1. Are you a Tarantula hobbyist? If so, we invite you to join our community! Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your pets and enclosures and chat with other Tarantula enthusiasts. Sign up today!

Critter behavior

Discussion in 'General Tarantula Discussion' started by tiberius, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. tiberius

    tiberius New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Hello everyone, new here and its a pleasure to meet you all.

    I'm a new dad to a 3 month old Mexican Red Knee female. So far everything has been going well, we got her in a 20 gallon tank with top soil and a a few plants, and a pad heater.

    But in the past few days she's been doing something unusual... as you will see in the pic, she has locked herself in lol! My question is, what is she doing? I know they are burrowers etc.. but why lock herself in? Is this her way of saying GTFO or....

    Any insight is appreciated, this way we get to know her behavior.

    Thanks!

    Attached Files:

    RonC and Dave Jay like this.
  2. Enn49

    Enn49 Moderator Staff Member Premium Member 3 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    Messages:
    7,698
    Likes Received:
    15,419
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Hi, welcome to the hobby and this forum :).
    I presume you mean you have owned her for 3 months. How big is she? It is more than likely she has barricaded herself in to moult in peace
    Dave Jay, WolfSpider and Arachnoclown like this.
  3. tiberius

    tiberius New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Hello and thanks Enn!

    No, we've had her for about a month now, we got her when she was 2 months old... she didn't even have any color yet. She already molted once on 12/18/18, and after that first molting with us now she is starting to show some red.

    Ok cool, thats good to know. So what do you recommend? Leave her in peace? And for how long? Will she eventually come out on her own for water or to feed?

    Any help is appreciated!!
    RonC and Dave Jay like this.
  4. Mr. P

    Mr. P Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    415
    Trophy Points:
    63
    If she, and I use that term loosely, at three months you will probably not be able to sex it yet but a 20 gallon tank is way too big for a T that small. She would have issues finding her food as they won't roam that much yet and it gives the food too much room to get away. A 20 gallon is on the big side for an adult T of that species.
    As far as closing herself off, that is natural. No need to worry and she will come out when she is ready.
    Dave Jay, WolfSpider and Arachnoclown like this.
  5. Enn49

    Enn49 Moderator Staff Member Premium Member 3 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    Messages:
    7,698
    Likes Received:
    15,419
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ahh, right. What threw me was you saying it is female because as @Mr. P says sexing is unlikely and I also agree that a 20 gallon tank is much too big. I keep my little ones in 3" or 4" cubes which makes it easier for the T to find food and also easier for me to catch and remove any uneaten food items..
  6. tiberius

    tiberius New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Thanks Mr. P!

    Of course I understand what you're saying... I say she only because where I bought her they told me that her first molt was viewed under a microscope to determine sex, but as you know, can't be too sure about that with store owners.

    Yeah, I've noticed she never wanders too far from her hidey hole, but on the plus side, the crickets I have thrown in there.. they also seek refuge, and run into her home lol, that little cave you see... so she doesnt have to go too far when she's hungry hahaha.

    Thanks all!
    Dave Jay likes this.
  7. Mr. P

    Mr. P Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    415
    Trophy Points:
    63
    The general rule for an enclosure is 3X the length of their body. So a one inch T should be in a 3-4 inch enclosure as Enn stated. You also don't want a lot of glass going upwards either as a high fall from climbing on the glass can injure or kill a T.
    Dave Jay, WolfSpider and Arachnoclown like this.
  8. PanzoN88

    PanzoN88 Well-Known Member 3 Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    898
    Likes Received:
    1,188
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Welcome to the forum and hobby.

    20 gallon is way to large for most adult tarantulas, slings? Beyond too much space. Tarantulas prefer much smaller spaces. They have poor vision and large spaces make finding their prey difficult. I keep my slings in pill vials and condiment cups.
  9. Arachnoclown

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

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2017
    Messages:
    2,232
    Likes Received:
    6,181
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Welcome to the group. Love your choice in spider...one of my favorite tarantulas. However your enclosure is way too big like everyone has stated. However you can use it in about 7-8 years when your T is fully grown (extremely slow growing species).
    A simple food container is the perfect environment for your T to thrive in...and cheap!!
    This Brachypelma Sabulosum is 10 months old (from eggs with legs stage). Water bottle cap for size reference. It will stay in this enclosure until it reaches 2". (Probably at least another year) 20181201_170509.jpg 20181201_170308.jpg

    You should rehouse her into something smaller when she comes back out.
    Also the crickets that seek refuge with her...they will kill her when she goes into molt. I lost a sling once to a missing cricket, I didnt know it was in there. All live prey items should be removed from sling enclosures after 24 hours. If your in doubt if the sling is hungry or not, kill the cricket and place it outside the enclosure.
    I wouldn't count on the sex of your tarantula being a girl. Theres highly experienced experts in this forum that use high powered microscopes that have a hard time determining sex at your spiders size. Pet shops blow alot of smoke up people's butts to make a sale.
    ilovebrachys, RonC, Dave Jay and 3 others like this.
  10. RonC

    RonC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2018
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    368
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Hello and welcome to the forums. Just keep the water dish full and wait. About how long is the diagonal leg span? You wouldn't be able to find a 3 month old Red Knee in a 20 gallon tank. Gotta love pet stores.
    ilovebrachys and Dave Jay like this.
  11. Rs50matt

    Rs50matt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2018
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    493
    Trophy Points:
    63

    I would recommend considering it unsexed for now. A 3 month old red knee (hamorii or smithi) wouldn't be much larger than a fingernail and I guess them saying it is sexed and female is to get you to pay more for it. It isn't worth the hassle at that size to sex it (if it's even possible).
    ilovebrachys and Dave Jay like this.
  12. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member Premium Member 1,000+ Post Club

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2017
    Messages:
    2,112
    Likes Received:
    2,387
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Jamie's tarantulas and Fear not tarantulas both make very reasonably priced juvenile terrestrial enclosures. They have kits ready made to go even with substrate and decor plus a waterdish. They also have feeders. The floor space in a 20 gallon could create to much distance between the tarantula and the feeders. A 20 gallon would only be correctly sized for the very largest tarantulas on Earth, such as fully grown T stirmi or similar species.
    Dave Jay likes this.
  13. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    1,097
    Likes Received:
    1,425
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Welcome to the forum, and the hobby!
    If you want something nicer looking than a condiment cup or disposable food container (I do!), look at small Siamese Fighter (Betta splendens) aquariums, most can be easily ventilated as can many clear storage containers, there are usually plenty of options even in a small supermarket.
  14. tiberius

    tiberius New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Here "she" is...

    Attached Files:

    ilovebrachys, RonC and Dave Jay like this.
  15. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    1,097
    Likes Received:
    1,425
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Nice! What's the white ball?
    Nunua likes this.
  16. Nunua

    Nunua Well-Known Member 3 Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2016
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    859
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Hello and welcome to the family!

    Since several people have already given you good advice about the enclosure being way too big for a B. hamorii that size (referring to the photo) and told you that blocking the entrance may be a sign of premolt, I'll just comment that that T is a lot older than three months - S/he looks cute and healthy though! :)

    Photo is for size reference from the time when my B. auratum was few months old and lived in around 10 dram / 1.25 fl oz vial. :D

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
    ilovebrachys, RonC and Dave Jay like this.
  17. Calico

    Calico Active Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2017
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    131
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I agree with @Nunua as to the age of your T. I have a 2 yo Hamorii/Smithi purchased from Jamie's, that is a little smaller and just starting to show some red. Extremely slow growers! I've only had for a few months and it has molted once since then.
  18. RonC

    RonC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2018
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    368
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Thought mine would never grow. Three out of five molted the same week. My G.pulchripes is about the size of yours Tiberious, it's close to two years old. Getting its color too. The others range down to a third inch. Don't know what I was thinking with the little one. My half inch B.albopolosum has dug tunnels all in its enclosure. Isn't shy about prekilled feeders three times it's size.
    ilovebrachys likes this.
  19. Enn49

    Enn49 Moderator Staff Member Premium Member 3 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    Messages:
    7,698
    Likes Received:
    15,419
    Trophy Points:
    113
    This is my youngest B. hamorii. Just about 2" dls who came to me as a 1st instar in August 2016.

    Not the best pic I know but Nevado was not going to move for me
    DSCF8426.JPG
    ilovebrachys, Dave Jay and RonC like this.
  20. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member Premium Member 1,000+ Post Club

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2017
    Messages:
    2,112
    Likes Received:
    2,387
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Of course, the biggest drawback to a 20 gallon is that it takes up space that could be better used for your second, third or fourth tarantula !! Most of my adult terrestrials are in 5 gallon tanks. Only my T stirmi is in a larger one. My B hamorii, which is about 3 inches or so give or take, is in a 3 gallon enclosure. My Pamphobeteous machala is a former resident of said 3 gallon enclosure.


    Samaria settles in 1.jpg B hamorii Samaria likes moss 3.jpg

    I've since pulled out the moss, to much moisture.

    3 gallon tarantula cage.jpg

    This is a top view of the 3 gallon as set up for my P machala before that one outgrew it. The B hamorii is currently in this cage, which is set up a little differently, namely a different hide waterdish and no moss currently.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019