How many ts are you planning on getting? If it's just one, I'd say no.
Would you suggest farming crickets for awhile before actually buying your T, so you have a stable food supply for it? What do you guys feed your T's? And give me some other tips any novice would need before starting this unique hobby. Thank you. - Matt
How many ts are you planning on getting? If it's just one, I'd say no.
I feed only crickets and supersworms... but Canadians dont have many more options. Dubia roaches are pretty popular in the states.
General tips: Buy the Tarantula Keepers Guide.
tarantulas are very hardy and more forgiving than we give them credit for. Some people might take offence to this, but its my belief that tender love and care is the #1 killer of pet tarantulas. Keep It Simple Stupid. Learn the basics and put them into practise before going any further in the hobby. Stay away from woodchip substrate, anything cedar (It produces natural insecticidal oils), and do not use cotton balls or a sponge in the water dish. Take all advice you get from the lps with a grain of salt. Its not they they are stupid, but poorly trained by their company and brokers who's first love isnt inverts or T's, but money. (Thats a generalization. Some lps and lps employees are very knowledgeable.)
Other than that, use the boards search function and you will find many many answers to questions you never knew to ask. We all have our own take on things and follow different philosophies. There is no single right answer, but there are a few wrong ones.
Oh, learn scientific names
What are you considering for your first T?
I can make three suggestions from personal experience, all with their own pros and cons.
Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens - Green Bottle Blue.
excellent begginer, great webbing, pounces like a lion, beautiful colourations.
Avicularia avicularia - Guyana Pinktoe
Good beginner arboreal, active and generally fun to watch. The downside to this species is that some people have trouble keeping the slings alive... some people have no problems at all.
Brachypelma spp. Like smithi or emilia.
Great beautiful T's. only down size is their slower growth rate.
I do not suggest Grammastola rosea (Chilean rose hair) as a first T.
Other than that, welcome to Arachnoboards
@ Storm what about gut loaded crickets ?
Im planning on getting only one, but i don't want to keep running back and forth to the store.
I also am debating what a good first T would be to get.
These are the ones im debating on: Brachypelma smithi, Grammostola rosea, or a Brachypelma albopilosum
I want to here your opinions. Also would you suggest using a heating pad?
Look at this video, tell me if you would agree with this guys set-up and why ? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asx3uWxp9yw
I'll echo the advice of others in saying farming your own crickets for one tarantula would be overkill. Besides, crickets are messy, smelly creatures.
Samurai Sid made some great suggestions for a first tarantula. Personally, I would also recommend those species over G. rosea. However, I wouldn't go so far as to say G. rosea is unsuitable for beginners. They're extremely hardy tarantulas, but they have their quirks. When folks don't do the proper amount of research before buying one, they show up here with frantic questions such as "why won't my G. rosea eat?" or "is my G. rosea insane?" If you're interested in a G. rosea, check out this webpage:
This site is full of excellent care information and will shed light on many of the G. rosea behavioral quirks that new tarantula keepers often find confusing.
Personally I think a G pulchripes would make a great 1st T but there are plenty of sp. that make good 1st decisions. But whatever you do DONT USE A HEATING PAD. Do yourself a favor and get The Tarantula Keepers Guide or Tarantulas and Other Arachnids........you can never do enough research in this hobby. Good luck with whatever decision you make
Personally, I think you're going to have to keep going back to the store in the beginning anyways unless you know how to keep crickets alive. Those buggers like to die! If you get a sling you're going to have to feed it something very small, which would be pinhead crix or flightless fruit flies (which in my opinion are a pain). So you can either get some fruit flies and some culture for it to eat (when I had them they didn't die for a while). Personally I would stick with pinheads in the beginning. They are easier. Once your T is big enough then upgrade to roaches or what ever you want. I've been feeding my Versicolor roaches and they live a long time as long as you feed and hydrate them. (Even if you don't, man they are roaches they don't die! LOL but I wouldn't feed an unnourished roach to a tarantula)
I am getting a new sling soon so I am going to be buying crickets again. I will be going to the store every week - 2 weeks depending on how long I can keep them alive. I usually get 10 small crickets. If you don't want to go to the store every week I'd suggest learning how to keep the crickets alive and/or getting a fruit fly culture.
This is just from my experience.
Also, IMO I think you should get the B. Smithi. =P Love those guys! After my A. Purpurea that is next on my list! Then I am taking a literal big step, T. Blondi.
I don't use any heat for my tarantulas, but I live in Southern California. In the winter time in some areas some people, so I've heard, may use space heaters near their T's to keep up temps or they just use their plain ol' house heater lol As long as your house doesn't get too cold I think the T's should be fine. I'm no expert though. I know that you shouldn't use a heat pad though. Never heard that before.
As others have already stated, I don't think it's really worth the time breeding crickets if you're only planning on keeping one tarantula for some time. Usually when I buy brown crickets from the pet store, I give them a spoonful of that 'bug grub/gel' stuff you also find at pet stores, it usually comes in a tub/jar and just looks like transparent gel. It lasts for months and usually the crickets live for about 4-5 weeks when I feed them that stuff, that's when they're already adults mind. You probably won't use all the crickets in that time if there's a lot in there or if you don't feed your T a great deal, but it's inexpensive and worth keeping them alive for longer.
If you don't want to get the bug gel, you could just give them a slice of apple or other fruit, but I don't recommend it because you have to remove it within about 2 days otherwise it gets mouldy.
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Unless your planning on starting a very large collection breeding your own feeders is not necessary!Most tarantulas can do fine with a feeding every couple weeks and do not need huge amounts of food daily.
Also if you do in fact want to looking into breeding a feeder insect I'd stay away from smelly/noisy crickets and look into some species of roaches ;]
There's nothing to argue about since we seem to agree across the board
My point is pretty simple: If you're adequately prepared, G. rosea is a suitable beginner species. My first tarantula was a G. rosea due to availability and price. I knew what I was getting into because I read the TKG and Tarantulas and Other Arachnids before making the purchase. She's still going strong.
I'm with you though, I think there are better choices for a total beginner. Feeding time is fun, and nobody likes it when their G. rosea swears off food for five months plus. I will say, however, that their ability to do so is fairly amazing.
When I got my 1st T I thought I'd bred crickets to save money/time well I ended up wasting money and a lot of time lol.
I find superworms are on of the easiest feeders to keep a slice or two of carrot in a tub filled with oats. I purchased a tub around 3 months ago only had one death and still have a fair amount left... But I still have to buy crickets as a couple of my Ts are picky lol, but as said above they do tend to just die or cannibalise each other even when food is plentiful.
I'd personally recommend a L.parahybana for a 1st T if size isn't an issue, hardy great feeders nice colour contrasts (very fast growing, which may benefit a new owner who wants something that won't refuse food often or spend forever in premolt)
If size is an issue try E. sp 'red' or E.trunculentus very docile and E.sp 'red' reaches 3.5" maximum.(these are also slow growers)
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