What is your approach or method for growing out slings?

Colorado Ts

Arachnobaron
Active Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
382
I see these posts a lot. Seldom does a week go by without someone asking how to setup an enclosure, what substrate to use, what size enclosure...what to feed, etc.

Those of you, who have a system for raising slings, what is your system? How do you do it?

I look forward reading to your approaches.


My Method: Terrestrial Slings

All my slings are kept in a cabinet with sliding glass front doors. The cabinet has been modified with the addition of a thermo regulator set at 79 degrees and a small ceramic space heater on the bottom shelf. A breeder was telling me the other day that he uses heat tape...not sure what is, but he was very supportive of it use. So I'll look into it and report my findings later. Slings are stored beginning on the top shelf, with over flow going to the second shelf as needed. No slings are ever kept on the bottom shelf, due to heat concerns. Once slings reach a size of 2” to 3” they are then moved to adult enclosures and setup in the spider room, where the temperature varies from 74 degrees to 78 degrees...usually.

All slings are fed twice a week. When moved into the spider room, they are then fed once a week, or once every other week.

All enclosures are labeled, for identification and tracking.

Sample label:

AphoSee#1
Aphonopelma seemanni, Brown Phase
17th November 2019 Adult 5” Female
Private Purchase, Ft Collins, $15.00

The label contains all information that I want to identify the spider, and stays with the spider until it dies or is re-homed to someone else. I also have a tracking document in Word, that has this same information, with the addition of moulting dates and a journal of observation for the species and observations for individual spiders using their ID. If anything happens to the spider then the label in the Word document is updated to indicate final disposition and a journal entry is made that contains all the details.


1/2” slings (Terrestrial)

I don't go smaller than 1/2” when bringing in slings. I'm not set up for it yet. So I'll start with the 1/2” size.

For these slings, I use AMAC boxes that measures ~1.25” X 1.25” X 2”. Small surface area and the sling is able to burrow. At about a centimeter below the lid, I drill evenly spaced holes on two opposite sides of the enclosure for cross ventilation. The substrate is coco fibre that is packed into the enclosure leaving about 3/4” to 1” from substrate to lid. I’ll put a starter burrow in two opposite corners, and lightly moisten the substrate.

The slings are transferred into the enclosure and offered a food item after 24 to 48 hours of acclimation. Small crickets or small roaches are offered as food. If the sling is refusing live food on multiple occasions, then they are fed a scavenger diet of cricket parts or roach parts.

3/4” to 1” slings (Terrestrial)

For slings of this size range, or smaller slings that have grown into this size range, I use AMAC boxes that measure 4” X 4” X 4” Primarily. I do also use a couple boxes that are 4” X 4” X 6” for some species. At about a centimeter below the lid, I drill evenly spaced ventilation holes on two opposite sides for cross ventilation. The substrate is again coco fibre that is packed into the enclosure. For most species I'll use moist substrate. (For Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens I'll use 3/4” dry substrate with a hide and added anchor point to encourage webbing.)

The substrate is sloped into one corner, and packed creating a contoured surface. I then pack a channel in the substrate and then press a cork bark over the channel. When completed, this will look like a tiny hill that has a small hole with a chunk of wood over the top. I then cut up moss into small chunks and scatter it around the sides and on top of the hill that forms the top of the enclosure. I leave the area in front of the hide as a depression with no moss. Since doing this, the sling almost always chooses to enter the hide and start burrowing. By setting up the hide and channel into a corner, the sling will have depth, and will always burrow into the corner, creating a nice little room with two windows and sometimes even a floor window for viewing.

I also include a water dish, that is probably a bottled water lid. This it put on top of the hide or high up on the sides to one side or the other. If put in the depression in front of the burrow entrance, the water is simply filled every day with...stuff. For some species it won't matter where you put the water dish it will be filled with stuff.

The slings are transferred into the enclosure and offered a food item after 24 to 48 hours of acclimation. I feed the slings roaches. I raise my own roaches, B lateralis & B. dubia.

The slings will remain in this enclosure until they reach 2” to 2.5”...or if I'm a bad person, 3”. Then they are transferred to adult accommodations.

1FE347E7-9E07-4C28-87C8-00291F6693A6.jpeg
I assemble my enclosures days before the slings arrive. Here is a stack of enclosures waiting to be labeled.
 
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The Grym Reaper

Arachnoreaper
Arachnosupporter
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Jul 19, 2016
Messages
3,341
Terrestrial slings

sling enclosure1.JPG sling enclosure2.JPG
Under 1" - 4oz condiment cup set up like in the 1st image above. Moisten sub/moss with a pipette as needed.
Between 1" and 2" - 10oz (pictured) or 16oz set up like in the 2nd image above. Overflow water dish as needed.

Feeding - For faster growing species, every 3 days until 1" and then every 5 days until 2". For slower growing species every 7 days until 1" and then every 10 days until 2".

For heavy webbers I just use less sub and add anchor points.

Once specimens reach 2" they go into juvenile enclosures (small KK or 4.5L hobby life tub).

Aviculariinae arboreal slings

Avicularinae sling setup.jpg

32oz deli cup set up like in the image above.

Ventilation - Row of holes all around just above substrate level, the same about an inch from the top, a few holes at mid-height, and about half a dozen holes in the lid.

Moisten 1/4 - 1/3 of the sub by overflowing the water dish and repeating when it dries out.

Feeding - Every 3 days until 1" then every 5 days until 2".

Once specimens reach 2" they go into juvenile enclosures (usually 4L lock & lock plastic cookie jar)

Non-Avic arboreal slings

Non Avic setup 1.jpg

32oz deli cup set up like in the image above.

Ventilation - A row of holes all around just above substrate level, and about half a dozen holes in the lid.

Keep substrate slightly moist by overflowing the water dish as needed.

Feeding - Every 3 days until 1" then every 5 days until 2".

Once specimens reach 2" they go into juvenile enclosures (usually 3.7L hobby life tub).
 

Vanisher

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 2, 2004
Messages
2,326
I just keep them around 20-21 degrees celcius, moisting and feeding them as i see fit. I am pretty uncomplicated nowdays cos i dont have that many. They grow pretty slow but i dont care
 

Colorado Ts

Arachnobaron
Active Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
382
DC453131-8E5E-49E5-9FAF-4A56D09AFC31.jpeg
This is the enclosure for my Grammostola pulchripes. In the upper right corner you can see the rump of a roache, somebody didn't eat dinner last night again...so hopefully it'll moult soon.

I use 4X4X4 AMAC containers for most of my slings. The substrate is pressed coco fibre. I like to slope the substrate so that there is a small hill, sloping into a corner of the enclosure. I then put a trench coming out of the corner, and place the hide over the trench to create a starter burrow. To further entice the sling to use the starter burrow, I chop up spaghnum moss and loosely place it on the sides and behind the hide, then I pack down the substrate infront of the burrow.

Spiders don't seems to like loose substrate, and they definitely don't care for loose moss, so as the sling sits on the packed substrate they usual find the starter burrow and get to work. When they dig their burrow, it goes right into the corner, and they create a burrow with windows. It’s nice to have windows, so that when they bury themselves, Grammostolas especially, I have the option of looking into their little home and seeing that all looks to be fine.

For this specific enclosure, I added a bit of sand, that shows up as white particles in front of the burrow entrance. I don't think the sling likes the sand, as it has buried most of it...or it could just be normal G. pulchripes behavior. At present,I have only one G. pulchripes...so I won't really have a feel for the species until I've raised like 5 or 6 of them. They’re on my to get list...

All my enclosures of this size have a water dish. Enclosures for slings 1/2” or smaller have moist or damp substrate.

F94EBC44-9F57-4D78-BDE2-6731E9216B55.jpeg
Here’s my sling nicely tucked away near the entrance, waiting to be fed...again. Must have forgotten about dinner last night. Edit: With the roach in the upper image, this little sling might be getting close to moulting. It looks a bit glassy, though not overly dark. Wait and see...

FD08CF98-73EC-491E-9EA2-F4992E5AC2B8.jpeg

This is the enclosure for my Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens.

For this species, I use dry substrate, and no moss as that tends to hold moisture. It’s been my experience that GBB slings don’t care much for moisture in the enclosure. I use a water dish, but I don’t overflow it, ever. There is much less substrate, as the GBB doesn’t seem to burrow much as a sling, they tend to focus their time between meals on webbing up the enclosure.

I include a piece of bark as a hide. In this case the bark is from a Blackwalnut tree. The slings will sometimes dig under the bark when building their “home”. But as previously stated, mostly they web up the enclosure.

3401AA75-D557-44C6-8D7B-341C9EFDFAE0.jpeg

I have noticed that it is not unusual for slings to become habituated to feeding times. Of my 5 slings, 4 of them come out when its feeding time. 3 of them will actually climb the sides of the enclosure and wait to be fed, while the last one sits in its webbing and waits for the prey item to appear.

Again, dinner time was last night, so wishful thinking on the part of the sling.

The water dish always seems to have little bits of substrate in it, each time I check the enclosure. I've noticed that as the slings have gotten larger, the water dishes seem to drain faster. So I'm lead to believe that they are using the dishes regularly.
 
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Colorado Ts

Arachnobaron
Active Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
382
Setting Up a Sling Cabinet

This is a growth cabinet that I use to raise my slings.

60FFC852-451D-4CED-8D28-F1FEC172A03D.jpeg

This is where I keep my slings. It’s a glass-fronted cabinet that I picked up very cheaply.

From Amazon, I ordered a temperature regulator, used in greenhouses to regulate heat pad temperatures; and I purchased a small ceramic space heater.

The thermometer on the thermo regulator is mounted on the middle shelf, and the regulator is set at 79 degrees. The internal temperature fluctuates between about 80.5 degrees at the upper end and will drop to 77.5 as a low.

The slings are raised in the cabinet until they hit 2.5” to 3”, where they are then transferred and rehoused into larger enclosures.
 
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