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What glues are safe for Ts?

Discussion in 'General Tarantula Discussion' started by Sage Exotics, May 15, 2018.

  1. Sage Exotics

    Sage Exotics Member

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    Im transforming an old fish tank into a viv for a H. Villosella (Tanzanian chestnut), but I want to keep the lid because it’s strong, however there are large gaping holes where the filter and heater (for fish) go, and obviously I should cover them up. I’m thinking (yup goin’ cheap) butterfly net netting or one of those big thingies from the dollar store, they’re made for bugs so it should work. I have two cats, so I need it secure, though. I’m thinking superglue, but is this even safe to use?
  2. Mr. P

    Mr. P Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I would use superglue due to the chemicals. I would research and whatever glue/silicone is safe for a fish tank would be safe for most other things.
  3. Sage Exotics

    Sage Exotics Member

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    Okey dokey, will do. Thanks!
  4. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Why not do acrylic pieces cut to size? A quality piece of wood might also work. They can't slowly chew through that.

    Ts have even been known to chew through cheap screen mesh. I wouldn't use any netting for the long term.

    Of course, some people use a pair of butterfly nets to recapture escaped tarantulas. They aren't used to keep them however.

    Using small machine screws might be a good alternative to glue. You would just need a small Dremel tool of tool and a drill bit.
  5. Sage Exotics

    Sage Exotics Member

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    The problem is it needs to be flexible and breathable, as these are the only holes of the tank, and the lid is a funny shape (it’s round but has these uneven ledge thingies in the back... it’s weird). Do you know where I could find the screen mesh on Exo Terras? I’ve looked around for it but can’t seem to find it anywhere... also I reasearched and most superglues are safe, including mine.
  6. PanzoN88

    PanzoN88 Well-Known Member

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    I advise against screen lids altogether. Some places sell lids by themselves, but rip the screen out, as no matter what you may hear about them, screen lids are just an invitation for the tarantula to either:

    A) get a claw caught
    B) chew it's way to freedom

    A majority of those who use "tanks" often create covers out of plexiglass, the plexiglass lid just slides right into place where the screen used to be. I don't use clear tanks other than kritter keepers, an adult enclosure from jamies tarantulas, and pill vials, so I don't know how to instruct you on how to do that as I mainly use cost effective, attractive when organized, space saving sterilite bins and deli cups.
    Whitelightning777 likes this.
  7. Sage Exotics

    Sage Exotics Member

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    Really? I have never heard that before... the lid needs to be very secure, as my kitten probably won’t leave it alone. So I’m gonna have to make something out of plexi glass? Sounds complicated but I’ll look into it. Thanks for the advice!
  8. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I've used super glue without any ill effects, but I let it dry for 24 hours first. I used epoxy on some decorations in my first enclosure built for my Versicolor with no ill effects.

    The main thing to consider is whether or not that glue is fully dried. I also rinse off the decorations first to remove any chemical smell that may be lingering.

    Many people also use hot glue guns and claim that when fully cooled, you're good to go. I haven't tried this and hot glue doesn't always work on all surfaces such as glass very well. Most of my creations are super glued into place including both tanks I had my Versicolor in, my P striata's enclosure where the branches are actually 2 joined and in my H pulchripes's cube where leaves are joined to cork bark. They all dried for at least 24 hours prior to the arrival of the sling.

    I've had zero problems. The glue must remain chemically stable if it gets wet. That is the main factor as well as being fully dry.

    H pulchripes cage 3.jpg P Striata cage 3.jpg C versocolor Charlotte's new enclosure nano1.jpg
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  9. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    That depends on the screen. Terra Blue professional enclosures and Zoo med ones use screen that is fully bonded and of a heavy enough grade to contain snakes and lizards as well as centipedes. ExoTerra also uses a fully bonded screen.

    It should be something purpose built for animals not from screen from the hardware store. For example, Jamie's enclosures use screen vents on the sling enclosures.

    The advantages of screens are that you can fill the water dish without opening the cage and you can use pieces of plastic sheet to perfectly regulate how much air circulates. With the entire top of an enclosure ventilated with a screen, stagnant air isn't a problem.

    Some of the older unbonded ones did cause problems. The other issue is why are your ground dwelling Ts being driven up the wall in the first place?

    Being to cold, wrong substrate, troublesome uneaten feeders, mites, and vibration from a source under the cage such as loud music being played by those in the floor under your condo can all literally drive a spider up the wall.

    Those issues need to be addressed. If they are, the tarantula won't misbehave and hang upside down in the first place.
  10. Sage Exotics

    Sage Exotics Member

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    Well I won’t be able to bring any spiders home until the next reptile expo which is in October, so that’s plenty of time for the glue to dry. I’ve never heard of tarantulas chewing their way to freedom, how much of a risk is this? How do they even know to chew there? I’ve had my rose hair in an Exo Terra for 10 years and no problems, so if I just use wire mesh made for animals I’ll be fine? I don’t know where I’d even get some, are those wire screen things people put around flowers to keep rodents out okay for Ts?
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  11. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Some large terrestrial ones can chew through aluminum or light steel types of vents. Google it. You need ones that are plastic believe it or not.
  12. Sage Exotics

    Sage Exotics Member

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    Hm. The T I want (H. Villosella) is a dwarf, so I doubt it could chew through the screen, so is the stuff made to keep rodents out of plants safe for this situation? I can put layers, and even use super glue to coat it a bit.
  13. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    https://tomsbigspiders.com/2016/02/09/tarantulas-faq/

    Here's a picture of the screen being chewed out. I haven't heard anything about the dwarf species doing this, however.

    To bond an unbonded screen, spray it with urethane clear coat from a can of the type you get at an auto parts store. Spray both sides with multiple thin coats and shake off the excess that blocks the holes in the screen.

    Let it dry for at least 24 to 48 hours. Then rinse thoroughly with hot water to remove any chemical residue. The liquid paint occupies the void between where the individual wires cross over one another bonding them into one piece.


    The claws this can't get caught there. It also adds additional stiffness. Urethane itself dries into a very hard corrosion resistant impact resistant coat which is why it is used as the final coat when painted on a car.

    It'll also be less likely to get dirt embedded in it as well.
  14. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member

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    I only skimmed the thread, so if this was covered already I apologise.
    I've kept fish my whole life and due to being admin on many fish groups and forums I know that most "fish people" accept that superglue once cured is very safe, it's even used in marine aquariums to anchor coral and urchins etc.
    I don't have links to papers or studies to back this up on hand, I did, but it's widely accepted in the "fish community".
  15. Sage Exotics

    Sage Exotics Member

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    Thanks all! I’m thinking I might as well just buy a cheap tank off Kijiji if I’m gonna have to buy all this anyways. I can just put my tank away for another time. But I’m still gonna get that T!
  16. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    The main thing with glue is to make sure it's fully dry and to wash off the items first.
  17. Tortoise Tom

    Tortoise Tom Well-Known Member

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    @Whitelightning777 is steering you the right direction here. I bought a lovely 3 tarantula enclosure at a reptile show a few years ago. It had what seemed to be 3 pretty heavy duty metal screen sliding lids over the three chambers. When my 3 young G. aureostriata (Now pulchripes…) were big enough, I moved them into their new home. Within a week I noticed some screen damage in one of the upper corners and I assumed a rodent was trying to get into my enclosure. I put mouse traps all around, but the damage continued and now two of the lids were damaged. I went and checked on them one night and saw both spiders up in the corner picking at the wire with their feet. They don't "chew" the wire, they pick at it continuously with their feet. Wish I had a picture...

    If you need screen, you'll need to buy some 1/4 hardware cloth. Metal window screen can't hold a tarantula. Plastic window screen or butterfly netting, even less so.

    For glue I would use GE Silicone I. Its about $5 for a whole caulking tube at any hardware store. Totally non-toxic and inert once cured after 48 hours. I use hot glue on my roach bins, and that seems to be fine too, although some roach species chew on the glue.
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  18. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member

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    Picking at it with their feet may also explain why their feet get stuck in screens, maybe it's not due to simply walking across the screen lids.