A Zebra knee tarantula is a remarkable creature that many hobbyists keep as a pet. It is an inexpensive yet hardy spider that amazes everyone with its wonderful colors, striped legs, orange spinnerets, and deep red hair. Although they remain docile most of the time, you can be startled by its speed when an emergency strikes. Great looks, strong body, and long life make it an easily manageable tarantula, suitable for beginners.
If you have made up your mind to keep this spider as a pet, here are a few care instructions you must know beforehand.
Although compliant and submissive, this tarantula species can move extremely fast and so it is not that easy to contain and catch. Beginners trying to pick it up often end up hurting the animal by dropping it off in the cage or on the floor. However, gentle handling can help tame them over time.
You will need a 5-10 gallon aquarium to house this spider. The tank’s width should be at least thrice the leg span of your tarantula. Since they like burrowing, you will have to put a thick substrate in it.
So, the tank should be sufficiently tall for that as well. It should have an enclosure system to prevent escaping. Since tarantulas tend to climb up most of the time, a top made up of wire mesh is not recommended. There are special spider terrariums that you can buy at a pet store.
The substrate you put in the tank should be a minimum of 4 inches thick and be a mix of soil, vermiculite, and peat moss. You may provide them shelter in the form of a cork bark, hollow log, or a broken clay pot. Place some fake vines and plants to let them climb.
A zebra knee tarantula stays comfortable when kept at a temperature between 70 and 85°F. The humidity level should be around 75 to 80%. Unless your house is too cool, you will not need to add any heat supplement. No mist would be required either, as evaporation from its water dish would be enough to achieve the required humidity level.
This is a carnivore tarantula that likes eating live crickets, cockroaches, beetles, and grasshoppers. Whichever feed you choose for your spider, make sure that it does not feed on pesticide-laden foliage.
You may also add a pinky mouse to your tarantula’s plate now and then for some extra protein. Feed it at least once a week as per its appetite. Remove any uneaten food from its habitat, as decay may create an unhealthy environment for your pet.
A water bowl will serve as a source of water as well as humidity in your pet’s enclosure. Change the water every day and scoop up the substrate that mixes with water to prevent bacteria and rot. Make sure that the water is non-chlorinated, and the dish is shallow for easy drinking.
Tarantula is a hardy breed that seldom falls ill. However, keep them safe from falls, as their abdomen is like an eggshell that can be easily ruptured even when it falls from a short height. Apart from that, keep it hydrated by giving it clean water every day. With all these tips, a Zebra knee tarantula can be kept as a happy pet that can live for as long as 15-20 years with you.