Thursday, 6 March 2014

OK, it's been ages!


Yeah I am still alive and so are the beasts :) I haven't had time to spend a lot of time updating the blog and things have really just been carrying on. No new additions either - until today! :)

This beast is my new Dynastes hercules larvae - it's L2/3 I can't really tell but would guess it's got another moult until it's L3 and ready to pupate by going on Google images of L3s ready to pupate. I am not clued up enough to check the sex!

I will call him/her Hercules!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Been a while - again...

So it's been a while - again... Been out and about doing loads of stuff, if you follow my Youtube page you probably seen quite a few new invert and otherwise videos :)

I am working on an update post on my now rather smaller collection - I've decided to slim it down to a more manageable size!

This is today's funny video from when we were pitfall trapping!


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Almost summer time!


Oops so I again haven't updated for a while but hey... :) I've rearranged the bug-room a bit, I moved the nano tank as it was making too much noise - my bug collection is in the spare room which guests use for sleeping. The bugs are always easy to move but the nano tank not so much. So it's gone to live on my computer desk.

I've got no new additions other than the False Widow Spider, I don't feel I've got time just now. Thor the G pulchripes has moulted again :) He took a nice juicy meal worm yesterday so he's ready to move into his new home this weekend, it's sitting 'maturing' on the side of the desk. It's the Exo Terra Breeding Box that the Purple Flower Beetles were in. The Purple Flower Beetles have not lasted as long as the first batch, and didn't produce any larvae. Most disappointing. I still have a couple of larvae from the old batch to pupate so I'll likely have some more adults in late summer.

Shelob the L parahybana is still angry and aggressive and quite scary. Here she is from last week with a face full of maggots... She took 3 hoppers yesterday as well. Fat bi*ch :)



Stalin the B boehemi is quite stunning after his latest moult despite his duff leg. He's now showing most of his mature colours, despite being so tiddly!



Whilst uploading some stuff, I found a funny video on YouTube about a crab getting himself a French fry... :)



Monday, 4 March 2013

March already???

Holy cow, can't believe I've not updated the blog for like 2 months - I've been really busy with planning my wedding and doing all sorts of nice social things... :)

Bad news first - Slim the Stick Insect passed on just over 2 weeks ago - he made it to the grand ol' age of 15 months! He will be missed - especially by Elvis the Cat who used to be obsessive about watching him. And would have eaten him if given half a chance... R.I.P Slim!

I also have had seven moults in the tarantulas, one of the one's that moulted as Cruella, the A geniculata. You can now see her white knees :) She is moody though and will be a handful as she grows up...


The teeny tiny Tiddles the Euathlus sp. 'Red' is voraciously feeding on tropical woodlice, she had two in one night!

Trixie the T ockerti also moulted for the first time, and is now even more gorgeous! She is ravenous and I am foreseeing rapid growth.


Nyx the G pulchra is in a deep, elaborate burrow; all I have is a viewing window. I think she has moulted about a month ago but can't be sure as there is a burrowing chamber I can't see. Hercules the B albiceps FINALLY moulted last night, and is currently drying himself out. I can't wait to see what he looks like now and how big he's become! Tiny the B smithi also moulted but is refusing the maggots I put in. He's always been fussy and I think he's holding out for some crickets... Venus the A versicolor moulted last weekend and is already feeding like she's never seen food... She's become really big, very blue and gorgeously patterned!
Venus the A versicolor after her moult!
Shelob the L parahybana moulted about a month ago, she is now very ferocious looking and very defensive - she even attacks the waterdrops when I fill up her waterbowl... But what a beauty!

Here she is on her moulting mat, a very sticky and distinctive-looking webbing to anchor them as they are on their backs coming out of the old exoskeleton.


I am now waiting for Thor the G pulchripes and Pele the B boehmei to pop, it's been a while since they moulted. I wonder when little Tiddles will moult as well, she is so tiny I think she might just be in her very first full moult, waiting for her second.

I am also trying to organise my inverts now that most are in larger enclosures. My friend is apt with his hands so I am hoping he can come up with a suitable design for the desk :) I've seen people having the enclosures in vivariums, which I quite like, so I can keep them safe from the Cat... I could have two small vivs stacked on the side of the desk to hold them, maybe?

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Post-Festive Inverts!

So I was far too busy during the festive season to post but that didn't stop me enjoying the company of my wee beasties :) I got some new RED Ramshorn snails which are now living in the tanks. They are really red, which is really cool! They look great in both tanks. I fed all the tarantulas today, it looks like Hercules the B albiceps and Shelob the L parahybana are in premoult so are not feeding. Venus the A versicolor is an eating machine however, she loves 2nd crickets!! She's been eating one every 3-4 days, and is always ready for another one :) I fed Thor the G pulchripes 2 mealworms, the greedy bastard! He's looking so lovely! Tiny the B smithi tackles 2nd crickets easy even though he is still after 2 moults with me sooooo TINY! :)



I also have loads more guppy fry! They are very curious about the snails (they are still very small snails!) but hopefully won't do them any harm!

Stan the Snail had a mini cleanout again today so I decided to take some video of him eating his favourite food - green peppers :)


Saturday, 22 December 2012

Nightmare before Xmas?..

I have been busy lately decorating my home for Xmas and here is my latest effort ;)


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Bug-Room Update December 2012

I decided to make a little update video for the bug room for you! I've got a bad cold so I couldn't be bother narrating so stuck on some Vivaldi for yous instead!


In order of appearance in the video:

Shelob (Lasiodora parahybana) - my new 'baby', she took a mealworm yesterday!
Purple Flower Beetles (Chlorocala africana oertzeni) - 2 freshly emerged adults that hatched to larvae from my old (now dead) adults. I am still waiting for the rest of the larvae to pupate and hatch, about 10 of them
Subulina octona - so many now!! Imagine I started out with only 6 :)
Red Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda sp 'Red') - about 20 and now 2 of the females are heavily berried!
Slim (Peruphasma schultei) - my beautiful old stick insect is still going well over a year on! :)
Thor (Grammostola pulchripes) - freshly moulted but as he's grown up, he's become more skittish and retracts at every movement near his cage. He had a waxworm yesterday so he's definitely feeding again after his moult :)
Pele (Brachypelma boehmei) - Very skittish, very beautiful! :) Already showing the adult colours at such a small sling stage
Tiny (Brachypelma smithi) - on his 3rd moult with me, but still so tiny! But eats mini mealworms with gusto now!
Tornado (Nhandu chromatus) - very skittish and very angry, the most hard-core of my tarantulas :)
Cruella (Acanthoscurria geniculata) - She eats like a horse even at a tiny size, but very skittish.
Nyx (Grammostola pulchra) - My beautiful Brazilian Black juvenile, but she is soooo secretive!
Hercules (Brachypelma albiceps) - Stunning tarantula and always on display. Her ass is so fat though :O
Purple Pincher Hermit Crab (Coenobita clypeatus) - One of my hermies, I think it's Zoidberg?
Venus (Avicularia versicolor) - Recently moulted and fed yesterday on mini-mealworm! :)
Shelob again - she's on the move!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Shelob the Lasiodora parahybana!

I got this beautiful lady (I hope, it's not been sexed) today! She is mean-looking and her back-end is completely bald from endless flurries of urticating hairs... While pondering what to call her, I thought of the premiere of "The Hobbit" today and decided to call her Shelob because she seems quite moody! :) We will see if my first impressions will hold true or if she will turn out to be a nice little lady! She is my largest tarantula to date, and according to all the books, she will grow exponentially to a staggering 10 inches if she is indeed female. Here's hoping she will do well in my care :)




Monday, 10 December 2012

Thor the Tarantula moults again :)

He came out last night for the first time and he's looking good :) I am still paranoid though until he has his first meal. Just couple of quick videos for you to appreciate his new, and old, glory while I watch the classic movie that is 'Anaconda'!



Saturday, 8 December 2012

Bug-Room Update!

Just a short update - I've been really busy lately but managed to get some time to make videos today. I have sadly lost Astro the Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens to a bad moult. She was in great condition before her moult but something went wrong and she died :( I am quite upset about it as she was very fiesty and very large. Thor the Grammostola pulchripes has just moulted and is looking a bit like a furry monster where he hides, and of course I am paranoid that something will go wrong since Astro died. He looks ok though. I am keeping well clear til he emerges on his own, he usually does about a week later and is ravenous.

On to the videos now!

Tarantula Update - in order of appearance: Avicularia versicolor, Grammostola pulchra, Brachypelma albiceps, Brachypelma smithi, Nhandu chromatus, Brachypelma boehmei

Guppies are doing really well and are a talking point by the dinner table - and serves as "Cat-TV"...

Red Cherry Shrimp are so fun to watch :)

Pele the B boehmei enjoying some Rob Zombie :P

Stan has an early Xmas present, a Santa calcium block!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Herc the Brachypelma albiceps!


Hercules looks like he's about to pop again, so ready to moult. Nyx the G pulchra and Pele the B boehemi already shed this week (woohoo!) so guess 3 is the magic number???

But here he is posing this morning, wondering if there are any crickets to be had. What a great photo :)

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Red Cherry Shrimp antics!


My new Red Cherry Shrimp are really settling in well :) I love how the Otos are so chilled about the shrimp, they just don't care! I hope the guppies are going to be just as gentle!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Some new arrivals...



I got some guppies from a nice lady who breeds them - I got 4 random females and got to choose my 2 males :) I believe one is a Red Cobra colour form but I seriously have to read up on these to find out for sure. Very sprightly little things, I hope they will do well!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Red Cherry Shrimp arrival!


The Red Cherry Shrimp arrived today :) I have had to put them into the Fluval nano tank as the newly fixed up Tetra tank has had a massive bacterial bloom in it... I will need to wait until it clears before attempting to put any livestock in there. In my experience, the bloom usually fades in a few days so shouldn't be too long until it's able to start a cycle.

The Otos don't look too happy with the shrimp, they have been alone in the tank so long they are probably feeling rather invaded :)

I love these little guys, I can't wait until they can go in the big tank and start reproducing!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

New setup of the Tetra tank


So I redid the Tetra Aquaart tank today. I used Hugo Kamishi black gravel like I use in the nano tank because I love the way it looks! I am assured shrimp become more vibrant too on a dark substrate too. I used all the old stones as well and put in the fully mature filters again without anything but a clean to the plastic parts. I have also put in some Tetra SafeStart to kick start the cycling again. I added some old water as well. I added selected Sagitta sp. plants again - I saved one of the really long one to cover the filter tube but it's still fairly obvious :) Oh well. I have tried to be ruthless in getting rid of all traces of the duckweed but we shall see... I just dropped the Marimo balls in the new tank after a quick rinse in the old tank water, hopefully they will also contain good bacteria to start the tank cycling again.

I am still using the Aquael Neoheater, the Sera internal sponge filter and the Eheim Aquaball 45 filter with the spraybar. I might not use the Eheim once I put in the shrimp but we will see how messy it gets with the two Otocinclus sp. fish in there as well. I am using the Eheim to circulate and aerate the water now though to speed up the maturation process. I had to throw out the bogwood - it was coming apart and really smelled like it was rotting? I assume this would be a reason why the water was so tea-coloured. I will have to find some resin branches instead I think. If I decide not to use the Eheim filter I will put the faux branch with suction cup I got in Sweden at Xmas there instead! It's the 'branch' I used in the mantis enclosure. I will wrap it with some floating aerating plants maybe? I hope the shrimp will like the setup :)

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Astro the GBB feeding


I got the wrong size crickets delivered, so they are only suitable for 3 of the 9 tarantulas... Grrr. But I also got some weird looking Calci-Worms (never used them before) which are so small they will be perfect for the little tiny slings like Tiny and Cruella. Anyway, here's Astro wrapping her 5th moult cricket carefully before picking it up again to start her feast...

And please excuse the whining meows of Elvis the Cat at the end - he gets really jealous of the inverts!! He sounds like a kitten but is actually a 5kg semi-longhaired brute of a cat :) Here is a video of his doing what he likes best - playing in the shoe box...


Sadly the last of the two Bamboo Shrimps passed on on Saturday - as they were wild-caught, and fully grown when I got them, I am sure it was old age. The first one died about 2 months ago. I will miss them! If I get a chance I will get another couple but the tank is getting an overhaul and I am getting 20 Red Cherry Shrimp on Tuesday from a guy who breeds them :) I can't wait - they were so gregarious! They will share the tank with the Otocinclus and the Ramshorn snails and the golden clams :)

Sunday, 21 October 2012

A new 'baby'!


So one of the Purple Flower Beetles FINALLY hatched out of its cocoon :) I did the weekly misting this morning, but there was nothing. Then as I was switching off the light in the crabitat this evening, I heard a scratching noise. And hello there was this little guy trying  to escape through the vented mesh lid of the incubator :)

I quickly made up the habitat again, I put in some cork bark this time. I will need to order some beetle jelly sharpish for this hungry guy - all we had at home was some tomato... :O

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

100th Post - My Tarantulas

I thought I would do an extra-special post for my 100th post and so I decided to show you all of my tarantulas :) I did a little photo op today with the daylight lamp on to document them all. I will do them in order of genus.


'Venus'
Avicularia versicolor - Martinique Pink-Toe

Freshly moulted and ready for her food, she's perched in her silk tube. Just look at those orange mouthparts and blue fuzzy body - this is by far the most spectacularly coloured spiderlings out there! And the big pads on the feet of these tarantulas are sooo cute, like they are wearing mittens :) Venus is now almost 30mm and already takes 3rd crickets with ease.

'Cruella'
Acanthoscurria geniculata - Brazilian Giant White-Knee

Supposedly very skittish species and I can already see it at a tiny 10mm size! It hides at any disturbance and I've not really managed to measure legspan or take any photos properly. But supposedly fast-growing so here's hoping it will soon be bigger - and bolder! It eats mainly tiny tropical woodlice at the moment as it's so small.

'Hercules'
Brachypelma albiceps - Mexican Gold Red Rump

My only real display tarantula! He's always sitting out. This is him recently moulted and you can see the red butt-hairs now :) Slightly defensive and kicked a lot of hairs in the past but seems to have calmed right down.

'Pele'
Brachypelma boehmei - Mexican Fire-Leg

Named after the Hawaiian volcano goddess, you can already see how red her legs are! :) Skittish and fast to move into her cave at disturbance, but likes to sit out in the open if undisturbed. I am sure this will be a cracker of  a spider when she's fully grown! She's eating 3rd crickets happily.

'Tiny'
Brachypelma smithi - Mexican Red-Knee

Freshly moulted so now slightly bigger, he's slightly skittish but is a good eater and loves to sit out if undisturbed :) Still so small, this spiderling was less than a cm when I got it and was a worry to feed with fruitflies... But now he loves a mix of tropical woodlice and cricket legs!


'Astro'

Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens - Green Bottle Blue

This is my largest tarantula, confirmed female, and she is absolutely stunning! However, this tarantula is very skittish, very defensive and an extraordinary webber! I would cup Astro to do maintenance on her enclosure - she is definitely a scary beast even to feed with tweezers! Astro happily takes 2 standard mealworms per meal...


'Thor'
Grammostola pulchripes - Chaco Golden Knee

Freshly moulted again! He loves to dig and hang out in his cave, so is not a display tarantula, but when you do see him, usually when he's doing housekeeping and shovelling coconut fibre around, he is such a gorgeous tarantula. He's very slow and gentle, have never been defensive or kicked hair, very mellow fellow. He is now almost large enough to sex, so I will be trying to do that by examining his underside when he's on the glass to see if I can spot if it's a girl or boy spider! Thor loves eating as well, his favourite food is still cockroaches, although he happily munches through crickets and mealworms too.

'Nyx'
Grammostola pulchra - Brazilian Black

Contrary to what books on tarantulas lead you to believe this a secretive and skittish tarantula, running away at every opportunity. She's a bit like Ingrid Bergman 'I want to be alone!'. Books like to say G pulchra are like G pulchripes; mild-mannered, slow-moving and great beginner tarantulas, but I guess it's dependent on the individual spider because Nyx is nothing like Thor! She doesn't like mealworms, but will voraciously take crickets and cockroaches.

'Tornado'
Nhandu chromatus - Brazilian Red and White

These tarantulas are know to be fast-moving, skittish and defensive, and Tornado is already all of those and is only 15mm big :) She's a vicious hunter, already tackling 2nd and 3rd crickets which are larger than her!! In fact, Tornado is so hardcore that she decided to moult whilst in the post to me. If there was an SAS regiment for tarantulas she'd be a certain member ;)

That's my tarantula babies for you, I got one and ended up with nine - it is truly an addictive hobby! I can't wait to see the slings grow up into huge adults!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Slightly naff video...

I'm busy playing around with my new Samsung Galaxy S3, so here is a little naff video I made using the free app called Magisto...


Saturday, 22 September 2012

One of my tenants...


I have discovered a cool little tenant living under the threshold of the bathroom.. :) This mysterious little guy was fighting with a huge harvestman the other day, not sure if he was wanting to warn him off or was trying to eat the harvestman. But he's still in his little silk tube, waiting patiently... I feel like trying to put a cricket in front of him to see what happens...