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Spiderlings growing and adapting of wild-caught tarantulas.
In this section I don`t think is needed a detail describtion of spiderlings keeping since cardinal principles are similar as for adults and were repeatedly mentionned at description of general keeping conditions.
Lets mention only one aspect, connected with growing of big amount of recently hatched spiderlings.
For successful and quick growing of spiderlings (that particularly important under commercial breeding) directly after passing of postembrional period, when spiderling becomes active and capable to eat, it is necessary to seat each spiderling in personal small box with a thick layer of soil, sufficient for spider to could completely bury in it.
Construction of box must exclude the possibility for small tarantula to escape. It is necessary to keep up a constant moistening of substratum.
Under intensive strategy of growing it is recommended to provide the temperature range of 29-34°С and daily/ in day feeding or such mode of feeding where are food objects constantly inheres in terrarium.
The main problem, which arise herewith before «nurser» – what and how to feed such "crowd" (let me remind You that many species of terrestrial tarantulas produce over 100 to 1500 eggs/spiderlings)?
In connection with it there are interesting experience of mass feeding of spiderlings known from several amateurs in Europe. For this purpose a small variety of МОТЫЛЬ is used - a common alive provender for aquarium fishes.
Moscow reptile keeper Rustam Berdiev informs (personal communication, 2000) that some amateurs from Netherlands (Holland) practise to feed spiderlings on cutting meal worms. For this a meal worm cutted on small parts corresponding to spiderling size and each piece placed on substratum surface. The only demerit of this method is concluded in that not eaten during a day piece of meal worm grows mouldy and must be immediately removed from terrarium.
S. and М. Schultz in their book «The Tarantula keepers guide», Barron`s, 1998, describe the experience of keeping the emerged spiderlings sin mall groups in one box during 3-5 weeks after hatchling. Herewith, steady daily feeding must be provided. Since all spiderlings are born at one time that accordingly they also molts simultaneously. So the risk of eating spiderlings to each other is minimal. However, as only a sign of such behaviour have noted it is necessary immediately to separate them in individual boxes.
Newborn crickets, roaches and wingless fruitflies are considering to be the traditional food objects. Herewith, size of food objects must not exceed the size of tarantula abdomen.
My personal experience shows that food objects can be successfully fed to newborn as well as to adult tarantulas pre-killed. This is exclude a risk for tarantula being damaged with food object (cricket`s chelicerae, for example).
And if You want to grow up a tarantula-pet, which You afterwards should like to handling fearlessly, that follows to begin carefully take him on hands then he reaches the capable size.
It is very important to controlling the substratum moisture. Its can`t be allowed to dry out and also in no event there was too moist!
And remember: than more You feed a spider, than quicker it grows and greater size will reach!
Here are also want to say several words about adaptation of wild-caught tarantulas.
As a rule, wild-caught tarantulas which bearing a long time sending became weak and dehydrated. it is not recommended immediately to offer it a food.
It is necessary to temporary place a spider in ample box, in which instead of soil is used a several layer filter paper (or white towel paper), which must be moistened. Also tarantula must be provided with coverture as well as water bowl. If tarantula is enough active and able itself to move it will find water itself, but if not that You have to assist him (see Diseases, Dehydration).
When You made sure that spider drinks let him adapt to home conditions within a week. After that offer him a food. It is better to place a food object in terrarium with tarantula at night time. For the first time this can be a cricket of suitable size. Actively moving it will stimulate interest of spider for hunting food. If cricket will not be eaten during first night and if it does not cause a tarantula observable enxiety a cricket can be lefted in terrarium for one or two more nights.
But if tarantula is too weakenned and unable to caught an active food object its can be offered with pre-killed object which must be placed directly near the tarantula chelicera for the night time.
Herewith is advisable to create increased temperature condition (30–34°С). Follows to bear in mind that temperature above 36°С can be fatal for many species of tarantulas with rare exceptions.
When spider will begin to eat pre-killed foods that possible gradually translate its on normal mode and conditions of feeding.
Try to enclose the maximum efforts to save life of Your tarantula!