Advertisement A friend a couple weeks ago had a close encounter with a Wolf spider and we both researched spiders on the internet for a couple weeks afterward. As a result, I've become interested in Tarantulas. I promised myself that I'd thoroughly clean my apartment (I'm a colossal slob) and reward myself afterward with a Tarantula as a pet. I'm chiefly interested in studying tarantula behavior and trying to build an "ideal" habitat for one. Unexpectedly last night at work my friend came up to me and reported a tarantula sighting. We grabbed a large coffee can (empty and clean) and ran to where the tarantula was apparently "basking" in the light of a Halogen lamp. He put the coffee can on the ground and I gently touched the spider on the rump with a credit card. It reared up, and immediately scurried into the can. On the way home I stopped at WalMart (open 24/7) and bought a large plastic container (roughly 18"Lx10"Wx10"D) with a cool lid that opened in the middle, a bag of peat moss (all the other "soils" had fertilizer in them), and a small 4" flower pot and base. Total expense=app. $10. Once home I packed the peat moss in about 3" deep, making sure it was firmly packed down. In one corner I turned the clay pot on it's side and half buried it, and in the other corner I placed the 4" flowerpot base and filled it with water. I placed the enclosure next to a window so the spider could tell if it was day or night (I understand that is important for the creatures bodyclock), and the position next to the window is actually fairly shady due to the blinds. I took the lid off the coffee can and put the tarantula in the enclosure. It was a few minutes before the spider walked out, and he made a beeline directly to the water. I then removed the coffee can and closed the lid (it's not completely airtight). The spider centered himself directly over the water and didn't move for about a half hour, and when he finally moved away from the 4" (about 1/2" deep) "dish" it was empty! Before he moved away from the water it looked as if he was stretching. Then he walked around the enclosure and climbed up on TOP of the halfburied flowerpot (and not inside as I'd hoped). I was concerned by his behavior. I visited the chatroom at this site and discussed the situation with a guy named "wayne". He explained that the spider was apparently dehydrated. I claimed the spider I had captured was a male with the "hooks" on his front legs, at which Wayne told me the spider was a mature male (despite his smallish 3" size) and that he didn't have long to live. With heavy heart I ushered the little critter back into the coffee can and returned him to the desert and set him free in the shadows next to a lot of little crevices , hoping he'd find a female in one of them before he expired. Also I felt guilty about capturing him since I'd known when I captured him that he was a male, but I didn't know the hooks aren't visible except on mature males. Hopefully in my ignorance I didn't ruin his chances of procreation. I had been hoping, due to it's small size, that I'd be able to keep the little guy around until he molted into maturity. Now I have some questions. I know the tarantula I caught is terrestrial/burrowing since I captured it in the New Mexico desert (east of Las Cruces). It was about 3" long, 4" if the legs were fulled extended. It was black with a rusty colored thorax, and had a slight hint of green on it's butt. What species was it? Was the enclosure size good for a tarantula this size? What about for bigger or smaller spiders? Is 3" of peat moss deep enough for terrestrial tarantulas? Was the idea of using the small clay flowerpot halfburied a sound one for a "hide"? Lastly, the 4" around 1/2" deep flowerpot base. Will it hold enough water for tarantulas, or should I get something deeper? Also, how much water do these things normally require? I had expected since it was a desert tarantula that it would ignore the water. Sorry about the length of this, but I wanted readers to know the specifics so I could get the best information possible. Any tips would be greatly appreciated as I'm planning on buying a Chilean Rose taratula this weekend and I want to give her a proper home. Thanks.