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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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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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 #6

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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.)

 

Tarantula bits #5

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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.

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The Best Tarantula Species For Beginners Revisited (Video Version)

A video update to Tom’s Big Spider “best beginners article. Well worth the read..and now the watch! 🙂

Tom's Big Spiders

“What is the best tarantulas species for a beginner?”

I’ve spent a lot of time answering this question over the years, and for those just dipping their toe into this amazing hobby, it’s an excellent and important question to ask. Several year ago, I wrote my article “The Best Tarantula Species for Beginners” in which I detailed the species I thought make excellent first tarantulas for someone just starting out. In this first version, I included only species I kept and cared for so that I could share my own experiences and anecdotes on them.  To be truthful, my opinions on some of the species (I’m looking at you A. chalcodes, A. avicularia, and B. vagans!) have changed over the years, so I’ve continued to periodically revise the original text to jigger the order and to add new species deserving of the title. With the post nearing 50,000…

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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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Tarantula bits #3

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Aphonopelma anax “Tango” hard at work on the new house.

So in the last few days I’ve had a death in the family. One of my Avicularia tarantulas succumbed. The first one of these I had also died from the same issue. (What that issue is…I don’t really know.) The local reptile shop replaced the failed T with this one, and it lasted longer, but eventually expired the same way. Best guess is that both were infested with some sort of parasite or infection as they were from the same source, and were probably wild caught. It is sad, but when dealing with exotic animals such as these the Keeper needs to understand going in that there will be failures. Sometimes for no apparent reason.

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Tarantula bits #2

 

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“This is my poop and leftover food corner. There are many like it, but this one is mine!”  Grammostola rosea young adult female “Victory Jr.”

Tarantulas are one of the cleanest animals out there. In fact I only half joke when I call em’ “8-legged cats”. They behave very much like cats. From persnickety bathroom habits, to fastidious feeding habits, to grooming.  Yep, they groom…and they can spend hours doing it. (Of course with eight legs, this stands to reason.)

They also don’t give a rat’s butt about you, the Keeper. Oh they will pretend like they do occasionally, usually when it gets around feeding time, but nope, like cats, you are merely an object to be suffered through most of the time.

Some of the more persnickety snots on the exotic pet boards in social media will wave their hands and scream that tarantulas don’t have these traits, that it is pure anthropomorphism, but I aquire the look in this meme picture and move along.

sarcastic House

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