I just got one of these yesterday. It's probably about 2 1/2 inches long. I've got it in a plastic 1 gallon jar, with about 3 inches of peat/potting soil mix as substrate. There's also a shallow water dish inside the jar.
Is this ok?
What you have will probalby do for now, Solar. They have both arboreal and burrowing tendencies. So if they do not feel comfortable burrowing, what you have provided them with will give them room to web a hammock in the air as well. They are excellent climbers so you don't have to worry about them falling or anything.
They are really defensive so be careful when appraoching their area. They normally won't charge you or anything, they are not aggressive, just very defensive. Just to clear that up there is a big difference between aggressive and defensive. Aggressive means they will charge you..most of the times Usambara's won't. Defensive means if you get near them they will take action before they run...this spider will take a LOT of action...VERY VERY mean and violent speices. I love mine. They are said to have some really potent venom, too...so be careful. Just keep the area dry and humid; I recommend using pure peat moss as it is easy to burrow in and it keeps humidity up even if it's dry. Hope this helps some.
think one Usum sling is hard to catch? I suppose they were conspiring (as many T's do, i've come to realise), and 2 of them shot out of their vials. I've never lost a sling to carelessness, and i didnt want this to be the first time...
luckily i always hold a lid in one hand when feeding, and i got it down on top of onebefore it was too late. As for the second one, it decided to book it right for my camera. It took a breather on the flash and i threw a deli cup over it..
man are those things quick?!!!!!!!
as for your enclosure, it sounds fine for now! You'll have to see if it likes digging around alot later on, and then possibly switch the container, but it sounds great now!
As a large sling (4cm) my Usambara was housed in a 9" x 9" x 12" tank temporarily. He can get from the middle of the floor to the middle of the lid in under a second. That's fast in anybody's book.
As Ephesians rightly states, these spiders are not aggressive, but they are defensive - extremely defensive. If I disturb mine whilst in it's lair (takes some doing, it generally prefers to stay in the lair for as long as it can) it will eventually come to the entrance, rear up, and strike a few times. It will continue to defend for as long as you disturb it. We're talking way over half an hour here. The only time mine runs is if it is disturbed whilst out of it's burrow - and then it runs like hell
Mine used to burrow, now it prefers a totally arboreal set-up, making a small hammock web at the top of the tank. Some fill the tank with web completely, some web very little.
Thanks for the help, guys. I'm glad to know I did everything right.
I have another question, though: how often/how much do you feed them? It seems really hungry. I feed it 2 crickets yesterday, and 2 more today. Should I just keep doing this until he stops eating?
Daily feeding is ok, but if you missed a day that would be ok to.
I fed mine yesterday, man can they eat! The largest of the group
took down an adult cricketlike it was nothing! Very fast and
fun to watch. I can't wait for these guys to grow up.=D
I have 3 of these guys, 2 have a nice little web and the third
one has gone underground. It was just moved into a medium
sized pill bottle. So I think it's a bit freaked out still, from the move. I am going to move the others soon, that should be
just as much fun as the first one!
They have a very defensive temperment. They are only handled by certain individuals; most of them time you're gonna get bitten if you try to approach them.
As to feeding them, you CAN feed them every day and you CAN feed them until they are full. But as Mr. Internet valuably pointed out to me, it is their nature to eat what they see until they are completely stuffed. And completely stuffed for a tarantula is unhealthy. They will get so huge they'll look like they could pop any moment. This makes them extremely vulnerable to a fall. You have to put it in perspective that they don't always have food in the wild, so mimicking this keeps the tarantula healthy in the fact that it keeps them steadily eating/molting. I also hold belief that this more stable cycle of feeding twice a week and keeping a more steady molting cycle in turn keeps their lifespan at a max. You can get other opinions on feeding, but I think those of knowledge will agree.
though, like EVERY other T (here we go again..) each one is different, although, unlike the more 'docile' T's, the aggressive T's generally all tend to be aggressive. That's not to say that they can't be handled, but just be smart.
I'd say not so much for the timid starter... not for defense, but more for speed. They're really like fireballs when they bolt, a big orange blur
They are really great T's though!
And im fully down with mixing up the feeding schedule. I try to mimick the wild... in other words, sometimes i'll feed them 3 days in a row, and then i'll stop for 2 days or a day, or I'll feed them every other day -- my subconcious rules it, really. I never forget, but there's no set schedule.
However, with slings, i try to give a BIT more schedule, just for getting them on their feet and all. PLus i tend to keep my slings a bit warmer -- you know, foster good health and all..
although i must admit that the most aggressive AND defensive T in my brood is the H.gigas. Man, that thing attacked tweezers 5 times ina row last nite. Its a sling, no bigger than your thumbnail...
and man, what a CRAZY crazy labrynth that thing dug.. They are noted for their ability to dig, but this little punk built the most amazing maze of tunnels in this little pill bottle. I may snap a pic...