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Top 5 Best Tarantula Enclosures (Buying Guide)

Tarantulas are popular pets because they can grow to large sizes, are fairly common (and therefore inexpensive) and they’re docile. It’s fun to handle them and, let’s be honest, it’s fun to creep out friends and family with a giant fuzzy spider. In this article we’re going to be looking at some of the best tarantula enclosures for housing these extra large spiders.

Tarantulas are native to every continent except Antarctica, but most of the more famous species, and nearly every species available in the pet trade, are New World species. There’s huge variety when is comes to tarantulas; some are desert dwellers, others live in rainforests. Some are relatively small, others are big enough to eat birds.

Best tarantula enclosures

Caring for a Tarantula requires a good terrarium. They will live out their entire lives in it, and some species can live for 30 years, so you don’t want to skimp on quality here. Here are our favorites, if you’re in a hurry here are our top 3 picks.

  1. Best overallCarolina Custom Cage
  2. Best budget optionREPTIZOO 10 Gallon
  3. Best starter tankExo Terra Rainforest Kit

1. Carolina Custom Cage

Best overall tarantula enclosure

Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium, Medium 24Lx18Dx18H; Easy Assembly

  • Front opening sliding doors make feeding/cleaning easy
  • Raised bottom frame for substrate heater
  • Mesh screen roof provides additional ventilation
  • Base is deep enough for burrowing species, tank is tall enough for arboreal species

Carolina Custom Cages focuses primarily on reptiles, but there’s no reason their products won’t work just as well for tarantulas. They’re well made and designed to last a lifetime. The front opening doors make it easy to access the inside of the terrarium for feeding and cleaning, and you can also access it via the removable mesh screen at the top.

This terrarium is large enough and has a deep enough base to make a comfortable habitat for terrestrial species to build a burrow in, and it’s tall enough that you can create a nice environment for arboreal species, too. It’s also big enough to house larger species, if you like the really big tarantulas.

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2. REPTIZOO 10 Gallon Terrarium

Best budget option

REPTI ZOO 10 Gallon Reptile Tank Glass Natural Cages Terrarium 20" x 12" x 10" Sliding Screen Top for Reptile Hamster Hedgehog Small Animals

  • Metal top screen ventilation
  • Feeding port in lid
  • Stackable design
  • Watertight  bottom

If you know you’re only going to be keeping terrestrial species, this is the terrarium for you. It’s one of the most affordable terrariums you can buy without sacrificing quality, and it’s got everything your ground-dwelling tarantulas could need. It’s plenty big enough for any terrestrial tarantula, and you’ll have no trouble laying down enough substrate for them to burrow into.

The feeding port in the mesh screen lid is a very convenient feature, as it allows you to drop food into the terrarium without having to remove the entire lid. The bottom of the terrarium has a PVC tray that makes it both waterproof and easy to clean, so it’s suitable for tropical species as well as desert species.

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3. Exo Terra Rainforest Starter Kit

Best starter tank

Exo Terra Rainforest Habitat Kit (includes PT2602) - Small

  • Comes with everything you need to get started
  • Tank decor/vegetation included
  • Easy to clean
  • Front window ventilation
  • Front opening dual doors
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If this will be your first time keeping a Tarantula, this is the tank for you. It’s small, affordable, and includes everything you need to get started. The one catch is that it’s meant for tarantulas native to the rainforest, and won’t work as well for desert species.

Frankly, that’s fine- the species native to rainforests are often the most beautiful and interesting to watch! Since they tend to be arboreal and many don’t burrow, you’ll also be able to observe them more easily.

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4. Exo Terra Short All Glass Terrarium

Exo Terra Short All Glass Terrarium, 18 by 18 by 12-Inch

  • Front window ventilation
  • Raised bottom frame for substrate heater
  • Waterproof bottom
  • Front opening doors
  • Simulated rock background

Exo Terra makes great terrariums. They have front-opening windows for easy access, and the front window ventilations keeps the air inside fresh and clean. They’re all waterproof and have deep bases for plenty of room for burrowing species. They also have closable inlets for wires and tubing so your thermometer can be connected simply and quickly.

This is a great all-around choice that’s suitable for many different species, and comes in at a price point that’s more accessible than some other choices.

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5. Exo Terra Mini

Exo Terra Glass Terrarium Kit, for Reptiles and Amphibians, Mini Tall, 12 x 12 x 18 Inches, PT2602A1

Best for arboreal species

  • Front opening doors
  • Front window ventilation
  • Tall enough for arboreal species
  • Stainless steel mesh cover

This is a small, compact terrarium that has a small footprint. It’s a great choice if you’re keeping arboreal species. It has plenty of room for them to climb and it won’t occupy too much space. Like all Exo Terra terrariums it’s built with front-opening doors. This is an especially important feature for arboreal tarantulas, since they tend to hang out near the top of the tank. Opening the lid would give them a great chance at escaping.

One other plus of this tank’s small size is that it will make it easier for you to observe your tarantula, even while they’re hiding in the vegetation. They’ll always be closer to the glass than they would be in a larger terrarium.

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5 things to look for when buying a Tarantula enclosure

1. Enclosure size

Enclosure size matters, although perhaps not as much for tarantulas as some other animals. The size of enclosure you need will vary somewhat depending on the species, but in general you don’t need huge enclosures for any tarantula.

That’s because most tarantulas just aren’t that active, and none of them are social. In the wild they spend most of their time lying still, waiting to ambush their prey. In fact, it’s possible to put your tarantula in a tank that’s too big. If there’s too much space it can take them a long time to find their food.

It’s also possible to give them a tank that’s too tall. All tarantulas will do some climbing, and it’s not uncommon for them to fall. You want to be sure that if your tarantula falls, it doesn’t get seriously hurt. 18 inches is the upper limit. Substrate depth also matters; terrestrial species live in burrows, and they’ll spend almost the whole day hidden in their burrow. You need to be able to add enough substrate for them to comfortably dig in and hide.

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2. Accessibility

You have to be able to access the inside of the terrarium. You have to feed the tarantula, but you also have to clean the tank periodically, which includes removing the substrate. Front-opening doors are a good feature to look for, because they make it much easier to access the tank.

All terrariums will have a removable lid at the top, and for terrestrial species this is fine. Adding the front doors, however, is really a necessity with arboreal species, and it’s a nice feature with terrestrial ones, too. Arboreal tarantulas often hang out near the top of the terrarium, and can easily escape if they’re up there when you open the lid. For terrestrial species, you may find that having multiple ways to access the tank is very convenient,

3. Maintenance

The terrarium needs to be cleaned and disinfected regularly. The substrate needs to be completely replaced regularly-  tarantulas generate waste just like any other animal, and they’re trapped inside the terrarium with it. Not cleaning the terrarium will kill your tarantula, so you definitely want a terrarium that’s as easy as possible to keep clean.

In addition to terrariums with front-opening doors, you really want a glass terrarium. Plastic is much cheaper, but it’s harder to keep clean and it won’t last as long.

4. Quality

Since your terrarium will spend its entire life in this enclosure, you want to be sure you’re giving it the best possible home. Plus, you probably want a terrarium that you can use for years to come, since they’re not exactly cheap.

Look for trusted manufacturers. There aren’t many that are designed specially for tarantulas, but any terrarium designed for lizards, snakes, or frogs will work just as well for tarantulas. The best brands tend to consult herpetologists and entomologists on the design of their enclosures.

5. Price

Good terrariums aren’t cheap. They’re made of glass, they’re heavy, and they have lots of interesting design features. They’re also built to last, which means the manufacturer has to make more money from each sale.

If you can’t afford a good glass terrarium right now, you’re better off saving up until you can than buying a cheap plastic terrarium. Those are really only suitable for temporary housing.

Tarantula supplies you’ll need for the enclosure

Here’s a quick list of the main items you’ll need to have for a proper Tarantula setup.

  • Substrate – A few inches of substrate is necessary. Large species will need deeper substrate- arboreal species need very little but terrestrial ones love to burrow. The substrate depth should equal your tarantula’s legspan, and deeper is better.This coconut based substrate works well, and it holds its shape in burrows.
  • Substrate heater – The terrarium needs to be kept warm. A substrate heater is one of the best ways to do that. Just remember you need a temperature gradient- one side of the tank should always be cooler. That happens naturally with a substrate heater, but it’s always good to check the temperature to be sure.
  • Thermometer- The only way to know if the climate inside the tank is right for your tarantula is with a thermometer. This one is great.
  • Plants to climb – Since some tarantulas like to climb, you need to provide an environment in which they can do that. Like this, or this.
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Tarantulas make great pets, and housing them is fairly easy. All you need is a simple glass terrarium and a few other easy to find items and you’re good to go.

The Carolina Custom Cage  is the ideal enclosure for your tarantula, and it’s sure to last a long time. It has plenty of room and it’s well suited to both arboreal and terrestrial species.


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