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Moving on from beginner species?

martiannova

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I've only dabbled in terrestrials so far, and typically only new worlds on the "easy" list (curly hairs, golden knees, etc). When do you know you're ready for the jump into intermediate or more "dangerous" tarantulas? I eventually want ornamental breeds, but after reading an entire thread about old world bites (YIKES) I'm a little hesitant. There's also the increase in care- how specific temperatures and humidity need to be maintained. How do you go about taking care of finicky and more fragile breeds?
 

PanzoN88

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I got my first intermediate species at #5 (P. cancerides (two years into the hobby). Got my first OW in 2017 (O. sp. 'Cebu'). Started in 2014 and fast forward to now and I still have no experience with OW arboreals. It all depends on the keeper.
 

Enn49

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You know your ready when you know exactly what that T is capable of and are prepared to deal with it. I started in the hobby with an OBT and then a Poecilotheria so I'll never put anyone off taking the plunge into OWs. The secret is to always, and I mean always, be aware of where the T is and what it's capable of, move slowly and use long tongs for maintenance.
No one has been known to have died from a tarantula bite.
Forget about humidity for most species, as long as they have a bowl of water they'll do fine.
 

martiannova

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I got my first intermediate species at #5 (P. cancerides (two years into the hobby). Got my first OW in 2017 (O. sp. 'Cebu'). Started in 2014 and fast forward to now and I still have no experience with OW arboreals. It all depends on the keeper.
Thats a good point! I think it'd be nice to have a variety, but terrestrials just seem to be my bias lol
 

martiannova

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You know your ready when you know exactly what that T is capable of and are prepared to deal with it. I started in the hobby with an OBT and then a Poecilotheria so I'll never put anyone off taking the plunge into OWs. The secret is to always, and I mean always, be aware of where the T is and what it's capable of, move slowly and use long tongs for maintenance.
No one has been known to have died from a tarantula bite.
Forget about humidity for most species, as long as they have a bowl of water they'll do fine.
Plunged right in huh? I originally got NW's to handle them...and then discovered I was way too scared to put my hand in! Maybe one day, but I'm more of a hands off keeper. Do you not mist then with a spray bottle?
 

Arachnoclown

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Psalmopoeus irminia is my favorite to recommend to people that want to work their way up to a ornamental.
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Nunua

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11 February 18
> Got my very first T. NW: A. geniculata
11 March 18
> Got my 2nd T. NW: N. incei gold
13 May 18
> Got my first bunch of NW slings: C. versicolor, B. albiceps, B. albopilosum honduran, N. chromatus and S. angustum
28 April 18
> Got a new NW sling: B. boehmei
16 July 18
> Got two new NWs: B. klaasi and B. auratum
> Got my first OWs: P. tigrinawesseli and P. vittata - I was mentally prepared for the speed and tendency to flee where ever they want to (unlike the C. versicolor which usually always flees upwards). P. vittata escaped when unboxing, but nothing went wrong :D
24 May 19
> Got a moodier NW species: E. rufescens
> Got two new OWs: A. ezendami and H. cafreriana
> Got two OWs as freebies: M. balfouri and C. sp Kaeng Krachan

So far nothing has gone wrong as I respect every single tarantula, no matter slow, fast, moody or docile ;) The only one who has made me going "huh, you're being moody as heck" is E. rufescens who took a super fast sprint from it's hide, went back in, came back out and gave me a threat pose :D
 
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Arachnoclown

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Ornamental aren't fragile at all. They are kept the same way most terrestrial are kept except for the taller enclosure. All my pokies are kept on dry substrate that I over flow once a week. The only real difference is the cleaning of the enclosure/ rehousing. Pokies like to shoot their feces all over the place. So being comfortable with the door open and cleaning is where the challenge is. I always feed them first so they are occupied while I maintain their enclosure. A large corkbark tube is the best thing for pokies. When they retreat inside toss them a roach and place a wet rag over the entrance. Done deal...they will be too busy eating to worry about you.
 

Enn49

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Plunged right in huh? I originally got NW's to handle them...and then discovered I was way too scared to put my hand in! Maybe one day, but I'm more of a hands off keeper. Do you not mist then with a spray bottle?

At the very deepest end :D:D. I've never intentionally handled mine I just love to watch them do their thing.
No, I don't mist them just overflow the water bowl occasionally
 

martiannova

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Not docile at all. The venom is not as potent. It's a new world species still. They are extremely fast which will get you use to how fast pokies are.
I'll definitely keep an eye out for them on the market place then! The spider sprinting always gets me..gotta control my knee jerk reactions:eek:
 

PanzoN88

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Thats a good point! I think it'd be nice to have a variety, but terrestrials just seem to be my bias lol
Even though I raise a few OWs (about to get more), I don't see anything special about them. There are NWs that are just as colorful as, let's say a P. metalllca or H. pulchripes. That's just my opinion anyway. For me the pinnacle is the almighty and expensive T. apophysis.
 

Tortoise Tom

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Great advice in this thread so far...

I kept several easy species of new world tarantulas for years, and only about a year ago I went crazy and got all sorts of new and novel species. Anytime I became aware of any new species, I'd look them up online and try to learn about them. A few dozen of them appealed to me, so I bought a bunch of them to try out. I now have around 30-40 species from all over the world and love them all. None have been hard to care for or given me any problems. Even the so-called "super aggressive" old worlds behave themselves and stay in their enclosures when I open them for feeding and maintenance, and moving them to new enclosures has been no problem at all.

Here are my tips. These are the things that have helped me as a beginner to all of these more "exotic", fast, aggressive and potent species:

  1. Go on YouTube and watch videos of the species you are interested in. Arachnoclown has tons of great videos to watch. This showed me how each species moved and behaved. How fast they were, how sensitive and reactive to touch they are, how jumpy, and what they are likely to do when messed with. I got to see a cross section of personalities of each of these species and "get to know them" a bit. There is no where near me that I know of to go see these species in person, so the videos were extremely educational and helpful.
  2. Arboreal species go UP when you mess with them. Hold your catch cup accordingly. I was used to terrestrials that typically jump straight ahead when you prod them to move, so the upwardly mobile arboreals caught me by surprise. But no disasters because I...
  3. Use a large plastic tub to work in. Go to Walmart or the nearest big hardware store and get a big transparent tub. Something 40-50 gallon size. Whenever I have to open an enclosure of a species or individual that I don't know well, I put the whole enclosure inside the big tub, and I have an assortment of catch cups, prods, and cardboard blockers, at the ready within arms reach. If something unexpected happens, your tarantula will be contained in this large tub and you'll have time to react and contain the wild beast with a handy catch cup. The tub buys you time, saves you from chasing a loose spider all over the house, prevents losses or escapes, and contains unexpected messes too. Having said that, I have one H. pulchripes that throws me threat postures when I open the top to feed, but all the others have been no different than any Brachypelma or Grammostola when it comes to feeding and watering them. The tub really has not been needed, but working inside it gives me peace of mind and ups my confidence level significantly because I know that things will be fine, even if something I'm not expecting happens.
Just for reference, here are some of the genus and species I'm talking about:
Poecilotheria
Hysterocrates
Psalmopoeus, including the irminia that was already mentioned. Love that species.
Theraposa stirmi - my favorite
Avicularia/Caribena
Haplopelma
Davus pentoralis - aggro little buggers, but so pretty...
Pterinochilus murinus OBT
Cyanopubescens GBB
Pterinopelma sazimai
Pelinobius mutica
Orphanaceus
Nhandu
Lasiodora
Idiothele
Ephebopus
Harpacitra
Monocentropus

Plus a whole bunch of Brachypelma and Grammostola too.

Branch out. Try new species. You will love it!
 

martiannova

Member
Messages
30
Location
Colorado
Great advice in this thread so far...

I kept several easy species of new world tarantulas for years, and only about a year ago I went crazy and got all sorts of new and novel species. Anytime I became aware of any new species, I'd look them up online and try to learn about them. A few dozen of them appealed to me, so I bought a bunch of them to try out. I now have around 30-40 species from all over the world and love them all. None have been hard to care for or given me any problems. Even the so-called "super aggressive" old worlds behave themselves and stay in their enclosures when I open them for feeding and maintenance, and moving them to new enclosures has been no problem at all.

Here are my tips. These are the things that have helped me as a beginner to all of these more "exotic", fast, aggressive and potent species:

  1. Go on YouTube and watch videos of the species you are interested in. Arachnoclown has tons of great videos to watch. This showed me how each species moved and behaved. How fast they were, how sensitive and reactive to touch they are, how jumpy, and what they are likely to do when messed with. I got to see a cross section of personalities of each of these species and "get to know them" a bit. There is no where near me that I know of to go see these species in person, so the videos were extremely educational and helpful.
  2. Arboreal species go UP when you mess with them. Hold your catch cup accordingly. I was used to terrestrials that typically jump straight ahead when you prod them to move, so the upwardly mobile arboreals caught me by surprise. But no disasters because I...
  3. Use a large plastic tub to work in. Go to Walmart or the nearest big hardware store and get a big transparent tub. Something 40-50 gallon size. Whenever I have to open an enclosure of a species or individual that I don't know well, I put the whole enclosure inside the big tub, and I have an assortment of catch cups, prods, and cardboard blockers, at the ready within arms reach. If something unexpected happens, your tarantula will be contained in this large tub and you'll have time to react and contain the wild beast with a handy catch cup. The tub buys you time, saves you from chasing a loose spider all over the house, prevents losses or escapes, and contains unexpected messes too. Having said that, I have one H. pulchripes that throws me threat postures when I open the top to feed, but all the others have been no different than any Brachypelma or Grammostola when it comes to feeding and watering them. The tub really has not been needed, but working inside it gives me peace of mind and ups my confidence level significantly because I know that things will be fine, even if something I'm not expecting happens.
Just for reference, here are some of the genus and species I'm talking about:
Poecilotheria
Hysterocrates
Psalmopoeus, including the irminia that was already mentioned. Love that species.
Theraposa stirmi - my favorite
Avicularia/Caribena
Haplopelma
Davus pentoralis - aggro little buggers, but so pretty...
Pterinochilus murinus OBT
Cyanopubescens GBB
Pterinopelma sazimai
Pelinobius mutica
Orphanaceus
Nhandu
Lasiodora
Idiothele
Ephebopus
Harpacitra
Monocentropus

Plus a whole bunch of Brachypelma and Grammostola too.

Branch out. Try new species. You will love it!
Thank you for the in depth advice and personal experience! Do you put your particularly touchy T's in the tub for every feeding? Or just general cage maintenance (and what does that usually entail?)
Also, with such a large collection, do you have any recommended species that are a good in between for people just getting into ornamentals? As above, Im looking into p. irminia, but might as well start planning the hoard :D.
 

Tortoise Tom

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Thank you for the in depth advice and personal experience! Do you put your particularly touchy T's in the tub for every feeding? Or just general cage maintenance (and what does that usually entail?)
Also, with such a large collection, do you have any recommended species that are a good in between for people just getting into ornamentals? As above, Im looking into p. irminia, but might as well start planning the hoard :D.
I just pull out the tub and do all of them in the tub. Just in case...

Every 4 days I do the tiny slings. I open the top, rinse and refill the water dish and drop in a roach. I'll also clean up any messes and remove any food boluses I find. If they don't go for the roach immediately I set that one aside and give them a couple of minutes to think about it while I do the next few enclosures. If they don't take the roach I remove it and make a mental note of it. Usually, the next time I check their enclosure, they've molted. For the bigger spiders I do this about once a week now.

Different things appeal to different people when it comes to choosing tarantulas. I have my favorites, but they are my favorites for the most trivial of reasons. Your reasons might be different. Do you like color and appearance? Big or small? Huge appetite so they always eat, or something not so food driven? Personality? Do you like a tarantula that burrows and is hidden most of the time, or one that is usually out in the open? Heavy webbers or hole diggers? I think Enn is a great example of why these designations about who should have what species are kind of silly. She started with tarantulas that are supposedly only for "advanced keepers" and she did fine. Just know what you are getting, learn as much as you can, and proceed accordingly.

Also, just because a spider comes from one country or another, or has a nasty venom, or not, or a nasty reputation, or not, shouldn't have any bearing on what you pick. Now that I've kept all sorts of them, I really don't think any of them are any more formidable or difficult than the next. In fact, I would say that sometimes moving my Brachypelma is more exciting and uncertain than moving my Psalmopoeous or Poecilotheria. The baddies usually just calmly walk over into their new enclosures. Its the "mild mannered" ones that bolt, dart, and turn around and bite the brush. What I'm saying is: Pick the species that appeal to you. Don't worry about their reputation, or who says you should or shouldn't keep that species. Handle all species carefully and responsibly, and you won't have a problem.

If you still want a list, I'll give you one. :)
 

spodermin

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Unknown Island
Seems like everything has been covered in this thread already. Arachnoclown as always has provided tremendous insight.

I am another one who chose to swan dive into the hobby. Within a week of my first T (which was a lasiodora parahybana) I already had phormictopus, a juvy OBT and an H. Mac sling. Within the first month I acquired a 6" female P. Ornata, which was extremely intimidating in comparison (although the OBT was extremely intimidating prior to that). The fear of venom is in most cases unwarranted. As Arachnoclown said, feed prior to maintenance and exercise common sense when transferring. The threat of them bolting is always much more severe than the threat of them biting, in almost all cases.

How did you know you were ready to take the training wheels off your bike? This is the exact same thing

And as far as husbandry, this hobby is full of idiots who will tell you why every single species is the hardest thing in the world to keep. They are spiders. Don't let chemicals get near them and make sure they have access to water. Room temp is fine for any spider, but I must say that getting a small space heater was a great investment for my collection. My spiders have been molting more rapidly and have been more active and seem happier. I got one at Canadian Tire for like $180 CAD after tax that has a programmable thermostat and keeps the room at whatever I set it at (21°C at night and 24°C in the day). Great investment. But just go out and get an old world. If you are scared at first don't worry. Within a week or two it should be business as usual. If you're scared to feed it and change the water after a couple weeks, get rid of it, you aren't ready. No big deal
 
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MassExodus

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Its all fun and games until an obt is racing in circles in your bathtub, nascar style, gaining centripital force and getting closer and closer to the top..
:D Good times! Anyone seen any big females for sale anywhere?
 

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