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Why not a bigger enclosure?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Enclosures' started by John in Bangkok, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. John in Bangkok

    John in Bangkok New Member

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    Hi guys, totally new to this, and have a real question. Please don't hate on me, I really just want to know.

    Why do most people recommend small enclosures for Ts? I know that they do fine in smaller enclosures, but this seems cruel to me. Think of dogs/cats in small cages, birds in cages, etc. Wouldn't they do better having a larger enclosure to wander around or hunt? Do they just not do that? How is their behavior in the wild? Imitating their natural habitat seams the best solution in my opinion, including the size of enclosure, heat, humidity, substrate/plants/water scenarios.

    I just bought a 15 gallon enclosure for my T and just couldn't see putting her in anything smaller. I am in the process of designing a vivarium, complete with live plants. I think she is a Haplopelma Vonwirthi from Vietnam, but not sure. Since I live in Bangkok Thailand, the climate is similar so not much maintaining to keep the temp/humidity ideal.

    Thanks in advance and looking forward to the feedback.
    Denny Dee likes this.
  2. Enn49

    Enn49 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Most Ts in the wild will make their home and stay there waiting for food to come their way. They rarely roam around except for mature males on the hunt for females.
    voldemort and sdsnybny like this.
  3. kormath

    kormath Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    that's a confusion many many people have. they compare T's to pets they know about - dogs and cats are a great example. Dogs need exercise daily, a large area to run in, same with cats. T's don't. Their bodies aren't designed like a mammal's body. They don't have the cardiovascular system to support running around the yard to get their excersize. almost all T's are ambush predators. They wait for prey to come close to them, rather than go out and hunt like a lion or wolf.

    As baby slings, they'll travel a bit to separate from their siblings. Once they find an area of their own they'll stay there for most of their life, unless a natural disaster like forest fire, etc. drive them out. Males will travel a bit looking for a mate, but not usually very far. The B. albopilosum for example, if i recall correctly, has a territory of about 50 sq. yards

    THat's awesome! How big is your T? The rule of thumb i use is to house them in an enclosure 2-3 times their leg span, that gives them plenty of room to grow, so you're not rehousing them over and over. and it's small enough that prey doesn't get far, so the T's can catch it easily. if your tank dimensions are the same as in the States, a 15 gallon would be suitable for some of the larger species, that grow 6-8 inch leg span.

    My recommendations for adults/sub adults -
    10 gallon - 20"L x 10"W x 12"T - 10" width, suitable for any species up to 6" leg span
    15 gallon - 24"L x 12"W x 12"T - 12" width, suitable for any species 6 - 8" leg span
    30 gallon - 36"L x 18"W x 12"T - 18" width, suitable for the largest species over 8" leg span.

    Width is what you go by, you want them to have some room on each side, rather than running against the walls ;)

    Welcome to the forum btw! and post pics when you get your viv setup :D
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  4. Rwgrimm

    Rwgrimm New Member

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    I have a young tarantula. 2.5" leg span. I bought a tarantula enclosure that is 12" in diameter. Too big?
  5. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Active Member

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    They can't find food, wander around stressed out of its too big.

    Having said that, if the T functions normally you're good. If it's something that builds a burrow, it'll be in one place.

    Still, it's probably best to not have overkill. An advantage of a larger cage is that when you're maintaining it, you can stay further away from the T, which reduces bad behavior on its part, eg. biting or trying to escape.

    Just look at caresheets and lots of different sources.

    For example, my Versicolor kept escaping from the delicup I had it in. I ended up putting it back into a 4x7 cage that I wanted to use in the first place. The T built a web which I just drop food into.

    It is probably three times larger then some others.

    Of course, this means I won't have to switch it out for larger cage as it grows as often.
  6. Venom2090

    Venom2090 Member

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    Predator and prey interactions can be a problem. But is fairly easily avoided.

    They also tend to hide more often and be less aggressive feeders, which slows growth.

    There is also a issue with providing a appropriate hide for a small spider in a large cage, and making it feel secure.

    These are not intelligent animals, very dumb in fact. They don't need space to play or roam. They are not intelligent enough to get bored or desire toys. Thus, considering this and the disadvantages of very large cages, a more modest size cage is the obvious choice.
  7. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Active Member

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    These enclosures are sized for slings, juveniles and adults. The ones for juveniles and slings are a steal!!

    I wish I had gotten these at repticon!!

    https://www.jamiestarantulay 7s.com

    The cutoff that they use for juveniles and slings is 1" leg span. (Which is the exact leg span of my Versicolor!!)
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017 at 2:57 PM
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