Why Do T's Fill Their Water Bowls w/Dirt??

WYSIWYG

SpiderLoco
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I was just wondering if anyone had an answer as to why some of my T's find it necessary to fill their water dishes with substrate? I used to have a B. smithi that it. I finally managed to "outsmart" him by moving him to a larger enclosure (10 gallon aquarium) and putting his water dish on the opposite side of his hidey hole. It worked! ;P

I already have my chaco golden stripe female (7 inches) in a sweater box, which has more floor space than a 10 gallon aquarium, yet she is doing it regularly now. The day after I took out her bowl and cleaned it for her, it was full of dirt again!

I love my spiders, but this just has to be one of the most ANNOYING aspects of spider keeping! :?

Wysi
 

sunnymarcie

Celestial Spider
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I have just one that does it:D
My A. seemani "Digger"
But only when there is burrow construction going on.
When the burrow is done the T stops.
I keep all but one of my T's on bone dry substrate.
I guess it packs better when its wet:rolleyes:
 

Mendi

Arachnowolf
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You're lucky you've only got the one that does this... I've got 5 that do this all the time. It seems they have them full again the morning if I empty them out the night before. It might be some sort of strange game the play with their keepers...... :p
 

Love to Foxtrot

Arachnoknight
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I used to have a G. rosea that would fill her water dish with substrate occasionally. It was not done often enough to bother me, but my Solfugid completely buries his water lid under the substrate every night!! I have to fish it out with a clothes hanger and clean/refill it every day. He only does this because he digs a new burrow every night. As far as why the tarantulas do it, I have no idea why they do it if they are not digging a burrow.

Aubrey
 

Godzilla2000

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I've found just by observing my T's that do that, they are usually perched above their little mud pies getting a blast of humidity for a bit before scampering off.
 

RugbyDave

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I think some of them do it accidentally while bulldozing their burrows....

And then i think the ones that aren't constructing burrows are doing it to tweak the humidity level.

And then there are some that do it purely to mess with us :)

peace
dave
 

arachnopunks

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We have several each of A. seemani, G. pulchra, and B. albopilosum right now and I think every single one of their waterdishes is covered with dirt right now. It is a full time job to try to keep up with them. As soon as you get them fixed, the cover them with substrate!!


-Jill
 

Bry

Arachnodemon
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Yeah, I agree with Dave. I think it's an accidental thing for the most part. My G. pulchra isn't so bad about it, she doesn't do a whole lot of digging because she seems quite content with the way her home is set up. But she is still quite active, I think. My B. albopilosum on the other hand, I only had to fish the bowl out from under 2" of substrate in the first few days I got her. She gets a little dirt in the bowl, but not too much, mostly when she's working on her burrow. The only real annoying thing is the way she webs the bowl to the floor, then when I pick it up to clean the bowl out, it takes strands of web and dirt with it. The web sticks pretty good to everything. I can't seem to get it to unstick off anything. If it sticks to one thing, and I try to move it, it sticks to my fingers or whatnot.

Bry
 

Code Monkey

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I figure it goes something like this: a T has no concept of the water bowl as an object with purpose. It gets thirsty and it's there, fine, go drink out of it. But, when the T is rearranging things it doesn't think about how if it fills the water bowl it won't have water, it's mindset tells it that there's a nice concave object that's no good for sitting on over there that would be a fine place to put some of this dirt.
 

Arachnopuppy

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Originally posted by Code Monkey
I figure it goes something like this: a T has no concept of the water bowl as an object with purpose. It gets thirsty and it's there, fine, go drink out of it. But, when the T is rearranging things it doesn't think about how if it fills the water bowl it won't have water, it's mindset tells it that there's a nice concave object that's no good for sitting on over there that would be a fine place to put some of this dirt.
That's actually not a bad explanation at all. All of my burrowing tarantulas do this also.
 

Rich

Arachnosquire
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I think they would rather get the water from the dirt then from the dish. They fill the dish with dirt...the dirt absorbs the water, then they stick their fangs in the dirt and withdraw the water. This could also explain why for the longest time it was thought best to put a sponge in the water dish...before they figured out bactaria would grow in the sponge along with crickest laying their eggs in it. But who know for sure...
 

Philth

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Some of my larger t's often place there spit balls in the water dish also.....why?
 

WYSIWYG

SpiderLoco
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Originally posted by Philth
Some of my larger t's often place there spit balls in the water dish also.....why?
Don't feel TOO bad, Philth. Better a spitwad in it than having it turned into a toilet. Some of mine thinks this makes a great place to relieve themselves. =D


Wysi
 

Code Monkey

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Originally posted by Rich
I think they would rather get the water from the dirt then from the dish. They fill the dish with dirt...the dirt absorbs the water, then they stick their fangs in the dirt and withdraw the water. This could also explain why for the longest time it was thought best to put a sponge in the water dish...before they figured out bactaria would grow in the sponge along with crickest laying their eggs in it. But who know for sure...
WHOA! Reality check time:

Tarantulas can't draw anything up through their fangs, they have zero moving mouth parts. The only way for them to consume anything is to bring it liquified to the oral orifice (which is recessed in the V shaped oral groove) and draw it up *there* through suction created by their pumping stomach.

The reason sponges continue to get used is people actually belive the nonsense about a spider being able to suck things with the fangs. A T trying to drink from a sponge or dirt is about as effective as you trying to suck your water from a soaked cinder block.
 

arachnopunks

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Our T. blondi's tend to put their food remains in their water bowls too. We have to get them cleaned up quick or we have a mite infested stinky mess.


-Jill
 

Professor T

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Originally posted by WYSIWYG
I was just wondering if anyone had an answer as to why some of my T's find it necessary to fill their water dishes with substrate? I used to have a B. smithi that it. I finally managed to "outsmart" him by moving him to a larger enclosure (10 gallon aquarium) and putting his water dish on the opposite side of his hidey hole. It worked! ;P

I already have my chaco golden stripe female (7 inches) in a sweater box, which has more floor space than a 10 gallon aquarium, yet she is doing it regularly now. The day after I took out her bowl and cleaned it for her, it was full of dirt again!

I love my spiders, but this just has to be one of the most ANNOYING aspects of spider keeping! :?

Wysi
This is my observation. My Brazilian Black, G. pulchra , was filling up her water dish with dirt. I improved the ventilation in her tank, thus lowering the humidity, and she stopped filling up the water dish with dirt. So, at least for my Brazilian Black, it seemed to be a response to too high humidity.

Did my T know the humidity was too high? Yes.

Did my T know what humidity was? No.

Did my T know water and humidity were linked? Yes, it did.

My T covered the water with the only thing it could...dirt.

I still keep a full water dish, but the tank has better ventilation. I would suggest lowering the humidity and see if your T still fills the dish with dirt. I am guessing the burial behavior will stop. Good luck!
 

WYSIWYG

SpiderLoco
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Re: Re: Why Do T's Fill Their Water Bowls w/Dirt??

Originally posted by Professor T
This is my observation. My Brazilian Black, G. pulchra , was filling up her water dish with dirt. I improved the ventilation in her tank, thus lowering the humidity, and she stopped filling up the water dish with dirt. So, at least for my Brazilian Black, it seemed to be a response to too high humidity.

Did my T know the humidity was too high? Yes.

Did my T know what humidity was? No.

Did my T know water and humidity were linked? Yes, it did.

My T covered the water with the only thing it could...dirt.

I still keep a full water dish, but the tank has better ventilation. I would suggest lowering the humidity and see if your T still fills the dish with dirt. I am guessing the burial behavior will stop. Good luck!
Thanks for your input, everyone. :)

I think I have solved the mystery in my girl's case....

When she gets a fresh bowl of water, she either drinks from it or saves it for later. After she decides to either drink it or not drink it, she gets the urge to go potty. In this case, the big giant round thing in her container has a new purpose......to potty in.

Later on, she gets tired of seeing (and maybe smelling) the icky gross stuff in her water, so the only thing she can do is BURY it. That way, she won't have to see it anymore......until the next time I clean all the dirt out of her container and the cycle starts again. ;P

T's are really STRANGE critters!! :?

Wysi, who is feeling the urge to pee in her next water bottle ;)
 
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