Unboxing Day!

So this is the ‘unboxing’ post…or how to get the lil’ dudettes from this:

shipping containers

To this:

Iskierka -G. rosea
Iskierka -G. rosea

After learning the hard way about how NOT to unbox shipped tarantulas, having had to chase a tiny little Nhandu chromatus all over my bedroom office, I decided to document each step of the process on how to do it safely and easily without excess drama and cursing. (I knew how before, but it seems we 2-legged types never learn until we burn our fingers on the stove.)

The gallery after my blabbing here is a step by step method for transferring slings from vials to new homes.

It is also a view into how a vendor SHOULD ship. There are tales on the Internet aplenty from people who have received their new pets in bad shape or dead because of bad packaging by breeders who ‘on-the-cheap’ shipped.

A shout-out to Kelly Swift of Swift’s Invertebrates for being an awesome dealer.

Another shout-out as well to Jaime of Jaime’s Tarantulas, another vendor I have purchased from that has excellent packing techniques and fast service.

Also, for those who think my cages are too big, I am of the opinion that the slings need a more natural environment. A 2″ deli or compote cup ain’t it. I’m not “oversizing” such as putting a sling in a 5 gallon tank, but a 4x4x4″ cage gives me a deep substrate for them, and even at a 1/2″ sling size, there isn’t all that much room to roam. So far, every single sling I’ve housed has made the transition within a couple days. There are a couple slings that are in 2x2x4″ cages, but these are REALLY tiny (1/4 inch), and they have an environment that is similar to the ones shown here.

If I were a ‘breeder’, dealing with boatloads of slings, with heavy feeding and maintenance requirements, then yes, the small deli-cups and small plastic containers are a necessity. A good breeder can be dealing with literally thousands of small spiders, and keeping things ‘pretty’ really isn’t an option.

BUT… I’m not. I’m a ‘Keeper’, and part of the attraction for me is viewing these awesome animals in an environment that is easy on the eyes, and as natural as possible from the T’s perspective.

I am not deluded that this is fully possible, as one cannot keep a desert in a box, or a swamp, or a jungle…but replicating the look/n/feel even a tiny bit is part of the fun.

Tarantulas are one of the most resilient, hardy species of animal on the planet, existing in a myriad of conditions and thriving in most of them. Worrying about a couple more inches of space isn’t something I’m thinking will be a problem. 🙂

[Aside: “Sling” = “Spiderling” = 1/4″ to about 1.5″ in size. Bigger than that they start to hit the “juvenile” stage. Shipping and packing are fairly similar, just a bit bigger in scale.]

[2nd Aside: There are a few species of tarantula that are considered “teleporters” because they are THAT fast. If you know you are going to be dealing with one of these speed demons, then the following gallery should be relocated into the bathroom in a corked bathtub…with the bottom of the door blocked with a towel. In this case, although I did have one road-racer in the shipment, the pictures show the slower, more docile Eupalaestrus campestratus (Pink Zebra Beauty) being housed.

On to the gallery! (Clicking on any picture will bring up the slideshow in a larger format.)

7 thoughts on “Tarantula Keeper’s Journal Entry 5 – Unboxing day!

  1. Even the most experienced keeper can have issues housing their new aqusitions: I use a spare terrestrial enclosure (I always have a spare for rehousing larger juvis) but if an arboreal decides it doesn’t want to go into its nice new home I’m chasing it around there with a catch cup and paint brush for five minutes sometimes lol! My P. rufilata was the problem T in this particular case, but after a feed any thoughts of further escape attempts seem to have been well and truly squished. After my E. murinus “Ezri Dax” mnaged to leg it halfway across the floor while I was spot cleaning and I had to catch her with my bare hands I’m always more prepared than I probably need to be now!

    That’s an adorable campestratus: a species I don’t have yet, because baboons and pokies currently have my heart 🙂

  2. Congrats on your new family members. Man, there is nothing like getting that box (or boxes!) in the mail and unpacking your new little guys. You are certainly amassing a wonderful and diverse collection of some gorgeous species. See, this is part of the problem: now I’m looking at your new additions and thinking, “man, I need one of those.” I’m going to need a second job soon…

    1. lol. Just look for the ‘deals’. I checked CraIg’s List on a whim, and that’s how I got the vagans AND the ornata for 35$. And Kelly always has freebies. I added up the costs of the T purchases, and it was less than 150$ total…that’s less than just setting UP a fish aquarium. 😀

      Now that I know how to build my own cages…even less expensive. heh heh.

  3. I must be the only woman in the world to think spiders are cute, haha. Fascinating animals they are. Congratulations on your new room mates! 🙂

    1. Actually Samantha, the hardest of the hardcore in the facebook “T-groups” are women. There are as many women (and based on the social groups) I’d say MORE women than men that are into the hobby. It surprised me. A lot more of the exotic pet hobbyists that have a larger male grouping seem to be the snake/lizard folks. But even there, women are just as hardcore about stuff. 🙂

      1. Well, it’s true. Once we get passionate about something, we go for it 100%. I never knew I was this normal, though 😮 I really thought it was more of a man-thing. Oh well, who cares. How are your spiders doing now? Are they used to their new environment yet?

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