T emptying water dish

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Arachnoknight
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Jan 15, 2013
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So I have a 3" B. smithi set up in a Ln enclosure with coco fiber sub. Water dish is a zoo med one (has some weight to it) and partially buried to keep the brim of the dish low.
The dish was full at midnight this morning. At 6am the dish was completely empty, but still partially buried at the edges (wasn't dug out). It would have to have been tipped past 90 degrees to completely drain and returned to the exact same spot. Minimal substrate at the bottom (few strands) so it wasn't soaked up. How is she emptying it? Have you all seen your T's empty their bowls?
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
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Not joking at all, the majority of husbandry time I spend is related to water dishes in one form or another. Refilling, replacing, cleaning, you name it. It's about the only husbandry that these animals require.

In your case, it sounds like there is a bit of webbing going from the water to the substrate. That creates a wicking effect and empties a water dish within a few hours.
 
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Jeff23

Arachnolord
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If the sub around it is dry that likely removes any wicking affect. Have you seen her drinking from it? Does this occur multiple nights in a row?
 

Belegnole

Tarantula Guy
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I agree with webbing. That stuff is one of the best wicking materials I know of.
 

8legfreak

Arachnosquire
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My Lp has gotten into the habit of depositing her discarded boluses in the water dish. I guess she figures she'll make it easier for me to remove them. Lassie's such a tidy girl! :p
 

FishermanSteve

Arachnosquire
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I have the best luck keeping water in crappy little deli cups. Anything else I use seems to empty out like yours
 

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Arachnoknight
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If the sub around it is dry that likely removes any wicking affect. Have you seen her drinking from it? Does this occur multiple nights in a row?
No webbing that I can see other than the thin mat in and in front of her hide. I've never seen her drink or even go in it. She's on the walls, on the substrate, in or on top of her hide. She eats once a week, doesn't seem stressed. I don't mist or anything, sub is dry with nothing but a dish. I just can't figure out how she's emptying it without tipping it. Unless she is tipping it and resetting it to look like it's unmoved. This is only the 3rd time she's done it. My LP has done it once but I can tell the dish isn't in the same spot.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
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Pic attached
I can actually see the dirt that's making the wicking effect o_O Top left hand corner. Also, you not seeing web doesn't mean much. Strands of web are multitudes thinner than a strand of hair.

Off topic, bit that looks like an awfully tall enclosure. How many inches is it from the substrate to the lid?
 

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Arachnoknight
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That small amount of dirt was enough to completely empty the dish? In just 6 hrs? Well, maybe... I don't have that much experience with T's so it's possible. Let me find a pic of the full enclosure.
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
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In your case, it sounds like there is a bit of webbing going from the water to the substrate. That creates a wicking effect and empties a water dish within a few hours.
The substrate itself can serve as a wick too. If there is substrate in the dish touching the substrate in the enclosure, water can wick out via that connecting substrate and moisten the surrounding area.

I have seen this happen on a few occasions where my tarantulas put some coco fiber in their dish (but not nearly enough to soak up all the water), where some of the coco fiber was hanging over the side of the dish and touching the ground.


That small amount of dirt was enough to completely empty the dish? In just 6 hrs? Well, maybe... I don't have that much experience with T's so it's possible. Let me find a pic of the full enclosure.
Looking at your picture, it seems that the substrate is in a position where it could have served as a wick.

The piece of substrate on the side doesn't (and can't) absorb all of the water on its own. It just serves as a conduit to get the water from the dish to the surrounding substrate.
 

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Arachnoknight
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Maybe I won't half bury the water dish anymore. Crazy how the substrate can wick all that water out. Thank you all.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
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I guess I can add another few inches of sub.
I would highly recommend it. Honestly, an appropriate height would be having substrate up to past the airholes... which isn't an option, obviously. I'd put some tape over the holes to prevent spillage and fill the substrate to half way up the air holes. That's a pretty big fall.
 

Goldcup

Arachnopeon
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Nov 24, 2015
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I am by no means an experienced keeper. But I have 5 or 6 T's that
Actually empty the dish themselves. Several do it immediately after I clean and fill them. I am very diligent about keeping water in them but
They seem to prefer it out of the dish! If all the other bits of advice do not fit you might keep it in mind.
 

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Arachnoknight
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So now I know she does it during the day as well and not just at night. Yes, I see the substrate coming over the side but I just can't imagine that being enough to drain the whole dish. It was full when I left this morning at 6:30 AM.

I can see the substrate at the bottom of the enclosure is now damp in that corner. The dish is still wedged into the dirt so I'm almost certain she doesn't tip it and then pack the substrate back up to the sides of the dish. Maybe she does, who knows. I'm going to have to set up some camera to catch her. She's just sitting there knowing it's killing me to find out how she does it.

Forgot about the webbing being able to wick the water out. Must be very fine strands leading from the substrate to the water.

EDIT: Uploaded photo from phone, then logged in to add my post.
 

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checkmate

Arachnoknight
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Jan 15, 2013
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The substrate itself can serve as a wick too. If there is substrate in the dish touching the substrate in the enclosure, water can wick out via that connecting substrate and moisten the surrounding area.

I have seen this happen on a few occasions where my tarantulas put some coco fiber in their dish (but not nearly enough to soak up all the water), where some of the coco fiber was hanging over the side of the dish and touching the ground.

Looking at your picture, it seems that the substrate is in a position where it could have served as a wick.

The piece of substrate on the side doesn't (and can't) absorb all of the water on its own. It just serves as a conduit to get the water from the dish to the surrounding substrate.
That makes sense (the conduit). My LPs enclosure has substrate coming in from a few sides due to her bulldozing and the water in the dish didn't get sucked out. Still same level as I when I filled it 2 days ago.
 

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Arachnoknight
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Jan 15, 2013
Messages
185
I would highly recommend it. Honestly, an appropriate height would be having substrate up to past the airholes... which isn't an option, obviously. I'd put some tape over the holes to prevent spillage and fill the substrate to half way up the air holes. That's a pretty big fall.
I will pick up some substrate tomorrow from Petsmart and top it off.
 
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