Re vamping my Mexican Red Knee enclosure

TGod

Arachnopeon
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I got my Mexican red knee a few weeks ago but I rarely actually see it. In a rush to get its enclosure setup up I didn't really give much thought to its husbandry.

It's got very shallow substrate and I've stupidly given it a half coconut for a hide which has a very small entrance which it blocks off. This makes my tarantula very difficult to keep an eye on and check if it's alright and also difficult to feed with tongs. If the tarantula doesn't want it I've got to disturb it trying to retrieve its prey.

So I've now ordered something a bit more open so it can hide but I can still see and access it. Is it gonna stress my red knee out if I give its enclosure a revamp.
 

Lyra

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Some Ts just like to hide. My juvinile T.albo has been burrowed for 4 months only the other night it actually came out. I just put prey with crushed heads in near where it burrows and if it's hungry it will get it while I'm in bed, and keep a full water dish.

They also take a while to settle in, I'm just going with the flow TS seem to do what TS seem to do.

You may find whatever you do, your T will hide.

I'm sure folks will ask for photos of your setup etc make sure you get it done right.
 

viper69

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I strongly suggest you read here at the forum.
I didn't really give much thought to its husbandry.
That's not very smart-why would you not think of this ahead of time??????? :rolleyes::rolleyes::banghead:

and also difficult to feed with tongs
Ts don't use tongs in the wild, why are you spoon feeding them in captivity???? Tongs are not safe.

I've got to disturb it trying to retrieve
SO WHAT- they aren't that fragile. Living in the wild is far more stressful!!!

Is it gonna stress my red knee out if I give its enclosure a revamp
Yes but it needs to be done it sounds

Again, read a lot here..99% of your questions have been answered thousands of time over!

It's got very shallow substrate
This can lead to death in the wrong setup config


Mexican Red Knee- fits about 4 species from MX, latin name in this case would be helpful, but for your purposes here not necessary
 

TGod

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I strongly suggest you read here at the forum.


That's not very smart-why would you not think of this ahead of time??????? :rolleyes::rolleyes::banghead:



Ts don't use tongs in the wild, why are you spoon feeding them in captivity???? Tongs are not safe.



SO WHAT- they aren't that fragile. Living in the wild is far more stressful!!!



Yes but it needs to be done it sounds

Again, read a lot here..99% of your questions have been answered thousands of time over!



This can lead to death in the wrong setup config


Mexican Red Knee- fits about 4 species from MX, latin name in this case would be helpful, but for your purposes here not necessary
Wow I hope all the members here don't bite my head off for simply seeking knowledge
 

EnigmaNyx

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Wow I hope all the members here don't bite my head off for simply seeking knowledge
He's got a stick in his butt for everyone, don't worry, it's not just you. Someone stole the tennis balls off his walker so he's been crabby ever since.

It's better to seek knowledge prior to getting your T, not after. That is the response you'll be receiving frequently based on your original post. Take the advice you receive here and act on it, while also realizing that although some of it may come across as harsh, it's for the betterment of your T's life/safety.

Please post pics of the full enclosure, try to get used to using only the scientific names, and give us an idea of how big/old your T is. Then we will be able to assist you better.
 

Smotzer

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@TGod so viper is not biting your head off and hes been in the hobby for decades and it gets draining seeing the same things over and over again that are easily avoidable with just a few minutes of searches on the boards. You may not like his delivery, which really doesnt matter, but he is giving you solid advice and information on how to improve your keeping. He could blow smoke up your butt but thats not going to help the tarantula or you.

also difficult to feed with tongs
So dont tong feed this is a really bad practice for your sake and the tarantulas. If you are using prey that burrows simply crush the head a bit and leave it near the T and it will eat if it is interested. If you dont have things that burrow, like crickets or some roaches, and premolt is not expected you can leave prey in for 24hrs and remove prey after that if uneaten. Or you can leave prekilled prey for it.
Is it gonna stress my red knee out if I give its enclosure a revamp.
No it wont, but based on your description what will certainly stress you and it out is a potentially lethal fall. CORRECT THIS ASAP. No more than 1.5xDLS from substrate to lid.
I got my Mexican red knee a few weeks ago but I rarely actually see it.
Welcome to keeping tarantulas.....they are naturally fairly reclusive animals. If your animal is secure that is more important than how much you get to see it. There are some of mine I havent seen in months, and or a few molt cycles. Just the name of the game, thats the hobby.

in a rush to get its enclosure setup up I didn't really give much thought to its husbandry.
While I appreciate your honesty, this could potentially lead to be a lethal mistake if you dont do something now. You wouldnt notice a flat tire in the morning and go "well im sure the car will still drive, its not so bad"? You might put your life in danger, same thing here for it's sake. But I commend you for being honest upfront. At the end of the day noone here, niether Viper or myself, is attacking you, first and foremost the correct care hunsbandry and well being of arachnids will always come, well before, feelings on AB. This keeps AB free of unecessary entanglements, theres always PM's for interpersonal stuff or the wateringhole.
 

TGod

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Well I can assure everyone my tarantula setup is fine in regards to its safety. I know the basics, it's not a very tall enclosure at all. Husbandry probably wasn't the right word. I mainly want to revamp the enclosure so it looks better. As for the hide I don't like it being so enclosed because I can't see if it has gone into a molt or not. I've always believed also that if the spider refuses food I'm supposed to take it away and the current hide makes it difficult to do so. With regards to the tongs practicly every feeding video I've seen on YouTube the owner has used tongs so that's why I got them.
 

Matt Man

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They are typically 'enclosed' in the wild. Allowing them to do so in captivity allows them to be the least stressed. So you have to make a choice, do I do what is best for my T or best for me? Yeah, we'd all like to see our Ts every day, but if you are doing your husbandry correct, you won't. Many of us old timers have Ts we don't see for months on end, and that's okay with us because we know the T is in a great situation. But as others have said "drop the tongs", and to add "most videos are done by kooks" You will find no better info, albeit paired sometimes with some crankiness than this forum.
Below, overhead of a basic set up. Note: Mostly I see toes.
BasicSetUp.jpg
 
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TGod

Arachnopeon
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They are typically 'enclosed' in the wild. Allowing them to do so in captivity allowed them to be the least stressed. So you have to make a choice, do I do what is best for my T or best for me? Yeah, we'd all like to see our Ts every day, but if you are doing your husbandry correct, you won't. Many of us old timers have Ts we don't see for months on end, and that's okay with us because we know the T is in a great situation. But as others have said "drop the tongs", and to add "most videos are done by kooks" You will find no better info, albeit paired sometimes with some crankiness than this forum.
Below, overhead of a basic set up. Note: Mostly I see toes.
View attachment 375192
Thanks, That's the kind of hide I would like. Other than that my setup looks pretty much like that. What T is it?
 

Matt Man

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Thanks, That's the kind of hide I would like. Other than that my setup looks pretty much like that. What T is it?
That is an adult female A Steimdachneri (see my avatar). It is just one of those half logs I have angled down and buried. She dug another 1" plus down (evident in the photo)
 

LucN

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With regards to the tongs practicly every feeding video I've seen on YouTube the owner has used tongs so that's why I got them.
Actually, the tongs do serve a purpose other than tong feeding : They are to keep your fingers away from a tarantula that may mistake your hand for food. I use them to remove bolus and to pull out a dirty water dish that needs cleaning. They are extremely sensitive to air movement, which they'll either perceive as prey or threat. Another useful tool to consider would be a paintbrush, in order to gently "persuade" the Tarantula to move away from a spot that needs cleaning or to coax it in a catch cup during a rehouse.

What type of enclosure are you using ? If it's a front opening one, it is not suitable for terrestrials. A top opening enclosure is best, in which at the very least filled halfway with substrate. Also, keep decorations to a bare minimum, which gives prey items hiding opportunities.

I look forward to seeing your revamped enclosure. How large is your hamorii ? They are indeed beautiful and fascinating to observe, even if they don't do much.

Welcome to the hobby ! :)
 

Matt Man

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Tongs are good for those things, but for feeding no. Because the T can mistake the tongs for food and break a fang. You don't need tongs to drop a feeder into the enclosure and you shouldn't use them to stimulate a strike from your T
 

LucN

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Tongs are good for those things, but for feeding no. Because the T can mistake the tongs for food and break a fang. You don't need tongs to drop a feeder into the enclosure and you shouldn't use them to stimulate a strike from your T
Which is why I never have the tongs when they are nearby, if they are too close to where I need to work, I use the paintbrush to gently coax them a fair distance away. Sure, at first they'll probably strike the brush thinking it's food, but they're not going to break a fang if they bite that. After a few nudges, they usually figure out it's not food and move away. Note that his technique probably won't work with feisty NWs and OWs, but so far works wonders with my Brachys/Grammy/Tlilt.

Edit : I do use them to drop crickets or supers from above. Female crickets are yanked by the ovipositor while supers are held at the middle. This way, there's little to no chance from them escaping all over the place. I always let the T hunt on its own. So much fun to watch.
 

Matt Man

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Which is why I never have the tongs when they are nearby, if they are too close to where I need to work, I use the paintbrush to gently coax them a fair distance away. Sure, at first they'll probably strike the brush thinking it's food, but they're not going to break a fang if they bite that. After a few nudges, they usually figure out it's not food and move away. Note that his technique probably won't work with feisty NWs and OWs, but so far works wonders with my Brachys/Grammy/Tlilt.
but none of that is 'tong feeding'. Tong feeding is holding a prey item in the tongs and placing it in front of your T to induce a feeding response. It is a hazardous practice. Tongs are great tools, this is just the wrong usage.
 

LucN

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but none of that is 'tong feeding'. Tong feeding is holding a prey item in the tongs and placing it in front of your T to induce a feeding response. It is a hazardous practice. Tongs are great tools, this is just the wrong usage.
Which I don't do. Where's the fun in holding the food right in front of them ? ;) I make every effort to drop crickets as far away from the T as possible. With supers tho, they need to be close, otherwise they'll burrow and the T may or may not find them later. I've read horror stories of supers pupating into beetles and come up just as a prized T is molting, definitely not something I want to risk.
 

TGod

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Another question you guys have probably seen many times. What prey would you say is better Crickets or Mealworms? Right now I'm feeding mealworms but I would prefer crickets as they don't borrow but I have read many cons about them. Apparently they can attack your spider, keep you awake, possibly spread disease to your t and others.
 

LucN

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Another question you guys have probably seen many times. What prey would you say is better Crickets or Mealworms? Right now I'm feeding mealworms but I would prefer crickets as they don't borrow but I have read many cons about them. Apparently they can attack your spider, keep you awake, possibly spread disease to your t and others.
Crickets are more fun to see being literally tackled by the T. Meal/Super worms are boring to feed. The T usually just stands up on its toes and munches away. With crickets, you'll get a "Happy Dance", which is one of the most fascinating feeding behaviours. Apparently, mealworms provide more moisture than crickets. Some people have raised Ts on Meal/Super alone with no issues. The same is said with crickets. What I do is throw in a couple of crickets or one superworm per feeding. Anymore than that and the T could feel slightly overwhelmed.

Crickets are far too stupid to attack your Tarantula. The only time a cricket could do harm to a T is if it's in the middle of molting and completely defenceless. Only the males will chirp. Some enjoy it, most don't. As far spreading disease to your T, very unlikely unless the colony is contaminated with pesticides or parasite. It's not something you're bound to encounter in commercially raised crickets, so relax.
 

Matt Man

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mealworms, super worms need to have their heads crushed to stop them from burrowing. I sometimes use them as treats (or hookworms) but my staple feeder is crickets and red runners.
 

jrh3

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Wow I hope all the members here don't bite my head off for simply seeking knowledge
Don’t take it the wrong way, I promise his intentions are good and he is always to the point. Never led me wrong. Sometimes it is good to have it short and simple, this way there is no chance of misunderstanding.

Another question you guys have probably seen many times. What prey would you say is better Crickets or Mealworms? Right now I'm feeding mealworms but I would prefer crickets as they don't borrow but I have read many cons about them. Apparently they can attack your spider, keep you awake, possibly spread disease to your t and others.
Hands down, red runner roaches for me. Hard to kill and easy to keep.
 

Matt Man

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Don’t take it the wrong way, I promise his intentions are good and he is always to the point. Never led me wrong. Sometimes it is good to have it short and simple, this way there is no chance of misunderstanding.
just imagine him as your cranky old uncle who taught you how to rebuild a carburetor
 
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