Settling in as a novice, still have questions on feeding

dmattenski

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Feb 27, 2017
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Hello, I have two, I believe content T's. But I am still confused on how often and what to feed. So far, I've kept them alive for 1 1/2 months! Right now all I am feeding them are Dubai. Everything I read about frequency never actually relates it to the size of prey. As my Dubai vary from 1/4-1", I'm not sure what to feed to whom. I have a B. Boehmei, female, body ~1", but seems to be growing rapidly. I feed her every other day, Dubai that are up to 1/4". Should the prey be bigger? I also have a Aphonopelma seemani, female, 2.5", I've been feeding every other day, Dubai that is 1/2' or bigger. Is this too often? Lastly, as my first one died from dks, not too long after I got crickets from a local pet store, I'm hesitant to feed anything else. Is there any risk to feeding only one food source?
 

grimmjowls

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Just FYI, Dubai is a location, dubia is a type of roach. ;)

There's no risk of only feeding one type of feeder.

I base how often I feed my Ts on the size of their abdomen really. Their abdomen should be roughly the same size as their carapace.
For 1" slings, that'd probably mean feeding once every 1-2 weeks, I'd imagine.

Every other day is much too often. My 2.5" get fed once a month.

I usually give them prey items that are a bit smaller than they are themselves. They can take down larger prey but sometimes get spooked so I just give them smaller.
 

grimmjowls

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DKS is thought to be caused by chemical exposure, so it could've been caused by chemicals on you coming home, the crickets, or anything else. There is no higher risk of parasites or anything else in crickets as opposed to dubias.
 

dmattenski

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Feb 27, 2017
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I did a lot of research on dks when it happened. Agree that chemical seems a strong possibility, though doesn't fit for my household. Seems there are all kinds of theories, but I am trying to avoid repeating anything that might possibly be related her demise. Obviously the pet store didn't use pesticides or the crickets wouldn't have been alive, but I also read some on sites that not feeding prey well (or allowing prey to eats remains of their dead buddies) is not good. As a scientist myself, I didn't see a "preponderance of evidence" clearly indicating one theory over another, so I'm erring on the side of caution.
 
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dmattenski

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Feb 27, 2017
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9
Hello, I have two, I believe content T's. But I am still confused on how often and what to feed. So far, I've kept them alive for 1 1/2 months! Right now all I am feeding them are Dubai. Everything I read about frequency never actually relates it to the size of prey. As my Dubai vary from 1/4-1", I'm not sure what to feed to whom. I have a B. Boehmei, female, body ~1", but seems to be growing rapidly. I feed her every other day, Dubai that are up to 1/4". Should the prey be bigger? I also have a Aphonopelma seemani, female, 2.5", I've been feeding every other day, Dubai that is 1/2' or bigger. Is this too often? Lastly, as my first one died from dks, not too long after I got crickets from a local pet store, I'm hesitant to feed anything else. Is there any risk to feeding only one food source?
:)stupid spell check!
 

mconnachan

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Depending on the size of the T the dubia should be about half the length from chelicerae to spinnerets, so about the size of the carapace, some sp. like larger prey items like GBB, and P. Murinus, I've seen tiny slings take down prey twice their size, but onto your question re how often etc. slings 2 weekly and sub adults 1 large fortnightly.......also what @grimmjowls said, depending on the size of the spider, you don't want your T to have a huge abdomen as this is over feeding, Hope this helps.........
 

nicodimus22

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Their abdomen should be roughly the same size as their carapace.
Huh. I've always heard that a fat sling is a happy sling. Most of mine look like this:



There seems to be a consensus that feeding 2-3 times a week for slings is ideal, as it gets them out of the more fragile sling stage more quickly. Once they become juvies, you can slow down to once a week or two.
 
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Andrea82

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Slings get fed as much as they'll take. A fat sling is not unhealthy, it is just at the end of its molting cycle. By feeding more often and keeping them warmer they grow out of the fragile sling stage faster.
But to each their own.

A thing to be cautious about though is to crush the dubias head. If you don't, it can burrow down and potentially become a threat to your sling if it is molting.

Dubias are fine as feeders. Crickets are too, but they need to be kept above a certain temperature. If you don't, their metabolism slows down and they become a bacteria bomb basically because of unprocessed foods.
Dubias need warmer temps as well if you want to keep them longer or breed them.
Superworms or mealworms are good food as well. :)
 

grimmjowls

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Huh. I've always heard that a fat sling is a happy sling. Most of mine look like this:



There seems to be a consensus that feeding 2-3 times a week for slings is ideal, as it gets them out of the more fragile sling stage more quickly. Once they become juvies, you can slow down to once a week or two.
A fat sling is likely being power-fed and is shortening it's lifespan. :)
Of course slings WILL take as much as they can get, in the wild they want to grow fast. But in captivity, they have no predators, so there's no need to force them to grow quickly.
 

grimmjowls

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Slings aren't as fragile as everyone wants to act like they are. In the wild? Sure, absolutely. Anything can pick up a tiny 1" sling and enjoy a snack. In captivity? Not so much - there are no threats other than improper husbandry (keeper's fault) and unavoidable/mysterious illnesses (which kill at any age - DKS is one).

It's moreso "personal preference" but I don't see the point in power-feeding. Just seems pointless unless you want an adult so you can breed.
If not, why not enjoy the animal for as long as it's natural lifespan would be?

EDIT: I forgot to mention that overweight slings increases the likelihood of a failed or impaired molt. Just another reason not to power-feed. :p
 
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The Grym Reaper

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Dubai is a location, dubia is a type of roach. ;)
Autocorrect does that a lot.

A fat sling is likely being power-fed and is shortening it's lifespan.
In males that die within a year or so after maturing this is true, in females that live 20-30+ years the difference is a matter of months (if that) and therefore negligible.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that overweight slings increases the likelihood of a failed or impaired molt. Just another reason not to power-feed. :p
This is a myth that needs to die a thousand deaths.
 

grimmjowls

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Autocorrect does that a lot.



In males that die within a year or so after maturing this is true, in females that live 20-30+ years the difference is a matter of months (if that) and therefore negligible.



This is a myth that needs to die a thousand deaths.
Can I have a source proving its a myth?
 

The Grym Reaper

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I am still confused on how often and what to feed.
I'm working in leg span for sizes here but I feed:

- Slings (up to 2") every 3 days.
- Juveniles (from 2" up until subadult) once every 7-10 days
- Subadults/adults once a fortnight.

Everything I read about frequency never actually relates it to the size of prey
I generally try to keep prey size to smaller than the Tarantula's abdomen with this feeding schedule, if you use bigger prey items then feed less often

Is there any risk to feeding only one food source?
Nope, I feed small slings exclusively on mealworms, juveniles get red runners or mealworms and subadults/adults get either red runners or dubia.
 

boina

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Can I have a source proving its a myth?
Do you have a source it's true except hear-say? :)

The experience of - I don't know how many breeders - says slings should be fat - as in really fat. How many breeders and people who raised plenty of fat slings would you need to accept it's a myth? Because to the best of my knowledge nobody has ever done a study. "Fat is bad" is a completely unsupported claim.

Their abdomen should be roughly the same size as their carapace.
Yes I've heard that - another myth that needs to die, the faster the better. And before you ask for a study: Do you have one to support your claim? Because there isn't any. All there is, is experience. Your slings grow well while kept thin? Fine, so do mine, while fed as much as they will eat. I want my tarantulas to always have a bigger abdomen then their carapace, even the juvenile and adult ones, although with them I will stop feeding before they look like a ball with legs and can't carry their abdomen anymore.
 

boina

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A fat sling is likely being power-fed and is shortening it's lifespan.
Power feeding only works if you increase the temperature. If you do both - feed a lot AND increase the temps - I would agree that there is a chance that this may reduce overall life span, although I don't think there's proof for that.

If you only feed without increasing the temps they won't molt any faster, they'll just gain more size per molt. I really can't think of any reason why that would shorten their life span.
 

The Grym Reaper

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Yes I've heard that - another myth that needs to die
I complained about that one a while back, it seems to be a common one from keepers on Wastebook, I stick to roughly 1.5-2x the size of the carapace, I like mine to have a little junk in the trunk but I don't let them get so fat that they can't lift their abdomen off the ground which I am aware can cause drag injuries.

Power feeding only works if you increase the temperature. If you do both - feed a lot AND increase the temps - I would agree that there is a chance that this may reduce overall life span, although I don't think there's proof for that.
Like I said above, it only makes a significant reduction in the lifespan of males, in females the difference is probably negligible.
 

grimmjowls

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I mean, you can't tell me it's a myth against experience if you don't have a source? If people experience it, then it's likely an issue, "source" or not. Show me there's evidence against it, and I'll believe you. Until then, I'll go with experience. :rolleyes:
 

Venom1080

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I mean, you can't tell me it's a myth against experience if you don't have a source? If people experience it, then it's likely an issue, "source" or not. Show me there's evidence against it, and I'll believe you. Until then, I'll go with experience. :rolleyes:
Show me evidence for it lol feeding slings twice a week is a normal schedule. Yours are in a concentration camp :confused:
 

boina

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I mean, you can't tell me it's a myth against experience if you don't have a source? If people experience it, then it's likely an issue, "source" or not. Show me there's evidence against it, and I'll believe you. Until then, I'll go with experience. :rolleyes:
People experience what? A well fed sling having problems molting? And how do you know that the molting problems are due to fattness? Do you belive that slim slings never experience a molting problem? There simply isn't a study that compared the molting success of fat slings and slim slings. In my experience fat slings do exceedingly well.
 
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