First time owner questions


Jan 15, 2011
First off, would like to say hi! First thread here, and from the threads i have read here I thought this would be an awesome place to ask my questions.
First off, I wanted a Tarantula because of the low maintenance and the rarity. I have yet to know one person that has owned one and I am 27. Now I know that they are not uncommon and have seen them in pet stores but still.
Now to the actual questions lol. I wanted to get one or the other and this being my first pet of this type I was looking just for some experienced opinions.
I was going to get ether a Brazilian Orange Banded Acanthoscurria juruenicola or a Brachypelma smithi - Mexican Red Knee.
Couple of things to note, I keep the room they will be in kinda cool because of the computers in it. Mid sixties to low seventies Fahrenheit ( 65-72 F ) so i was wondering of what options of keeping the aquarium at optimal tempts. Remembering that this is the first pet of this type, what should I use for him to live on? Are there basic kits at say petco for Tarantulas ( or similar enough ).
I also will not be handling him much if at all. Not that I am uncaring or scared of the little beasts but I am sure he won't mind the lack of attention and I would be to scared of him jumping to his doom or damage, or him scurrying away to not be seen again, or even worse, my dog gets a hold of him and he gets mauled. That being said if ether of the species that I picked are aggressive, it most likely won't be an issue.
For watering, I hear sponges, small dishes, bottle caps even something called water bites?? Also what size aquarium is to small for a spider of these sizes. I would like to get the smallest one possible if it isn't bad for the little guy. I have no problems getting a big one but if it has no bearing on his health or growth, smaller would be better.
Also I was thinking of purchasing one or the other from this site:
A link to the Brazilian Orange Banded Acanthoscurria juruenicola:
To the Red Knee:
If anyone knows if it's a respectable site, that would be a plus, or if any suggestions, would be nice also.

Finally I was thinking about the most important thing of all... a name for the beast... I was thinking Thokgron :worship: Any comments suggestions would be welcome and appreciated. Thank you guys!
Last edited:


( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Staff member
Jul 27, 2009
I can't sleep so I'll help answer some of your questions.

So yeah, that temperature is a little on the cool side, so I'd suggest keeping it where the temps stay in the 70s abouts. They can tolerate low temps in the 60s no problem, but I don't think keeping them that cool 365 days a year would be a good thing. You can use a heat mat, but be sure it's attached to a thermostat, and you mount it on the side of the enclosure instead of the bottom.

His enclosure could be anything really. You can go all out and get a fancy display aquarium, or go to the dollar store and pick out a Tupperware container. For terrestrials, the floorspace should be about 3 spiderlengths (diagonal leg spans, or DLS) by 2 DLSs. The top should be no higher than about 1.5x the DLS of the spider from the substrate to prevent possible fall damage should it decide to climb around. Lid should be secure and ventilated somehow. Avoid woven mesh lids if you can, as these can catch the claws on their feet and cause them to get stuck. For substrate, the typical type you would be using is coco coir or peat. Add a hide, and a waterdish, and presto, you've got a tarantula cage.

These two species are generally docile, though individual spiders may vary. As you get used to him, you can try to handle it no problem. Just make sure you go about it the right way. Personally, I now rather not bother them unless absolutely necessary.

For water they just need a water dish. No sponges, no water bites,no cotton balls no water gels. Just a water dish with water in it. Maybe a stone or something to help stupid food items escape it when they fall in.

I live in Canada, so I have no direct experience with Ken, but I can tell you he is 100% trustworthy/reliable, as I see most of you yanks get your bugs from him! I would get a smithi, if I were you.

Name it biscuit.
Glad you found the forum, and enjoy!


Oct 28, 2010
In addition to the above poster's comments, I would recommend you consider growth rates and size of the spiders.

You can get a b. smithi fairly cheap - as a sling. The growth rate is slow for this species, and it will take years for it to reach full size. Then again, a full grown b. smithi is pricey (but worth it, in my opinion, if you can afford it).

I don't know much about the other species. It's unusual and very pretty.

You also want to consider which species tend to be out and about vs. which tend to hide, and which are burrowers. If it's largely going to be a display piece, you'll probably want a T with a reputation for not being in it's hide/burrow all the time.

I love the grammastola species for temperament, and Roseas tend to have quirky personalities! They are also usually out a lot. I just got a new one today - $15 was a steal for this beauty! And she's fully grown, too.

I think roseas are way underrated because they are inexpensive. If you can find one with a pink carapace, wow! Super beautiful. Strikingly pink.


Jul 27, 2010
I'd advise getting the smithi. Although I agree with the above poster about the G. rosea. They're both beautiful species! And I also advise doing business with KenTheBugGuy, he's very trustworthy, and awesome!