Research. Research. Research.

Erica Danielle

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Jan 28, 2020
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58
Good afternoon (in the States) everyone! So for the past few months I’ve been doing research on tarantulas (specifically Tliltocatl albopilosum). The more I learn the more confident I feel about getting my first T (all hail this forum and Tom’s Big Spiders).

There’s one topic I’ve seen come up off and on and I’m curious about it. (Don’t worry I don’t have my first T yet so no emergencies, no harm, just curiosity).

Tarantula ICU’s?
From my understanding owners will take their tarantula out of its enclosure if it’s severely dehydrated or in a death curl, and so on and place it in a smaller container with wet paper towels? (The feedback I’ve seen here {mostly} is that’s a NO NO). My question is why? I know with GBB they don’t like the stuffy stagnant air, so its doing them a lot more harm than good? (As for dehydration I’ve seen keepers tell OPs to not do the ICU but to instead assist their T in becoming more hydrated ~ assisting them to their water dish if they’re weak, using a dropper to drop water in, etc). But is there ever a situation where an ICU would be beneficial? Or is this a practice that should NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE be done?

Again, I don’t have one yet so no animal is in danger! I’m just curious about where this came from? Is it helpful to any species at all? Is it more helpful if an advanced keeper is doing it versus a beginner who’s more prone to mistakes? Or is this something that should be buried in the hobby and NEVER done?

Signed a beginner who might want to know WAY too much. Thanks for any and all feedback!
 

cold blood

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ICUs are akin to going to the doctor and having him use leeches or bloodletting to cure your illness.

The term is all over the net, so its literally impossible to just make it go away....although it definitely should.

ICUs are useless, pointless and often do more harm than good.

Dehydration is the only thing they can moderately help, but putting their mouthparts in a water dish or administering water directly (while on its back) are both significantly more effective than a potentially bacteria laden ICU could ever dream to be.

Dont use an ICU....ever. Thats the best ICU advice i can give.

Ive been keeping ts since 1999...breeding since 2014...and have never ever used an ICU.
 

Vanisher

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 2, 2004
Messages
2,342
Good afternoon (in the States) everyone! So for the past few months I’ve been doing research on tarantulas (specifically Tliltocatl albopilosum). The more I learn the more confident I feel about getting my first T (all hail this forum and Tom’s Big Spiders).

There’s one topic I’ve seen come up off and on and I’m curious about it. (Don’t worry I don’t have my first T yet so no emergencies, no harm, just curiosity).

Tarantula ICU’s?
From my understanding owners will take their tarantula out of its enclosure if it’s severely dehydrated or in a death curl, and so on and place it in a smaller container with wet paper towels? (The feedback I’ve seen here {mostly} is that’s a NO NO). My question is why? I know with GBB they don’t like the stuffy stagnant air, so its doing them a lot more harm than good? (As for dehydration I’ve seen keepers tell OPs to not do the ICU but to instead assist their T in becoming more hydrated ~ assisting them to their water dish if they’re weak, using a dropper to drop water in, etc). But is there ever a situation where an ICU would be beneficial? Or is this a practice that should NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE be done?

Again, I don’t have one yet so no animal is in danger! I’m just curious about where this came from? Is it helpful to any species at all? Is it more helpful if an advanced keeper is doing it versus a beginner who’s more prone to mistakes? Or is this something that should be buried in the hobby and NEVER done?

Signed a beginner who might want to know WAY too much. Thanks for any and all feedback!
Yes, if it was a severly dehydrated frog or any other animal that can take up moisture through the air.ICU is maybe good? But not for tarantulas. What is worse is that people placing speicies from dry areas like a G rosea or maybe a Avicularia in ICU and those condition would make tbe animal sicker. And people have no clue! Maybe the spider is ill because of the enclosure is too humid. Putting the dpider in an even more humid enviroment. Not a brilluant idea A T blondi would not be sick because of the humidety but it wouldnt be better eigher. Like people said. Placing them in water so they could drink or putting water in the mouth would be much better
 

The Grym Reaper

Arachnoreaper
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3,365
Basically, they're a complete waste of time and often do more harm than good, the only thing that they actually even remotely work for (extreme dehydration) can be better treated either by placing the tarantula with its mouthparts over a water dish, or by pipetting water directly onto the tarantula's mouthparts.
 

Erica Danielle

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
58
ICUs are akin to going to the doctor and having him use leeches or bloodletting to cure your illness.

The term is all over the net, so its literally impossible to just make it go away....although it definitely should.

ICUs are useless, pointless and often do more harm than good.

Dehydration is the only thing they can moderately help, but putting their mouthparts in a water dish or administering water directly (while on its back) are both significantly more effective than a potentially bacteria laden ICU could ever dream to be.

Dont use an ICU....ever. Thats the best ICU advice i can give.

Ive been keeping ts since 1999...breeding since 2014...and have never ever used an ICU.
That’s what I was looking for! Thank you! As someone who is new to the hobby, it kind of gets confusing sometimes when there seems to be a divide between people on what to do or not to do (not about everything but somethings). The comparison to the leeches, that’s definitely getting saved! Oh and not disappear as in literally disappear, it’s the internet that never happens. But that this is something that “should” be left in the past of Tarantula keeping.

But no worries, I wouldn’t do anything I thought was “questionable” without getting some advice from here first. I’d rather ask beforehand when there’s no harm than after I’ve done something and maybe made things worse.

@Erica Danielle For more information on the theory and practice of the ICU, see the website of Stan Schultz who first wrote about this technique to treat dehydrated tarantulas. Spiders, Calgary: ICU
Thank you! I honestly didn’t know that you’re supposed to wait until a T smells dead before you assume it’s passed. I do remember on Tom’s podcast he admits when he first got into the hobby he almost buried a molting T because he thought it was dead. But I’m glad there’s a way to KNOW a spider has passed before taking any actions.
 

Poonjab

Arachnobaron
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Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
353
Doesn’t own a tarantula! Still more responsible than 90% of people who own tarantulas ha.
 

aarachnid

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Aug 13, 2019
Messages
138
Doesn’t own a tarantula! Still more responsible than 90% of people who own tarantulas ha.
Seriously. OP, I can't wait til you finally pull the trigger and start getting Ts. I bet you're going to have some decked out, beautiful, and appropriate enclosures for your pets.
 

Erica Danielle

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
58
Doesn’t own a tarantula! Still more responsible than 90% of people who own tarantulas ha.
Man, I’m trying lol. But it honestly makes such a difference having a legit interest in spiders. I just love reading about them so it makes it enjoyable to read through the forums and to learn so much. I don’t ever see myself not wanting to learn more and more about Tarantulas. They’re just so awesome and there’s so much to learn and read.

Seriously. OP, I can't wait til you finally pull the trigger and start getting Ts. I bet you're going to have some decked out, beautiful, and appropriate enclosures for your pets.
Thank you! I most definitely want to do right by them! It’d kill me if I felt like my spider wasn’t content and healthy. Buuuuut every time I feel like I know “enough” I read another forum and I’m like wow, I didn’t even know about that. Let me read some more and then I’ll be content. That’s been going on for months now. Lol. :rofl:
 

Olan

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 23, 2002
Messages
726
Man, I’m trying lol. But it honestly makes such a difference having a legit interest in spiders. I just love reading about them so it makes it enjoyable to read through the forums and to learn so much. I don’t ever see myself not wanting to learn more and more about Tarantulas. They’re just so awesome and there’s so much to learn and read.
Just wait until you get one and watch it eat, burrow, molt, and grow. They are pretty awesome
 

cold blood

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Jan 19, 2014
Messages
11,324
Doesn’t own a tarantula! Still more responsible than 90% of people who own tarantulas ha.
Seriously. OP, I can't wait til you finally pull the trigger and start getting Ts. I bet you're going to have some decked out, beautiful, and appropriate enclosures for your pets.
Aint that the truth!!

OP, if you havent gotten something set up by spring when temps are better, please message me, you are exactly the kind of beginner i would love to hook up....I wish all the beginners we encounter had your interest level and passion for learning...it gets old sometimes arguing with new keepers who ask questions and still think they know better...you are a breath of fresh air! Your passion and desire to learn first is appreciated by all of us.
 

Erica Danielle

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
58
Aint that the truth!!

OP, if you havent gotten something set up by spring when temps are better, please message me, you are exactly the kind of beginner i would love to hook up....I wish all the beginners we encounter had your interest level and passion for learning...it gets old sometimes arguing with new keepers who ask questions and still think they know better...you are a breath of fresh air! Your passion and desire to learn first is appreciated by all of us.
Thank you, man. This means a TON to me! It truly does. Thank you so much!

That’s something I don’t understand. If I’m doing something that’s harmful or could potentially kill my Tarantula (or any pet for that matter) and someone is like “Hey! Don’t do that! You could hurt your spider” and someone gets upset or says “No, it’s fine. I’ve been keeping it like this for months. There’s nothing wrong with it.” Maybe it’s just me but if I’m doing something wrong I WANT someone to tell me so I can fix it immediately!

So far I have 13 notes on my iPhone devoted to Tarantula information (husbandry, what to avoid with substrates, biology, terminology, reputable breeders, enclosure ideas, and so on) and I have an “actual” notebook full of notes.

It may sound kind of cheesy or corny but my past hasn’t always been that good. Learning about tarantulas and taking notes and hoping to one day have a huge collection is the first hobby I’ve found where I feel genuinely happy. It’s been therapeutic for me. Again, I’m so very thankful to have found this forum and all of the awesome people here. I would’ve been so lost without it! And a HUGE thanks to everyone who spends hours trying to help beginners and people with questions. That’s beyond amazing to me!
 

Erica Danielle

Arachnosquire
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Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
58
Sorry, I didn’t know if I should make a new post or just ask on this one. I don’t want to clutter the forum with all my new to the hobby questions.

So, I’ve been looking at different enclosures the past couple days (Kritter Keepers, Plastic Containers, Jamie’s Enclosures, so on). If I’m being honest, I really like the Kritter Keepers. I’d eventually love to make my own. But baby steps lol.

Questions:
1.) I’ve read on Tom’s Big Spiders Blog some of the holes in the lids of KK needs to be blocked off, he mentions plastic wrap, but can I do so with hot glue? Purely for aesthetic purposes (I know it should dry really well before adding a spider). I think hot glue (done properly) would look better than plastic wrap or really anything else I can think of off the top of my head.

2.) And roughly how many holes in the lid should be covered? (About 1/2 or 1/3?)

3.)Would a KK still need some holes drilled into the side for cross ventilation instead of all the holes being at the top? (I did read on the beginner notes here to avoid using the handles, or just take them off completely, so I’d probably just remove them).

4.) What size KK should be used for say a 3-4” T. albopilosum? (I know the standard is 2-3x the size of the DLS, but is this something that’s “only do it this way, no other way” or is floor space less important and the substrate to lid ratio being 1.5x the DLS the main concern with larger enclosures?) Looking around I can get a medium, large or X-Large. No matter the size, there WILL be enough substrate to ensure my future T doesn’t have a chance to obtain a fall injury.

Sorry for all the questions you guys! I know it’s a lot and absolutely no rush answering this plethora of questions! As always, a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who takes the time to read/answer all of these beginner questions!
 

cold blood

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1.) I’ve read on Tom’s Big Spiders Blog some of the holes in the lids of KK needs to be blocked off, he mentions pl
Not the case....the only time that would be needed is if;

1. The t is too small...as a general rule ts should be at least 2" or really close to use a KK.

2. If you have a moisture dependent species....99% of moisture dependents are not beginner species...seemani is actually the only one i can think of, and a deeper enclosure than a KK would be a better home anyway.

2.) And roughly how many holes in the lid should be covered? (About 1/2 or 1/3?)
Dont worry about that.
3.)Would a KK still need some holes drilled into the side for cross ventilation instead of all the holes being at the
Nope, KKs, as you noted, are already well ventilated....too well for many moisture dependents....but even then, if you are dilligent with keeping the sub damp (it would need frequent water adfitions as it dries), they are fine.

I currently have an adult T. puriens and a juvie P. machalla in KKs with zero ventilation alterations and its not a problem.
4.) What size KK should be used for say a 3-4” T. albopilosum? (I know the standard is 2-3x the size of the DLS,
The biggest ones...breeder boxes (i believe theyre called) are larger and quite popular for adults.
Sorry for all the questions you guys! I k
Not something you should ever apologize for.

Absolutely no shame in asking questions...knowledge is power and experienced keepers like we have here are happy to help. I wish i had a place like this to answer my questions when i started out, its an invaluable resource for learning about inverts here.
 

Erica Danielle

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
58
Not the case....the only time that would be needed is if;

1. The t is too small...as a general rule ts should be at least 2" or really close to use a KK.

2. If you have a moisture dependent species....99% of moisture dependents are not beginner species...seemani is actually the only one i can think of, and a deeper enclosure than a KK would be a better home anyway.



Dont worry about that.


Nope, KKs, as you noted, are already well ventilated....too well for many moisture dependents....but even then, if you are dilligent with keeping the sub damp (it would need frequent water adfitions as it dries), they are fine.

I currently have an adult T. puriens and a juvie P. machalla in KKs with zero ventilation alterations and its not a problem.
The biggest ones...breeder boxes (i believe theyre called) are larger and quite popular for adults.


Not something you should ever apologize for.

Absolutely no shame in asking questions...knowledge is power and experienced keepers like we have here are happy to help. I wish i had a place like this to answer my questions when i started out, its an invaluable resource for learning about inverts here.
Ahhh! That makes complete sense! Thank you so much! Undoubtedly noted. I have no clue how people managed in the 90s and 00s. All the respect for people who’ve been keeping for decades! This forum has been a lifesaver!

Just so I’m 100% clear (I’m probably going to go ahead and pick one up tomorrow). Which size would you personally choose?
X-Large: 15 3/4” L x 9 3/8” W x 12 1/2” H
Large: 14 1/2” L x 8 3/4” W x 9 3/4” H
Medium: 12” L x 7.5” W x 8” H
Sizes may vary by company but majority I’ve seen are round about these sizes.

With decor for the enclosure I know anything with sharp edges or points should be avoided so the T is not injured. But as long as foliage is soft, it’s fine? (And maybe not too much so feeders don’t get lost or make it difficult for the T to find them). Thank you again! :)
 

cold blood

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I would hold off until you know ecactly what size you get...you may find a great deal on a smaller one, you may get a full grown adult...I will let someone else give this bit if you know the size you are getting....im terrible with measurements, i just eyeball it.

And you are correct with the second part....I add just enough plant to make it look nice with most terrestrials....many times all the plants get buried or tossed in the water dish or a corner, but i at least try when setting it up..lol.
 

Erica Danielle

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
58
I would holf off until you know ecactly what size you get...you may find a great deal on a smaller one, you may get a full grown adult...I will let someone else give this bit if you know the size you are getting....im terrible with measurements, i just eyeball it.

And you are correct with the second part....I add just enough plant to make it look nice with most terrestrials....many times all the plants get buried or tossed in the water dish or a corner, but i at least try when setting it up..lol.
Good point! I’ll do that! Fingers crossed for a juvie around 3-4”. I can’t wait till the day I can eyeball enclosures and know what’s good and not. Throughout my browsing I have noticed how not clear plastic can be and how pointy fake plants can be lol.

On a bright side I do already have some cork bark, long tweezers (straight & curved), gloves & eye protecting glasses (just to be extra safe), catch cups of all sizes, water dishes, clean/unused paint brushes, 2 bags of EcoEarth and I’ve been collecting fake leaves/plants/flowers that are as soft/non-pointy as I could find. I definitely want more and more T’s (and other spiders) so I’ve been gradually building up some supplies... for the T’s I haven’t gotten yet. Haha!
 

Vanisher

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 2, 2004
Messages
2,342
Aint that the truth!!

OP, if you havent gotten something set up by spring when temps are better, please message me, you are exactly the kind of beginner i would love to hook up....I wish all the beginners we encounter had your interest level and passion for learning...it gets old sometimes arguing with new keepers who ask questions and still think they know better...you are a breath of fresh air! Your passion and desire to learn first is appreciated by all of us.
Agree 100% If OP lived near me, i would give her a tarantula for free!

Sorry, I didn’t know if I should make a new post or just ask on this one. I don’t want to clutter the forum with all my new to the hobby questions.

So, I’ve been looking at different enclosures the past couple days (Kritter Keepers, Plastic Containers, Jamie’s Enclosures, so on). If I’m being honest, I really like the Kritter Keepers. I’d eventually love to make my own. But baby steps lol.

Questions:
1.) I’ve read on Tom’s Big Spiders Blog some of the holes in the lids of KK needs to be blocked off, he mentions plastic wrap, but can I do so with hot glue? Purely for aesthetic purposes (I know it should dry really well before adding a spider). I think hot glue (done properly) would look better than plastic wrap or really anything else I can think of off the top of my head.

2.) And roughly how many holes in the lid should be covered? (About 1/2 or 1/3?)

3.)Would a KK still need some holes drilled into the side for cross ventilation instead of all the holes being at the top? (I did read on the beginner notes here to avoid using the handles, or just take them off completely, so I’d probably just remove them).

4.) What size KK should be used for say a 3-4” T. albopilosum? (I know the standard is 2-3x the size of the DLS, but is this something that’s “only do it this way, no other way” or is floor space less important and the substrate to lid ratio being 1.5x the DLS the main concern with larger enclosures?) Looking around I can get a medium, large or X-Large. No matter the size, there WILL be enough substrate to ensure my future T doesn’t have a chance to obtain a fall injury.

Sorry for all the questions you guys! I know it’s a lot and absolutely no rush answering this plethora of questions! As always, a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who takes the time to read/answer all of these beginner questions!
Hello missus! I have always blocked of the holes using "Silver tape" we have this in Sweden! Or ductape. Just tape it on the inside of the lid. And you can easily choose how much of the ventilation that should be blocked off, and if you want to change ammount of ventilation, just take it away. Easier than plastic wrapping IMO

For an T albo, you really dont need side holes IMO and IME!
I have had T albo in a KK for years (not at the present but a few years ago) and had absolutely no problems at all. Cover 1/2 of the lid. But i say that side holes are not nessesary for this speicies, but it still needs some moist substrate even if adult. I have never kept them dry. But overflowing the waterdish once in a while is probably enough Hope i made sense?

Not the case....the only time that would be needed is if;

1. The t is too small...as a general rule ts should be at least 2" or really close to use a KK.

2. If you have a moisture dependent species....99% of moisture dependents are not beginner species...seemani is actually the only one i can think of, and a deeper enclosure than a KK would be a better home anyway.



Dont worry about that.


Nope, KKs, as you noted, are already well ventilated....too well for many moisture dependents....but even then, if you are dilligent with keeping the sub damp (it would need frequent water adfitions as it dries), they are fine.

I currently have an adult T. puriens and a juvie P. machalla in KKs with zero ventilation alterations and its not a problem.
The biggest ones...breeder boxes (i believe theyre called) are larger and quite popular for adults.


Not something you should ever apologize for.

Absolutely no shame in asking questions...knowledge is power and experienced keepers like we have here are happy to help. I wish i had a place like this to answer my questions when i started out, its an invaluable resource for learning about inverts here.
IMO T albo should be kept slightly moist
 
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