Nico has kept a variety of tarantulas for a long time; he is also a photographer who loves to make enclosure setups and take stunning photos of his pets.

Q: How long have you been caring for tarantulas? How many species of tarantulas do you have right now?

A: I started collecting tarantulas when I was 17 years old, and that’s way back 2011; it was [in my second] semester in college. Well, for now, I’ve got only [a] few species left, about more than 20… and that includes our local tarantulas.

Q: How long were you a tarantula keeper when you decided to get your first cobalt blue tarantula?

A: I bought [my frst] cobalt blue tarantula way back April or May 2014, I think. So [I had been a keeper for] more than 2 years when I…bought [a] cobalt blue tarantula.

Q: What got you interested in keeping the cobalt blue tarantula?

A: I was interested because of its beautiful color, and it’s uncommon, so I…decided to buy it as part of my
collection. But before I bought this tarantula, I [did research on] it to get ideas on how to take care of [it].

Q:How long have you been keeping your cobalt blue tarantula?

A: I [have] kept [my] cobalt blue tarantula for 32 months.

Q: Describe the enclosure that you have for your cobalt blue tarantula.

A: The height of the enclosure for my cobalt blue is only 8 inches, the width is 6 inches, and the length is 12 inches. But I recommend using a height [of] more than 8 inches for the enclosure. My substrate measures about 5-6 inches in height. I used a mixture of cocopeat, organic soil, and moss for the substrate. I always keep the terrarium moist.

Q: What is the diet of your cobalt blue tarantula?

A: I feed my cobalt blue with super worms, lats, dubia, and orange head roaches. I only feed them once a week
or once…every two weeks because I don’t like to power feed my cobalt blue tarantula.

Q: Is the cobalt blue tarantula easy to care for in the Philippines? What do you think is the most important need of cobalt blue tarantulas being cared for in the Philippines?

A: As an [advanced] keeper, [I find that] it is easy to care for [the] cobalt blue tarantula here in Philippines. For me, the [most] important need [of the] cobalt blue tarantula being cared [for] as [a] pet here in Philippines is proper care from its owner or should I say, a responsible owner. Just make sure to give the right
enclosure, substrate, food, and moisture. That is pretty much all they need.

Q: Have you ever tried handling your cobalt blue tarantula?

A: I never tried handling my cobalt blue tarantula, and it doesn’t mean that I am afraid [of] handling it, I just don’t want to handle it.

Q: Have you ever been bitten by the cobalt blue tarantula?

A: Nope, and I don’t want to be bitten by it.

Q: What is the safest way to rehouse the cobalt blue tarantula and prevent it from escaping?

A: Well, for me, the safest way to rehouse the cobalt blue tarantula, base on my experience, is that [to use] a big bin [with a] cover with a height of 15 inches. [There] must [be] more space around [to allow for] when I put the enclosure of the cobalt blue tarantula in the bin. Then that would be the time that I will pour the substrate of the enclosure [into] the bin slowly so that the cobalt blue will not [get] stressed or…injured. Instead [of] using my hands to pick up the cobalt blue, I use a small Tupperware [container] to catch it. When I do [this], I only do it [slowly] to avoid sudden [movements that may cause] injuries  to my tarantula. When it is inside the Tupperware [container], I put it gently [in] its new place.

Q: What are the challenges that you have experienced in keeping the cobalt blue tarantula?

A: None so far, but all tarantulas should be treated with caution

Q: Is this a species that you would recommend for beginners? Why or why not?

A: I do not recommend this [species for] beginners because of its potent venom and [because it] is a fast specie. This specie is only for [advanced] keepers.

Q: Have you ever experienced an escape from your cobalt blue tarantula? If yes, how did you find it?

A: Nope. I always secure the enclosure of my cobalt blue tarantula.

Q: What are the tips that you can share with aspiring cobalt blue tarantula keepers?

A: You need to provide proper care for this specie, and [you should] always be responsible [as a keeper]. And if you want your cobalt blue tarantula to live longer, you should avoid power feeding. Although [the] cobalt blue tarantula is [a] beautiful specie…you [will] rarely see them [at] the surface [of their enclosure]. [Whether yours is a] male or female cobalt blue tarantula, you should treat them with respect so that you can be
called a responsible tarantula keeper. And for us fellow [advanced] keepers, let us guide the beginners in this hobby by helping them to learn, not [by] insulting them or giving wrong information. We [should] guide them instead because they will learn from their mistakes.
(Editingand additional text by CFB)

This story appeared in Animal Scene’s June 2017 issue.