Basic Tarantula Care Sheet

Care Sheet No Comments »

Your Basic Tarantula Care Sheet! Tarantulas have become the pet to have they are perfect for just about anybody. Most species require low maintenance, are very affordable and best yet do not require too much space for housing (even if you are renting a room or apartment). In addition many people see how great one tarantula is and tend to acquire additional T’s and instantly become hobbyists. Though they are great pets it is key that you do the right homework for your specific tarantula. You should never obtain a tarantula without researching key elements for its survival and or handling of it in your care. We decided to make a general care sheet to help you out and that can be applied to most common tarantulas out there.



There are two ways of setting up a tarantula’s habitat.

You can set up a tarantula’s habitat artificially, which is the easiest and most of the times recommended for the novice tarantula keeper. Here you will try mimicking the tarantula’s habitat in the wild with basic essentials such as  temperature, humidity, substrate, hide and maybe even some bark and fake plants.

You can also set up a tarantula’s habitat Naturally, which is the most difficult and is recommended for the more experienced of tarantula keepers. Here you will try to create your own mini eco-system with live plants, organic decorations and arrangements even complicated designs on feeding, hiding/burrowing etc. Most mini ecological systems are unstable and here you might risk actually killing your tarantula if you are not sure what you are doing.


In this care sheet we are going to go with the artificial habitat for your pet tarantula. We are going to focus on the key elements that will benefit you and the life of your tarantula.



First thing is first, the right enclosure for your pet tarantula. You must first check and see what type of tarantula you have, arboreal, terrestrial or burrowing.

  • Arboreal tarantulas love to climb and rarely spend their time on the floor of an enclosure. For these tarantulas you will want an enclosure that is bigger in height then it is in length or width.
  • Terrestrial tarantulas are the exact opposite and spend most of their time on the enclosure floor and though they might climb most are poor climbers. For these tarantulas you are going to want an enclosure that has more length and width then it would have height. You want to make sure its just high enough to allow your tarantula to flip over in the event it needs to molt.
  • Burrowing tarantulas like to dig and make their own hide “underground”. For these tarantulas you will want something similar to what you would have set up for a terrestrial tarantula however making sure you have enough space to add anywhere between 3 to 6 inches of substrate for it to burrow (depending on your tarantula’s size) in addition to giving it enough space to flip over “above ground” should it need to for a molt.

As for your enclosure size it is normally rule of thumb to give your tarantula 2 to 3 times its leg span as floor space to move around on. As for size you should be looking at housing your small to medium tarantulas in 2 to 5 gallon enclosures, medium to large tarantulas in 10 to 20 gallon enclosures and large to extra large tarantulas in 25 to 45 gallon enclosures.



The second thing to look for is substrate. The right substrate is key depending on your tarantula species as it will help out with both humidity and burrowing. There are many different types of substrate (garden soil, peat/green moss, potting soil, coconut fiber) and it ends up being personal preference. We recommend coconut fiber (such as eco earth which can now be purchased through our shop). The reason is simple, you can manipulated the way it works best for you. Whether you want to have it dry, damp or wet. In addition coconut fiber can last months before giving you an odd smell or you needing to change it. It actually breaks down your tarantula’s excrement so you can’t go wrong with that!



This is a combination and third thing to look out for. Most tarantulas actually prefer the darkness and you should never place them in direct sunlight as this might stress out your animal. Your tarantula needs minimal lighting and just the daylight in a room should be plenty. As for temperature and humidity they almost go hand in hand. Most tarantulas (depending on their origin) either like a dry warm environment or a damp to wet warm environment. Most tarantulas do well with just room temperature. Of course if you do live in colder climate you should most definitely have some sort of heating source that can be applied once you see temperatures get colder. It is key to have both a temperature and humidity thermometer. As for humidity most tarantulas only need some humidity which can easily be controlled with something as simple as overfilling a water dish in the enclosure. Of course there are some exceptions to this and for the tarantulas needing a lot more humidity you are going to want to wet/dampen enough of the substrate until reaching the required humidity levels.



More important then food would be water. A tarantula always needs to stay properly hydrated. Make sure it has an adequate water dish that is always fully filled with clean water. Make sure its a shallow water dish to prevent your tarantula from drowning should it try to drink. As for food, tarantulas are insectivores and carnivores most tarantulas end up feasting just fine on insects such as fruit flies, crickets, cockroaches, locusts, moths, mealworms, etc but some tarantulas can also eat small lizards or even pinkie mice. We recommend you feed your tarantula a steady diet of nutrient filled insects. We normally do not recommend (for those of you with tarantula’s that are able to eat lizards and mice) for you to feed your tarantula mice/lizards. The reason simply being that it can cause calcium buildup in its exoskeleton which can become an issue when molting.


These simple steps should ensure you a healthy and happy tarantula. Two things we did not go over which we have care sheets for already are Spiderling (sling) care and Molting.

Do you have any additional questions? Want to add something to this? Your voice will be heard! Comment down below.

What is Molting?

Care Sheet 5 Comments »

Molting is the method your tarantula uses in order to grow. They are exoskeletal  which means they shed their outer skin in order to become larger or to regenerate body parts. The molting process is very long and at times stressful for your tarantula. In this segment we will explore the signs your tarantula is giving you that it is about to molt and what all you can do to make sure it is a triumphant one.

For those of you who are first time tarantula owners please do not be alarmed when you wake up in the morning or come back home from work or school to see your tarantula on its back not moving. Your tarantula is not dead but has simply started its molting process. There are many horror stories all through the web of people dumping their tarantulas out thinking that the pet passed, if anything a tarantula that passes will never go on its back to die. Your best bet is to simply let it be.

You will find that the younger the tarantula the more it will molt. With slings (spider-lings) molting as much as 4-6 times a year as opposed to an adult tarantula molting maybe 1 to 2 times a year. There is no real way of calculating exactly how fast or how much your tarantula will molt. Of course the more you feed it, the faster it grows, the quicker it molts.


Signs that your tarantula will molt soon:

  • The easiest sign of them all is your tarantula’s abdomen turning very dark in color. You will also notice a bald spot on this abdomen (do not be alarmed this goes away after its molted). It also becomes dull in color.
  • Your tarantula will stop eating. The refusal of food is natural, with some tarantulas going weeks without an appetite before a molt.
  • Your tarantula will be inactive / slow. They become very much sluggish.
  • Your Tarantula will also start spinning a web that it lays on the floor of its enclosure as some sort of bed for it to lay on while going through its molting process.


This is all natural and though you may be worried please know that your pet is perfectly fine.


The Molting begins and what to do after it ends:

The molting itself can take hours and hours, anything from 8 to 24 hours. There is no specific time as to how long this will take for your specific tarantula. The key thing is to not disturb the animal in any way or you might risk it causing harm to itself or even death. You will see that your tarantula will slowly be pushing itself out of its old exoskeleton while flexing and stretching its legs. Once the entire process is done (which as mentioned can take a day or so) it will flip back up on its feet and you will see some slow movements as it gets its new skin stretched out to its new size.

At this point your tarantula is still very fragile and you should leave it alone for at least another week. Make sure you give it plenty of water so it can rehydrate. Please do not try handling your tarantula at all during this time. It’s exoskeleton will slowly start to harden again until its back to normal. The great thing is its beautiful new color(s) and bigger size. After said week you can try feeding it again (we recommend just one cricket at a time to make sure its fangs are hardened enough to feast on prey).


A wet or bad Molt:

Though these are rare and there is still no real explanation for them they do tend to happen. Some speculation is that it could be due to injuries sustained by your tarantula making it leak body fluids during its molt. Your tarantula not receiving insufficient nutrients and enzymes due to a poor diet. Stress due to an interruption during the molting process. And lastly your tarantula simply molting before its new exoskeleton is sufficiently mature.

Your tarantula can also remain stuck in its old exoskeleton. Should you encounter this it is best to try making a homemade ICU for your tarantula with a plastic container and a damp towel to put the tarantula on. Do not leave your tarantula on it for more then 12 hours. It is just temporary. As a last resort for this you can try helping your tarantula shed its skin by slowly and gently with the help of a tweezer and damp Q-tip removing the old carcass slowly from its new skin. We do recommend you doing this ONLY if you have experience with tarantulas before and know somewhat as to what you have to do.


Checking its Gender:

If you did not know your tarantula’s gender yet, post molt would be the best time to find out. Assuming your tarantula is big enough to have a decent size exoskeleton, you can check the abdomen of the old molt which spread open should have 2 white pairs of book lungs (breathing organs), between the first pair of book lungs you should see the epyginal plate, if you do then you have a female tarantula.


We hope that all of this has been helpful for you – If you do have any further questions feel free to drop a comment below even if its just to say hi.