Substrate is an essential part of your tarantula’s enclosure, as it provides your spider with a place to burrow and can help retain the humidity level in the aquarium. Every tarantula owner has their own preferences when it comes to choosing which substrate to use for their arachnid. Here are some different types of substrate that are commonly used in tarantula enclosures, each with their own benefits.
Coconut fiber is my personal favorite type of substrate, as it has a pleasant smell, retains humidity without being too moist and is biodegradable. Eco-Earth sells bricks of coconut fiber for less than $5.00, available at most reptile stores. If you are concerned amount scent and cleanliness, coconut fiber is an excellent choice as it breaks down excrement from your tarantula and maintains a fresh, clean smell.
Regular garden soil is another popular substrate type that tarantula owners often use. Because the soil is so soft, it is easy for the tarantula to burrow into. When deciding to use garden soil as the substrate for your tarantula’s enclosure, it is essential that you make sure there are no additives or fertilizers in the soil, as these can be extremely harmful and even fatal to your pet arachnid. Garden soil is often one of the most inexpensive substrates you can use in your tarantula’s enclosure.
Green moss is a substrate type commonly used for species that require a high humidity level to survive. Green moss retains humidity well. When using green moss however, it is best to keep a humidity gauge in the enclosure to ensure that the levels do not get too high as this can lead to mold growth with can be harmful to your tarantula.
Peat moss is another popular form of substrate for tarantulas, as it provides easy burrowing and retains humidity fairly well. However, it is best to bake peat moss before placing it in your enclosure to sanitize it and dry it out. When using peat moss as substrate, you can run a higher risk of developing mites in your enclosure which can harm your arachnid.
Similar to garden soil, potting soil is a preferred substrate is it is easy for the spider to burrow into and is good at retaining the right humidity level. Like garden soil, it is essential to check the ingredients in the soil to make sure there is no fertilizer in it.