If you want a pet that does not get very large, and is simple to take care of, a tarantula is a good choice. They are naturally very docile and slow going and come in a few different color phases. They are very hardy creatures making them easy beginner pets.
Housing: Tarantulas of any kind need to be kept in a small well ventilated cage, a 5 gallon aquarium is the largest cage a fully grown tarantula will ever need anything larger. Something as simple as a Kritter Keeper will work well for a young tarantula. The best bedding is the compressed coco fiber that expands when water is added, it holds burrows very well. Small half log hides, or cork bark provides good cover and a good place for the tarantula to start its burrow.
The substrate in the cage should be kept relatively moist to allow the tarantula to burrow. The burrow should be able to hold 75-80% humidity. It should not get lower than that in the burrows. Mist down the cage every few days to keep humidity higher.
Lighting and Heating: Lighting is actually a negative for tarantulas, they have poor eyesight, and bright lights stress them out. Ambient room light is enough, and it does not dry out the enclosure like a heat light would. Zoomeds Reptitherm Under Tank Heater is good to use because tarantulas do the best at around 80 degrees.
Feeding: Tarantulas do not eat much food, roughly 3 to 6 large crickets a week, so it is good to provide a variety of feeder insects that are well gutloaded to provide the most nutrition to the spider. They do sometimes irregularly feed, gorging themselves for two or three meals in a row, then fasting for up to a month, but they usually eat smaller meals more frequently.
Health Issues: Tarantulas are very hardy creatures that can deal with a lot of different things. As long as the tarantula is fed and kept humid, there are no problems that are run into. It takes minimal care to keep a healthy tarantula.
- 5 gallon Critter Cage
- Coco fiber bedding
- half log hide or cork bark