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Pet Rock?

Discussion in 'Grammostola' started by ArvadaLanee, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. ArvadaLanee

    ArvadaLanee Member

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    We just adopted our Grammostola Porteri on Saturday, and I have been reading up on them. I have found a lot on general care, but not a whole lot on common behavior. One thing I have run into a lot, is people calling them boring, or even a pet rock! Lol. I have also found conflicting accounts of them being docile, and easy for beginners, or somewhat finicky, and moody. I was hoping some of you might be willing to share some stories with me, on your experiences with this type of tarantula. I'm not looking for anything in particular, just whatever you want to share, whether it's an opinion, funny story, a tip, or whatever.

    I will tell you a little story about Blanche, our new girl. My son has been wanting a tarantula for years, but I have always been afraid. It's not the bite, but the hairs, that I fear. So when my boyfriend told me we were going to his supervisor's house, and possibly adopting a tarantula, I had no intention of holding it. Then when I got there, and heard the story, of how she had been forgotten, my heart just melted. I asked if she had ever been handled, and the guy said yes, but she has a tendency to be moody. He must have thought I wanted to hold her, because he opened the cage and scooped her right up, then grabbed my hand and held his hand out next to mine, like it was no big deal. Much to my surprise, Blanche the taranche, (see what I did there?) walked calmly into my cupped palm, and then just sat there. I didn't dare to be afraid, and let her feel my fear! I might have been fine never holding a tarantula at all, but there she was, just chilling on me. I was so amazed, I just stared. When he asked if I wanted him to put Blanche away, I decided to do it myself, and slowly lowered her back into her cage, and waited for her to walk off on her own. After that I felt certain, I could never forget about her, and leave her uncared for. She is the first tarantula I have ever held. (Not counting the wild guy who crawled across both my feet, and nearly scared me to death in Texas!)

    So now I am hoping to hear your stories! Despite their description as pet rocks, I am willing to bet that these animals have different personalities, and there are probably some interesting stories out there. Or am I totally wrong on this? Lol
  2. MassExodus

    MassExodus Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I've got an adult female porteri. She's mostly pretty tolerant of me, but can have bad days. I've held her a few times. No good stories about her, but I will say she's a maneater. She killed my male during a breeding attempt.. She eats like a garbage disposal, and has a huge butt. I've always liked them, plain brown tarantula or not, they get stocky as adults, with thick legs, and they always sit in the open. I need to get another male..
  3. ArvadaLanee

    ArvadaLanee Member

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    Lol! I think that's a good story. It does give your girl a bit of personality in my opinion. And that is quite the opposite of what I was told about mine, which is that she hardly ever eats. I guess I am a bit of a nut. I find animal behavior fascinating, and I even see a personality in our yearling corn snake. I just haven't looked much into tarantulas before, so this is all new and interesting stuff to me. ;)
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  4. Kymura

    Kymura Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    yes! yes you do, id buy a couple slings from you. I love and adore my moody picky girl :D
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  5. Kymura

    Kymura Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    My girl Yeti is my favorite T. Shes a tubby gal, but won't touch a roach, she will literally slap it away from her and go to her hide,
    which in her enclosure is basically decoration as she never uses it other to hide from roaches.. She will bury her water dish if you insist on giving her water and has taken the glass beads from hers and buried them first then the dish. Its an ongoing argument. I occasionally drop her a few mealworms (long as shes not premolt) because she'll dig them up and I figure its some exercise for her to hunt a bit. 95% of the time shes sweet as could be. 5% of the time she races around like your trying to kill her if you open her enclosure :p
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  6. ArvadaLanee

    ArvadaLanee Member

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    Haha! She sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing your story. I am getting a great idea of how different these little guys can be. I can't wait to learn more about Blanche and all her quirks. :)
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  7. kormath

    kormath Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I'm an arachnaphobe. I won't hold any of our Ts, but i have held a couple just to say i have. These would be the GBB, but i can only hold her if my son does so first. She hates me lol. My LP, and the boehmei i've held during rehousing.

    I've held some of the others as they were trying to escape and i used my hand to "catch" them and guide them back in their enclosure.

    So if you count that, then i've held the A. versicolor, B. vagans, and B. albo. Haven't tried to hold the genic, he's pretty skittish and has never tried to escape over the side, he just becomes a grey and white streak to his burrow or hide.

    Savage, the genic, likes to redecorate his enclosure. For the last week or 2 he's had a burrow going form under his hide and up into the fake vine. it was a good feeding tunnel as the roaches (if they weren't tackled when they hit the sub) would run to the vine and then down the tunnel. Dinner delivered lol.

    Now he's covered up everything except the water dish with substrate from his new burrow. He's burrowed down the front wall and along the side corner at the bottom, under the water dish. So when he needs a bit of moisture or a drink he comes and sits on the water dish, rather than the moss i was misting for him that's now buried. Roaches must like the burrows, he still gets dinner delivered :)
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  8. Fuzzball79

    Fuzzball79 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    My G. Rosea is quite docile, but definitely not a pet rock. I don't handle any of mine (if I want to touch any of my animals, that's what my dogs and to a lesser extent the corn snakes (they only tolerate it, but wouldn't seek out any contact), so I can't comment on her behaviour for that.
    Anyway, she's nearly always out and about and on the rare occasions she hides, it's usually a 2/10 effort (her bum always sticks out). She doesn't run away from disturbances, in fact she used to run and investigate, but now is not too bothered any more. When we first got her, she would throw a semi threat post every time my Husky X barked (she's got a horrible high pitched bark, that goes right through you), but she seems to have gotten used to that, too.
    Like many Roseas she's a picky eater. Crickets, yes, but only silent or brown ones, no black crickets. Roaches - only Turkistan/Red Runners, which are hard to get a hold of in the UK (only ebay seem to sell them, but usually to many in a pack). Anything else just gets slapped away or ignored.
    She has never flicked hair (yet), but she's never really had a reason to. She's thrown a half @rsed threat pose at my husband before when he moved her tank, but it was more of a "Meh! Go away!", not like my T. Gigas who shows of her gnashers and big mouth lol. She also wasn't happy with being given a flower pot hide not long after we got her and threw that around her tank during the night (gutted, I didn't see her, it must have been hilarious).
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  9. Chubbs

    Chubbs Well-Known Member 3 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Well you do have to understand how many different variations of tarantulas there are, and how different they are from one another. There is a huge difference for example between a B.smithi and a P.regalis. Pretty much 99 percent of the tarantulas that are commonly listed as ideal beginner's species are all New Worlds. Old World tarantulas are generally much faster-moving, more high-strung/skittish , and some can be extremely defensive. Given that these do not posses the urticating hairs that many New World species have, they have to rely on their speed and/or venom to defend themselves. Their only means of defense are to bite or run, and many Old Worlds have medically significant venom, which is a big reason why they are not recommended to beginner's and should never be handled. Now there are still many New World species that are pretty skittish/defensive and fast, but they lack the powerful venom of the Old World tarantulas. There are a few New World species without urticating hairs as well. Obviously being adapt to life in the trees, arboreal tarantulas are much more agile and skilled at climbing than terrestrials, and are usually faster.

    As for handling, well it's a very touchy subject, and I myself am not a supporter of it, so everything I have to say about it is just based off of my experiences and opinions entirely. I do not believe these animals benefit from it, and I feel it has more potential cons than pros. Some tarantulas will tolerate handling for short periods of time, this does not mean that they like or enjoy being handled. I will advise you to be careful with G.rosea/porteri, as they are prone to rather abrupt mood swings, and can be a bit on the defensive side. Personally I find them to be a problematic species for the novice keeper, especially for those looking to handle, as well as for a few other reasons. Not that I'm hating on this species or anything, I just feel that there are much better beginner's tarantulas out there (Brachyepelma, Aphonopelma, Euathlus sp, etc.) Not saying you made a bad choice either :) , they're just not exactly my cup of tea, and therefore they're pretty low on the list when it comes to ones I recommend for first tarantulas. Every tarantula is going to have its own individual personality as well.
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  10. kormath

    kormath Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Agreed. I've also found from my rosea, and from reading about others experiences, the rosea should be an intermediate for their temparement and their tendency to fast randomly for long times, that tends to stress out new keepers like me ;) We want to see the flying tackle when the roach is dropped in the enclosure, not the turn away and run from it tactic.
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  11. ArvadaLanee

    ArvadaLanee Member

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    This is all great stuff. I have been extremely sick for the past week and a half, so now that I'm on the mend, I can get back to studying up. It's a lot to learn, but luckily, I have more time than most people, being a stay at home mom, and I honestly enjoy learning about pretty much any living creature.

    I have read that many people don't consider the rose hairs good beginner tarantulas. If I had chosen, I would have put a lot more research into it first, and probably joined this site before hand to get some opinions, and read up, and went over the pros and cons of the suggestions...Blanche came to us as a rescue. Her previous owner had forgotten about her in a spare bedroom, and felt horrible about it, and asked us to take her in because he knows how passionate I am about all of our pets. It wasn't the ideal situation, but I have a soft spot for animals, and I am more than willing to learn.

    As for handling, I am not set on holding her all the time. I would like to be able to get to the point that I can spot clean her cage, remove uneaten food, and at some point, I will need to move her into a temporary spot so I can change out her substrate, because her previous owner has sand in there. I don't really mind leaving her be, and holding her only when absolutely necessary. My kids have expressed no desire to touch her at all, ever. They like watching her, and have been bringing home library books on tarantulas, but they seem perfectly happy to let Mom be the one to take the risk of opening the cage! Hopefully as I learn more, it will get a little easier and less scary to do her maintenance. One nice thing about Blanche, is that so far, she hasn't been shy about making her feelings known. If I stick my hand in there to do something, and she starts lifting those front legs, I am so out of there. If she sits perfectly still, I can proceed.

    The fasting thing makes sense to me. After some of the reading I have done, I can see why they would have times of fasting. Of course, right when we got her, I had to feed her, because all I knew was that she hadn't been offered food in 2 months. Unless I am totally blind, she must have eaten, though, because I went over every inch of her enclosure with a pen light, and that cricket and wax worm where nowhere to be found, so hopefully that wasn't any major screw up.

    I just found it interesting that in some of the reading I have been doing, rose hairs are described as a great beginner species by some, and by others, not a good beginner species, and of the ones who say they are not good for beginners, the reasons are all different. I found it kind of funny that some people claimed the reason they don't suggest them for beginners is that they are boring. Personally, I find Blanche to be very interesting. I have always loved learning animal behaviors, and I have rarely come across an animal that I can't figure out. I never thought I'd be trying to figure out a large spider, but I like a challenge. Thanks for all the helpful info, and opinions, and stories. I really appreciate it. :)
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  12. Scoolman

    Scoolman Well-Known Member 3 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Relax! Take it easy. This is not an instantaneous hobby. It's a long term "getting to know you" sort of thing. There's plenty of time, perhaps a whole lifetime, to enjoy these phenomenal creatures. Patience. One step at a time. One day at a time. No worries. -Stan Schultz
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  13. ArvadaLanee

    ArvadaLanee Member

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    Thanks. I am mostly relaxed. I am used to animals that need more daily care, so I have to remind myself, that Blanche is just fine, and it's okay if I don't have it all figured out just yet. My boyfriend keeps reminding me that she has already lived for years in her enclosure with these conditions, and been just fine. I just get a little crazy when it comes to pets, because I tend to think of them all as my "babies." There is a reason my boyfriend calls me, "Super Coddles!" (He swears he is going to have a costume made up for me one day.) If I seem a little nutty, that is just how I am with all animals, and all human kids, too. I am actually much more patient than I sound. I once made friends with a family of robins, just by sitting in their tree quietly day after day. Eventually, I was able to touch them, and feed them from my hands. I'm usually much better with animals than I am with people. I just get a little excited. Animals are my passion. It's easy to get over excited when it's something you're passionate about. ;)
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  14. kormath

    kormath Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    They're fun. I'm seeing red in my rosea after she's recovered from her molt :) i'm excited it's an actual rosea and not a misnamed porteri.
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  15. Annie

    Annie New Member

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    My first T was a Euathlus sp. Red, super sweet tarantula and I love her to death! I just got my second T today, a G. Rosea and I've actually handled her quite a bit since she really loves going on adventures. She hasn't been moody for me, and I've never seen a bad day from my Euathlus (Juliet) yet. One thing she does I find adorable is she enjoys walking around with her butt up in the air, it's quite amusing. I rarely hold my T's though, all the time with Madame Red today was just sort of a "getting to know you" period. They're quite addicting you'll find and they are never boring. :)
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  16. Aint

    Aint New Member

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    It's been years, but when we had a large rose hair, it was a calm T. We didn't hug up on it like a stuffed animal, but we would encourage it to crawl into our hands now and then. It never bit. Never flicked.

    It would even crawl all over us. Thing to watch was jumping. Twice, it nearly jumped from our shoulders to the ground. We were told they won't always survive a drop like that onto hard ground. After the second time of catching it mid air, we stopped letting it crawl so high.

    Our technique to handle it was to slowly place a clean hand in the tank a day or so after it had eaten. Slowly move toward it. If it runs, leave it be. If it rared up, stop. Wait for it to settle down and try again. If it kept raring up, leave it be.
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  17. ArvadaLanee

    ArvadaLanee Member

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    Now that we've had Blanche for a while, I feel like I know her personality a lot better, and she doesn't seem like a pet rock to me. She is actually pretty active, doesn't hide much, sometimes climbs her plants, and even likes to burrow. She has recently gotten over her shyness about eating in front of me, which has been quite entertaining! It took her a bit to get the hang of eating the roaches I got for her, but once she figured it out, she devoured them. She still gets crickets, and the occasional wax worm, as well as the roaches, and although she went through a period of not eating much, her appetite has been voracious just lately. As far as handling goes, I am not hell bent on holding her, so I have only tried once. She was in a particularly active mood that night, scuttling about, climbing up and down her plants, and just generally seeming curious, so I decided to put my hand in front of her, and see if she felt like coming out. She walked right onto me like it was the most natural thing in the world. I was afraid of her falling, or jumping, so I went in my room with her, and sat on my big soft bed, where any drop would be short, and at least on a very soft surface. I just let her wonder as she pleased, and she made her way up my arm, and onto my shoulder, and I was nervous she was so close to my face, but eventually she came back down, and wondered around on my lap for a bit. When I wanted to put her back I just let her crawl back onto my hand, and then put my hand in her enclosure and let her walk off on her own. I've really fallen in love with her sweet personality. She has never reared at me, or run from me, or given me any reason to believe she feels threatened or stressed by me. I think it may be in part because I really don't mess with her much, and am happy to just sit and observe her for long periods of time. I'm also a quiet person most of the time, so maybe that helps. My twin boys still ask to hold her sometimes, and I always tell them it's a possibility, but I'm not going to force it. If the time seems right one day, and Blanche seems up for it, I will help them out, but I also tell them, she may not ever be up for it. My boys are used to a variety of animals, and they can be very calm, and are always gentle, but so far, I just haven't wanted to risk it. I like the fact that Blanche seems very comfortable here, and I don't want to give her any reason to stop. She feels a lot like an old, dear friend now. Not a pet rock at all. :)
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  18. Kymura

    Kymura Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    It's funny how easily we change how we view them. I'm much like you and get my enjoyment just watching them. Even my shy ones come out and about..
    Hey...maybe they think 'we' are the pet rocks? Regardless, sounds perfectly lovely and I'm happy your enjoying your T :)
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  19. VanessaS

    VanessaS Well-Known Member

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    Love!
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