Pros and cons of popular tarantula YouTubers?

Asgiliath

Arachnoknight
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May 4, 2019
Messages
275
I was just browsing YouTube and because I regularly watch T related content, I always have folks like Exotics Lair, The Dark Den etc. show up on my suggested and it made me think — I’ve watched content like theirs and they have some problematic husbandry advice or none at all (side-eyeing Exotics Lair) BUT I do think that influencers like them have helped people see tarantulas and keeping them in a “different” or more positive way, if nothing else. Exposure itself is important. I’m not a fan of click bait video titles and the drama and whatever else but sometimes a little campiness can soften people’s views.

Of course, entertainment focused YouTubers like these shouldn’t be seen as 100% knowledgeable (side-eyeing The Dark Den for his pairing mistakes) BUT all the same — thoughts on folks like these and the pros and cons of their influence within the hobby?
 

Minty

@londontarantulas
Joined
Feb 2, 2018
Messages
491
For me personally,

Pros: Entertainment. Visual representation of other husbandry methods.

Cons: It all eventually becomes a little repetitive. Handling seems common.
 

Asgiliath

Arachnoknight
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Joined
May 4, 2019
Messages
275
For me personally,

Pros: Entertainment. Visual representation of other husbandry methods.

Cons: It all eventually becomes a little repetitive. Handling seems common.
Definitely repetitive. Feeding and rehousing.
 

Liquifin

Arachnoprince
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Joined
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Messages
1,024
This answer is a controversial one. A good majority of new T. hobbyist are brought in by Youtubers like the Dark Den and Exotics Lair, which is a somewhat good thing. Everything else is almost a negative from there on. More hobbyist equals more demand of T.'s resulting in price inflations due to supply and demand issues and many more.

These people are trying to make T.'s entertaining to lower the fear in arachnophobes, which is a good thing. But Youtube is a double-edged sword in terms of this hobby. Exotics Lair and The Dark Den are entertainment tarantula Youtubers that want to help people out. But in return, fans worship them like literal gods. Logically, they are swaying this hobby into a new course. Either good or bad, it's up to how you see it.

The Dark Den is entertaining and I'm subscribed to his channel because it's fun and entertaining (I can admit this). But then again when a young enthusiasts person watches this, they instantly think this hobby is all rainbows and sunshine. Which in reality, there is also drawbacks and people who are really desperate to start with a cool dangerous OW T. than rather starting with a NW in this hobby. I like the Dark Den, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with everything he does, which is not a bad thing. Every keeper has their way of doing things, but they shouldn't encourage or show it to the audience on a normal basis like handling (in general) for example. Look, at the end of the day don't watch, but learn, research, and care for T.'s yourself to get your own personal taste on this hobby and not rely on one or two Youtubers to save you.

Exotics Lair is wayyyyyy tooooo overrated. His enclosures are small, his ventilation is poor in his terrestrial enclosures and his explanations are wayyy too vague. I'd rather watch the Dark Den over Exotics Lair if I had to choose between the two. Exotics Lair should be called Exotics West Coast Exotics Jr. Not trying to be mean, but his enclosures are too small. Sure, they can do fine in them, but it's not an ideal enclosure for any T. He's so vague and uninformative on info. All he does is scratch on the bare basics on things. The only thing in depth he ever did was his dubia roach care video regarding animals. If I compare any bad youtuber (Deadlytarantulagirl,West Coast Exotics) to Exotics Lair, I can see how similar there enclosures can compare very closely. Poor levels of substrate, small or tight enclosures, flexing, and depressing. Now that I think about it, West Coast Exotics and Exotics Lair have about the same amount of substrate levels. Do I like Exotics Lair? Mostly no, even his T.'s don't like him that's why almost all rehouses results in bolting. In this case scenario, i'm cheering for the T.'s to escape from Exotics Lair and be free rather than being forced into a barely suitable enclosure. I'm pretty certain he's getting to a level where PETA is going to get involved. :troll::troll:
 

FrDoc

Gen. 1:24-25
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Jul 18, 2017
Messages
757
I believe once you become engaged in the hobby, and by this I mean serious about knowing and learning about spiders, not thinking they’re cool, desiring to show your friends how fearless you are by handling, etc.. I think you find yourself less and less paying attention to many of the personalities identified above. One serious about the hobby knows how to rehouse, and use various husbandry techniques that have been learned and adapted to work well with their collections. They also know the resources to which to turn when they do have a question (shameless shout out for AB!). Many of us not only use the boards generally, but speaking for myself, I have gone to individuals here whom I know keep certain genera and/or species that I truly respect, for guidance and opinions. However, to get back to the specific context of this thread, there are YT channels that are very well done, and should appeal to the serious hobbyist. The one that takes first place in this category for me is birdspidersCH.
 

Garetyl

Arachnoknight
Joined
Mar 15, 2019
Messages
205
The Dark Den and Exotics Lair are kinda the two guys who got me into the hobby, so I can see the positives of them. Still watch Petko, EL not so much. Mind you, I'm almost 30 here, so I'm not a kid, and what I took away from EL's stuff ain't the same as what a kid would take away. His animals are so freaking patient and tolerant of the stuff he pulls that it's ridiculous.

Watching them deal with so much before threat posturing and """attacking him aggressively""" kinda made me go "Huh, so if I just don't flail my hands wildly and try to provoke them, they're generally chill (for the most part)". It made them seem less scary, really. I wish he'd stop, though. That time when his T got her fangs tangled with fishing line because he wanted to show how "aggressive" she was was too much.
 

nicodimus22

Arachnomancer
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The only one with much credibility to me is Tom Moran. He's more educational than he is clickbaity, so he probably gets a lot less views.
 

cold blood

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Messages
11,305
pros: They bring people into the hobby

cons: new people tend to think way too highly if them and at times ignore better advice because of the pedastal they put these people on.

General rule....the best, most expereinced keepers really dont do you tube vids.
 

Jim Cricket

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Messages
26
Watching these “All Stars” gave me confidence to make my first purchase. I mean if these wing nuts are keeping Ts.....

I also think they set up new keepers for disappointment. Watching countless feeding and rehousing vids sets the bar pretty high. Then when the first tiny sling is purchased Its activity is lackluster, could make for a lot of turnover in the hobby.

I also like Tom Moran, you can tell he’s a teacher.

Watching DTG chase here Ts with a fish net makes me cringe.
 

Paul1126

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jun 14, 2017
Messages
766
Exotics Lair is wayyyyyy tooooo overrated. His enclosures are small, his ventilation is poor in his terrestrial enclosures and his explanations are wayyy too vague.
The best part about this is when he gets mould in the moist enclosures with crappy ventilation he acts all surprised it happened.
 

Arachnophoric

Arachnoangel
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A lot of people really hit on all the points i'd make myself. Something I'm afraid of is that people will see these guys with pretty big followings like Petko and Exotics Lair and as a result think "hey, if I do what they do I can become a popular youtuber too!" They get into the hobby for the wrong reasons, buying Ts they're definitely not ready for and provide improper care due to their lack of knowledge/experience.

I've already seen people who have taken video of them harassing their Ts for entertainment after the "teasing tarantula" videos came out, citing the popularity of EL's video as to why they were going to try it. Monkey see, monkey do.
 

Rhino1

Arachnobaron
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Jan 9, 2019
Messages
346
I like terrarium builds on YouTube but I could look at enclosure builds all day.
I liked the dark den a lot more until I saw the toe biter episode, no need to pick the poor fella up with tongs like that, lm aIso not a fan of "mystery animal" unboxing, I don't think it promotes responsible pet ownership at all.
 

Vanisher

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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Oct 2, 2004
Messages
2,325
Spiderengineer- Pros I like him best, cos he is the one i have seen that kept his tarantulas the right way!

Cons- He doesnt upload anymore
 

Asgiliath

Arachnoknight
Active Member
Joined
May 4, 2019
Messages
275
This answer is a controversial one. A good majority of new T. hobbyist are brought in by Youtubers like the Dark Den and Exotics Lair, which is a somewhat good thing. Everything else is almost a negative from there on. More hobbyist equals more demand of T.'s resulting in price inflations due to supply and demand issues and many more.

These people are trying to make T.'s entertaining to lower the fear in arachnophobes, which is a good thing. But Youtube is a double-edged sword in terms of this hobby. Exotics Lair and The Dark Den are entertainment tarantula Youtubers that want to help people out. But in return, fans worship them like literal gods. Logically, they are swaying this hobby into a new course. Either good or bad, it's up to how you see it.

The Dark Den is entertaining and I'm subscribed to his channel because it's fun and entertaining (I can admit this). But then again when a young enthusiasts person watches this, they instantly think this hobby is all rainbows and sunshine. Which in reality, there is also drawbacks and people who are really desperate to start with a cool dangerous OW T. than rather starting with a NW in this hobby. I like the Dark Den, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with everything he does, which is not a bad thing. Every keeper has their way of doing things, but they shouldn't encourage or show it to the audience on a normal basis like handling (in general) for example. Look, at the end of the day don't watch, but learn, research, and care for T.'s yourself to get your own personal taste on this hobby and not rely on one or two Youtubers to save you.

Exotics Lair is wayyyyyy tooooo overrated. His enclosures are small, his ventilation is poor in his terrestrial enclosures and his explanations are wayyy too vague. I'd rather watch the Dark Den over Exotics Lair if I had to choose between the two. Exotics Lair should be called Exotics West Coast Exotics Jr. Not trying to be mean, but his enclosures are too small. Sure, they can do fine in them, but it's not an ideal enclosure for any T. He's so vague and uninformative on info. All he does is scratch on the bare basics on things. The only thing in depth he ever did was his dubia roach care video regarding animals. If I compare any bad youtuber (Deadlytarantulagirl,West Coast Exotics) to Exotics Lair, I can see how similar there enclosures can compare very closely. Poor levels of substrate, small or tight enclosures, flexing, and depressing. Now that I think about it, West Coast Exotics and Exotics Lair have about the same amount of substrate levels. Do I like Exotics Lair? Mostly no, even his T.'s don't like him that's why almost all rehouses results in bolting. In this case scenario, i'm cheering for the T.'s to escape from Exotics Lair and be free rather than being forced into a barely suitable enclosure. I'm pretty certain he's getting to a level where PETA is going to
Watching these “All Stars” gave me confidence to make my first purchase. I mean if these wing nuts are keeping Ts.....

I also think they set up new keepers for disappointment. Watching countless feeding and rehousing vids sets the bar pretty high. Then when the first tiny sling is purchased Its activity is lackluster, could make for a lot of turnover in the hobby.

I also like Tom Moran, you can tell he’s a teacher.

Watching DTG chase here Ts with a fish net makes me cringe.
she does WHAT???
 

SmolBat

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Messages
1
As someone who was drawn into the hobby by Exotics Lair (and a dear friend constantly giving me updates on his own T's as he got back into the hobby), I do believe that the entertainment channels serve a purpose. They're kind of a "highlight reel" of just how interesting tarantulas can be. Granted, I knew that I was basically signing up for a pet rock that can make butt rope and flick urticating bristles ;P

I did realize right out of the gates (before the friend even caught on that I was interested in owning T's) that EL didn't provide a ton of husbandry advice, but that was okay, I was still enamored with the idea of a shelf of tarantulas. I went and asked my friend for advice on good beginner T's and what sort of tips for husbandry he could share. He immediately offered the advice that keeps me from panicking every time I see one of the T's in a weird "spider yoga" position or notice they've burrowed a bit out of sight from the edge of their enclosure. "They've been at this spider thing longer than humans have been around, just keep an eye on them and trust them to do what is best for them". He also hastily directed me to Tom Moran's videos and website. That was where I got most of my actual advice for the enclosure setups and learned "if you get an Avic species or a former Avic species, don't mist the enclosure all the darn time".

So yeah, I am in the firm camp that the youtubers have a place that is beneficial to the hobby. I know I can't be the only newbie that was drawn in by seeing the highlight reel and then going "I'll do homework on this!"
 

Goopyguy56

Arachnolord
Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
606
If I want to be entertained I will watch the dark den. If I want education, I watch tom Moran. If I want to cringe I watch that deadly tarantula girl.
 

EtienneN

Arachnonovelist-musician-artist
Joined
Jul 15, 2017
Messages
944
I hate, hate, hate and despise how some of these people only seem to care about their tarantulas in terms of them being the latest and greatest 'props' for their videos. I used to like Tarantula Kat but then she started doing the same. Now I sometimes still watch Petko or Tarantula Dan and I just listen to Tom Moran's podcast.
 
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