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Newbie trying to learn

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Ross Nation, Aug 5, 2019.

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    Hi All,

    I have a Brachypelma Boehemi juvenile (4-6cm I haven’t measured it yet) wanted to address some concerns I have. Please note I’m a natural worrier so I may be over reacting.

    1) My T is roaming a lot, I have an enclosure that I’m sure is too big for it for now, but it was required as an emergency backup the 10x10x10 glass enclosure got damaged the day before the spider arrived (not overly impressed about it as I was a colossal clot) so a new one is on the way.

    2) as I’ve only had the T around 5-6 days I’m not used to there behaviours and characteristics, I would assume a happy tarantula is basically a pet rock?

    3) The T is rejecting/ kicking hairs at the prey, is this a sign or distress?

    4) The corner of the room it’s in does get a lot of light through the window early to mid after noon and I’m planning on moving it to the side with the window so it’s darker all day, would this help?

    5) The T has started to develop bold patches on its back, so I’m really seeking advise as due to the roaming, rejection of food and now this I’m concerned that it’s possible pre-moult or I’m doing something really wrong and I want to provide a happy and stress free life for my gorgeous tarantula.

    Attached is photos of the Temporary enclosure (soon to be replaced with a more suitable one) and abdomen and it’s bold patches.

    Enclosure is dry substrate with full water dish, kept at room temp with a hide provided and a few twigs for decoration. I’m not happy with it as the amount of holes in it and the T’s legs go through and I’m worried it would result in severe injury, what can I used to replace it until the new enclosure arrives?


    Many thanks,


    Attached Files:

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  2. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Malleus Aranearum Staff Member

    Welcome to the forum. You may find this helpful: Tarantula Information for Beginners (and More).

    Tarantulas often roam more when they are settling in to new homes. It can take up to a couple of weeks for them to acclimate.

    Once they settle in, they tend not to do much.

    If a tarantula is hungry, it will eat prey. Reacting defensively to prey may be a sign that your tarantula is preparing to molt.

    Either is fine so long as direct sunlight is not falling into the enclosure. (This will cook your tarantula due to the greenhouse effect.)

    Bald patches are nothing to worry about; it just means your tarantula has been shedding hairs. This happens when they feel threatened, but it also happens for benign reasons like wanting to lay down a protective layer of hairs. (This behavior can be more common before a molt.)

    One benefit of the bald patch is that it gives you a good indication of when a molt is imminent; it will turn dark in the days before the molt.

    This tarantula had two tan bald patches, but then they turned black a day or two before he molted:

    This enclosure will do until the new home is ready, but I would remove the pointy stick, as it could injure your tarantula if the tarantula falls onto it.
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  3. Thank you for your advice and the speed of the reply. I will remove the stick immediately and will move the enclosure as on a clear day it will get direct sunlight. Your advise is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again,

    P.s I hope my post follows all guidelines and rules. I wish to respect the forum community and its users.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Malleus Aranearum Staff Member

    It's fine. If we notice something out of bounds, we'll let you know via DM or the notification system.
    • Like Like x 3
  5. Th
    Ok Thank you
  6. Arachnathulu

    Arachnathulu Arachnopeon Active Member

    Wow, Ross, sounds like you're about to be in it for a wild ride.
    • Like Like x 1

  7. Quite possibly bud. The hobby is so interesting, I’m amazed with the level of knowledge and advice available for beginners to tap into and I’m really enjoying the learning. The post will be updated with news regarding the new enclosure and what happens next! I think I recall that should the T be moulting just let it be and do it’s thing? Oh and the twigs are now gone from the enclosure so Nigel or Nigella is safer now. Thank you for commenting, Ross
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  8. JKE01

    JKE01 Arachnopeon

    The enclosure isn't unbelievably too big but a slightly smaller enclosure wouldn't do any harm as it is a very small T at the moment and an enclosure too large can stress out a tarantula. A very effective and inexpensive way to house them is in plastic tubs/containers (obviously making sure you have made ventilation holes for the T to breathe) this way it is secure and comfortable but you also don't run the risk of injury to your T by getting its leg caught in one of those large holes on the side of your enclosure. Also its okay for sunlight to touch your enclosure as long as there is somewhere shady for the T to escape the sun if need be (i suggest investing in a little hide if not already done so) and as long as the temperature is still within the requirements for your specific T as you don't want to overheat it (google the suggested heat for your tarantula if your'e unsure) . I really recommend purchasing a thermometer just so you can keep an eye on the heat with matters like these where there is a lot of direct sunlight on the enclosure and most arachnid/reptile thermometers provide a humidity percentage as well which is useful. lastly do not panic too much about the bald patches as it could the T preparing for a moult or where it has lost some U-hairs or many other reasons. Lastly remember that although Tarantulas can be sensitive they're also highly adaptive creatures so making their environment nice and comfortable is important but don't stress too much if the heat/humidity or anything like that is a tiny bit too high or too low because the chances are that if you're comfortable in the room so is your tarantula. Hope this helped or put your mind at ease.
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  9. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    no no nono....hygrometers dont help, they confuse with pointless numbers...dont use a hygrometer.
    • Agree Agree x 2

  10. Thank you for the advice bud, there is a hide at the back of the enclosure under the mound but the T doesn’t seem to want to use it. I’ve ordered 3 different enclosures 2 of the tub style and an acrylic 30cm x 20cm x 15cm with small air holes to get it out of the one with the mesh. This I can’t wait to do for it’s safety. As for the thermometer I’ve heard a lot of mixed feelings/ comments about theM and the vast majority say that they’re a waste of money/time. I’m not sure what I’m going to do there yet. I may get one and see how I get on but In this case I went with the majority.

    Thank you for your comment and advice, Ross.

    Is a hygrometer the one that does the humidity?

    Thank you for the advice, I will take it on board. Ross.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2019
  11. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnoking Old Timer

    Due to 20 years experience i can say this. Juveniles tend to roam alot in to large, barren enclosures, like yours are! They have generally a harder time to settle in, in a large terrarium than a small. Your enclosure is: Too large, too barren and have not enough substrate. The hight of the enclosure is good for that level sub, but there is too little substrate. Juvenile Brachypelmas likes to dig! Now. Put the tarantula in a enclosure half that area wise size, but twize the hight compared to the enclosure it is in now. I would say a enclosure that is 8 or 10 inch tall. Line it with 6 or 8 inch of compressed substrate. I prefer peat myself, or top soil. And add a slightly curved piece of corkbark that you burry into the sub, and a waterdish. And i promise you. It mist likely will stop roaming and settle in.
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  12. Thank you for your advice, I will defiantly take it on board. I have smaller enclosures on the way should be here 8-9- 08-2019. This one was an emergency back up, as like a clot, the 10x10x10cm glass enclosure I had prepared a week in advance I dropped the night before the T arrived and it broke other than deep substrate and water dish does the T require and decorative pieces or will it be fine with just a burrow and water dish?

    Thanks again,
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  13. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnoking Old Timer

    One thing newbees seems to have a hard time to grasp is that the enclosure size should corrolated to the spiders size! Often i see pictures of juvenile tarantulas in enclosure fit for adult spiders. Enclosures should be upsized as the spider moults and grows. For a juvenile Brachypelma, say 2 inches, i would go for a floorspace around 6×6 inches or something like that. The hights of the enclosures can be rather tall, BUT that requires that you fill it up with substrate. NEVER use tall enclosure with to little substrate cos of the risk of spider falling! For an large adult Brachypelma boehmei female a enclosure measuring 12×12×12 inches are ideal, filled with atleast half of it with substrate! And dont just pour in the substrate. Compress it pretty tightly! It makes it easier for them to dig and it gets harder fir the burrow to collapse that way!
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
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  14. Funny you say that, mine had it's blonde spot go dark five days ago(during a move mind you, poor thing is stresses. Worst moment to try to molt). Finally settled in the new house and she still hasn't molted, had to lead her back to her hide since I wanted her to feel safe and calm as quickly as I could. Hasn't come out since. Hoping everything will be ok, first molt for me since starting the hobby two months ago.
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  15. Hi Vanisher, I just got back from work and I have doubled the amount I’ve f substrate in the enclosure to prevent damage from a fall and I’ve compacted it. Started a burrow for it and now just need to build up by the water dish. But first I will allow the T to calm down and will prepare the new enclosure to be better suited to the little one. I’ve had the date set for delivery of the new enclosure of 9-8-19 (this coming Friday) so hopefully it’ll be a lot better and comfortable for the T. Thank you for your advice it is greatly appreciated. Ross

    I hope your T is ok too bud. Hope it moults ok.

    Attached Files:

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  16. Hi all does this look like a more appropriate enclosure for my juvenile T?

    Attached Files:

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  17. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnoking Old Timer

    Yes, it certainly does, but the angle of the photo isnt the best! Better take one from above
  18. Hi Vanisher, just a heads up I moved the T into the enclosure to save it the risk of his legs getting damaged/ tore off and a bad fall killing it in the old mesh enclosure. Ross.

    Attached Files:

  19. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnoking Old Timer

    Yes, a much better enclosure, both size wise and design wise! The spider will thrive i'd say!
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  20. Thank you for all of your advice/tellings off Vanisher you have been truly a godsend! One more question for you. He’s only had water from dishes in the last 7 days due to all the stress of shipping and the poor ‘enclosure’ I gave him first off and I’m wondering how long is best to be leaving before attempting to give him a meal now? He still has a water dish to help him hydrate whilst he settles in. Thank you once again, Ross.
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