Tarantula DIY enclosures part TRES!

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I’m always looking to update or improve on the tarantula housing situation, and I’ve found a really inexpensive way to build out arboreal enclosures using 2.5 gallon Aqueon aquariums. This size is sometimes referred to as a ‘Betta House’, referencing the beautiful Siamese fighting fish.

While I am fond of customizing Zoomed bugariums for fast moving T’s like the beautiful Poecilotheria genus, the front door vertical set up works really well for slower moving tree spiders such as large juvenile or adult Avicularia.

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Four Zoomed Bugariums and some AMAC boxes below left.

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Tom’s Big Spiders “The Ultimate Tarantula Sling Guide, parts 1 & 2”

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For new tarantula owners, I will say that THIS should be required watching. For old hands, it’s an excellent refresher course.

Tom, thank you for taking the time to do this!

 

Part #2 will start following this installment.

 

 

Tarantula bits #9

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Been remiss on blogging lately. Lot’s of stuff going on over at Casa du Casey.

This is one post where I admit that I’m fallible…human…and prone to screwing up just like anyone else. Fortunately this has a happy ending.

So a couple weeks ago I’m doing my normal enclosure maintenance stuff when I noticed that my little Avicularia metallica juvenile had molted. This is one I’ve been interested in sexing, and so I pulled the enclosure off the shelf and prepared to snag the molt which was laying on the very top of the webbing. (A LOT of webbing.)

I look around and down into the enclosure, a tall AMAC plastic box, and I don’t see the tarantula anywhere in sight, so I think, “cool beans, time for my forceps and the usb microscope!”

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Have You Ever Been Bit By a Tarantula? A Survey

A new survey up for all you wranglers of 8-legged cats over on Tom’s Big Spider Blog. 🙂

Tom's Big Spiders

If you’re a hobbyist, please take a few seconds to participate!

Okay, I’m hoping to get as much participation as possible on this, so my sincere thanks to anyone who takes  a moment to answer or share these two polls.

The first question pertains to whether or not you’ve ever experienced a bite under any circumstances. I hear a lot of folks, mostly those new to the hobby, make statements like, “it’s only a matter of time until I get bit.” Do bites happen? Sure. But my belief is that they are not very common. So, who out there has experienced the business end of a tarantula?

The second question pertains to one of the hobby’s hot button issues; namely, are beginners who work with Old World species prone to getting bit? Logic would seem to dictate that someone used to slower, less defensive species could easily find themselves on…

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Guest Blog post: Neoholothele incei (gold) Communal by Casey J. Peter

In which I guest blog on Tom’s Big Spiders about communal living, Tarantula style! 🙂

Tom's Big Spiders

Introduction

As tarantulas are recognized as solitary creatures (mostly due to the fact that they view other spiders as lunch on eight legs) many find the idea of several tarantulas cohabitating peacefully to be a bit of a mind-blower. Perhaps that’s why successful communal setups garner so much curiosity and attention. A year ago, I started my first communal with 9 Monocentropus balfouri slings, and it has been incredibly rewarding and fascinating to watch these spiders interact. And, as I’ve shared my experiences through my blog and YouTube channel, it has also attracted a lot of attention from folks who would very much like to begin their own tarantula communals.

Although M. balfouris seem to present as one of the best species to successfully thrive in this set up, they are not the only species to display these tendencies. In fact, when I was originally giving thought to the idea…

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Tarantula bits #8

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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.

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Fish Stuff and such

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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.

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Tarantula bits #7

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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.

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Tarantula bits #4

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:

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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.

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