Thinking of getting my 1st T.

Forlorn112

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
12
Hopefully this is the right forum section , but i'm thinking more and more about getting my 1st Tarantula specifically a Mexican Red Knee as they are so beautiful and from what i've seen in most cases fairly calm. The thing is for most my life i've been arachnophobish and honestly scared of most large insects. But i've been watching tarantula videos for what seems like forever and they fascinate me beyond words. I've read many stories of arachnophobes overcoming their fears by getting tarantula's. My main concern is i don't want to hurt or overly stress the tarantula if i get one. I don't plan on having anymore than one at a time and i don't plan on handling him/her too much, but this would depend on it's overall personality. My other main concern is its feeders.. I hate roaches & crickets =/.... But i've seen some people feed their T's superworms and even large beetle larvae which doesn't bother at all (I've actually thought about keeping them as pets lol), so i'm wondering are they ok long term as feeders. Other then that i'm wondering if you don't think i'm Tarantula ready what insect would you recommend as a starter. Thanks so much for any help or advice and feel free to ask any other questions :).

Edit- Forgot to mention i am very comfortable with large millipedes which i know are very different =/. Also i'm curious if you think i'm ready is their a calmer species than Brachypelma S.? i've heard chilean Roses are good , but from my research they tend to be very very moody. Also for a beginner what is the ideal start size sling, sub-adult or adult.
 
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Akitayoji

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
75
Welcome!! For starters, Mexican Red Knees on this board are called B. smithi. We use scientific names to prevent species confusion. There are a lot of common names that are similar. Just something helpful.

B. smithi are wonderful T's but they are "hair kickers". When disturbed, they have hairs (urticating hairs) on their abdomens that they will kick at the disturbance. I am not sensitive to them at all so it never bothered me. Some people are very sensitive and if the hairs get in your skin, they will itch (some described it feeling like fiberglass).

What size are your considering? Slings (spiderlings) are usually the least expensive route, but I would not recommend for a beginner. Have you considered other species? B. smithi can be more expensive the larger they get. I just saw an adult female on here listed for $250. I saw some B. smithi on here for $65-$90 that were 2-3 inches. How much are you willing to spend? Another thing to consider is sex, do you want male or female?

I would suggest to browse some of the forums on first T species to get an idea what the best options are. Good luck in your hunt! Just remember, T's are like Lays potato chips, you can't have just one! Welcome to the addiction. Below is my female B. smithi, "Luisa", I raised her from only a 1/2 inch :) LUISA.jpg
 

Forlorn112

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
12
Thanks for the quick response and Luisa is gorgeous :). I don't want to spend too much on my 1st Tarantula but as i said i want a species that has a decent chance of being fairly docile. I'm not that afraid of they're hairs but i'm more so looking for a tarantula that will warn with urticating hairs or posture before going into full on attack/defense mode lol. While i'd like a B. Smithi i'm open to other lower aggression tarantula species, mainly because i don't want to freak out after a bite and possibly hurt the spider.
 
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rally

Arachnosquire
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
56
Good beginner species are commonly any from the genera Grammostola, Aphonopelma, Brachypelma, and Euathlus (E sp. red is a favorite around here for its gentle, explorative nature..they also max out at only ~3.5 inches or so--great if the larger species intimidate you)

I would go with a sub adult as your first..you get to see growth but you also get a decently sized T right away. Slings are said to be (though I've had no issues thus far--I started with slings) more delicate.

If you're "arachnophobish" :smug: I advise against handling, since you're much more likely to jump/flail and BOOM, injured/dead tarantula. Many advise against handling at all. I only handle on accident..like my newly acquired Euathlus sp. red/yellow (unsure of which--which is a good example of a downside to buying from a petstore, by the way) who wanders onto my hand inquisitively every time I open the enclosure.

Are you afraid of crickets? Or just turned off by their constant chirping? If it's the latter, you could just buy a few crickets on feed day. As for using superworms as a staple diet; I don't believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong) there's solid evidence whether or not there is any issue with that. But, it is sound to give any living creature a varied diet if at all possible. Personally, I occasionally shell out for superworms and crickets, but mainly keep a small colony of Dubia roaches which are the staple I chose..I was a little hesitant at first but, eventually they become sorta cute! Of course, a colony would be overkill in your case.

Why just one tarantula? A first time T owner is prone to over-caring for (read: bothering :bored:) their tarantula because it's a big adjustment to maintain an animal that requires such a small amount of attention. So it's good to have a couple, to save the Ts from being smothered and giving you more chances of seeing some interesting behavior (they like to do a lot of nothing). What's a couple more feeders?

Besides......two is twice as better! :happy:
 
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shining

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jul 15, 2011
Messages
755
Grammostola pulchripes with a diagonal leg span of at least 2-3". Hardy, good looking and generally docile. One of the best beginner Ts.

Mealworms/superworms are not a good staple diet. They are really fatty and have a lot less nutrients as other feeders.

My 2centssss...
 

Forlorn112

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
12
Good beginner species are commonly any from the genera Grammostola, Aphonopelma, Brachypelma, and Euathlus (E sp. red is a favorite around here for its gentle, explorative nature..they also max out at only ~3.5 inches or so--great if the larger species intimidate you)

I would go with a sub adult as your first..you get to see growth but you also get a decently sized T right away. Slings are said to be (though I've had no issues thus far--I started with slings) more delicate.

If you're "arachnophobish" :smug: I advise against handling, since you're much more likely to jump/flail and BOOM, injured/dead tarantula. Many advise against handling at all. I only handle on accident..like my newly acquired Euathlus sp. red/yellow (unsure of which--which is a good example of a downside to buying from a petstore, by the way) who wanders onto my hand inquisitively every time I open the enclosure.

Are you afraid of crickets? Or just turned off by their constant chirping? If it's the latter, you could just buy a few crickets on feed day. As for using superworms as a staple diet; I don't believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong) there's solid evidence whether or not there is any issue with that. But, it is sound to give any living creature a varied diet if at all possible. Personally, I occasionally shell out for superworms and crickets, but mainly keep a small colony of Dubia roaches which are the staple I chose..I was a little hesitant at first but, eventually they become sorta cute! Of course, a colony would be overkill in your case.

Why just one tarantula? A first time T owner is prone to over-care for their tarantula because it's a big adjustment to maintain an animal that requires such a small amount of attention. So it's good to have a couple, to save the Ts from being smothered and giving you more chances of seeing some interesting behavior (they like to do a lot of nothing). What's a couple more crickets?

Besides......two is twice as better! :happy:
rally - Thanks very much for the long and informative answer it's much appreciated :), like i said i only want to occasionally hand my T. maybe only a bit before cleaning they're enclosure. As far as the crickets & roaches go i am ashamedly afraid/repulsed by them as i grew up with basement "Camel" crickets aka sprickets =/ & also a short lived oriental cockroaches aka "Water Bugs" infestation which are fairly large. Luckily now the only insect that annoys me is stink bugs every fall and i'm not scared of them just annoyed. But as i said my main concern is making sure the T. is happy/satisfied and truthfully i would probably be the type to overcare a bit =/, but that's just because i want the T. to be as happy as possibly.

shining - thanks for the response, if meal/super worms aren't good long term are there any feeders besides roaches/crickets that are acceptable?

Edit- also for a first timer what gender is best to start with?
 

rally

Arachnosquire
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
56
Grammostola pulchripes does get to roundabout 8" though..I think shining meant to get one at 2-3"?

like i said i only want to occasionally hand my T. maybe only a bit before cleaning they're enclosure
Just make sure to test their temperament before you attempt it, yeah?
 
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Forlorn112

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
12
Grammostola pulchripes does get to roundabout 8" though..I think shining meant to get one at 2-3"?



Just make sure to test their temperament before you attempt it, yeah?
No doubt =), also cool avatar.
 

rally

Arachnosquire
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
56
I'd go female if you're not interested in ever breeding. Males have abbreviated lifespans. Like by a decade or more, depending on the species. When males mature, all they want to do is breed, and that means either getting them a female or shipping him to someone who already has one. Unless you're okay with him pining away..and then dying without giving him what he's hardwired to do.
 

KezyGLA

Arachnoking
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
3,033
Welcome!

I would highly recommend Euathlus sp. red/yellow or Euathlus parvulus. All three are great beginner species known for a certain 'friendliness'.

They would make much better starter T than the B. smithi as they don't kick hairs as much.

Whatever you choose I wish you the best of luck with it :)
 

Forlorn112

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
12
rally - I don't plan on breeding at-least to start and i've read males live about 3-5 years which is fine, but which gender is more easygoing?

KezyGLA - thanks for the reply and i'll definitely check into Euathlus!
 

rally

Arachnosquire
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
56
Gender-based temperaments, as far as I know, do not exist; although, mature males sometimes like to wander out of their enclosures when you open them (they're looking for the ladies).
 

Forlorn112

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
12
Gender-based temperaments, as far as I know, do not exist; although, mature males sometimes like to wander out of their enclosures when you open them (they're looking for the ladies).
Cool to know and i'm fine with a bit of wandering, though i am wondering how much does the average tarantula cagelid need to be weigh downed as i have two pretty large cats that like to hunt on occasion (maine coons) and i don't want the spider to escape and have a hunting accident with them =/.

Would a brick on-top of the cage be ok?
 

rally

Arachnosquire
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
56
A lot of people here favor using clear storage boxes with latching lids like this:

Cheap and stackable (a huge plus for us addicted types :angelic:), and very secure.

I love me some Maine Coons! But boy do cats like to poke around exactly where they shouldn't..my kitten likes to dig into my makeup bag and run off with my little face brushes. And I had to move my Ts into my office behind a closed door because he was staring and batting at the enclosures..I had a terrible feeling he was going to eventually knock one/all over...
 
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KezyGLA

Arachnoking
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
3,033
Get a 'Really Useful Box' and drill some holes in it. (size of holes depending on size of T) :)

See @rally 's post above
 

Forlorn112

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
12
A lot of people here favor using clear storage boxes with latching lids like this:

Cheap and stackable (a huge plus for us addicted types :angelic:), and very secure.
Get a 'Really Useful Box' and drill some holes in it. (size of holes depending on size of T) :)

See @rally 's post above
Ha cool, i already have a quite a few containers like that so i should be good to go :)

- rally i'm a bit drunkish, so i actually missed part of your response lol, my maine coons (Simba & Mini) love to investigate & play/fight with anything! but i plan on keeping my t. on-top of a wardrobe that is quite out of reach for them :)
 
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Giles52

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 1, 2016
Messages
7
Welcome to almost-T-ownership :) It's a big decision to get your first one. If you haven't already, pick up "The Tarantula Keeper's Guide" it's worth its weight in gold. I was never arachnophobic, but I never liked spiders and tarantulas creeped me out. Then I needed to do some research for a story I was working on (one of the characters owned a tarantula, so I needed to make it realistic) I bout the Keeper's Guide for writing purposes, and by the time I got to the end, I was fascinated. Like you, I was drawn to the B. Smithi. I did more research on them, and ultimately ended up getting one shortly after.

Like @rally said, I had just one and I was seriously a helicopter parent. T's are so different from every other animal, and it took awhile for that to really sink in. "He doesn't want me" is something I had to accept. The first few weeks were rough, and there was a lot of hair flicking. I have yet to try and handle Giles, and I don't ever intend to. His personality isn't one that would take to it well, I don't think. He's never tried to bite or presented defensive posturing, and I never want to push him to need to do that. I'm fine with our relationship. I don't need to handle him, he's extremely entertaining just being him. I bought Giles as a sub adult, which I think worked out well for a first T. He actually looked like a B. Smithi and wasn't so tiny that I was worried about hurting him. Since I've had him, he's already gone through a molt - which was the most awesome thing ever to watch.

If you're only going to get one, then I say spend the money on what you want. Good luck!
 

Jeff23

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
Hopefully this is the right forum section , but i'm thinking more and more about getting my 1st Tarantula specifically a Mexican Red Knee as they are so beautiful and from what i've seen in most cases fairly calm. The thing is for most my life i've been arachnophobish and honestly scared of most large insects. But i've been watching tarantula videos for what seems like forever and they fascinate me beyond words. I've read many stories of arachnophobes overcoming their fears by getting tarantula's. My main concern is i don't want to hurt or overly stress the tarantula if i get one. I don't plan on having anymore than one at a time and i don't plan on handling him/her too much, but this would depend on it's overall personality. My other main concern is its feeders.. I hate roaches & crickets =/.... But i've seen some people feed their T's superworms and even large beetle larvae which doesn't bother at all (I've actually thought about keeping them as pets lol), so i'm wondering are they ok long term as feeders. Other then that i'm wondering if you don't think i'm Tarantula ready what insect would you recommend as a starter. Thanks so much for any help or advice and feel free to ask any other questions :).

Edit- Forgot to mention i am very comfortable with large millipedes which i know are very different =/. Also i'm curious if you think i'm ready is their a calmer species than Brachypelma S.? i've heard chilean Roses are good , but from my research they tend to be very very moody. Also for a beginner what is the ideal start size sling, sub-adult or adult.
Welcome to the board. I just recently obtained my first T's. The two listed below are part of what I purchased and are recommended for beginners.
Euathlus Sp.'Red' (Chilean Red)
Eupalaestrus Campestratus (Pink Zebra Beauty)

Another spider I was considering that is highly recommended for beginners by many is Brachypelma albopilosum (Curly Hair).
 

Jeff23

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
Ha cool, i already have a quite a few containers like that so i should be good to go :)

- rally i'm a bit drunkish, so i actually missed part of your response lol, my maine coons (Simba & Mini) love to investigate & play/fight with anything! but i plan on keeping my t. on-top of a wardrobe that is quite out of reach for them :)
If you use one of those type tubs a cheap soldering iron with small tip works great for creating some ventilation holes in the side or lid. Just make sure you test it out on some junk plastic first so you are comfortable to get the hole size you want. A larger number of small holes across two sides is best so that good air ventilation will occur.
 
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