Rock vs. Cork fall risk?

Anoplogaster

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
675
Hey everyone,

I've noticed a tendency for folks to steer clear of rocks and prefer cork bark. I understand the argument for heavy burrowers, as cork is much lighter than rocks. But another big argument I see is fall risk. Of course, a keeper should always set up a terrestrial enclosure in a way that limits the height of a potential fall. But regarding the surface that they are falling on: Does it really matter if it's cork or rock? They are both hard, textured surfaces. If you drop a water balloon on them, there will likely be no difference in pop frequency. So is this an argument we can logically use?
 

JoshDM020

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 24, 2017
Messages
358
Cork bounces when you throw it on the ground, so id imagine a T would bounce right off, unharmed :troll:.
Really, i think this is a good point. It would probably still injure the spider, but it is a tad softer than rock and more likely to move with the spider, so it probably wouldnt be as bad. In theory. One piece of cork is probably still better than a pile of rocks. Good question!
 

mconnachan

Arachnoprince
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
1,244
Hey everyone,

I've noticed a tendency for folks to steer clear of rocks and prefer cork bark. I understand the argument for heavy burrowers, as cork is much lighter than rocks. But another big argument I see is fall risk. Of course, a keeper should always set up a terrestrial enclosure in a way that limits the height of a potential fall. But regarding the surface that they are falling on: Does it really matter if it's cork or rock? They are both hard, textured surfaces. If you drop a water balloon on them, there will likely be no difference in pop frequency. So is this an argument we can logically use?
Yes, rocks tend to more jagged edged than cork bark for example, a fall onto rock would be much worse than a fall onto cork bark, although your point is valid if it's a sharp edged piece of bark, although most cork bark and rounds are quite flat so it would depend on the actual piece in question. Cork bark is lighter also, therefor it would move to soften the fall for the spider.
 

CyclingSam

Arachnoknight
Joined
May 22, 2016
Messages
217
I have always wondered about the death rate of Ts in the wild due to rocks. Every time I have seen a T in the wild it has been among rocks and seemed to be doing just fine. I understand that no rocks are safer than rocks; however, I personally use rocks in my enclosures, though I am carful with the size and weight if I know my T is a digger. I like to use rocks around the water dishes. It seems to discourage water dish shenanigans with some of my Ts. My A. genic. has not bothered flipping her water dish since I surrounded it by stones. It may be that she is sufficiently entertained by pushing her ping pong ball about. (Note: the rocks I use are smooth river stones)
 
Last edited:

MGery92

Arachnosquire
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
64
Yes, rocks tend to more jagged edged than cork bark for example, a fall onto rock would be much worse than a fall onto cork bark, although your point is valid if it's a sharp edged piece of bark, although most cork bark and rounds are quite flat so it would depend on the actual piece in question. Cork bark is lighter also, therefor it would move to soften the fall for the spider.
My thoughts exactly.
And why would you drop some dangerous objects into the enclosure, if it is only decoration? What are the benefits for the T?
 

cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
12,370
Hey everyone,

I've noticed a tendency for folks to steer clear of rocks and prefer cork bark. I understand the argument for heavy burrowers, as cork is much lighter than rocks. But another big argument I see is fall risk. Of course, a keeper should always set up a terrestrial enclosure in a way that limits the height of a potential fall. But regarding the surface that they are falling on: Does it really matter if it's cork or rock? They are both hard, textured surfaces. If you drop a water balloon on them, there will likely be no difference in pop frequency. So is this an argument we can logically use?
A rock is there for looks, nothing more, it really serves no purpose. Cork, or wood is there to provide cover or a burrow point and is an essential for any terrestrial.

But how you use it is important. Most just drop it on the sub, leaving the entire wood chunk exposed, thereby, creating that risk you mentioned. A better way, for more than just the fall risk, is to bury the hide, so just the mouth of it is exposed. This not only reduces or eliminates fall risk, but also creates a tighter home that's actually much more inviting to a t.

In all of these, the end result, just looks like a hole n the ground or you just see the rim at the entrance, as the fairly large hides are almost completely buried. Fall risk couldn't be more minimal while still providing a proper hide.

I have always wondered about the death rate of Ts in the wild due to rocks. Every time I have seen a T in the wild it has been among rocks and seemed to be doing just fine.
When you see those ts among rocks...are there artificial barriers also surrounding those rocks? See the difference...We isolate them in a small area, which only encourages climbing of these barriers, so naturally they will be more inclined to fall...we don't keep them in the wild, we can't make that comparison. The only way for a wild t to fall on those rocks would be to be thrown or dropped on them.
 

CyclingSam

Arachnoknight
Joined
May 22, 2016
Messages
217
A rock is there for looks, nothing more, it really serves no purpose. Cork, or wood is there to provide cover or a burrow point and is an essential for any terrestrial.

But how you use it is important. Most just drop it on the sub, leaving the entire wood chunk exposed, thereby, creating that risk you mentioned. A better way, for more than just the fall risk, is to bury the hide, so just the mouth of it is exposed. This not only reduces or eliminates fall risk, but also creates a tighter home that's actually much more inviting to a t.

In all of these, the end result, just looks like a hole n the ground or you just see the rim at the entrance, as the fairly large hides are almost completely buried. Fall risk couldn't be more minimal while still providing a proper hide.



When you see those ts among rocks...are there artificial barriers also surrounding those rocks? See the difference...We isolate them in a small area, which only encourages climbing of these barriers, so naturally they will be more inclined to fall...we don't keep them in the wild, we can't make that comparison. The only way for a wild t to fall on those rocks would be to be thrown or dropped on them.
I can agree that rocks don't serve much of a purpose beyond looks; however, looks are half the fun of keeping Ts for me. I think that if you think about the way in which you are using them, then the risks posed by them are minimum to none. For example, I do not think the rocks in my A. geniculata's enclosure pose any real risk to her: IMG_0387.JPG

They are all smooth rocks and the T can almost stand on them and stretch her legs to the lid of the enclosure.

In contrast, if you put your T in a 10 gallon, with 1 inch of substrate on the floor, and a jagged rock in the middle, risk of injury is exponentially increased.

Thinking about Ts in the wild, I do not agree the lack of boundaries eliminates fall risk. I don't give my A. genic. enough vertical space to have a real fall. My home is the mountain west, also home to the A. Iodius, populations of which live in the foot hills of the Wasatch Mountains. The terrain of the Mountain West is harsh and rugged. There are many characteristics of the natural land that would pose a much more extreme fall situation than a poorly set up 10 gallon tank.
 

cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
12,370
They are all smooth rocks and the T can almost stand on them and stretch her legs to the lid of the enclosure.
I agree...one could argue that the edges of every water dish pose a fall hazard.....minimization of such risks is what's important.
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
Staff member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
4,058
For example, I do not think the rocks in my A. geniculata's enclosure pose any real risk to her:
A few smooth, rounded pebbles are probably OK in a setup that is otherwise proper (limited vertical space). Once, I put a few in my pulchra's enclosure before to see what she would do; she dozed them into her retreat.


I agree...one could argue that the edges of every water dish pose a fall hazard.....minimization of such risks is what's important.
That's why my terrestrial water dishes are made of soft silicone.
 

JoshDM020

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 24, 2017
Messages
358
That's why my terrestrial water dishes are made of soft silicone.
Id be more concerned about a dish-flipper punching a couple of holes in that. But it would be safer in case of falls. What do you use, specifically, or do you make molds of large bottle caps?
 

hamhock 74

Arachnobaron
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
334
An enclosure with a rock in it is heavier than one with a piece of cork bark (depending on the size of the rock(s) and/or the cork bark.) Also depending on how secure in the substrate that rock is there is potential that it could move and roll around if the enclosure is moved or disturbed too much.
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
Staff member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
4,058
What do you use, specifically, or do you make molds of large bottle caps?
I use these silicone treat molds from Michaels. They are about 3" in diameter. If I were going to cut some more, I'd leave a bit of the lip to help prevent the substrate from wicking water out.



Id be more concerned about a dish-flipper punching a couple of holes in that. But it would be safer in case of falls.
In the months I've been using the silicone water dishes, I have not had any issues with dish flipping or punctures. (I think they might be too unwieldy/heavy to easily flip for my juveniles.)

The worst any of them does is put a little debris or substrate into the dish. (My juvenile male GBB will usually attach a bit of webbing, but even he has been pretty good.)
 

Anoplogaster

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
675
I use these silicone treat molds from Michaels. They are about 3" in diameter. If I were going to cut some more, I'd leave a bit of the lip to help prevent the substrate from wicking water out.





In the months I've been using the silicone water dishes, I have not had any issues with dish flipping or punctures. (I think they might be too unwieldy/heavy to easily flip for my juveniles.)

The worst any of them does is put a little debris or substrate into the dish. (My juvenile male GBB will usually attach a bit of webbing, but even he has been pretty good.)
Neat! How long do they last? I guess I don't visit craft stores often enough to see these sorts of things:)
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
Staff member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
4,058
Neat! How long do they last? I guess I don't visit craft stores often enough to see these sorts of things:)
Silicone rubber is very durable, and these are designed to be used as baking/candy molds. I have been using them for months (washing once a week), and they don't seem to be suffering any wear and tear.
 

mconnachan

Arachnoprince
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
1,244
They are all smooth rocks and the T can almost stand on them and stretch her legs to the lid of the enclosure.
This is a great example of what I had said in my post, it all comes down to the actual pieces in question whether it be rock or wooden structures that can really cause severe damage to your T, I feel these are fine to use as they are small and rounded pebbles, no harm in using these.
 

Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
1,899
I don't use rocks or hard (rock like) hides in any of my enclosures. It's just adds to the weight and isn't really appealing to me.

I do use a lot of cork and fake plants. It's very easy to set up hides, starter burrows or backing pieces using the light cork. If you tried to do the same with rock you run a much higher risk of the rock shifting and harming the T. Especially if you stack or overlap the rocks. As far as putting them on the substrate and Ts falling on them the rock is much harder than cork. Jagged rocks are more likely to cause harm if fallen on but I could see either being a potential problem.

There are a lot of cool ways to dress up your enclosures without adding random rocks on top the substrate.
 
Top