The Journey Begins

dokpm0

Arachnopeon
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Fellow Tarantula Fans,

Based on advice in another thread I was leaning towards a G. pulchripes for my first T. I've only found two LPS that carry T's, PetCo and Critters Exotic Pets. The latter is a small independently owned place, and they're willing to special order T's they don't regularly stock. So, I stopped by to get a price. They hadn't ordered one before, so the clerk said the store owner would have to check on the price and get back to me. But, while I was there I discovered they had some new arrivals. I ended up bringing home a potential pet rock impersonator - a G. rosea. Well, at least I think that's what (s)he is. At first the clerk just referred to the four of them they'd got is as "Chileans." The way he pronounced it I didn't even realize at first he was referring to Chilean Roses.

I'm beginning to understand the preference for scientific names. And even as an absolute newbie LPS clerks are really starting to concern me. This was the first time I had met this clerk. He showed me their new arrivals, told me I could take them out if I wanted, then walked off and left me alone with them. He had no idea if I knew how to handle a T. Fortunately I had no trouble handling the one I ended up purchasing. I was careful to check his/her mood before getting too up close and personal. I know though generally docile various Grammostolas can be moody at times.

Like the other clerk I'd dealt with there, this clerk also tried to recommand a "pink toe" as a first T for me. He seemed bewildered when I said I wanted to stick with a terrestrial species for my first T. After choosing a G. rosea he recommended damp substrate for him/her, and recommended I try feeding her right after (s)he is rehoused. For G. rosea advice I think I'll reread Stanley Schultz's G. rosea husbandry page instead.

I'm already anticipating potato chip syndrome. If they can special order a G. pulchripes at a reasonable price adding a second T to my collection might not be too far off.
 

cold blood

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Do yourself a favor and embrace online purchases. By relying on local, you're not only paying the highest premium on price, but also severely limiting your available selection.

I don't like roseas for a starter, they're just too boring and have ridiculously low food requirements. On top of that, they fast randomly and for extreme lengths of time. 2-3 crickets a month are sufficient. Molt cycles are also crazy long, with adults going between 3 and 6 years between molts.

They also despise moisture, only keep them on dry substrate.

G. pulchripes are both plentiful and reasonably priced...not very difficult to locate at all.
 

Ghost56

Arachnobaron
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I agree with cold blood completely. Don't even bother with the lps as far as the G. pulchripes goes unless they give you a very reasonable price, which is highly unlikely. They're most likely going to charge an inflated price to begin with PLUS the shipping cost anyways. So definitely just order from the classifieds here, in this case, the T is going to have to endure shipping either way. So IMO there's absolutely no reason to not order online. Congrats on the hairy rock though. I enjoy roseas, pretty underrated as far as looks go, to me anyways.
 
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cold blood

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And from an LPS, your chances of the t being wild caught are high, much higher than with breeders that are captively breeding them.
 

Ghost56

Arachnobaron
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And from an LPS, your chances of the t being wild caught are high, much higher than with breeders that are captively breeding them.
Also most likely going to be a MM if it's an adult, lps's seem to have a very good reputation selling either half dead T's or ones close to their expiration date.
 

chanda

Arachnoking
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Online ordering is certainly a great way to go if you have a specific species in mind - especially if you are looking for a hard-to-find species - but the shipping costs are pretty high, especially if you are only purchasing a single spider. You might want to check the classifieds here and see if there are any breeders/dealers that are reasonably close to you, so you could pick up your spider locally and avoid the shipping costs. Also, if you are near any major cities, keep an eye out for Reptile or Pet Expos - you can generally find a veritable smorgasbord of tarantulas at these events, at much more reasonable prices than the LPS will charge you, and no shipping costs. Finally, you can check Craigslist - I've gotten many of my spiders there at very reasonable prices. (Of course, not every Craigslist spider is a bargain! Some are overpriced, plus it's been my experience that the majority of "unsexed" juvenile/subadult spiders have turned out to be male, for whatever that's worth.)

As for your G. rosea, I know there are some people who don't care for them - but I absolutely adore mine! She's consistently docile, allowing me to handle her for the occasional (just a few times a year) classroom demonstration. (Yes. (Shock! Horror!) I handle a very few of my spiders several times a year! Summon the angry mob and break out the torches and pitchforks! :rolleyes:) In all the years I've had her, she has never given me any threat poses and - as her well-upholstered backside can attest - she is not a hair kicker. She has also never gone on any prolonged fasts. While she is not quite as much of an eating machine as my A. geniculata or my T. stirmi, she's still one of my more aggressive feeders.

G. pulchripes is also a wonderful spider, if you decide to pursue your interest and track one down to add to your collection. Last spring I was on a mission to find an adult or sub-adult female G. pulchripes. It took me several months, but I finally tracked one down on Craigslist - along with a decent-sized sling - and it was well worth the effort!

Beware, though - the "potato chip syndrome" is no myth - especially if you visit any of those expos I mentioned! All those spiders. Beautiful new species you've never even heard of alongside the more familiar ones you've been drooling over for months, and any of them can be yours! It can be a dangerous place. ;)
 

dokpm0

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Do yourself a favor and embrace online purchases. By relying on local, you're not only paying the highest premium on price, but also severely limiting your available selection.
I'm a big fan of online shopping. For almost everything I buy, I check online first. Most things I buy online can be shipped inexpensively. Books and DVSs are media mail friendly, T's aren't. :) So far shipping from the online T sellers I've checked has ranged from $45 to $60. And, all seem to require a signature. No one is home at my place to sign for deliveries while I'm at work. With enough work I might be able to teach my Border Collie to sign for deliveries, but that might be a stretch even for him. I'll have to wait to see what kind of prices the LPS charges for special orders. I still might come out ahead buying locally when considering the cost plus shipping charges involved with online purchases.

don't like roseas for a starter, they're just too boring and have ridiculously low food requirements. On top of that, they fast randomly and for extreme lengths of time. 2-3 crickets a month are sufficient. Molt cycles are also crazy long, with adults going between 3 and 6 years between molts.
I knew all of the above before buying the G. rosea. I figured (s)he'd help me get my feet wet while I find a source for a "less boring" T to add to my collection.

I discovered after I got home with him/her that the clerk neglected to charge me for the HerpHaven he sold me. I ended up with the T, substrate, a hide, and an enclosure for about $30, less than shipping alone from an online source. Still, probably way overpriced for a G. rosea. But (s)he's a fairly decent size. I haven't managed to measure her DLS yet, but she can easily touch both edges of my palm with her legs stretched out, and I have large hands.
 

dokpm0

Arachnopeon
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You might want to check the classifieds here and see if there are any breeders/dealers that are reasonably close to you, so you could pick up your spider locally and avoid the shipping costs.
I've been checking them, but so far haven't found anyone close to me. I'll definitely keep watching them.
Also, if you are near any major cities, keep an eye out for Reptile or Pet Expos - you can generally find a veritable smorgasbord of tarantulas at these events, at much more reasonable prices than the LPS will charge you, and no shipping costs.
The closest major cities to me are Dallas and Austin. I'm right about midway between them. Each is about 90 miles away from me.
Finally, you can check Craigslist - I've gotten many of my spiders there at very reasonable prices.
Another good idea I'll keep in mind. Thanks for all the suggestions!!
 

Ungoliant

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Beware, though - the "potato chip syndrome" is no myth - especially if you visit any of those expos I mentioned! All those spiders. Beautiful new species you've never even heard of alongside the more familiar ones you've been drooling over for months, and any of them can be yours! It can be a dangerous place. ;)
I never seem to make it out of Repticon without a new tarantula.
 

chanda

Arachnoking
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The closest major cities to me are Dallas and Austin. I'm right about midway between them. Each is about 90 miles away from me.

Another good idea I'll keep in mind. Thanks for all the suggestions!!
90 miles? That's nothing! I've driven further than that (one way) to pick up a Craigslist spider, to attend a reptile expo, to take my kids to the zoo or beach - heck, in college I used to drive that far just to go to the movies! (Rocky Horror Picture Show, every weekend)

There will be a Repticon in Dallas on August 19-20: http://repticon.com/texas/dallas/

There's also the NARBC Conference in Arlington (which I believe is near Dallas?) on February 18-19: http://narbc.com/Arlington/show_info_narbc_arlington.html
(I'm not sure how many vendors at that one will have tarantulas, but it might be worth looking into. The vendor list is available on the website. You could check out a few of the vendors and see if they'll be bringing spiders or if that one is strictly reptiles.)

There's also the Lone Star Reptile Expo in Arlington on March 18-19: http://www.lonestarreptileexpos.com/

Vendor lists for events are generally available on the website. While these events are mainly reptile-oriented, you can look up the vendors and see if there are any that deal in inverts in addition to their reptiles. I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the Texas vendors so I don't know who sells what.
 
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chanda

Arachnoking
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I never seem to make it out of Repticon without a new tarantula.
I actually did, this past weekend - but only barely! (And I've been mentally kicking myself ever since, for not picking up a beautiful sub-adult Cyriocosmus perezmilesi when I had the chance!)

Come to think of it, I didn't pick up any new tarantulas at the last show I went to before that, either - but I did bring home a couple of new scorpions from that one.
 

Rittdk01

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I like my two Rosies a lot! Which is why I suggested one in the previous post ;) order off of this site when it warms up a bit to get anything but a Rosie or pinktoe, which is all your LPS will have
 

dokpm0

Arachnopeon
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Beware, though - the "potato chip syndrome" is no myth
I know potato chip syndrome all too well. I tend to get carried away with various hobbies, collecting things, and collecting animals. I love animals in general, especially dogs, and wolves. Once upon a time I had thirteen dogs. About the same time I had four aquariums, totalling 290 gallons. Now I'm down to four dogs, and no aquariums. When we were together my ex-fiancée started insisting on adding parrot fish, which I hate, to all the aquariums. So when we split up I was happy to leave all the aquariums with her.

Tarantulas could be the beginning of a dangerous path. I've been curious about them off and on over the years, and about bearded dragons. Did y'all have to suggest looking for T's at reptile expos? Well, I guess I'm in trouble even without reptile expos. At the store I got the G. rosea from their tarantulas are in their reptile section, right above a bearded dragon. And they have many interesting mammals too. I might need to start searching for a critters anonymous group in my area. :)
 

dokpm0

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I don't know if my new T is a he or a she, but for now I'll refer to her as her to avoid awkward (s)he, him/her, his/her constructs. People referring to living creatures as "it" as if they were inanimate objects drives me crazy, so I won't do that.

She seems to be acting like a typical rehoused T so far. I put her in her new enclosure right in front of her hide and she went right in. I haven't seen her come out of her hide yet, though her posterior is half way out of it at the moment. So I suspect she did some exploring and went half way back in.

She's in a 10" diameter round HerpHaven enclosure with Eco Earth substrate, a half log hide, and water dish. Eco Earth is a bit of a pain to deal with, especially if one only needs to use part of a brick. I'll probably switch to top soil for future T's if I can find some that I'm sure doesn't have any unwanted additives.

I'm still trying to decide on the best location for her enclosure. The most convenient location would be in my "computer room." That's where she is at the moment. It's the closest room to the central A/C/heat unit, so it's the warmest room in the house in the winter. And it's the one room in the house that my dogs never have access to. But, when I'm home I tend to go in and out frequently checking e-mail and such, so there's a lot of artificial light activity in the room. It's actually a small bedroom with a surprisingly large closet. The only window in the room is covered with cardboard with a few gaps that allows just a little sunlight into the room. With a little work I could clean out and set up an area in the closet for T's. If I leave the closet door open when I'm not in the room and close it before turning on artificial lights she should get enough light to distinguish day from night, and stay warm enough in the winter.

The only other possability would be the "store room." It should be the master bedroom. But, it's on the opposite end of the house from the central A/C/heat unit. It's too warm for me to sleep in most of the year, and colder than the rest of the house in the winter.
 

cold blood

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I don't know if my new T is a he or a she, but for now I'll refer to her as her to avoid awkward (s)he, him/her, his/her constructs. People referring to living creatures as "it" as if they were inanimate objects drives me crazy, so I won't do that.

She seems to be acting like a typical rehoused T so far. I put her in her new enclosure right in front of her hide and she went right in. I haven't seen her come out of her hide yet, though her posterior is half way out of it at the moment. So I suspect she did some exploring and went half way back in.

She's in a 10" diameter round HerpHaven enclosure with Eco Earth substrate, a half log hide, and water dish. Eco Earth is a bit of a pain to deal with, especially if one only needs to use part of a brick. I'll probably switch to top soil for future T's if I can find some that I'm sure doesn't have any unwanted additives.

I'm still trying to decide on the best location for her enclosure. The most convenient location would be in my "computer room." That's where she is at the moment. It's the closest room to the central A/C/heat unit, so it's the warmest room in the house in the winter. And it's the one room in the house that my dogs never have access to. But, when I'm home I tend to go in and out frequently checking e-mail and such, so there's a lot of artificial light activity in the room. It's actually a small bedroom with a surprisingly large closet. The only window in the room is covered with cardboard with a few gaps that allows just a little sunlight into the room. With a little work I could clean out and set up an area in the closet for T's. If I leave the closet door open when I'm not in the room and close it before turning on artificial lights she should get enough light to distinguish day from night, and stay warm enough in the winter.

The only other possability would be the "store room." It should be the master bedroom. But, it's on the opposite end of the house from the central A/C/heat unit. It's too warm for me to sleep in most of the year, and colder than the rest of the house in the winter.
Warmest place would be ideal. No need to worry about light though, they don't require it. Less light just means they hide less often. I keep my room pretty much dark or at twilight all the time.

Topsoil is great, its one drawback is that its density makes for heavy enclosures, which only matters really if you are stacking many. The one I use is from Home Depot, its called Earthgro. Resized952016110895202632.jpg

As for the dogs, theyre not generally like cats as long as you have a good dog(s). My dog likes to lay be the heater while I am working in the winter, its no bother if you have control of your dog...seeing your experience with dogs, I suspect it wouldn't be an issue long term. My dog is far more interested in the noisy, scurrying roaches...zero interest in the spiders.

I have this problem too.

@cold blood Every time you post that picture it makes me want to snag one of your G. pulchripes lol.
Pretty sure they're all spoken for. I'm only keeping 10 for myself:)
 

dokpm0

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No need to worry about light though, they don't require it. Less light just means they hide less often. I keep my room pretty much dark or at twilight all the time.
I was more concerned with the light in the computer room being turned on/off a lot when I'm home.
The one I use is from Home Depot, its called Earthgro.
I'll look for that. I work right next door to a Home Depot.
As for the dogs, theyre not generally like cats as long as you have a good dog(s).
Generally they're good dogs. They know the kitchen counters are off limits, for example. More than once I've left an opened bag of dog treats on the edge of the counter without realizing it and they never touched it. It's my Border Collie I'd be worried about. They take their jobs seriously, even the jobs they've found for themselves. One of the jobs he's found for himself is protecting house and property from "unwanted pests." But his idea of unwanted pests and my idea of unwanted pests may differ. He started ripping skirting off from around the house so he could get under the house to do his job. When I kept thwarting his efforts to get under the house he tried to go through a wall to get under there. I eventually gave in and left some of the skirting off to save the rest of the house. On the plus side since then he's been keeping mice, etc., in check and I know of at least one possum and one cat he's killed.
 

Chris LXXIX

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Tarantulas could be the beginning of a dangerous path.
u_u indeed, man.

One day you will end with a beauty WC Scolopendra subspinipes: I've tried to feed her just before a male B.dubia (with one of my cats near, btw) to mine... she was like "no, thanks" and me again, trying and she "no, thanks" until she disappeared into the substrate :kiss:
 

cold blood

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I was more concerned with the light in the computer room being turned on/off a lot when I'm home.

I'll look for that. I work right next door to a Home Depot.

Generally they're good dogs. They know the kitchen counters are off limits, for example. More than once I've left an opened bag of dog treats on the edge of the counter without realizing it and they never touched it. It's my Border Collie I'd be worried about. They take their jobs seriously, even the jobs they've found for themselves. One of the jobs he's found for himself is protecting house and property from "unwanted pests." But his idea of unwanted pests and my idea of unwanted pests may differ. He started ripping skirting off from around the house so he could get under the house to do his job. When I kept thwarting his efforts to get under the house he tried to go through a wall to get under there. I eventually gave in and left some of the skirting off to save the rest of the house. On the plus side since then he's been keeping mice, etc., in check and I know of at least one possum and one cat he's killed.
Yeah, some dogs just require jobs and get bored if not stimulated enough. Border collies can be obsessive about it, too.:rofl: Mine's got crazy energy. You just need to find a different job for him;)
 
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