Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Grammostola porteri
Common name: Common Rose Hair
Indigenous: Chile
Habitat: The northern region is almost entirely desert and is one of the driest areas in the world. Temperatures, however, are moderated by the offshore presence of the cold Peru, or Humboldt, Current. The average temperatures at Antofagasta range from 18° to 23°C (64° to 74°F) in January and from 12° to 16°C (53° to 62°F) in July. In Santiago the average range is 12° to 29°C (54° to 85°F) in January and 3° to 15°C (38° to 58°F) in July.
Temp/humidity: 65°-78° (18.3°-25.5°) /55%-65%  humidity. I keep this species temperature at 78° degrees and the humidity at 60-65%.
Enclosure: This is an opportunistic burrower. As a spiderling, I used a vial that would allow at least three inches (7.62cm) of substrate for burrowing. As sub-adult/adult, I use a terrarium that will allow at least four inches (10.16cm) of substrate.
Substrate: I use four inches (10.16cm) of substrate. (I use a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite, coconut fiber and dirt for firmness, as the substrate).
Retreat/Hide: I Place a bark for a starter burrow hide.
Food Consumption: I fed the new born spiderlings fruit flies, than when they reached 1/2" (1.27cm) I introduced baby crickets. My adult Rose Hair, I give two (2) one-inch B. dubia roaches or 5 adult crickets weekly. This species is a so-so eater. The only time this tarantula refuses food is when it is near a molt.
Water Requirements: I keep a water dish in the tank. I have never seen mine drink. I keep the substrate in the terrarium dry.
Growth Rate: The growth rate of this species is medium. I purchased this tarantula as a spiderling.  She has now grown about five inches (12.7cm) in five years.
Adult Size: They get six inches (15.24cm).
Temperament: This is a laid back, easy to handle species. It has never kicked hair at me nor given a threat pose. She is always out in the open and is friendly.
Comments: This is probably now, the most common tarantula on the market; but spiderling are not that easy to come by. My first tarantula was a Rose hair. I purchase her in 1987. Her name was Charlotte. I kept her for twelve years before she passed. She was an adult when I purchased her and probably wild caught. I know she had to be well over twenty (20) years old before she died, because she would go three to four (3-4) years between molts.
Rosies are also notorious for long extensive fasts. My girl fasted for two years on one occasion, and her abdomen never got smaller.  Once a month I would throw a cricket in her cage to see if she would eat, then one day she started eating, again. The only way I can explain this behavior is, in their natural environment, there are probably times when their food source is scarce and after millenniums of living in this condition, they have adapted to extensive fasts without any ill effects. In fact it seems to increase their activity and vigor after they break their fast. Most tarantulas would have died from such a long fast. During this time I disturbed her as little as possible. I kept her bowl with water but never saw her drink from it. Even as a juvenile, they will bunker under and fast up to two months before a molt.
I wouldn't have a collection without at least one Rosie. I own two (2). 
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