Beginner looking for guidance

ColoradoMountaneer

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
5
So I'm not sure how, but I woke up one morning and wanted to get a spider. I've done some research and decided on getting a Honduran curly hair. Since I am a fishkeeper I do have an empty 10 gallon aquarium (long) and have settled on using that. I just want to know what is a good substrate for these guys as I learned they don't live in swamp-like conditions. Also besides a log is there anything I should do with the terrarium. Oh and how about lighting?
 

Smotzer

Arachnoknight
Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
279
So I'm not sure how, but I woke up one morning and wanted to get a spider. I've done some research and decided on getting a Honduran curly hair. Since I am a fishkeeper I do have an empty 10 gallon aquarium (long) and have settled on using that. I just want to know what is a good substrate for these guys as I learned they don't live in swamp-like conditions. Also besides a log is there anything I should do with the terrarium. Oh and how about lighting?
That tank is very very large for a tarantula unless you had a mature one and even then I dont know it still might be too large. So if you get a spiderling a 10gal will be way way too large, you’ll need to use something like a deli cup or amac box. Most people on here use coco substrate. But you do not need any lighting.
 

ColoradoMountaneer

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
5
That tank is very very large for a tarantula unless you had a mature one and even then I dont know it still might be too large. So if you get a spiderling a 10gal will be way way too large, you’ll need to use something like a deli cup or amac box. Most people on here use coco substrate. But you do not need any lighting.
So assuming I get it at around 3 inches will a 5 gallon be plenty for it?
 

cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
11,318
The tank can work if you get an adult...it would be way too large for anything smaller.

There are many good substrates, its your choice.

Cocofiber is the hobby staple, and there are many brands, like eco earth or jungle mix. It looks nice, is light and holds moisture, but its also comparatively expensive unless you get bricks (which are IMO more work than theyre worth).

Peat moss is another choice...its even lighter than coco fiber, and while dry its hydrophobic to a degree, but once it does absorb moisture, it holds it longer than anything else...its also cheap, but ive only seen it for sale in huuuuge bags. I dont use it because it can be dusty when dry, and my asthmatic lungs dont appreciate it none too much.

Top soil is the other option...as long as its the cheap stuff without pesticides or fertalizer, its fine. Look for stuff marketed for filling holes and leveling ground, not growing plants. Home depot sells great stuff ridiculously cheap in 40lb bags. Its very dense, so you can just pour it in, all other subs need to be tightly tamped down. The downside is that its heavy and dries quicker....but its all I use personally.

To use a tank, you will need A LOT of substrate. it will need to be filled at least 2/3 of the way just to have a safe home ( reducing the distance between sub and lid eliminates fall risks, this is critically important).

You will also want to replace any screen tops with acrylic or plexi, with ventilation drilled out (not all that expensive or difficult). Ts can easily get thier tarsal claws hooked on the screens, causing stuck ts, falling problems or lost limbs. While uncommon, ts can also chew through wire mesh tops.

B. albopilosum is a fantastic first t, great choice. They can be lept dry, but also do appreciate a little moisture in the sub.

Dont measure humidity, its irrelevant, and dont over think temps....day temps just need to be near 70, nights can drop to the 60s...in general if you have a heated home, this species should be fine.

When you get a hide, dont go too big and bury it most of the way...ts prefer tight hides and like to use them as a starting point for a burrow....think of a hide more as a front door than the house.

Welcome to the hobby.

So assuming I get it at around 3 inches will a 5 gallon be plenty for it?
Nope, 5 gal would still be too large...thats a good size for an adult actually. Ts do not need space to roam around, theyre rather sedentary creatures.

Oh, and ts have zero lighting requirements.
 

ColoradoMountaneer

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
5
The tank can work if you get an adult...it would be way too large for anything smaller.

There are many good substrates, its your choice.

Cocofiber is the hobby staple, and there are many brands, like eco earth or jungle mix. It looks nice, is light and holds moisture, but its also comparatively expensive unless you get bricks (which are IMO more work than theyre worth).

Peat moss is another choice...its even lighter than coco fiber, and while dry its hydrophobic to a degree, but once it does absorb moisture, it holds it longer than anything else...its also cheap, but ive only seen it for sale in huuuuge bags. I dont use it because it can be dusty when dry, and my asthmatic lungs dont appreciate it none too much.

Top soil is the other option...as long as its the cheap stuff without pesticides or fertalizer, its fine. Look for stuff marketed for filling holes and leveling ground, not growing plants. Home depot sells great stuff ridiculously cheap in 40lb bags. Its very dense, so you can just pour it in, all other subs need to be tightly tamped down. The downside is that its heavy and dries quicker....but its all I use personally.

To use a tank, you will need A LOT of substrate. it will need to be filled at least 2/3 of the way just to have a safe home ( reducing the distance between sub and lid eliminates fall risks, this is critically important).

You will also want to replace any screen tops with acrylic or plexi, with ventilation drilled out (not all that expensive or difficult). Ts can easily get thier tarsal claws hooked on the screens, causing stuck ts, falling problems or lost limbs. While uncommon, ts can also chew through wire mesh tops.

B. albopilosum is a fantastic first t, great choice. They can be lept dry, but also do appreciate a little moisture in the sub.

Dont measure humidity, its irrelevant, and dont over think temps....day temps just need to be near 70, nights can drop to the 60s...in general if you have a heated home, this species should be fine.

When you get a hide, dont go too big and bury it most of the way...ts prefer tight hides and like to use them as a starting point for a burrow....think of a hide more as a front door than the house.

Welcome to the hobby.


Nope, 5 gal would still be too large...thats a good size for an adult actually. Ts do not need space to roam around, theyre rather sedentary creatures.

Oh, and ts have zero lighting requirements.
Awesome, I'll get some ZooMed Cocunut fiber substrate. I'll search for an acrylic lid as the one I own has holes in it, but the spider could crawl through (which I don't think my roommates want to deal with a run-away T). I'm glad you told me about the hide, I'll note that for when I get the supplies.
 

jaw6053

Arachnosquire
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
127
So I'm not sure how, but I woke up one morning and wanted to get a spider. I've done some research and decided on getting a Honduran curly hair. Since I am a fishkeeper I do have an empty 10 gallon aquarium (long) and have settled on using that. I just want to know what is a good substrate for these guys as I learned they don't live in swamp-like conditions. Also besides a log is there anything I should do with the terrarium. Oh and how about lighting?
If you decide to get one I would recommend getting an adult as your first T. I am a beginner also and luckily I didn't buy just one but if I could go back in time I would have purchased adults as my first couple anyhow. Just my opinion
 

cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
11,318
If you decide to get one I would recommend getting an adult as your first T. I am a beginner also and luckily I didn't buy just one but if I could go back in time I would have purchased adults as my first couple anyhow. Just my opinion
See, and I feel differently...I think the faster growth/more frequent molts is wonderful to observe as well as being of substantial educational value to a new keeper. Appetites are usually better and they generally fast much less.
 

jaw6053

Arachnosquire
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
127
See, and I feel differently...I think the faster growth/more frequent molts is wonderful to observe as well as being of substantial educational value to a new keeper. Appetites are usually better and they generally fast much less.
Definitely the opposite for my first 10 T's. The larger T's appetite has dominated my sling's appetites with my slings I have barely gotten to observe them ever eating. While my 4" T. Albo and 3-4" A. Seemani have been an absolute pleasure to feed and watch eat.

Edit : Obviously this could be because of beginner mistakes, enclosure setups ,ect....
 

cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
11,318
Definitely the opposite for my first 10 T's. The larger T's appetite has dominated my sling's appetites with my slings I have barely gotten to observe them ever eating. While my 4" T. Albo and 3-4" A. Seemani have been an absolute pleasure to feed and watch eat.

Edit : Obviously this could be because of beginner mistakes, enclosure setups ,ect....
I was more talking about a juvie ....but i'm not saying you are wrong...I'm just giving my differing perspective.
 

ColoradoMountaneer

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
5
The tank can work if you get an adult...it would be way too large for anything smaller.

There are many good substrates, its your choice.

Cocofiber is the hobby staple, and there are many brands, like eco earth or jungle mix. It looks nice, is light and holds moisture, but its also comparatively expensive unless you get bricks (which are IMO more work than theyre worth).

Peat moss is another choice...its even lighter than coco fiber, and while dry its hydrophobic to a degree, but once it does absorb moisture, it holds it longer than anything else...its also cheap, but ive only seen it for sale in huuuuge bags. I dont use it because it can be dusty when dry, and my asthmatic lungs dont appreciate it none too much.

Top soil is the other option...as long as its the cheap stuff without pesticides or fertalizer, its fine. Look for stuff marketed for filling holes and leveling ground, not growing plants. Home depot sells great stuff ridiculously cheap in 40lb bags. Its very dense, so you can just pour it in, all other subs need to be tightly tamped down. The downside is that its heavy and dries quicker....but its all I use personally.

To use a tank, you will need A LOT of substrate. it will need to be filled at least 2/3 of the way just to have a safe home ( reducing the distance between sub and lid eliminates fall risks, this is critically important).

You will also want to replace any screen tops with acrylic or plexi, with ventilation drilled out (not all that expensive or difficult). Ts can easily get thier tarsal claws hooked on the screens, causing stuck ts, falling problems or lost limbs. While uncommon, ts can also chew through wire mesh tops.

B. albopilosum is a fantastic first t, great choice. They can be lept dry, but also do appreciate a little moisture in the sub.

Dont measure humidity, its irrelevant, and dont over think temps....day temps just need to be near 70, nights can drop to the 60s...in general if you have a heated home, this species should be fine.

When you get a hide, dont go too big and bury it most of the way...ts prefer tight hides and like to use them as a starting point for a burrow....think of a hide more as a front door than the house.

Welcome to the hobby.


Nope, 5 gal would still be too large...thats a good size for an adult actually. Ts do not need space to roam around, theyre rather sedentary creatures.

Oh, and ts have zero lighting requirements.
If you decide to get one I would recommend getting an adult as your first T. I am a beginner also and luckily I didn't buy just one but if I could go back in time I would have purchased adults as my first couple anyhow. Just my opinion
Rght, so if I do get an adult (I'm assuming 3-4 inches or maybe even 5 who knows) the 5 gal will be just fine. Cool good to know.

Besides a water bowl, substrate, and hide, anything else I could use to decorate? Perhaps some branches or something?
 

cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
11,318
Rght, so if I do get an adult (I'm assuming 3-4 inches or maybe even 5 who knows) the 5 gal will be just fine. Cool good to know.

Besides a water bowl, substrate, and hide, anything else I could use to decorate? Perhaps some branches or something?
Not branches, you don't want things to climb, you want to discourage such things with a terrestrial. Ground clutter like plants are ok, but not necessary...add too many and feeders just have places to hide.
 

jaw6053

Arachnosquire
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
127
I would agree with Coldblood. When building your enclosure think how you are going to remove stuff once your spider is living in there for a couple months....live feeders, boluses, mold, whatever it is you may have to remove...this is one mistake I made when setting up my enclosures for slings...I put too many things in them and now I regret it because it's a pain for me to even catch a live cricket if it goes uneaten for a night. I would stick to the absolute basics you mentioned "water dish, substrate, hide" for your first one. That way you can get the hang of it, see what having a T is all is all about and then build from there.
 

Olan

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 23, 2002
Messages
724
Waterdish, substrate, hide, maybe a fake plant. Done.
D46A078A-460A-4EF8-8EA0-FFC140FE9F89.jpeg

(That’s a half pot. Do not use a whole pot, it prevents them from excavating down)
 

ColoradoMountaneer

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
5
Waterdish, substrate, hide, maybe a fake plant. Done.
View attachment 333627

(That’s a half pot. Do not use a whole pot, it prevents them from excavating down)
That's quite an amazing sling you got there. So I've already got my shopping list ready. I will check the local petstores that I'm aware have T's near me, but in case; any good websites I can buy them off of?
 

cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
11,318
That's quite an amazing sling you got there. So I've already got my shopping list ready. I will check the local petstores that I'm aware have T's near me, but in case; any good websites I can buy them off of?
Dont buy from pet stores.

The classifieds here are full of t dealers and breeders selling their stock.
 
Top