Pet-Tube keepers V’s pure hobbyists: The disappointing evolution of the Tarantula hobby.

backgrounder (82)

I remember, when entering this hobby, that there was only a handful of really good online resources for tarantula husbandry information – A couple of forums and even fewer good blogs. I had to order books at the library and borrow books from friends. The hobby was smaller and due to this, it seems, the misinformation was less abundant. Of course, as the years have gone on most of the information is outdated and theories defunct. This is the evolution of information. It’s healthy. It’s natural. It’s good.

I am in no way an “it was better in my time” kind of guy, I love technology and am very grateful to be able to whizz up a taxonomic article with a simple Google search BUT I now know where to look, what to ignore, and more importantly WHO to give a wide berth. I have a bullshit filter that works pretty damn well nowadays.

Now the hobby is huge due to how connected we are to each other and to how accessible information is – I honestly believe this is a great thing that’s happening now.

Saying that,  when you have a hobby that has grown exponentially you get a brand new level of misinformation and bad ideas spreading through new keepers like Chlamydia through a fresher’s dorm.

Your Hysterocrates does not have to have a swimming pool to survive and thrive!

Social Media is giving everyone a platform to showcase how they do things to the world – YouTube being the largest outlet for anyone who has a camera and wants to be heard. There is a certain amount of arrogance or narcissism with wanting to set up a channel and believing that people actually NEED to see your spider eat a cricket ( yes, I fall into this category- we all do)

So, here is where I start to make my title point;

What is a Pet-Tuber?

My definition of PetTuber is someone who keeps animals for the benefit of furthering their subscriber count, their standing and their channel. Not for any benefit to the animals.

These channels are where you will find most of the terrible husbandry, poor guidance and proper misinformation. Unfortunately, these are often the largest of the channels and have the most reach to new budding hobbyists with the really great information lost in a sea of complete garbage. Oh I get it, these guys are entertaining, large and loud BUT there’s a line you should not cross.

I’m drawing a line in the sand.

If you’ve noticed that I’ve “unfollowed” you then you may fall under this category – have a think – has my need for attention outgrown my love and care for these amazing creatures? Where do I fit in?

If you do, and you’re happy with that then good luck to you. I speak to a load of YouTubers that see it as more of a business than anything else – and that’s fine. When bad information and bad husbandry is shown with a “THIS is the right/only way” cavalier attitude then we’re in trouble again and this is what needs to change. I am writing this without any desire to “name and shame” or point any fingers. I would only ask that you consider and challenge what you’re watching daily. Just because he/she has a gazillion subscribers ,or whatever, does not automatically make them right 100% of the time.

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“Tiny” The Worlds Biggest Tarantula Genus (Theraphosa) Making her EGGSAC! by predatororpreyonline

“Tiny” The Worlds Biggest Tarantula Genus (Theraphosa) Making her EGGSAC! by predatororpreyonline

You’ve just watched our Goliath Birdeater Tarantula (Theraphosa stirmi) making her eggsac. It took over 28 hours of recording, speeded up x100 to make the last portion of this video.
It is a youtube first for this species and was totally nerve-wracking.
She was mated on May 1st 2018 so It’s now over 8 months.

Theraphosa stirmi (trying to get her to lay an eggsac)

It’s now been six months after pairing the monster in my collection – “The Burgundy Goliath” or Theraphosa stirmi.

I was expecting something to happen by now or at least some indication that she is gravid and preparing herself for eggsac production ie moving earth around or heavy webbing. So far, nothing. It’s time to take matters into my own hands and start making changes to her environment that may spur her on to drop.

In a very “off the cuff” episode from the YouTube channel, you can find out what I’ll be doing and how I’ll go about it.