Worried first Chilean Rose Hair owner - Not molting (cracks in legs)

Katiepie89

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Hi there. I'm a new Chilean Rose Hair owner and tarantula owner in general. I've had my baby for over a year now and she (?) molted once last January. I'm worried because she hasn't eaten anything in about 5-6 months now and her legs have cracks in them (which have been there for a while now). I feel like she's trying to molt, but she just can't. I bought a humidifier to raise the moisture around her tank and was thinking of getting a lamp for over the tank to raise the temp a bit since I'm in Michigan and it's been colder in my house and dryer with the drastic weather changes. Also, I've misted in the corners of her tank as well.

Is the lamp too much heat or light? Am I right to be concerned? Should I try and get her a cricket or two to try and eat? It's my understanding that she will not eat until she molts and to not try and feed her until she does.

Also, underneath her legs in her joints appears to be almost clear. I feel that's not a good sign, but I would greatly appreciate any suggestions and info on what I should do or expect.

Thank you. :(
 

Ungoliant

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I'm worried because she hasn't eaten anything in about 5-6 months now and her legs have cracks in them (which have been there for a while now). I feel like she's trying to molt, but she just can't.
What makes you think she is trying to molt? Is she in an unusual position? Photos would help.

Typically, when molting, the tarantula lies on its back or side, and the carapace cracks open around the sides (where it meets the underside) before anything else happens. The legs do not normally crack open. The tarantula just wriggles its new legs out of the old legs.


Is the lamp too much heat or light?
How cold does it get and for how long?

Do not use a heat lamp, as it will desiccate your tarantula. It is generally safer to heat the room rather than the enclosure.

Light alone does not harm a tarantula as long as it has a place to hide. Ideally, you should turn off the light at night to give it a proper day/night cycle.
 

Katiepie89

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It was my understanding that they molt yearly around the same time. Am I wrong about that? Thank you very much for this. I am very worried that I'm doing something wrong and she might not make it. I have a thermometer on the side of her tank and I try and keep the heat in the house up around 70. Her tank reads 65 degrees and the humidity reader is at 40ish.

Also, I have a small heating pad under her tank that lightly heats the bottom. I just moved her from a smaller tank to a 10 gallon thinking that would give her more room to roam/better living space/more hiding places. She has a bull horn that she hides in and I keep her water clean and fresh. Please see the picture I attached and let me know what you think and what else I should do.
Thank you so much.
 

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Moakmeister

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It was my understanding that they molt yearly around the same time. Am I wrong about that? Thank you very much for this. I am very worried that I'm doing something wrong and she might not make it. I have a thermometer on the side of her tank and I try and keep the heat in the house up around 70. Her tank reads 65 degrees and the humidity reader is at 40ish.

Also, I have a small heating pad under her tank that lightly heats the bottom. I just moved her from a smaller tank to a 10 gallon thinking that would give her more room to roam/better living space/more hiding places. She has a bull horn that she hides in and I keep her water clean and fresh. Please see the picture I attached and let me know what you think and what else I should do.
Thank you so much.
Those aren't cracks bud. They're stripes. Also, how big is she? A smaller enclosure is much better for tarantulas. A larger enclosure will make them hide more and grow more slowly.
 

BobBarley

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It was my understanding that they molt yearly around the same time. Am I wrong about that?
Molt cycles for these guys can be upwards of several years...

I have a thermometer on the side of her tank and I try and keep the heat in the house up around 70. Her tank reads 65 degrees and the humidity reader is at 40ish.
Temp doesn't matter as long as it doesn't get below 60 F. Humidity doesn't matter, sub should be completely dry.

Also, I have a small heating pad under her tank that lightly heats the bottom.
Unneeded and may burn the t, especially since it is at the bottom.



The "cracks" are just light patterning, nothing to worry about.
 

cold blood

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Don't read care sheets...they kill tarantulas!!!! Same for 99% of pet store advice.

You have obviously been given poor advice all around...which isn't surprising considering the amount of complete crap that's out there on the internet.

As mentioned by Bob, adults of the species generally molt every 4-6 years...not yearly. How often an adult molts is dependent on a lot of things, but the species will give a good indicator. Adults of many species do molt yearly, but Chilean species do not.

They also have about the lowest food requirement in the t world. Common fasting generally means people binge feed when the t does eat, which just leads to more and longer fasting episodes. Many adults go a year, some as much as two years...still others will fast 3-12 months just because.

With molt cycles as long as they have, one has a good 4-6 years to fatten the t, taking it slowly leads to less fasting. I feed 1-3 meals per month, one feeder per.

Along with this slow metabolic rate comes an increased resistance to cold, and these can deal with consistently cooler temps than most species. Temps in the 60's are fine, and night temps into the 50's will be of little consequence. Your temps are fine. Ditch the heat mat.

Heat lamps are bad, its quicker, tastier and more humane to just deep fry them.

Now to the misting and humidifier...this species has no moisture requirements, in fact, they despise moisture, often it sends them climbing the walls to avoid it...long term it can kill them. Just a water bowl, that's literally the only thing you need to worry about with regards to moisture. Ditch the hygrometer.

Wait for a feeding posture, when you see that, then feed. This is all spread out, often with the rump raised ever so slightly...like this.

The clear spots at the joints are also perfectly normal.
 

boina

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Listen to everything @cold blood said.

Just to sum it up:

Lose the
- heat mat
- thermometer
- hygrometer
- heat lamp
- humidifier
- mister
- care sheets
- worry

Your T and you will feel much better once you decide to do nothing at all :)

Heat lamps are bad, its quicker, tastier and more humane to just deep fry them.
:rofl::rofl:
 

Formerphobe

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My very adult wild caught female (probably in the 20+ year old age range) only molts every 3 to 4 years. And only accepts a prey item every 3 to 6 months.
My youngster that I've raised from a sling (6 years) goes a little over a year between molts at this stage in her life. Still eating 1 large cricket every month or so.

They do have humidity requirements which are more than adequately met in the average climate controlled North American home. Offering a wide mouth, shallow water bowl provides all their needs.

If you're comfortable without stripping down or bundling up in multiple layers, the spider will be fine. In the desert they live in burrows to escape the heat of the day and to keep warm when temps can drop near freezing at night.
 

darkness975

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@Katiepie89 Now that you have found Arachnoboards disregard all information that you have been told about Tarantula care prior to this. Sadly the amount of misinformation out there is stifling but fortunately for you you have now found the #1 Tarantula care resource.

Also please take a picture of the entire enclosure in case we see anything that might need correcting.

Also do everything that @cold blood and the rest of the posters here have said.
 

cold blood

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That's with regards to slings only. Slings in an over-size enclosure hide out a ton more and are almost always much less aggressive eaters, which does lead to significantly slower growth...I've done the experiment with literally 100s of terrestrial slings of multiple species, and the results were always the same.

But this doesn't apply to larger specimens, just the littler ones.
 
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Formerphobe

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That's with regards to slings only. Slings in an over-size enclosure hide out a ton more and are almost always much less aggressive eaters, which does lead to significantly slower growth...I've done the experiment with literally 100s of terrestrial slings of multiple species, and the results were always the same.

But this doesn't apply to larger specimens, just the littler ones.
I've raised slings in "over sized" containers for years so as to minimize rehousings. They seem to do better in a more consistently familiar environment where they can set up housekeeping instead of being uprooted every few molts. I've never had a problem with growth rates. Indeed, I've had people ask if I feed my slings Miracle Grow.

To whatshisname, I ain't your "bruh", nor whatever the female counterpart of that word is.
 

cold blood

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I've raised slings in "over sized" containers for years so as to minimize rehousings. They seem to do better in a more consistently familiar environment where they can set up housekeeping instead of being uprooted every few molts. I've never had a problem with growth rates. Indeed, I've had people ask if I feed my slings Miracle Grow.

To whatshisname, I ain't your "bruh", nor whatever the female counterpart of that word is.
I experimented with several species of terrestrial slings, and literally 100% of the ones in over size enclosures hid constantly and grew significantly slower...like 2 molts in the time their siblings molted 8 times. I had siblings over 2" and when I dug up the ones in the large enclosures they were still 3/4", one was even smaller than that.

Put them in condiment cups and those same slow growing spiders suddenly ate everything I offered and started growing much much faster....many even nearly caught their larger siblings after that re-house.

I used G. pulchripes, N. chromatus and A. ezendami for the experiments. The ezendami fared slightly better, but only slightly. When I did the same experiment with arboreals (avics and psalms) I noticed no such disparity.

I can only report on my experiences, and this has been my experience.

I am curious for your reasonings...to not re-house them?...that doesn't make sense as slings of any species are pretty simple to re-house. And who re-houses their slings every few weeks? A sling stays in a condiment cup for months on end, not a few weeks, no t grows that fast.
 
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Formerphobe

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I experimented with several species of terrestrial slings, and literally 100% of the ones in over size enclosures hid constantly and grew significantly slower...like 2 molts in the time their siblings molted 8 times. I had siblings over 2" and when I dug up the ones in the large enclosures they were still 3/4", one was even smaller than that.

Put them in condiment cups and those same slow growing spiders suddenly ate everything I offered and started growing much much faster....many even nearly caught their larger siblings after that re-house.

I used G. pulchripes, N. chromatus and A. ezendami for the experiments. The ezendami fared slightly better, but only slightly. When I did the same experiment with arboreals (avics and psalms) I noticed no such disparity.

I can only report on my experiences, and this has been my experience.

I am curious for your reasonings...to not re-house them?...that doesn't make sense as slings of any species are pretty simple to re-house. And who re-houses their slings every few weeks? A sling stays in a condiment cup for months on end, not a few weeks, no t grows that fast.
In nature, many terrestrial/fossorial slings dig or move into preexisting burrows where they remain their entire lives. Captive bred individuals aren't afforded that luxury. Most individuals adapt, after a fashion, to being periodically rehoused. Many sub or adult captive specimens become more visible only because they've been removed from their home burrow (rehoused).

The terrestrial slings I've raised to adulthood in their "adult enclosures", continue to enlarge, expand and use their burrows, even as adults. I make sure disabled or killed prey items are left at burrow openings when slings are still small. I've never had a problem with growth rates. (i.e. G porteri grew from 1 inch to to 4.5 inches in four years.)

I do start tiny slings out in condiment or deli cups. I aim at rehousing once, when they are about one inch dls. It's not a matter of it being simple to rehouse slings. I'm aiming at the long term comfort of the spider.
 

boina

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The problem with the over large enclosures may not be so much the size as the lack of structures. It has been shown that a great variety of animals are scared of and avoid open spaces. There is even a test, called open field test, to determine exploratory behaviour in open spaces. While to the best of my knowledge this has never been attempted with tarantulas I guess it is reasonable to conclude that terrestrial Ts avoid wide open spaces, like nearly all other animals - they'd be open for predation. In nature, as @Formerphobe started with that argument, slings will NOT create a burrow in the middle of some wide open dirt field, but among stones, grasses, sticks - all things that provide cover if the sling feels it necessary to leave the burrow to go hunting. The over sized enclosures for slings I've seen don't provide that kind of cover. There's a hide and a water dish and a lot of open space. Ergo, the sling burrows and hardly ever comes out because the balance between hunger and need for cover tips towards need for cover. Providing a smaller enclosure for slings as @cold blood suggested is actually one way to take care of the slings very natural need for cover. I'm sorry, formerphobe, but when you cite the behaviour of Ts in nature I don't think you were covering all aspects of that in your post.
 

cold blood

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I do start tiny slings out in condiment or deli cups.
You had me scratching my head...then I read this line I quoted and it all became clear. Either you misunderstood, or just didn't fully read my posts.....see, small slings, under 1" (generally much smaller), are the ONLY spiders I was referring to (line 1, post #12).....so we do pretty much the exact same thing...small slings in a condiment cup and at about 1" they go into 16oz delis till almost 3"...and for a 1" sling, a deli is a slightly oversized enclosure. They then stay in this for a good long time, till they outgrow it at about 2.5-3"....which seemed to be what you were describing.

I thought this would have been clear as I described the sizes of the small ones that grew glacially slow in over-size enclosures as still being 3/4" or below when I ended the experiment.....they were all under 1/2" when I began this experiment.
 

Formerphobe

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You had me scratching my head...then I read this line I quoted and it all became clear. Either you misunderstood, or just didn't fully read my posts.....see, small slings, under 1" (generally much smaller), are the ONLY spiders I was referring to (line 1, post #12).....so we do pretty much the exact same thing...small slings in a condiment cup and at about 1" they go into 16oz delis till almost 3"...and for a 1" sling, a deli is a slightly oversized enclosure. They then stay in this for a good long time, till they outgrow it at about 2.5-3"....which seemed to be what you were describing.

I thought this would have been clear as I described the sizes of the small ones that grew glacially slow in over-size enclosures as still being 3/4" or below when I ended the experiment.....they were all under 1/2" when I began this experiment.
I may have missed some of the size references. Back in the day when I could see pinhead sized slings, they went in condiment cups until they reached about one inch.
Even now, when anything reaches about an inch, it goes into adult enclosure. (Because of my failing eyesight, I don't get the teeny tinies any more.)
The only glacially slow grower I've had is a Euathlus sp blue femur.
 
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