Tarantula Cages & Housing

Tarantula cages have come a long way in recent years.

When I first started keeping tarantulas in the 1990’s (how old do I feel now?) we had to try and make do with whatever was at hand.

In recent times, however, as interest in the hobby has grown, so too have the number of cages available to us keepers.

In this article we’ll look at some of the best tarantula cages on the market, perfect if you’re just considering investing in your very first spider.

tarantula photo

Exo Terra Terrariums

For me, the glass Exo Terra terrariums are the best possible cage for the average tarantula keeper.

I now have dozens of these set up in my “office” with various species in them.

First of all they look very smart indeed, allowing you to create a really eye-catching display that looks great and meets all the environmental needs of your tarantula.

The gauze lid makes ventilation easy, the closeable holes for electrical wires can come in very handy indeed for adding digital thermometers etc. and the lockable, front-opening door makes for easy access.

Exo Terras come in a range of different sizes, too, meaning that anything from a half-grown juvenile up to a large Goliath can be safely accommodated in such a cage. My smaller juvenviles are kept in Nanos, most adult specimens can be kept safely in the 30cm cube version, and taller Exo Terras are also available for arboreal tarantula species.

While they’re not the cheapest option in the market, I think they perfectly combine appearance and practicality and are my number one choice.

Specialist Acrylic/Perspex Cages

Besides the well-known Exo Terra cages, a small number of specialist cage makers have entered the market in recent years.

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Some of the new acrylic tarantula cages are quite beautiful to look at and very cost-effective to purchase. Unlike glass cages, which tend to be heavy, acrylic is much lighter. This can make shipping cheaper, as well making moving the cage a little easier.

If there is a downside to these cages it’s that perspex can get scratched quite easily, such as when cleaning the spider out.

They also don’t offer quite such a list of practical benefits as I believe the Exo Terras do, but can be handy for those on a tighter budget.

Specialist Glass Tanks

In the UK, at least, there are a number of specialist glass tank makers. These cages offer the sturdiness and practicality of glass, and many are available with special “ventilation panels”.

If such a cage is of interest then it may be worth visiting your local reptile shop, or alternatively a reptile show, as these are normally the easiest place to source such a cage.

Over the years I have bought quite a number of such cages. I have a few tanks which have been split up into lots of smaller cages. They’re like a bank of glass tanks some 12cm of so in each direction, attached to one another, and with separate glass lids.

They’re a favourite of mine for when I’m rearing juvenile tarantulas and want the best possible visibility of them.

Faunariums

Faunariums are plastic cages with removable grill lids. Many also have a clear “trap door” in the lid for easier access, without having to take the whole top off.

Such cages can work well for tarantulas that relish a drier environment, though the excessive ventilation can make it difficult to maintain more tropical species.

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The high levels of air movement can also make heating more difficult in the winter months, while the general appearance of the cage is certainly not the most attractive on the market.

In short, while the faunarium isn’t a bad cage in any way, I believe that some of the other options already outlined are better tarantula cages than these in most situations.

Upcycled Containers from Home

Perhaps the cheapest tarantula cages of all come in the form of household objects, such as food containers.

Anything from ice cream tubs to tupperware boxes may potentially be used as tarantula cages if they meet the needs of your spider; that is to say that they should be escape proof, suitably ventilated, of appropriate dimensions and easy to heat.

One of my personal favorites here for an easy low-cost housing solution is the use of smaller Really Useful Boxes (RUBs).

Some ventilation can easily be added by drilling small holes in the side or lid, and the plastic flaps on each end provide a safe and secure environment for your pet. Strong and sturdy, they can be stacked effectively, and the clear plastic body means they’re easy to see into.

The only really downside of RUBs and their kin is of course that they’re not the most attractive of cages.

If I only had one or two spiders I’d probably opt for one of the better-looking cages to really show off my pets. However if and when your collection starts to expand (as they so often do) then RUBs can make a very cheap and practical solution to housing large numbers of tarantulas on a limited budget.

Photo by logatfer

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