"The Tarantula Keeper's Guide" by Schultz's

Zahnster

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To quote another thread:
"The Tarantula Keeper's Guide" by Stanley A. Schultz and Marguerite J. Schultz is the "Tarantula Bible". It has the most in-depth, detailed information of any book on the subject I've ever read.
How much do people really follow this bible? I recently got this book and I'm about halfway through it and I've found a few suggestions on tarantula keeping that don't seem to go along with what I've read about here and seen other places online and in other books. Particularly:

- Shultz doesn't like to give his Turantulas burrows, he discusses them a bit in the book, but seems to neglate the apparent needs of obligate burrowers.

- Shultz seems to say that you probably don't need a heating source unless your home doesn't maintain a normal average tempature or gets too cold at night. But I've seen alot of references to heat pads in use(1/3 of tank).
 

Code Monkey

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First, some links you should have:

Addenda and Errata for the TKG
The Expanded Index for the TKG

First, the no extra heating bit is correct. Anyone who heats their Ts above 70-72F is either wasting their money and time or deliberately trying to induce faster growth. No good reason other than inducing faster growth (and possibly shorter life spans) to keep Ts at elevated temps. I've been keeping new world Ts for about twenty years, I've never kept them at anything other than room temp.

I'm not sure what you're talking about with the burrow bit, but other than a handful of truly obligate burrowers (e.g. Haplopelma), almost any T will do fine on shallower substrate with a decent hide.

One of the things you will find if you do enough reading is that many of the old hats at this hobby don't do much at all in terms of babying their Ts, it's the people who are new who spend their time carefully regulating moisture, humidity, ambient temperature, etc.

If you really want to read some "shocking" stuff, you should subscribe or look through the ATS_enthusiast and Arachnid_world lists on the yahoo.groups (Stan regularly posts to these, btw). There you will find such things as long term keepers who raise their T. blondis in dry tanks.

The reason why the TKG and Marshall's Tarantulas and other Arachnids are so good is they do avoid alot of the pointless fluff you see from online sources.

Another great example: Even on this great site, you see a temp of 75-80 and humidity of 60-70% recommended for B. smithi on the care sheet. Rick West recently posted a in-burrow sample of the summer time conditions in a B. smithi burrow in the wild: 71F, 34% RH. They just don't need the excessive coddling many keepers promote.
 

gphx

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I have a thousand or so tarantulas.
Two of them have burrows.
Many have egg sacs.
The results speak for themselves.
There is a space heater in the main tarantula room but only because we like to run the air conditioning nice and low in the other areas for our own comfort, and because egg sacs are especially vulnerable to even moderately low temperatures.
In the wintertime indoor temperatures often reach into the low 60's with no ill effects observed.

Observation is key. Like myself, Stan has a lot of practical, first hand experience actually trying things and observing the results. My own observations agree with the points you quoted.

Cheers.
 

Steve Nunn

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gphx said:
I have a thousand or so tarantulas.
Two of them have burrows.
Many have egg sacs.
The results speak for themselves.
Hi Darrin,
I have kept many old world Asian T's (as you know) for nearly thirteen years now and I'd have to say that about 80 to 90% burrow. If I don't give enough substrate to burrow the T's can become stressed and develop bald abdomens, all the while attempting to burrow in the corner of the enclosure. Regardless of whether or not I provide a 'hide'.

How many old worlders do you keep??? And have you seen an old world T with a bald abdomen??

Sorry mate, I can't agree with you or Stan on this one ;)

Thanks,
Steve
 

gphx

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Hello Steve,

You make a good point. Personally I don't keep a lot of Old World species anymore because for some reason I simply didn't enjoy them as much. I used to keep an extensive working collection. Our collection now is more modest in scope. What you say is true with an exception noted by an earlier poster, that lack of a burrow does not imply lack of a suitable hide. Old Worlders kept in a bare bones arrangement quite often do experience stress and exhibit bald abdomens but those who web up a hide, in our experience, rarely do, all other things being equal. It appears that on a practical basis many tarantulas consider a hide and a burrow to be much the same even if they are quite obviously different in appearance to us. In our experience genera such as Pterinochilus, Haplopelma, Ceratogyrus, etc. etc. don't seem to care whether their 'burrow' is vertical or sideways, meaning a hide.

I'd be interested to know if your experience is different with the distinction that a hide is not excluded by definition.

Cheers.
 

Lopez

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Going to sort of agree with both of you, being Mr Compromise as usual ;)

Steve, I've received bald-abdomened OW spiders that were not allowed to burrow. Given a shedload of dirt and a hole they are far more happy and stop losing setae.
If I don't give my OW spiders burrows, they just lose the plot and huddle in a corner. One notable exception is P.murinus which tends to make it's own arrangements.

Where I will agree with Darrin is on the orientation of the burrow - I've tried Haplopelma in both deep tanks and normal tanks and the orientation (horizontal, verical, diagonal) really doesn't seem to make much difference, as long as they have somewhere to hide.

I can't really comment on NW spiders as I don't keep many, Ephebopus being the notable exception, and again, mine like deep burrows.
 

Anansi

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I don't offer my T's a hide or enough substrate to burrow...However, I do keep them in a dark closet free of external stimuli and they seem to do great...I've always kept them at room temperature and have only lost 1 T (due to unknown causes) over the course of about 6 years and 70 T's...I remind myself that they live in much harsher/ unpredictable circumstances in the wild and they've been around this long so maybe they are not as fragile as people make them out to be (well most of them anyways)...
 

Steve Nunn

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gphx said:
Hello Steve,

I'd be interested to know if your experience is different with the distinction that a hide is not excluded by definition.
Hi Darrin and Leon,
I recant!! Yes, I should say that nine times out of ten a hide may well do, but I still have a great deal of T's that will not. When I do provide lots of substrate, it will get used, that's enough for me to give them heaps every time.
 

Peloquin

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I use external heating , not to speed up the growth rate but to stop my spiders and scorpions getting too cold.Fair enough, some can handle the temperatures but a lot of the stuff from ,say, Africa just can't tolerate the British weather.
It's fine having stuff at room temp. when you live somewhere warm but it gets bloody cold here in Winter.
It would cost a lot more to heat the house with central heating to the spiders required temp. than to bung a heat mat on.
 

Nevans

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I have about 6 T's in my collection now, and read alot about making sure your T's are kept around their reletive temp in the wild. Question> I purchased a small room heater to keep the temp at a constant temp around 77 degrees. I have noticed quite a jump in the cost of my heating bill throughout the winter months, but I also keep my house at around 72 degrees anyway. So, do you expert keepers think this is really a waste of money? And would it be fine if I turned the heater off and kept my T's at room temp?

T's in my care:
A.genic 6" (female)
A.genic sling 3"+ (Unsexed)
P.ornata 5" (female)
H.ederi 5" (not sure of sex yet)
PZB 3"+ (unsexed)
and just purchased an adult Female T.blondi yesterday. Will arrive on saturday. I'm Stoked! :)
 

usumbaraboy

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hey iv read that book and its not bad and iv talked to shultz in person and he said he used to have almost 1300 tarantulas at one point but now all hes got is smittie and emilias. but still i think that book is preaty good
 

Code Monkey

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Nevans said:
I have about 6 T's in my collection now, and read alot about making sure your T's are kept around their reletive temp in the wild.
Not around here you didn't read a lot about that ;)


So, do you expert keepers think this is really a waste of money? And would it be fine if I turned the heater off and kept my T's at room temp?
72F is FINE. I've been keeping Ts at room temp for two decades.

EDIT: Did you even read this thread before replying to it? Or were the many decades of combined experience represented by the people who already responded just not enough assurance that you needed it said specifically in regards to *your* Ts?
 
Last edited:

Ultimate Instar

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I do tend to provide extra heat to my Ts, even though, as Code pointed out, it isn't really necessary. Most of my collection consists of slings and I would like them to grow up more quickly. Perhaps that is a bit selfish since that will shorten their lifespans to a small degree, although carving one year off the life of a female B. boehmi isn't very significant, IMO. It may be more of an issue for short-lived males.

Karen N.
 
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