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Tom's Big Spiders - Tarantulas and Inverts
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Tom's Big Spiders - Tarantulas and Inverts

Author: Tom Moran

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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.
288 Episodes
I have it on pretty good authority that Eupalaestrus campestratus or "Pink Zebra Beauties" will be available in the US hobby again very soon. As I'm sure that many folks will be scrambling to add a sling to their collections, I figure that this would be the perfect time to revisit the husbandry for this amazing species. 
We've all experienced it. You post a picture of your beloved spider only to have some cretin respond with, "EWWW...KILL IT WITH FIRE."  As people who love these animals, it can be quite infuriating to have someone suggest that they would burn our pets to death. Where does this vitriol come from? Is there a way for us to turn these types of comments into a positive? In this episode, we'll discuss the issue. 
In this episode, I'll walk you through how I care for and set up my Poecilotheria ornatas, the largest Pokie species available in the hobby. I'll also share some frustrations about an annoying comment someone left on my latest video. Check out the Tarantula Sustainment Project!
In this episode, I answer three listener questions: How do I research new tarantula species; how to keep mature male tarantulas comfortable; and do I take into consideration my dogs getting haired? Thanks to the Tarantula Talk forum and Cody Barton, Carrie Hollister, and Martin Shelby for the questions!Resources:Mike's Basic TarantulasArachnoboardsWorld Spider CatalogTarantula Talk 
I've spoken often over the years about how hobby stigmas keep some folks from trying out Old World tarantula species. However, there is actually a flip side to this issue. Sadly, some hobbyists will ignore so called "beginner species" due to stigmatization. In this episode, we'll discuss how the hobby accidentally renders some species unappealing to experienced keepers. 
In this episode, I'll discuss the species I keep that really bring the fun during feeding time. We'll also talk how to safely work with a tarantula that has a particularly lively feeding response. A huge thank you to Jennifer Thomas for the podcast topic suggestion!Interested in spider taxonomy? Check out Arácnido.
In today's episode, I'll discuss the care and share my experiences with three species of Nhandu: N. chromatus, N. tripepii, and N. coloratovillosus. 
In this episode, I talk about how Billie and I set up and keep our B. dubia and B. lateralis roach colonies. I'll also talk a bit about how I manage to keep my crickets alive.A huge thanks to Matthew Kołodziejski for the topic suggestion! Be sure to check out the Tarantula Talk Facebook group for all things tarantulas! 
After posting up my video and podcast about Old World tarantulas, I received some interesting comments and questions about  ways to reduce the risks of keeping them. In this episode, I'll discuss some of the more common ideas and weigh in on whether they make sense or are mearly overkill. 
The impetus for this podcast is two-fold: first off, I’ve had a LOT of folks over the years ask me to cover urticating setae more thoroughly. Secondly, after posting my video on Old World species, several folks commented that they avoid New Worlds because of the hairs. Many have pointed out that, as a hobby, we spend so much time talking about venom potency and bites, that we never adequately address the issues posed by urticating hairs. In this episode, we take a look at urticating setae, the risks, and how to prevent exposure.  
Recently, I was chatting with a fellow keeper about some of the almost "foolproof" slings that are easy to raise to adulthood. These are the species that don't start off too tiny, eat great, grow fairly quickly, and are quite hardy overall.  After giving it some thought, I realized that there are several species that fit this bill. In this episode, I'll discuss 10 tarantula species that are easy to grow up from spiderlings! 
Every once in a while, someone will get the wrong idea from something I've said. Unfortunately, I don't always draw a hard line when it comes to many topics, which can apparently leave my personal view on some subjects up to interpretation. In this episode, I’ll discuss my thoughts on two topics that have come up quite a bit recently and try to clarify my views on them. 
Tarantulas may be very easy to keep and low maintenance, but they sure have a tendency to do things slowly and on their own schedules. In this episode, we talk about some common hobby situations that require that keepers show patience.
Well, since we spent a previous episode talking about some of the more diminutive species I keep, I figured that it would be fun to talk about the giants in this episode! What are the biggest tarantulas in my collection? In this episode, you'll find out. 
First, I talk a bit about a recent mishap that I had involving one of my slings. Then, although I've created a few sling guides, I've had a lot of folks ask me for specific advice on how to raise the tinies of slings. In this episode, I share some of the tips and tricks I use when growing up the wee ones. 
I take a lot of ribbing for saying that every species of tarantula I talk about is "one of my favorites." The truth is, I've enjoyed keeping every species I've ever raised. However, over the years, many folks have asked if there is any species that I don't like, and the answer is...complicated. In this podcast, I talk about the species that I failed to appreciate at first but that I grew to love. 
I often get folks asking me to do a podcast or video on the many dwarf tarantulas out there. Well for years I struggled to put one together because a) there are so many out there that I haven't kept and b) there is a lot of debate over what constitutes a "dwarf" tarantula. In this episode, I talk about the smaller species of spiders that I've kept and my experience with them. 
Yes, I think that all tarantulas should be given water dishes. However, in the great debate over whether they are "needed" or not, some important points are often overlooked. In this episode, we talk about creating a system to keep your tarantulas adequately hydrated. 
Way back in November of 2018, I decided to make a list of the top 15 favorite tarantulas in my collection. At that time, I freely admitted that the list would likely change as time went on (heck, I wanted to change it shortly after posting it!). Well, in this episode, I revisit the question "which are your favorite tarantulas" and put together another list of my current 15 current favorites! 
We've all been there...after discovering an unwanted pest, you recognize that the time has come to treat for it. Whether it be roaches, fleas, lice, or even ants, we all panic at the thought of an exterminator coming in and spraying chemicals that could kill our pets. In this episode, Billie joins us to discuss her experience as a pest control company manager treating various critters as safely as possible. 
Comments (11)

Ben Neuls

Oh, this is a great topic

Jul 17th

Robin Burks

You’re my favorite 😁

Jan 20th

Nelson "Pepper" Austin

Hi Tom, I got into the hobby jus thg a few months the ago at the age of 53. Once I decided to get my first T, I began with exhaustive research. Your rop beginners list motivated me to start with my Tlictocatl Albopilosus and it was a decision that I do not regret one bit. recently I have added two slings to my collection recently. a Chromatopelma cuaneopubescence and a Lasiodora parahybana. All of these amazing creatures were on your top beginners list and I am grateful for your guidance in my decisions. Will I get an old world? Sure, when the time is right, but I have nothing to prove to anyone and so I sip this hobby rather than gulp it. Thank you for all that you do.

Jun 7th

A.J. Nevgloski

The head-lopping chromatus has to be called Lizzy Borden 🤘

Apr 5th

Megan Zheng

really interesting. I have a camera on my T albopilosum enclosure and I noticed a long time ago she would randomly jump sideways and then stress curl several times a day. one day I turned sound on the camera and she was reacting and getting upset by the vibrations of my big dogs when they'd suddenly bark (usually at mailman). I moved her into a quieter part of my house never saw it again . just figured I would share a case where something loud WAS stressing the T . poor girl ! lol

Jan 1st
Reply (1)

Brandt Gessel

love the podcast. I had isopods in my roach colony and I had an explosion of them and they ended up actually killing off my colony

Apr 30th

Scott Stuart

happy Easter Tom!

Apr 22nd

Josh Baides

them nats! aooooahhhhhh

May 18th

Jeff Robbins

Love the podcast.

May 16th

Matt Gween

Love this podcast. Great information for keepers of all skill levels.

Mar 7th
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