Will I ever see her again? smithi

instar

Arachnosquire
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Nov 9, 2006
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After swapping out to peat, or spaghnum moss in my smithi's tank about a month ago, I haven't seen her since.
I had her on crushed walnut and she was all over the place, and webbed up the floor big time!
I was advised to switch to moss for substrate (for her comfort) and now I haven't seen her in about a month. She has a half tree trunk cave for a retreat and she has barracaded both ends with the moss. I'm sure the crickets I offer are making their way in, but when is she coming out to drink? Is she coming out at night to drink then going back in and piling up the moss at the entrance?
I have no idea what's going on in her little hut because I can't see inside.
Is this all normal? I suppose I'm sure she isn't stupid enough to block herself up in there and die of dehydration...right?
 

cheetah13mo

Arachnoking
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No, I'm sure she's fine. Usually when they baracade themselves up like that, they are getting ready for a molt. The fact that your T has been in there a month just backs that up.
 

instar

Arachnosquire
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No, I'm sure she's fine. Usually when they baracade themselves up like that, they are getting ready for a molt. The fact that your T has been in there a month just backs that up.
Really...hmm. I am anxious for a first molt in my posession. I just wish I could see inside...frustrating!

This might explain why crickets are living so long in there as of recently. :?
 

Mushroom Spore

Arachnoemperor
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This might explain why crickets are living so long in there as of recently. :?
If they aren't eaten in 24 hours, you need to get them OUT. In fact, stop putting them in there to begin with. The last thing you want is for crickets to get into her nest and eat her while she's weak and soft from molting.

It would take a T *years* to starve to death, so better safe than sorry.
 

instar

Arachnosquire
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If they aren't eaten in 24 hours, you need to get them OUT. In fact, stop putting them in there to begin with. The last thing you want is for crickets to get into her nest and eat her while she's weak and soft from molting.

It would take a T *years* to starve to death, so better safe than sorry.
I do take them out, within hours in fact. They then get to spend some quality time with the blondi. ;)

Thanks all!
 

Ando55

Arachnobaron
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If they aren't eaten in 24 hours, you need to get them OUT. In fact, stop putting them in there to begin with. The last thing you want is for crickets to get into her nest and eat her while she's weak and soft from molting.

It would take a T *years* to starve to death, so better safe than sorry.
Bump to what MS said, no one wants to hear a cricket eating your T story as we read some already, don't make this mistake, most likely your smithi is molting, good luck!:D
 

common spider

Arachnobaron
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I agree this is normal.The T is getting ready to molt so no need to worry.
 

instar

Arachnosquire
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Thanks guys, but...

When I went in the tank yesterday to check for renegade or hiding crickets I may have missed, I heard the smithi "kick hairs" inside her hut. Shouldn't she be upside down in there or inactive right now?
Or, is she still gearing up?

This would be my first experience with molting if that's what she's up to.
 

instar

Arachnosquire
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Also, should I increase humidity at all? I read in Schultz' book that they basically think the T's own internal fluids are enough to do the job. Any thoughts?
 

cheetah13mo

Arachnoking
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It could take some time after she seals herself off to acually go through the action of molting. My smithi has been in premolt for 2 months now and shes sealed herself up 2 weeks ago. At 4 1/2 inches, it could be another month before she actually molts. She's going to force you to have more patients. All you can do is wait and watch.

My thoughts are that increasing humidity does help but that is my personal opinion. Adding a little moisture definitly won't hurt.
 

instar

Arachnosquire
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It could take some time after she seals herself off to acually go through the action of molting. My smithi has been in premolt for 2 months now and shes sealed herself up 2 weeks ago. At 4 1/2 inches, it could be another month before she actually molts. She's going to force you to have more patients. All you can do is wait and watch.

My thoughts are that increasing humidity does help but that is my personal opinion. Adding a little moisture definitly won't hurt.
Really!...excellent, thanks. I just wish I could watch this.
 

BurrowDweller

Arachnoknight
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It does take them a while sometimes. It seems the bigger they get the longer premolt last. I am generally not the most patient person, but when it comes to Ts I have gotten to the point that unless I can see that something is definatley wrong I just wait it out. Ts have there own sense of time it seems, and when it comes to Brachys it is slow motion compared to what humans seem to expect.

As far as adding extra humidity, as long as there is water available in a dish I have had zero problems with Brachys having bad molts. Seems if I try to add moisture to the substrate they just generally do not like it. So I just stick with the dish and all has been good.
 

instar

Arachnosquire
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Thanks again.

Something else occured to me, what if she has a problematic molt in there, how will I know? She hung a "Do not disturb" sign at the entrance! :D
 

cheetah13mo

Arachnoking
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You won't know until it's a done deal. Welcome to tarantula keeping. ;)
 
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