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Who is your go-to for ready built enclosures?

I don't want to use plain ol' Sterilite tubs forever and was curious of the people who make nice acrylic tarantula enclosures, who you guys prefer and has the best features/value/price ratio? I've pretty much just come across Jamie's Tarantulas and Tarantulacages.com so far. I've seen where some people on Etsy make them but I'm looking around for suggestions. If you guys feel some of the Exo-terra are better purchases overall, then feel free to throw in your .02.
 

Grandsouls

Active Member
You can get 5 - 10 gallon tanks second had really cheap often, can make a ventilation bit and a glass door real easily either sat normal or arboreal. there's tons of different ways to make the doors and ventilation for them if you look them up on google. Tank 5-10$ glass 5$ mesh 2$ silicone and glue 10$ hinges 2$ roughly cost of supplies give or take... its not bad. And makes for a really nice looking enclosure.
Or you can just make custom glass enclosure depending how adventurous you feel I suppose or plexiglass. Lots of tutorials for either. Google is your best friend for this kind of stuff, as well quite few youtubers demonstrate how to.
I use to make for miniature gecko arboreal set ups this way with 5 and 10 gallon tanks. Will be making some soon again for Ts.
 
I dont think i have the patience to build my own or modify aquariums. Im leaning towards a few Exo Terras. Size wise they seem to be cheaper than the other 2 alternatives i mentioned. Plus theres a petco right across the highway from me. I don't think itll be too big a deal to just have Lowes cut me some plexiglass to size and then drill some ventilation holes. I guess my only concern is if they provide enough ventilation for species that require good cross ventilation, like my c versicolor.
 

testdasi

Member
I dont think i have the patience to build my own or modify aquariums. Im leaning towards a few Exo Terras. Size wise they seem to be cheaper than the other 2 alternatives i mentioned. Plus theres a petco right across the highway from me. I don't think itll be too big a deal to just have Lowes cut me some plexiglass to size and then drill some ventilation holes. I guess my only concern is if they provide enough ventilation for species that require good cross ventilation, like my c versicolor.
There are many factors to consider.
  • For terrestrials / fossorials (except Theraphosa, see below), fish tanks are perfect. You just have to make sure to get a moulded mesh top + a good set of clips to lock the top to the tank. To be honest, you don't even need moulded mesh but many people are afraid of freak accidents of T's getting foot stuck.
    • Theraphosa (especially blondi) needs a humidity level that is hard to maintain with a mesh top.
  • For Pokies, fish tanks turned on the side would also work but you need a piece of acrylic / plastic / plexi glass + silicone to mod something to hold in the substrate. Back when I had no money, I used duct tape, Mythbusters style. Obviously same thing with a mesh top (which would now become front foor).
    • If you can get plexi glass cut to size then that would work really well. Just buy some cheap hinges from your favourite DIY store. Just google pre-made enclosures and see the hole spacing from there.
  • The Exo Terra Nano Tall works with pretty much all adult arboreal tarantulas, perhaps except for the largest of P. ornata / P. rufilata.
    • This is particularly true with Caribena / Avicularia. Again some prefer to mod the top due to the mesh fear but other than that, it provides plenty of cross ventilation. Fish tanks don't really work because you need cross ventilation.
Note that with Exo Terra cubes, you will have to create a slope for most terrestrials to minimise falling risks. The 8" cube would work for pretty much everything up to about 4" DLS and the 12" cube for pretty much everything larger than that. You will never need anything more than the 12" cube unless you have a 10"+ Theraphosa.
 

octanejunkie

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
3 Year Member
Tarantula Club Member
In my limited experience the Exo Terra Nano (8x8x8 cube) is good for a GBB, or if put a plexi piece behind the door any other medium size terrestrial assuming you mod the lid. Lots of work on a $30-40 tank.
Personally I don't care for sloping substrate in the ET Nano as it always slides and clogs the front vents making it a top vent only tank.

The Exo Terra Nano Tall (8x8x12 rectangle) is good for any medium size non-avic arboreal, maybe an Avic if you can guarantee active ventilation, meaning air flow. The tank is not inherently ideal for cross ventilation that this sp. thrives with.

The other thing the Exo Terra Nano tanks are good for are GBBs, either one will work.

The larger ET tanks can work for just about anything that doesn't require deep substrate, which eliminates fossorials unless you mod the front edge as mentioned. You can often pick up used tanks from people getting out of the hobby cheap.

Herpticult makes some nice plastic tanks, they are very clear and well designed, albeit pricey. ZooMed has many options in glass but caters more to the reptile amphibian crowd. They make low boy tanks that are good for terrestrials needing larger footprints with less climbing height.

Also, your local pet shop that specializes in exotics probably has a relationship with a custom tank maker. My LPS can make me just about any size tank for $40 or less, unless it's huge.

Another option are fish tanks on end. @Arachnoclown has a thread with a plexi front for $30 that you silicone into the front of a 10gal standing on end; good for pokies, etc. Here's the link to that post: https://tarantulaforum.com/threads/arachnoclowns-tarantula-room-and-enclosures.25383/post-172598

So many options, really.

What you probably need to decide is what species you want to keep, and if you start with a sling, you have time to figure out the adult enclosure. So don't sweat it too much, yet.

I wrote a thread a while back comparing the commercial enclosures in this sub-forum, check that for comparisons of the retail tanks mentioned.
 

PanzoN88

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
3 Year Member
The only custom enclosures I have are from Jamie (actually going to see if she can put something a bit more custom than what you see on her site), so that is all I can recommend as I prefer sterilite bins mostly.
 
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