Blue’s New House
Blue, my Avicularia avicularia (pink toed) tarantula, has grown quite a bit since you saw her last. She’s now got a legspan of a little over 3cm. And her old house, a mere 2.25 x 2.25 x 3 inches in size, was beginning to look decidedly too small. So today’s project involved setting up a new and much larger home for my little arachnid friend.
Blue’s new house is a 3 x 3 x 6 inch glass storage cannister purchased from the dollar store for the whopping price of $1.25CDN. The lid is aluminum, and I’ve punched a bunch of holes in it for ventilation. Then all that was needed was a couple inches of substrate (a mix of soil, sand, and a bit of sphagnum moss), a chunk of broken terracotta pottery (good for holding moisture), and a piece of plastic greenery.
As I mentioned in my previous post, A. avicularia like Blue require a good humidity level (70-80%) to stay healthy, so this container was chosen with that in mind. The untimely demise of my previous tarantula pet, an A. versicolour named Pinky, can (I think) be at least partially attributed to her enclosure having too much ventilation, and the humidity level as a result being too low, too often. Not enough ventilation can cause problems, too — warm, moist environments may encourage the growth of fungus and bacteria. So I’m keeping a close eye on things, and I’ll add more/larger ventilation holes to the lid if necessary.
The other consideration that I had to be choosy about when picking this particular container was height. A. avicularia are an arboreal species, used to living high up in the trees of their natural environment. Therefore their height requirements are much greater than their length/width requirements. An enclosure should always be taller than it is wide, to facilitate climbing and web-building. Of course, you don’t want the enclosure to be TOO tall. A fall from a great height could kill your tarantula, and while it’s rare that they lose their footing, it’s really not worth taking the risk. Having obstacles in the way to gently break a potential fall is also a good idea — hence the plastic vegetation that I’ve got set up.
Once Blue has had the chance to explore the new space and get used to the change, I’m hoping to see some serious web-building going on. Avicularia species are known for building intricate tunnel webs, and Blue’s old house was just too small to really get a proper tunnel-castle going.