Cage & Habitat

The tarantula’s home
When setting up a home for your pet tarantula you must consider safety, security, heating and size. Remember that tarantulas are cannibalistic. You should never keep two spiders together.  Tarantulas are notorious escape artists.  You must make sure your tank is secure.  The best cage for your pet is a fish tank or terrarium with a locking mesh screen top.  A minimum tank size for housing your pet spider is five gallons.  A ten gallon tank is ideal.  It provides the tarantula with more space and you more options for decorating. There is no need to go any larger since tarantulas do not need a lot of space to be happy.

Heating and lighting 
The tank will need to be kept in a sufficiently warm area of your house or by placing a small heat pad on the bottom of the tank.  The tank should maintain a temperature of between 70* to 80* F. Lighting is not necessary for tarantulas. They normal amount of light in a room is enough and they do not like bright light. If you want some light for your pet spider, a fixture with a red light will work. Be sure the light does not dry out the habitat of tarantulas that require a moist or humid environment.

Substrate and decor
There are a number of beddings you can use to line the bottom of your pet tarantula’s tank.  Sterilized potting soil, Eco Earth and bed-a-beast can be used for most types of tarantulas and are available at pet stores.  The bottom of the cage should have 1 to 3 inches of substrate. The habitat will require a hide area and a shallow water dish. Decorations are not necessary for the tarantula, but most pet owners like to have their tanks look more natural.  There are many commercially available logs, plants, rocks, vines, and other decor. Just remember that all tarantulas are climbers.  If you place decorations close to the top of the tank, make sure you are aware of your tarantula’s location. When you open the lid you don’t want your pet spider to accidentally get out.

Cleaning the habitat
Tarantulas are not messy pets. They excrete a quick-drying fluid that has virtually no smell or mess.  You should clean your tarantula’s cage whenever it looks like it is needed, which shouldn’t be very often.  It is usually a good idea to clean the enclosure every 4 to 6 months.  Transport your pet tarantula to a secure holding container before beginning to clean the tank.  Remove any cricket parts from the tank, wash the inside and outside of the tank, replace the substrate, and scrub out the water dish. The water dish will need to be cleaned regularly to prevent it from becoming moldy or fouled by an insect that drowns.

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