Sand for B. Smithi Substrate?

Exoskeleton Invertebrates

Arachnoprince
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Nah my man, I know. Mine was only a mere example in general about sand and T's keeping :)
Again I have 25 years of using sand with certain genus/species I know what works. Op asked if sand is ok for B. smithi and I say it is why cause I use that substrate for that species before. If you never have used white silica sand for a B. smithi than the argument is a bit meaningless. All I'm saying is it can be an alternative for those who wish to use white silica sand. It doesn't mean that you have too.
 
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Chris LXXIX

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Again I have 25 years of using sand with certain genus/species I know what works. Op asked if sand is ok for B. smithi and I say it is why cause I use that substrate for that species before. If you never have used white silica sand for a B. smithi than the argument is a bit meaningless. All I'm saying is it can be an alternative for those who wish to use white silica sand. It doesn't mean that you have too.
I've never said that nor questioned your experience or way to house T's my man.
The reason why I have posted that video was to give a general view, an insight about the "sand & T's" issue, that sometimes (as we viewed) is not always interpreted the right way. Just that :-s
 

dragonfire1577

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desert Tarantula species could encounter sand but more often than not they live in a scrubland type environment or even drier forests with more soil than anything not a dune type environment so personally despite it being possible to keep them on sand successfully I'd try a clay and sand mix or tightly packed soil/eco earth and sand. I just think these mixtures would get quite close to many species native habitat, much more so than plain sand and overall work quite well.
 

Exoskeleton Invertebrates

Arachnoprince
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I've never said that nor questioned your experience or way to house T's my man.
The reason why I have posted that video was to give a general view, an insight about the "sand & T's" issue, that sometimes (as we viewed) is not always interpreted the right way. Just that :-s
I see! I personally did not like the video myself one of the reason like I mentioned before the height of the enclosure. The enclosure is way too tall. Sometime by the end of this week I'll post photos of everything that I use for a desert environment, plus a cleaning supply of how to get rid of a lot of left over meals to keep the sand clean. It's actually very easy.
Chris LXXIX, I wouldn't recommend white silica sand to anyone if I felt that the spider would be in danger in any type of way. Since I have the experiance with this type of substrate with certain genus/species I will voice my opinion and you and others can make a choice wether it is suitable to your needs.

This are the spiders so far that have done really well for me on white silica sand and the only ones so far that I have used.

Aphonopelma chalcodes
Aphonopelma bicoloratum
Aphonopelma gabeli
Aphonopelma moderatum
Aphonopelma seemanni
Brachypelma boehmei
Brachypelma emelia
Brachypelma smithi
Brachypelma vagans
Grammostola porteri
Grammostola spp. - Color Variant of Porteri???????
Grammostola rosea
Grammostola sp. "Concepción"
Grammostola sp. "Northern Type"

All of these species listed were 4" inches and up never a sling. Long term on sand for a number of years.
 

Exoskeleton Invertebrates

Arachnoprince
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I didn't say it was the conclusive reason that my T. died. I am very suspicious that it was a contributing factor (along with dehydration) to its death though.
Since the thread is about desert sand it seemed that of your spider dying was do to the factor of the sand. I know you said sub adult what size was your moderatum? Humidity hmmm???? Don't know if that would of been the factor unless died from not having enough water in the water dish but than again a lot of things could have been a factor of your spider dying.
 

Poec54

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I used sand 40 years ago, before I knew better. I think it's awful stuff. Tarantulas can't make retreats in loose sand, it's harder when they fall on it, and it doesn't hold water well. I was so excited when I started using soil. They can dig and tunnel to their heart's content. So much better.
 

dragonfire1577

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Continuing off my last post I like to think of most of arizona's deserts or what typical scrubland type soil is like for a reference when making a naturalistic desert type setup. The zoo med excavator clay is absolutely great stuff when mixed with sand
I used sand 40 years ago, before I knew better. I think it's awful stuff. Tarantulas can't make retreats in loose sand, it's harder when they fall on it, and it doesn't hold water well. I was so excited when I started using soil. They can dig and tunnel to their heart's content. So much better.
You have a point that it's unnatural even compared to topsoil and is often just too loose. For reference look at images of the native habitats of things like B. smithi, G. rosea, and even the deserts in the southwest where Aphonopelma are readily found. They all have more of dry dirt or packed clay/dirt and sand composition and are more of a scrubland or savanna than they are like dunes. I bet zoo med excavator clay mixed with sand and a little soil would make for an excellent substrate for Aphonopelma though as it's very similar to what they encounter in a many places they are common and provides excellent burrowing potential, I know my H. arizonensis goes nuts with the stuff making deep elaborate burrows. Not saying sand can't work but I still do feel that using a blend to mimic the natural environment is better.
 

Exoskeleton Invertebrates

Arachnoprince
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I used sand 40 years ago, before I knew better. I think it's awful stuff. Tarantulas can't make retreats in loose sand, it's harder when they fall on it, and it doesn't hold water well. I was so excited when I started using soil. They can dig and tunnel to their heart's content. So much better.
Well 40 years ago you could have used the earths natural dirt, don't know why anyone would have to wait that long. Besides I have yet to see an adult 6" inch female in captivity that has build a tunnel and a burrow. Sure spiders can't really dig on sand however even though an adult female smithi may dig on eco earth but all she's going to do is make a pile of nothing really. Slings sure, they'll dig and make a burrow but not always. I'm not saying to put a sling on sand either or would even recommended to anyone.

In the wild their natural instinct is to find shelter/burrow for the reasons of rain, wind, predators, sunlight, make an egg sac and to cool down. In captivity do you think they have to worry about all those things? We provide a hide for them and most of the time with certain species don't even bother using them, it is a retreat but for the most part they're out in the open. They sometimes use it to make a sac but there is always that one exception that they will make a sac elsewhere.
 

dragonfire1577

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also this thread is about B. smithi and besides scrublands they can actually also be found in tropical deciduous forests probably more frequently than scrublands even and these habitats have decently moist soil which is why I'd be more inclined to just use straight up soil for Brachypelma not even a blend as they clearly can thrive on it and it's much easier to deal with than blending materials for a naturalistic scrubland substrate. Also as for adults not really burrowing I wonder if an Aphonopelma Sp. would burrow in an excavator clay mix like Hadrurus sp. do since they share habitat and it's a considerably more natural and supportive substrate.
 

CyclingSam

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Since the thread is about desert sand it seemed that of your spider dying was do to the factor of the sand. I know you said sub adult what size was your moderatum? Humidity hmmm???? Don't know if that would of been the factor unless died from not having enough water in the water dish but than again a lot of things could have been a factor of your spider dying.
It was about 4 inches. I was doing really well on a potting soil. When I switched the substrate to sand, it started acting more lethargic. It also stopped grooming. I tried to keep a full water dish in its enclosure.
 

Poec54

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It was about 4 inches. I was doing really well on a potting soil. When I switched the substrate to sand, it started acting more lethargic. It also stopped grooming. I tried to keep a full water dish in its enclosure.

Loose sand is harder for them to walk on, it's harder for us to walk on.
 

Jeff23

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I am not experienced on this area yet, but it seem like we can't make conclusions based on the fact that some T's live in sand in nature. We don't know the life expectancy of any of them without studies. Most tests would be better done in captivity where a user actually owns some of them and gives them a sand environment.

I will likely give mine an environment that is closer to what it has had in the past to be safe. Most hobby born species are use to dealing with other materials for their environment.

EDIT* I agree with other posts where making a mixture using the clay mixtures with some sand might be more acceptable.
 
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