In a single mention of spiders, let alone a tarantula, most often than not, people who can hear you say it will cringe. Why? Because we grew up thinking that they are exotic and very dangerous creatures. But did you know that there is a rise of people interested in keeping tarantulas as pets? If you are one of those people interested in tarantulas, then you must know how to take care of them.
Tips on Caring for a Tarantula
If you are a first time owner or interested in getting a tarantula as pet, the first thing you must do is to research. Do note that there are hundreds of species of tarantulas. When you say tarantula, it is just not one specie, it has lots! It is just like dogs where it has multiple breeds. Tarantulas in fact have 900 species to choose from. And with the different species in this world, it also has varying needs and ways to take care. When picking a tarantula, make sure you understand the temperature requirement, the diet and humidity levels it needs. Is the food you are going to feed it with available in your area?
You also need to understand where their natural habitat is at so you can buy the perfect tank for them. Some tarantulas live in higher grounds such as the trees. So you need to add more height to your tank as ground space is not that important for this type of specie. While there are some which are ground dwelling. If this is the type of tarantula that you want, then opt for a tank that has a good room to walk around.
As mentioned earlier, your tank should be paired with what is best for your tarantula and its living area needs. You may opt for a Critter Keeper as your tarantula tank. This can be bought at any local pet stores in your area. However if you do not want any critter keeper, you can go for aquariums instead. Just ensure that the lid of the aquarium is closed so your tarantula will not escape and freak out the members of your household. Always put in mind that a tarantula can climb easily on a glass.
If your tarantula is ground dwelling, you do not really need a very big tank. Reason being, a tarantula does not need a lot space. A very big tank will only make it difficult for your tarantula to catch its prey as the prey will have more space to hide and get away from your tarantula. A perfect size for a tank should be twice the leg span of your spider in depth. A comfortable size is three times its leg span in length. A size such as that would already make your tarantula happy!
In your tank, do not forget to put in some substrate. A substrate will help keep your tank not to dry too much as it holds in moisture every time you mist your tank. Keep at least 2 inches of substrate at the bottom. If your pet loves to burrow, then go for at least 5 inches of substrate. The depth should be no less than the leg span of your spider from the surface of the substrate to the top enclosure. Reason being, this should prevent accidents of your pet from falling. If the distance from the substrate to the enclosure is too tall, it might break the spider’s abdomen which will then result to ending the life of your pet.
Also, do not forget to fill in organic potting soil. You may visit your nursery to purchase this type of soil. You can choose from Canadian Peat Moss, Black Gold All Organic Potting Soil, or ask for a combination of both. Just ensure that there are no additives and/or fertilizers added in on the potting soil as this is harmful for the spider.
Aside from the substrate, do purchase a water bowl for your pet. You may also just place a jar lid and serve it as a water bowl inside the tank. The water bowl is needed so your pet can drink water and it also helps keep humidity at bay in the tank. Your water bowl should be large enough for your tarantula to submerge its fangs to drink from the bowl. The bowl does not need to be very deep also. Keep it about one inch for an adult spider and less for smaller ones. If you do not see your pet drinking from your water source, do not be alarmed! Spiders rarely drink water.
Now, I know it is nice to put decorations in the tank. However, please lessen it and just decorate according to the needs of the spider. Tree dwelling tarantulas will need some branches and tall things to climb on while if you are opting for ground dwelling ones, branches is highly discouraged; as your pet might climb the branches and will fall down and cause injuries. Remember, the more you put in, the more you will clean later on. So, keep it at minimum.
Tarantulas love to hide. So ensure that you provide for your pet a place to hide. You can put a partially buried clay flowerpot as its hiding space. Or you can be more creative and get a better one. If it is day time, do not be alarmed if you can see your pet hiding in its hiding place as they are sensitive to light and it stresses them out.
Lastly, feed your pet the right stuff. Most tarantulas are already happy with crickets. Or you can feed it with other insects as long as it is not poisonous for them. Some people would even feed their tarantulas with roaches. If you opt for roaches, just ensure that you know how to contain the roach when inside the tank and ensure that it does not get away!
Taking care of a tarantula is inexpensive and easy. There are no frequent visits to the groomer. You just have to ensure that it has a proper living space and is fed with the right stuff to prolong its longevity.