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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I understand that there are different levels (not in
actuality but in practice) because of temperament behavior and
difficulty keeping the environment proper. What makes for a good
beginner tarantula and how do you know one when you are looking for them?

I have seen a few that interest me that I have been told are "good starters" by some and by others that they are somewhat difficult. The lasiodora Parahybana varieties are interesting to me but since we keep rats I am a little afraid that one of those might be able to injure or kill a rat in the even of an escape. Are they aggressive enough to seek out a rat in a cage or would we most likely find her first? I am somewhat interested in cobalt blues or a green bottle blue. I don't know much about the cobalts except that they are beautiful but the green bottle blues are said to be fairly hearty and less shy and keep reasonably moderate temperatures.


Any advice for a newb?
 

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Well I have never had tarantulas or anything but I'm in a forum that has a lot of tarantula fans who can help you.

http://www.reptileforums.co.uk/

check in the spiders and inverts section.
 

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oh I thought i'd just add a few things that I do know such as that cobalt blues are supposed to be aggresive and nervous so maybe it's not the best beginner species. The green bottle blues I've heard are quite nervous but as long as you are careful when feeding or cleaning they should be ok and they are quite easy to keep.
 

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Curmudgeon
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Hi Fezzik

The Brazilian Salmon Pink (among other names) or Lasiodora parahybana are not particularly difficult spiders to keep. I would have no trouble recommending them as a first spider to an intelligent, mature keeper. They are not really brightly colored, but I find them to be understated and attractive. Like most of the tropical species, you want to keep them warm and humid. You want to take care that the air isn't stagnant though, as mold can form on the woody objects in the enclosure, and sometimes even on the spider. They grow pretty quickly and have an appetite to match.

I had a very large female breeder that was wild caught (quite a while back) and she would only eat consistently if I offered her small vertebrates. That mean sub adult mice or very young rats. I don't think crickets offered her enough nutrition to justify the amount of effort to catch and kill them. ...or maybe she was just spoiled.

She wasn't what I would call particularly aggressive, but then again she didn't tolerate much in the way of physical interaction. When touched she reacted pretty strongly. I would never consider have considered trying to handle her.

I got her as an adult, and I think she lived a good 11 or 12 years after that, probably into her late teens or early twenties. You could assume a captive bred spider would live at least that long if well taken care of.

Green Bottle Blues (Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens) are a beautiful spider. They not particularly aggressive either, but again, I wouldn't consider them a species I'd want to try to handle. They are pretty easy to keep as South American species go, and shouldn't be a problem for any keeper who can keep the humidity fairly high and the temperature warm.

The biggest drawback I found of this species, is they like to web up their enclosure, ...a lot!. If you want to see your spiders, this isn't one I would highly recommend. It won't take an adult long to completely obscure most of the sides of the enclosure with webbing.

For both of these species, I'd recommend googling and reading up on the caresheets available. There are quite a few out there. They may not always agree with each other, so kind of average your care between the ones you like and you should be okay. Both of these species are pretty forgiving of minor mistakes in temp and humidity.

As far as your rats go, ....don't even worry about it. You aren't going to let your spiders out, and if they do get out, I can't believe they'd look for rats.

One last suggestion. I'm not sure what you are looking for in a spider, but I highly recommend the Brachypelma genus. Most are docile, attractive and easy keepers. They are commonly bred in captivity, so there are plenty of young available in all sizes. If you buy something in the 3-4" range, you'll have the pleasure of watching it grow up. If it's a female, you could have her for 15-20+ years.

As with all tarantulas, if it's a male, they still live a few years, and you could have the satisfaction of maybe getting him a mate, or helping another person breed their spiders.

Good luck..
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Fezzik

The Brazilian Salmon Pink (among other names) or Lasiodora parahybana are not particularly difficult spiders to keep. I would have no trouble recommending them as a first spider to an intelligent, mature keeper. They are not really brightly colored, but I find them to be understated and attractive. Like most of the tropical species, you want to keep them warm and humid. You want to take care that the air isn't stagnant though, as mold can form on the woody objects in the enclosure, and sometimes even on the spider. They grow pretty quickly and have an appetite to match.

I had a very large female breeder that was wild caught (quite a while back) and she would only eat consistently if I offered her small vertebrates. That mean sub adult mice or very young rats. I don't think crickets offered her enough nutrition to justify the amount of effort to catch and kill them. ...or maybe she was just spoiled.

She wasn't what I would call particularly aggressive, but then again she didn't tolerate much in the way of physical interaction. When touched she reacted pretty strongly. I would never consider have considered trying to handle her.

I got her as an adult, and I think she lived a good 11 or 12 years after that, probably into her late teens or early twenties. You could assume a captive bred spider would live at least that long if well taken care of.

Green Bottle Blues (Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens) are a beautiful spider. They not particularly aggressive either, but again, I wouldn't consider them a species I'd want to try to handle. They are pretty easy to keep as South American species go, and shouldn't be a problem for any keeper who can keep the humidity fairly high and the temperature warm.

The biggest drawback I found of this species, is they like to web up their enclosure, ...a lot!. If you want to see your spiders, this isn't one I would highly recommend. It won't take an adult long to completely obscure most of the sides of the enclosure with webbing.

For both of these species, I'd recommend googling and reading up on the caresheets available. There are quite a few out there. They may not always agree with each other, so kind of average your care between the ones you like and you should be okay. Both of these species are pretty forgiving of minor mistakes in temp and humidity.

As far as your rats go, ....don't even worry about it. You aren't going to let your spiders out, and if they do get out, I can't believe they'd look for rats.

One last suggestion. I'm not sure what you are looking for in a spider, but I highly recommend the Brachypelma genus. Most are docile, attractive and easy keepers. They are commonly bred in captivity, so there are plenty of young available in all sizes. If you buy something in the 3-4" range, you'll have the pleasure of watching it grow up. If it's a female, you could have her for 15-20+ years.

As with all tarantulas, if it's a male, they still live a few years, and you could have the satisfaction of maybe getting him a mate, or helping another person breed their spiders.

Good luck..
Bob
Wow Bob. SO uh wow. Ok I have read several care sheets on these which is pretty much why I am thinking more about those. One of the things I had read about C. Cyanopubescense is that they stay out most of the time. I expected the webbing thing but in most of the enclosures I have seen (ok one in real life the rest were pictures) it had nice webage but you could still see them. I liked that an had read that they were nervous but not overly aggressive. L. Parahybana I had read the same except that they are burroughers and that you might not see them nearly as often. They are neat looking and I think neat because of their sheer size. As to the rats that pretty well settles my mind. My intention really isn't to handle the spider. I am not comfortable enough in my ability to hold on to things to think I won't drop it and kill it so there won't be much of that. Besides it tends to stress them right? I don't expect it to get out but I heard that tarantulas are somewhat of escape artists and the main thing is I would keep it locked down with at least clamps but understand that weird things can happen though I have never had a snake escape and I have heard the same things about them. Believe me it isn't from wont of trying. My only thought is if it happened to get out it wouldn't be much of a search we pretty well have rats all over the house. I imagine it wouldn't be her first choice because of all the activity going on in a rat cage. I would think they would be more prone to finding a dark quiet corner. Perhaps that is an invalid assumption I don't really know. The Parahybana are definitely much easier to find as are cobalts but I do hear cobalts are aggressive and since they don't have Utricating hairs are somewhat more likely to bite though it isn't necessarily their first reaction. Again since I don't plan on handling I wouldn't be too worried about that.

I figure an aquarium with a heat pad like what I keep snakes on would probably be a good home for a tarantula especially one the size of a Parahybana. A 10 gallon would be just about right I think. When you say they prefer to eat vertibrates do you feed frozen thawed or live feeders. I am not sure I could do live feeders being that we have such an attachment to our rodent populus. I see what you mean about the crickets though it is kind of like my wife's theory on eating crab and peel and eat shrimp. Why go to that much trouble for that little reward. LOL.

Thanks for all your comments. That is a lot to digest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
oh I thought i'd just add a few things that I do know such as that cobalt blues are supposed to be aggresive and nervous so maybe it's not the best beginner species. The green bottle blues I've heard are quite nervous but as long as you are careful when feeding or cleaning they should be ok and they are quite easy to keep.
I have heard all that too. I wonder about all of that. I also wonder if the aggression thing makes as much difference since I don't plan on handling them. Don't really know. Thanks and I will check out that other link tomorrow. I am out of day today. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh and I have been somewhat leaning towards Brachypelma lately particularly the Mexican Redknee. Those seem to be fairly easy to find and supposedly easy first spiders. Also when you say tarantula that is what comes to most people's mind especially if they aren't into tarantulas. When I got pistols I had to have a revolver for the same reason. LOL. I am sucker for that kind of thing.
 

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Whenever I recommend starter tarantulas, I usually stick with Brachypelma or Aphonopelma species. There are many to choose from, and pretty much all are among the less demanding species to care for. Main concern with them is the urticating hairs, which can be a serious issue if you're not careful. I have a preference for Indian ornamentals myself, but I certainly wouldn't recommend those to someone who hasn't kept tarantulas before. I found out the hard way, calling for my wife to help as one was carefully hiding from my grasp in the middle of my back. :)
 

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Curmudgeon
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Whenever I recommend starter tarantulas, I usually stick with Brachypelma or Aphonopelma species. There are many to choose from, and pretty much all are among the less demanding species to care for. Main concern with them is the urticating hairs, which can be a serious issue if you're not careful. I have a preference for Indian ornamentals myself, but I certainly wouldn't recommend those to someone who hasn't kept tarantulas before. I found out the hard way, calling for my wife to help as one was carefully hiding from my grasp in the middle of my back. :)
I agree with Rav, P. regalis is my favorite spider. Beatiful, fast, aggressive and a medically significant venom, ...all wrapped up in one package.

The the thought of a Poecilotheria on my back gives me nightmares!

I'm glad he mentioned the urticating hairs. After years of handling and working with spiders, I've become pretty sensitive to the hairs. Sometimes just cleaning the enclosure (with the spider contained elsewhere) will give me hives, swelling and itching for hours. Some seem to be worse than others. Theraphosa apophysis is absolutely the worst. I think I can just think about cleaning a tank and my hands start itching.

Much of this comes from handling spiders a great deal with I first got into the hobby. This is just another reason not to handle them. For people that think it's okay to handle even the docile species, check out THIS article.

Bob
 
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