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1 year 5 months ago #74590 by Rae
Hello all. New to the forum and still new to T's. Been the proud owner of our A. versicolor since September of last year (early birthday present for my husband), had it since it was a 3rd instar sling and it's still happy and healthy. I reside in the United States out in the mountains of Montana. I'm a stay at home mom and here's my little story how I got into Tarantulas....

It started with my husband. Before we had ever met he had three rose hair tarantulas that lived on his semi truck with him for years. After a tragic accident while he was on his home time that ended in the death of one of them. He got rid of the other two. I think it was the lack of the support from those at home to help tend to them that really encouraged this act. Regardless, by the time we met, he didn't have them but would tell stories of them and I could tell he really missed them. Even admitted to me he missed them, but never once did he suggest we get any. Especially I think learning my mother is arachnophobic and how concerned I was when it came to our son getting bit by venomous house spiders (Which I later learned my fears were unnecessary).

I myself was apprehensive of spiders. I liked them, I thought they were cool creatures but I was always of a mind they stay away from me, I stay away from them. I was very uneducated on the subject of what was really dangerous and what wasn't when it came to true spider species (My knowledge came from my mother and well.....as I said she was arachnophobic), so I will admit I was completely in the dark with tarantulas. As far as I knew they were just bigger and equally dangerous as the really venomous ones. However seeing how much he missed them I took on the task of educating myself, because I really wanted to give him that back. However we have a little one who is now 3 years old and a dog that's 2. And due to the company policy any T that we got would stay at home while he was on the road. To which that meant that I would be in charge of it's care. Feeding, cleaning it's enclosure, rehousing it's enclosure, dealing with any emergencies...etc. And something to note, the way our family works, we tend to consider the critters in our care to an extent part of the family. So it was very important to me that if we got a tarantula it be tended to right and not be neglected.

So needless to say, I first had to overcome my own fear of these fascinating creatures. Being someone who really wasn't keen on inverts at all before, and I even have an intense fear of Ants (Go on, giggle, everyone does >.> I wont hold it against you) I was determined to do this for my husband. So I read, and read, and I watched videos and videos on youtube. I was very fortunate to find videos by tarantulaguy1976 and omg, the level of confidence and understanding and interest that was inspired by those videos. Really helped me with my discomfort. So much so that I finally felt prepared in going through with getting him a tarantula. However I did want to start us off and get familiar with them through a more....'hands off' tarantula. And by hands off I meant one that appeared to be a more funnel web type rather then roaming type. So after searching and finding info on wikipedia.... >.> And after discussing it with him and ensuring that they did not have medically significant venom.....We settled on A. versicolor. I wont deny the beautiful colors held a lot of sway as well. (I know a bit more now when it comes to taking care of these guys so the whole 'hands off' concept seems silly now. I don't handle any of ours if I can avoid it simply for their safety but I understand better about that topic just so that's clear.)

So after settling on that, I contacted jamiestarantulas.com and they were wonderful. Answered all my questions and gave great care advice before I even placed an order and then we got our sling at 3/4". I can say now in hindsight perhaps starting with a sling as a first for me was probably not the wisest. I wasn't part of any forum community by this point and strictly going off of research and the care guide I got from the original breeders. However it's at 2.5" now and still happy and healthy even if it's caused ME some stress due to my inexperience. Having my hubby as a person to talk to and ask questions was a major help but his experience was still in a sense lacking due to the difference in species and it being arboreal rather then terresterial. But we wanted to get something we could watch grow. And as I have watched her grow, tended to her, and such I have grown to become....well I suppose one would could be obsessed, I didn't even freak when she decides to be an ornery little butt and climb up the tongs onto me instead of the cup when I tried to rehouse her once. I do research almost daily on inverts in general now. I don't just like the tarantulas but all inverts just fascinate me now that I've actually started to learn about them and see them for what they really are rather then the perspective of mass society.

I did finally get him a G. rosea (porteri?) sling back in Feburary. It's 3/4" at the moment and holed itself in it's burrow it made. My husband loves our A. versicolor which he named Sarah (Though we don't know still if it's male or female, it keeps mangling it's molts but we call it a girl in hopes that it is) but he adores the G. rosea which he named Spikey. There's just no doubt he loves that T more then the others. Then I also got a LP sling for myself which just molted yesterday and I think it might be 3/4" by this point it was .5" prior. The name 'Tiny' is what sticks for me and probably what I'll name it as that's my first thought when I saw it for the first time. It really was so tiny!

I also have Dubia roaches, Madagascar Hissing cockroaches, meal worms, isopods, a wild caught Sergiolus.... I suppose it's safe to say I am a bit addicted now. Thankfully my mom is still willing to come into the house, in fact I think I'm helping with HER fear of spiders with the little tid bits I been teaching her here and there.

I am even now, working on my fear of ants. (Only creature on the planet that actually bothers me) I have caught two queen ants and am hoping at least one will lay eggs and I can start an ant farm to help me overcome this fear of mine.

Through all of this is our 3 year old son which I am trying to pull his interest in. So far he seems indifferent. He will say 'wow' when I show him the roaches or other insects (I don't show him the T's outside of pictures on the computer.) But then he's back to doing his own thing and totally ignoring them. But there isn't any disgust or fear so I have hopes he'll get into the hobby with me as he grows older.

As for my hubby? He's happy, he has his T again and he loves the other ones as well. He loves the enclosures I set up for them though it's not his thing. (I ADORE vivarium setups) He has a black thumb when it comes to plants where as I tend to be able to get almost anything to grow. So yeah, I have been having fun researching each species local habitats and needs and trying to replicate them to an extent.

I eventually really want to get into breeding and such. I have this thirst for knowledge and am always searching for answers. I have frequented arachnoboards quite a bit in the past and still do under the name lunarae but I wanted to expand my knowledge base and get to know even more people, hear even more varied opinions and experiences from others so here I am now saying hello.

And thanks in advance to any and all who take the time to answer any questions or add to any discussions I post in the future! Oh and bravo for anyone who actually took the time to read my long winded hello. lol

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1 year 5 months ago #74592 by Jake
Morning Rae and welcome to the forum and the love of tarantulas..

Wow, very fun and interesting journey you have taken to arrive here.
And from here it just keeps getting bigger and bigger and the love grows bigger on top of it.

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1 year 5 months ago #74597 by Rae
Thanks. ^.^ Can't help but be excited. Every day is a new day for new opportunities. Just ordered a new enclosure for our A. versicolor. Can't wait till it gets here. ^.^

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