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Cobalt blue webbed itself off

Discussion in 'General Tarantula Discussion' started by Benttwig, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. Benttwig

    Benttwig New Member

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    A friend brought me a cobalt blue back from a reptile expo about three days ago. She seemed a little stressed but otherwise ok when I recieved her. She was in a decent sized plastic container but I decided to rehouse her in a 10 gallon tank and let her get acclimated. I put in a decent sized piece of bark in her tank as a hideaway which she almost immediately went into. I'm a bit worried though since she has gone in and walled herself off with webbing within the last 24 hours away from food and her water dish. I tried feeding her some pinhead crickets the following morning after I put her in the new enclosure and she wanted nothing to do with them. This combined with her webbing herself off worries me a bit. It's only been 3 or 4 days since I got her but I'd like to air on the side of caution and get some wisdom from folks who have more experience than me with tarantulas(which isn't much). Any thoughts or advice on the subject would be much appreciated.
    Side note: not sure what sex it actually is as the seller said it was too small to tell yet. I'm just being hopeful it's a female referring to it as such.

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  2. Nunua

    Nunua Well-Known Member 3 Year Member

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    First of all welcome to the hobby and addiction :) Also, good thing that you're asking questions when being unsure.

    However, you need to add a lot more substrate. H. lividum is species that requires a thick layer (around 8"-9") of substrate to be able to burrow and create a tunnel network underground - you may dig a premade hole that she could use to start burrowing (though, sometimes they decide to create their tunnel to the exact opposite side. Why? Just because they can.). Also, I would say that 10 gallons is unnecessarily big for H. lividum as an adult individual is fine more like in 6 gallons or so. Too large enclosure makes hunting more difficult and may slow down the settling in as tarantulas feel safer in smaller places.

    What comes to a moisture lever of substrate someone else is better to answer that. @Arachnoclown for example.

    For hiding or fasting there is nothing to worry about. Tarantulas may take a long time (even a month or more) to get familiar with their surroundings. Also, burrowing species like yours seems to sometimes get a bit more upset after rehousing - They usually do a small web tent where ever it's possible (under a hide, in the corner, under some sphagnum moss, next to the plastic plants etc...) to feel safe, and slowly start tunneling from there. Tarantulas teach us patience, patience and more patience, because they can go long periods without food and/or stay hidden. That's totally normal, so there is no need to "dig up" the tarantula or keep touching it to see if it moves (NOTE: I'm not saying that you do so! Those are just common mistakes among beginners - You already seem to know very well that your T needs peace and quiet, and that's great).

    Even if you don't see yours drinking it doesn't mean that she doesn't. She probably roams around a bit overnight when there is no disturbances around - Tarantulas have those longer hairs called setae that are extremely sensitive for vibrations. Those hairs with strings of webbing all over the enclosure (even if you don't see them) give tarantulas amazing capability to sense even smallest vibrations and the direction of them.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
  3. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member Premium Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Welcome to the group.
    Sounds like your friend doesnt like you too much. ;)
    A Haplopelma lividum is not what I'd call a beginner tarantula but that's ok I suppose.
    You need alot more substrate for this species and it needs to be moist...not soaking wet. They like to borrow.
    If that's a heat lamp I'd get rid of it...room temp between 68-75 degrees is fine for them.
    Enclosure is way too big for a juvenile...you may want it for when it's an adult for avoid taking a bite.
    This species will produce a wicked bite...it will make you want to reevaluate your friendship. :D
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  4. Coryc

    Coryc Member

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    A 10 gallon tank and feeding it pin heads? Seems like you have a sling and should be put into a. Deli cup
  5. Benttwig

    Benttwig New Member

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    I thought it was going to be a sling as my friend said it was a half dollar sized or smaller which is why I bought pinheads before even seeing it, but then I saw that it was a good deal bigger with what I would say around a 3 to 3 1/2 inch leg span. If I would of seen it before hand I would of bought medium crickets instead of the pinheads.
  6. Coryc

    Coryc Member

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    That’s a damn awesome surprise man. Looks good! Just loose that light with a smaller tank and about 5 more inches of substrate
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  7. Benttwig

    Benttwig New Member

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    Yea I did a little research after I received it and found these things out, though it's not as small as my friend made it out to be hence the pinheads when really it needed medium crickets at the very least. Its definitely not full grown but it's not a sling either. 3 to 3 1/2 inches i would say at this point. It was huddled into itself which is why my friend underestimated its size when he said a half dollar or smaller when he described it. Its aggressive behavior doesn't bother me as much as making sure its happy and healthy as far as tarantulas go. It does have a screen top on the tank though which isn't the best for building humidity so I may put a plastic screen over it to help build the humidity as it drys out way too fast, especially with the heat lamp. also as far as the heatlamp goes, im getting rid of it in the next couple days. i only use it for an hour max when the temp drops a little too low at night as my room doesn't have the most stable temperature throughout the day and night. im planning on attaching a small heat pad to the side of the tank to help build up the heat and humidity and make the temperature permanently more stable than it has been. the heat-lamp was just a band-aid till then.
    The tank size i know is a little large but i wanted to make this the first and last tank i would have to rehouse her in. right now shes more of a bolter than a fighter but as she matures i know the likelyhood of her becoming more aggressive will probably increase so i wanted a bigger tank for more reaction time in case she does in fact get more of an attitude. though not life threatening i know the bite of these guys in particular is not pleasant and one of the more painful on the tarantula scale and id like to take all possible precautions to avoid a bite. i will also definitely be adding more substrate
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  8. Benttwig

    Benttwig New Member

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    thank you for the advice and info, it helps put my mind at ease a little. i just want to do what i can to ensure a healthy tarantula, even if it does happen to be one of the moodier of its species. i got this tank because i didnt want to have to rehouse it when it got older and more than likely more aggressive as it grew. i wanted a tank that gave me a little more space to react if she got aggressive/defensive when i went to change her water or feed her. i know these guys are legendary when it comes to their speed and aggression so i wanted to air on the side of caution. right now she is shy and more of a bolter than a fighter. i was thinking of taking advantage of that and the fact shes hidden away and add a thick layer of substrate on the opposite side of the tank where piece of bark shes hiding in is and make an artificial burrow on that side and let her choose if she wants to use the new burrow or keep what she has made. i dont want to uproot her and cause any unessesary stress if i can avoid it. what do you think? also what would you suggest for substrate?
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  9. Coryc

    Coryc Member

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    Good look man that’s a beautiful spider.
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  10. Nunua

    Nunua Well-Known Member 3 Year Member

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    @KezyGLA @Arachnoclown - Could you answer as I don't own H. lividum. I guess it'd be kinda fine to have a "substrate slope" but flat layer is better. For substrate I'd say cocopeat / cocopeat + vermiculite mix / cocopeat + chemical free pottingsoil mix?
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
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  11. KezyGLA

    KezyGLA Well-Known Member

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    I would wait until she is next out in the open.

    Use a catchcup and rehouse to a new enclosure with at least 9 inches of moist substrate.
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  12. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member Premium Member 1,000+ Post Club

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  13. Benttwig

    Benttwig New Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys. Before I got your responses I went out and got some coco fiber and added a ton more substrate to the enclosure. She walled herself off with webbing completely from the outside world and curled tight into herself before, I added the substrate and pretty much stayed that way. I came home from work tonight with her webbing taken down a little and her wandering the tank a little. I thought maybe this was a sign she needed water or wanted food. I dropped a cricket right in front of her and she didnt react in the slightest, even when it crawled directly under her. She did however get pretty pissed when I went to add water to her dish, lashed out and went into a threat posture. This was the first reaction I've seen since I got her. It gave me a jump but I'm glad to see her have enough energy to get mad. Il be able to get her a smaller deeper enclosure in a few days. What should my next step be? Try and feed her in a couple days? Rehouse her in a few days? Or just leave her the hell alone for a while?
    The following photos are her enclosure with the added substrate, her reaction to me adding water, and then her calming down followed by her crawling back into her little shallow burrow she has. She hasn't attempted to make a new one in the deeper substrate yet.

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    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  14. Nunua

    Nunua Well-Known Member 3 Year Member

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    What is that substrate? It looks way too rough and has huge pieces.
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  15. Benttwig

    Benttwig New Member

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    Its coco fiber. I thought of mixing peat or potting soil too late after I already added the substrate.
  16. Benttwig

    Benttwig New Member

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    Now shes out and about exploring the new material. Looks like she started to try and dig down a little on the deep side of the substrate right where I have the heat mat on the side of the tank as I was leaving for work. I unplugged the mat before I left to be safe as I didnt want to roast my t.
  17. RonC

    RonC Well-Known Member

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    Heat mat really isn't necessary unless the room they are in is really cold to you. Glad to see it on the side rather than under though. It will dry out your enclosure faster. I'm sure the advice given here is good although I don't own a Cobalt Blue and can't speak from experience. And welcome to the forums.
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  18. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member Premium Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Burrowing tarantulas dont need heat mats. That's why they burrow. They burrow to make that special climate of heat and humidity just for them. I'd leave her alone, let her molt then rehouse her with 9" of moist ground coco fiber.
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  19. Benttwig

    Benttwig New Member

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    I only used the heat mat because the temp dropped in my area and my windows have shitty insulation. Even with the windows closed you could feel a draft and it was dropping the temp of my bedroom below 68. I would turn it on when it got a little too cold for my liking and then shut it off after an hour. Il take your advice and rehouse her after she molts. Should I try and feed her within the next week?
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  20. Benttwig

    Benttwig New Member

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    Ok so just an update. I caught my cobalt out of her burrow and in the open so I took the opportunity to rehouse her in a deeper 5.5 gallon tank instead of the 10 gallon she was in. It got pretty hairy but I got it done without getting bit so that's a plus. She decided to stick to the underside of the cage lid where she still remains. Hopefully she can navigate the fine mesh ok and eventually get herself down because it would suck having to attempt to get her down off the lid. On that note I decided to measure her while it's stretched out on the lid. Aside from a few pissed off strikes it was fairly easy. She is certainly no sling or even a juvenile. I measured the leg span at about 5 inches so to my knowledge that would make it an adult correct? Also is there a way I can sex her to make sure it's a female aside from a molt? The seller said it was too small to sex but gauging by its size that's completely false. Sorry for all the newb questions but I'm still learning the hobby as I go.
    Side note: shes not hanging like she is in the pics anymore and has all 8 legs on the underside of the lid. I just hope she can get herself down.

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