best pet tarantulas for beginners

Best Pet Tarantulas for Beginners

There are many tarantula breeds and some work better as pets than the rest. With the variety of tarantuals that you can have as a companion, choosing one can be overwhelming. Especially if you are new to having spiders as pets. In this article, we will guide you through everything to know about the best pet tarantulas for beginners.

best pet tarantulas for beginners

What Makes a Tarantula a Good Pet?

Tarantulas are excellent pets for various reasons. They are easy to care for, especially if they’re adults, requiring feeding only once a week or even less if they’re fasting. Adult tarantulas can go without eating for months, demonstrating their resilience. Even baby tarantulas, though needing more frequent care, are still relatively simple to manage.

The costs associated with tarantula care are minimal, with affordable tank options on Amazon and inexpensive food. Adult tarantula tanks only need thorough cleaning a few times a year, as these creatures are clean and do not emit odors. Tarantulas offer a fascinating and unique pet experience, and keeping one can help overcome arachnophobia by fostering respect and admiration for these intriguing creatures.

Best Pet Tarantulas for Beginners: Characteristics to Look For

Choosing a pet tarantula comes with different factors. Among them, there is understanding specific characteristics to narrow down the best pet tarantulas for beginners:

  1. Low Maintenance: Simple care requirements, thriving in basic conditions, typically terrestrial species.
  2. Friendly Nature: Docile demeanor, avoiding aggressive behaviors like hair flicking or harmful bites; limited to new world tarantulas for beginners.
  3. Moderate Size: Optimal size around 5″ or 6″ to balance fragility in smaller tarantulas and the complexity of setups for larger ones.
  4. Readily Available: Easily found in the market to avoid constant searching for your first tarantula.
  5. Affordable: Budget-friendly, ensuring a reasonable cost for your initial venture into tarantula ownership without unnecessary stress.

Good Habitats for Tarantulas as a Beginner

If you are interested in getting a tarantula, you should also be aware of the habitat it’ll need.
Setting up a habitat for your first tarantula is easy. A five-gallon aquarium or a small plastic enclosure is enough due to their modest space needs. Larger enclosures can make it harder for your spider to catch crickets. Choose a habitat with a secure lid to prevent escapes. Add two to four inches of substrate, like potting soil or peat, for burrowing and maintaining humidity. Include a hide, like a small log or a sideways clay pot, and a shallow water dish for a complete habitat.

Pet Tarantulas for Beginners

Best Pet Tarantulas for Beginners: The Options

There are several tarantulas that make for great pets for beginners. Among the many options to choose from, these are a few of the top choices:

The Chilean Rose (Grammostola rosea)

The Chilean Rose tarantula, or Grammostola rosea, is a great choice for beginners. These spiders, found in Northern Chile, are known for their size, hardiness, and calm nature. They are ground-dwelling and do well in a tank with more floor space than height. Their diet consists of crickets, larger insects, and occasionally pinkie mice, making feeding straightforward.

With a calm and docile temperament, the Chilean Rose is not only suitable for beginners but also widely available in the UK. Keeping them in a tank with peat moss or soil substrate and maintaining a temperature between 21-29 degrees Celsius ensures their well-being.

The Mexican Redknee (Brachypelma smithi)

The Mexican Redknee tarantula, also known as Brachypelma smithi, is a popular choice for beginner pet owners, much like the Chilean Rose. Recognized for its calm demeanor, these tarantulas are often seen on TV for their striking appearance. With a lifespan exceeding twenty years, especially for females, they thrive when well-cared-for. Originating from the scrubland and desert of Mexico’s Pacific side, they prefer a ground-dwelling habitat.

Their diet consists of crickets, large insects, wild lizards, and pinkie mice. Typically growing over five inches, Mexican Redknees are calm and move at a slow pace. Similar to the Chilean Rose, they need a spacious enclosure with sufficient floor space and soil or peat moss substrate. Maintaining an enclosure temperature between 21 and 32 degrees Celsius is ideal, and these tarantulas are tolerant of variations within this range.

The Curlyhair Tarantula (Brachypelma albopilosum)

The Curlyhair Tarantula, scientifically named Brachypelma albopilosum, is a fascinating choice for spider enthusiasts. Recognized for its large size and unique wavy hair, this tarantula may appear brown at first but reveals a stunning bronze body with golden flecks upon closer examination. Originating from Central America, especially mountainous and forested areas, the Curlyhair tarantula is a robust species and a great option for owners who like handling their spiders occasionally.

Being terrestrial, they thrive in a tank with ample floor space, ideally a five to ten-gallon enclosure with peat or soil substrate. Their diet includes crickets, other large insects, and pinkie mice, with the wild addition of lizards. With a calm and docile temperament, the Curlyhair Tarantula is considered suitable for handling. Maintaining a temperature between 23 to 29 degrees Celsius ensures their well-being.

The Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula (Aphonopelma seemani)

The Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula, scientifically known as Aphonopelma seemani, is prized for its durability, affordability, and widespread availability in the pet market. While they are generally calm and move slowly, they may not be the best choice for frequent handling. Mainly because of their tendency to startle easily and retreat quickly. These tarantulas are found in various places, including Costa Rica, Southern USA, Panama, and Guatemala. They thrive in tropical forests and cleared hillside areas with a preference for burrowing or tunneling.

Their diet consists of crickets, other insects, and pinkie mice. When fully grown, they typically reach four to four and a half inches in size. Despite being generally calm and non-defensive, Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas can be nervous. To provide a suitable habitat, a tank of around five gallons with ample floor space and a 5-inch deep peat or soil substrate is recommended. Maintaining a temperature range of 21-29 degrees Celsius ensures their well-being.

The Brazilian Black Tarantula (Grammostola pulchra)

The Brazilian Black Tarantula, scientifically called Grammostola pulchra, is a great choice for beginners. It’s known for its striking all-black appearance, with a legspan of up to 8 inches as an adult, making it visually appealing to both new and experienced keepers.

This tarantula has a calm temperament, moving slowly, being friendly, and rarely getting defensive, which makes it an excellent option for those starting with tarantulas. It stays mostly above ground, allowing for easy observation. Although not the most common, it is affordable compared to other species, and the occasional wait for availability is worthwhile. Notably, females of this species can live up to 30 years, making it an ideal and enduring choice for beginners.

pet tarantula

Things to Consider for a Pet Tarantula

Before deciding on a tarantula, there are important considerations to keep in mind. While these arachnids are quiet and require minimal space, they consume live prey, often in the form of crickets. If the idea of observing your spider feed on live prey is unsettling, it might be worth reconsidering them as pets.

Additionally, tarantulas are not cuddly creatures; despite their furry appearance, handling should be limited as they don’t form bonds with their owners and do not seek human interaction. Lastly, many tarantula species have long lifespans, living into their teens or even twenties, making them a significant long-term commitment for potential owners. If you are still open to get a tarantula as a pet, there are many options to consider.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are many tarantula species that work well for beginner spider owners. The important thing to keep in mind is the characteristics of a good tarantula for beginners. With a selection of species that are low maintenance and friendly, there are many benefits to owning a tarantula. However, there are factors to consider before getting a tarantula. Once you are confident in being able to provide for your choice of tarantula, you’re ready to be a spider owner.

Best Pet Tarantulas for Beginners: FAQs

Are tarantulas easy to keep?

Yes, they are generally easy to care for with simple day-to-day needs. Most species don’t need special heating or humidity, eat once a week, and their enclosure requires minimal maintenance.

Do pet tarantulas bite?

Yes, tarantulas can bite if they feel threatened. While some species can be docile, handling should be limited to avoid stress. Tarantulas are unpredictable, and their tolerance for handling varies among individuals.

Do tarantulas seek affection like some other pets?

No, tarantulas do not seek affection and should be handled cautiously to prevent stress and potential biting.

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