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Drainage layer

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Tudor, Dec 4, 2019 at 9:56 AM.

  1. Tudor

    Tudor Arachnopeon

    What can i use for a drainage layer with excepion of clay balls ?
    • Beer Beer x 1
  2. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    no. tarantulas shouldnt have, amd do not need drainage layers.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    What species are you keeping? Is it arboreal, terrestrial, or fossorial? The amount of digging the spider is likely to do - plus the moisture requirements and whether it needs substrate that will support a burrow without collapsing - are going to affect what you can use for substrate and/or drainage.

    I do not use drainage layers for any of my spiders. I just keep an eye on the substrate and add water as needed and top off the water dishes. The composition of the substrate (a mix of coconut fiber, sand, dirt,.etc.) varies according to the digging habits of the spider - but it is not layered.
  4. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnoprince Old Timer

    They should not be kept that moist that exessive water is accmulating. There is absolutly no need for a drainage layer in a tarantula enclosure as said above..Keep a tarantula substrate moist, not wet. In terrarium that house speicies that likes moist substrate, like Theraphosa, Hysterocrates and speicies like that, a smart approach is to plant it with a Epipremnum AKA Photos. Their roots sucjs up any exessive water, if one is adding little to much water when moisting the substrate
  5. Tudor

    Tudor Arachnopeon

    For terrestrial i agree with you, but i ask for a caribena because they need higher humidity and they don't dig burrows .

    I want to buy a caribena versicolor.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2019 at 12:39 PM
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  6. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    I never used a drainage layer with my Caribena versicolor. I just had coconut fiber and sphagnum moss for substrate, and misted or added a little water to the substrate a couple of times a week to keep the moisture up. They don't need that much water! You don't want the enclosure to be stuffy or humid, or you'll kill your spider. Good ventilation is more important for a Caribena or Avicularia than wet substrate. If you are keeping it that wet that it needs drainage, you're just inviting mold and mites. Better to have a nice big water dish and maybe overflow it periodically, or even pour a little water directly into the substrate every few days as needed.

    (Also, don't be fooled that arboreal spiders "don't" dig burrows! Some of them will dig a small scrape or burrow and surround it with a "dirt curtain" of web and substrate and use that as their primary retreat when startled.)
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019 at 12:21 PM
  7. Hoxter

    Hoxter Arachnoknight Active Member

    Tarantulas from Caribena genus don't need high humidity. Keep them on dry substrate with water dish and occasional misting every week or so to provide another source of water to drink.
    In nature they live high in trees where they have lots of ventilation and it's not humid there. Actually, higher humidity can even kill them.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  8. I find this concept interesting but can't see how it would work for a burrower. I have never used a drainage layer except for certain plants.

    I know my B albo likes things slightly dampened (I usually pour in enough water to keep maybe 1/4 of her tank damp -- the rest is bone dry. She no longer burrows now she's a juvie, in fact, she is topside all the time (usually on damp area or near water dish), and she rarely even uses her dry-area hide (except to catch a feeder that ran in it). But I am not tearing her tank apart to start a drainage layer. Esp when simply dampening an area works for her.

    Interesting concept but extremely limited in T appropriateness.
    And can you just imagine what might grow in that bottom layer??? Algae, springtails, mites & the ubiquitous mould! And now all growing where you CAN'T access it easily it to remove any life form taking over.

    But I do appreciate someone is thinking outside the box! :)
  9. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    This is absolutely positively 100% not true. They do not need high humidity, do yourself a favor and start ignoring places that are stressing humidity. High humidity is the easiest way to kill the animal not to keep it alive.

    It should be kept predominantly dry with a water dish. Trust me, I regularly breed and keep hundreds of avics and their relatives... if I kept them moist with drainage layers I have piles and piles of dead ones.

    Humidity isn't really relevant to keeping any tarantula. It's really just a matter of substrate moisture or lack of.
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  10. Colorado Ts

    Colorado Ts Arachnosquire Active Member

    If you are setting up a vivarium with live plants...then you will need a drainage layer. Washed gravel will work as a drainage layer in place of clay balls.
  11. Uh wow, missed the avic mention! Does sound like a death trap. For the sheer amount of ventilation you would need to un-do the harm of a drainage layer -- makes zero sense, I'm afraid. Why set up anything that would require so much work to attempt to counteract it (and then fail anyway)??? :(
  12. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Humidety is important for 2 things in tarantula rearing

    1. For very tiny slings

    2. For incubating eggsacks

    For juvenile and adult tarantulas, humidety is not important at all!

    Frogs can absorb moisture through the air, tarantulas can not in the same way! Theraphosa blondi and others have booklungs that need more moisure, but they get that through the substrate, not by the humidety in the air

    Tarantulas that need high moisture shoukd be jept on moist substrate, tarantulas from dry areas should be kept on dry substrate and so on
    Chasing humidety numbers is to complicate things, and in my opinion, totally unnesessary.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019 at 1:09 PM
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. MintyWood826

    MintyWood826 Arachnobaron

    I recommend reading this thread for their care. (They have the same care as Avicularia as this species used to be in that genus) https://arachnoboards.com/threads/avicularia-care.291340/
    The type of setup you described would be detrimental to their health, and tarantulas in general shouldn't have such wet substrate that a drainage layer is required.
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  14. aprilmayjunebugs

    aprilmayjunebugs Arachnopeon Active Member

    Pothos. Autocorrect is not always your friend. I'm only correcting you because I've seen it twice over the last couple of days :) I know most people know what you mean, but the OPs it's meant for might not.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  15. StampFan

    StampFan Arachnolord

    I see there is large debate here so I'll keep this simple: If there is a species of critter (reptile, invert, isopod) that needs higher humidity levels I'll put a layer of vermiculite at the bottom of the substrate to help maintain moisture in my terribly dry room (often 15% relative humidity or lower in the winter). Not a drainage layer per se, but a layer to help maintain moisture from immediately evaporating. Of course any burrowing species of animal will mix this up in the substrate quickly.
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  16. Patherophis

    Patherophis Arachnobaron Active Member

    @Tudor C. versicolor (and avics + relatives in general) can be succesfuly kept with dry substrate, with moist substrate and lot lot ventilation, or even without any substrate at all. But substrate with drainage layer sound very dangerous for them. They do not need higher humidity, it is a myth, it actually can kill them!
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. aprilmayjunebugs

    aprilmayjunebugs Arachnopeon Active Member

    I don't know what's funny. They wrote photos twice.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019 at 12:11 AM
  18. The Grym Reaper

    The Grym Reaper Arachnoreaper Arachnosupporter

    That is outdated information that will result in a dead versi, they should be kept mostly dry.
    • Agree Agree x 1
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