Tom's Big Spiders - Tarantulas and Inverts

Tom's Big Spiders - Tarantulas and Inverts

A podcast devoted to the proper care and upkeep of tarantulas and other inverts. After keeping a G. porteri for over 16 years, I decided that I wanted to add another tarantula to my collection. Several years later, I now keep over 100 specimens and 90+ different species. It’s safe to say that I am now completely addicted to the hobby.I’m NOT an expert, and I’m currently still learning about keeping these fascinating creatures. In fact, there are so many species, that I suspect that I’ll still be learning years from now. This blog is a bit of a journal to track my interest in the hobby and to share some of the information I’ve learned. A teacher by trade, I enjoy passing along what I’ve information and techniques I’ve discovered and helping others in their successful pursuit of this hobby. I enjoy hearing from folks, whether through comments on the blog or email.I have done and continue to do a lot of research, and I will only be discussing animals I personally keep, so the information I present should be current and accurate. I also regularly update older posts with current photos, observations, and information. However, this is an ever-evolving hobby, so I implore anyone interested in keeping these animals to use whatever they find here as a springboard for further research on techniques or species-specific care.

Episodes

August 14, 2022 60 min

Dehydration, mites, DKS, nematodes, impaction, bad molts: these are the words and phrases that keep tarantula hobbyists up at night. In this episode, we'll discuss these maladies, how common they really are, and what to do if you should encounter them.  

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To kick this one off, we'll talk a bit about my thoughts on when sellers send advanced species to unprepared  beginners. Then, I have to vent a bit about my recent discovery of "free range" tarantula keeping. Finally, I review the Barbarous Growth critter tank. 

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Well, the title pretty much spells it out! In this episode, we'll be discussing why it's likely better to use multiple hides, why we sometimes skimp on cross ventilation, and Critter Keepers as tarantula enclosures. 

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First off, I talk about a couple recent deaths in my collection. Then, it's onto the Tarantula Hobby Sustainment Project. Finally, when is it okay for newer keepers to start doling out advice to others? 

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I've been asked many times over the years if there are certain species of tarantulas that are more difficult to raise up to adulthood than others. Although there were certainly a few species that I get contacted about quite a bit, I wanted to hear from other keepers as well. So, I reached out and asked which spiders folks struggled with. In this episode, we discuss which species keepers had difficulty raising up and try to figu...

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Oftentimes, I find myself in need of a certain type of enclosure for a rehousing in relative hurry, and I resort to hopping on Amazon to see what I can find. As a result, I've tried out a bunch of enclosure possibilities, both inexpensive and more pricey, over the years that work pretty well for our eight-legged friends. In this episode, I review some of the ones that I've tried. 

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Unfortunately, I'm fighting off the 'rona right now, so this episode will be a bit shorter. This time around, I talk a bit about my recent video on hobby staple tarantulas. Then, I answer questions about tarantulas and bright lights, which species of spiders I would never keep, and how often to clean away webbing. 

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First, I talk a bit about the Ephebopus slings that I recently acquired. Then...sure, spiders can bite, have venom, and can put a hurting on anyone foolish enough to trifle with them. However, there are some spiders available in the trade that have been the victim of over exaggeration and hyperbole to the point where many will refuse to keep them. In this episode, we take a look at 5 spiders that receive this dubious distinction. 

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First, we take some listener comments from last episode. Then we discuss why it's always important to consider your living situation before you start a tarantula collection. 

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June 5, 2022 48 min

First, we discuss how to tell when a spider is truly dead, and I share a story about my Psalmopoeus Langenbucheri sling.

Then, if you're older and in the hobby, should you continue to buy long-lived species? Should you pass away, what will become of your collection? In this second part of the podcast, we talk about how you should prepare in the event that you leave your tarantula collection behind. 

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This one has been a long time coming. There is a lot out there about the physiological and behavioral difference between these two classifications of tarantulas. However, much of it takes a very superficial and exaggerated stance when it comes to the comparisons. In this episode, I break down the differences between these two types of spiders and explain how these differences can impact the hobbyist keeping them. 

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Hot off of "What Makes an Expert Species", this topic covers what skills, traits, or "tools" the "expert" keeper should possess. Thanks to ProfessorChani for the topic suggestion! 

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After having a discussion with a fellow keeper about arachnophobia, I got to thinking about how spiders are presented in media and how much some of those depictions strengthened my own fear of these animals. In this episode, I talk a bit about spiders in media. 

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Happy Mother's Day 2022! In this episode, we discuss how we designate which tarantula species are "advanced" (and why these designations aren't always accurate). 

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First off, a heads up that the first half of the podcast is mostly responding to some emails about the last episode. Then, we get into some of those pesky hobby myths that seem to never go away. 

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What if we were all able to come up with some basic rules that we wanted all tarantula hobbyists to live by? What would our "10 Commandments" of keeping be? In this episode, I offer up my list of 10 rules that I think all serious tarantula hobbyists should abide by. 

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First, we talk about a few comments I got after last week's episode about tarantula stress. Then, we revisit the topic of tarantula temperament and why these eight-legged wonders are seemingly so inconsitent from specimen to specimen when it comes to their overall mood. 

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April 10, 2022 54 min

We often throw the word around when discussing husbandry practices and setups, but what does it really mean? How much stress can our spiders take? In this episode, we break down the types of stress our tarantulas can and can't feel. 

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First, Billie and I ventured out to the Show Me Reptiles Expo in West Warwick Rhode Island this weekend, and I talk a bit about the experience. Then, my mention of semi-arboreal setups (and their controversial nature) drew an excellent email about the topic as it pertains to the C. cyaneopubescens.  In this episode, I will discuss the idea of setting GBBs up in "semi arboreal" enclosures and what I mean by that designation.

...

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In this episode, we address the most popular tarantula-focused topics and concepts hobbyists love to argue over on forums and social media groups. 

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