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Heating a tarantula

Zannee2000

New Member
So I live in Utah that can get very cold during the winter I just bought a Arizona blonde the other day and have her in a 8 by 8 exo terra cage I’ve never had tarantualas before and read that the temp should be between 70 and 80 but during the day my house is 68 and at night about 65 I’m currently hiding my tarantula from my parents so a large heater isn’t really a option but I was wondering if a 4 watt hermit crab heater designed for about 72 to 80 degrees is okay to stick on the back of the cage
 

AndrewClayton

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Those temps should still be okay but you’re spider wil grow even slower than usual at this temp. Is it a heat mat you have for the hermit crab? Best way to use them is attach it to the inside of a cupboard or somewhere that can be closed then put the full spiders enclosure inside the heated cupboard. Hope this helps
 

AndrewClayton

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
I suppose if you’re trying to hide it from you’re parents and it’s easier to attach it to the enclosure just make sure the heat Matt is above substrate level as you’re T will burrow to get away from heat so you don’t want the substrate to be heated at all
 

Zannee2000

New Member
Those temps should still be okay but you’re spider wil grow even slower than usual at this temp. Is it a heat mat you have for the hermit crab? Best way to use them is attach it to the inside of a cupboard or somewhere that can be closed then put the full spiders enclosure inside the heated cupboard. Hope this helps
Well I just saw that the heating mats for reptiles get to high of temperatures that’s why I was going to buy a hermit crab heating mat since it says it’s specifically designed to be below 80 degrees
 

TarantulaFan1014

Formerly 'Casey K.'
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3 Year Member
Premium Member
You really wouldn't need to use any kind of heating devices at those temps. As stated, your tarantula would grow a bit slower at those temps but overall the temps are doing it no harm. I wouldn't recommend using a heat mat unless your house drops below 55°. The cooler temps won't kill your tarantula. They only slow its metabolism. Tarantulas do fairly well in cooler temps and not so much in heat (easily dehydrate). Also, keeping the temperature inside the terrarium consistent probably wouldn't happen with a heat pad. You'd need some type of climate controlled terrarium.
 

Zannee2000

New Member
You really wouldn't need to use any kind of heating devices at those temps. As stated, your tarantula would grow a bit slower at those temps but overall the temps are doing it no harm. I wouldn't recommend using a heat mat unless your house drops below 55°. The cooler temps won't kill your tarantula. They only slow its metabolism. Tarantulas do fairly well in cooler temps and not so much in heat (easily dehydrate). Also, keeping the temperature inside the terrarium consistent probably wouldn't happen with a heat pad. You'd need some type of climate controlled terrarium.
This is the cage I currently have for her it’s supposed to keep humidity in and help with that so what do you think, also how long do you think this cage will last her she is currently about 2 inches? It’s 8 by 8 by 8
 

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AndrewClayton

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
They enclosure are the exact opposite they get rid of humidity due to the mesh lid, anyway humidity is irrelevant when it comes to Ts it dry sub damp sub or part damp part dry if you’re T is from an arid place like the desert it will live on dry substrate with a water dish if you’re T is from a forest area where humidity is high this translates to damp substrate nothing to do with humidity. Also the mesh lid on them should be replace with acrylic or polycarbonate as a T can get it’s tarsal claws stuck in the fine mesh and end up loosing a leg. So long story short you have an arid T so keep it on dry substrate and just overflow the water dish every couple of weeks depending on how fast it drys out obviously lol. They are slow growing and have a slow metabolism so try not to feed it too much twice a month is sufficient any more and you run the risk of you’re T fasting for a long time before moulting. Get as much substrate In that enclosure as you can maybe even make it incline up the back, as a rule of thumb terrestrial species shouldn’t be allowed any more than 1.5x leg span from substrate to the top of tank due to fall risk
 

TarantulaFan1014

Formerly 'Casey K.'
1,000+ Post Club
3 Year Member
Premium Member
Professor Clayton to the rescue! I would add that it is an Aphonopelma species and they are very slow growers so your T will be in there for a while. They do have a tendency to burrow. I would add a small piece of cork bark to the substrate so it can start its own. Everything else was pretty much covered by Andrew. :)
 

Arachnoclown

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Premium Member
Those temps are fine. Deep substrate is what Alphonopelma chalcodes need. No need to add any heat attached to the enclosure. Alphonopelma chalcodes hunt in the deserts of Arizona at night and the temps get way down in the low 50s. I've witnessed it myself on many occasions. Who cares if your spider grows slow...it will live longer.
 

Whitelightning777

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Premium Member
The simplest thing to do is to turn up your home heat to 75 and be happy.

There is a Zoo Med product selling for $11.88 on Amazon that I have tested multiple times and found safe. You mount this high on one side never underneath!! The heat mat itself rises to a temperature of 90 to 95 degrees, which isn't fatal and transmits temps to the low 80s.

It is also critter keeper safe.

Remember, not all mats are created equal!! Most others are extremely powerful and can only be used with a rheostat switch after carefully measuring the temps.

If you screw up heating, the results can be fatal. Less is more. I can PM you additional information because I also live in a cold home and keep all of mine warm with no issues.

Hermit crabs are far more delicate then tarantulas are. Obviously, the mat must NEVER he used inside of the cage. Despite this, obtain a digital infrared thermometer and carefully measure every nook and cranny and every square inch to ensure that no unsafe areas exist!! Just because mine works safely doesn't mean yours will.
 

Tschorm

Member
Well, could have saved some money was also afraid, now as the winter is coming, for the main heater in this house fail again, and brought an electric heater just in case, that the temps would drop to 55 maybe at night. Think my bigger problem will get the close to 100 in Summer at late afternoon, when the sun is hitting my windows and cooking my flat oO
 

Hemolymph

Active Member
Well, could have saved some money was also afraid, now as the winter is coming, for the main heater in this house fail again, and brought an electric heater just in case, that the temps would drop to 55 maybe at night. Think my bigger problem will get the close to 100 in Summer at late afternoon, when the sun is hitting my windows and cooking my flat oO
Temperatures in the burrow are much different then room. Deep substrate is the key my friend.
 

Whitelightning777

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Premium Member
A window mounted heat pump / AC unit is much safer in terms of fire hazards. Most can both heat and cool. If you are going from say just 70 to 80 or whatever, its a few degrees. Therefore you don't need a very powerful unit. In fact, probably the smallest one on Amazon or whatever is probably fine.

Yes, the initial cost is more, but the electric bills are much less, probably wil nearly equal the monthly payments. Using freon is always more efficient to resistance heating by design given the same amount of power used.

The controls and options are generally more flexible and you can really tune it to a fine degree. Many affordable units even have different day/night settings if you want to replicate that.

If you are heating an entire room instead of just one cage, it makes sense to go the HVAC route.

There are also switches with timers, typically for exterior lighting or security systems that work just fine with hermit crab heaters or other smaller cage heaters if you have only a small number of cages or a bioactive setup with actual plants that of course need actual light to grow.

These things are usually one time expenses that in many cases cost less then a really high dollar tarantula does. I'm planning on going this route with the forever home I'm going to do with my T stirmi. A bit of clover would be a wonderful addition to the tank and clover should do just fine without fertilizer because it pulls nitrogen from the air, therefore no pesky nitrates need be added.
 

Huntzman90

Member
I keep my house around 68°.. I live with two other people and this is the agreed upon acceptable house temperature lol. I live in the pacific Northwest so it does get fairly cold in the winter. At the moment it drops below 60° if my heat is not on. So i bought a small heat pad and have placed it in with my tarantulas. I keep them in an old antique cabinet and the heat pad is not near the enclosures just keeping the space at a reasonable temp. Heres the thing.. My Brachypelma Albopilosum seems to follow it.. Seeking out the heat source. Ive moved it several times and it seems to always be out on top of the substrate facing the pad. It hasnt really burrowed yet either.

My other two tarantulas seem to care less about the heat pad and usually remain in theyre web/burrow as they typically do.

Should I give my brachy a little heat pad of its own?
Or just move it a little closer to its enclosure?

I know it will probably be fine either way but i figured id see what the experts thought. :)

Its also on the heavy side. Its abdomen is quite large and its most deffinitely in pre molt. I havent fed it for two weeks and when i tried recently it refused the dubia roach.

Should i try feeding again or is it ok to starve it for a little while until its abdomen shrinks?

Heres a picture of the fat bastard

20190930_205704.jpg


I did add a water dish after this photo was taken.

Thanks in advance y'all :)
 

PanzoN88

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
3 Year Member
I keep my house around 68°.. I live with two other people and this is the agreed upon acceptable house temperature lol. I live in the pacific Northwest so it does get fairly cold in the winter. At the moment it drops below 60° if my heat is not on. So i bought a small heat pad and have placed it in with my tarantulas. I keep them in an old antique cabinet and the heat pad is not near the enclosures just keeping the space at a reasonable temp. Heres the thing.. My Brachypelma Albopilosum seems to follow it.. Seeking out the heat source. Ive moved it several times and it seems to always be out on top of the substrate facing the pad. It hasnt really burrowed yet either.

My other two tarantulas seem to care less about the heat pad and usually remain in theyre web/burrow as they typically do.

Should I give my brachy a little heat pad of its own?
Or just move it a little closer to its enclosure?

I know it will probably be fine either way but i figured id see what the experts thought. :)

Its also on the heavy side. Its abdomen is quite large and its most deffinitely in pre molt. I havent fed it for two weeks and when i tried recently it refused the dubia roach.

Should i try feeding again or is it ok to starve it for a little while until its abdomen shrinks?

Heres a picture of the fat bastard

View attachment 41197

I did add a water dish after this photo was taken.

Thanks in advance y'all :)
If the heating pad is not making contact with any enclosures and heat the entire cabinet. I would just leave things as is. Most cases I wouldn't recommend a heating pad at all, most times I would recommend space heaters, but heating pads do have their uses in cabinets. Tarantulas going towards the heat is why many do not recommend heat mats.

Again, it should be good provided the heat mat is not contacting enclosures.
 

Jess S

Well-Known Member
Gorgeous albo you have there.

Agree with Panzo. Say for interest, you did give it its own heatpad. It may be attracted to the heat but that isn't necessarily a good thing if they temperature in the cabinet is within acceptable levels. If a heat source is too near them (no matter how 'low'), they can spend so much time basking as close to it as possible, that it becomes dangerous. You may think you have a dead T as it isn't moving, yet when the heat source is switched off, it recovers and starts moving again. That's if you notice in time. Heat pads can be used safely if you meet certain conditions, but if you are already heating the cabinet, the albo doesn't need its own.

One of my albo slings behaves just like yours. It just stays on the top of the substrate not doing a lot. If it was in the wild, a predator would have had it by now! It's one of my favourites though.

If it's in premoult and refusing food, if you tried feeding it again it won't take it anyway. My albo refused for a while before moulting. And it's abdomen went big, dark and shiny in premoult. However, sometimes they will eat and eat, then fast for a while, until they regain their appetite from the calorie overload!

Just skip the next feed and try a week after with a medium sized feeder.
 

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