Water bowls. Are they really necessary???

JimM

Arachnoangel
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read the post before u replied

I did said T's got their water source from their prey lol

look at the beggining of the thread first
I'm quite familiar with the thread junior.
I'm responding to the words emanating from you fingers.
 

curiousme

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yeah, that what I mean suggocate and people drown
Even that is highly unlikely.

forgot to mention some species of tarantula like to swim in water or hold their breath under water

forgot what species are they
Since Ts do not actively breathe, this is another impossibility. However, there are several species that will swim, but the same thing that keeps them safe keeps the rest of the species safe too.

I know it has been mentioned in other threads, but your posts are horrible to read. Perhaps some proofreading before hitting that Submit Reply button is in order. It is pretty suggocating to make it through text speak and the lack of punctuation.....
 

kevin88

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There is no "Correct" answer to this....It depends on experience and environmental conditions. Substrate, temperature, husbandry etc. Dry Land species from the genus Aphonopelma don't have "water" in the summer. The ground is rock hard....They get dew if they are lucky and water from prey items. Some species I keep with water dishes and others I do not. I am done reading these threads with horrible grammatical errors. I have to stop and think about the sentences several times just to make sense of them.

Kevin
 

arachnidsrulz12

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Even that is highly unlikely.



Since Ts do not actively breathe, this is another impossibility. However, there are several species that will swim, but the same thing that keeps them safe keeps the rest of the species safe too.

I know it has been mentioned in other threads, but your posts are horrible to read. Perhaps some proofreading before hitting that Submit Reply button is in order. It is pretty suggocating to make it through text speak and the lack of punctuation.....
yeah, they got oxygen from their body

k here I type it again sufficating
 

curiousme

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yeah, they got oxygen from their body

k here I type it again sufficating
More specifically, they get oxygen from outside their body, through a process called diffusion, that occurs through their book lungs.

and I can type it for you.... suffocating. ;) Okay?
 

arachnidsrulz12

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More specifically, they get oxygen from outside their body, through a process called diffusion, that occurs through their book lungs.

and I can type it for you.... suffocating. ;) Okay?
I know how to type suffocating

the keypad the i word was next to the o word lol

type too fast lol

thx, for typing the word too
 

Stan Schultz

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i have been keeping my king and usambara baboon in deli cups with just about an inch of substrate. 2 times a month i mist the substrate to keep things a little moist and everyone is in good health. i have never lost/killed a tarantula doing this in the 4 years that i have been in the hobby. tell me why should i have a water bowl???
thanks
You apparently asked the same question on the ATS message board, and I posted an answer there. However, since sending readers to another forum is in bad taste, I will repeat my reply here as well for the sake of any who are interested.
_____________________________________________

oldworldkeeper said:
i keep my king baboon in a deli cup with two inches of substrate. ...
How big is the deli cup?

How big is the tarantula (leg span)?

oldworldkeeper said:
... every two week i mist the enclosure to keep things moist. i have been doing this for years and she seems to be happy. ...
For how many years?

oldworldkeeper said:
... tell me why i would want a water bowl?? ...
For years Marguerite and I owned a pet shop in East Lansing, Michigan. And, you would not believe the number of people who don't realize that almost all animals need ready access to drinking water 24/7, or they get sick or die.

So, seeing as how a water dish is such a trivial expense, and seeing as how keeping it filled with clean water is such a minimal expenditure of the pet owner's time and effort, we categorically insisted that every pet have its own water dish. And, that was extended even to tarantulas. It's just makes good sense.

Having said that, there are instances wherein a water dish isn't necessary or recommended in a tarantula's cage. One obvious case is that of a baby tarantula in a pill bottle or baby food jar, first because there's not enough room, secondly because the substrate is already kept damp and the air in the container is quite humid.

Another case involves tarantulas like the king baboon (now called Pelinobius muticus) that are inveterate earth movers and usually bury the water dish under a (figurative) ton of dirt. Many enthusiasts find that trying to keep a water dish with these is almost impossible, so they resort to periodically (e.g., every week or 10 days) pouring a little water down the tarantula's burrow. In the case of the king baboon, we can get away with such treatment because they come from a region of Africa that suffers an annual drought/heat wave followed by a rainy season. The tarantulas from that region are already preprogrammed to live in an arid environment before we get them as pets because they must survive that lengthy, annual dry season. (Also, read the next paragraph.)

Lastly, there is a small but often vocal group of enthusiasts who routinely do not give their desert tarantulas - e.g., Grammostola rosea (Chilean rose tarantula), Aphonopelma chalcodes (desert blond tarantula), and even Pterinochylus murinus (OBT or Usumbura baboon tarantula) - water dishes at all. Their logic holds that these tarantulas live in deep desert situations where liquid water is rare and unpredictable, and therefore they really don't need it, having evolved the ability to gain what little water they need from their food. And, for the most part they're successful at keeping those species, although I don't know if one could actually say that the tarantulas thrived with such care. My only concern is that life in a cage is a lot different from life in the wild, among the reasons being that life in the wild often allows the tarantula some freedom in its reactions to a lack of water. Cage life severely limits those options, and that in turn could mean that some of those tarantulas are dangerously close to death without the keeper knowing it.

However I, in good faith, cannot condone or recommend caring for a pet tarantula like that, partly because I'm not certain that such care isn't abusive (read that as a personal, moral or ethical judgment), partly because I don't want to publish potentially harmful recommendations (thereby risking endangering my reputation), and partly because I don't want to do anything that would make me responsible for harming someone else's pet (a legal responsibility issue).

So, the answer to "... tell me why i would want a water bowl?? ..." might be,

"Whatever works for you! - as long as you understand the system and the risks, and understood tarantula physiology and medicine well enough to be able to handle the crises when they occur."

Or, the answer to "... tell me why i would want a water bowl?? ..." might be,

"Because it's at least a marginally better way to care for your pet with little or no serious time, effort, or expense on your part. And, that makes ME feel better!"

Enjoy your little, 8-legged wonder!
 

micheldied

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To be frank, I've not noticed a significat margin of error difference when not providing a water dish, at least the the species that I've kept, which is a considerable number. I've not kept any Theraphosa species, so the "margin of error" may come into play with T. blondi and company.

I can say that with regard to Avicularia, Poecilotheria, Brachypelma, Aphonopelma, Haplopelma, Hysterocrates, Cyriocosmus, Cyclosternum, Chromatopelma and Grammostola at least, they remain as hardy as ever without a water dish, and one needn't be overly doting even without a water dish present.
That said, I tend to provide a water dish for some individuals nowadays as I said above, but this is hardly a pervasive practice within my collection.

As I pointed out before, the "give them a water dish after 3 inches" is arbitrary, meaningless, and if anything the opposite of what should happen if you're paranoid about hydration, since a smaller tarantula will desiccate much easier than a larger specimen. So an arguably much better (but sill arbitrary and erroneous) statement would be "provide a water dish until they reach 3 inches" The dangers of open containers of water and small slings notwithstanding.
:clap: Totally agreed.
I've raised species that are said to "need high humidity", like H. Lividum, and those said to "come from dry areas", P. Murinus, without water dishes all their lives.
From what I can see they are pretty content.
 
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esotericman

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That said, there are some species I keep that don't get water dishes. GBB, Pterinochilus, Psalmopoeus, Cyclosternum... all these guys give me such a hassle with webbing or burying their dishes that I've given up and just use a syringe to squirt a pool of water in front of them about once a week. Usually they jump in and drink it right up.
You saying that reminds me of a C.guangxiensis which webbed everything, twice. I would pour a little water on top of the webbing mat and I actually saw it pierce the webbing with its fangs to drink water, while on it's back. It was very cool to watch.

Bad taste to share other views inside our microscopically small hobby? I think reading the same thread over a few boards gives a better feel for all of the boards and pools the information as so few of us have the time to hit many forums, a shared link may hasten working out an answer. I always cross post, readers can choose to click or not.


http://atshq.org/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=26802
 

Poxicator

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there's often an assumption that the species that inhabit dry regions have no access to water, because rainfall is minimal or non-existant. However, there are other sources of water, including mist and condensation. The Chile rose inhabits coastal regions where mist comes off the sea, our GBB experience similar dew in the morning and as webbing attracts moisture well they have access to a morning drink before the soaring heat arrives. As for P. murinus these are found in 13 separate African countries, not all of them dry, and not all of them live fossorial. In the mountain regions of Usambara you'd find lush vegetation where OBTs are often found in a continual arboreal habitat.
As I said earlier, the water bowl might not be required, but failure to supply water is husbandry at its laziest. Its worth pointing out that the symptoms of dehydration are often not noticed until late in development. Ann Webb suggested in her book that there's a point where a tarantula dehydrates to extent it cannot recover from it and used a dried up sponge as an example.
 

JimM

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As I said earlier, the water bowl might not be required, but failure to supply water is husbandry at its laziest.
You can keep saying it, and it will be just as incorrect each time.

Have you seen first hand how a tarantula does not having a water dish it's entire life? I have...many times over. I've also provided water dishes (which more often than not get buried, tipped, or webbed over) Guess what...no difference.

That's called having empirical data on both sides of the debate.

You also contradict yourself. It's not needed, but not doing it is lazy. That doesn't pencil out. If it's not needed, then arguably providing one is a waste of time, far different than "lazy."

Not doing water changes on a fish tank, that would be lazy husbandry. The water change is required to keep the animals in good health. Not doing a water change results in a quantifiable, measurable, observable difference in the health of the animals in question. So long as it's fed, a tarantula (at least those belonging to the genera that I've dealt with, part of a post you probably ignored) lives and thrives without a water water bowl. This I know, because again, I kept them this way for several decades. There is no measurable, quantifiable, observable difference in the health, growth of the tarantula.

Your "lazy" conclusion therefore, at least in the eye's of someone with the long experience, (rather than someone just parroting), is at best I suppose forgivable ignorance. If you've always kept a water dish, then the only educated statement you can make is "they do well with a water dish". What you can't do is talk with any authority whatsoever regarding how they do without the water dish can you?

I don't begrudge anyone for saying they keep water dishes in all their T enclosures, for as I said before this is erring in favor of the animal at worst...hard to fault. I also don't begrudge anyone for saying something like "in my opinion, it's advisable to include a water dish" nothing wrong with that at all. When someone someone makes an erroneous declaration however, that's when I jump in.

I, along with others have been keeping animals of various kinds long enough to learn how to engage in efficient husbandry practices, without doing anything to compromise the health and well being of the animal. Some feel it's best to provide a water dish, and that's fine. They're not hurting anything by doing so. Some like choose to employ water dishes selectively or not at all, this is also not hurting anything.

I keep water dishes in a few enclosures where it makes sense, but where it doesn't, or where access is flat out dangerous, I don't bother....because I know it's not needed.


AGAIN...of a tarantula doesn't need additional water as a sling, it doesn't need it later either. This (provide a water dish above 3") methodology is backwards. A smaller T will desiccate easier than a larger T. If there's a critical time, it's UNDER 3", not over.

A tarantula growing from a tiny sling to 3" without a water dish is all proof you need right there. Nothing magically changes at the 3" mark, except a reduced need for additional water!

Peace
 

micheldied

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You can keep saying it, and it will be just as incorrect each time.

Have you seen first hand how a tarantula does not having a water dish it's entire life? I have...many times over. I've also provided water dishes (which more often than not get buried, tipped, or webbed over) Guess what...no difference.

That's called having empirical data on both sides of the debate.

You also contradict yourself. It's not needed, but not doing it is lazy. That doesn't pencil out. If it's not needed, then arguably providing one is a waste of time, far different than "lazy."

Not doing water changes on a fish tank, that would be lazy husbandry. The water change is required to keep the animals in good health. Not doing a water change results in a quantifiable, measurable, observable difference in the health of the animals in question. So long as it's fed, a tarantula (at least those belonging to the genera that I've dealt with, part of a post you probably ignored) lives and thrives without a water water bowl. This I know, because again, I kept them this way for several decades. There is no measurable, quantifiable, observable difference in the health, growth of the tarantula.

Your "lazy" conclusion therefore, at least in the eye's of someone with the long experience, (rather than someone just parroting), is at best I suppose forgivable ignorance. If you've always kept a water dish, then the only educated statement you can make is "they do well with a water dish". What you can't do is talk with any authority whatsoever regarding how they do without the water dish can you?

I don't begrudge anyone for saying they keep water dishes in all their T enclosures, for as I said before this is erring in favor of the animal at worst...hard to fault. I also don't begrudge anyone for saying something like "in my opinion, it's advisable to include a water dish" nothing wrong with that at all. When someone someone makes an erroneous declaration however, that's when I jump in.

I, along with others have been keeping animals of various kinds long enough to learn how to engage in efficient husbandry practices, without doing anything to compromise the health and well being of the animal. Some feel it's best to provide a water dish, and that's fine. They're not hurting anything by doing so. Some like choose to employ water dishes selectively or not at all, this is also not hurting anything.

I keep water dishes in a few enclosures where it makes sense, but where it doesn't, or where access is flat out dangerous, I don't bother....because I know it's not needed.


AGAIN...of a tarantula doesn't need additional water as a sling, it doesn't need it later either. This (provide a water dish above 3") methodology is backwards. A smaller T will desiccate easier than a larger T. If there's a critical time, it's UNDER 3", not over.

A tarantula growing from a tiny sling to 3" without a water dish is all proof you need right there. Nothing magically changes at the 3" mark, except a reduced need for additional water!

Peace
I'm sure what he means is that water must be supplied in some way, to every tarantula, be it through misting/wetting of substrate, or through the food they eat.
I believe that water dishes are totally unnecessary, but I still believe water has to be provided somehow.
With my OBT, she only gets water from the food she eats and I've done that since I had her as a one inch sling.
But I mist/wet the enclosures of species such as L. Violaceopes, I don't think I'd try not providing water in any way with such species.
 

Stan Schultz

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... When someone someone makes an erroneous declaration however, that's when I jump in. ...
Okay. My turn to jump in! (And, no. I will not participate in a flame war!)

... A tarantula growing from a tiny sling to 3" without a water dish is all proof you need right there. Nothing magically changes at the 3" mark, except a reduced need for additional water! ...
Ah, but something very important DOES happen! As the baby tarantulas emerge from the eggsac they have only a very thin and rudimentary exoskeleton. At some point thereafter it develops an effectively waterproof layer. I presume that this happens at different times with different species, probably even different times with different individuals.

I have taken to calling the size at which this happens the "tipping point" for want of a better term. (If you have a better term I'd love to hear it!) And, I might define it as the size or age at which a baby tarantula is well enough developed to be switched to whatever care regimen would be appropriate for them as adults.

In fact, as far as I know no one has yet officially considered the existence of such a tipping point, or done a study to determine exactly when the tipping point occurs in any given species, or a comparative study between any number of species. Frankly, we're all sitting here, whistling in the dark. We know it occurs, but we know next to nothing about it. Only through bitter experience have we learned when and how to use it. (Sounds like another PhD project, no? Who's up for it?)

We use, as a rule of thumb, a leg span of 1.5" (4 cm) as the tipping point, but like all rules of thumb, it's pretty much a very conservative guess and could even be called a lie. We do this because we're pretty sure that by that size virtually ALL baby tarantulas, even those of Theraphosa blondi, the goliath birdeater*, have well enough developed exoskeletons to protect them in their adult environment. It's a CYA** sort of thing.

So, yes! Something very magical does happen at some point before the tarantula reaches about 1.5" (2 cm) leg span.

Sorry.

___________________________________________________

And, in the true spirit of tarantulas doing everything within their power to foil our best efforts at understanding them, the remainder of their lives after the tipping point is when they are most in need of a water dish!

This occurs because of our method for caring for them. Up to the tipping point we keep the babies in smallish containers with reduced ventilation and damp substrate. Why? Because their exoskeletons are not developed enough to protect them against dessication. This care regimen is designed to nurture them in little incubators until they're old enough to go out into the adult world on their own.

So, what happens after the tipping point? Arid species, or those that we keep as arid species, are kept in dry cages with dry substrate to protect them from vermin and infections. In such a habitat we also prevent them from practicing all their instinctive strategies for dealing with life's problems, dessication being near the top of the list. They are seldom allowed to burrow, and to plug those burrows when it gets really dry so they can chill out in the quiet, humid darkness. They aren't exposed to the high humidity of chill, desert nights, or fogs, or desert downpours. They get 24/7/365 deep desert aridity! To compensate for this, we supply them a water dish, a decidedly foreign object from their perspective. But, they know what the water is and they instinctively know how to drink.

And as they grow, their need for water actually increases simply because of their greater body size and consequent greater water "leakage." It's true that they gain almost all their required extra water from their food (which admittedly is also increasing), but the only way we have of knowing that they're in trouble is when they start curling up into the death pose. By then it's arguably too late.

So, yes! Tarantulas' water requirements change radically before and after the tipping point because of the way we keep them. Before, they're small and kept in a very humid, incubator environment. After, they're much larger and deprived of most "normal" sources of water and methods for dealing with dessication.

Sorry.

The water dish isn't there BECAUSE they need it. It's there IN CASE they need it!

___________________________________________________

* I use T. blondi as an example for two reasons:

1) These have among the largest babies of any tarantula. Newly emerged, baby TBs have 3/4" (2 cm) leg spans! Therefore, we presume they reach the tipping point sooner than almost any other tarantula.

2) T. blondi is notorious for the wild caught adults being extremely sensitive to even marginally low humidity. What few comments I've heard, and our own experiences, have led me to believe that captive bred babies are somewhat more resistant to aridity as they grow than the adults. And, I've heard some anecdotal accounts of people keeping them under conditions that would kill a wild caught individual.

** CYA: "Cover your [behind]!"
 

ZergFront

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It may or may not be necessary, but since my collection isn't huge and time-consuming, I don't find it a hassle to provide a water dish and it certainly wouldn't hurt, so why not? Especially during a molting cycle in which they do not feed and do not rehydrate unless there's been misting or a water dish available. Maybe if you're a breeder with hundreds, not providing a water dish to every animal might not seem unreasonable.

With misting, though, I get one of two problems; the water evaporates and becomes no longer available or the substrate becomes soggy. Soggy soil becomes an ecosystem for mites, bacteria and bacteria-feeding nematodes. I don't think I'd want my pets slurping that up... I know it's a risk in the wild but my house is not the wild.

Also, I have seen some forest and swamp species of other keepers that walked with half-curled legs and eventually died from dehydration that could have been prevented if a dependable water source was available. I actually find misting more of a hassle than keeping water bowls full.
 
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briarpatch10

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Jun 21, 2010
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I have seen every tarantula I have {that is not a sling in which case they get misted and l leave large water drops on the sides of their enclosures} drinking from their water bowls...I think its dismissive not to give them water dishes. If they don't need it then why do I see them drinking out of it? Does not every critter that walks the earth at one time or another take a drink or absorb water in one way or another. Why would we as tarantula owners not provide them a basic necessity?
 

Treynok

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I as well keep water dishes in every one of my T enclosures except slings of course. I can't say for sure if they need them or not as most species probably do get adequate moisture from their food. I will say this though, I personally have seen every one of my T's use a water dish to drink. I don't have a lot of T's as I am taking my time and only have 2 years of experience with this. In those 2 years alone though I can say I've seen all of my T's drink from provided dishes. I see it as whether they do or don't need them if they use them I will provide them. There really is no reason imo to not provide a water dish. Providing one would not hurt the T in any way and not putting one in is just preference of the keeper. Every keeper has a right to keep their animals how they wish as long as it isn't detrimental to the animal, I just don't see the point of this argument, even if you believe they don't "need" them they do use them when they are provided. So why wouldn't you provide them in this case?
 

JimM

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Ah, but something very important DOES happen! As the baby tarantulas emerge from the eggsac they have only a very thin and rudimentary exoskeleton. At some point thereafter it develops an effectively waterproof layer. I presume that this happens at different times with different species, probably even different times with different individuals.

Which just reinforces what I said about water dishes vs size.

---------- Post added at 06:37 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:31 AM ----------

It may or may not be necessary, but since my collection isn't huge and time-consuming, I don't find it a hassle to provide a water dish and it certainly wouldn't hurt, so why not?
Sure, I'm fully on board with this. I do the same with some individuals.
 

curiousme

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Every keeper has a right to keep their animals how they wish as long as it isn't detrimental to the animal, I just don't see the point of this argument, even if you believe they don't "need" them they do use them when they are provided. So why wouldn't you provide them in this case?
Unfortunately, every keeper even has a right to keep their Ts how they wish, even if it is detrimental to them. :confused:

I don't believe there is an argument going on here, but simply keepers giving opinions and experience. :) No one is saying "don't use a water dish", because that would be bad advice for some people; but providing experience with not having the dish was asked for as well, so those opinions are presented too. There isn't a right or wrong to the question this thread is asking, just personal preferences.

The couple of ours that don't have dishes, don't have them because they continually buried them. I'm not talking about a little substrate in the dish that you can easily clean out either, they literally buried it so there is no trace of it anymore. Our A. hentzi is the worst one about doing this and before it was rehoused it had 2 or 3 bottlecaps buried in its enclosure. We didn't like excavating the inches of substrate that would need to be removed in order to find them and messing with its environment just to have it have to settle in again, so we simply replaced them. When we rehoused it we went without the dish, but make sure that there is always a wet spot for it every week or so to drink from if it needs it. If these Ts didn't show such an aversion to the water dish, they would have one as well.
 

JimM

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I don't believe there is an argument going on here, but simply keepers giving opinions and experience. :) No one is saying "don't use a water dish", because that would be bad advice for some people; but providing experience with not having the dish was asked for as well, so those opinions are presented too. There isn't a right or wrong to the question this thread is asking, just personal preferences.
.....Exactly
 
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