A Nasty Email (and Temperatures and Humidity Revisited)

Well, it was bound to happen.

After several years of writing for Tom’s Big Spiders, I finally received my first piece of nasty correspondence. Honestly, the streak had to end eventually, as to date, 100% of my interactions with other keepers has been completely positive. These conversation are the single greatest perk of having the site and my YouTube channel.

However, after a rather stressful week, I sat down to answer some emails on Friday afternoon and got a bit of a surprise. I had a collection update from hobby friend (Hi, Dallas!), a question about a P. crassipes “goliath’s” odd eating behavior, a request for help by a fellow teacher whose class tarantula wasn’t doing well after a recent molt, and an email from a keeper to who needed help identifying the mislabeled T she bought from Petco.

And then, there was this little gem:

Name: [Redacted]

Email: [Redacted]

Website:

Comment: This is one of the worst care sheets I’ve read in my 18 years of breeding t’s! Humidity DOES matter! Heat DOES matter. Heat mats work well with burrowing t’s! As long as you use a probe to keep the heat set at about 80 and have deep enough material that they can pick a level they prefer. I’ve done no heat before and they will stress out if not kept properly. Won’t breed well either.

I currently own around 240 t’s and many have heat added to their tanks,via heat mats. Dry tanks = bad molts.

Time: September 30, 2016 at 3:03 pm

I’m assuming that the “care sheet” this person was referring to was my article “Humidity Temperature, and Tarantulas”, but this is only an educated guess. This is a blog I wrote a while back to help folks understand that they didn’t need to agonize over achieving the “ideal” temperature and humidity levels they encountered in care sheets. Since publishing this article, it’s been viewed over 6,000 times and has sparked numerous conversations with hobbyists who were worried about their temps.

TEMP-AND-HUMID.jpg

Unfortunately, this email really rubbed me the wrong way for two reasons. First, it was rude. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent years trying to teach high school students to intelligently state and defend their positions (sorry, but “it sucks” is not a good argument…give me examples of why it sucks.), so it drives me insane when someone makes an curt, argumentative statement but does little to support it. If this guy had approached me politely with a “Hey, Tom, I completely disagree with this article, and this is why…” it could have turned into a fantastic discussion.

Second, and most importantly, it came off as another sterling example of an advanced keeper who seems to think his way of doing things is the gold standard. I’ve discussed with many folks the issue I have with seasoned keepers who pontificate on forums and Facebook and chastise any keeper who doesn’t follow their lead to the letter. Although I obviously give advice through Tom’s Big Spiders, I always endeavor to say my piece and let the keeper decide what to do with it. Even when someone chooses to not take my advice, I’ll continue to try to help them in any way I can.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: just because something works for you, doesn’t mean that it is the “only” way to correctly do things.

Now, maybe this guy is good dude who was having a bad day. It happens. I have all the respect in the world for someone with close to two decades of breeding experience. No joke. Who knows, I may even have some spiders this guy bred in my collection. However, just because you’ve done something for 18 years doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways to do it.

Now here’s where things get a little interesting.

After emailing back to ask him to get clarification on which article he read before I replied, and getting no response, I decided to start writing my retort. Although I planned on working on my pet store article this weekend, I was instead wasting time responding to this email. Perhaps I became a bit too obsessive, but I take a lot of pride in presenting current and accurate information on my site, and I felt the need to thoroughly refute the statements made in that email. 

Once I passed around 1,500 words or so, I decided that it would be a waste to just send this to someone who will likely not read it or not care. After all, if this individual really thought this information was that bad, why not post it in the comment section so it could be addressed publicly? I had always planned on revisiting the temperature and humidity article, and this could be an entertaining way to do so. I had also planned to start a feature where I print some questions I receive from keepers and the responses I give (as a lot of them are common and the answers could benefit others). This could be a fun way to kick that off.

Therefore, I’m presenting my response in this blog post. I’ve redacted the breeder’s name and email address, but the original message is being presented as I received it. Hopefully, this will again raise some awareness on this topic, as I still get several emails a month by folks who are stressed out because they can’t match the temps or humidity they found in a care sheet. Also, it will hopefully served to further clarify my thoughts on the topic. 


Hello, [redacted]!

Unfortunately, you didn’t respond to my polite request for clarification, so I’m left to guess which article offended you so. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess it was “Humidity, Temperature, and Tarantulas.” First off, I’m not sure if it was the general theme of this article you took umbrage to, or just one of the statements I made within that caused you to fire off such a rude email.

It’s a shame you couldn’t have approached me in a more polite manner, as I usually enjoy mature discourse over some of the hobby’s controversial topics. I’ve had many polite and professional debates with both new and established keepers, and I always enjoy the opportunity to hear a different perspective as it relates to tarantula keeping. Heck, I even try to thoroughly present both arguments, even the ones I might disagree with, in my Tarantula Controversies articles. As you are obviously an experienced keeper with a vast amount of knowledge about tarantula keeping and breeding, we could have discussed the article maturely and productively.

Instead, I’m left with a hyperbolic and insulting statement backed with scarce supporting “evidence” that comes across more as a pot shot that a mature attempt to discuss differing opinions. With that in mind, please allow me to retort…

I think it’s important to consider that much of the information on my site and channel is targeted to those just getting started in the hobby. Although I enjoy traffic from some amazing advanced collectors who are looking for species info or for my “fun” opinion articles, I’m not currently giving breeding advice. In fact, I’ve stated many times that hobbyists looking to breed need to research elsewhere for their info for the time being. Besides, I’d like to think that most advance hobbyists don’t find it necessary to hunt online for basic husbandry info.

Being as seasoned as you are in the hobby, I’m certain you understand that keeping tarantulas as pets and breeding tarantulas are two VERY different situations. As a breeder, you will often have to try to emulate local temps and seasonal changes, or wet and dry seasons, as you try to stimulate breeding behavior in your tarantulas. That will require more careful creation and monitoring of your micro-climates and will likely necessitate the need for individual heat sources. In that case, heat mats or other heating devices might be needed to raise temperatures in single enclosures (instead of just heating the entire room).

However, this is something a breeder would worry about, not the average hobbyist.

Also, you make a point to mention your “18 years of breeding t’s [sic]”, likely as a way to tout your credentials as an expert in the hobby and someone who knows their stuff. I totally respect that; it’s folks like yourself that produce the captive-bred tarantulas we all buy. But again, let me point out that being a breeder, you likely have different goals and needs for your animals. For example, many breeders I’ve spoken to keep the temperatures in their T rooms higher than normal to stimulate faster growth in order to get breedable mature males and females faster.

Again, not something the average keeper will be worrying about.

I don’t know if you finished the article, but I actually concede these points at the end. To quote:

“Is there a time where more careful, species-specific micro-climates are necessary? Yes, as those looking to breed species, especially some of the more difficult ones, will look to recreate natural environmental triggers, like high temps, winter lows, or wet seasons to stimulate a mating response. In these cases, some careful management of their tarantulas’ micro-climates will be warranted.”

That said, although you may have to keep a certain species at 80 degrees for breeding purposes, that absolutely does NOT mean that this animal has to be kept this high for it to be healthy and stress-free. Most species do very well at room temp (and I did put a cutoff in the article so that folks know when their “room temperature” might be too cold.) and require no extra heat.

And where, exactly, did you come up with 80 degrees as the ideal? Am I to read this to mean that ALL tarantulas have to be kept at 80 degrees? Or is this just “burrowing species?” If so, I find that to be a pretty ridiculous notion. Sure, higher temps lead to faster metabolisms and faster growth rates. However, to insinuate that all tarantulas need temps in the 80s is just silly; they don’t. And this fact is not only evidenced by my personal collection of 140+ with 75+ species (not as impressive as yours, I concede, but a sizable sample nonetheless) but also as dozens if not hundreds of other keepers’ collections who frequent forums like Arachnoboards and the Tarantula Forum. Heck, on Arachnoboards, there was just a thread that addressed temps today with many hobbyists explaining to a new keeper that he shouldn’t worry about the temps in his home.

I don’t know how much interaction you have with other hobbyists, but the ideas presented in this article are by no means new or revolutionary. The majority of informed hobbyists now recognize that the bogus “ideal” humidity and temperatures listed on countless care sheets are useless. As we’ve kept these creatures and learned more about them, many are straying from obsessively monitoring temperatures and instead adhering to the “room temperature” rule. Basically, if you are comfortable, your T will be as well. You’ve found that 80 degrees works for you, and that’s great. I’ve found the 70-80 works for me. Is either one of us wrong? Nope. However, the fact that the spiders in my collection are thriving does prove that although temps in the 80s will work, they are by no means necessary.

The majority of species available come from areas that experience seasonal shifts that include temperature extremes as well as wet and dry seasons. We often look at one extreme (Wow, it’s 88º in June and July with 20 inches of rain!) and assign arbitrary ideal humidity and temperature requirements based off of this. The truth is, for many tarantulas, the optimal number is probably somewhere in the middle. Also, Ts that experience rainy seasons as well as droughts are obviously able to live in less than humid conditions.

Now, if your 80 degrees only pertains to burrowers, I have to ask which species are you referring to? I currently keep several fossorial species, including T. gigas, C. guanxiensis, C. dyscolus, C. lividum, P. muticus, M. balfouri, E. pachypus, O. philippinus, H. albostriatum, P. crassipes, and L. crotalus. Not one has heat, and all are currently eating, burrowing, and doing all of the things a seemingly content spider will do. It’s about 71º in my tarantula room now, and it will remain between 71 and about 75 throughout the winter. I should also add that several of the species listed above I raised from slings to adults in those exact same temperature ranges.

And what signs are you using to determine if the animal is stressed? Not eating? Odd behavior? Leaving its burrow? I often hear “stress” tossed around, but I’m very curious as to what indicators you are using.

It’s important for you to consider that many of the folks reading this article have just picked their first spider up at a local pet shop and are currently researching their new pet online. They are being exposed to a staggering amount of misinformation as well-meaning keepers and bloggers regurgitate bad husbandry advice, many just cutting and pasting info about animals they have never even kept. This causes panic, as this poor soul is now convinced her new G. pulchripes will die if not kept at exactly 82º and at 65% humidity.

I know…I’ve been there. When I first got my G. porteri in ’90s, I probably could have killed her by giving her a heat rock and spraying her constantly. 

Do you seriously think folks that are picking up G. roseas or B. albopilosums at their local Petcrap store are going to buy complicated probes, rheostats, and heat mats? No. If they are sold anything, it’s going to be a cheap Zoo Med rheostat, and heat rock or heat lamp, and one of those useless hygrometer/thermometer combos. Having not used these devices before, they will then set up this useless heating system, stressing over an “ideal” temperature that they read in some care sheet they dragged up online or due to the poor advice of an ill-informed clerk. And in many cases, you know what happens next?

They end up with a dead spider.

I could honestly show you over a dozen emails, maybe more, from keepers who tried to heat their tarantula enclosures with mats, rocks, lamps, etc. and ended up with dead Ts. The fact is, most end up doing more harm than good when trying to heat these enclosures. You obviously have years of experience and know how to properly set up heat mats with rheostats as to pose no harm to your animals; the average keeper new to the hobby does NOT. And, please keep in mind that the majority of these folks are keeping Brachypelma, Grammostola, Aphonopelma, and other species that experience natural seasonal temperature shifts in the wild and do not, under most ordinary circumstances, require extra heat or humidity.

Furthermore, tarantulas, unlike reptiles, are notorious for gravitating toward, and parking themselves on, heat sources like mats and basking spots and not moving, even as they become overheated and eventually dehydrated. I literally just received an email less than two weeks ago by a keeper who was using an under-the-tank heat mat to warm up his B. vagans because he was told it had to be kept at 80°. He came home from work to find the spider in a death curl in the heated corner. Luckily, he rehydrated the T and removed the heater, and it survived.

Often, they do not.

And let’s examine your blanket “Dry tanks = bad molts” statement. Which species are you talking about here, all of them? C. cyaneopubescens? G. porteri? P. murinus? M. balfouri? Surely you’re not insinuating that all tarantulas, even arid species, require moist conditions…

How many keepers out there have unwittingly subjected their tarantulas to damp, stuffy, potentially deadly conditions as they over sprayed their animals in an attempt to keep the humidity unnecessarily high? As you know, too much moisture with not enough ventilation can lead to mold and other undesirables.

Might I also point out that in many cases, heating sources = dry cages. Obviously, any type of supplemental heat can dry an enclosure (and a spider) up, right? This means that someone who is heating their enclosure individually will now have to pay extra careful attention to make certain their T doesn’t dehydrate, especially if this is a moisture-dependent species (as many fossorial species are).

I understand and appreciate that using mat and heating cables is a popular way to heat and especially favored by many European collectors. However, not only can these setups be pricey, but it takes a lot of experimentation and finesse to use them appropriately and safely. Then you have to take into account that majority of folks getting into this hobby are starting with one of the “beginner species” that doesn’t require supplementary heat. I’ve had some folks contact me over the years, many from overseas, who unfortunately experience winter temps in their homes that are a bit too low for their spiders. In these instances, I’ve suggested a space heater or pointed them in the direction of articles/blog posts that explain how to safely use mats to heat their animals.

Also, I don’t believe I state in my article that heat DOESN’T matter or that humidity DOESN’T matter; no, the entire point is that folks shouldn’t obsess over these arbitrary ideal temperatures and humidity requirements named in many terrible online care sheets. If I believed that moisture and temperature wasn’t at all important, would I have spent so much time discussing both?

The whole impetus of this article was hearing from huge number of keepers who were causing themselves unneeded stress (and putting their spiders at risk) by desperately trying to maintain elevated temperature and humidity levels because of some care sheet they read.

I could see you getting upset if I said that temperature doesn’t matter at all, but I didn’t. In fact, I spent a chunk of the article clarifying “room temperature” and defining an acceptable range for most species.

I could see you getting upset if I said moisture doesn’t matter, but I didn’t. I spent some time talking about just HOW to keep moisture levels up for tarantulas that require it.

I could see you getting upset if I said that there are NEVER instances where supplemental heat is needed, but I didn’t. I actually recommend the use of space heaters and concede that mats can be used, but can be tricky to set up.

And, I could see you getting upset if I said that ALL species should be kept the same way, but I didn’t.

So, when you say that “This is one of the worst care sheets [you’ve] read in 18 years of breeding t’s [sic]”, I’m left to wonder if you just completely got hung up on one detail in it, perhaps the part about heat mats, and therefore missed the entire point of the piece. To be clear: I’m not telling people that temperature and humidity doesn’t matter. I’m telling them not to stress over arbitrary, often incorrect ideals.

I do thank you for emailing me (although I wish your phrasing was more constructive) as it seems to indicate that the message of this piece could be misinterpreted. Although the response to this article has been overwhelmingly positive, I could always tweak it to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. I would also like to personally thank you for your breeding projects and contributions to the hobby. Without folks like you, the hobby would progress in the way it has. Also, I will be using this email and my response as the subject of a blog post, as although our “debate” was lacking, it could create some positive and useful discourse with other keepers

All the best!

Tom Moran

 

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17 thoughts on “A Nasty Email (and Temperatures and Humidity Revisited)

  1. As a complete beginner keeping T’s, I found your temperature and humidity information extremely helpful, and it reassured me that I didn’t need to get hung up on keeping tanks set at certain temperatures. I have successfully kept two spiderlings and 4 sub adults at room temperature and I thank you for your in depth knowledge and advice. Without your care sheets I would have stressed about humidity and probably would have used heat sources that weren’t needed. I constantly refer back to your blog when I need info. Just recently my Euthlus sp. red decided to block up the entrance to its burrow and stayed in there for well over a month. By reading your blog I found that if I left it alone it would emerge safe and sound eventually. Sure enough, it had molted in its burrow and dug itself out after a few weeks. Thanks again for putting a beginner at ease.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello, Holly! Thanks so much for the kind words. I wrote that article remembering VERY well what it was like when I first got into the hobby to try to match the conditions given in some of those care sheets. I’m very fortunate that my G. porteri is still with me after what I put her through (heat lamp, constant spraying, overfeeding). I nearly killed her once with a heat lamp. Since starting TBS, I’ve talked to a lot of people who had gone through the same thing, and some weren’t as fortunate. I firmly believe that more Ts die due to keepers overdoing the husbandry than do to them being a bit more laid back. It’s not that you should be cognizant about your temps and humidity – there are times where you want to keep an eye on things. But for the most part, room temps and a water dish will do for a lot of the beginner species. Again, thanks so much for chiming in! – Tom

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tom whoever wrote that nasty e-mail can kiss my U know what. I keep my T’s by your video suggestions and your articles. they really help me. just keep the good stuff coming. And thanks for all the help you have given me. your a real pal to a T keeper.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tim! It honestly took me off guard a bit at first only because I couldn’t figure out how the heck the guy came to that conclusion. I was also upset that he didn’t post it publicly, as it could have led to an interesting discussion (and a bit of an update to the original material). After spending several hours writing my response, I turned to Billie and said, “I think I’m going to post this online.” I figured in the very least, I would allow me to clarify for anyone who didn’t get the point. Thanks again, bud!

      Like

  3. I see you have faffbook/arachnabored leakage going on now that you are getting the traffic. -lol. The one thing about social media is no matter lucid, on point or correct you are…YOU ARE WRONG!!!rabblerabblerabblerabblerabblerabble(tm!) 😀

    I’ve been kicked out of a large group for daring to question group-think. (Lucidly, with facts, articles and without rancor, I might add.) Now-a-days, I post to my blog, try to be helpful to non-idiot questions in social media, and stay the hell out of stuff.

    As an example, over on arachnabored (P. Jacobi’s reference to it), jon3800 and Deadly Tarantula Girl get castigated constantly by the “intelligentsia” over there. You would think they have clue zero about stuff, evidence to the contrary.

    I love your stuff my man, but it was bound to happen sooner or later. The crowd that posts the most, usually are the ones passing on the crap as gospel, or their standard is THE STANDARD, and whoa unto thee if thou dost stray from Tim’s Standard of holy handgrenades, for it is written…in their mercy. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha. It was inevitable. I don’t even check Arachnoboards that much anymore, as I figure it’s only a matter of time before I read some inane and insulting comment and blow stuff up (thus forever destroying my nice-guy rep forever. lol). It’s honestly only a matter of time, though. 😉

      And I remember you getting kicked out of the group. That was one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. How the hell is the hobby supposed to evolve and improve if we can’t share our own ideas and observations? Part of the problem is that people do something, their spiders don’t die, and they assume that, “Well, I must know what I’m doing. That MUST be the correct way to keep them.” They never pause to consider that it might be what works for THEM, but that other might have a different or *gasp* an even better way! It’s why I still watch videos and read articles. I pick new stuff up all the time.

      And I’ve read some of the threads you’re talking about concerning DTG and Jon. Not only do they know what they’re doing, they have probably done more to attract folks to the hobby than many of the people posting on the boards. You may not agree with everything they do, but you can’t argue their contribution to the hobby.

      I’m honestly shocked that it didn’t happen earlier. When I posted the article about holding tarantulas and didn’t condemn the practice, I figure for certain some of the hard-line folks from A-boards would make comments. hahaha.

      The email only served only to irritate me, as if you’re going to come at me with a statement like that, at least back it up with something.

      Oh, well…it was kind of fun to write (I basically responded to a 95 word email with a 2,800 word essay. Overkill? Perhaps. Cathartic? Hell yes. 🙂

      Thanks for all the support, bud. It’s always appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Right back at you. I will say that the “Ahh knowzers everything and you are a noob” crowd is endemic to social media regardless of subject matter. You should see the insanity that happens in the Reef/fish/marine/freshwater groups. all. the. time. Oh mah gawds. lmao.

        I remember seeing DTG fire back in one of her vids about substrate depth and a couple species, and wondered at the time why she was literally so pissed that there were almost tears. Then I saw the posts on A-bored.

        The best response I’ve found is usually to just ignore it…but there are also traps and landmines laid there by the gits. A recent thread on AB was asking about “petting” a tarantula. I replied that one of my A. anax juveniles seems to actually like getting it’s abdomen stroked…and the OP (wtf!!!) replied that it was abnormal and that T’s NEVER like that. A year ago, I would have snapped off a witty reply. Now? I unfollowed the thread. The funny thing is that “petting a T hadn’t actually ever occurred to me until an accidental finger brush by moi’ while it was being handled. So off I went to see if this was a thing. Multiple reports from various folks reported that some DO. But the thread I merely reported an observation in was just a lure. (ffs.)

        And people wonder why I mostly lurk anymore. Except the T-handler’s group on FB. That one is kinda’ fun and I’ve made a few friends there.

        Like

  4. What a D*ck! Always gotta be that one person that can’t play nice. Forget it Tom, don’t let it bring you down. You have prob the best Tarantula blog site on the internet, and some people are just always going to be negative.

    Like

  5. Dear Tom,
    The internet stinks. You really didn’t think I would let this pass without my 2 cents did you?
    You and I have discussed the elitist attitude of some of the “more advanced” keepers on a couple of occasions. Why they feel the need to denigrate the opinion of someone who is cleary targeting new keepers, and doing so in a positive manor I will never know. Online forums are only useful if you want to flex your e-peen (“look at my bagillion spiders” and “this noob asked what the difference in G porteri and G rosea is… OMG perma-ban”). New users be damned if you ask a question that was covered 8 years ago. Going forward, if people can’t present their opinion in a constructive manor I wouldn’t give them the time of day. You have better things to worry about than one asshat who maybe has done the things they have said to give some weight to their argument (while using a couple buzzwords and not citing any real species or even what article they are upset about). You definitely took the high road, although in a verbose manner. I woulda just hit “delete message” and grabbed a hot pocket cuz damn they good.
    Do your thing. Clearly you are making a difference. People are rallying to your side, and buddy I’ll carry the TBS battle standard anyday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, bud! Well, it was bound to happen, so I’m not particularly shocked. I’m honestly more surprised that it didn’t happen sooner, as I often don’t take the same hard line approach that is favored on the boards. You know, the old, “You MUST do it this way or else” mentality. What really irked me about that email is that the guy disparaged the quality of my content even though HE clearly missed the point of the article. I don’t know if this guy is spreading his misguided opinion around, so I figured that I needed to at least retort. In the very least, I gave him something to think about. 🙂

      I love the keepers that tout their years of experience as an excuse to talk down to other folks and to push their way as the only way. Some know their stuff…some have been doing questionable things for so long that they refuse to recognize there may be another way. Experience is fantastic, but not if you haven’t evolved with the hobby in two decades.

      I thought about deleting it and saying, “F it”, but then I just couldn’t let this dude think that I thought he was right. He wasn’t. So I decided to retort as thoroughly as could considering what little he gave me to work with. hahaha

      Again, thanks so much for all of the support. Believe me, I appreciate it!

      Like

  6. Hey Tom. As usual, a very interesting read. Here are my two cents, as they say.

    – I’ve been keeping Ts for 7 years+, and have about 50+ tarantulas at home. Not so high according to certain standards, but enough to give me some experience. I keep all my Ts exactly as you keep yours (as far as I know according to what you write of course). And I’ve never had any problems. Ever. They thrive. For tarantulas who comes for more humid places, I pour some water once a week in the substrate. And even for some of them, I’m not sure (I give more water to E olivacea than H maculata, because I read it somewhere, but what do I know? I give more water to T ockerti than C cyaneopubescens, for the same reasons, but I’ve not checked it for real in nature…). I admit that it’s a guessing game for me, but what I see is they adapt without issues.
    – It’s trendy to despise Schultz & Schultz nowadays. But as far as I’m concerned, their advices in the TKG 3 are still excellent IMHO. Specially what they say about the illusion to create a tropical forest microclimate in a little glass enclosure. If we want to give the exact natural humidity one T needs, we’d have to change it everyday, to know how it is (same for moisture) inside the burrow, etc. Most of us can tell the temps/RH in one region, but what about deep inside a burrow? And what about the changing datas?
    – My Ts have molted fine even in arid enclosures (for some of them), when big enough of course (the T not the enclosure). I’m thinking that some molts issues can happen more frequently when a T is disturbed during the process or exhausted for some reasons rather than with RH questions.
    – I have two good friends who breed (I don’t). One of them don’t care at all about temps and RH: one waterdish overflowed once a week, and that’s it. The other one cares about creating an enclosure as natural as possible (with different temps and different RH according to the seasons). Both of them have success with breeding (and some failures too). As you said: I’m quite certain it’s helpful to be more cautious about temps /RH when you breed, that’s what I would personnaly do, but doesn’t mean there’s no other way.
    – And, to end all this, I was quite amused when I read that this guy who wrote to you (240+ tarantulas!) has heat mat for many of them (which ones don’t need more heat? I’d be interested to know…). That means a LOT of heat mat, doesn’t it? The electricity co. certainly likes this customer!

    All this to say: go on the way you do it, it’s helpful, respectful and smart. I’m always excited when I receive an email saying: there’s a new post on Tombigspiders blog!

    Thanks for all!

    Like

    • Hi, Nicholas!

      Thanks so much for chiming in on this topic.

      I think one of the big issues in this hobby is that folks do something a certain way, their Ts don’t die, so they assume it’s the ONLY way. And, unfortunately, that’s not always true. In some cases, there may be better ways to do things, but because the animals are so resilient, they keep on keeping on. In other cases, it comes down to a matter of preference. Sure, some folks keep them heated, and if it works for them, great. But folks like you and I prove with our collections that extra heat isn’t necessary…they do quite well without it.

      And I LOVE this: “ I admit that it’s a guessing game for me.” I agree completely! A lot of this IS a guessing game. One of the reasons I started this whole blog thing was to explain what was working for me. That way, people can read this and have an idea of where to start. I always encourage people to ask other keepers, as they may also have something that works. A lot of this hobby is guesswork. We read about where they live, the temperatures and humidity, and we try to somehow match it as best we can.

      And your other fantastic point: they adapt. Just because they live in a hot and humid environment doesn’t mean that is their IDEAL situation. Many of them do just find in milder conditions.

      I have to find out what power company this guy has, because I’m going to buy stocks in it. Hahaha. Seriously ,that’s a LOT of heat mats…yikes!

      Again, thanks so much for your amazing response (and for the very kind words!).

      – Tom

      Like

      • “I think one of the big issues in this hobby is that folks do something a certain way, their Ts don’t die, so they assume it’s the ONLY way.”

        Tom, this says it all! ^^^^^^^^^^^
        75% of people keeping T’s are like this…IMO.

        Like

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