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A. Hentzi and live plants

I just acquired an a. hentzi last night from my parents' property in southern Colorado. Our local climate is very dry and arid (we've had 100°F + temps for the past week) and prairie/desert like. I'm curious if I could put a few live plants in the enclosure with it, to more closely mimic our local ecosystem. I'm considering placing a small type of cactus or succulent in the enclosure, one that would thrive in the dry soil we have, so as to not add any unnecessary humidity to the enclosure. Would this be a good addition to the enclosure, or should I skip the live plants and just provide a couple cork bark hides? I have her in a half-height 10 gal. tank and will be adding a lot more substrate today, and thought I'd add the plants at the same time.
 

octanejunkie

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The issue with that is often twofold, the T uproots or destroys the plant or the plant requires increased maintenance which stresses the T.

The 10 gal footprint is good, but way too tall for safety sake and filling it 8" min with densely-packed substrate is silly, expensive and wasteful.

Zoo Med makes a 10gal low with screened lid that could work well but that screened lid, SMH

Alternatively, plastic bins are readily available in many sizes but not quite display quality. Ikea makes a line with lids in various sizes that would work with some modifications (air holes) same with the Container Store.

How large is the T?
 

m0lsx

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Tarantula Club Member
If your Hentzi is anything like my Johnnicashii or chalcodes, then planting live would be a lovely idea, but expect some enclosure topography adaption by your Aponothelma. Live planting is NEVER a bad idea, even if the way it's implemented is not great. But if you are going to plant based upon your local topography & your based upon the local environment where this species actually lives then that will be great for it.

I live in the UK & can only dream about giving Hohokam, my chalcodes a decent Sonoran Dessert environment.
 

PanzoN88

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The issue with that is often twofold, the T uproots or destroys the plant or the plant requires increased maintenance which stresses the T.

The 10 gal footprint is good, but way too tall for safety sake and filling it 8" min with densely-packed substrate is silly, expensive and wasteful.

Zoo Med makes a 10gal low with screened lid that could work well but that screened lid, SMH

Alternatively, plastic bins are readily available in many sizes but not quite display quality. Ikea makes a line with lids in various sizes that would work with some modifications (air holes) same with the Container Store.

How large is the T?
I will echo this statement

As someone with an A. hentzi, I can confirm that they may very well dig up the live plants. Mine seems to burrow quite extensively.
 

m0lsx

Well-Known Member
Tarantula Club Member
The issue with that is often twofold, the T uproots or destroys the plant or the plant requires increased maintenance which stresses the T.

The 10 gal footprint is good, but way too tall for safety sake and filling it 8" min with densely-packed substrate is silly, expensive and wasteful.

Zoo Med makes a 10gal low with screened lid that could work well but that screened lid, SMH

Alternatively, plastic bins are readily available in many sizes but not quite display quality. Ikea makes a line with lids in various sizes that would work with some modifications (air holes) same with the Container Store.

How large is the T?
I am not disagreeing with you, as I am always open to learning. But would desert species of plants require extra maintenance? I keep a few houseplants & my desert species of plants require very little maintenance. And they are thus normally really easy plants to care for. Also my chalcodes, especially, loves human interaction.

From a UK perspective I but my Coco Soil from poundland, so it is VERY cheap, is substrate really that much more expensive over there? (I know your T's are expensive by comparison to Europe.)

I keep my big Lasiodora parahybana lady in a clear (ish) plastic box & although not really as clear as my Komodo (etc) enclosures, it does give a reasonable view of her. So would second that plastic bin idea. I also have some smaller T's in Deli tubs & food tubs. Even a couple in plastic screw top jars.
 
The issue with that is often twofold, the T uproots or destroys the plant or the plant requires increased maintenance which stresses the T.

The 10 gal footprint is good, but way too tall for safety sake and filling it 8" min with densely-packed substrate is silly, expensive and wasteful.

Zoo Med makes a 10gal low with screened lid that could work well but that screened lid, SMH

Alternatively, plastic bins are readily available in many sizes but not quite display quality. Ikea makes a line with lids in various sizes that would work with some modifications (air holes) same with the Container Store.

How large is the T?
I'm guessing she is about 4", but haven't had a chance to measure her officially yet. The 10 gal I have her in is half height, about 8" tall in total. I was going to put 3"-4" of substrate to give her a chance to burrow should she choose to. I was also planning on using a very low-maintenance live option, such as a cactus (native to our area) or succulent - both of which require very little upkeep. If she uproots it, I can take the hint and but remove it lol
 
If your Hentzi is anything like my Johnnicashii or chalcodes, then planting live would be a lovely idea, but expect some enclosure topography adaption by your Aponothelma. Live planting is NEVER a bad idea, even if the way it's implemented is not great. But if you are going to plant based upon your local topography & your based upon the local environment where this species actually lives then that will be great for it.

I live in the UK & can only dream about giving Hohokam, my chalcodes a decent Sonoran Dessert environment.
I'm hoping to mimic her natural environment as much as possible, and we have lots of cactus out here! She has so little substrate in there right now, that she hasn't had an opportunity to rearrange the topography yet haha but I fully expect for her to do some bulldozing and rearranging as soon as I get her new, dried substrate in there. I just fed her this morning, so I'm waiting for her to finish her meal before I disrupt her living space.
 
I will echo this statement

As someone with an A. hentzi, I can confirm that they may very well dig up the live plants. Mine seems to burrow quite extensively.
In addition to the live plants, I was going to offer her 3"-4" inches of substrate so that she could burrow if she wanted to. If she ends up digging up the plants, I will follow her cues and just remove the plants. Thanks for your insight! What sex is your a. hentzi? We typically capture MM each year during their "migration season" as it's referred to locally. I don't believe I've ever seen a female before, but since their "migration season" is typically September/October where we live, I'm inclined to believe that this is a female that we've found. She's much lighter in color than the MM we see each year, and quite a bit stockier. If we have found a female, I'm excited, as they tend to live for a loooonnnngggg time! ☺
 
I am not disagreeing with you, as I am always open to learning. But would desert species of plants require extra maintenance? I keep a few houseplants & my desert species of plants require very little maintenance. And they are thus normally really easy plants to care for. Also my chalcodes, especially, loves human interaction.

From a UK perspective I but my Coco Soil from poundland, so it is VERY cheap, is substrate really that much more expensive over there? (I know your T's are expensive by comparison to Europe.)

I keep my big Lasiodora parahybana lady in a clear (ish) plastic box & although not really as clear as my Komodo (etc) enclosures, it does give a reasonable view of her. So would second that plastic bin idea. I also have some smaller T's in Deli tubs & food tubs. Even a couple in plastic screw top jars.
I don't think our substrate is super expensive here. I bought the compressed brick kind and reconstituted it, and it should be plenty enough to fill her enclosure and give me some extra for when I need to replace the substrate in the other Ts enclosures I have. This one in particular is a clear glass half-height 10 gal tank specifically designed for terrestrial Ts
 

PanzoN88

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3 Year Member
In addition to the live plants, I was going to offer her 3"-4" inches of substrate so that she could burrow if she wanted to. If she ends up digging up the plants, I will follow her cues and just remove the plants. Thanks for your insight! What sex is your a. hentzi? We typically capture MM each year during their "migration season" as it's referred to locally. I don't believe I've ever seen a female before, but since their "migration season" is typically September/October where we live, I'm inclined to believe that this is a female that we've found. She's much lighter in color than the MM we see each year, and quite a bit stockier. If we have found a female, I'm excited, as they tend to live for a loooonnnngggg time! ☺
AF (adult female), they are relatively small usually under 5" DLS (diagonal legspan), usually around 4-4 1/2" DLS). Females of this species are very underrated, wait...let me rephrase that, Aphonopelma hentzi in general are very underrated.

I'll try to get a recent picture of mine for reference.
 
AF (adult female), they are relatively small usually under 5" DLS (diagonal legspan), usually around 4-4 1/2" DLS). Females of this species are very underrated, wait...let me rephrase that, Aphonopelma hentzi in general are very underrated.

I'll try to get a recent picture of mine for reference.
I estimate that mine is about 4" DLS and very light colored. Typically, the MM that we catch are quite large, very spindly, and have dark black legs. This one is quite a bit lighter than that, and also has a stockier build. I agree with you that they are very underrated! I will also try to get a decent picture of mine as well
 

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