59 degree Basement?


Feb 24, 2008
I have a question? I have no T's or scorp's but looking to get into the hobby. The only place I can keep is in my basement which is uninsulated.

I live in New York and my basement temps during the winter run from 52 F to 59 degrees Farenheight.
In the summer its great. Even though the coolest part of the house but gets nice and toasty that I have to use a de-humidifier but keep it at 50% percent plus or minus. I have to use a de-humidifier becuase otherwise the Air would get like stagnet and nexts thing I have mold or something...

I would like to dedicate a room upstairs but MOM would GO NUTZ!

Okay,... I would like to set-up a T or scorp , lets say with a high humidity if I wanted to go to that extreme?
How can I go about setting up a tank during the winter months to tackle these extreme Temps in my basement?

If the high humidity is not the way to go then what do you recommend that will work?

What T's or scorps do you think I can keep in these temps in my basement and with what type of heating could create enuff heat to reproduce anywhere from 75 degrees to 90 F I would assume? even though the basement temp would still be around 52F to 59F...

I appreciate any input and thank you in advance,...
Im a noob , sorry... I got to start somewhere....


Aug 2, 2010
Welcome to the boards! I think that a space heater, heat mats, or red or blue heat lights would work. Once I had to dry out a cage and I had two heat lights and a space heater directly on the cage. I was able to get the temperature up to 150 degrees farenheight. Obviously there was no tarantula inside! You should have no trouble getting the temps up to the low to mid 60s. Also heat mats just create hot spots that are useles except for growing mold that could hurt your tarantula. Space heaters and heat lamps dry out the air but you should be able to balance that out with a humidifyer which you already have. If I were you I'd get dry and hardy species like brachypelma, grammostola, aphonopelma. Then later when your more experienced phormictopus cancerides and pterrinochilus murinus. Given the conditions you have I would stay away from theraphosa, lasiodora, haplopelma, all those high humidity high temperature species. Then there's scorpions which I have no experience with...


Apr 11, 2010
I think red lights would be the way to go if you only pln on having a couple T's and dont need to heat the whole room with a space heater. The only real drawback is that they can lower humidity too much, but if your basement is already quite humid, that shouldnt be a problem. If it does lower it too much, you can simply correct that by hand by keeping the substrate a litte more moist or slightly decreasing ventilation in the cages depending on what they are housed in. You can get ballasts that are typically sold as reptile supply that hold 2 bulbs facing away from eachother. Use a 25-40 watt depending on how far away from the tank the ballast is hung. Depening on how you position the tanks under the cage, you will be able to fit between 2-4 cages under each ballast. Just make sure to test out temps first before you put the T's in. Hope this helps, good luck.


Mar 10, 2010
Those temps are way too cold for T's, and trying to heat the whole basement with a space heater would just become too costly.

I suggest you watch the penny savers or go to some thrift stores, and see if you can pick up an old entertainment armoire with a glass front, or maybe an old glass display case. Sometimes they can be had for very cheap, especially if the glass is cracked or broken. You could tape or replace the glass.

That way, you could put your tanks inside, along with a small thermostatically controlled space heater, to keep the interior of the enclosure at a preset temp. You would be able to easily view your T's with the enclosure closed up, and you would only need to open the enclosure for direct interactions like feeding, watering, cleaning, etc. You could also install a light fixture for easy viewing. Of course you would have to keep a close eye on humidity, but even a large pan of water on the bottom of the enclosure would be very helpful. You could also get some sheets of Styrofoam insulation and attached them to the sides and back of the enclosure to help moderate any temperature fluctuations.


Old Timer
Oct 11, 2009
This is what I use... I currently have a 60watt red heat bulb in there and maintain 80F.



Chief Cook n Bottlewasher
Old Timer
Sep 29, 2004
My basement is exactly the same.

I have an oil furnace and hot water tank in my basement.

I put up walls around the furnace and water tank, yjus making a T room. It ALSO saves Oil as the water tank cools off less quickly.

I do use heater cord as well wired into the steel shelving.
a space heater would do wonders in a small room with MUCH LESS risk of dehydrating your critters compared to heat mats and IR bulbs etc.

If a small room isn't possible than a large storage locker where you could set up a SMALL heater and humidification system inside, thus creating a micro-climate.

Good LUCK !