Tarantula Nutrition

lunarae

Arachnobaron
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
385
So I was curious to any updated info that people may have on this subject. We do always post what are the best feeders when it comes to breeding capabilities. But on a nutritional value what do you think, or have found, is the best for a good healthy long lived T? I'm asking this for those who have cared for and had T's for at least a few years to be able to notice any type of variations.

Obviously we know roaches are the most nutritious. But when it comes to T's does it matter about diet variety? Does anyone who has fed with small vertebrates on rare occasions notice healthier looking T's or longer lived T's? Does there seem to make a difference in behavior or activity depending on diets between crickets and roaches or someone who feeds just mealworms/superworms vs those who do roaches? Are there differences between species of roaches even that anyone has noticed?

This is looking strictly at the view point of nutrition, this isn't about morality or what is right or wrong or if vertebrates should or shouldn't be fed or if they pose a danger/risk. Or how crickets are of the devil for how nasty and damaging they can be if left with a molting T, or anything of that nature. This is strictly focused from the point of nutrition, so please keep the topic on that.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
11,551
I bookmarked a link someone provided me, but cannot locate, I have it somewhere. It's from a feeder company that lists out the composition of the most common feeders. I know from my reptile experience that crickets are the bottom of the barrel. Hence why we reptile keepers always gutload our crickets.
You are what you eat, and what your prey eats as well :D
 

lunarae

Arachnobaron
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
385
I bookmarked a link someone provided me, but cannot locate, I have it somewhere. It's from a feeder company that lists out the composition of the most common feeders. I know from my reptile experience that crickets are the bottom of the barrel. Hence why we reptile keepers always gutload our crickets.
You are what you eat, and what your prey eats as well :D
Yeah I have a link somewhere that goes into the nutritional value for reptiles as I looked into it for a friend when it came to trying to convince her to let her bearded dragon eat roaches instead of the occasional superworm for its nutrition. She was to grossed out by roaches to do it though. But from that it said roaches were the best. But I was wondering if giving a variety to Ts makes a difference or not, or of course if the occasional vertebrate made a difference. If anyone who may have it where once in a blue moon they fed vertebrates if their T's seem to have long life spans on average for them or not. Or if it effects coloration vibrancy for them or what not. Considering diet can have a large effect on other animals we keep as pets it would seem to go without saying it makes a difference with T's as well.

I mean has anyone noticed if they used to feed say just mealworms all the time to their T's and then bumped it up to roaches any type of increase in health, longevity, coloring, or behaviors? or does it seem utterly moot?
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
11,551
Yeah I have a link somewhere that goes into the nutritional value for reptiles as I looked into it for a friend when it came to trying to convince her to let her bearded dragon eat roaches instead of the occasional superworm for its nutrition. She was to grossed out by roaches to do it though. But from that it said roaches were the best. But I was wondering if giving a variety to Ts makes a difference or not, or of course if the occasional vertebrate made a difference. If anyone who may have it where once in a blue moon they fed vertebrates if their T's seem to have long life spans on average for them or not. Or if it effects coloration vibrancy for them or what not. Considering diet can have a large effect on other animals we keep as pets it would seem to go without saying it makes a difference with T's as well.

I mean has anyone noticed if they used to feed say just mealworms all the time to their T's and then bumped it up to roaches any type of increase in health, longevity, coloring, or behaviors? or does it seem utterly moot?
I have some of CB's N. incei. He feeds those slings a piece of mealworm (high fat), when I received them, and switched them to pinhead crickets (not high in anything) his were growing faster and larger. Now, his are also kept at 80 I believe so faster metabolism. Mine are kept at 75 day.
Mine are doing well, but don't molt as quickly as his. I have little doubt due to a high fat diet (temps aside).

I THINK @14pokies feeds his Ts the occasional gecko if I recall correctly. No issues there.
 

antinous

Pamphopharaoh
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
1,464
@viper69 Funny that you mention that, I've seen with mine that they grow faster being fed mealworms and super worms. It's really the main thing I feed now other than the occasional cricket. I haven't had any problems feeding mainly, or solely, worms so I don't have a reason to switch. Although super worms are kept on a bed of oatmeal and fish flakes (aside from being kept at 85+).
 

lunarae

Arachnobaron
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
385
Really? Mealworms sound like they equate a faster growth rate? That's pretty interesting, here I've been fighting tooth and nail to try and get mine to eat dubia nymphs thinking they'd do better and grow faster but your saying that they may do better with Mealworms. At least at a sling stage I'm assuming @viper69

So then what about a difference between superworm and mealworm? @Phormic28 do you notice a difference between the two? i had switched to breeding just mealworms because they are easier but I could probably pick up some supers and start them up again if there's actual benefit to them over mealworms. Especially if mealworms seem better for the sling stages.
 

antinous

Pamphopharaoh
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
1,464
Really? Mealworms sound like they equate a faster growth rate? That's pretty interesting, here I've been fighting tooth and nail to try and get mine to eat dubia nymphs thinking they'd do better and grow faster but your saying that they may do better with Mealworms. At least at a sling stage I'm assuming @viper69

So then what about a difference between superworm and mealworm? @Phormic28 do you notice a difference between the two? i had switched to breeding just mealworms because they are easier but I could probably pick up some supers and start them up again if there's actual benefit to them over mealworms. Especially if mealworms seem better for the sling stages.
I only fed my larger Ts Dubia a handful of times so I can't comment on growth rate there. Superworms are just easier to feed because you don't have to do much other than keep them in a container with a food substrate (oats, fishfood, dog food, etc.). For me, a college student, superworms are a bit better since they don't require any upkeep really.
 

lunarae

Arachnobaron
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
385
I only fed my larger Ts Dubia a handful of times so I can't comment on growth rate there. Superworms are just easier to feed because you don't have to do much other than keep them in a container with a food substrate (oats, fishfood, dog food, etc.). For me, a college student, superworms are a bit better since they don't require any upkeep really.
Wait are you talking actual superworms or mealworms? Because superworms you have to seperate in order for them to pupate and turn into beetles, where as mealworms you can just toss them into oatmeal and leave them. but superworms take a tiny bit more work. Still need the food substrate method but there's the seperating process added in there to get them to breed.
 

antinous

Pamphopharaoh
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
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1,464
Wait are you talking actual superworms or mealworms? Because superworms you have to seperate in order for them to pupate and turn into beetles, where as mealworms you can just toss them into oatmeal and leave them. but superworms take a tiny bit more work. Still need the food substrate method but there's the seperating process added in there to get them to breed.
I'm just talking about keeping them, not breeding them. I don't really have the time or space to have my own colony of adult beetles. I find it a bit easier just buying them in 25-50s and feeding them off slowly.
 

lunarae

Arachnobaron
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
385
Ah ok. *nods* Yeah on that level superworms are easier then cause they wont turn to beetles but stay larva so the food supply lasts longer. Though I have successfully fed my A. versicolor a few mealworm beetles in the past after it got to be big enough for them. But I went a time breeding superworms then let it go for how long it took to get them to do anything. Course I didn't have any supplemental heating at that time. Now I do so I may try it out again.
 

Tim Benzedrine

Prankster Possum
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Apr 4, 2004
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1,439
and thank you @Tim Benzedrine for the links to those charts.

My pleasure.

In regard to mealworms, they have to be the easiest things to raise there is. This batch was accidental. I had come across a container I had sort of forgotten about. All the worms had transformed into beetles and had since died. I was preparing to toss it all when I noticed tiny worms. A lot of them. So, I painstakingly separated them out into fresh medium and now I have a surplus... I'm considering letting most of THEM transform and lay eggs and see just how many i can produce with a third generation. :D
m_IMG_5782crop.jpg
 

lunarae

Arachnobaron
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
385
My pleasure.

In regard to mealworms, they have to be the easiest things to raise there is. This batch was accidental. I had come across a container I had sort of forgotten about. All the worms had transformed into beetles and had since died. I was preparing to toss it all when I noticed tiny worms. A lot of them. So, I painstakingly separated them out into fresh medium and now I have a surplus... I'm considering letting most of THEM transform and lay eggs and see just how many i can produce with a third generation. :D
View attachment 219064
haha. Yeah they are pretty hardy creatures. Did you know, that they have found that mealworms will eat Styrofoam? They can eat and process it and turn it into organic matter so that it actually breaks down without detrimental effects to the environment. Doesn't hurt the mealworms at all. They're still doing tests to see how it would effect the food chain though, other creatures eating mealworms that injested it and such but yeah. I thought that was pretty cool.
 

ratluvr76

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jul 12, 2014
Messages
741
haha. Yeah they are pretty hardy creatures. Did you know, that they have found that mealworms will eat Styrofoam? They can eat and process it and turn it into organic matter so that it actually breaks down without detrimental effects to the environment. Doesn't hurt the mealworms at all. They're still doing tests to see how it would effect the food chain though, other creatures eating mealworms that injested it and such but yeah. I thought that was pretty cool.
if that's true then that is way cool. Thx for sharing! :)
 

gottarantulas

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
226
I particularly noticed a difference in the growth of slings (e.g.: B.vagans, C.marshalli and L.difficilis) when regularly feeding them crickets vs red runners vs super worms. Super worms definitely got the nod.
 

Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
1,899
Except for a few other feeders (one or two here and there) I've mostly fed Dubia roaches. With the T room in the low 80s most days, I get regular molts and my slings are always plump.

It seems to me, there are a lot of factors that have to be considered before making the leap that one feeder is better then another. It's hard to compare Ts from two different keepers without seeing the whole picture of how they are kept. I could keep my slings a bit more moist and with 80F heat and plenty of food. They may out pace another keeper that feeds the same and has the same heat but not as much moisture. IMO without making the other values equal you'll never really know what effect the type of feeder made in the whole process.
 

Tim Benzedrine

Prankster Possum
Old Timer
Joined
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Lacking anything else I preferred to do, I counted the worms in the picture I posted above. Of course it won't be completely accurate, they aren't the easiest things to count, but the number I came to was 1,204. :D
 
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