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Thread: curly hair help

  1. #1
    Moderator Lija's Avatar
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    Default curly hair help

    you know how it goes, your kid is getting something and you're the one who is supposed to know the answers lol

    anyone knows care of curly hair tarantula? i know the basics ( ground dwellers, humidity 70-80, temps 70-80)
    problem is that the upper part of the belly has a bold spot, quite big, it got bold a few days after we got it in May, then the guy molted in june, the belly was all right for a week and then got bold again. the weird part is that the longer hair is remaining, but smaller darker hair is gone here. any ideas or suggestions?
    as well how to do a terrarium for him/her, other then just go throw a few rocks/cork/etc on top of cocofiber substrate. how the tank cleaning should look like? how often?
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

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    Moderator Mentat's Avatar
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    Default Re: curly hair help

    Hi Lija! I keep my tarantulas in ExoTerra breeding boxes according to their size or even little clear plastic boxes from Michaels for the smaller ones. A good guide is that the long side should be no less than 3 times the spider size. Substrate is an in. or so of EcoEarth/Plantation Soil mixed 50-50 with locally available worm casings (or could use ABG mix). A piece of cork slanted against side makes an nice retreat and a plastic cap or similar (Petsmart has nice $1 plastic water dishes in hermit crab section).

    Many ground new world tarantulas have the ability to defensively shake their irritant hair of. Maybe you kid is playing with it a bit more than spider likes. Here is a nice care sheet for them: Curlyhair Tarantula Care Sheet. This is known as the tarantula bible and IMO, the best book about them: The Tarantula Keeper's Guide - Comprehensive Information on Care, Housing, and Feeding: Stanley A. Schultz, Marguerite J. Schultz . Good luck !
    Remember to take care of the enclosure and it will take care of your frog !​

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    Default Re: curly hair help

    it escaped 2 days ago, luckily we found it right there, so i figured i better figure out things myself and be on top of it, some kids want a hamster as a first pet, she wanted tarantula, wanted it badly and for very long..... i tried to convince to get a frog, didn't happen

    my daughter is saying she is not handling it at all unless I'm around, not sure how much trust what 8y old says.... she admitted though that she is checking on tarantula every day, she is lifting a cork it has burrowed under and spraying the cage and tarantula itself, it should be quite stressful for tarantula i think, can it be a reason?
    what is the best to keep humidity up, fog or mist? how sensitive tarantula is to water drops? and of course the only water we use is treated tap.
    right now after we found it, it is sitting in one of my spare critter keepers, that is too small i think for its size, and it is difficult to open/close, so i got 12x12x12 exo terra i figured it would be easy for her to open/close the doors and it looks good, do you think that one will be ok? can i stick a plant in there? plastic may be?

    going to check these links right now! thank you!
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

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    Default Re: curly hair help

    OK, never spray the spider, they do not like it. And do not lift it's home to check on it daily either. I use a small LED flashlight to take a quick look without disturbing it much. I do not worry much about temps or humidity. Lightly spray a corner of their cages once a week for babies and juvies; the adults just have their water dish and no spraying. Problem with tall enclosure is that if frog climbs and falls on something hard it could hurt itself. For that reason, keep mine in the breeder boxes or smaller plastic boxes I drill holes into. A plastic plant is fine .
    Remember to take care of the enclosure and it will take care of your frog !​

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    Moderator Lija's Avatar
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    Default Re: curly hair help

    hm.... if i spray lightly just the corner humidity will stay very low, we have very low air humidity, we're lucky when it is 30, to get it to 70-80 i gotta use some heavy guns and cover almost completely top screen. what should i do, keep humidity low and have a water dish? i can spray i guess the way water is not reaching a spider.

    i love this
    Problem with tall enclosure is that if frog climbs and falls on something hard it could hurt itself
    . lol you meant tarantula aren't you? if so... really? how do you know they hurt? do you think 12" tall is too tall? the spider is about 4.5" leg span right now.
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

  8. #6

    Default curly hair help

    A good rule of thumb is about 1.5X it's DLS (diagonal leg span) to the top of the enclosure from the substrate. Any more than that and a fall from the lid or sides can result in injury. Unfortunately an exoterra cube makes a poor enclosure for nearly all terrestrials (because of those doors) without some mods/tweaks which are too involved to make it worth it, IMO, especially of you have something else handy. You'd best stick with a KK or something similar, where you don't have anything preventing you from piling the dirt on.

    Firstly, you'll want to refrain from bothering it too much. They take time to "adjust" to their new surroundings, and frequent removal of the hide or mucking about the enclosure will essentially prolong their period, and result in a stressed, unhappy spider.

    Second, forget the sprayer, and don't worry about the humidity being too low. This species is very resilient, and will do fine with just a water dish (just make sure it's completely topped off) even if you live in the desert. If you are worried, you may block the top completely with Saran Wrap with no issues. The water dish will provide all the hydration it needs, and she won't suffocate. If you are still worried, chuck the hydrometer. Problem solved!
    Same goes with temperature. Forget what those care sheets tell you. Whatever temperatures you are comfortable with will be just fine for your tarantula. In fact, I find subjecting species to natural seasonal temps to be beneficial for predicting molts, which helps immensely for breeding.

    As for cleaning, all you really need to do is spot clean. Boluses, clumps of poo you can see, and dead feeders should be removed as you find them. You shouldn't clean out the entire enclosure at all if possible, only doing so in dire situations (overrun with pests, fungi, or whatever else), if it gets really dirty (webs aren't dirty!) or if you are rehousing. I know some hobbiests with tarantulas on 7 year old + dirt!

    Hope this helps.

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    Default Re: curly hair help

    Yep, thinking about frogs in here . Terrestrial tarantula adults can break open their abdomens with a large fall (couple feet as in from someones hands) and it's usually fatal. Not sure what is the limit in height or if there is a factual size/height relationship .

    I start offering water in bottle caps at around 2 in. legs span. Can spray more, but again, humidity is not critical like in frogs. Could try covering some of top screening to increase humidity like we do with frogs.
    Remember to take care of the enclosure and it will take care of your frog !​

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    Moderator Lija's Avatar
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    Default Re: curly hair help

    thank you guys!!!!!! that is different from frogs i mean.

    KK - i have quite a few laying around in close to all sizes, but ultimately it is my daughters pet, so eventually she is gonna be the one taking care of, feeding, etc, KK is not that easy to open and then close completely, that is why i don't really use it for anything other then bath tubs for my frogs. so what exactly is wrong with exo cube? digging dirt out - why that is a problem?- unless it decided to dig close to the doors, but if not to put anything by the doors that a spider would want to dig under it shouldn't be a problem?
    height - I don't want to disturb him now, but if it is about 4.5 leg span, it should be about 6" diagonally i think + recommended 1.5" =7.5, the ground is not really hard if it eco earth with soil, and the guy is growing, so height wise i'm thinking is ok.

    humidity- i guess frog care requirements are too much in my head to just take it as you say, too used to keeping at 70-80 for frogs, a bit less or unstable for longer time and a fogger is coming home and gets stuck to a tank. lol
    sorry i just need to hear it from you again in 20-30 humidity keeping tarantula on a dry substrate ( it will be really fast) but having water dish at all the time is ok. please say yes or not and if i'm in panic mode i can spray substrate, but it is not necessary.

    another q - care sheets, if they're off - is there's one that works? i know there're tons of bs care sheets on a net for frogs that's for sure, same for tarantulas i guess.

    P.S. an why do i think my qs to you might seem like some of the qs we get in pac section lol sorry.
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

  11. #9

    Default curly hair help

    Haha it's understandable. Most of the things about caring for Ts is backwards compared to other pets.

    On the exo cubes - number one issue is the front loading doors. Because of this, you are limited to the amount of dirt you can put in there, and a safe height may be an issue. I think I missed the fact that yours is 4.5"; I was assuming it was still a little one! IIRC, it's 7" from the top to the bottom of the doors (less if you slope some dirt towards the back), so actually, you are right, I think the cube is doable.

    On humidity: that should be fine (with the heat on in the winter my room gets that dry sometimes), but, if you notice it spending a lot of her time around, over, or in the dish, she may be feeling a little dry, and you can simply cover the top with plastic wrap (with how much ventilation there is in those cubes, I'd be doing this anyway) to hold in more humidity.

    Generally speaking (unless we are talking about Theraphosa, Ephebopus, Hysterocrates or maybe Megaphobema), if you see temperature numbers or humidity numbers on a care sheet, there's a good chance it's gonna be BS. Here's a link that will work for the majority of tarantulas, your species included: http://people.ucalgary.ca/~schultz/roses.html
    Read the rest if this site as well, especially the myths section (http://people.ucalgary.ca/~schultz/myths00.html).

    He's very wordy, but he knows his stuff.

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    Default Re: curly hair help

    hahaha this is priceless, the guy who wrote the care sheet is awesome! i like it!
    thank you!
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

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    Moderator Lija's Avatar
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    Default Re: curly hair help

    guys..... consider me crazy...... i won't get offended.....
    after last few days spent on the net reading about tarantulas and trying to help ours i figured i just have to get another one, a tiny one and watch it grow into a big one. curly hair is my daughters and the other one is gonna be mine is it normal? or like with frogs you can't have just one?
    anyhow... i know, i know.... please convince me it is A very bad idea, my hubby would be delighted! lol
    so whom should i get? and how to deal with the tiny one, keep him in a tiny space and upgrade it as it grows right? they are usually sold in plastic containers like meds, keep it here or use the smallest KK or even may be deli cup with vent holes? how fast do they grow?
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

  15. #12

    Default curly hair help

    It begins.....

    Nearly any of the Grammostola, Brachypelma, and Aphonopelma make good starters. They are hardy, readily available, and generally remain relatively docile. The big con for most of them, especially of you want to grow one up, is that they grow slowly, and aren't really much to look at when they're small.

    Yes, you've got the right idea with the slings: keep them in appropriately sized enclosures and upgrade as they grow. A lot of people keep them in those pill vials; I prefer plastic portion cups myself. You can use almost anything providing it's made of plastic/glass, has a secure lid, and can be ventilated.

    One species I can recommend is Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens, the Green Bottle Blue tarantula, or GBB. I'm quite fond of these guys, and IMO, they are the perfect starter especially if you intend to grow one up from a sling.
    Like the previously mentioned genera, they are very hardy even as slings, readily available and affordable. They also look amazing, and unlike most of the previously mentioned, they have a beautiful color scheme as slings. They grow relatively quickly with regular temperatures and feeding (I'll get into this later), and are very good eaters. They seem to be more visible than most other species too, usually opting to sit right in the open than in a hide/hole somewhere, and they make intricate web structures. The only con I can think of is that they are a very skittish, flighty species that wouldn't be a good candidate for handling. IMO, handling should be kept to a minimum, so it's a non issue for me, but keep it in mind if you are looking for something you would like to handle every now and then.

    "How fast do they grow" is a loaded question when it comes to tarantulas!
    It varies greatly depending on the temperature you keep it, the amount you feed, and the sex of the tarantula (at least in the juvie/sub adult phase). On top of this, different species will grow at different rates!
    Generally speaking, the warmer and more often you feed it, the faster it will molt and grow. Feed them sparingly and keep them cool, and they'll barely grow at all. Their growth can be sped up and slowed down by manipulating these two variables. Males tend to grow faster, reaching sexual maturity and adult size much sooner than a female. To muck it up further, sometimes siblings from the same sac will grow at different rates despite being kept at the same conditions and being the same sex, for no apparent reason!

    To give you an idea, I sold a couple of slings sometime in 2011 approximately two years ago. They were undoubtably fed normally. Their siblings I have with me I feed sparingly, and I make no effort to heat them in any way. Just last month, the guy was selling them as a pair, one was a male that matured in May (they are typically about 4"+), the other a female at about 3.5". Their siblings here at home are still in their "baby clothes" barely pushing 1.5". At this rate, the mature male will be long dead of old age before the males in my care even get their adult colors!

    Didn't mean to make this post so long winded, so sorry if I lost you

    Short version:
    No, you're not crazy,
    Yes that's pretty much how to keep slings,
    I suggest you get a GBB, they're awesome,
    And it may or may not take a few/several years for your sling to grow up.

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    Default Re: curly hair help

    wooowww! now i want 2 Ts because i like red knees and now i want GBBs too, i guess it will depend on what is available and since nothing is, we'll see what people will bring to Red Deer. what do you think about red knees? see i'd like to handle now and then, of course not on a regular basis, but once in a blue moon would be fun to take it out.
    by the way i did 12x12 cube yesterday, need to take pics, in think curly hair likes it, ate a cricket today and now is sitting out of the burrow.

    p.s. get ready for more qs that I'm sure to come lol thank you!
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

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    Moderator Lija's Avatar
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    Default Re: curly hair help

    I. AM. DUMED......
    Greenbottle Blue(Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens)-Tangled In Webs - City of Toronto Pets For Sale - Kijiji City of Toronto Canada.
    these guys are coming to red deer.....

    all right, a q - it is says most of GBBs are skittish and nervous, some guard their burrow... are you sure it is a good thing for beginners?
    what 3/4" means - a tiny sling? and i should get that?
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

  18. #15

    Default curly hair help

    Getting two (or more) is always a better plan in my head, but I'm a little biased

    Red knees are a fine choice, though they are a bit pricy here in Canada. They are a Brachypelma, so they grow very slowly, and will be a plain shade of brown for most of it's baby years. They are an excellent choice if you are wanting to handle, even if some individuals will flick a lot. At the risk of enabling you further, you can get nearly anything you want, as tarantulas ship very well. We have a couple of dealers here in Canada, and you'll find many hobbiests selling stuff across the country while perusing Canadian classifieds of spider forums. Picking them out in person is always best though; I've dealt with Dawn before, and she is great. Warning you now, you may come home with more than what you were looking for. I'm sure you know what that's like haha.

    Anyway, the GBBs defensiveness isn't anything to worry about, IMO. I mean, you're getting a sling, so no matter what species it is you won't be handling it much at all anyway until its larger. By the time it's big enough to maybe scare you with it's big show, you'll be used to it. Besides, "defending its burrow" for GBBs in most cases consists of the spider bolting away from whatever bothered it and cowering somewhere. If it wasn't able to run, or is feeling particularly bold, it will start with the hair flicking and threat poses with fake lunges and ground slaps. None of this is really and issue unless you're bothering it with your face or your fingers right up to it!

    3/4" is a sling, yes. Probably 2nd instar, which is pretty much right out of the sac. Yeah, if you wanna grow one up, you should get that!

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    Default Re: curly hair help

    Glenn is right. GBBs can be skittish but so can any tarantula. They have different personalities. Chilean roses are supposed to be calm, docile and perfect for beginners but mine is really aggressive and rears up allot in a defensive display. Red knees are a great choice and it's true that they grow slowly but that doesn't mean they aren't brown for a long time. This Red Knee has only just turned a year old and already has plenty of colour. When I got it a year ago it was less than 1/4" and was only 7.99.

    Edit: 3/4" will be more than 2nd instar.

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    Moderator Lija's Avatar
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    Default Re: curly hair help

    i have a very bad feeling here.... Ts may be even more addictive then frogs, gosh you can leave them for a week and go camping, they need small cages and don't need all that stuff sticking out of my other cages, they don't even need thermometers/hydrometers and then on top they're so awesome.. i'm in trouble....
    my curly hair by the way ate another cricket yesterday, and was sitting out on a nice cork piece i have in there, it should probably mean he is all right.

    what does instar mean?
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

  21. #18

    Default Re: curly hair help

    Quote Originally Posted by Truffs1178 View Post
    Edit: 3/4" will be more than 2nd instar.
    While true for B. smithi (they are ~1/4" at 2nd instar) GBBs are actually relatively big at second instar. The largest individuals I observed were even a hair above 3/4" after molting into 2nd instar!
    Quote Originally Posted by Lija View Post
    i have a very bad feeling here.... Ts may be even more addictive then frogs, gosh you can leave them for a week and go camping, they need small cages and don't need all that stuff sticking out of my other cages, they don't even need thermometers/hydrometers and then on top they're so awesome.. i'm in trouble....
    my curly hair by the way ate another cricket yesterday, and was sitting out on a nice cork piece i have in there, it should probably mean he is all right.
    what does instar mean?
    Yup, they seemingly thrive on neglect!
    Instar is basically used to describe the developmental period of some inverts, measured by the amount of molts. Being Nth instar mans the individual had molted N times since "hatching". With tarantulas, we are mostly only concerned with the first few and the last one (for males); Most species become fully formed little predators at second instar and are typically ready to sell/ship out at that time. You will have many to choose from at the Red deer show. Not only will Dawn (Tangled in webs) be there, but Bruce (Arachnophiliacs) and Martin & Amanda (Tarantula Canada, though I'm not sure if they will personally be there). Vancouver has a couple of shows a year, and the local spider vendor recently quit the hobby, so I'm pretty jealous you get to see three big vendors in one show. A couple of other species to look out for at the show are B. Emilia, and G. pulchripes. Both slow growers, but look great when they get their adult colors, and are among the most docile.

  22. #19
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    Default Re: curly hair help

    I know what you mean, my curly was my very first tarantula, bought him as a sling and he's an adult male now.
    He enjoys neglect, he gets feed weekly but eats about once a month-2 months, aslong as the back is nice and round, the spider should be healthy.
    Mine has escaped 3 times, at first I thought I was being careless and forgetfull, but my spider actually slides open windows, so it has a little lock on them now.

    I actually own two tarantulas, I would advise looking up Aphonopelma moderatum, I currently have a sling of that species and it's looking awsome, Can't wait untill it's an adult.

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    Moderator Lija's Avatar
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    Default Re: curly hair help

    i must say GBB and red knee look the most striking, such a bold colors, we are gonna have another show in Calgary, but i don't think i can wait this long lol
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

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