Looking after Avicularia spp. Slings

5 years 7 months ago #53422 by Hendrik Steenberg
Looking after Avicularia spp. Slings
It’s important to not keep any Avicularia slings in too large a container, rather grow them up in something smaller.

Humidity – It is important but getting wet more important, this is to simulate rain and the only time they will drink. Spray the entire container wet once a week.

Ventilation- Cross ventilation is more important than top ventilation. With good ventilation the container will also dry out fairly quickly which is important to so that mould and bacteria growth is restricted. Don’t spray the container wet if it has not entirely dried out from the previous spray. This is also a good measure if the ventilation is suitable, if it dries out with a day or two there is too much ventilation, if after 7 days the container is still wet there is too little ventilation.

Feeding – I find small roaches to work the best as crickets just fall to the bottom and Avicularia slings hardly ever ventures to the bottom in search of food. The easiest is to actually hand your sling food with feeding tongs, or try and put the food item in front of them, even placing the food in their webbing will trigger a sling to catch the food item quickly.

Housing – For 2nd instar sling I keep them in a vial/pill holder lined with tissue paper which I keep moist, and replace as soon as it shows signs of dirt. When they reach 3/4th instar a normal sling tub (those achar tubs we use for the slings) turn it upside down, because they will make a nest right in the top and this way you won't break the nest every time you open the lid. Make 5 little holes on the one side in the middle and the opposite side 5 holes as well, this is for cross ventilation. No holes on top at this stage, glue or tie a piece of plastic plant/cork/wood anything on the one side this is to help the spider secure the nest he's going to build. Place a water bottle lid filled with water on the upside down lid of the tub and close the tub upside down. I spray the whole inside wet once a week when I feed the sling. I keep them this way until they too big for the tub. Then I move them on to something bigger still upside down. I only use substrate once the spider is adult size, this is purely because the enclosure is kept so humid this tends to rot and grow mould quickly.
Tub picture

Attachment Avictub.jpg not found

I cannot claim ownership of all the above some is from research some from experience.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dimitri Kambas, Jake, Danny, Riekert Visser, Carlo, SLASHER, Mark, Brad, Maggy Pearce

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5 years 7 months ago #53423 by Steven Knoetze
@hendrijs - Awesome post. Thanks very much.
I have kept my Avi avi in a bottle with the lid replaced with a stocking for ventilation but will definately change to your method.
Tissue paper and not substrate makes so much sense. I also need to fasten down my perch branch because it tends to fall over before its webbed up. If you use DLS how much bigger should the enclosure be compared to the tarantula?

"you're never a loser until you quit trying"

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5 years 7 months ago #53424 by Hendrik Steenberg
I would still use the 2x leg-span width and 3 x height.
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5 years 7 months ago - 5 years 7 months ago #53429 by Mark
In case anybody wants:

The two jars on the left hand side with white lids are 50ml and 125ml respectively.

The 50ml is R1.64 ex vat each and the 125ml is R2.08 ex vat each. There is no minimum order.

Premier Packaging just off the Jet Park offramp in Boksburg. www.prempack.co.za/pet_bottles_and_jars.html
Last Edit: 5 years 7 months ago by Mark.
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5 years 7 months ago - 5 years 7 months ago #53454 by Danny
Thanks for this Hendrijs!

As some of you know I'm trying to focus a little on my Avic. collection and here's my little contribution to this thread.

Attachment AvicEnclosures.jpg not found

Just like Hendrijs I use inverted enclosures with water at the bottom. The upside down bottles have LOTS of holes drilled in the sides for air flow (As a rule of thumb, if I put my mouth over the bottle opening and blow, it must be almost effortless to blow through all the holes) and are all filled with Avics (versicolor, avicularia and purpurea). As you can see I have cable tied some plastic foliage to the top of a dowel stick and secured it inside the bottle to provide a way for food to climb up to where the Avics normally build their webbed hides, and also provides structure for webbing. Then, at the bottom I have placed a plastic milk bottle cap with a pebble inside it to help water evaporate and maintain a good amount of humidity and also so that the T's can drink if they need. (Without the pebble the water actually evaporates much slower)

The tank to the right as you can see has a vent top left and bottom right for air to cross-flow, this tank houses my biggest A.versicolor at the moment (8cm). I was always told that A.versicolor are "sensitive" and difficult to keep, but keeping them like Hendrijs and myself are doing, I have not had a single loss, except that I lost two of my A.Avicularia to starvation because they were too lazy to hunt their food. The minute I provided them with a decent "ramp" for food to reach them, the losses stopped. (Meaning that the dowel sticks were not good enough, so I had to add extra footing for roaches and crickets).

(The two bottles with yellow lids are my 2 L.Violaceopes slings.)


I find with Avic slings that Oxyhaloa deusta roaches are the perfect "roach" food for them. They can climb almost any surface and the minute they are placed in a container they immediately aim and run upwards looking for an escape, which is great for hungry little Avics. Also, O.deusta offspring are TINY, with nymphs measuring 2 or 3mm at their smallest, so can basically replace very small crickets. They breed very well, just give them darkness, warmth and a variety of cat food pellets and a piece of apple or carrot from time to time. They are very hard to keep contained, so make sure to use tubs that seal well and have holes drilled no bigger than 1mm to 2mm maximum to prevent the nymphs from escaping, but drill PLENTY of holes to ensure good ventilation. Oh, and they are quick little buggers and will give you some reflex training.


Last Edit: 5 years 7 months ago by Danny.
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5 years 7 months ago #53571 by Mark
Ok so I got my two versi's from Hendrik yesterday (yay and awesome service from Hendrik), followed the procedure in this thread.

I went out there tonight and got the fright of my life when I found one of the versi's floating belly up in its water bowl :S

The second I moved the tub the little dude started to do the backstroke. I gently took him out of the water with a paint brush, and he seems fine, but DAMN :swaet:

I decided to fill the lids with some peat and wet that instead of a water bowl.

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