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Questions: New Housing For Leo Gecko And Bird Eating Spider

pridecity
03-18-2010, 12:29 AM
Seeing as I have all these extra tanks around, I thought I would move my leopard gecko and my Salmon Pink Toed Goliath Bird Eating Spider into some new digs. But I've got questions.

First, they will each be moved into 55 gallons that previously held snakes. After the bleach/water clean, is there anything else I have to do to make them safe for both critters? Remember, I used Nix in both tanks for mites. Neither tank held snakes that died.

Will having Nix in the tank affect the spider, even after the bleach and washout? If so, what else can I do to make it safe for spiders?

Is it safe to use aspen with geckos? I know sand is supposed to be bad. Should I use that brown substrate that smells like earth? I don't know what it is. It might be reptile bark. If I can use aspen, will the chips work or should I get that shredded stuff? Where do I get that?

One tank has a 55 gallon heater on it. The other has a 10 gallon heater. I'm going to put the spider in the one with the 55 gallon heater because I will be using a lot of that brown substrate. I'm hoping to put at least six inches in, at a slope and hopefully even introduce a pill bug colony to keep it going. Do you think it's better than using this tank for one little gecko?

I'm trying to go for a natural but healthy look. Any other suggestions?

I've posted a few pics. They're not the best, but they work. Aren't they cute?

Sweetseraph
03-18-2010, 05:14 AM
I would not suggest wood chips of any kind for the leopard gecko. You can use the coconut bedding for him though. One brand is eco-earch, but it comes in bricks that you have to soak in water and it then expands (actually, it looks like that's what you use for the spider). You can even add some sand to that. I used this mix for my fat-tailed gecko; their needs are similar, but the ft likes a little more moisture. This mix allows the gecko to burrow. The eco-earth has some long strings in it, which could become an ingestion issue, but shouldn't be a problem as long you keep it a little moist by spraying the surface. The other option is cage carpet.

The only problem I can see is that the UTH may not be big enough for such a large area or to warm the eco-earth/sand mixture enough if it's a fairly thick layer. I had to supplement with additional top heat and my UTH covered half the area of the tank. I would also be worried about him finding his meals in such a large tank (although I know you give him mealworms, which at least will not be running around, since I assume they are in a bowl). But such a large tank could actually make his eating problems worse if he has to work so much to eat (ie. move around a huge cage to find or get to the food).

Sorry, can't help you with the spider. ;)

_skittles_
03-18-2010, 08:12 AM
I use tile for my leo's. Very cheap and easy. Measure the cage and determine what size tiles you will need to fill the space. Mine was easy, I just have them in a 20L so I used 2 12"x12" and two 6"x6". Instead of making it permanent and grouting it, I just filled in the spaces with sand. Looks tight! Sorry for the crappy pic though, I will try and get some better ones soon.

http://adventurousguy.com/leos/leos.jpg

CWall
03-18-2010, 10:34 AM
Seeing as I have all these extra tanks around, I thought I would move my leopard gecko and my Salmon Pink Toed Goliath Bird Eating Spider into some new digs. But I've got questions.



Hey man, just wanted to help you out a bit here...you may want to figure out exactly what kind of tarantula it is that you have there. A Salmon Pink (Lasiodora parahybana) is totally different from a Pinktoe (Avicularia avicularia) which is totally different from a Goliath (T. blondi) and no spiders eat birds.

I can tell you just by looking at the picture that it is definitely not a pinktoe (avic). You just may want to figure out what you have exactly so you can care for it correctly. Also no spider will need a 50+ gallon tank. 10-gallon is the biggest i have any of mine in and it's just because I had it left over and wasn't using it, but a 50+ gallon won't be used well by any tarantula.

Hypancistrus
03-18-2010, 03:34 PM
Couple points on the spider:

1) Nix IS lethal to them. I would not put a spider into anything that has been previously treated with a mite-icide. Mites and spiders are both arachnids. Both will be killed by it, even its residue.

2) A 55 gallon is a little too tall. If the spider fell from the height of a 55, it could EASILY split open it's abdomen. Spiders really don't need huge cages. They are fairly sedate. I'd say a 10 gallon is more than enough room for a juvie Goliath. If it's one of the other species, a 10 or 5 gallon will house it for life.

snakewispera snr
03-18-2010, 03:41 PM
Hey man, just wanted to help you out a bit here...you may want to figure out exactly what kind of tarantula it is that you have there. A Salmon Pink (Lasiodora parahybana) is totally different from a Pinktoe (Avicularia avicularia) which is totally different from a Goliath (T. blondi) and no spiders eat birds.

I can tell you just by looking at the picture that it is definitely not a pinktoe (avic). You just may want to figure out what you have exactly so you can care for it correctly. Also no spider will need a 50+ gallon tank. 10-gallon is the biggest i have any of mine in and it's just because I had it left over and wasn't using it, but a 50+ gallon won't be used well by any tarantula.

Couple points on the spider:

1) Nix IS lethal to them. I would not put a spider into anything that has been previously treated with a mite-icide. Mites and spiders are both arachnids. Both will be killed by it, even its residue.

2) A 55 gallon is a little too tall. If the spider fell from the height of a 55, it could EASILY split open it's abdomen. Spiders really don't need huge cages. They are fairly sedate. I'd say a 10 gallon is more than enough room for a juvie Goliath. If it's one of the other species, a 10 or 5 gallon will house it for life.
:cheers::cheers:
Spot on
:cheers::cheers:

Kaminoke
03-18-2010, 03:50 PM
Hey man, just wanted to help you out a bit here...you may want to figure out exactly what kind of tarantula it is that you have there. A Salmon Pink (Lasiodora parahybana) is totally different from a Pinktoe (Avicularia avicularia) which is totally different from a Goliath (T. blondi) and no spiders eat birds.

Not to be argumentative, but... Lasiodora parahybana, Avicularia avicularia, and Theraphosa blondi (often referred to as the Salmon Pink Bird-Eating Spider, the Pink-toed Bird-eating Spider, and the Goliath Bird-Eating Spider, respectively), can and will eat small mammals and birds, though they rarely eat adult birds that are capable of flight (mostly just the occasional fledgling or babies from the nest). I will admit that it is rare, though. I know people that feed their adults live mice, though I would never recommend it. I do agree that they are all definitely three distinct species, however. I don't know enough to tell which it is just by the picture.

I definitely would not use a tank that has been treated with Nix, regardless of which spider it is. Even with the most thorough cleaning, I would just be too concerned that there might be some residue left. That stuff has a habit of sticking around, and that would be a very very bad thing for any arachnid to come across. I also agree that 55 gallons is too big. I have personally seen tarantulas who have split their abdomens from an in-cage fall.. it's pretty terrible. They don't need a lot of space. Just proper substrate, humidity, etc. My friend used one of those Critter Traveler things, or whatever they're called, for a long time.

Also... I use newspaper for my leopard gecko. She's in a 10 gallon, and she also has a humid-hide made out of a cottage cheese container. Not the most aesthetically pleasing tank, but it works great. If you want it to look good though you might want to use something else.

CWall
03-18-2010, 03:59 PM
The bird thing is a myth dating back to the mayan indians and such. Do some research if you don't believe me. No tarantula could eat a bird without being killed, unless it was a newly hatched one and even then I have my doubts. Crickets can kill tarantulas if left in the cage with them.

Kaminoke
03-18-2010, 04:11 PM
I've seen them eat live mice. I've also seen them killed by live mice, which is why I think it's effing stupid to try such a thing. If they have the capability of handling a live, adult, fighting, biting mouse, I don't see why it would be impossible for them to eat hatchlings or even small fledglings, even though there would be a high risk of injury or death. An adult bird? Probably not, and as I've never seen proof of one eating an adult bird I probably should not have even said "rarely."

I don't want to hijack the thread... I can make another thread if you want to continue discussing it. I concede that you probably know way more than I do about tarantulas, as I do not own any, and with that knowledge I have to admit there is a significant chance that you are right and I am wrong. But I wouldn't mind debating it out so you can show me proof as to why I'm wrong, and I can learn something. :)

CWall
03-18-2010, 04:20 PM
LOL, let's dont' hijack the thread we'll talk it over another time I'm out for the day...maybe send me a pm if you really want to talk about it. I doubt I can PROVE you wrong. I am not saying they couldn't just that it's never been documented and is for all intents and purposes a myth. No worries though and no hard feelings...back to the original topic!

Sweetseraph
03-18-2010, 05:06 PM
I know there is a spider that suppliers call a bird eating something or other, because I've seen it on my suppliers list. That's not to say it actually eats birds, but that there does exist a spider with a common name of "bird eater".

pridecity
03-18-2010, 05:23 PM
The spider was sold to me as L. Parahybana, with the common name Salmon Pink Toed Goliath Bird Eating Spider (as told to me by the breeder). I was told it was a beginner's spider via the breeder. After looking it up online, I found the following information:

Full scientific name: Lasidora Parahybana
Common name: Brazilian salmon pink
Temperature 80/85 F
Humidity 75/80%
Adult size: over 9", but typically 8", considered one of the largest in the world
Adult weight: large females - 100 grams +
Setup required: terrestrial

New World spider from Brazil
Interesting fact: has been known to prey on the deadly fer-de-lance pit viper
Defense: threat posture, urticating, not quick to bite
Not recommended for beginners
Fangs are capable of medically significant mechanical damage

Hides: Will adopt an artificial burrow, will dig if given deep enough substrate
Water: shallow water dish
Food: Medium to large crickets, 4-5 twice a week. Occasional pinkie mouse. Feeder roaches
Behavior: Does not hide much, constantly digging and climbing, web little
Cage Setup: can be kept quite easily in a terrarium that measure at three times its leg span in length but not too high. 10-20 gallon minimum. Floor space highly important. good ventilation due to humidity (cross ventilation). Deep substrate (peat moss or vermiculite are popular). Isopods kept live in substrate will help with mold as they eat it and feeder remains (pill bugs!).


http://homepage.ntlworld.com/the.tarantula.store/care-L.parahybana.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lasiodora_parahybana
http://www.thespiderdiaries.co.uk/content/view/59/2/



I was really looking forward to using that 55 gallon tank for something. I guess it means fish are out too for it. Maybe I can make a terrarium out of it instead? Would Nix affect live plants? I'm thinking either completely tropical with Venus Fly Traps (if they're not illegal here in good ol' Colorado) or desert themed. I have a 75 gallon that I wanted to convert eventually too, so I won't be heartbroken if I just have to sell the tank or something.



However, I can always purchase another 55 gallon or whatever size tank very easily. I'm wanting something large so that it is big enough to make a natural looking environment that the spider can live in until death. In addition to a ton of substrate, possibly a reptile humidifier, several hides and silk plants, I was also thinking for the cross ventilation to use fish tank air pumps to feed under the substrate and around the inside the tank.

Here is a diagram of what I was thinking setup-wise with a 55 gallon for the spider. Please note that I made it in about 30 seconds and I can draw a little better than that :p:

Hypancistrus
03-18-2010, 05:45 PM
With spiders, they are going to wait for their prey to happen past their lair. I doubt sincerely that your spider would use all that space. It would be tough to clean, as well, because you'd need to get down in it, and that can be unsafe with a large spider. There was a thread on the spider forum about someone who got significant eye damage from a spider kicking urticating hairs at his eye while he was leaning down into his viv to clean the walls.

A 9" leg length MIGHT necessitate a 20 long, but I'd personally go no larger, and I'd still worry about the height. Also, be careful with future Nix use now that you have the T. It is lethal in the same room. Even the fumes can kill.

As far as using that particular 55 for something else, you could make it a vivarium for another type of reptile- a snake, a smaller lizard. It could be a nice arboreal viv for a Chinese Water Dragon if you put black paper on the sides and back (they tend to run and smack their noses if you do not). I would not put frogs in it, either, if it's been Nix-ed. Frogs are also extremely sensitive to chemicals.

Best of luck!

pridecity
03-19-2010, 02:47 PM
Whenever I clean, I cup the spider. I really don't want to experience a bit or that nasty hair kicking. It just seems like a 20 gallon tank would be too small for how active this spider is, especially when it gets to be up to 11". Maybe I'm suffering from that "bigger in imagination than in reality" syndrome, but 11" seems huge to me.

I do have an empty 40 gallon that housed snakes at one time. It's one of the breeder sizes. Maybe even dividing that until the spider is bigger? I've watched her chase down crickets before. Felt sorry for the albino one she caught like that. Or should I just go with a 20 gallon now and put the gecko in the 40 gallon? If I offer a lot of bowls with food and water, she shouldn't have too much trouble.

Or I could throw this puppy of mine in there and maybe I'll get half a second's worth of rest from throwing the tennis ball. Lol.

pridecity
03-21-2010, 11:45 PM
Okay. After much debating and trying to find logical reasons to ignore everyone's advice even when I asked for it, I've decided to listen to everyone. Or mostly anyway.

For the spider, I'm thinking a 20 long as it is a terrestrial species and may like the floor space. Now, I'd like to get the 20 long now even though it would seem huge to the spider. If it helps, the spider's body length is currently a little longer than the lid to a can of P-A-M. I know, how accurate right? But wouldn't you know it, I put three measuring tapes and a cloth tape where I would be able to find them again and now I can't find them.

Do you think my little drawing a few posts back would be okay in a 20 gallon long? The height might be a little much, but if the substrate is deep enough, maybe not? Or maybe put... paver's stone (I think that's what it's called) to decrease the height and use vermiculite to cover the stones and still have three or four inches of it? I'd still like to eventually introduce pill bugs to control mold, if it grows, and to clean up left-over body parts. What do you think about the air pump idea a few posts back to increase airflow?

Also, I did pick up The Herpetocultural Library's Tarantula book today and it said fine mesh is a bad idea because they could get their fangs caught in it. Would that include the screens we generally use for reptile tanks?

And lastly, could I still use the 20 gallon long that has been Nixed for the leopard gecko? If so, I'll move her from the 10 gallon as soon as I get the OK from everyone. She should do okay on vermiculite too correct? Or shredded aspen would be better? Where do you get that anyway? I also pick up the aspen chips because that's all they have. I really wish I could use pine again. I love the smell.....

CWall
03-22-2010, 08:57 AM
Yeah don't use a screen top...it likely won't ever travel up there, but if it does their claws can get stuck in there and they can fall trying to free themselves (lost a g. rosea this way). Also if the mesh is too fine they can chew through it and will. Acrylic or plexi or lexan is the best way to go for the top. Also you need to have some sort of latch or something too as they can and will push the top off/open.