Theraphosa Stirmi Care

ShyTeddyBear98

Arachnosquire
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Sep 22, 2016
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71
Got a juvenile stirmi a few weeks ago. She's (confirmed female) about 3" and my main concern is her conditioning. I keep her in a 15l storage box (38cm x 28cm) and the humidity is constantly 90-91% (Is that too much?) I haven't sprayed her enclosure at all, but make sure her water dish is always full. The ventilation is my main worry. I have at least 30 holes in the lid and now wish I had put some at the side, since it's always condensated. She eats two red-runners a week and I'm worried that maybe it isn't enough? Anyway, if anyone can provide some feedback as to how they keep their young stirmis, it'll greatly be appreciated.
 

Moakmeister

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Oct 6, 2016
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661
How to measure humidity with a hydrometer:
Step 1) Throw the hydrometer in the trash
Step 2) Don't worry about the humidity because all that matters is the amount of water in the substrate.
An ideal amount of moisture should be that if you grab a handful and squeeze it, no water should come out, but it should still feel like wet dirt. To hydrate the substrate, overflow the water dish and kinda pour some water all over the place. I would add some sphagnum moss to the substrate because sphagnum moss stays wet for days. Springtails should be added to eat any mold that might grow in the wet enclosure. Yes the airholes should be on the sides because it creates better circulation, plus you can stack enclosures without blocking the airholes. Also, two redrunners per week is plenty.
 

Venom1080

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Perhaps you should have done some research first.
Even in garbage online articles, 90% is really high. Just let it dry out a bit so there's no condensation on the sides. Get rid of the hygrometer. Useless and often lead beginners astray.
2 a week is plenty.
Post a pic of the spider and cage.
 

BishopiMaster

Arachnobaron
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Jul 12, 2007
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Nobody knows what 90% humidity is since nobody uses humidity gauges, and those that do are not using instrument grade gauges, furthermore, there is an assumption that cannot be made of the instrumentation used to study humidity requirements, if such a study exists. Thus, no one has any idea about what humidity percentage represents conditions in the tank.
 

ShyTeddyBear98

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Sep 22, 2016
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Perhaps you should have done some research first.
Even in garbage online articles, 90% is really high. Just let it dry out a bit so there's no condensation on the sides. Get rid of the hygrometer. Useless and often lead beginners astray.
2 a week is plenty.
Post a pic of the spider and cage.
I did thoroughly research before buying. But no research is ever concluded, because of how different certain circumstances can be. Anyway, here's her current setup. There are springtails in there too.
 

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cold blood

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I did thoroughly research before buying. But no research is ever concluded, because of how different certain circumstances can be. Anyway, here's her current setup. There are springtails in there too.
See, thats the single biggest problem i have with the "just do your research" crowd. One can do weeks or months of seemingly dedicated tarantula research and never in all that time and effort come across accurrate info.

Yep, you clearly did research...but you also clearly researched in some of those wrong places.

These require damp, but not wet sub and a water dish...yours looks a little too damp to be honest, but on the right track.

But measuring humidity numbers is causing that addition of too much moisture. Condensation is a very bad sign...my suggestion would be to increase your ventilation and simply pay attention to the sub....when it starts to dry out, add water.

They also have ridicolous appetites as a result of the large growth spurts....id feed it a little more.

Good luck...this is the place to research...@poec54 has a lot of excellent advice on raising Theraposa sp., id look for some of that info.
 
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14pokies

Arachnoprince
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Oct 25, 2014
Messages
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The big killer of T.stirmi from what I have been told is a lack of ventilation.. If there is condensation on the side you need to increase the air flow a little..

I recently started keeping this species and so far they are pretty easy.. I give them plenty of space a big water dish and a alot of really damp substrate.. I noticed on my last feeding of my female that her enclosure was a little moldy.. Sometimes this happens with fresh coco fiber and then goes away in a week or so.. I'm going to check on her tomorrow.. If there is still some mold I will increase ventilation..

Red runners are relatively small and this species have big appetites! As long as her abdomen looks nice and plump you should be good If it's small feed her more..

Don't chase numbers temp wise or in terms of humidity.. With this species and many others mid 70s to low 80s are acceptable.Keep the soil moist and set the enclosure up so that over the course of 7-10 days it would dry completely.. Don't let it dry completely though.. What I mean is that if it never drys or takes weeks to dry it's too stuffy and your going to get mold and mites. If it drys in a week and half or so without adding water you have your ventilation dialed in pretty good..
 
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14pokies

Arachnoprince
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See, thats the single biggest problem i have with the "just do your research" crowd. One can do weeks or months of seemingly dedicated tarantula research and never in all that time and effort come across accurrate info.

Yep, you clearly did research...but you also clearly researched in some of those wrong places.

These require damp, but not wet sub and a water dish...yours looks a little too damp to be honest, but on the right track.

But measuring humidity numbers is causing that addition of too much moisture. Condensation is a very bad sign...my suggestion would be to increase your ventilation and simply pay attention to the sub....when it starts to dry out, add water.

They also have ridicolous appetites as a result of the large growth spurts....id feed it a little more.

Good luck...this is the place to research...@poec54 has a lot of excellent advice on raising Theraposa sp., id look for some of that info.
I like how we both gave basically the same advice just different wording.. This is the kind of stuff new keepers should look for when trying to discern fact from crap.. Yet another reason why sites like this are invaluable and care sheets are worthless...
 

BishopiMaster

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
358
See, thats the single biggest problem i have with the "just do your research" crowd. One can do weeks or months of seemingly dedicated tarantula research and never in all that time and effort come across accurrate info.

Yep, you clearly did research...but you also clearly researched in some of those wrong places.

These require damp, but not wet sub and a water dish...yours looks a little too damp to be honest, but on the right track.

But measuring humidity numbers is causing that addition of too much moisture. Condensation is a very bad sign...my suggestion would be to increase your ventilation and simply pay attention to the sub....when it starts to dry out, add water.

They also have ridicolous appetites as a result of the large growth spurts....id feed it a little more.

Good luck...this is the place to research...@poec54 has a lot of excellent advice on raising Theraposa sp., id look for some of that info.
but, its like anything else, you just do your research and you are an instant expert, its like anything else!
 

BishopiMaster

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
358
The big killer of T.stirmi from what I have been told is a lack of ventilation.. If there is condensation on the side you need to increase the air flow a little..

I recently started keeping this species and so far they are pretty easy.. I give them plenty of space a big water dish and a alot of really damp substrate.. I noticed on my last feeding of my female that her enclosure was a little moldy.. Sometimes this happens with fresh coco fiber and then goes away in a week or so.. I'm going to check on her tomorrow.. If there is still some mold I will increase ventilation..

Red runners are relatively small and this species have big appetites! As long as her abdomen looks nice and plump you should be good If it's small feed her more..

Don't chase numbers temp wise or in terms of humidity.. With this species and many others mid 70s to low 80s are acceptable.Keep the soil moist and set the enclosure up so that over the course of 7-10 days it would dry completely.. Don't let it dry completely though.. What I mean is that if it never drys or takes weeks to dry it's too stuffy and your going to get mold and mites. If it drys in a week and half or so without adding water you have your ventilation dialed in pretty good..
There is nothing about cocofiber that inherently causes it to mold, the real evil is peat.
 

TarantulaArvind

Arachnopeon
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Jul 10, 2016
Messages
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There is nothing about cocofiber that inherently causes it to mold, the real evil is peat.
Theraposa don't like it dry.. They prefer it be wet comparatively .. But having condensation on the sides is a sure indicator that - 1)the holes are not enough =lack of sufficient ventilation.
Add holes to the sides. Proper cross ventilation itself goes a long way in keeping a constant microclimate within the cage..
2) too much water added to substrate.
As somebody already earlier pointed out, throw away the hydrometer. They're notorious for being inaccurate. Besides, it'll will make you overcompensate by adding more water until you reach your desired value. Have a good sized water dish filled with water.
 
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cold blood

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the real evil is peat.
Recently I actually tried to get peat to mold after a conversation about this...I couldn't intentionally get anything to grow on it...I could get things to mold on it, but it never effected the peat. My understanding is that its natural acidity is a mold inhibitor.
 

BishopiMaster

Arachnobaron
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Messages
358
Theraposa don't like it dry.. They prefer it be wet comparatively .. But having condensation on the sides is a sure indicator that - 1)the holes are not enough =lack of sufficient ventilation.
Add holes to the sides. Proper cross ventilation itself goes a long way in keeping a constant microclimate within the cage (there can never be too much holes) .
2) too much water added to substrate.
As somebody already earlier pointed out, throw away the hydrometer. They're notorious for being inaccurate. Besides, it'll will make you overcompensate by adding more water until you reach your desired value. Have a good sized water dish filled with water.
Ok, I'm going to provide an opposing example for this on the condensation simply because I've experienced it. I had serious problems with condensation in one of my centipede enclosures, what was creating it was the temp differential created in the cage that was different from the ambient air in the room, the only way to ward off this condensation was to create cross ventilation basically from substrate height to the top of the enclosure, , this is keeping in mind watering the enclosure very slightly once a week to a week and a half, so its not a case of muddying the enclosure.
 

BishopiMaster

Arachnobaron
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Messages
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Recently I actually tried to get peat to mold after a conversation about this...I couldn't intentionally get anything to grow on it...I could get things to mold on it, but it never effected the peat. My understanding is that its natural acidity is a mold inhibitor.
Put cocofiber and peat in a sealed jar with no ventilation and see which one molds first, of course with some amount of water.
 

14pokies

Arachnoprince
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There is nothing about cocofiber that inherently causes it to mold, the real evil is peat.
I recently started to switch over to peat actually. I love sphagnum for it's acidic qualitys and have been singing it's praises for years.. I bought a bail of canadian sphagnum peat after hearing so many swear by it.. I have it in a few high humidity enclosures and haven't had a problem yet. I will try putting some in a sealed deli container along with a container of coco fiber and see what happens.. If it's basically just mulched sphagnum like the bag suggests I doubt I will get much mold.. Won't know till I try. Lol..
 

TarantulaArvind

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Ok, I'm going to provide an opposing example for this on the condensation simply because I've experienced it. I had serious problems with condensation in one of my centipede enclosures, what was creating it was the temp differential created in the cage that was different from the ambient air in the room, the only way to ward off this condensation was to create cross ventilation basically from substrate height to the top of the enclosure, , this is keeping in mind watering the enclosure very slightly once a week to a week and a half, so its not a case of muddying the enclosure.
Sorry it's my mistake couldn't convey what I intended properly. English isn't my first language..
I meant to say there should be a lot of holes for cross ventilation(not the opposite that i implied in that post)...
And u too basically said the same thing.. Holes from substrate height up until the top.. I'll edit it...
 

BishopiMaster

Arachnobaron
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Sorry it's my mistake couldn't convey what I intended properly. English isn't my first language..
I meant to say there should be a lot of holes for cross ventilation(not the opposite that i implied in that post)...
And u too basically said the same thing.. Holes from substrate height up until the top.. I'll edit it...
No, it's not the same thing, what you said was fine, I'm just saying that there are different causes for condensation other than lack of ventilation in a vacuum, as in, situations can result from scenarios such as a heat differential.
 

TarantulaArvind

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No, it's not the same thing, what you said was fine, I'm just saying that there are different causes for condensation other than lack of ventilation in a vacuum, as in, situations can result from scenarios such as a heat differential.
Oh ok.. Now I understand..
See the thing as, when there's a near closed system in interaction with the environment, a microclimate will emerge within that system (for lack of better words, I'd say it's because of the pressure caused by the rate of cross flow of air current within that system which is indirectly affected by by no. Of holes, size of holes etc). This microclimate tries to get into dynamic equilibrium with the outside climate. But that doesn't happen..

It results in rise of temperature (temperature differential between the two) and consequently more condensation.

To negate this, ppl advise to give more holes for ventilation. More holes, less chances for difference in the outside n interior climate(and by extension, heat differential). But the downside is that, we need to more frequently keep adding water to maintain our desired dryness/wetness of the substrate.

The holes, their size, their number and their placement, the substrate amount, amount of water, amount of heat provided etc.. Different Ppl can toggle with these different parameters in different combinations and achieve the same result for same species in a similar sized enclosure setup.

Although the basis for all these is science , ultimately your husbandry is an art. You have to feel it to know whether it's right(what I mean to say is that u don't need to play with gauges etc)...
 

BishopiMaster

Arachnobaron
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Oh ok.. Now I understand..
See the thing as, when there's a near closed system in interaction with the environment, a microclimate will emerge within that system (for lack of better words, I'd say it's because of the pressure caused by the rate of cross flow of air current within that system which is indirectly affected by by no. Of holes, size of holes etc). This microclimate tries to get into dynamic equilibrium with the outside climate. But that doesn't happen..

It results in rise of temperature (temperature differential between the two) and consequently more condensation.

To negate this, ppl advise to give more holes for ventilation. More holes, less chances for difference in the outside n interior climate(and by extension, heat differential). But the downside is that, we need to more frequently keep adding water to maintain our desired dryness/wetness of the substrate.

The holes, their size, their number and their placement, the substrate amount, amount of water, amount of heat provided etc.. Different Ppl can toggle with these different parameters in different combinations and achieve the same result for same species in a similar sized enclosure setup.

Although the basis for all these is science , ultimately your husbandry is an art. You have to feel it to know whether it's right(what I mean to say is that u don't need to play with gauges etc)...
Yeah exactly, sometimes its not so simple as to cross vent set it and forget it.
 
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