Because tarantulas survive in harsh environments in the wild sometimes, you may think you can just chuck one into a cage and call it a day, but that is not the case. There are certain things you simply must know if you choose to keep tarantulas as pets. The following are a few very important and necessary aspects.
Always keep the cage humid!
Whether your tarantula is a rose hair or a tropical pink toe, it is going to appreciate and need a humid environment. Desert dwellers such as the rose hair can do with far less, but it’s still a safe practice to keep the environment at or above 70% if at all possible. A tropical tarantula will die quickly without proper humidity. You can get a gauge at just about any pet store that deals with tarantulas or reptiles. Any ordinary spray mister bottle will do the trick, and bark substrate holds in humidity very well, as does vermiculite.
Give your tarantula water!
While it is true that crickets and other meals do provide a tarantula with some water, it needs a water dish or wet sponge available at all times. A tarantula uses blood pressure to move around, quite literally, so keeping it hydrated is of utmost importance. An empty water dish equals an unhappy tarantula; there’s no way around that.
Don’t keep two or more together!
Tarantulas are cannibalistic, unfortunately, so if you wish to keep more than one, they’ll need their own separate environments. If you put two in one cage, you’ll end up with one (or even none!) very quickly. The arboreal pink-toed tarantula is known for operating well in numbers, but the rest are absolutely, positively, a no-go. Even the docile and hardy rose haired tarantulas will eat each other in short order.
Use a lid!
I can’t really stress this one enough. Oh, you think your rose haired tarantula is too big and clumsy to climb the glass of your ten-gallon tank? Think again, buddy. It happened to me on more than one occasion when I first started keeping tarantulas. I’d go to bed with a spider happily chilling in its tank and wake up to no spider at all. Escaping is dangerous for many reasons. If the tank is kept up high, the fall alone can crack and kill them. I lost a skeleton-leg tarantula to a cat after it escaped. Also, once it’s loose in the house, it probably won’t have access to regular water and food. Just use a lid. Also, make sure the lid has holes in it. Critter Keeper brand enclosures are great, but if you use a glass aquarium, get the screen type lid for it to make sure the tarantula has air.
Give them a retreat!
Tarantulas like to hide. I know we’d all like them to be out in the open constantly so we can watch them, but that will stress the tarantula out and might even shorten its lifespan. I use the half-log type things you can get at the pet stores, but I have used a Solo cup cut in half in a pinch (any plastic cup will do!). It’s likely your tarantula will dig itself a burrow at some point, but it may not and so providing a retreat is important.
Don’t put heavy items in the tank!
As I mentioned above, your tarantula might burrow under things, so it’s highly important that they aren’t heavy things. If the spider is under it and the tunnel fails, it could get injured or crushed if the heavy item comes down on it. Keep anything you place in your tarantula’s tank as light as possible.
I hope these tips help you successfully keep your tarantula safe and thriving for a long time to come. If you have any further questions about environments, drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you promptly. Thanks for reading!