Tarantulas, and other poisonous types of spiders, are not easy to keep as pets. They are poisonous, sneaky, and downright creepy. Like most spiders and reptiles, they need a warm and tropical environment to thrive, and this environment is typically difficult to achieve without the proper substrate or terrarium. In this article, we will be covering some of the best substrate for tarantulas available on the market.
Guide to Choosing a Great Substrate
Regular substrate manufacturing company rarely devote funding to create an exclusive tarantulas substrate product. What they do is manufacture products that can be used by spiders, reptiles, invertebrates, and amphibians. The products we review will largely fall under one of those animal classes. While it is true that all these types of animals don’t necessarily live in the same habitat, they most times require a consistent soil texture and humidity. In this post, that is what we are going to be focusing on.
The recommended terrarium texture for most spiders and reptiles varies immensely from expert to expert. Some argue that since the jungle floor is typically chaotic and uneven, a more jagged texture would be more naturalistic. In contrast, others argue that smoother textures promote burrowing, and incubation, among other things. For this guide, we have decided to choose a more textured approach. We believe that procreation and comfort sometimes trump naturalism.
Spiders and reptiles typically thrive in more tropical environs. That is why most spider owners recommend using a terrarium instead of letting them wander around the house like other household pets. To achieve the ideal temperature and humidity for spiders, you need to pay attention to the materials or sources that the substrate is gotten from. Ideally, you want peat moss, coir, tree fern, and sphagnum moss. Other sources will be fine too, but it’ll be hard to guarantee that they are safe or moisture-resistant enough to house your spider.
Invest in Mixes
In this post, we review jungle mixes and Atlanta Botanical Garden mixes as well. Ideally, these type of substrates are the best for your exotic animal, but if you don’t have access to those types of substrates, you should try to create mixes of your own. They help balance out less texturized substrates.
Top 15 Best Substrate for Tarantulas
In this section, we cover popular types of substrate products, and we review their various strength and weaknesses.
Critters Comfort Insect and Spider Substrate
The critters comfort substrate is a special all-natural substrate for various species of spiders or reptiles. It’s the very best of the best, and it contains unique features that are exclusive to only premium substrates. It provides the perfect texture and density to incubate various species of spiders and even insects.
Critters is also naturally resistant to mold and fungal growth, and it is odourless. It contains no potentially harmful chemicals, and it has a uniform texture that retains moisture easily. It’s easy to tunnel through, and it suits tarantulas as well as other Spiders.
Zoo Meds Eco Earth Loose Coconut Fiber Substrate
The Zoo Meds Eco Earth Loose Coconut Fiber Substrate is reptile substrate made from coir. From its name and contents, it’s quite easy to dismiss it without quite understanding what this lovely substrate has to offer. Coco fibre is a soil-like substrate which comes with the consistency and texture of your everyday gardening soil.
It contains no additives or minerals, and It is eco-friendly. The Zoo Meds coir comes with great consistency and texture, but it is far from perfect. It might provide great results for most tarantula owners, but It can be improved upon. Mixing it with numerous types of other substrates and even soil can improve the effects and texture.
Zilla Jungle Mix
The Zilla jungle mix is a substrate that contains different kind of soils, shaving, and organisms typically found on the jungle topsoil. The Zilla jungle mix contains sphagnum moss and fir shavings, two popular highly absorbent organic substrates that retain humidity longterm.
They are especially great for animals, or in this case, tarantulas, who want to lay eggs and burrow. It comes in various size options, and it is great for not only spiders but also frogs, geckos, toads and even snakes.
Zoo Med Creature Soil for Terrarium
The Zoo Med is a mix-type substrate that is filled with only the best substrates, soils, and mosses for animals and Spiders who live in jungles or tropical environments. This unique blend contains peat moss, soil, sand, and carbon.
It has a smooth and even texture, moisture-absorbent, and is great for maintaining humidity. It’s the perfect incubator for reptiles and spiders who lay eggs. It is comfortable for animals who burrow too.
Zilla Coconut Husk Brick Reptile Bedding
Zilla’s coconut husk bedding or coir is a coconut-based substrate for reptiles and spiders. It is wonderful as a standalone substrate, or it can be added to topsoil, peat moss or a variety of other popular spiders or tarantulas substrate.
For reptiles and spiders, it doubles as a bedding alternative that allows them to burrow and incubate. It retains humidity easily, and it is a 100% pure coconut fibre. It is great for most types of jungle reptiles.
Zoo Med Forest Floor Bedding
Zoomed Forest floor is cypress mulch-based substrate for reptiles and spiders. On its own, its far from perfect for your Spider, but when mixed with different types of substrates, it becomes more comfortable.
Zoomed Forest floor comes in different sizes, and it is completely organic. It contains no additives or preservatives whatsoever and is suitable for various types of reptiles and animals. It does not come with a smooth ad consistent texture, but it does provide a wonderful jungle texture that agrees with most animals. The Cyprus mulch performs better when mixed with other popular substrates, and it retains moisture better.
Zoo Med Creatures Den Low Profile Starter kit
The Zoomed creature’s starter kit is an extensive reptile and spider starter kit that contains everything you need to care or your pet. It contains everything from natural cork, to a glass terrarium. It’s suitable for tarantulas, insects, and even reptiles.
It comes with a massive den container with the dimensions of 10.5 by 20.5 by 8 inches, a small feeding bowl, and a healthy topsoil substrate with near-perfect humidity and moisture retention. The soil is also easy to navigate through, and warm enough to lay and hatch eggs. The entire kit comes at a relatively low combo price and is perfect for any beginning hobbyists.
Zoo Med Eco Earth Loose Coconut Substrate
The Zoo Med Eco earth substrate is another great coconut fibre substrate for insects, spiders, and reptiles. It is the perfect substrate for large terrariums, and it great for various species of spiders.
Since it is 100%, it does not contains preservatives, additives, or any minerals that could endanger your spiders. It’s perfect for a tropical terrarium. It can absorb a great deal of moisture and increase the humidity in the soil. It’s great for tarantulas who love burrowing and reptiles who prefer a more humid habitat.
Josh Frogs Coco Cradle
The Josh’s Frog Coco cradle is a reptile and spider substrate made from grounded coconut mulch or coir. To achieve a sublime texture, its manufacturers mixed fine topsoil in with grounded coir. It is completely natural, and it is easy to change or dispose of after repeated use.
It has a smooth, almost fine texture that is just as moisture absorbent as it is humid. Thanks to the unique composition, it can easily absorb dirt and remove odor from the terrarium. It is perfect for any beginner reptile terrarium owner, and it is relatively cheap.
Zoo Med Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate
The Zoomed Excavator clay substrate is a lot more versatile than your average substrate for reptiles and tarantulas. Instead of containing topsoil, or coir, it contains dye-free clay. This means that it will be easier to use, maintain, and cleanout. The clay allows pet owners to construct life-sized holes, mini-caves etc. It is perfect for your burrowing tarantulas too.
With access to so much dirt, they will be able to comfortably construct their homes too. It contains no chemicals or added preservatives, and it is perfect for all sort of spiders and desert reptiles.
Zoo Med New Zealand Sphagnum Moss
The Zoomed New Zealand Sphagnum moss is moisture absorbent moss substrate developed by Zoomed. Its moisture-retentive composition makes it the perfect top substrate for reptile and spider terrariums. It can withstand heavy use, and it can last months without decaying.
It’s completely natural and contains no special additives or preservatives that lengthen its use time. It’s suitable for most kinds of reptiles and invertebrates. It is incredibly versatile, and it goes well with several types of soils. It is the most absorbent kind of moss, and it is incredibly cheap.
Pangea ABG Premium Substrate
The Pangea ABG premium substrate that provides a convincing all-natural alternative to large botanical gardens in terms of substrate quality. The materials that make up this substrate include; charcoal, sphagnum moss, orchid bark, tree fern, and peat moss. The combination of this mosses, barks and shavings create an almost natural terrarium environment where reptiles and spiders can thrive.
In addition to being packed with tons of great substrate materials, it also contains healthy nutrients that make plants grow faster. In other words, this substrate doubles as a fertilizer.
Minute Soil- Compressed Coir Fiber Grow
The minute soil is another great portable coir substrate that comes in tiny cubes or pellets. Like most substrate bricks, it collapses and expands when exposed to water, and it can provide instantaneous access to coir substrate replacement if your terrarium needs it.
The Minute soil coir fibre shines best when it is added to some topsoil. Terrariums, by nature, are expected to be moist water retentive and easy to clean. With the addition of soil, the coir, and by extension, the entire terrarium will stay hydrated for a longer.
Exo Terra Forest Bark Substrate
The Exo Terra Forest is an all-natural fir bark substrate for reptiles and spiders. Like coir products and other great coir products, it contains only a single substrate or bark. It has a smooth and even texture, and it performs better when mixed with topsoil. The fir bark substrate has soil-feel that encourages digging or burrowing habits in animals.
It also retains humidity far better than most common substrates. When coupled with the right terrarium, the Exo Terra Forest bark substrate could really imitate the ideal jungle habitat that most spiders, reptiles, and frogs need to thrive.
Eco-coir compressed coir Fiber peat
The Eco-coir compressed coir fibre peat is a common substrate made from the by-product of coconut harvests. Its manufacturers market this product as a great soil substrate or fertilizer that aids plants growth and development. Increase humidity retention, help plants develop root systems, and increase their resistance to diseases and infection.
To the terrarium owner, this eco-friendly product is the perfect bedding/humidity enhancing top substrate that their tarantulas and reptiles need to thrive. Its great moisture retention and smooth texture will no doubt provide the ideal habitat for most reptiles and spiders. This product can also be mixed with some topsoil to achieve a more even texture.
Conclusion and Final thoughts
Spiders, specifically tarantulas, are special pets with delicate needs. They are nothing like most animals and insects that call the jungle floor their home. They need the perfect habitat to survive and thrive, and it is your duty as a pet owner to provide the best of the best. Alongside finding the best substrate for tarantulas, you also need to be conscious of your tarantula’s various needs. They might not necessarily need plant life to thrive, but it won’t be such a bad idea to search for substrates that promote plant life. You could also install barks in their terrariums so that they can leave the ground whenever they feel like climbing.