Soon To Be New Tarantula Owner

Jeff23

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
Hey everyone,
I am new to the forum and have been lurking for a while. I live in South Carolina. I really appreciate all of the great information that I have found in this forum in assorted threads. I just found a really nice thread on arboreal care. In addition I have read most of "The Tarantula Keeper's Guide" book.

I just ordered the following species.

1.5"-2" Female Avicularia Versicolor Spiderling"
0.5" Unsexed Avicularia Versicolor baby
0.25" Unsexed Euathlus Sp.'Red' baby
0.25" - 0.33" Unsexed Eupalaestrus Campestratus (PZB) Spiderling

I wanted to start with just two larger spiders, but everywhere I looked was completely sold out on Reds and PZB stock except for an extremely expensive adult female. Maybe this is the wrong time of year to buy one. So it looks like I will have to start with younger stock which I know has much higher risks. But from the opposite angle it will be fun to raise them over a longer period of their life.

I welcome any advice and am especially curious on other's opinions for the following few items.

1) I am struggling a little on the correct enclosure height above substrate for Spiderlings and Juveniles. From the looks of pictures I have found on forum posts, it appears to be a higher on most of the deli containers, pill jars, and AMAC enclosures than the recommended distance of one full leg span (using Keeper's Guide) for adult terrestrial spiders. I have bought a few enclosures from Jamie's along with some deli cups.

2) I am still trying to make a decision on my substrate. I have noticed that some people are using a mix of Peat Moss and clean organic soil. I have bought some coco fiber and Peat Moss, but am not sure what I will do as far as one or the other or a mixture for the PZB and "Red" T. I suppose it matters a lot less for the Avic.

3) Cleanup of discarded food material and poop will be something to learn to identify quickly if it invites mites or fungus. This could be a larger challenge for baby tarantulas that I had not thought about. Will I be able to easily see it without a magnifying glass? I suppose I'll find out if the Avic's sling it at me. lol.
 

Venom1080

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
4,595
not much higher risks at all, avics are touchy when young but if the set up has a lot of vent, then theres no issues. NW terrestrial slings are very simple to raise, slightly moist sub, small water bowl, done. enclosure height should be the same except for the avics. slings are a lot more resistant to falls but its not worth the risk. dont bother cleaning up poop as it does nothing. boli are easy to spot once youve seen one. more or less a little black ball. no need for a microscope. peat moss and eco earth are my two fav substrates, they both work perfectly fine on their own, mixing them is your own choice. keep in mind that the TKG is very outdated and contains a lot of poor info. happy keeping.
 

magicmed

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
403
Hey everyone,
I am new to the forum and have been lurking for a while. I live in South Carolina. I really appreciate all of the great information that I have found in this forum in assorted threads. I just found a really nice thread on arboreal care. In addition I have read most of "The Tarantula Keeper's Guide" book.

I just ordered the following species.

1.5"-2" Female Avicularia Versicolor Spiderling"
0.5" Unsexed Avicularia Versicolor baby
0.25" Unsexed Euathlus Sp.'Red' baby
0.25" - 0.33" Unsexed Eupalaestrus Campestratus (PZB) Spiderling

I wanted to start with just two larger spiders, but everywhere I looked was completely sold out on Reds and PZB stock except for an extremely expensive adult female. Maybe this is the wrong time of year to buy one. So it looks like I will have to start with younger stock which I know has much higher risks. But from the opposite angle it will be fun to raise them over a longer period of their life.

I welcome any advice and am especially curious on other's opinions for the following few items.

1) I am struggling a little on the correct enclosure height above substrate for Spiderlings and Juveniles. From the looks of pictures I have found on forum posts, it appears to be a higher on most of the deli containers, pill jars, and AMAC enclosures than the recommended distance of one full leg span (using Keeper's Guide) for adult terrestrial spiders. I have bought a few enclosures from Jamie's along with some deli cups.

2) I am still trying to make a decision on my substrate. I have noticed that some people are using a mix of Peat Moss and clean organic soil. I have bought some coco fiber and Peat Moss, but am not sure what I will do as far as one or the other or a mixture for the PZB and "Red" T. I suppose it matters a lot less for the Avic.

3) Cleanup of discarded food material and poop will be something to learn to identify quickly if it invites mites or fungus. This could be a larger challenge for baby tarantulas that I had not thought about. Will I be able to easily see it without a magnifying glass? I suppose I'll find out if the Avic's sling it at me. lol.
Welcome to your new life! It's addicting!

1. Substrate height is different when arboreals and slings are concerned. Arboreals can be kept with less substrate, as they don't burrow or spend much time on the sub. Terrestrial Slings needs a little extra room because they love to burrow, and they need a place to put that dirt. Sub height is most important for larger spiders, and is in fact very important to keep it around 2-2.5x dls so a fall won't be as harmful. Sidenote: watch out for Sharp or hard decor.

2. There are many substrate choices, I personally use eco earth and I haven't had problems. Some of the most experienced members use nothing but topsoil purchased at a hardware store for $2 for a 40 pound bag.

3. Cleanup is actually very easy, just remove uneaten food. They will usually put their exuvia and boules in a "trash spot" of their choosing. My avic sling actually hangs them from its web, kinda cute.

If you do decide to get more T's check the classifieds here, some great dealers here. I personally highly recommend @cold blood

Read up on the Avic's enclosure needs, they can be a bit sensitive/fragile at that size and are one of the species with the most misinformation around. But great little spiders :)
 

Chris LXXIX

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2014
Messages
5,737
Let me add that being you I wouldn't been too much concerned about point 3 for now. Sure, prey remains needs to be removed, always, when spotted, but yours are very little ones (if my little knowledge about inches unit size doesn't fail) and with little buggers, little preys, therefore little, if nothing, to remove. This combined with the cage upgrade/s even if aren't fast growing like 'OBTs'.

Anyway you will notice those :-s
 

BorisTheSpider

No this is Patrick
Old Timer
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
489
Hey everyone,
I am new to the forum and have been lurking for a while. I live in South Carolina. I really appreciate all of the great information that I have found in this forum in assorted threads. I just found a really nice thread on arboreal care. In addition I have read most of "The Tarantula Keeper's Guide" book.

I just ordered the following species.

1.5"-2" Female Avicularia Versicolor Spiderling"
0.5" Unsexed Avicularia Versicolor baby
0.25" Unsexed Euathlus Sp.'Red' baby
0.25" - 0.33" Unsexed Eupalaestrus Campestratus (PZB) Spiderling

I wanted to start with just two larger spiders, but everywhere I looked was completely sold out on Reds and PZB stock except for an extremely expensive adult female. Maybe this is the wrong time of year to buy one. So it looks like I will have to start with younger stock which I know has much higher risks. But from the opposite angle it will be fun to raise them over a longer period of their life.

I welcome any advice and am especially curious on other's opinions for the following few items.

1) I am struggling a little on the correct enclosure height above substrate for Spiderlings and Juveniles. From the looks of pictures I have found on forum posts, it appears to be a higher on most of the deli containers, pill jars, and AMAC enclosures than the recommended distance of one full leg span (using Keeper's Guide) for adult terrestrial spiders. I have bought a few enclosures from Jamie's along with some deli cups.

2) I am still trying to make a decision on my substrate. I have noticed that some people are using a mix of Peat Moss and clean organic soil. I have bought some coco fiber and Peat Moss, but am not sure what I will do as far as one or the other or a mixture for the PZB and "Red" T. I suppose it matters a lot less for the Avic.

3) Cleanup of discarded food material and poop will be something to learn to identify quickly if it invites mites or fungus. This could be a larger challenge for baby tarantulas that I had not thought about. Will I be able to easily see it without a magnifying glass? I suppose I'll find out if the Avic's sling it at me. lol.
Allow me to welcome another member to the South Carolinian T keeper family . The more of us in this weird little state the better .

First of all substrate for me is a combo of peat and plain old topsoil . Both are cheap and readily available at my local home improvement superstore . Ten bucks will buy enough to last forever . Just be sure to buy the cheap stuff as it normally has no additives . Scott's and Miracle Grow are packed with fertilizer and that's great for plants but very bad for Ts .

If you do decide to get more T's check the classifieds here, some great dealers here. I personally highly recommend @cold blood

Read up on the Avic's enclosure needs, they can be a bit sensitive/fragile at that size and are one of the species with the most misinformation around. But great little spiders :)
Very much agree with these two points . Your are gonna get the best Ts from users here in the boards .
 

Mauri

Arachnoknight
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
227
I personally think Jamies are ok but I prefer at the moment some soup containers I found at the supermarket. (I prefer to tong feed my avics and u cant with those inverted enclosures).

All 5 of my avics are doing well. I got 3 on sat and webbed already which was a lot different from when I first started in the hobby (my first two spiderlings are Amazonicas. Both have moulted twice now for me). My others are a Braunshesheni, a Versi and a Metallica.

p.s in Uk most online retailers sell the 32 oz deli cup size. I prefer smaller than this with a narrower top.
 

Jeff23

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
Thanks to all for the advice and ideas.

I made my first trip to the Petco in my area today to see if they had anything worthwhile in supplies, etc. It is a decently large store, but 90% is for Cats, Dogs, and Fish. I have no interest in getting more spiders soon, but noticed they had one Brachypelma smithi tarantula. I looked at their feeders. Half of the crickets and roaches in the packages appear to be dead.

I ordered some feeders along with the Tarantulas so I am in no hurry to find any immediate source. I found a supplier in Augusta, Georgia (Ghann's Crickets) that has feeders in multiple sizes, but I have to buy 250 crickets on each purchase. I will need to expand my Tarantula collect fast to go through that many. Lots of Internet sites seem to carry a variety of roaches and worms.

How does everyone pick up small crickets (1/8")? I bought some large diameter straws to capture some but that requires some cooperation of the cricket to craw up into the straw. I am not sure how well it will work.
 
Last edited:

darkness975

Latrodectus
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
4,166
I have no interest in getting more spiders soon, but noticed they had one Brachypelma smithi tarantula.
If that is a true Brachypelma smithi I would grab that in a heartbeat sir. They are very pricey as larger sized spiders since they all have to be captive bred to be legally kept.
There is no telling when you will find another one that isn't a .75" spiderling that will take years to grow.
 

Jeff23

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
If that is a true Brachypelma smithi I would grab that in a heartbeat sir. They are very pricey as larger sized spiders since they all have to be captive bred to be legally kept.
There is no telling when you will find another one that isn't a .75" spiderling that will take years to grow.
I may have to backtrack. I don't think I noticed the detail enough to know for sure. I am not personally fond of the Brachypelma family due to the mentioned hair issues for several of them. So I didn't stick around long enough to remember the color details on the spider's carapace. I suppose it could actually be a Brachypelma smithi or Brachypelma annitha. I think they only had it listed by the partial slang name "Red Knee". I did not see a sex listed on the label either. But it was about 3" in length. If I am back in that area tomorrow I may check again for curiosity's sake. It will be good practice for identifying T's.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
12,499
Hey everyone,
I am new to the forum and have been lurking for a while. I live in South Carolina. I really appreciate all of the great information that I have found in this forum in assorted threads. I just found a really nice thread on arboreal care. In addition I have read most of "The Tarantula Keeper's Guide" book.

I just ordered the following species.

1.5"-2" Female Avicularia Versicolor Spiderling"
0.5" Unsexed Avicularia Versicolor baby
0.25" Unsexed Euathlus Sp.'Red' baby
0.25" - 0.33" Unsexed Eupalaestrus Campestratus (PZB) Spiderling

I wanted to start with just two larger spiders, but everywhere I looked was completely sold out on Reds and PZB stock except for an extremely expensive adult female. Maybe this is the wrong time of year to buy one. So it looks like I will have to start with younger stock which I know has much higher risks. But from the opposite angle it will be fun to raise them over a longer period of their life.

I welcome any advice and am especially curious on other's opinions for the following few items.

1) I am struggling a little on the correct enclosure height above substrate for Spiderlings and Juveniles. From the looks of pictures I have found on forum posts, it appears to be a higher on most of the deli containers, pill jars, and AMAC enclosures than the recommended distance of one full leg span (using Keeper's Guide) for adult terrestrial spiders. I have bought a few enclosures from Jamie's along with some deli cups.

2) I am still trying to make a decision on my substrate. I have noticed that some people are using a mix of Peat Moss and clean organic soil. I have bought some coco fiber and Peat Moss, but am not sure what I will do as far as one or the other or a mixture for the PZB and "Red" T. I suppose it matters a lot less for the Avic.

3) Cleanup of discarded food material and poop will be something to learn to identify quickly if it invites mites or fungus. This could be a larger challenge for baby tarantulas that I had not thought about. Will I be able to easily see it without a magnifying glass? I suppose I'll find out if the Avic's sling it at me. lol.
Jeff for your Avics, please read this post of mine on Avic care http://arachnoboards.com/threads/avicularia-husbandry.282549/#post-2461399

AFTER reading it, if you have questions PM me OR ask here. There are many Avic enthusiasts here, some are new to keeping them some are not. In short, not all advice given is necessarily accurate. Some advice provided is not necessarily the ONLY way to do something (some of my own advice is like that). For example @cold blood and I do some things differently w/our Avics and sling, but we both achieve the same results- healthy thriving Ts.

As you go through this hobby you'll learn that as long as the T eats/spins web etc, what works best for you might be the way you do something, generally speaking.

In short, don't accept the information as the gospel and run with it from a single person per se, do question the people who provide you advice, such as why are they suggesting xyz

I don't recommend feeding your Ts w/forceps, ie tongs, it can cause your T to damage/lose fang/s. If both fangs are lost, your T will likely die.

Feeding your E sp Red, if you don't have access to pinhead size crix, can be done by "scavenge feeding" w/pre-killed pieces of mealworm or a cricket leg. I don't recommend this method for your Avics. Just put the proper sized cricket in the container and let the T hunt.
 

Mauri

Arachnoknight
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
227
Not sure I agree about the Tong part there. Been feeding my avics and others fine using this method. You have to present the cricket right though!

Although if you want to be on the safe side by all means. I actually was thinking about getting some tongs that perhaps have a softer end.
 

Jeff23

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
Jeff for your Avics, please read this post of mine on Avic care http://arachnoboards.com/threads/avicularia-husbandry.282549/#post-2461399

AFTER reading it, if you have questions PM me OR ask here. There are many Avic enthusiasts here, some are new to keeping them some are not. In short, not all advice given is necessarily accurate. Some advice provided is not necessarily the ONLY way to do something (some of my own advice is like that). For example @cold blood and I do some things differently w/our Avics and sling, but we both achieve the same results- healthy thriving Ts.

As you go through this hobby you'll learn that as long as the T eats/spins web etc, what works best for you might be the way you do something, generally speaking.

In short, don't accept the information as the gospel and run with it from a single person per se, do question the people who provide you advice, such as why are they suggesting xyz

I don't recommend feeding your Ts w/forceps, ie tongs, it can cause your T to damage/lose fang/s. If both fangs are lost, your T will likely die.

Feeding your E sp Red, if you don't have access to pinhead size crix, can be done by "scavenge feeding" w/pre-killed pieces of mealworm or a cricket leg. I don't recommend this method for your Avics. Just put the proper sized cricket in the container and let the T hunt.
I appreciate the advice and did read that thread - Great information! It is easy to see now that all people who are new to this hobby waste a lot of time looking at all of those data sheet websites at the beginning that all repeat the same technical data. If anything they were scaring me to wonder if this hobby was going to be more pain than it may be worth. Since I am a "hands on" type of person I think it will easier than I thought to modify enclosures/containers accordingly to give myself a higher probability of success (thanks to this forum).

I may modify the enclosures I bought from Jamie's to add a few more horizontal holes for the larger Avic. From what I have read a very small nail heated up to high temperature will make a nice hole as long as I am careful to not burn myself or make the hole too big. I own an adjustable temperature soldering iron as well, but I need to search my hardware to see if I have a small enough tip that will limit the hole size. This may take some practice on a separate piece of plastic. I will probably keep the smaller Avic in a deli cup or similar which will be much easier to create holes.

Not sure I agree about the Tong part there. Been feeding my avics and others fine using this method. You have to present the cricket right though!

Although if you want to be on the safe side by all means. I actually was thinking about getting some tongs that perhaps have a softer end.
I failed to find something silicone tipped in the kitchen tools on Amazon. In this case I was looking for something that has bad reviews because the tips are too soft (inverted logic). I may visit Bed Bath Beyond. For people who can develop ability to use chopsticks there might also be some options but they may be just as bad or worse with mostly assorted wood tips.
 

Mauri

Arachnoknight
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
227
I use a soldering iron. Check out soup containers in supermarket. 32oz or smaller ideal. I even used a peanut butter jar.

Clean everything thoroughly even fake plants.

I do three lines small holes x vent and a few in the top. Use Acyrlic glue to stick on some cork bark to sides (so they stick out a bit, small gaps in between, cut the cork bark so u have a flat side to glue). Perhaps a fake plant as well.

(you want aquarium glue and check first. Leave to set 48 hrs I would. Basically you are creating a kind of mini forest).

I use 70/30 vermi mix for substrate. An inch or so is plenty. Avoid water bottle cap (coke one will suffice) near any bark as you might get wicking.

This is for avics.

p.s had a nightmare with 3 of mine this morning. Either in pre-moult or not hungry. And because they webbed nr the top had two of them on my hand.

A good investment and tip. Which am now ordering is find yourself a high sided plastic box or something like a large faunarium/cricket keeper. Then when u do rehousing etc if you do have an escapee he/she wont go far.

Oh and they can jump so lower to the ground better. Avics will always try and climb upwards btw. They arent too fast but can get spooked.
 
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Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
1,899
I may modify the enclosures I bought from Jamie's to add a few more horizontal holes for the larger Avic. From what I have read a very small nail heated up to high temperature will make a nice hole as long as I am careful to not burn myself or make the hole too big. I own an adjustable temperature soldering iron as well, but I need to search my hardware to see if I have a small enough tip that will limit the hole size. This may take some practice on a separate piece of plastic. I will probably keep the smaller Avic in a deli cup or similar which will be much easier to create holes.
I've used both sling and juvie enclosures from Jamie's and I had great luck without modification. The main thing is to not introduce more moisture then the vents can handle. You don't want a swampy enclosure. Using a water dish for humidity without misting and moistening the substrate gave me good results with these setups.

When making your own I got a cheap soldering iron (my nice desk station is used for small electronics not burning holes in plastics) and it works great for making holes.
 

Sana

Arachnoprince
Joined
Oct 26, 2014
Messages
1,143
Harbor Freight here has a $4 soldering iron. Excellent for melting holes in enclosures without worrying about the cost of replacing a nice soldering iron or nice tips. Plastic snack containers are amazing. Also peanut butter jars, peanut jars, animal cracker jars (especially the ones shaped like teddy bears, lol). Anything plastic of the proper size. I would recommend avoiding jars that have a top opening that's a lot narrower then the rest of the container. A little narrower, no big. A lot narrower will create a number of less than entertaining issues when it's time to rehouse. I use plastic plants a la @Trenor and interesting bark or sticks or driftwood from local natural areas that aren't sprayed for mosquitoes. I keep a collection of plastic containers that look useful, random cage furnishings, and a $2 bag of topsoil on hand all the time so the cost of putting together an enclosure is my time to do it. I have my family and coworkers trained to save me useful items. Everybody knows now that if I'm eyeballing their lunch it's not because I want the food, just the container. We actually set up a drop off in our break room for donations of plastic bottle caps and containers for my spiders. Everyone really gets a kick out of seeing their donations in action with tarantulas making themselves at home.
 

Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
1,899
I failed to find something silicone tipped in the kitchen tools on Amazon.
Look for reptile feeding tongs. The ends are usually dipped in in a plastic coating to help prevent damage to teeth and mouths when feeding. I've not needed to tong feed my tarantulas.

@EulersK has mentioned a do it yourself product to use on the tips of tongs. I can't remember what it is, maybe he will see this.
If you google 'plastic tool coating' you'll find a lot of brands of coating that will work. I've not used these myself but most should be safe. The only tongs I have like this was leftovers from trying to get Fred to eat frozen mice.
 

Sana

Arachnoprince
Joined
Oct 26, 2014
Messages
1,143
I failed to find something silicone tipped in the kitchen tools on Amazon. In this case I was looking for something that has bad reviews because the tips are too soft (inverted logic). I may visit Bed Bath Beyond. For people who can develop ability to use chopsticks there might also be some options but they may be just as bad or worse with mostly assorted wood tips.
I haven't ever used tongs with a silicone tip. I don't tong feed though. My partner was tong feeding his pokies for a long time and the result was them hanging out at the top when the container was opened. Not my favorite place to have a venomous spider chill with a top opening enclosure. I haven't seen any benefits to tong feeding at this point and it's pretty rare for our tarantulas to mess with the tongs when we're doing maintenance. We pitch in some crickets and let them get a mouthful before doing other maintenance and that has worked well to this point.
 

Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
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