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Tom's Big Spiders - Tarantulas and Inverts

Education Podcasts

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.

Location:

United States

Description:

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.

Language:

English

Contact:

8603892245


Episodes

Tarantula Max Lifespans - A Realistic Discussion

4/7/2024
I've encountered this scenario many times...an upset keeper emails me to ask what he did wrong because his adult female didn't make it to the supposed max life expectancy. In many cases, it sounds like the animal died of natural causes, but the thought that it should have lived longer can eat away at a concerned keeper. In this episode, we discuss some of the maximum lifespans given for tarantulas online and break down why some might live longer than others. I will also share the ages of several of my females when they finally passed away.

Duration:00:52:22

The Goliath Birdeaters - Theraphosa Genus Review

3/24/2024
In this episode, I talk about my experiences with the three Theraphosa species: Theraphosa stirmi (the Burgundy Goliath Birdeater), Theraphosa blondi (the Goliath Birdeater), and Theraphosa apophysis (Pinkfoot Goliath Birdeater).

Duration:00:55:27

Dos and Don'ts When Ordering Tarantulas Online

3/17/2024
To start this one off, I share some of the feedback I got from last week's episode and respond to a couple comments. Then, at 21:25, it's been five years to the day when I last covered some tips for ordering tarantulas online. In this episode, we will review the dos and don't as well as discuss some new issues that have presented themselves over the last five years.

Duration:01:07:15

The "Domestication" of Tarantulas - Why our Pets Are Not Quite Wild Animals

3/10/2024
A couple of years ago, I stumbled on an article about the "inadvertent domestication" of animals raised for the sole purpose of being released back into the wild. This is when, despite our best efforts, captive animals were becoming inadvertently domesticated by temporarily or even permanently adapting to a captive environment , which was making them less fit to survive in the wild. This could often occur within a single generation of captive-reared animals. And that got me thinking... Many species of tarantulas have been actively bred in captivity for decades, so is it possible (or likely, even) that the animals in our collections have adapted over multi-generational captive breeding to be better suited to being kept in our home? In essence, is there a fundamental difference between our captive bred spiders and their wild counterparts? Is human selection making allowing them to thrive in our care? In this episode, we will explore the theory of tarantula domestication and why I think that it’s important to consider that the spiders in our collections might not necessarily be true wild animals. NOTE: I am NOT talking about them becoming tame, like dogs or cats. Spiders are not and never will be tame animals. We are specifically asking if they could have been changed by years of being bred and kept by humans.

Duration:00:57:46

Why Bother Asking? When Keepers Ask Questions and Ignore the Answers

3/3/2024
I've been doing this a while now, and there is one occurrence that I will never understand...when keepers ask for advice and then ignore it. Luckily, it doesn't happen often, but when it does, the results can be quite tragic. In this episode, we'll discuss a few of the more egregious experiences I've had with this type of behavior.

Duration:00:54:05

Tarantula Substrate - Some Inexpensive Mixes

2/25/2024
Over the years, I've continued to constantly switch up what I use for substrate when it comes to housing my tarantulas. In this episode, I review what I've used in the past and share an inexpensive "recipe" I'm currently using that yields a LOT of substrate for very little money.

Duration:00:42:17

Tarantula Collection Killers

2/19/2024
In this episode, we discuss some instances where folks have lost large parts or all of their collection due to mishap or an overlooked environmental hazard.

Duration:00:46:05

I Want a Tarantula - Where Do I Start?

2/11/2024
Within the past couple weeks, I spoke with two teenagers who were interested in getting their first tarantula. Both had many questions about where they should start and what they should prepare for. In this episode, I lay out several things anyone thinking about getting a tarantula should do...and some things that they shouldn't.

Duration:00:54:03

How I've Tweaked My Fossorial Tarantula Setups

2/4/2024
First, we discuss the "controversy" a recent episode caused. Then, I field a question from a long-time YouTube subscriber about changes that I've made in how I set up fossorial tarantula enclosures.

Duration:00:47:41

Pamphobeteus vs. Phormictopus! The Battle of Two Giant Tarantula Genera

1/28/2024
Well, it had to be done! In this episode, two popular genera of giant tarantulas will duke it out for hobby superiority! Okay, that's a bit dramatic; in reality, we will compare the two genera and talk about the similarities and differences.

Duration:00:51:43

The One Issue in the Tarantula Hobby I Will Never Overcome

1/14/2024
To start this one off, we'll discuss some feedback to last week's episode. Then, after reflecting on 10 years of doing the TBS stuff, I realized that there is one major issue that I will never overcome.

Duration:00:55:53

Tarantula Feeding Schedules and Fat Ts

1/7/2024
Recently, I've received some comments on my YouTube videos with folks saying that my tarantulas are "skinny" or "underfed", which left me a bit confused. However, after speaking with a hobby friend, I realized that, through social media, many folks new to the hobby may be exposed to photos of chubby Ts. For many, a spider with a bloated abdomen is the norm. In this episode, we'll discuss overfeeding tarantulas and feeding schedules. A huge thank you to Charlotte for the awesome topic idea!

Duration:00:56:26

Do Tarantulas Have "Personalities"?

12/31/2023
Happy New Year! In this episode, I give my take on whether or not it's appropriate to say that tarantulas have "personalities." We will also discuss whether tarantulas need enrichment to avoid boredom.

Duration:00:47:48

The A. geniculata vs. The N. chromatus - Two Classic Tarantulas

12/17/2023
In this episode, we compare two very similar species: the A. geniculata or "Brazilian Black and White" and the N. chromatus or "Brazilian Red and White." Both are awesome species and, in my opinion, hobby staples. But which has more to offer?

Duration:00:43:32

The GBB vs. The Brazilian Blue Beauty

12/10/2023
First, I have an important message from the US Tarantula Sustainment Project. Then, we're going to have a little fun. In this episode, we'll compare and break down two species that are often confused for each other, the C. cyaneopubescens (GBB) and the D. diamantinensis (Brazilian Blue Beauty). Which spider is the "best"? Who knows! But we will attempt to find out! Be sure to chime in with your vote on either Spotify or tomsbigspiderspodcast.com!

Duration:00:49:13

Tarantula Species That Need it Drier As Slings

12/3/2023
In this episode, I'll talk a bit about the tarantula species that I've raised that buck the old "keep 'em moist" rule for slings.

Duration:00:47:46

Eresus walckenaeri Care and the Velvet/Jumping Spider "Fad"

11/26/2023
Having just rehoused my juvenile Eresus walckenaeri (Velvet Spider), I figured that it was time to talk a bit about how I care for it. Also in this episode, is the current Jumping Spider and Velvet Spider social media fad and rampant anthropomorphization leading to decline in overall appropriate husbandry in the spider hobby? I'll discuss what I feel are the realistic pros and cons of the attention these "cute" spiders are currently receiving.

Duration:00:53:25

Tarantula Enclosure Blowout!

11/19/2023
In this episode, I'll go through all of the types of tarantula enclosures I've used, from cheap to pemium, and share my pros and cons of each.

Duration:01:15:21

A History of Tom's Big Spiders and Why I Do This

11/12/2023
Last week, I had a few folks contact me a bit upset that there was no episode for Sunday. And, to be honest, this happens every time I miss a week. Although I completely understand that this podcast has become very important to folks for a myriad of reasons, I thought that it might be a good time to explain why I do the Tom's Big Spiders stuff . In this episode, I'll go through the entire history of TBS from the original blog, to YouTube, and now the podcast. My hopes are that folks will understand my motivations for putting out this information and appreciate that, sometimes, I just need a day off. My apologies for spending an entire episode talking about me. Next week, it's back to spiders!

Duration:00:50:51

The Fastest Spiders That I Have Kept

10/29/2023
I've been asked to do this one many times over the years, but there is honestly no way for me to scientifically prove which ones are faster. However, in this episode, I will share the ones that I think are fastest based on my own personal experience. What are YOUR fastest spiders?

Duration:01:08:19