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Not a sales pitch

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chit Chat' started by Dave Jay, May 10, 2018.

  1. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member

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    Tell me what you think of this, Ive aimed it for scorps for this weekend, but it's for slings too. I know all this stuff is not essential, but have I missed anything?
    This is a starter kit, the aim is if you dont own a scorp or sling this is everything you'll need for a while. Bear in mind that scorps start at $10/$15 to the average joe, which includes me.

    Scorpion Starter Kits
    $50
    set.JPG enclosure square.JPG 191.JPG suggest1.JPG suggest2.JPG torch uv.JPG
    Scorpions are great pets!


    All you need to be a scorpion owner, nothing left to buy!!! *


    Your choice of Flinders Ranges Scorpion, Desert Scorpion or Marbled Scorpion.


    Kit includes :

    - Scorpion

    - UV torch

    - Thermometer

    - Vented Enclosure with Feeding Hatch

    - Premixed Substrate suitable for all species

    - Tube to deliver water to the bottom of the substrate

    - 10ml Syringe to measure water input

    - Spahgnam Moss

    - Miniature Plastic Plant

    - Coloured LED Light with spare battery

    - Misting Bottle

    - Feeding Tongs

    - Magnifiying Glass with pouch


    And for this weekend only for no added cost your choice of Decor as pictured!*


    Scorpions are extremely low maintainence pets. Australian species are considered to be Medically Insignificent, less dangerous than a bee sting and in most cases less painful according to research data.

    They are very reluctant to sting, the main defence is the waving of claws.


    * Live food not included.

    *Decor stocks are limited at this point in time so it's first come first serve in regards to preferance


    This kit is also suitable for Australian Tarantulas, price negotiable.
  2. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member

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    with a tarantula sling you get the water dish, a white light torch (for now, i will find a good price on red light torches eventually) and a paint brush.
    I've got upgrades and upsizes but i havent got the ads ready yet.
    Tell me what you think, even if you dont like the idea.
    btw, just this week a guy put an ad up for $10 just for the enclosure alone, doesnt mean he sold any, but good timing to make my deal look good imo!
    Kymura and Enn49 like this.
  3. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    That's a great idea. Jamie's and fear not tarantulas both have starter sling kits but no one has done that for scorplings, or even for pedelings for that matter.

    A vinigaroon kit would also be ideal for a beginner.
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  4. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member

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    Scorpion Starter Kit Instructions.

    Small Scorpion Starter Kit.

    Setting Up The Enclosure.

    1 - Empty half of the Substrate Mix into a bowl and using your syringe dribble 10ml of water over it and mix thoroughly.
    Allow to stand for 5 minutes for the water to be absorbed evenly, stirring occasionally.

    2 - Place two heaped teaspoons of substrate into the enclosure leaving one corner bare.

    3 - Hold the straw/tube upright in the bare corner with the angled end down.
    Pack the substrate around the base of the straw so that it stands by itself,
    compress the substrate evenly on the bottom of the enclosure.
    Add substrate two teaspoons at a time pressing it down firmly and evenly before adding more.
    When finished the surface of the substrate should be approximately halfway up the side of the enclosure.
    It is important to compact the substrate as much as possible so that a burrow will hold it's shape and not collapse.

    4 - Add your decor as you wish but a small amount of Sphagnum Moss should be located near the water tube,
    this will be your "wet area".
    If keeping a scorpion the use of the plastic plants are your choice.
    Where a solid piece of decor has been provided make an indentation in the substrate and place the decor over it.
    This allows the animal to easily form a cave/burrow if it desires.

    5 - Lightly spray the entire enclosure to set the surface of the substrate.
    Use the water to clean stray substrate from off of the walls and decor if needed, a small paintbrush can speed the
    process and reduce the amount of water used.
    Set the enclosure aside with the lid off for 10 minutes or more to allow water to be absorbed and equalised,
    and for the entire enclosure to reach room temperature.


    Unpacking Your Scorpion.

    - Locate a tub or container large enough for the enclosure and the shipping tub to fit in easily,
    this will be your work station.

    - Place your tongs, your UV torch and a teaspoon next to the work container.
    - Place the enclosure into the work container.
    - Cut and remove the tape from the shipping tub.
    - Using your UV torch locate the scorpion in the tub, you should be able to see some glowing area within the moss.
    - Place the shipping tub into the work container, taking note of the scorpions position and remove the lid.
    - Using the tongs carefully remove the moss until the scorpion is exposed.

    - All scorpions will act differently at this point.
    - Sometimes they behave, you uncover them, lift the tub with the tongs and tilt it over the enclosure and they just walk in.
    That is the most common scenario, calmly coaxing them out of the tub and into the new enclosure and shutting the lid.
    I find the back of the teaspoon is good for gently prodding them to direct them where to go as it is smooth and rounded.

    - The thing on our side is that most scorpions can't climb smooth surfaces very well,
    so "pouring" them out of one container into the next will work,
    you just need to make sure you don't add too much unwanted material to your enclosure.

    - If during unpacking your scorpion escapes the shipping tub or enclosure and is loose in your work container
    simply find a bigger work container. You can then remove the shipping tub and spilled moss and put them out of the way.
    Then put the enclosure into the new work container and tilt the old container so that the scorpion runs along the corner and into the enclosure. If it doesn't go in or jumps out you just have to repeat the procedure until success.

    - Once coaxed or manouvered onto a clean shiny spoon they will run on the spot,
    my most used method is to remove as much moss as I can and manoeuvre the scorpion onto a spoon,
    then once over the enclosure the spoon is tilted enough for the scorpion to run off but not enough to spill debris.

    - Some cling to moss and wont move from it, if so using the tongs and the spoon try to pick up the moss the scorpion
    is clinging to, manoeuvring the spoon beneath the scorpion and place both moss and scorpion into the enclosure and
    close the lid, excess moss can be trimmed or removed later once the scorpion has moved.

    Your scorpion enclosure can now be placed in the room.

    It should be somewhere where the heat stays fairly even.
    Although scorpions are often found in arid areas they avoid the heat and dry of the day by burrowing and hiding where moisture levels and temperatures are very stable.
    They can thrive in a wide range of temperatures, from 15c in winter to the over 30c extremes in summer but large swings in temperature can be fatal.
    Never have them too close to a heater, not only might they overheat or dry out quickly but the sudden up and down swings in temperature as the heater is turned on or off might be fatal as they can't adjust quickly enough.
    It is better to have a constant low temperature than to have swings in temperature.
    In most situations room temperature will be fine for them, between 18 and 25 are the preferred temperatures but unless where you keep your scorpion is constantly going below 15c a heater will not be needed.
    The kit includes a thermometer that should be placed on or next to the enclosure to check ambient temperature, check it throughout the day to gauge if the temperature stays fairly constant, a slight difference between evening and morning should be expected but if it approaches a 10% difference a more stable position should be found.
    Sunlight can rapidly heat and dry an enclosure so they should never be located where sunbeams fall onto the enclosure.

    Moisture

    In a couple of days check the enclosure to see if the sphagnum moss is still damp, and if the surface of the substrate is lightening in colour.
    If the moss is drying out mist it and the wall near it. The moss should be kept damp, when it has light tips it needs to be misted. Water shouldn't be added to the surface of the enclosure other than this.

    Which brings us to the straw. In nature scorpions will dig or burrow to find a moisture level that suits them, the deeper it digs the more moisture it finds.
    The straw allows us to add water to the lower levels of the substrate without it being too moist on the surface.
    Load the syringe with 5ml of water and slowly inject 3ml into the straw. If there is a great difference between the colour of the newly wet substrate and the rest of it then it has dried quickly in which case the remaining 2ml should be added.
    Humidity levels vary greatly so how often water will be needed to be added can't be specified but usually a routine can be established based around your feeding schedule. Initially checking every few days is recommended.
    You are aiming for the sphagnum moss to be damp, but the surface of the substrate to be almost dry, perhaps dry in parts.
    Not having it too moist on the surface is important because one of the biggest dangers to scorpions in captivity is Mycosis which is a fungal infection caused by constant high humidity and excessive moisture.
    If large areas of your substrate go mouldy you will need to replace it and cut back dramatically on how much water is added.
    Twice the amount of substrate needed is included in the kit for this reason, as is ample sphagnum moss to replace that as needed. If a small amount of substrate becomes mouldy just scoop it out and replace it if needed.
    Condensation on a cold morning is fine but it should be gone by the afternoon. Heavy condensation is usually a sign that too much water has been added but it can also be a sign that the temperature is swinging too much over the day/night cycle and the enclosure should be moved to a different position in the room.


    Food

    Scorpions eat mostly insects.
    The most readily taken food are crickets of an appropriate size.
    The smallest sold are "pinhead crickets" and these are fed to very small baby scorpions.
    Your scorpion is larger and can eat the size "small crickets".
    They should be half the size of the scorpion or smaller, a very hungry scorpion will tackle larger prey but best feeding results are had with prey a third the size of the scorpion.
    When an insect is not eaten immediately I add a tiny piece of carrot into the enclosure so that the prey does not nibble on the scorpion, crickets in particular will chew on scorpions if hungry.
    Scorpions will often be startled by you opening the lid and a live insect dropped in and flinch away from the prey, particularly if it is bigger than ideal.
    If the prey seems to have the scorpion on the run for a long time you can swap it for a smaller size or crush it's head.
    Young scorpions will often scavenge and so will sometimes eat freshly killed or cut up insects if small prey is not available. Mealworms can be good for this if your scorpion will take the pieces. Some people feed the hind legs or cut up crickets to their small scorpions.
    Not all scorpions will take dead prey, but if they do it can make caring for them easier if you can't source the right size feeder insects.
    Of course insects of an appropriate size could likely be caught in your yard but the risks are high. Apart from parasites or other "hitchhikers" there is a risk of them having been in contact with poison or even having eaten plants poisonous to scorpions.
    Any food items live or dead should be removed with the tongs the next day, as should remains of eaten prey.
    Scorpions have a very slow metabolism and require very little food to survive.
    How often they feed varies according to how warm they are and how much moisture they are losing to the air.
    As long as they are not becoming desiccated they can go months without food, they simply wont expend any energy.
    Once a week is a standard feeding schedule but young scorpions will often take food twice a week.
    Some will only eat once a fortnight or even once a month, particurarily in winter when they would usually be dormant anyway.

    Moulting

    Scorpions require a high humidity environment to moult successfully.
    Because you are adding water via the straw it can find the environment it needs by digging a scrape or burrow under the decor. It can dig to find the required moisture level to moult.
    It will most likely block the enterance to it's home when it needs to moult.
    If you see your scorpion has blocked its self in you should not disturb it, no food should be added.
    It may or may not be moulting, but a moulting or newly moulted scorpion is very vulnerable and can be damaged by feeder insects.
    Disturbing a moulting or newly moulted can result in an injury or death through the humidity being lowered and the exoskeleton getting stuck. Blocking themselves in a burrow is common behaviour and should not cause panic.
    The water usually added as per your routine should still be added, but monitor carefully so that you keep moisture levels constant.
    When you see your scorpion perched outside its home again you can commence feeding, perhaps it will be the next size up.

    Light

    Included in the kit are a UV torch and a small led light.
    The UV torch should be used sparingly, it stresses the scorpion and may be harmful if used constantly.
    The UV light can be damaging to the human eye and care should be taken. Never shine a UV torch into anyone's eyes ever.
    The led light can be used to light the enclosure for viewing, some scorpions will hide from it if it is too bright for them.
    Coloured light seems to be tolerated well, white light needs to be positioned so that it does not shine on the scorpion intensely.

    Pesticides and sprays.

    All sprays can be considered hazerdous to scorpions, pesticides in particular of course.
    The enclosure should be removed from the room any time sprays are used and not brought back until all traces have left the air.
    If the enclosure cant be moved it should be covered well and the outside wiped with a wet tissue or clean cloth when the danger is over.
    Be aware that your hands can be a source of contaminants. Soaps, detergents and many other substances can be present on your hands. Be aware you can pick up pesticides and other chemicals from your other pets too, patting your dog or cat could leave pesticide residue on your hands even if you use tablets or other ingested treatments due to the ingested pesticide being present in the animals skin or hair.
    Always wash your hands carefully before and after handling any equipment or food for your scorpion or the feeder insects.
    The same care taken to avoid contamination of your scorpion should be taken for your feeder insects too.

    Enjoy your new pet!
    MassExodus likes this.
  5. MassExodus

    MassExodus Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Good idea, I like it. It seems funny as hell that Aussie scorps are very mild mannered with weak venom, considering where they're from. I'd love to have a few of all the spp.
    Dave Jay likes this.
  6. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member

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    Some are more defensive and skittish than others, and our buthoid species are said to be more painful than our scorpions from other families but still not considered medically significant.
    When I first started with scorpions I tried to collect as many species as I could but over time I worked out which ones I prefer to keep.
    They refer to some tarantulas as pet holes, with some scorpions there's not even a hole for 9 months of the year!
    I have one scorp that for the last five years it comes out having moulted, eats about 4 crickets over a month and says see you next year and blocks it's burrow again! One of another species I don't think I see even that often but when I do it's always looking fat.
    So over time I've sold off most of those species because I don't need 3 of each species when I don't see them anyway.
    MassExodus likes this.
  7. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    The instructions seem geared for tropical scorps only such as my H spinifer for example. Arid species are kept on sand, sometimes with a small water dish sometimes not depending on the aversion to water.

    Both types require totally different conditions. Usually scorps require a hot side and a cold side of the enclosure. While you can do that with anything, it's a lot more important for them.

    If you do need to perform a procedure on a scorp, they can be cooled to 55 degrees for an hour and then returned to the cage to warm up again.

    With these guys, do not handle unless it's an emergency.
    Dave Jay likes this.
  8. MassExodus

    MassExodus Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    So is there any particular sp. there that doesn't hide all the time? I suppose it doesn't matter, I'll never get one because of those Aussie import/export laws, but I'm curious.
  9. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Mine hide most of the time. They are photosensitive. The best way to lure a scorpion out is to introduce feeders. Viewing them under infrared heating lamps also works because they can't see that wave length and will behave in a nocturnal way which means that they'll be out and about often.

    The main difference is the moisture level. The desert ones are housed on sand with a hide in what is typically an arid setup. If providing a starter kit, you need to provide BOTH types of substrate with instructions for setting up each because a new owner won't know. Instruct the new owner to read at least 3 or 4 caresheets for whatever species that they get & include a disclaimer that whatever you provide isn't suitable for potentially fatal ones, eg those with venom hot enough to put you in the hospital or worse. Those really should have some type of cage with a positive locking mechanism that can use an actual padlock or cable lock of some professional type. You don't want to get sued.
    Dave Jay likes this.
  10. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input!
    I added the instructions here for two reasons, feedback such as you've provided, and also as a convenient way to have them on hand wherever I am and whatever device I'm using.
    I will write out specific, dare I mention the word, caresheets for individual species.
    The instructions are good for most of our species, a heat gradient is actually only ever used for our tropical species never for our arid species. They burrow or otherwise hide from the heat, it's been shown that the difference in burrow temperature varies by about 3 degrees throughout the year so heating is very much discouraged. If kept like American arid species they don't live long, which is one of the things that has held our scorpion keeping back so long. Petshops didnt want to stock them because if kept on sand with a heatlamp they would be lucky to last out the week. Some of our buthoid species can be an exception provided there is an area of leaf litter or layered bark for them to find the right humidity. They are often kept on dry sand with a water dish and piled leaf litter because it avoids them getting mycosis. Dealers are the ones who use this method mostly because of the turnover. They don't use heat either though. However I keep mine as I described in the instructions, but there is layered bark for them to hide in.
    Back to the instructions though, they are tailored to the species I can offer with the kit, which are babies of scrape dwellers, burrowers or adults a Lychas sp. which is a small Buthoid species from temperate areas. I am offering other species with larger enclosures but the instructions will be much the same.
    The substrate is a mix of coco peat and desert sand but the proportions vary depending which species you buy. I've tried various mixes with various species over the years keeping note of the proportions used each time, but the mix for younger scorpions is always more peat rich than that used for more mature specimens.
    For example the mix I'm providing with 2nd and 3rd instar Flinders Ranges (U. elongatus) is 1 part sand to 6 parts coco peat but I keep my adults on straight sand with a false bottom. They're scrape dwellers that have a short burrow attached to their scape, and while they live in an arid area they live in gullies near creekbeds not in open areas. If I sold a 2nd instar Desert Scorpion (U. yaschenkoi) with a kit I would include 1:1 sand/peat mix, 2:1 for 3rd instar and straight desert sand after that because they live in the open areas.
    The substrate provided will be tailored to the species of scorpion chosen by the customer as will the instructions somewhat, the main difference being less substrate for the Lychas because while they might get underneath decor to find the humidity to moult if needed they won't actually create a scrape or burrow. It's better for them to have more foraging area as they are the only ones that will climb. They're adults even though they're tiny so they won't need to moult.
    Because of the way the enclosure is set up if they follow the instructions and only add water to the substrate via the straw and keep the surface dry or nearly dry there should be no problem with mycosis and they should successfully get a scorpion through moulting.

    Good point about "hot" species. The species provided are all pretty mild, and no Australian species require a hospital visit but I think I will add something along the lines of "seek medical advice if a severe reaction is noticed " , I'll try to word it better though.

    To @MassExodus , the species I'm including in the kit are all fairly visible. The Lychas sp. (they're undescribed) roam around a lot while the others mainly pose in front of their scrape or burrow.
    Flinders Ranges ( Urodacus elongatus ) are one of the most popular Australian scorpions because of their size and visibility. They mostly are suitable for handling but I'm not going to recommend it.
    Desert Scorpions (U. yaschenkoi) are popular for their defensive behaviour and the way they take down prey. They are usually visible at the entrance of their burrow and roam a little at night.
    Both Black Rock Scorpions (U. manicatus) and Rainforest Scorpions (Hormurus sp.) are scrape dwellers and rarely seen but popular because of their mild disposition and the fact that they live in high rainfall areas so are resistant to mycosis. Black Rocks come from temperate areas and Rainforest from tropical areas but both do fine at room temperature.
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  11. MassExodus

    MassExodus Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Excellent. You should post this in scorpion talk (other inverts subforum) its useful info for Aussie newbs.
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  12. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    People misuse heat and if done wrong it's fatal. Most common mistake is putting the heat source under the cage. Heat should come from above or one side only. A cold side should always be provided and behavior watched. Generally any type of heat lamp should only be 25 watts, never emit UV and located no closer then 8" from the top of the enclosure.

    They can be warmed but there are many gotchas, some of which are fatal. The actual heat and humidity within the burrow in many cases it's simply unknown.

    With my scorps, if they stop eating or ignore close objects or air movement, it's too cold. If they avoid the hot side it's too hot.

    When I raised scorplings all together, individuals differed greatly. I kept the fastest growing scorpling which preferred to be in the warmest area possible.

    What's really needed is a list of behaviors indicating excess heat or cold together with typical behavior for each one. I have yet to find such information all in one place sadly enough.
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  13. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member

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    Tarantula Starter Kit Instructions.

    Small Tarantula Starter Kit.

    The Tarantula included in the kit is a Selenotypus "species 2" tarantula, an arid burrowing species.

    WARNING -
    Australian Tarantulas are not considered life threatening to humans but you should be aware that their bite can be fatal to dogs and perhaps cats.
    Electrical tape can be used to better secure the lid and minimise any risk.
    Tarantulas do not always inject venom when biting, there are "wet bites" and "dry bites" so the severity of any symptoms may vary considerably.
    If bitten it is always wise to seek medical advise to control symptoms of a bite which can involve pain, fever and nausea.
    Always use tongs or other implements for maintenance never bare fingers as Tarantulas react to vibrations in their webbing, some may have a bite first and look later hunting strategy.
    I will accept no responsibility for any consequences resulting from the purchase of this Tarantula, it is the buyers responsibility to ensure that there is no risk to people or pets.

    Setting Up The Enclosure.

    1 - Empty half of the Substrate Mix into a bowl and using your syringe dribble 10ml of water over it and mix thoroughly.
    Allow to stand for 5 minutes for the water to be absorbed evenly, stirring occasionally.

    2 - Place two heaped teaspoons of substrate into the enclosure leaving one corner bare.

    3 - Hold the straw/tube upright in the bare corner with the angled end down.
    Pack the substrate around the base of the straw so that it stands by itself,
    compress the substrate evenly on the bottom of the enclosure.
    Add substrate two teaspoons at a time pressing it down firmly and evenly before adding more.
    When finished the surface of the substrate should be approximately halfway up the side of the enclosure.
    It is important to compact the substrate as much as possible so that a burrow will hold it's shape and not collapse.

    4 - Add your decor as you wish but a small amount of Sphagnum Moss should be located near the water tube,
    this will be your "wet area".
    Where a solid piece of decor has been provided make an indentation in the substrate and place the decor over it.
    This allows the Tarantula to easily form a cave/burrow if it desires.

    5 - Lightly spray the entire enclosure to set the surface of the substrate.
    Use the water to clean stray substrate from off of the walls and decor if needed, a small paintbrush can speed the
    process and reduce the amount of water used.
    Set the enclosure aside with the lid off for 10 minutes or more to allow water to be absorbed and equalised,
    and for the entire enclosure to reach room temperature.


    Unpacking Your Tarantula.

    - Locate a tub or container large enough for the enclosure and the shipping tub to fit in easily,
    this will be your work station.
    This tub must have a lid as while this species can't climb smooth surfaces very well they may be able to climb on some plastic surfaces.
    If during unpacking or transferring the tarantula it escapes placing the lid on the tub is recommended, this allows both you and the Tarantula to become calm.
    - Place your tongs, your torch and a teaspoon next to the work container.
    - Place the enclosure into the work container.
    - Cut and remove the tape from the shipping tub.
    - Using your torch locate the Tarantula in the posting tub.
    - Place the shipping tub into the work container, taking note of the Tarantulas position and remove the lid.
    - Using the tongs carefully remove the moss until the Tarantula is exposed.

    - All Tarantulas will act differently at this point.
    - Sometimes they behave, you uncover them, lift the tub with the tongs and tilt it over the enclosure and they just walk in.
    That is the most common scenario, calmly coaxing them out of the tub and into the new enclosure and shutting the lid.
    I find the back of the teaspoon is good for gently prodding them to direct them where to go as it is smooth and rounded.

    - This species of tarantula can't climb smooth surfaces very well so "pouring" them out of one container into the next will often work, you just need to make sure you don't add too much unwanted material to your enclosure.

    - If during unpacking your Tarantula escapes the shipping tub or enclosure and is loose in your work container put the lid
    on the container immediately then simply find a bigger work container.
    You can then remove the shipping tub and spilled moss and put them out of the way.
    Then put the enclosure into the new work container and tilt the old container so that with guidance the Tarantula runs along the corner and into the enclosure. If it doesn't go in or jumps out you just have to repeat the procedure until success.

    - Some cling to moss and wont move from it, if so using the tongs and the spoon try to pick up the moss the Tarantula
    is clinging to, manoeuvring the spoon beneath the Tarantula and place both moss and Tarantula into the enclosure and
    close the lid, excess moss can be trimmed or removed later once the Tarantula has moved.

    Your Tarantula enclosure can now be placed in the room.

    It should be somewhere where the heat stays fairly even.
    Although this species of Tarantula are often found in arid areas they avoid the heat and dry of the day by burrowing and
    hiding where moisture levels and temperatures are very stable.
    They can thrive in a wide range of temperatures, from 15c in winter to the over 30c extremes in summer but large swings in temperature can be fatal.
    Never have them too close to a heater, not only might they overheat or dry out quickly but the sudden up and down swings in temperature as the heater is turned on or off might be fatal as they can't adjust quickly enough.
    It is better to have a constant low temperature than to have swings in temperature.
    In most situations room temperature will be fine for them, between 18 and 25 are the preferred temperatures but unless where you keep your Tarantula is constantly going below 15c a heater will not be needed.
    The kit includes a thermometer that should be placed on or next to the enclosure to check ambient temperature, check it throughout the day to gauge if the temperature stays fairly constant, a slight difference between evening and morning should be expected but if it approaches a 10c difference a more stable position should be found.
    Sunlight can rapidly heat and dry an enclosure so they should never be located where sunbeams fall onto the enclosure.

    Moisture

    In a couple of days check the enclosure to see if the sphagnum moss is still damp, and if the surface of the substrate is lightening in colour.
    If the moss is drying out mist it and the wall near it. The moss should be kept damp, when it has light tips it needs to be misted.
    A small water dish is provided but it is optional if the moss is kept damp. Be aware that moss and stray pieces of substrate can cause the water to wick out of the dish and make the substrate too wet.
    Water shouldn't be added to the surface of the enclosure other than misting the moss and filling the water dish.

    Which brings us to the straw.
    In nature Tarantulas will dig or burrow to find a moisture level that suits them, the deeper it digs the more moisture it finds.
    The straw allows you to add water to the lower levels of the substrate without it being too moist on the surface.
    Load the syringe with 5ml of water and slowly inject 3ml into the straw. If there is a great difference between the colour of
    the newly wet substrate and the rest of it then it has dried quickly in which case the remaining 2ml should be added.
    Humidity levels in a home vary greatly so how often water will be needed to be added can't be specified but usually a routine can be established based around your feeding schedule.
    Initially checking every few days is recommended.
    You are aiming for the sphagnum moss to be damp, but the surface of the substrate to be almost dry, perhaps dry in parts.
    These Tarantulas are an arid species and too much moisture can lead to problems, if the moss is kept damp very little moisture should be added to the substrate, one damp corner will be fine.
    If large areas of your substrate go mouldy you will need to replace it and cut back dramatically on how much water is added.
    Twice the amount of substrate needed is included in the kit for this reason, as is ample sphagnum moss to replace that if soiled or too wet. If a small amount of substrate becomes mouldy just scoop it out and replace it if needed.
    Condensation on a cold morning is fine but it should be gone by the afternoon. Heavy condensation is usually a sign that too much water has been added but it can also be a sign that the temperature is swinging too much over the day/night cycle and the enclosure should be moved to a different position in the room.

    Food

    Tarantulas have a very slow metabolism and require very little food to survive. As long as the abdomen looks plump there is no need to be alarmed if food is refused.
    How often they feed varies according to how warm they are and how much moisture they are losing to the air.
    As long as they are not becoming desiccated they can go months without food, they simply wont expend any energy.
    Once a week is a standard feeding schedule but young Tarantulas will often take food twice a week.
    Some will only eat once a fortnight or even once a month, particurarily in winter when they would usually be dormant anyway.
    Tarantulas enter a phase known as "pre-moult". During this phase they will refuse all food. This phase could last a month or more.
    Tarantulas eat mostly live insects but may take freshly killed insects or parts of insects, many people cut up mealworms or crickets to feed small Tarantulas however not all will take them.
    The most readily taken food are crickets of an appropriate size.
    The smallest sold are "pinhead crickets" and these are fed to very small baby Tarantulas.
    Your Tarantula is larger and can eat the size "small crickets" but "pinheads" are also suitable.
    The prey should be half the size of the Tarantula or smaller, a very hungry Tarantula will tackle larger prey but best feeding results are had with prey about half the size of the Tarantula or smaller.
    When an insect is not eaten immediately I add a tiny piece of carrot into the enclosure so that the prey does not nibble on
    the Tarantula, crickets in particular will chew on Tarantula if hungry.
    Tarantulas will often be startled by you opening the lid and a live insect dropped in and flinch away from the prey, particularly if it is bigger than ideal.
    If the prey seems to have the Tarantula on the run for a long time you can swap it for a smaller size or crush it's head.
    Live or dead prey should be removed if not eaten overnight as should any remains of eaten prey.
    Of course insects of an appropriate size could likely be caught in your yard but the risks are high. Apart from parasites or
    other "hitchhikers" there is a risk of them having been in contact with poison or even having eaten plants poisonous to Tarantulas.

    Moulting

    Tarantulas require a higher humidity environment to moult successfully.
    Because you are adding water via the straw it can find the environment it needs by digging a burrow. It can dig to find the required moisture level to moult.
    It will most likely block the enterance to it's home when it needs to moult, this raises the humidity in the burrow.
    If you see your Tarantula has blocked its self in you should not disturb it, no food should be added.
    It may or may not be moulting, but a moulting or newly moulted Tarantula is very vulnerable and can be damaged by feeder insects.
    Disturbing a moulting or newly moulted Tarantula can result in an injury or death through the humidity being lowered and the exoskeleton getting stuck. Blocking themselves in a burrow is common behaviour and should not cause panic.
    The water usually added as per your routine should still be added, but monitor carefully so that you keep moisture levels constant.
    When you see your Tarantula outside its home again you can usually commence feeding again, a newly moulted Tarantula has soft fangs that can be damaged by trying to eat too soon so it is recommended to wait a week before offering food if you see an exoskeleton in the enclosure.

    Light

    Included in the kit are a torch and a small led light.
    The torch should be used sparingly, it stresses the Tarantula and may be harmful if used constantly.
    The led light can be used to light the enclosure for viewing, some Tarantulas will hide from it if it is too bright for them.
    Coloured light seems to be tolerated well, white light needs to be positioned so that it does not shine on the Tarantula
    intensely.

    Pesticides and sprays.

    All sprays can be considered hazerdous to Tarantulas, pesticides in particular of course.
    The enclosure should be removed from the room any time sprays are used and not brought back until all traces have left the air.
    If the enclosure cant be moved it should be covered well and the outside wiped with a wet tissue or clean cloth when the
    danger is over.
    Be aware that your hands can be a source of contaminants. Soaps, detergents and many other substances can be present on your hands. Be aware you can pick up pesticides and other chemicals from your other pets too, patting your dog or cat could leave pesticide residue on your hands even if you use tablets or other ingested treatments due to the ingested pesticide being present in the animals skin or hair.
    Always wash your hands carefully before and after handling any equipment or food for your Tarantula or the feeder insects.
    The same care taken to avoid contamination of your Tarantula should be taken for your feeder insects too.

    These instructions and care notes are a brief guide only, and reflect the husbandry methods I've found to be successful, others may use different husbandry methods that are also successful.

    More detailed care instructions can be found online, I highly recommend conducting your own research.

    Forums can be a good source of information as can some facebook groups.
    There are many instructional videos on Youtube but be aware that most will be about tropical exotic species requiring higher moisture levels than our arid species.
    Care instructions for the Australian Phlogius genus will also show higher moisture and humidity levels than that required for Selenotypus species.
    Care instructions for adult Selenotypus species will indicate lower moisture levels than the spiderlings (slings) require.

    If the instructions I've provided regarding moisture are followed you will have created moisture gradients in the enclosure
    allowing the tarantula to choose a position where the moisture levels suit it best so it doesn't need to be precise.
    If the tarantula is always near the "wettest" part of the enclosure you might need to add slightly more water, if it is always where the substrate is driest you may need to allow the substrate to dry and add less water at a time.

    Enjoy your new pet!
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