Mature female Psalmopoeus cambridgei “Cami”
There comes a “first time” for stuff in every hobby. Breeding is one of these things in the exotic pet side of things. While it is not for every hobbyist, once the itch needs to be scratched, it’s only a matter of time.
That time, for me, came on this past Sunday.
One of my hobbyist friends mentioned online that she had two female Psalmopoeus cambridgei tarantulas that were being snooty toward her male, refusing to have anything to do with it other than as a potential snack.
So here is the freshwater dirt-planted 40 gallon breeder tank approaching the end of the first year in operation. I couldn’t be happier…well if the fish would quit eating all the plants, that’d be great. But other than that. 😀
This type of setup is known as a “Walstad method tank” as it uses a dirt substrate capped with gravel rather than a complex system of filtration. In this method, all of the filtration is done with the plants absorbing the stuff that the fish leave off, giving back oxygen into the water.
In the “pure” method, that is all that is done other than water top offs for evaporation.
Avicularia sp. guyana
So in this episode of “bits”, I present the way I house (and rehouse) the gentle fluffball that is the Avicularia genus. These spiders are among the most docile creatures in the tarantula kingdom, as well as stunningly beautiful.
That said, spiders of this genus CAN be skittish and they WILL jump from time to time. So new keepers be aware, as this can be an issue with handling. For instance, in the main photo above, right after I took the picture, the T jumped from there on my arm right onto the camera….then to the desk, and then back onto my other arm, coming to a stop on the back of my hand. I LOVE it when they do this, but the first time this happens can be…unnerving. Heh.
New shelving going to be needed soonish.
Rehousing Poecilotheria(s). [Indian ornamental tarantulas.]
Just a quick post with some pics of today’s adventures in rehousing a Poecilotheria regalis and a P. miranda.
The P. regalis was fun as it decided to explore the bathtub wall tile, but was easily catch cupped. Tarantulas roll in spurts, and the trick is to let em’ stop before trying to recapture.
The P. miranda on the other hand, waltzed gracefully from the old house to the cup to the new house.
This is the time that I’ve been expecting. Quite a few of my collection are growin’ up, and require better (bigger) accommodations. In the next week, I will have to rehouse seven tarantulas, some arboreal, some terrestrial and one that can’t make up its mind whether it is one or the other. Heh.
A quick note on the large enclosure. A “bugarium” as is mentioned in the pictures is a Zoomed product. A surprisingly inexpensive 8 x 8 x 11″ terrarium of glass construction with a removable top. I custom built the top with acrylic and four 2″ round vents, leaving one of these loose to easily feed and water without major disruption for the tarantula. A rock weight keeps things from becoming accidentally “interesting”. I am very…VERY pleased with this product, and will be using it to house quite a few more specimens going forward. While this doesn’t have “cross-ventilation”, it is ‘airy’, and most adult tarantulas don’t need a breeze to thrive. Another positive for me with these is the uniform appearance. It will be quite simple to shelve these cubes for display without a lot of odd sized enclosures making things look cluttered.
Anyway, here’s the process of rehouse in pictures: (Click the coffee cup for the slideshow and captions.)
Pre-game. Achieving my ZEN before messing with fast movers.
I find this the absolute best place to deal with fast moving tarantulas. More room for shenanigans without real “issue”.
The P. regalis in catch cup after exploring the bathroom wall.
The P. miranda was just fine with the way things were supposed to go. 🙂
P. miranda’s new apartment. This one will get a ‘bugarium’ like the P. regalis in a couple of molts.
P. regalis at home (bottom front poking out from the verge).
P. regalis exploring the new digs.
P. regalis setting up shop.
Two completed rehouse tasks. Pretty happy with how the custom enclosures came out.
Pterinochilus murinus watching TV.
This ‘bits’ is going to focus on the Pterinochilus murinus (OBT) as one of the most interesting and easy to care for Tarantulas in the hobby.
After watching and re-reading Tom’s Big Spiders article on the “best beginner tarantulas”, I teased him a bit with a few of the more “advanced” species that sometimes end up as a beginner T-Keeper’s charges. This of course got me to pondering the age-old debate about the OBT, and thus this post.
Writer in editing mode
It has definitely been awhile since I updated the blog on the writing side of things. A few reasons. I really don’t like writing about writing. I also discovered that I’m not really a fan of reading about writers expounding on writing. Bores me to tears.
When I took the plunge into actually publishing my work, I friended up quite a few authors and independently published writers in the social media world to get their take on things. Educational yep. Exciting and fun to read? Nope. So my blog has evolved to the things I DO find interesting to blabber about, namely my 8-legged cats and other hobbies.
That all said, I haven’t stopped writing, but it has slowed down this last twelve months. You’re probably asking yourself at this point, if this dude hates writing about writing so much, what is this for? The answer is that I have actual readers now who are waiting for the next book(s) in the series that began with “Princess”. Folks wanna’ know where things are at, and a few have asked politely how stuff is going, so here ya go.
Sometimes there is no rhyme nor reason to a tarantula sling dying. I lost my Tapinauchenius violaceus the other day. It was eating well, kept in a good enclosure and seemed to be thriving. However…it molted. The next day it high dived off of the cork bark onto the floor of its home and this is where I found it:
I can see nothing wrong with it, other than it is in a death curl. At first I thought it might be getting ready to molt, but it JUST DID that the day before.
In this hobby, raising tarantulas from slings is more economical from the cost standpoint, but you run a much higher risk of mortality. Beginning keepers sometimes lose slings from improper care. Even us “older-hands” will sometimes have losses that can be explained (such as my last Avicularia). The annoying thing is that there are times the little derps will kick the bucket without a good visible reason.