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New keeper curious about OW tarantulas

tabitha8122

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A bit of background- I currently have an array of jumping spiders and want to expand to tarantulas. I also currently breed dubias, wax worms/moths and hydei/melanogaster fruit flies. Since I was a small child, I would catch and observe any living thing I could. You'd probably be surprised. I'm not unfamiliar with predatory animals or venomous ones. I research, fanatically, anything that catches my interest, but one thing I am uncertain of is the specific reasoning some species of tarantulas are recommended only to experienced keepers. I have the aptitude, researched knowledge and experience maintaining the environment of a bioactive enclosure. I am equipped, cautious, vigilant and aware to expect the unexpected. Is this warning intended to protect those who don't dive into a hobby obsessively, or am I missing something? I watch videos regarding interactions with aggressive tarantulas and read their body language in the videos. I just want to make sure I fully understand because I want to order some of the more aggressive and fast tarantulas. Thanks, guys! And happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!
 

octanejunkie

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Hello and welcome!

You can keep any species you want/feel prepared to keep. There are no rules.

Most new keepers will want to "get their feet wet" with something easier to keep (husbandry) and less risky (speed, medically significant venom) to reduce personal treat potential.

If you feel ready to keep OWs and feel you can handle the risk and responsibility, go for it!
 

Arachnoclown

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@Enn49 kept a OBT as her first tarantula with a fear of spiders too.
20190303_170834.jpg
 

Enn49

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@Enn49 kept a OBT as her first tarantula with a fear of spiders too.View attachment 61359

You're right there. She's the one in my avatar, sadly now in spidey heaven but I do have a little one growing up.
To be honest I've never had any problems with either of them, I've always found them more shy the aggressive.
 

tabitha8122

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Thanks everyone! I feel confident but was doubting myself because of these warnings. I appreciate the reassurance! I ordered 14 tarantulas because that's what all first-time keepers do, right?

@Enn49 I don't know how you initially got an OBT with a fear of spiders. That is a level of bold to be respected.
 

Ian14

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It all depends on what forum you ask the question. Another arachnid forum seems to have a majority of members in favour of a "step" system of owning tarantulas, starting with the NW and only moving to OW with years of experience.
My first species was P sazimaii. I then got an OBT. I have been keeping tarantulas for just a couple of years after keeping herps for over 30 years, and have the same opinion for both groups of animals, which is that provided you fully research the care needs and the behaviour of a species, and are confident you can provide the right environment and manage the behaviour, then you can keep anything.
OWs are often fast, and have a more potent venom. NWs kick irritating hairs at you.
I have a mix of Old and New World species, and have had no issues with any of them.
 

Enn49

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Thanks everyone! I feel confident but was doubting myself because of these warnings. I appreciate the reassurance! I ordered 14 tarantulas because that's what all first-time keepers do, right?

@Enn49 I don't know how you initially got an OBT with a fear of spiders. That is a level of bold to be respected.

My son had wanted a T from being a young teenager and I'd always said no but eventually I gave in when he was in his 30s. He got a Poecilotheria vittata and I became fascinated with her so I thought if I bought myself a T I might overcome my fear of spiders. At this point I should mention we were both used to dealing with many snakes of various temperaments. So then to choose which species to get, as soon as I saw that glorious orange of the OBT that was decision made. I'd read about their temperament and thought I could deal with that and I did, she never gave me any trouble. My little one is a more confident character and due a rehouse to her larger permanent home but now I know a few more tricks to successful rehousing.
My second T was a Poecilotheria metallica.
 

tabitha8122

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OBT was my first OW. It taught me to do my rehousings somewhere where they are easy to recover if they bolt. OBTs are beautiful and there behaviour is fascinating. One of my favorite species, I think I just might get another
Yes! I am giving all my spiders their own room once the tarantulas arrive so I can shut the door. There's nowhere to hide either. I have two small dogs, one only 2 or 3 pounds. I want to make sure to keep them apart. An interested dog investigating a runaway tarantula wouldn't end well.
 

Ian14

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Thanks everyone! I feel confident but was doubting myself because of these warnings. I appreciate the reassurance! I ordered 14 tarantulas because that's what all first-time keepers do, right?

@Enn49 I don't know how you initially got an OBT with a fear of spiders. That is a level of bold to be respected.
I mean, ordering 14 as a new keeper is pretty out there!
But makes sense.
A box of crickets will be used far more efficiently with 14 than 1 or 2!
I now have around 30 tarantulas, feeding and general maintenance only takes about 30 to 45 minutes.
Rehousing will be your biggest issue as a new keeper, especially when they arrive.
One thing I picked up on was to do it in the bath, (obviously with the plug in!) as this will make cupping easier for any that do a runner.
 

tabitha8122

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I mean, ordering 14 as a new keeper is pretty out there!
But makes sense.
A box of crickets will be used far more efficiently with 14 than 1 or 2!
I now have around 30 tarantulas, feeding and general maintenance only takes about 30 to 45 minutes.
Rehousing will be your biggest issue as a new keeper, especially when they arrive.
One thing I picked up on was to do it in the bath, (obviously with the plug in!) as this will make cupping easier for any that do a runner.
I was laughing at myself while saying that. =) I already have 11 other spiders, just not tarantulas. It's not exactly the same, but many things are. Having only 11 is under-stimulating. I'll be busy when my 3 pregnant mommas have all their babies. :-O
 

tabitha8122

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My son had wanted a T from being a young teenager and I'd always said no but eventually I gave in when he was in his 30s. He got a Poecilotheria vittata and I became fascinated with her so I thought if I bought myself a T I might overcome my fear of spiders. At this point I should mention we were both used to dealing with many snakes of various temperaments. So then to choose which species to get, as soon as I saw that glorious orange of the OBT that was decision made. I'd read about their temperament and thought I could deal with that and I did, she never gave me any trouble. My little one is a more confident character and due a rehouse to her larger permanent home but now I know a few more tricks to successful rehousing.
My second T was a Poecilotheria metallica.
See, with you having been a keeper of snakes already, it gave you a skill set to bring to the hobby. Plus, I'm sure you witnessed the care of your son's T. That doesn't seem as much of a leap. I feel like social media has brought much attention to keeping non-traditional pets and possibly an unrealistic expectation of what that looks like. I see people who already have these animals asking questions about their basic care. It's great they have platforms to do so, and I'm glad they are learning. However, I worry about the animal and the keeper in certain instances I've seen... people whose baseline knowledge is zero, who didn't research before getting their pet. It makes me wonder what kind of screening I should have once I do start breeding them.
 

Enn49

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I mean, ordering 14 as a new keeper is pretty out there!
But makes sense.
A box of crickets will be used far more efficiently with 14 than 1 or 2!
I now have around 30 tarantulas, feeding and general maintenance only takes about 30 to 45 minutes.
Rehousing will be your biggest issue as a new keeper, especially when they arrive.
One thing I picked up on was to do it in the bath, (obviously with the plug in!) as this will make cupping easier for any that do a runner.

I spread a white sheet on the floor, makes it easier to spot them if they run, then I put a 9 litre RUB on top with a cricket tub inside and all rehousing is done inside that. I very rarely have a sling get further than the 9l litre RUB giving me more chance to cup them.
 

VaporRyder

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When I first got into Ts about 12 years ago, I was a serious snake and lizard keeper and even kept a small crocodile. I had a healthy respect of course, but ‘wasn’t going to be fazed by a spider’ - even though I was initially arachnophobic. As someone with considerable ‘transferable skills’, I bought what I wanted (mostly Old World), and hung out in reptile circles - with people who mostly didn’t care about or take tarantulas particularly seriously. I kept a sub-adult C.minax (vonwirthi regional colour variant) and raised an OBT from slinghood. I also kept a young P.irminia and P.cambridgei. To be honest, I wouldn’t even have considered the so called ‘beginner’ New Worlds. Second time around, I have again purchased what I want - the vast majority Old World.

I think the New World first ‘rule’ is more of a guidline for those very new to keeping tarantulas and without experience with other exotic/wild animals. The key thing is that the individual is honest with themselves about their knowledge and experience and makes responsibly choices for themselves.
 

VaporRyder

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I should add that I wasn’t interested in most New Worlds due the hair flicking defensive mechanism. I was happier to have more significant venom and avoid being bitten. I did succumb to the alure of the Theraposa genus, however, and also love my Lasiodora parayhbana.
 
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