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    Basic Tarantula Care Sheet

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    Metal Maniac
    Administrator-Founder-Owner
    Administrator-Founder-Owner

    Male Number of posts : 2242
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    Registration date : 2009-03-05

    Basic Tarantula Care Sheet

    Post by Metal Maniac on Fri 03 Apr 2009, 13:15

    Basic Tarantula Care Sheet

    Before you buy a tarantula you should think about the conditions it will need to live a long and healthy life. Many tarantulas die in the first few days because their new owner hasn't prepared a suitable home for them. First decide what you want to buy because a small spiderling will obviously require very different accommodation to a large grown specimen. I will assume you are buying a medium-sized tarantula in which case you will need to provide the following.

    Housing

    Pet shops will sell suitable tanks in glass or plastic and the size should not be less than about 25cm by 15cm by 15cm high. If you want to create a tank that tries to provide the spiders natural conditions (for example rain forest with leaf litter, logs etc.) then you will need a much larger tank, but you won't see your spider very often! I would suggest that you begin with the simple tank without unnecessary contents so that you can watch your tarantula's activities.

    Substrate (Ground cover)

    A 2cm layer of Vermiculite should cover the bottom of the tank and a thin layer of chipped bark or cocoa fibre placed on top of that. These can be purchased from most garden centres and should be kept damp to keep up the humidity levels in the tank. Peat or potting compost should not be used as they really need to be sterilised and changed frequently.

    Heating

    A temperature of 21-24 degrees centigrade is required for most of the tarantulas that you should buy as a beginner. If you have a centrally heated room which stays at that temperature all the time then you won't need extra heating during the winter, but you will between spring and autumn when the heating is switched off. A good pet shop that sells reptiles and spiders will have a variety of thermostatically controlled heating devices including underground cables, heating mats and hot rocks. Tell them the size and type of tank that you are using and they will recommend a suitable heater for you. An alternative is a seed propagator which can be purchased from garden centres. You can keep your tank inside it. Red light bulbs are not very suitable for heating spider tanks.

    Humidity

    The humidity in the tank should not be less than 50-60% and you should buy a little humidity gauge to stick on the inside of your tank. If the humidity drops below 50% your tarantula may die during its next moult.

    Food and Water

    Crickets and locusts are usually available from pet shops that sell tarantulas and reptiles and you can try other livestock which you catch yourself, such as moths and caterpillars. Some will even eat earthworms. A tarantula of about 3-4cm in body length will eat 8-10 crickets each week although it will survive on less. Water is vital to your tarantula. It can survive for weeks without food but quickly die without water. A small container such as a coffee jar lid half-filled with water will provide drinking water and help keep the humidity up.

    Moulting

    As your tarantula grows it will regularly moult (shed its skin), 2-3 times a year in the case of the half grown individual. Signs of an approaching moult are darkening of the colour and stopping feeding. When feeding stops, remove any live food in case they irritate the spider, or worse, nibble it while it is helpless during the moult. Normally the spider will turn on its back to moult and lie still in that position for several hours. Do not disturb it in any way at this time as activity may prove fatal. Feed it about 4-5 days after moulting when its new skin has hardened.

    Choosing your Tarantula

    For your first tarantula you don't want an aggressive, difficult to keep or very expensive specimen.

      Current date/time is Wed 23 May 2018, 17:52