Welcome to Tony's Tarantulas

Where Big Spiders Can Be Fun

Animals in my collection: Archive posts

Hi Everyone,

This site will serve as my blog for all the lessons learned about Tarantula Husbandry.

I have been, like many people, terrified of spiders most of my life. Yet, somehow always fascinated by them as well. I had been watching more and more keepers on YouTube and thought, what the heck.

2018 07 14: Everybody seems to be doing ok.

2018 07 06: I appear to have lost two slings.

I was doing some feeding and some maintenance when I decided to dig out the only two slings that I haven't seen in quite a while. Those were the Brachypelma Albopilosum and my Acanthoscurria Geniculata.

I'm sad to say that I could find neither, or any parts of them, in the substrate of their respective enclosures. This is so strange. I thought I might have found a carapace or something, but nothing in either. It's not the money, that is the cost of the slings, that bothers me as much as I don't know what I could have done to save them, if anything.

The only thing I could think of was to be more aggressive about knowing what their status was, to check on them by doing a physical inspection. I know slings will burrow, and I remember being concerned about the B. Vagans due to how long it was MIA. Perhaps I should have dug them out earlier? I know going forward I will be more likely to do so and to be more vigilant regarding keeping their substrate dry. I have read how wet substrate can promote mold and mites, and those can kill a sling.

I've read and know slings can die from a number of different reasons, I was just not prepared to lose two. Adult or juvie Ts are certainly easier to care for. So much for my being proud of myself for no deaths under my care.

2018 07 06: I re-housed my A. Avicularia Sling

After the loss of two of my slings, I decided to not take any chances with my baby Avic. I modified a baseball sized display case as best I could for an arboreal sling and moved him/her in.

The video of my doing so will be part of a feeding compilation video I hope to publish within the next week.

2018 06 29 Update

So much to catch up on. It's only been a month and I've done more than I thought I did or had time to do with this hobby.

I've been spending more time on the forums. Principly just to get familiar with these and see how useful they really are. I've been trying to follow my favorite YouTube keeper channels. I actually purchased (4) new slings becuase of an unboxing I saw. I got these from Palp Friction. Good experience, no issues.

I've been giving some additional thought to the layout of this site. I have to develop the gallery and figure out how I'm going to archive the blog entries. I don't what the visitor coming to a home page, only to have to scroll down forever to get to the relevent T species updates. I would like to enable the search function. Maybe create a separate links page. Given the time, I'm certain I beef up this little blog site. Time is always the issue.

Enough whining. So, the new slings I picked up from Palp Friction include: (1) Nhandu Chromatus, (1) Acanthoscuria Geniculata, (1) Brachypelma Albopulosim, & (1) Avicularia Avicularia

I also picked up a 3" confirmed female Aphonopelma Chalcodes. She is absolutely gorgeous

Sling: Gramastola Pulchripes

2018 07 07

Purchase Date: 2018 04 12

Vendor: Fear Not Tarantulas

After the traumatic experience of loosing two of my slings, I started to obcess regarding the well being of my remaining stable. So I rehoused this little one just because some of the substrate was looking pretty damp and I have concluded, (regardless to what extent the logic followed is valid) that wet substrate was a contributing factor to my losing the other two slings.

My Cricket!

I have written about this one in a while. He/She seems to be a very slow grower. I've read that you may need to "will" some of your collection, depending on your current age, (a very serious possibility for me) and this little one may qualify. He/She seems to be doing fine.

My Daughter has Named this one: "Phil"

Sling: Avicularia Avicularia

2018 07 06

Purchase Date: 2018 05 22

After the loss of my two slings, I decided not to take any chances with my baby Avic. I performed some research on the Arachnoboards and online in general and finally decided that a modified baseball enclosure would suite her nicely for the time being. It is another interim solution wbut with less substrate and a small cork bark background to climb, it would be safer for him/her until I can get something more vertitcal.

Baby Avic New Enclosure

I ordered a set of (3) AMAC boxes and will see how those fair when they arrive. They're about 7" tall, so that is better than the current enclosure, height wise, but I'm unclear how problematic opening it to feed my sling will be.

This little one seems hardy enough, and fast. It got loose twice while I was trying to re-house it. Thank goodness it stopped after a quick burst each time. If it had kept going, I might not have been able to recapture it. It likes to crawl up the paint brush I was using to gently guide it. This little one was running up and down my arm. Another first.

Baby Avic New Enclosure

All in all, it seems to have adapted well enough. It has been hiding in the fake plant leaves, toward the top. It probably feels safer now than at any other time in my care. I like this genus and this species. They're beautiful Ts.

My daughter has named her "Ava"

Aphonopelma Chalcodes

2018 06 29

Purchase Date: 2018 06 12

I don't know why, but I've wanted one of these since I started collecting these animals. I just didn't have the outlet to acquire one. Not unless I wanted to spend $160 + for anything over 2 inches. I found a breeder on the Arachnoboards who was very reasonable with her inventory. Her handle is SushiDragons

She had a couple of these and I bought one from her for $40. A 3 inch tarantula for $40? With all 8 legs? I thought that was more than fair and definitely worth the risk of going to a private breeder.

Aphonopela Chalcodes

She showed up, I unboxed her and she has been an absolute sweetheart since her arrival (the video of her unboxing is on my YouTube channel). She is slow moving, very deliberate. No threat postures thrown, no hair kicking. She hangs out most of the time, but will return to her lower income housing (the detergent measuring cup I used for a burrow) when frightened.

This is the kind of animal you just want to pickup and hold in the air. If it were pheasible, an affection squeze or hug wouldn't be off the table either.

She really hasn't pounced on anything yet. Maybe she doesn't care for crickets. Which reminds me, I'm in the research stage of starting my own Dubia colony. I've also heard B.lateralis are supposed to be a good choice too though. I will have to check on that and report what I find out.

My daughter has named her "Colette"

Grammostola Pulchripes

2018 04 21

I bought this sling as the other that I started my collection with from fear not tarantulas (see link below) at the suggestion of Tom Moran from Tom's Big Spiders (link also provided below).

Grammastola Pulchirpies

Here is the latest baby picture of one of my two slings. He/She's pretty content to remain in the open and was observed enjoying a 1/4" banded, prekilled cricket this week. I'm really happy about that.

Sling: Nhandu Chromatus

2018 07 14

Purchase Date: 2018 05 22

Vendor: Palp Friction

This is one of the four slings I purchased from Palp Friction. To date, the two I lost were from this same transaction. I'm not blaming the vendor. I have no clue as to what happened with those other two, but this one and the remaning baby Avic seem to be doing well.

Hey, where do we keep the crickets?

Not knowing what I'm doing here yet, I was concerned about this one too, for obvious reasons, but so far nature's engineering is working out for me. I placed a pre-killed cricket near, (almost directly on top of) its burrow opening last night and this morning, after removing the ID lable on the modified "Hot Wheels" enclosure, I could see it had dragged the cricket down into its burrow. These guys can really create some eloborate burrows, provided they have the substrate and the square footage.

The above image was taken the day before the last feeding. Such a small thing, but you can tell when they're hungry, some of them anyway, because if they're a burrower, they will come to the surface looking for food.

My A. Chalcodes is pretty content to remain out of her hide most of the time. I thought that species was more of a burrower for some reason. Maybe it is and my girl just doesn't dig it.

MM Avicularia Avicularia

2018 07 04

I've had this guy for almost two months now and I've never seen him eat. I've left disabled but live crickets in his enclosure, pre-killed crickets, but no joy.

I tried again last night to feed him. I fed my larger Ts, the B. Vagans (who at best is becoming a Juvie now), my A. Chalcodes and my baby Avic, (who is growing at a respectable pace since I acquired it [unsexed]) but the large male wasn't interested.

Nah, not hungry, thanks

I picked up the cricket and moved it towards him a couple of times, but he just kept backing away. He attacked the wooden tongs a couple of times. Thank goodness I wasn't using the steel ones. The tongs attacks were new.

I'm a bit concerned about him as his abdomen appears to be getting smaller, thinner. I don't know what the issue is. When I offered crickets to the A. Chalcodes, the B. Vagans and the other Avic, they took the food. This guy has been pretty docile so far, although I've yet to attempt handling any of my Ts. I'm sure I will, but I'm in no hurry and they're not that kind of pet anyway. Besides, they just don't dig it. They know we're not food, but their instinct is get away from something as big as we are.

Now, when I checked on him in the morning, the cricket was gone. So, that begs the question, is he eating? Does it just take time for him to settle down and relax from the interaction with the human? The other Ts don't seem to be that sensitive to a little movement and invasion by a plump, gut loaded, cricket.

housing was here?

I think maybe next time I'll setup a camera with Time Lapse just to see if I can catch him doing either, eating or just moving the prey. He has to be eating it, no? If he was just moving it, I'd see it somewhere in the enclosure. The bolus is a bit harder to find

Brachpelma Vagans

2018 04 22

So, my daughter Alexis couldn't take it anymore and nagged me to unhouse the BV.


So, reluctantly, (not really that reluctantly), I agreed to unhouse this little fella. I really wanted to see if something had happened to this one. Typical nube keeper, can't leave well enough alone.

As you can see from the above image, it turns out Tom was right and this little guy just wanted to feel safe in his burrow.

I originally placed him into an oversized (or what I believed was an oversized) enclosure, it was a softball display case. Before attempting to rehouse him, I placed that enclosure into a larger bin and then gently starting to dig out (with a small paint brush) the substrate into the large bin until I found my BV. He/She was understandably wigged out about having been dug out. I immediately re-housed "it" into a "Hot Wheels" enclosure with a smaller piece of cork bark and a fake plant.

I hope the it didn't get too disrupted by the move. I shared my daughter's unyielding curiosity regarding the status of the only other sling I have.

Brachpelma Vagans

2018 04 21

If I ever see this sling again, I'll be posting about him/her here.

MIA T Sling

MIA T Sling

When I received this sling, I placed him/her into its enclosure and have not seen it since. I wrote to Tom Moran from Tom's big spiders and was re-assured that this is very typical behavior. Appearently these guys like to burrow. I've been providing it food and water and am remianing vigilant. My daughter isn't as willing to be patient, however and roosted the little guy's enclosure looking for him. She reported he was under the cork bark, so I have that.

I'm sure I'll see it again soon. It will undoubtedly molt and get larger. Its just annoying that I can't see it now. Thank goodness for the GP's tendency to remain in the open.




Palp Friction Tarantulas

Fear Not Tarantulas

Tom's Big Spiders