What originally got you all into the hobby?

CritterFriendly

Arachnopeon
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Sep 8, 2020
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I'm interested in hearing some stories about what got you all started keeping spiders and/or other awesome critters that aren't on the usual scale when most others think of "pets". Plus it's always nice to live the captivation again thru re-telling the story of what got you hooked.
 

Poonjab

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Nov 4, 2019
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I was one of those kids that grew up in the woods. From early on I took a strong interest in bugs, reptiles, etc.. from 6 on my dad would take me out to catch lizards, turtles, etc.. I would keep them for a week to a month at a time, then release them back into the wild. As I got older, I got into exotics more as I could purchase them in my early teens, as I started working jobs at a young age. I think I got into tarantulas in 2010, maybe sooner. Currently have 30+ T’s along with other critters. As far as T’s, they just bring me a lot of joy. They are simple, and I like that.
 

Liquifin

Arachnoprince
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I actually wanted to get into scorpions first, but a friend mentioned tarantula and then the rest was history. I'm now trying to get into scorpions, but I'm not too committed yet. Now, I'm slowly working towards something bigger.
 

vicareux

Arachnosquire
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Mar 14, 2020
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I was always interested in inverts. As a kid i was collecting praying mantises,but there wasn't any breeders in my country,so what i did,i would collect nymphs (Mantis Religiosa) and care for them until they reach a few weeks into adulthood,and release them back into the wild.
It was a bummer that i couldn't order any foreign species online and outside of my borders,the customs wouldn't allow it (I had a friend from UK send me 3 Phyllocrania Paradoxa nymphs,however they never arrived,nor the package was ever returned to the sender. R.I.P. little nymphs).

Then,a few years later i found out i could get into a very similar hobby that actually has a breeder in my country: Tarantulas!
Even though i started with a spider from a pet shop,it was still a dream come true to have a huge variety of species readily avaliable to keep in this hobby.
Though i'd still love a good mantis.
 

Hazel

Arachnopeon
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Jul 18, 2020
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I saw a tarantula in a pet shop the week of my First Holy Communion. I wanted one after that and would ask for one for Christmas and birthdays but was not allowed. My grandmother felt bad for me so she starting buying me a magazine called 'Bugs' ( I think). I collected the pieces that came with the magazine to make a giant glow in the dark spider. Anyway about 30 years later I finally got my first Tarantula during a global pandemic.
 

CritterFriendly

Arachnopeon
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Sep 8, 2020
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I personally grew up always outside in the woods or fields on the 4wheeler and catching all kinds of small animals and insects. My whole life growing up I've always had fish tanks and a turtle up until recently, had my red ear slider for 25 years or so. I've always had an interest in inverts and more exotic pets as well just never kept them really other than rehabbing injured snakes I came across on the land.
I found a rather large wolf spider (H. Antelucana) a couple months back and caught it in a gallon jug to show everyone inside and caught a cricket and dropped it in and before I could look in it had attacked and was going to town, I was so intrigued I decided to keep it, and a few others I found after that so I could do feedings regularly and just take turns on who ate. Which led me to finding my first jumper, a male P. Audax of decent size so I went and bought some "beta tanks" which are now custom spider homes.
Building the enclosures is as much an enjoyment in its own as keeping and watching all my spidey friends, and Ms. Mantis. I now have two P. Audax, a juvenile P. Regius, a juvie Magnolia green jumper, a male red faced jumper, then my two tan jumpers, then my wolfies, 3 H. Carolinesis then my H. Antelucana and one Carolina Mantis.
I am always looking to continue learning and grow my knowledge in all aspects on keeping, sharing that knowledge I have with others while over time expanding my collection.
 

Sterls

Arachnopeon
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Jan 1, 2018
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Grew up with reptiles, specifically lizards from as young as I can remember. We even had an iguana that roamed the house as she pleased, before we got dogs. Eventually I got into snakes, started keeping them on my own from about 10 years old on.

I held my cousin's G pulchripes at some point, which showed me tarantulas could be cool and not just terrifying. I don't handle now that I keep them myself though.

After that experience, mind you still years later, I finally felt like testing out keeping tarantulas. I lost my first spider, a sling I kept under arid adult conditions, for obvious reasons. Took me a year or so after that to try again, but ever since I've been hooked and the extra time / that mistake made have thankfully resulted in much better results this time around.

Nowadays I still have the snakes and some other herps, but I like how many Ts you can keep in the same space and how low maintenance they are at the same time
 
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Marlana

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Mar 27, 2020
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My story is a little different. I’ve never been terrified of spiders but I never liked them either. That changed when my daughter was a toddler. I saw her curiosity and realized I could instill a fear/dislike or an appreciation. I also had noticed in my friends kids a fear of bugs that went so far that a few kids didn’t want to go outside or would run inside whenever they saw a harmless bug. So I would show her bugs/snakes/lizards and explain something cool about them and their importance in our ecosystem. I definitely had to fake it at first but my curiosity grew too.

Fast forward a few years and I got a DSLR camera and macro lens. I started photographing bugs, jumping spiders being my favorite. When I found out people kept jumping spider for pets...I jumped in head first. Eventually my love grew to all spiders. ☺
 

Cororon

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Aug 8, 2018
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Pictures of jumping spiders turned my arachnophobia upside down, and I was amazed by how cute they were. I just had to learn more and more about them, and from that I also learned about other spiders and got hooked. I love finding spiders and studying them, and I try not to bother them too much. Even the tiniest spiderling makes me warm inside.

I don't really keep spiders as pets, but I let indoor spiders live with me, and I help them with food and water during the cold winters. If an outdoor spider shows up inside during the winter months, I have an enclosure with wood, bark and small plastic aquarium plants, so I keep it there safe and so it can have activities other than eating. Then I release it in spring when it's warm enough outside.

At the moment I don't think I have any spiders living here. I do miss the company, but it's also nice that I don't have to buy and bother with spider food. :p
 

Coradams

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Mar 28, 2018
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I got a job at a children's museum that has a small live animal section. My job is to develop and execute programming for the children, including programs about animals. I had to learn about all the animals, including the tarantula. I was very comfortable around the animals, never taking it personal if they were having a bad day or being squeamish about any mess they might leave for me to clean up so I am now also the back-up to the animal director, filling in if she is not there or assisting if she needs help. I was always scared of spiders when I was a kid but I realized I had to get over it if I was going to tell kids about the important roll they play in the world. I have seven of my own now (tarantulas that is- only three kids lol). If a child is afraid of the t at work, I tell them that I have a baby tarantula at home and all of a sudden, the tarantula isn't scary anymore. How can they be creepy if they come from babies? I think this is funny!
 

Nongkym

Arachnopeon
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Sep 29, 2005
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When I was 6 years old, my Mom captured a wandering male tarantula and housed him in a large pickle jar for a week. She allowed me to watch, observe and examine it closely. This started me on my path to becoming a biologist. Later as an adult, I saved a male tarantula from being squished in the road. This lead to in depth research and a greater appreciation for T's. The research helped me overcome some "spider anxiety" as well as help some of my friends overcome their arachnophobia too.

I use to have dreams of slings crawling out of my pillow, en masse. I still have that same dream on occasion, but now I have a different reaction. Instead of being horrified, I am looking around for cups to collect all the slings!
 

Mastermind 50

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Nov 9, 2020
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I was interested in bugs, reptiles, and creepy crawlies since I was like 6, and I would always catch and then release different things like caterpillars, butterflies, lizards, and other things. my parents noticed and told me that if I get something as a pet, what would it be. I answered spider, and now I have my first two T's. An T. Albopilosum, and a G. Pulchripes.
 

MrGhostMantis

Arachnoknight
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Jun 26, 2019
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I’ve always been interested in insects. All changed 2 years ago when I found a mantis. I fell head over heels into the hobby! All been downhill from there 😂
 

KeGathings17

Arachnopeon
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Feb 26, 2020
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Growing up in NM I always loved catching lizards and snakes, and eventually moved onto spiders. My mom told me a story(that I don't remember) of the first time I brought home a bug, it was a dead black widow! Thankfully I was not bitten, but ever since I was a kid I loved spiders and herps, no thanks to Mr. Steve Irwin of course. Got my first T for Christmas in 2014, my AF G. Porteri, and only recently really gotten into keeping multiple. Absolutely love these animals, and will probably be keeping as long as I can.
 
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