A picture is worth a thousand words…
When I first became hooked by the hobby, I literally had to be convinced by a vendor to pick up my first spiderlings. True story.
At the time, I was looking for sexed juveniles and adults, and the thought of caring for a tiny, fragile ‘sling was terrifying to me. What would I feed it? How should I give it water? What if the temperature in my house was too low? A thousand daunting scenarios played through my mind, and almost all of them ended with a dead spider.
When I finally took the plunge and ordered my first two 3/4″ slings, I remember the feeling of dread I had waiting for them to be delivered. I was convinced that I had bit off more than I could chew, and now there was no turning back. When they arrived, I fussed over their enclosures, fixated on their burrowing and webbing habits, just about developed an ulcer when one buried itself, and panicked when they inevitably refused meals. I also spent hours on Google researching each seemingly odd or worrisome behavior for some type of reassurance that I wasn’t screwing up.
Yup, raising a sling for the first time can be an incredibly stressful experience.
With that in mind, last year I sat down to write what I hoped would be a thorough and definitive guide on how to raise a tarantula spiderling. My goal was to create a reliable resource for those just starting out with their first baby tarantulas, whether they were preparing to receive a new sling or looking to quell some of the fears they have about the ones they already keep.
We all need affirmation at some point in this hobby.
Overall, I think the article was a success, but after fielding questions about it, it became clear that some of the tips and techniques I spoke about would be easier to understand if physically demonstrated. It got me thinking, could this article be done as a video? Would it be even easier for some people to understand if I could show them as well as tell them?
Up to the challenge (okay, blissfully ignorant of how challenging this would be!), I purchased some editing software, took copious notes from my article, and set to work. My initial plan was to produce a video around 30 minutes or so. However, as I got deeper into this project, it became apparent that to cover all the facets of sling keeping as thoroughly as I hoped, it would take a bit longer than a half hour…maybe even more than an hour.
A week and MANY hours later, it is finally done. I present to you all…
The ULTIMATE Tarantula Sling Care Guide!
This version of the guide is meant to take a keeper through the entire process of sling care, starting with actually acquiring the specimen to raising it. And, as the final video tapped out at around 80 minutes, I broke it into two parts. Part one covers buying your sling, setting up the enclosure, and unpacking your sling. Part two covers feeding, hydration, maintenance, temperatures and humidity, and molting.
I hope that this series proves helpful to those just acquiring their first slings or even to those who have been raising them for a little while. If I failed to cover something, or if you have information to add, please leave a comment! I will be looking to do an update video in the future covering any other questions that should come up.
1. What size sling (1:40)
2. Where to buy (5:20)
3. Enclosures (13:25)
4. Receiving and unpacking (25:50)
5. Feeding (1:44)
6. Hydration (8:10)
7. Maintenance (21:10)
8. Temps and Humidity (26:50)
9. Premolt/Molting (34:50)