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T. Blondi new owner, should have started with something easier...

Charlotte1

New Member
We are having so much difficulty maintaining humidity for our girl. She is a juvenile, and we have her in a 45 gallon aquarium. We have sprayers, black light for heat, heating pad on the side, and a humidifier that sprays on a timer. She's in a basement room though that isn't especially warm. Trying to keep her between 70 and 80 degrees, with humidity at 70 to 80 %. We don't have cross ventilation, which I know is better, we have a sturdy mesh lid, so heat can escape there and for ventilation. Isn't working. I have 7 kids at home, my 15 yr old is the owner and he loves her dearly, but I've run out of ideas! And the pet stores know nothing.
 

Thistles

Well-Known Member
3 Year Member
Ohh boy, yeah, you should have started with something easier. See if you can sell her and get an LP (Lasiodora parahybana) or something if you want a big honkin' spider. Did you guys look at options? Or did the 15 yr old just want the goliath because it sounds cool? That's a heck of an investment.

First, you need a smaller tank. 45 gal is much too big for a juvenile, and maybe even an adult. I had a huge AF T. stirmi in a 20 gal. Get a shoebox or sweater box and make a lot of ventilation holes in the sides. You don't need all the fancy equipment. Just fill the box with either top soil (no additives), peat, or a mix of the two.

Make a nice burrow for her and add a water dish. If you can find someone with isopods and/or springtails, those would be good additions to help keep the mold down. You need to try to keep the substrate moist without letting it get soggy and moldy. She doesn't need to be soaked. If you ditch the heat lamp and mesh lid, you probably won't have to do too much to maintain humidity. I would just pour some water in weekly (not too much - find a balance).

If the room she's in is really cold, you may need to use the heat mat on the side. Just be sure it isn't too hot for a smaller tank. Mine was in a basement, but I still don't think I used a heat mat for her. 70 degrees is just fine. Good luck!
 

Thistles

Well-Known Member
3 Year Member
By the way, the humidity in the air will be lower than the humidity in the burrow. Using a hygrometer in the tank is pretty useless unless you can get it down where she's living. If you had more experience, you would be able to eyeball the color of the substrate to gauge how humid her burrow is. As it is now, you've got a learning curve ahead of you.
 

Charlotte1

New Member
Ohh boy, yeah, you should have started with something easier. See if you can sell her and get an LP (Lasiodora parahybana) or something if you want a big honkin' spider. Did you guys look at options? Or did the 15 yr old just want the goliath because it sounds cool? That's a heck of an investment.

First, you need a smaller tank. 45 gal is much too big for a juvenile, and maybe even an adult. I had a huge AF T. stirmi in a 20 gal. Get a shoebox or sweater box and make a lot of ventilation holes in the sides. You don't need all the fancy equipment. Just fill the box with either top soil (no additives), peat, or a mix of the two.

Make a nice burrow for her and add a water dish. If you can find someone with isopods and/or springtails, those would be good additions to help keep the mold down. You need to try to keep the substrate moist without letting it get soggy and moldy. She doesn't need to be soaked. If you ditch the heat lamp and mesh lid, you probably won't have to do too much to maintain humidity. I would just pour some water in weekly (not too much - find a balance).

If the room she's in is really cold, you may need to use the heat mat on the side. Just be sure it isn't too hot for a smaller tank. Mine was in a basement, but I still don't think I used a heat mat for her. 70 degrees is just fine. Good luck!
Thank you so much for the input!!
 

m0lsx

Well-Known Member
Tarantula Club Member
Personally, I don't use heat & I don't measure humidity on any of my T's & that includes in my blondi, or my stirmi's enclosures & they all seem to do well. They are much more robust & easier to keep than some other species.

One of my stirmi's I brought as an adult. And she came in an enclosure that was really dry. It also had a large branch from a Christmas Tree in it & anything pine contains a natural insecticide. But she was doing fine. So don't panic, you are doing far better than some keepers do & are far more stressed about this than your blondi is.

Try to forget everything that certain people try to indoctrinate you with, about humidity & think basic husbandry. Think substrate & water bowl to start with. I keep the substrate moist, but not wet & I normally use a syringe, clear a corner of substrate & try to get the water at the bottom of the enclosure & I try to change the corner that I use & thus avoid mold. Like that I get areas of different moisture levels. I also keep a larger than normal water dish in the enclosure with blondi's & stirmis. Another good & cheap addition, that I like, is sphagnum moss, I place a clump of this in the enclosure & that again holds water & gives an effective way of misting an area of the enclosure.

You would have had a learning curve with any first tarantula & there are species much more difficult to keep than a T blondi. So stop stressing, change the way you think & start enjoying your T.
 

Charlotte1

New Member
Personally, I don't use heat & I don't measure humidity on any of my T's & that includes in my blondi, or my stirmi's enclosures & they all seem to do well. They are much more robust & easier to keep than some other species.

One of my stirmi's I brought as an adult. And she came in an enclosure that was really dry. It also had a large branch from a Christmas Tree in it & anything pine contains a natural insecticide. But she was doing fine. So don't panic, you are doing far better than some keepers do & are far more stressed about this than your blondi is.

Try to forget everything that certain people try to indoctrinate you with, about humidity & think basic husbandry. Think substrate & water bowl to start with. I keep the substrate moist, but not wet & I normally use a syringe, clear a corner of substrate & try to get the water at the bottom of the enclosure & I try to change the corner that I use & thus avoid mold. Like that I get areas of different moisture levels. I also keep a larger than normal water dish in the enclosure with blondi's & stirmis. Another good & cheap addition, that I like, is sphagnum moss, I place a clump of this in the enclosure & that again holds water & gives an effective way of misting an area of the enclosure.

You would have had a learning curve with any first tarantula & there are species much more difficult to keep than a T blondi. So stop stressing, change the way you think & start enjoying your T.
Thank you so much for the input! We've been totally freaking out and we can't buy a new enclosure... it's too expensive to start from scratch so we're just trying to make do with what we have. It's a 40 gallon tank, not 45 like I originally thought. We're going to deepen the substrate, add moss and water to the lower level of the substrate. Any other tips? Like is it okay if we keep her in there even though she's a juvenile and the tank is big?
 

Thistles

Well-Known Member
3 Year Member
Thank you so much for the input!!

Thank you so much for the input! We've been totally freaking out and we can't buy a new enclosure... it's too expensive to start from scratch so we're just trying to make do with what we have. It's a 40 gallon tank, not 45 like I originally thought. We're going to deepen the substrate, add moss and water to the lower level of the substrate. Any other tips? Like is it okay if we keep her in there even though she's a juvenile and the tank is big?
It just makes things harder. Move her stuff closer to her burrow. Don't expect her to wander far enough to find things like her water bowl. Be careful with mesh tops - they can get their toes stuck. Maybe get a sheet of plexiglass that will sit on the lip of the tank under the mesh and drill some holes in it for ventilation.
 

Konstantin

Well-Known Member
Hi
Its not ideal if the tank is big.Tarantulas feel more secure in tight places it may feel uncomfortable and stressed in large enclosure refuse to eat not going to its water if it is far from its hide ...
Other point is that tarantulas are ambush predators and dot actively hunt.Large enclosure will reduce chances of pray and predator encounters.
It may work or not.Observe how things are going.
It don't have to be expensive enclosure a plastic shoe(storage) tub with clip on lid makes great enclosure just need to melt (drill) ventilation holes.You can upgrade the enclosure later once your tarantula is fully grown to a more flashy display one.
I keep all my slings and juvenile in cheap plastic tubs as they outgrow them quick and its not worth the investment.
Regards Konstantin
 

m0lsx

Well-Known Member
Tarantula Club Member
A few weeks ago I brought a Theraphosa sling, probably a stirmi, from someone new to the hobby. It came complete with a very well set up enclosure & a lot of other bits. The enclosure is too large for a sling, being 12 inches, by 12 inches. But it has an arch of cork bark in it, that it spends it's time in & that bark is covered by moss.

I keep the moss moist & put a cricket or two into it's bark tunnel every week & I don't see any crickets roaming, so it is eating. It's environment is moist, darkish & small, even if the tank is really too big for it.

Give your blondi somewhere to sit in the dark. Mostly I use a terracotta flower pots, that I cut in half & sanded the rough edges off, I then dig the closed end into the substrate a little. Sometimes I use an arch of cork bark on the surface, or half a coconut shell. I even have some large bamboo tubes in some dry enclosures.

My big blondi which is well over 8 inches, has an arch of bark on the surface, but has dug the substrate out below it & recently molted there. My blondi juvenile also has bark & has done the same thing & webbed it's self in, so is probably about to molt.


If you use something like cork bark, or half a plastic flower pot, something that will live with the moisture & keep the area under it moist by putting some sphagnum moss over it & maybe put some more moss on the surface in a close by corner & keep that moss moist with a mist every few days. Your blondi will have a moist place to hide away & somewhere to feel safe.
 

m0lsx

Well-Known Member
Tarantula Club Member
As Konstantin says, an enclosure does not have to be commercially made the following is what I keep my larger slings & small juvi's in.

My big 8 inch lasiodora parahybana is in a large clear plastic storage bin.

containers.jpg
 

Charlotte1

New Member
Hi
Its not ideal if the tank is big.Tarantulas feel more secure in tight places it may feel uncomfortable and stressed in large enclosure refuse to eat not going to its water if it is far from its hide ...
Other point is that tarantulas are ambush predators and dot actively hunt.Large enclosure will reduce chances of pray and predator encounters.
It may work or not.Observe how things are going.
It don't have to be expensive enclosure a plastic shoe(storage) tub with clip on lid makes great enclosure just need to melt (drill) ventilation holes.You can upgrade the enclosure later once your tarantula is fully grown to a more flashy display one.
I keep all my slings and juvenile in cheap plastic tubs as they outgrow them quick and its not worth the investment.
Regards Kons

A few weeks ago I brought a Theraphosa sling, probably a stirmi, from someone new to the hobby. It came complete with a very well set up enclosure & a lot of other bits. The enclosure is too large for a sling, being 12 inches, by 12 inches. But it has an arch of cork bark in it, that it spends it's time in & that bark is covered by moss.

I keep the moss moist & put a cricket or two into it's bark tunnel every week & I don't see any crickets roaming, so it is eating. It's environment is moist, darkish & small, even if the tank is really too big for it.

Give your blondi somewhere to sit in the dark. Mostly I use a terracotta flower pots, that I cut in half & sanded the rough edges off, I then dig the closed end into the substrate a little. Sometimes I use an arch of cork bark on the surface, or half a coconut shell. I even have some large bamboo tubes in some dry enclosures.

My big blondi which is well over 8 inches, has an arch of bark on the surface, but has dug the substrate out below it & recently molted there. My blondi juvenile also has bark & has done the same thing & webbed it's self in, so is probably about to molt.


If you use something like cork bark, or half a plastic flower pot, something that will live with the moisture & keep the area under it moist by putting some sphagnum moss over it & maybe put some more moss on the surface in a close by corner & keep that moss moist with a mist every few days. Your blondi will have a moist place to hide away & somewhere to feel safe.
Thank you so much for taking the time to post, all the input helps! We're probably going to transfer her to a smaller plastic container but I'm kind of freaked about the whole thing. Personally, this is a huge challenge to me, working with spiders, and I have 7 kids so I've got 3 little girls tied to my legs all the time and my son (who's T it is) needs supervision for everything. What was I thinking to let him do this? It's fascinating though and I'm getting attached. We've kept tons of bugs over the years and I've long since surrendered my last tupperware containers...There's 3 in his room right now with an assortment of critters. I sent my oldest son with him to get the stuff for the T and they just did whatever the pet store told them....It's my son's money so I'm not freaking about that it's just he doesn't have anymore and hey, I've got a ton of kids so I'm always broke. I will be brave and go forward. We put sphagnum moss in there today, added more water along the sides and she has a plastic log that she's staying under. Her water dish is outside the log though, right next to it but I'm not sure if it should be under the log with her? We're going to research more about the right size container and how to keep a plastic container warm enough. Thanks so much for the help!
 

Konstantin

Well-Known Member
Hi
how big is the spider atm.
Watch out about it kicking hairs at you.Long sleeves and gloves may be usefull even when cleaning the enclosure after you get the spider out.Everyone thinks about potential bites but hairs are no joke.
Tom Moran that I linked before has many rehousing videos and he promotes very good rehousing practices .
Hope it all is well with the spider and your kids.
Regards Konstantin
 

Charlotte1

New Member
Yes, I've been watching his videos!! We will take those precautions about the hairs! She's about the size of my hand, I have small hands for a woman though. My son thinks she's about 1 year old. I have no idea if he knows what he's talking about. He's been reading about this species for at least a year, so I thought he was better prepared. At this point I'm not taking his word for anything! We're planning on transferring her to a 15 qt sterilite container and hopefully when she's full grown the 40 gallon tank won't be too big? We'll see. We're going to redo our substrate as well. We're mostly using coco fiber.
 

Cam_bull

New Member
We are having so much difficulty maintaining humidity for our girl. She is a juvenile, and we have her in a 45 gallon aquarium. We have sprayers, black light for heat, heating pad on the side, and a humidifier that sprays on a timer. She's in a basement room though that isn't especially warm. Trying to keep her between 70 and 80 degrees, with humidity at 70 to 80 %. We don't have cross ventilation, which I know is better, we have a sturdy mesh lid, so heat can escape there and for ventilation. Isn't working. I have 7 kids at home, my 15 yr old is the owner and he loves her dearly, but I've run out of ideas! And the pet stores know nothing.
You don’t need any heat sources, you can bake the tarantula. They do fine at room temp. As for humidity, don’t even pay attention to the numbers. Spray/mist once or twice a day make sure the substrate stays moist, and you can cut plastic pieces out of bigger Tupperware’s to stick under 75% of the screen lid with a few big holes in the plastic. This will make the humidity stay a bit higher, without causing mold. It’s not that you need to start with something easier, you just need to research much more. It’s also 100% a theraphosa stirmi, not blondi. Other than that you’re good, I started with a 10” T. stirmi for my first tarantula, in a 29 gallon tank. 40 is big, but if you fill it up enough with cork and stuff you’ll be fine. That is if the tarantula is in adulthood which I’m assuming it is. Other than that you’re good!
 

Cam_bull

New Member
We are having so much difficulty maintaining humidity for our girl. She is a juvenile, and we have her in a 45 gallon aquarium. We have sprayers, black light for heat, heating pad on the side, and a humidifier that sprays on a timer. She's in a basement room though that isn't especially warm. Trying to keep her between 70 and 80 degrees, with humidity at 70 to 80 %. We don't have cross ventilation, which I know is better, we have a sturdy mesh lid, so heat can escape there and for ventilation. Isn't working. I have 7 kids at home, my 15 yr old is the owner and he loves her dearly, but I've run out of ideas! And the pet stores know nothing.
My room stays at around 60-70 degrees in the winter, and high 70s during the warmer season. All my tarantulas, along with other inverts do fine.
 
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