T Questions - Humidity

aspieguy

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
31
Hello,

Is humidity really all that important to any T? If a water dish is provided, does regular soaking/misting of the substrate really do any good? :?
I used to pour water over the substrate of my tropical Ts every few days, however I learned just today that the water has been accumulating at the bottom of the substrate, flooding out my burrowing Ts :wall: So that obviously doesn't work.
Some people say that genus like Theraphosa and Haplopelma require regular soaking of the substrate to maintain a higher humidity. Is this absolutely necessary to maintain a healthy T, or is does it come down to the keeper's personal preference? I usually mist my Ts every second or third day, but does it really do any good? After all, all my Ts have water dishes.
I have retarded the ventilation as much as I can, I believe, to maintain humidity.

That is my question: is regular soaking/misting of the substrate necessary in maintaing healthy Ts, small or large, if a water dish is provided?
 

Fran

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 8, 2007
Messages
1,533
Hello,

Is humidity really all that important to any T? If a water dish is provided, does regular soaking/misting of the substrate really do any good? :?
I used to pour water over the substrate of my tropical Ts every few days, however I learned just today that the water has been accumulating at the bottom of the substrate, flooding out my burrowing Ts :wall: So that obviously doesn't work.
Some people say that genus like Theraphosa and Haplopelma require regular soaking of the substrate to maintain a higher humidity. Is this absolutely necessary to maintain a healthy T, or is does it come down to the keeper's personal preference? I usually mist my Ts every second or third day, but does it really do any good? After all, all my Ts have water dishes.
I have retarded the ventilation as much as I can, I believe, to maintain humidity.

That is my question: is regular soaking/misting of the substrate necessary in maintaing healthy Ts, small or large, if a water dish is provided?

For certain sp it is necessary a high humidity. How do you provide that? Thats kind of up to you. The ideal in my opinion is not soak the substrate but keep the air humid.
 

Royal_T's

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 9, 2008
Messages
187
Provide less ventilation for your tropical species to maintain proper humidity levels without constantly misting. I do so for my Avicularias and they seem to thrive and I haven't had to mist regularly for months now.
 

LirvA

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
117
Provide less ventilation for your tropical species to maintain proper humidity levels without constantly misting. I do so for my Avicularias and they seem to thrive and I haven't had to mist regularly for months now.

how often do you mist? I'm a new Avic owner.
 

Arachnos

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 29, 2010
Messages
13
That is my question: is regular soaking/misting of the substrate necessary in maintaing healthy Ts, small or large, if a water dish is provided?
Humidity is a very important aspect of a T's enviroment. It affects the T's hydration and molting. Haplopelma and Therapshosa are rain forest terrestrials so they require roughly the same humidity as the aboreals. A humidifier can keep good control over an average size room. I keep the room at 60% which covers most of my collection and keep the substrate damp from a misting every 2 days for the tropicals. If you pinch my substrate it will feel damp but no water will squeeze out.(Even at the bottom) I achieve that by very slow water "sprinkling" about twice a week. If you pour too much or too fast you will get flooding. I avoid the tunnel/burrow areas of the burrowers and just let the area around it soak the water up and disperse it in that direction. I always keep the areas not occupied damper then the burrow/tunnel areas. Ventilation is also important so sacraficing that for more controlled humidity is risky. I would leave at least half of the available area that is open for ventilation untouched.
A good hygrometer is priceless in this hobby, the pet store ones are not very accurate. :D
 

aspieguy

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
31
Hmm…

I have kept Haplopelma and Theraphosa just fine with water dishes and occasional misting :?
 

frtysxan2

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
105
Provide less ventilation for your tropical species to maintain proper humidity levels without constantly misting. I do so for my Avicularias and they seem to thrive and I haven't had to mist regularly for months now.
This works but myself and I am sure many others would not recommend it. Ventilation is always important, for Avics it is very important. Less ventilation means stagnant air, stagnant air gives things like molds, parasites, and bacteria a very good place to incubate and grow. I have a fan in my T room just to insure good air circulation.
 

Royal_T's

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 9, 2008
Messages
187
This works but myself and I am sure many others would not recommend it. Ventilation is always important, for Avics it is very important. Less ventilation means stagnant air, stagnant air gives things like molds, parasites, and bacteria a very good place to incubate and grow. I have a fan in my T room just to insure good air circulation.
Inadequate ventilation means stagnant air... depending on the ventilation it has already it could be offered less without being offered to little. I have three female A. avics in square L&L (Lock&Lock) containers that measure 6x6x12 with five 1/4" holes total (three in the lid with one hole on two of the sides). They've been housed in these conditions for over a year now, with no mold. My Lampropelma violaceopes and Psalmopoeus cambridgei have been housed the same way but in larger enclosures for 2 years with the same substrate, no mold.
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
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Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,659
Humidity is a very important aspect of a T's enviroment. It affects the T's hydration and molting. Haplopelma and Therapshosa are rain forest terrestrials so they require roughly the same humidity as the aboreals. A humidifier can keep good control over an average size room. I keep the room at 60% which covers most of my collection and keep the substrate damp from a misting every 2 days for the tropicals. If you pinch my substrate it will feel damp but no water will squeeze out.(Even at the bottom) I achieve that by very slow water "sprinkling" about twice a week. If you pour too much or too fast you will get flooding. I avoid the tunnel/burrow areas of the burrowers and just let the area around it soak the water up and disperse it in that direction. I always keep the areas not occupied damper then the burrow/tunnel areas. Ventilation is also important so sacraficing that for more controlled humidity is risky. I would leave at least half of the available area that is open for ventilation untouched.
A good hygrometer is priceless in this hobby, the pet store ones are not very accurate. :D
Buying a hygrometer is essentially throwing your money away, unless you have one of the truly humidity dependent species. I believe Fran mentioned them above already.

Humidity also does not affect the molting process, but hydration does. This is why the T Keeper's Guide says to keep all species on dry substrate with a large water dish and ventilation blocked off to achieve the humidity for those that appreciate it.(not dependent on it) The humidity can trigger a molt to happen, but will not help with the actual process. Also, since the T's exoskeleton is waterproof, it does not lose moisture easily either, so humidity doesn't really affect hydration either.

Misting is also useless busywork. It will provide a brief spike in humidity, but otherwise it does nothing but make the owner feel like they are doing something useful. This does not apply if you have planted enclosures.

Large amounts of ventilation are only important if you have your substrate constantly wet. Then you run into mold and the other yucky things that come to the party. It is better to moisten once a week or so and let it dry out in the time in between if you choose to humidify with this technique.


Edited to add Stan Schultz's post links:

Molting and humidity link

Hygrometers link from this thread.

Pikaia said:
Misting or damp substrate is not only unnecessary, but can actually be dangerous to the tarantula because it may promote the growth of dangerous vermin.
This quote ^ can be found in this thread.

Ventilation and Avicularia post from this thread.

Now all this aside, tarantula care is completely personal preference and if what you are doing is working for you, no one's gonna stop you. ;) We choose to wet our substrate for both humidity and plants and mist for the plants as well. If you go about it in an intelligent manner, it isn't a big deal. If done that way it won't kill your T by any means. :)
 
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Arachnos

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 29, 2010
Messages
13
Buying a hygrometer is essentially throwing your money away, unless you have one of the truly humidity dependent species. I believe Fran mentioned them above already.
I guess this could be considered personnal preference but investing in anything that can help you control the climate of a species not native to your enviroment does not sound like a waste of money.

Humidity also does not affect the molting process, but hydration does. This is why the T Keeper's Guide says to keep all species on dry substrate with a large water dish and ventilation blocked off to achieve the humidity for those that appreciate it.(not dependent on it) The humidity can trigger a molt to happen, but will not help with the actual process. Also, since the T's exoskeleton is waterproof, it does not lose moisture easily either, so humidity doesn't really affect hydration either.
The T's epicuticle is the thin, waxy, outer layer. It controls the permeability (water loss/repulsion) characteristics of the tarantula, so you are right that all possess this ability. Below this is the exocuticle which is the toughest part of the cuticle. It is the exocuticle that supplies most of the rigidity of the cuticle. The exocuticle is also thought to play an integral part in keeping the hydration in because the species from more arid envrioments or 'desert' species have a much thicker exocuticle then the tropical species. If the air is constantly humid you would not need to adapt to retain more moisture like the desert species have. "The humidity can trigger a molt to happen, but will not affect the actual process". The first part of that statement negates the second. I did not say it controlled the molt, just affects it even if minimally.

I think any serious collecter in the hobby would agree(Even Mr. Stanley Shultz) that the goal of keeping a healthy tarantula is obtained by reproducing the native enviroment of that species to the best of our abilities. There are different ways to obtain that end result and that is where personnal preference comes in. The OP asked if humidity was important to any T? It is if that particular species adapted to a humid enviroment and 'evolved' to that situation. Minor fluxuations I doubt would harm the T. To just do what is easiest for the hobbyist and possibly neglect the T with 'not' providing it's natural enviroment and hope the T thrives sounds lazy and risky to me. Just my opinion.

I am almost to the point of thinking that The Tarantulas Keepers Guide is being used like the bible. People like to interpret it as they see fit, missing the moral of the story. ;)
 
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Fran

Arachnoprince
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I personally dont like to guess.

I have high end therm/hygrometers on all my Theraphosa tanks.
 

Arachnos

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 29, 2010
Messages
13
Same here. I actually found a sweet deal(at an auction) and obtained some high quality "Humador" hygrometers. I got 20 of them for $25. I think they are almost $25 a piece. :worship:
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
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I personally dont like to guess.

I have high end therm/hygrometers on all my Theraphosa tanks.
For that genus, I understand they are needed, but for most others they aren't.
 

JOHN 3:16

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
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Sep 8, 2008
Messages
165
I moisten, not soak, only one-half of my tarantulas enclosures, then allow it dry out. This I do quarterly with all my T's, T. blondi included, and I have had her for nine years. I also tape the top of my terrariums to manage the humidity for humidity sensitive species.
 

Lopez

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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Feb 18, 2003
Messages
2,040
This is why the T Keeper's Guide says to keep all species on dry substrate with a large water dish and ventilation blocked off to achieve the humidity for those that appreciate it.(not dependent on it)
In my experience dry substrate is far from ideal for South East Asian fossorial species - I prefer to use the von Wirth/Huber method

Page 8 onwards
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
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In my experience dry substrate is far from ideal for South East Asian fossorial species - I prefer to use the von Wirth/Huber method

Page 8 onwards
I agree and we do not keep our Ts in the utilitarian way that is outlined in the TKG. We stick to naturalistic and planted enclosures, which would not be accomplished easily with the dry substrate and large water dish method. :)

However, I was trying to show the opposite side of the coin for the discussion, and was using Stan Schultz's own posts to show his opinion. The wide array of care that people give their Ts should be demonstrated when someone has brought up hygrometers and their importance IMO. It is all personal preference when it comes to T care, but often it seems as if people are being given a rulebook that must be followed.
 

Lopez

Arachnoking
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2,040
I agree and we do not keep our Ts in the utilitarian way that is outlined in the TKG. We stick to naturalistic and planted enclosures, which would not be accomplished easily with the dry substrate and large water dish method. :)

However, I was trying to show the opposite side of the coin for the discussion, and was using Stan Schultz's own posts to show his opinion. The wide array of care that people give their Ts should be demonstrated when someone has brought up hygrometers and their importance IMO. It is all personal preference when it comes to T care, but often it seems as if people are being given a rulebook that must be followed.
Oh indeed, I'm not saying either method is wrong - in fact I agree with what you have outlined above.
A lot of posters (particularly the predominantly American members of this board) really do treat the TKG as a bible to be followed word for word. Whilst I certainly feel it's a valuable source, I think it's better if people gather from as many sources as possible (including their own experiences) when they make husbandry decisions, rather than using one book as a literal instruction manual.

EDIT

Just re-read the first page of the thread and seen your edited in "bible" comment - great minds..... ;)
 
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