Theraphosa care and info

StampFan

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
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685
The Hancock and Hancock book suggests that you can keep a T. blondi in an 18 X 12 enclosure (45cm X 30cm). So you can appreciate the confusion that people have....
 

SecDet24

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
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3
We have had so many threads lately on Theraphosa, and I find myself repeating the same thing time and time again. This thread will cover most of the common questions, hopefully it should be useful to some of the newer keepers, and may even save a few spiders from neglect. I'll start by going over the basics.

Care and husbandry:

Theraphosa were famously labelled as "swamp dwellers" in the tarantula keepers guide. This is quite misleading, and inadvertently lead to many common husbandry errors, as well as people obsessing over humidity numbers they do not require. They need moist sub, good ventilation and it's that simple. They aren't anymore difficult to keep, so long as you know what your doing.

Once you setup the spider properly your already pretty much in the clear. I prefer using sterilite/rubbermaid tubs for large Theraphosa. When you use glass aquariums, the ventilation ratio is almost always off. You either have too much, or not enough, both of which can be detrimental to your spider long term.

Setup:

For your custom enclosure. Start by drilling plenty of ventilation holes on the sides of the tub. I usually do three rows on each end. Give the spider plenty of substrate depth, and provide a partially buried hide, as they will take to burrowing...especially younger specimens. Larger individuals may abandon their hides/burrows as they grow, but they should still always have the option.

Maintenance:

Since these spiders consume so much food, you will have far more waste to clean up after. Spot cleaning is very important, as well as regularly providing the spider with clean drinking water. My specimens foul their water bowls after almost every meal, so stay on top of it or you will come back to something nasty one day.

Also, you will need to keep the substrate moist as it dries out. Poor water directly into the sub, and avoid misting...ineffective and will just send hairs airborne. Speaking of hairs, theraphosa have the worst urticating setae in the hobby. Hands off, always use tongs and be vigilant when doing maintenance...they tend to be rather voracious and are definitely prone to mistaking you for food.

Growth rates:

These are the fastest growing spiders you can get your hands on if kept right and fed often. I always emphasize on feeding theraphosa more then you would almost any other genus. It all goes towards growth. Obviously slow down on feeding with adults, but young growing spiders need as much as they can get. I had my female T.stirmi go from 1.5" to roughly 8" in less then two years time. My smaller unsexed specimen is too young to gauge as of now.

Size:

Theraphosa are the largest spiders in the hobby, commonly exceeding 9" in legspan. It was said that T.blondi is the largest of the genus, but truth is that T.stirmi get just as large if not larger. T.apophysis have the more slender build, and tend to be more leggy then the aforementioned species. All are stunning in their own right.

Identification:
Let's start with spiderlings.
T.stirmi will have four pink/white tarsi on the four front legs.
T.blondi will have no pink/white tarsi on any legs.
T.apophysis will have pink/white tarsi on all eight legs.

As adults or sub-adults, T.blondi is best distinguished by the heavy presence of setae on the pattella. Whereas it is absent with stirmi. T.apophysis doesn't really look like the other two species, so they are rarely ever confused. They also happen to be the only species within the genus that possess tibial hooks(mature males).

I think I covered most of it. Feel free to contribute to this thread. Pictures of any species within the genus are more then welcome.
thanks for this great info, i'll keep it till one day i buy t. stirmi
 

StampFan

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
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685
Any comments from anyone about life expectancy for these Ts? I see a lot of old threads debating. Anybody have data on the oldest recorded or oldest in a current collection?
 

Juniorispissed

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 9, 2017
Messages
3
If possible, can someone show t. Blondi vs. t. Stir i side by side and show what to watch for in regards to telling them apart. Both are high on my list, but want to make sure I get what I'm after/pay for what I'm getting.
 

Jonroe

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
35
Anything on the larger side will do. Not too long, good width and enough depth to pack in at least 5-6" of sub. You have to look around when your shopping, some of the tubs are much clearer then others. Choose wisely.

Not the best option for your Theraphosa sling, the sub will dry out very fast in that enclosure. Find yourself an appropriately sized sterilite container and drill some ventilation holes on the sides. Pretty sure I went over this in the OP. The top wont allow moisture to escape as quickly, and you still have excellent ventilation.
No, the substrate doesn't dry out very quick. Can't confirm that from my experience of using them.
That being said, I rewater every enclosure weekly since I have the time and not too much animals too care for.

Never had any issues with mositure retention. :)

€: I should mention Im from Germany, we don't have much dry air where Im from. Maybe thats important to note.
I really can't say the substrate dries up fast at all, trying to figure out why.
I get what your saying thou.
 
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Nightstalker47

Arachnoking
Joined
Jul 2, 2016
Messages
2,554
Any comments from anyone about life expectancy for these Ts? I see a lot of old threads debating. Anybody have data on the oldest recorded or oldest in a current collection?
Anywhwere from 10-20 years would be expected for females living in captivity. Some claim they can live 25+ years. Males are obviously much shorter lived.
 

Venom1080

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
4,499
Heres my boy. Close to 8". Trading him off in a couple weeks. Forgot you had girls Nightstalker47, would have asked you first.
IMG_20180705_192715_362.jpg
Frog meal. IMG_20180508_164123_365.jpg
Worm feeding.
IMG_20180503_200619_581.jpg
:kiss: gonna miss him.

Theraphosa stirmi
 

Nightstalker47

Arachnoking
Joined
Jul 2, 2016
Messages
2,554
Heres my boy. Close to 8". Trading him off in a couple weeks. Forgot you had girls Nightstalker47, would have asked you first.
View attachment 282066
Frog meal. View attachment 282067
Worm feeding.
View attachment 282068
:kiss: gonna miss him.

Theraphosa stirmi
Damn man you should have! All good though. Nice looking male....where are you sending him, anyone I know? Just in case my plan falls through.

These guys usually survive breeding if someones watching nearby, MMs of this genus aren't exactly pushovers.
 

Venom1080

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
4,499
Damn man you should have! All good though. Nice looking male....where are you sending him, anyone I know? Just in case my plan falls through.

These guys usually survive breeding if someones watching nearby, MMs of this genus aren't exactly pushovers.
Ryan Mack. Owner of tangledinwebs.

For sure. But he probably has a lot in plan for him.

Would have traded him for that female schioedtei of yours.
 
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