Zoo Med’s Excavator Clay! It’s Not Just For Reptiles Anymore!

I would like to welcome fellow blogger and tarantula enthusiast and best friend Dave Fuentes to my site. Together we own and operate the blog site TERROR FROM BEYOND THE DAVES, which can be seen HERE!

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Let me start by saying I’m no tarantula expert and just started the hobby a little over a year ago. I currently have three spiders, all of them purchased as slings; Brachypelma albopilosum, Grammostola pulchripes, and Brachypelma vagans. They may not be the flashiest species but I was told by good authority (like the guy who runs this site) that they’re the perfect choice for a novice like me. Ideally, I wanted to purchase adult spiders but economics and availability dictated otherwise. Looking back I’m glad I did it this way as it’s been pretty amazing watching them molt and transform.

Of course different species grow at different rates and, after a year, it became obvious that “Austin” (my B. albopilosum) was ready to graduate from his critter carrier to something a bit more permanent. For the purpose of story-telling, I’ll be referring to Austin as “him” though it’s still too young to be sexed and may very well be an “Austintina” for all I know.

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REHOUSING TARANTULAS: Poecilotheria metallica

Keeping tarantulas has always been a fun hobby for me and at the time of this writing, I have 55 tarantulas in my collection representing 44 species. They are fascinating animals and though they have the potential to bite, for the most part they are calm and make excellent pets. If you receive a tarantula as an adult, housing is relatively easy. You just place it into a size-appropriate enclosure and you should be all set with the exception of an occasional cleaning. When raising spiderlings though it is a different story since as they grow they need larger enclosures.

I start all spiderlings in deli cups with lids that have ventilation holes. For terrestrial (ground dwelling)species, I use a 16 oz. cup and for arboreals (live up off of the ground, usually in trees), I use a 32 oz. cup. These containers are small enough that it will make finding prey easy but at the same time large enough that the young tarantula can burrow if it wants or in the case of an arboreal species, be able to climb vertically. There is also enough room in these containers for a small water dish and regulating humidity is relatively easy.

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