Most articles about keeping tarantulas focus specifically on the cage itself; what size it should be, what it should be made from and so on.
While all these elements are important, many articles miss a crucial element; where to place your tarantula tank in your home.
In this guide, therefore, we’re going to take a look at some of the things you should be considering when it comes to positioning your tarantula cage…
Tarantulas are naturally quite shy creatures, despite what Hollywood movies may suggest. As big, brightly colored animals they make a tasty morsel for all sorts of predators, so prefer to hide away wherever possible. In other words, spiders typically appreciate peace and quiet.
For this reason I currently keep all my tarantulas in my “office” – a room that is away from the hubbub of everyday activity.
If you aren’t lucky enough to have a special quiet room in which you can position your tarantula tank then consider how to keep them away from sources of noise or commotion such as loud music, screaming children and the like. Placing them in the living room near the TV, for example, is quite a bad idea.
Pretty much all tarantulas are nocturnal; they hide away during daylight hours and wait for night to fall. In other words, most have no need for daylight of any kind, so providing it is unnecessary.
However there’s something even more important to consider. Direct sunlight can quickly increase the temperature of your tarantula cage, causing it to reach dangerous levels. If the tank gets too hot, you could literally kill your tarantula.
When positioning your tarantula tank, therefore, pay attention to the movement of the sun. Try to ensure that no direct sunlight can fall on the cage. Also, be sure to provide some kind of hide (such as a piece of cork bark) in which your tarantula can rest during the daytime.
Tarantulas hail from the warmer parts of the world. We attempt to mimic these conditions in captivity through the use of artificial heating, typically maintaining a hotspot of around 24’C.
While tarantulas will survive for short periods of time in lower conditions – such as when tarantulas are shipped from the breeder to your home – these lower temperatures are not optimal.
Draughts have the potential to reduce the temperature in your tarantula tank for much longer periods of time, which can have disastrous effects on the health of your spider.
This reason reason not only should tarantula tanks be positioned away from windows, but also ideally some distance away from radiators and exterior doors, where temperatures can change significantly in a short space of time.
Last winter I moved into a new house. Sadly, I had to wait roughly a week between moving in, and actually having my bed delivered. During that time I slept on a mattress on the floor, and I’ve never been so cold in my life. No matter how high the heating was, I still found myself shivering away at night.
The reasons are quite simple. Firstly, as we all know hot air rises while cooler air falls. This means that the temperature is likely to be lower down near the floor. Additionally, depending on the floor covering that you have, cold may also come up through the floor itself.
This means that placing a tarantula tank either on or near to the floor may not be the best idea. Consider raising up your spider tank, placing it on a bookshelf or desk so it is well off the floor. This also offers benefits for keepers too, because viewing and accessing your tarantula becomes that much easier.
We live in a world of chemicals. First there are the antiperspirants, body sprays and shampoos we use each day. Worse, however, are all the household cleaning materials that we use – bleaches, antiseptic sprays and cooking smells. And of course there are also varnishes, silicone sealants, plant feeds, furniture polishes and more.
Sadly, we just don’t know which of these chemicals are safe for tarantulas (or exotic pets in general) and which ones have the potential to cause harm. As a result, it makes sense to shield your tarantulas from any unnecessary access to chemicals, whether these are in liquid form or in the air.
This means that placing your tarantula tank in the kitchen or bathroom is likely to be a bad idea, thanks to the wealth of chemicals we use in these rooms. A better option would be a bedroom or office where fewer chemicals are used. Whatever room of your home that you opt for, try to limit the use of chemicals in the vicinity of your tarantula in order to minimize the risk.
As you can see, choosing the right location for your exotic pet takes time and effort. Try to avoid rapid swings in temperature – either too high or too low – together with noisy areas or those where chemicals are regularly being used.
Whilst this may rule out a disappointing number of potential locations it is well worth a little thought in order to keep your pet tarantula healthy and contented for the long term.