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Basic Tarantula Caresheet

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Basically everyone knows that no matter what we keep as pets, we must at least know how to take good care of them to ensure they are satisfied, thus, gives ur pet longer lives and makes it more active. On this page, i will be writing a basic tarantula caresheet on what are the important things to know about Tarantulas.
 
**information partially sponsored. refer to Acknowledgement page

Getting a Tarantula
 
There are a few basic things we should know when we visit a petstore to purchase a tarantula. Remember that it is recommended to go to a trusted petstore which knows at least the very basic information about tarantulas. If not.. whats the point .. ?
 
How do i know if i am getting a healthy Tarantula?
 
How is the tarantula sitting? if thier legs are curled under (AKA Death Curl) it means that T is about to die. Be smart. I've read a post from a forum Arachnoboards that there is a petstore that has dead Ts for sale. When a customer ask about it, the pet store keeper actually said it was molting when its already dying/dead!
 
Also try touching the tarantula gently(ASK THE PETSTORE KEEPER TO DO IT IF U R NOT SURE HOW TO DO IT) and see if it reacts to touches. If it reacts very slowly or doesnt react at all, it means its either old or dying soon.
 
Take a closer look at the Tarantulas abdomen. if it has shrunken like a raisin, it means it is dehydrated(check if there is a waterdish in the tank). Dehydrated Ts can still be considered purchasing provided u know the way to make it healthy again. But the risk is there.
 
What species should i buy?
 
Get the scientific name of the tarantula, dun just listen to common names. Get the scientific name and do a search on the web and find out more on that species before buying it.
 
Buying a female is more advisable if it is ur first. Generally, females have much longer lifespan than males

Housing
 
Housing a tarantula is also an important point to consider. We should at least try to provide out Ts with a tank that suits its needs, for example the humidity of the tank, amount of substrate, the size of the tank, what we can/cannot put in the tank etc..
 
A basic tarantula terrarium MUST have at least
1. A water dish (with water obviously)
2. A place for the T to hide
3. Proper substrate for each individual species.
 
MUST not have
1. Mites and other pest (ants, mites etc.)
2. Sharp objects that might injure ur T
3. Pesticide or Chemicals*
 
To know more on how to set up a tank for each individual species, please refer to the links on my ACKNOWLEDGEMENT page.
 
p/s : individual caresheet will be available on my webpage soon..!

Handling Tarantulas
 
Regardless of what u have as ur pet, thereis always the urge to hold it in ur hands, in other words, handling it. I personally like to handle my pets (dogs, hampsters, scorpions, tarantulas etc..) but handling a tarantula is somehow different. One thing which we must know, we like to handle our Tarantula but our Tarantula hates people handling them. Honestly i would not recommend handling ur Tarantula often unless it is necessary. Why do i say so?
 
A terrestrial (AKA Ground Dwelling Ts) can easily die or have thier abdomen ruptured if we accidentally drop them. And as for those abroreals, a short drop might mean nothing to them but they are relatively fast moving tarantulas and it will be hard to catch them back if they escape.
 
Tarantulas also have potent defenses.  All tarantulas possess venom.  They usually refrain from using venom when biting large adversaries, and for the most part avoid direct contact with larger animals at all costs.  In general (although some species have been reported to have more potent venom) a tarantula bite can be compared with a bee sting in severity. While any type of tarantula can bite you it is generally the Old World (Asian and African) tarantulas that tend to bite when confronted or cornered.  This should not to give you a false sense of security when dealing with New World (South, Central, & North American) tarantulas.  On the contrary, when dealing with New World species, you must know that they are capable of biting, and often use another type of defense known as Urticating (itch-causing) Hairs.
 
 

Molting
 
Wonder what molting is? Molting is a process whereby a Tarantula sheds its old exoskeleton (outer skeleton) in order to grow. In other words, thier exoskeleton doesnt grow as they grow so when it is too small for it, a new exo will grow beneath the old exo and that is the time a tarantula goes into a state called "premolt". during a premolt, a tarantula will lose its appetite, very unactive, darkened abdomen, and hids itself all day long. Usually a premolt will last from 3 weeks to about 1 1/2 months before it finally molts. The new exoskeleton is soft, and needs to harden before the animal can resume eating, walking and other routine activities.  Tarantulas generally molt on their backs or sides.  If you wake up one morning and see your tarantula on it's back or side, DO NOT touch it.  Molting is a very strenuous and dangerous time for tarantulas.
 
Interested in knowing more? Click HERE to know more about molting and its process.