Raising Spiderlings

Mystic Boer

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 16, 2013
Messages
6
I've been reading about and one of the things I've noticed is that there isn't really a dedicated thread to raising spiderlings or slings as they are often referred to here and the YouTube videos all mainly focus on the enclosures. There are a few more detailed guides on the internet about it, but I find most of them don't really get to the point.

So based on this thread I'm going to start a blog that is dedicated to raising slings and focus on things like:
How fast do they grow?
Things to look out for.
Live food or not (do all slings scavenge)?
how often do they malt?
Are they more active in the day or are the mostly nocturnal?

and any other things you have found that may be useful to successfully raising slings into the full grown beauties we all love.
I may be wrong but I believe that most species of slings will have the same basic behavioral patterns. Thus the information we provide here will be widely applicable.
I do however request that you try to keep your posts short and to the point (don't refer me to another webpage that isn't)
I am aware that there are books (specifically The Tarantula Keeper's Guide) that cover this subject in great detail, but I still think its a good idea to have something about it on here.
 

DaveSB

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
33
I've been reading about and one of the things I've noticed is that there isn't really a dedicated thread to raising spiderlings or slings as they are often referred to here and the YouTube videos all mainly focus on the enclosures. There are a few more detailed guides on the internet about it, but I find most of them don't really get to the point.

So based on this thread I'm going to start a blog that is dedicated to raising slings and focus on things like:
How fast do they grow?
Things to look out for.
Live food or not (do all slings scavenge)?
how often do they malt?
Are they more active in the day or are the mostly nocturnal?

and any other things you have found that may be useful to successfully raising slings into the full grown beauties we all love.
I may be wrong but I believe that most species of slings will have the same basic behavioral patterns. Thus the information we provide here will be widely applicable.
I do however request that you try to keep your posts short and to the point (don't refer me to another webpage that isn't)
I am aware that there are books (specifically The Tarantula Keeper's Guide) that cover this subject in great detail, but I still think its a good idea to have something about it on here.
In my experience, every single one of those questions is different for nearly all species of Tarantula. You can generalise with comments such as "Baboon Slings then to grow relatively fast compared to New world species" But you will always find exceptions to the rules.
Even in individuals, sling behavior varies so much it is staggering. I currently have a hefty number of A.ezendami slings to grow up, and I have specimens who scavenge, specimens who actively predate during day, loud noise and any conditions, and then some specimens I have to turn off all the lights, have at a higher temp and keep in quiet areas to get them to eat.

However, there are many threads on individual species slings and how they prefer conditions to be.
 

Mystic Boer

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 16, 2013
Messages
6
Hehe so in essence we're still stuck at trial and error beyond 0.5-1.5 inches of substrate that you replace every 2-4 weeks, some shelter and pinheads (dead or alive) or cut up mealworms as general guidelines xD. I do think its quite interesting how even among the same species, slings each seem to have their own traits or personalities xD.

Post your experiences and share your wisdom! I'd love to hear from all of you! Especially since I intend to raise all my spiders (perhaps not breeding males, if I decide to go that way) from slings, I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to try this - it is cheaper and more satisfying in the long run.
 

sugarsandz

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jul 28, 2012
Messages
144
I have four tarantulas two of which are slings, one is a B. boehmei 1 1/4" and the other is a B. emilia 2ish". My smaller sling the boehmei lives in a 2 cup rubbermaid kitchen container with a few inches of eco earth coco fiber, which brings me to a question. Where did you read that the substrate needs replaced every 2 -4 weeks? As long as the substrate is spot cleaned and looks good it shouldn't need changed for a long time unless you prefer to change it more often. The only time I've really had to change it was when I rehoused my spiders or once when I was getting mold due to poor ventilation. My boehmei doesn't have a hide at this point but it loves to dig, I keep a little less than half the substrate moist by way of a few mists from a water bottle. I feed all of my tarantulas one cricket once a week, my adults get large crickets, my larger sling gets a medium cricket and the little sling gets small crickets. I feed my crickets live and don't have any problems. I keep my B. emilia sling in a approximately 4 cup container with a few inches of coco fiber, a small cork bark hide and a soda cap for a water dish. I also mist it's container a little, I should also note that my sling containers have small holes drilled into them for ventilation and the adults have well vented lids.

I own slow growing species and haven't had a molt yet from any of the four lol. All of my Brachys are skittish and they can move fast when they get spooked but they usually only go a few inches then stop. I have an adult G. rosea that is docile, slow and not easily startled, she also usually only eats once every month or two although I try feeding her weekly and take the cricket out if she doesn't eat it.

This is just how I keep my spiders, hopefully someone who's been keeping longer will chime in! :D Welcome to the boards, I love it here!

---------- Post added 03-17-2013 at 01:16 AM ----------

Also sorry my reply was kind of long but I was just being thorough. :D
 

Cydaea

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jan 4, 2013
Messages
136
I'm currently raising 6 tiny slings, all 0.5 - 0.75 inch. 3 B.boehmei, 3 B.smithi. I think they're all 3d or 4th instar, I've had them since october, when I got them they were all 1st instar.

Mine all feed on live prey, small crickets or mini-mealworms. None of them take dead prey. They're fed about once a week but sometimes I skip a week.They are kept at room temp, 21C or about 70F. I realize I could make them grow a little faster if I feed them more and/or keep them warmer, but they seem to be doing okay in these conditions. Every week I dampen about 1/3 of the substrate, and mist a little in a corner of the cup. They are all in deli cups, about 2 by 3 inches. The cups are a bit too big, actually but I couldn't find anything smaller at the time and they're doing okay. I would have rehoused them if I thought the size of the cup was a problem. I make sure to drop the crickets/worms right near them so they know they're there, and they actively hunt. They're little killing machines.

None of them have burrowed or tried to, and they don't really use their half-bottlecap hides but they all made themselves a nice little webby home under a leaf.


The reason I got 3 slings of each species, is to raise the chances of having a female, and also because I was convinced I'd lose a couple. But apparently I didn't give them enough credit, because they're proven themselves to be hardy, forgiving little creatures. I'm confident I can raise all 6 to juvie status, at which point I intend to sell a few.



B.smithi


B.boehmei
 
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Mystic Boer

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 16, 2013
Messages
6
I'll post pics of my own slings here soon. I have a Thrixopelma okerti (about 2cm) it burrows a lot, and seems to be rather shy. My Acanthoscurria geniculata is really small (1cm I think), but not shy at all - its always outside and kills anything that comes near it xD. I feed them daily, or at most once every 2 days, but never leave crickets in the cage for more than 24 hours. Both of mine will take dead crickets, but I try to feed them live crickets (I'm still having a hard time catching pinheads without killing them). I also spray them each morning.

The reason why I replace my substrate regularly is simply for hygiene - Its happened 2ce over the last few days that I cant find the bolus after they've finished eating and I don't want bacteria or fungus build-up. Their tank, especially since its really small, is an isolated system that wont clean itself as happens in nature where the whole ecosystem maintains the balance. I know I'm a little overzealous, but I really dont wanna lose either of these slings.
 

Marijan2

Arachnobaron
Joined
Oct 21, 2012
Messages
505
I'll post pics of my own slings here soon. I have a Thrixopelma okerti (about 2cm) it burrows a lot, and seems to be rather shy. My Acanthoscurria geniculata is really small (1cm I think), but not shy at all - its always outside and kills anything that comes near it xD. I feed them daily, or at most once every 2 days, but never leave crickets in the cage for more than 24 hours. Both of mine will take dead crickets, but I try to feed them live crickets (I'm still having a hard time catching pinheads without killing them). I also spray them each morning.

The reason why I replace my substrate regularly is simply for hygiene - Its happened 2ce over the last few days that I cant find the bolus after they've finished eating and I don't want bacteria or fungus build-up. Their tank, especially since its really small, is an isolated system that wont clean itself as happens in nature where the whole ecosystem maintains the balance. I know I'm a little overzealous, but I really dont wanna lose either of these slings.
you're overreacting. but, to each his own. i, however, in more humid environments have grain mites anyways so they take care of all nasty stuff my slingies make :)
when you get a bit more defensive species let's see how often you will change substrate, no way i'm changing substrate every month for my murinus or tapinauchenius slings :laugh:
 

poisoned

Arachnodemon
Joined
Apr 17, 2012
Messages
690
I'll post pics of my own slings here soon. I have a Thrixopelma okerti (about 2cm) it burrows a lot, and seems to be rather shy. My Acanthoscurria geniculata is really small (1cm I think), but not shy at all - its always outside and kills anything that comes near it xD. I feed them daily, or at most once every 2 days, but never leave crickets in the cage for more than 24 hours. Both of mine will take dead crickets, but I try to feed them live crickets (I'm still having a hard time catching pinheads without killing them). I also spray them each morning.

The reason why I replace my substrate regularly is simply for hygiene - Its happened 2ce over the last few days that I cant find the bolus after they've finished eating and I don't want bacteria or fungus build-up. Their tank, especially since its really small, is an isolated system that wont clean itself as happens in nature where the whole ecosystem maintains the balance. I know I'm a little overzealous, but I really dont wanna lose either of these slings.
Your care is total overkill and could potentially prove worse than normal care.

1. Don't feed so often. If you want to powerfeed, feed them twice a week. Anything more won't push them to molt faster, they'll just fast longer before they molt.
2. Don't replace the substrate so often. They'll develop cool little burrows over time. It's also unnecessary. They usually clean their burrows and wrap up the food bolus. Maybe you'll see some mold growth, but just remove the little speck and you're done. webbing has antibacterial and fungicidal properties so food boluses, especially if prey items aren't very big usually don't pick up mold. Sometimes they do, but I have observed food boluses in very humid enclosures remaining intact for over a month.
 

Mystic Boer

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 16, 2013
Messages
6
I'm not sure about the hygienic properties of spider silk... and by the time you see fungal growth its probably too late - some species of fungus looks very much like the silk these guys spin about their burrows, but I do see your point as in reality only a few species of fungus are potentially harmful to your spider. The substrate I use is peat mixed with vermiculite - both my spiders come from tropical regions, so it makes sense to use a substrate a little more natural to them. I also have bits of mopanie wood (we use it for fish, because it doesn't rot when moist) for them as shelter.

I'll slow down on cleaning for the sake of not destroying their burrows and feeding to once every 3 days... which will also keep the tank cleaner for longer lol. I'm a bit like an overprotective parent, but I'm really trying to be responsible.

Thank you all for your posts - All this really has me thinking a lot, because we have taken these spiders from their natural habitat and somehow we need to provide them with an environment that favours them. This hobby of ours can help protect some really endangered species, if we somehow manage to breed strong bloodlines (unlike silkworms that can no longer survive outside our care).
 

Cydaea

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jan 4, 2013
Messages
136
There is usually a little whitish fluffy mold in all of my sling's cups, I just remove it when I see it but it's always back within a few days. It's always on the damp part of the substrate and the slings stay away from that anyway. It hasn't been a problem yet, and I don't think it will be.
 

Ximmanis

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Messages
19
There is usually a little whitish fluffy mold in all of my sling's cups, I just remove it when I see it but it's always back within a few days. It's always on the damp part of the substrate and the slings stay away from that anyway. It hasn't been a problem yet, and I don't think it will be.
Sounds like more ventilation is needed. I basically lost an A. versicolor sling by keeping it too damp in stagnant air - the sling turned into a fluffy ball as well. On the flipside I lost the sling's sibling to abrupt weather changes, in that case the container/tarantula had dried out over night. Finding the ideal balance can be tricky in some cases...


Sent from my GT-P5110 using Tapatalk HD
 

Cydaea

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jan 4, 2013
Messages
136
Sounds like more ventilation is needed. I basically lost an A. versicolor sling by keeping it too damp in stagnant air - the sling turned into a fluffy ball as well. On the flipside I lost the sling's sibling to abrupt weather changes, in that case the container/tarantula had dried out over night. Finding the ideal balance can be tricky in some cases...


Sent from my GT-P5110 using Tapatalk HD
Agreed on the ventilation. I already widened the holes in the cups, so I'll have to wait and see if the mold comes back. It's usually very small patches of mold, though. Like, not even half of mu fingernail. I check every day and remove it when I see it.

I already have their new enclosures ready, those have better ventilation and I figure I'll just rehouse them in stead of adjusting the ventilation in the current cups. The new ones are about twice as large, though.
 

Taranto1989

Arachnosquire
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
58
If im watering an arid sp. I overfill the water dish when I see it empty. Humid/tropical sp. i mist the entire sub once the top layer dries and fill the water dish. Under 1.5-2" no water dish required but when it is water bottle caps or soda bottle caps are the best for slings. Ventilation/humidity balance is easy make more holes on the sides of the deli and none on the lid this will allow air to cross vent and trap humidity. For feeding if I fell the crix i get are to big and i cant find any smaller i pinch the heads and leave the body with my sling its usually gone in the morning if not try again later. The last bit is how i fed my 1st instar Nhandu chromatus once she got big enough its all live food.
 

Mystic Boer

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 16, 2013
Messages
6
I have my first molt on the Thrixopelma okerti, Its now about 2.5cm ^^. I was a little worried about it because it had completely closed itself up in a small shelter under the pete and wasnt accepting food. My Acanthoscurria geniculata has created tunnels underneat the log I have him, no webs though so I'm not sure how close it is to a molt (its still really tiny tho).

Ok on a more serious note, I want to know how long it usually takes spiders to get their colours. I'm starting to see what pre-molt behavior is like, and I'll write more about that later. Feeding is interesting, both my spiders seem to take live and dead food, though live food seems preferable, even if they are quite small.
 
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