Best Tarantula Substrate – 7 Best Substrate for Tarantulas

Anything you put on the bottom of your aquarium can be called substrates. But if you think you can use regular fish aquarium substrates for your tarantula, you will be wrong. You have to be careful while picking up the best tarantula substrate.

But do not worry, we are here to help you. We will guide you to pick the best tarantula substrate according to your favorite arthropod’s comfort. Let’s start now-

Tarantulas are tropical arthropods. Most of them need a warm environment to live properly. And they can live a long life as well. A well-kept male tarantula can live up to 10 years, and a female can live up to 30 years.

So the key is to take fantastic care of them. If you create a perfect environment for them to live in, consider your half work is complete. Generally, tarantulas are kept in glass aquariums.

The same thing you put fish in, you can keep your tarantulas in them too.

But the two setups are different. Firstly you do not need any water inside your tarantula aquarium.

Secondly, you have to keep “tropical” as the temperature inside the glass cage. But one thing you will need is the best substrates for tarantulas.


What are the best substrates for tarantulas?

We’ve picked the 7 best substrates for your tarantula. Check below the quick comparison table and you can see the detailed reviews too.

A Quick Comparison Table:


Our RatingPreviewProductView


petlover-5-starScotts 0.75 cu. ft. Premium Topsoil Scotts Organic Top Soilview on amazon petloverblog


petlover-4.5-starJosh's Loose Coco Fibre (Coir)Josh’s Loose Coco Fibre (Coir)view on amazon petloverblog


petlover-4.5-starHoffman Peat Mossview on amazon petloverblog


petlover-4.5-starEco Earth Coco Fiberview on amazon petloverblog


petlover-4-starHoffman Horticultural Vermiculiteview on amazon petloverblog



ReptiChip Tarantulas Substrate view on amazon petloverblog


petlover-4.5-starExo Terra Forest Plume Mossview on amazon petloverblog


See also Best Aquarium Thermometer

What substrates you should avoid for tarantulas?

Watch the video below:

As we said earlier, not all substrates are the best for tarantulas. Some substrates can be uncomfortable to live on, even harmful to your beloved pet. So, try to keep away from using the materials used below:

    • Bark Chips:

Bark chips are a popular substrate for lizard aquariums. There are quite a variety of bark chips as well. Generally available in any lizard shops. But as good they are for lizards, they are equally bad for tarantulas.

Bark chips are the worst in case of handling humidity. They get moldy and can also rot in case of consistent exposure to moisture. On top of everything, tarantulas will have a hard time burrowing in bark chips. These should always be avoided as a tarantula substrate.

    • Gravel:

Gravels can look pretty in your fish tank, but they are not close to qualifying as a tarantula substrate. FIrstly any animal which stands on its feet hates to stand on gravel. Tarantulas hate rock more than any other.

They will constantly try to go away and will try to climb enclosures, which can lead to injuring them as well. Though gravels do not get moldy, they are the worst in case of holding moisture.

    • Sand:

The last two substrates are direct no for your tarantula, but to be natural, sand is not the worst substrate for your hairy spider. Only if you use it in a mixture, just sand as a substrate, is a bad idea.

Sands are not known for their water-holding abilities. Sand burrow’s close quickly as the substrate is light. So, don’t use sand as a sole substrate. Use it with a mixture; you will do great.

    • Corn Cob Granules

This is another substrate suitable for reptiles. Never ever consider corn cob granules as tarantula substrates. They get moldy when mixed with water quickly.

And also, wet corn granules can rot easily. You have to frequently change the substrate, which is not worth the hassle as they are not much pleasing to look at.


The Best Tarantula Substrates Reviews 2021

Here we will talk about the best substrates for tarantulas. We have tested and analyzed all the popular substrates from the market, carefully analyzed it and made our list.

Now we are sharing the results with you guys so that you can pick up the best tarantula substrates.


#1. Scotts Organic Top Soil


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When it comes to tarantula substrates, topsoils are the most basic option to choose. They are easy to locate, meaning they can be found anywhere. Usually, topsoils are pretty heavy. But not our pick, the Scotts Organic Top Soil.

This fantastic tarantula substrate is made of lighter blends of organic materials. And you can be 100% sure that you are getting all organic soils, no sewage sludge or bio-solids.

Topsoil works well for every species of tarantula except the ones which need unique treatments. Scott organic topsoil is excellent topsoil as they do not need any pre-baking or boiling before putting them in the aquarium.

They do not break your bank, really affordable. Also, you can use the Scott premium topsoil with other substrates as well. They help to bulk the other substrates.

Another good thing about the Scotts soil is that you can pack them down without any gestation as that will be good for your tarantula to burrow. Try to avoid general top soils because you do not know where they have been to and their elements.

But in the case of Scott’s organic topsoil, you have the assurance that they do not have any additives like fertilizers or pesticides, which can be harmful to your beloved tarantula.


#2 – Josh’s Loose Coco Fibre (Coir)



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Coir, also classified as coco fibre, is really a product that has been originally planned for use in gardening.

It has a similar structure and overall appearance as soil, but lacks the nutrients as well as other ingredients that soil does. It is an environmentally sustainable product made from natural resources.

Coco fibre substrate, created from roots up coconut husks and sold loosely in packets or compressed bricks, has quickly become the most common substrate alternatives for tarantula keepers.

Although the bags prevent you the trouble of rehydrating the compressed bricks, they are much more expensive. The most famous brand is currently Zoo Med’s Eco Earth.

These bags, unlike bricks, do not need to be soaked and torn apart. Simply moisten whatever you want to apply to the structure to increase humidity.

Keepers sometimes combine coco fiber with other substrate alternatives to create a quality that is ideally matched to the individual tarantula. By mixing small quantities of sand, top dirt, and even vermiculite, you can produce a variety of substrate effects and formulations.


  • Good looking substrate,
  • 100% natural, and safe for your pets.
  • Excellent for digging species,
  • Good water absorbency,
  • Perfect for all types of reptiles, tarantulas, amphibians, small animals, or insects,
  • Made from an eco-friendly renewable resource,


  • Not the cheapest substrate available
  • Not ideal for a quick clean-out


#3 – Hoffman Peat Moss



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Now we will talk about another inexpensive tarantula substrate for you guys. This is an all-natural substrate and is called moss. Do you know what is the best part of moss as a substrate?

They look lovely in your tarantula aquarium. They are excellent water observers as well. Just soak them, and it will not matter if you forget about them too.

Hoffman peat moss is the market leader currently. They are organically produced peat moss. They are premium graded and ensure 99.8% organic substances. You can use these more, both single and mixed.

If you use the Hoffman peat moss as an additive, it will increase the tarantula substrate’s water and nutrient absorbent power.

Peat moss works mainly for the burrowing species as they are light and hold shapes easily, and tarantulas have a fantastic time burrowing on this substrate.

Also, the Hoffman peat moss can absorb while wet too. That makes this fantastic tarantula substrate handy for the high moisture tarantula species. Peat mosses are readily available but do not get them from lesser-known places.

Get your peat moss from known brands like Hoffman, who ensures 0 additives and harmful bacterias. Hoffman peat moss will add life to your bland tarantula aquarium. Pick this up if you like green inside your aquarium.


#4 – Eco Earth Coco Fiber


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Coco fiber, commonly known as coir, is a well-known gardening material. They are popular substrate materials as well. Coco fiber behaves like compost, but it comes from a renewable source.

Coco fiber is made from ground coconut husks. They are at the peak of the most popular tarantula substrate charts for several reasons.

Firstly, Coco fiber is extremely affordable. They are easy to locate and cost almost nothing. Buying brick-style coco fiber like eco earth can be more affordable. Secondly, coco fibers perform tremendously when they are used dry as arid enclosures.

But on the other hand, they can absorb a hefty amount of water as well. Able to lock in the moisture when it’s needed.  This is uncommon that a substrate can come in handy in all situations like the coco fiber.

You can use them for the species that prefer dry environments and the species that like wet environments. And lastly, but essential, coco fibers resist getting moldy. So, you do not have to worry about that.

So, if you pick coco fiber as your tarantula substrate, you can try the eco-earth coco fiber. They come in bags and brick forms, so they are easy to work with. They are well-maintained substrates with all organic materials. They are fantastic choices as a substrate.


#5 – Hoffman Horticultural Vermiculite


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In this entry, we are going to talk about a substrate that is not used alone anymore. Vermiculite was a popular tarantula substrate before. But now, they are not used as a lone substrate anymore instead as an additive.

There are good reasons for that too. Vermiculite is a mineral that weighs less. They are affordable and found almost everywhere. Also, they do not create mold too. But these all are the minor reasons for still using vermiculite to this day.

The primary reason for using vermiculite is its fantastic ability to keep in the moisture. Generally, they go under the primary substrates because of their moisture-holding capability.

Having vermiculite in your aquarium makes sure that your aquarium has moisture all the time. You will get the best result out of your coco fiber or peat moss if you add a layer of vermiculite under them.

As mentioned earlier, vermiculite is inexpensive and easy to locate substrates. You can get them in any gardening place. But if you ask us, we will say not to get “Any” vermiculite you can get your hands on.


#6 – ReptiChip Tarantulas Substrate

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Your pets deserve only the finest invertebrate bedding for their habitat and the ReptiChip Tarantulas Substrate manufacturer is very careful about their coconut bark.

Not just any bark would help. So this organic coconut fiber is from the inland regions of Sri Lanka, which are home to the world’s highest-quality coconut trees.

They wash the fiber with fresh water three or four times during the manufacturing process, so you can be certain that your substrate will arrive spotlessly.

Sodium and potassium levels are low. It is important for tarantula owners to keep an eye on the additives in their substrate. You can relax knowing that ReptiChip contains relatively low levels of sodium and potassium.

Tannin content is the lowest in the tarantula’s substrate industry. It’s not fun scrubbing red stains out of the tarantula’s tub. Because this invertebrate substrate absorbs very low levels of tannin.

So you didn’t have to think about your enclosure or tarantula turning red.

All you have to do is fill it with water, watch it extend to several times its original height, and then drain it. After that, it is prepared for use in your tarantula terrariums.


#7 – Exo Terra Forest Plume Moss


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Exo Terra Forest Moss is a genuine compact moss from tropical Asia. This layer is suitable for growing terrarium humidity and is absolutely healthy for frogs, salamanders, and burrowing or digging species.

Exo Terra Forest Moss is highly absorbent and is suggested for humidifying habitats like the Exo Terra Snake Cave or Reptile Cave.

It’s also an excellent egg-laying and incubation medium.

The benefit of moss is that it looks fantastic in a tarantula cage and is good at retaining water. Of course, moss would not encourage the tarantula to burrow, which may be a drawback for certain animals.

If you are looking for a premium quality vermiculite for your tarantula, we will suggest you a bag of Hoffman Horticultural Vermiculite.


  • Looks awesome.
  • Absorbs loads of moisture.
  • Lightweight.
  • Completely natural forest moss.


  • Useless for burrowing species.


Frequently Asked Questions

How good is Coco Peat tarantula substrate?

It’s not a surprise that coir or coco peat is generally recognized as the best tarantula substrate of all. Coco peat got this recognition for its advanced features. Let’s count them one by one.


Coir is really lightweight. They are easy to work with, move around. This substrate is so light that even a baby tarantula can burrow into it easily.


Secondly, they are friable, which means really easy to shape with. Also, they can hold their shapes as well.


They can hold their moisture. You do not have to worry a bit, if you want a dry substrate you can also have that with coir.

The best thing is that coir achieves all this, in addition to that they look really stunning inside the cage. So, we can certainly say that from analyzing each aspect coco peat is the best substrate for a tarantula.


What is the best substrate for curly hair tarantula?

Curly hair tarantula or scientifically known Brachypelma albopilosum is an aggressive species of tarantula. They are a burrowing species and a close relative of the neotropics species.

If you have a curly hair tarantula, you should have substrate at least 3”-4”. This amount is needed for their excessive terrestrial tendency.

As a burrowing species, they need to have a substrate that is light and easy to work with. So Coconut fiber or Josh’s Frogs Dig It is the best substrate for curly hair tarantulas.


What is best substrate for burrowing tarantula?

We talked about this a bit above. Some species of tarantulas like to spend the majority of the day under the ground. If you want to pet a tarantula, you have to keep in mind your substrate should be burrowing friendly.

Generally, light substrates like coir are light and also hold shape. But they can’t hold moisture much. So, if you want to have a perfect substrate for burrowing and humid, you have to use a mixture.

A mixture of coir and topsoil or a mixture of coir and peat moss can be a perfect solution to this problem. As the mixture stays lightweight and also gains the power to hold moisture.


What is the best tarantula bedding?

The things you put under your aquarium are called bedding. Basically, anything can be bedding. Stones, marbles, gravels, soil, anything you name it, can be used as bedding.

But the bedding depends on what animal you are keeping inside the aquarium. If you are keeping fishes, you are fine with gravels or marbles, but if you want to have a pet tarantula, you have to consider your bedding.

As tarantulas are pedestal animals, the bedding is the thing they will stand, sleep and eat. So, you have to make sure the tarantulas feel comfortable standing on them.

Also, tarantulas are tropical animals, so you have to make sure that your beddings can hold moisture.

General bedding items like gravels are dry substrates, not suitable for tarantulas. Make your tarantula bedding with materials like coir, topsoil, or peat moss.

These materials are friendly towards your eight-legged friend.

As the favorite activity is to burrow itself inside the ground, elements like topsoil or coir will make that extremely easy. And those can hold up their shapes and moistures too.

So you do not have to worry about your tarantula trapping inside the ground.


Keeping Tarantula can be fun if you are into it. They can be a long-time companion if they are taken care of well. And it is not a  hassle to take care of a tarantula; it just requires a dime of your attention.

Choose a substrate that suits your Tarantula, and maintain it as much as its need and you are good to go for years. You and your beloved furry arthropod can live happily ever after.