(literally) of threads with all the same questions, getting all the same info.


I am not trying to be a jerk. But these are living creatures. meant to have proper care. there is enough misleading info out there. dont need people handing out bad advice to newbies who are wanting to learn the RIGHT ways.
 

Mez

Arachnoknight
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Nov 17, 2010
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If you want to enjoy your 2.5" GP, honestly, id put it in a small tub. You''ll never see it in there, and you'll have to be monitoring feeding to make sure it actually catches the prey item.
Those enclosures look great, but probably suited to something a little larger? Id also be a bit concerned about how high the humidity is for both the species....is the moss/substrate wet?
 

codykrr

Arachnoking
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As Josh1129 said, I think that water dish will be pretty big for the 2.5" spider. You should add marbles, pebbles, etc. so it's not so deep.

I know Cody said the lights will be fine and that he uses them with his arboreals, but I'm curious as to if the lamps would encourage them to climb in order to get closer to the heat source. I know my terrestrials will climb to get closer to heat. That would be the only thing I'd be worried about. If they don't do that then you should be fine with them.

I cannot answer this fully.

Mainly because I use florescent lights(like shop lights) with one bulb. there isnt any heat..well not enough to get warm from. they are only a 20 hours off, 4 hours on timer.

I also wouldnt think a tarantula would want to go towards the light. Even if there is heat. I could be wrong though.
 

gmrpnk21

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I cannot answer this fully.

Mainly because I use florescent lights(like shop lights) with one bulb. there isnt any heat..well not enough to get warm from. they are only a 20 hours off, 4 hours on timer.

I also wouldnt think a tarantula would want to go towards the light. Even if there is heat. I could be wrong though.
Ahhh that makes a bit of difference. The lights should be ok, but none of my tarantulas seem to enjoy the direct light.
 

Moltar

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Lights that radiate heat such as regular incandescent bulbs or heat bulbs will dry out the tank very quickly. Although these are fairly arid species, they still need a certain amount of ambient moisture which you will struggle to maintain. This, IMO is the reason the lights are ill-advised. I also agree with other points made regarding increasing substrate, adding pebbles to water bowls and general enclosure size.
 

Wink

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i personally use 10 gal tanks for most of my T's, but only for the fact that my local petco sells them for only 10 bucks...i only house the adults in them though. i definately agree with everyone, more substrate is definately needed!! oh and lose the tin foil ;)
 

curiousme

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I have my very first two tarantulas being shipped to me this week, a 4" female B smithi, and a 2.5" female G pulchripes. I have set up two 10 gallon aquariums for their new homes (pics below) using a 50/50 mixture of 100% organic peat moss and vermiculite for their substrate, and used some New Zealand sphagnum moss to cover their "hides" (which I used a broken clay pot on one side, and on the other side the 1/2 hollow log that came with the terrarium). I tossed in the artificial plants just to give it some color.
First, welcome to the forum and the hobby. :)

When you add more substrate, don't mix in the vermiculite. It makes it the substrate harder to burrow in, if the T gets the urge to do so. A good rule of thumb for the substrate is to have a legspan and a half of open space between the top of the substrate and the top of the enclosure. I would definitely add it though, because falls can be dangerous and if you can avoid big ones, why not do so.

The end with the 40W lamps heats to a steady 85 degrees, while the other end stays right at 75 (with foil covering the screen). With the lamps off, the temp reads about 68 degrees...I was wondering if that's going to be too cold at night, and if I need to invest in some dimmer switches (rheostats).
Is the area that they are going to be in heated room? If so those temps are most likely just fine for them. We keep ours at around 66F, but have had them as low as 64F with no ill effects. I assume you got your temps from some sort of caresheet that you have looked up on the internet and I am sorry to tell you this, but most internet caresheets are pretty darn crappy/ incorrect information. Many keep their Ts warmer than we do and as a result their Ts will grow faster in the winter. There is no need for the heat lamps, they have more of harming them than really helping them. Though those species like things dry, there is no reason to bake them right under heat lamps IMO.

The 2.5" is a bit small for that 10 gallon enclosure and would be easier to find/ feed/ keep hydrated in a smaller enclosure. We chose to make our own enclosures out of plexi-glass, but have switched to hobby cubes for our arboreal juveniles and sterilite containers that can be found at Walmart in the storage section, for our terrestrials. The sterilite would be my cheap option for housing and a 2.5 gal. would be my more expensive recommendation.

There is an extremely informative sticky linked in my signature that has a guide to using the search engine more effectively as well as commonly asked questions, you should give it a gander. One thing you will learn, is that everyone has their own way of keeping their tarantulas; but that is the fun of tarantula husbandry, it can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it.

Once again, welcome to the forum, the hobby and the addiction. :)
 
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