One of the very few must-haves in any tarantula tank is a shallow water dish.
Dehydration is one of the most often occurring ailments tarantulas can suffer from. Still, this is a problem that is also easily fixable as long as the tarantula has access to a water dish filled with water.
It is true. Many tarantulas may be able to get the water they need from their food, but a water dish is like a safety net that ensures your tarantula stays healthy and hydrated.
The thing is, though, that choosing the best water dish for your tarantula can be more challenging than expected. Although it is a relatively simple item, there are some caveats that should be considered first. So let’s take a look.
In this article, we’re going to review the following water dishes:
- Exo Terra Water Dish
- Zoo Med Repti-Rock Water Dish
- FUYU Ceramic Dishes
- Reditainer’s Souffle Cups
- Accguan’s Ramekin Set
- LabAider’s Plastic Petri Dishes
- Karter Scientific’s Glass Petri Dishes
- Zoo Med Rock Water Dish
- CalPalmy Water Bowls
- Chang Thai Design’ Ceramic Dishes
- NiceBottles’ Bottle Caps
- The Dairy Shoppe’s Milk Bottle Caps
Below you will find more information about the best water dishes that you can use for your tarantula.
12 Tarantula Water Dishes Reviewed
Exo Terra sells water dishes in a few different sizes, however, the small one (this one) is overall the best size for most tarantulas. The size is about 4″ x 4″ x 1.5″, but it can vary slightly.
It is suitable for bigger tarantulas and can hold enough water to keep them well hydrated and give the enclosure some humidity, too.
On top of that, there are steps inside the water dish which allow the feeders to easily escape if they fall in it. The tarantula can have an easier time drinking from it, too.
This water dish is made from a food-grade resin and is not too heavy but heavy enough to stay in place and not be easily movable.
Cleaning these water dishes is very easy too. Overall they are a great buy at a very good price point.
Zoo Med offers a few different and very budget-friendly water dishes, but the small one is of the right size for a bigger tarantula.
The small Repti-Rock water dish measures at about 5″ x 5.5″ x 0.75″ so it is a bit on the bigger end but is very shallow to not cause any problems for your tarantula or your feeders.
It is made from recycled plastic—namely polystyrene (PS)—which is considered safe for humans for use in contact with food; it is very lightweight but, nonetheless, super tough and durable. Furthermore, it is also BPA-free and has a very smooth, non-porous surface that is easy to clean and does not allow bacteria to grow easily.
It has a natural look and colors, so it will fit nicely into most enclosure interior designs and not look out of place.
The only downside? The label is glued to the interior surface where the water is supposed to go. It is removable, but it can be tricky.
Those little ceramic sauce dishes are an excellent choice for your tarantula if you are not a fan of plastic dishes.
They are made of ceramic and measure about 3″ in diameter and 1″ in depth, so they are perfectly suitable for most tarantula species.
Of course, they are very delicate, and you should be careful while using them, but there is no reason why they cannot last you a really long time. Better yet, it is a pack of four dishes so you can change them frequently.
Ceramic dishes are very easy to clean, and you will have no trouble scrubbing and removing any build-ups that can form over time.
You can always go with something simpler like these deli dishes.
In fact, sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best solutions.
Many tarantula owners use them to provide water to their tarantulas since these souffle cups are perfectly capable of doing the job.
They are super easy to clean and replace, and even if they get too dirty can simply be discarded and recycled.
On top of that, they are super cheap, and just for a few dollars, you can get dozens of them.
Using ramekin dishes is an excellent idea when it comes to providing water for your tarantulas.
For example, this ramekin set consists of 8 dishes, comes at a very fair price, and is perfect for use as a water dish.
It is made of ceramic which means that you do not have to worry about the water dish eventually flaking or falling apart or leaching harmful chemicals into your tarantula’s water.
Ceramic dishes like these are also super easy to clean.
The size of these ramekin dishes is 3.5″ in diameter and 1.5″ in depth. This makes them perfectly suitable to provide lots of water and humidity for most tarantulas.
This set of 20 Petri dishes is of excellent value.
These Petri dishes are made from plastic which is easy to keep clean, and since you have 20 dishes available at your disposal, you can change them as frequently as you want.
They are about 3.5″ in diameter and about 0.59″ deep, so they are very small and will not pose any problems for your tarantulas or feeders.
If you like the idea of using Petri dishes, but you are looking for something made of glass, then this set of 10 glass Petri dishes may be just the right thing for you.
They are 3.5″ in diameter and 0.78″ deep.
Glass is going to be more expensive than plastic, but it is well worth the cost.
This water dish by Zoo Med is also an excellent option. Zoo Med offers a wide variety of different sizes suitable for medium to large tarantulas.
It is about 5″ in diameter and 1″ in depth.
It is made from foamed polystyrene, which is non-toxic. The surface of the water dish is smooth, making the cleaning of the dish quick and easy. The plastic is also very durable, so it is guaranteed to last a really long time under normal use.
There are small steps molded on the side, allowing the tarantula to gently get into the water or the feeders to easily find a way out of it.
It is a very cheap water dish that looks good and will fit well within the enclosure’s interior.
There are a few different water bowls that CalPalmy offers. They all have a different design that is aesthetically pleasing and will blend in with the enclosure’s interior nicely.
However, the ones that measure 3.75″ x 2.75″ x 0.75″ are an excellent choice for most tarantulas. They are not too deep but big enough to hold plenty of water.
They are made from very durable plastic, so you will be able to use them for a long time.
This is a pack of two water dishes, and for the price, they are an excellent pick. The only downside, however, is that they can be a little trickier to clean.
Regardless of which water bowl you go with, they are made from BPA-free, non-toxic plastic, which is safe for the animals.
This set of 10 miniature ceramic dishes is an excellent choice for smaller tarantulas and slings and can serve as a good temporary solution before moving on to bigger water dishes.
These dishes are about an inch or so in diameter and very shallow, so you will not have to worry about your slings getting in trouble.
Since they are made from ceramic, they are very easy to clean, and you can change them frequently.
Overall all great value at a great price.
Another good way of providing water for your slings and smaller tarantulas is using bottle caps.
This pack of 30 bottle caps is very inexpensive, and the bottle caps can be cleaned after use, although the foam insert should be removed to prevent build-ups and allow easier cleaning. Their size is about 1″ or so in diameter.
If you are looking for something a tad bigger for your juvenile tarantulas, then these milk bottle caps are a good choice.
They are a bit bigger than most water bottle caps—they measure a little less than 2″ in diameter and are 0.65″ deep.
They are cheap, easy to use, and work well.
How to Choose the Best Water Dish for a Tarantula
The water dish serves two functions to keep the tarantula well hydrated and provide the enclosure with an optimal humidity level.
So what exactly should you look for in a tarantula water dish?
Smooth and Non-Porous Surface
One of the frequent problems with many water dishes is that they are often made from porous materials which are hard to clean and can harbor harmful bacteria.
On the other hand, some water dishes can have a smooth coating which may not be entirely safe, because, eventually, it can start to flake and fall apart.
No Unnecessary Grooves or Corners
The ideal tarantula dish should be smooth and have no edges and corners. These can make cleaning the dish more difficult and are the perfect area where mold and bacteria can grow.
No Sharp Edges
Sharp edges can be dangerous and hurt your tarantula if it happens to fall on them.
While soft plastic water dishes may not be very dangerous, hard water dishes can be and should not be placed near the edges of the enclosure.
A tarantula that falls and lands on a hard object can potentially hurt itself.
Safe Material for Animal-Use
Tarantula dishes are made from different materials, and it is important to choose one that is safe for the tarantula.
Technically speaking, a container of nearly any material can be used as a water dish as long as it is safe for animal-use, can hold water, and is of the right size.
But not all materials will perform well as a tarantula water dish.
Here’s what I mean.
The main problem is that tarantulas can fill their water dishes with substrate or boluses. Sometimes they even poop in them. This means that the material the water dish is made of should be easy to clean and tough enough to withstand some scrubbing.
By far, soft plastic water dishes are the most popular ones. They are very cheap, easy to clean and recycle, and if a tarantula happens to fall on the dish from a small height, it is unlikely that it will hurt itself.
On the other hand, some plastics can leach off harmful chemicals into the water, and thus not all owners will be comfortable using a plastic water dish. This is why BPA-free, non-toxic plastic should be used, or other materials like glass or ceramics.
Suitable Size and Depth
Last but not least, the size of the dish is important, too, and tarantulas depending on their age and size, should be given differently sized water dishes. (More on that in a bit.)
This is all you need when it comes to tarantula water dishes. You don’t need any other accessories or gadgets. You don’t have to put a sponge in the water dish, either. Sponges offer optimal conditions for bacterial and mold growth and a suitable area for pests to hide and breed.
What Is the Best Water Dish Size for Tarantulas?
There are many myths surrounding tarantulas, one of which is in connection to how big their water dishes should be.
First, let me get a few things out of the way.
A normal, healthy tarantula is extremely unlikely to drown in a water dish. Yes, technically, it is possible for a tarantula to drown, but the odds of that happening under normal circumstances are extremely low. (Spiders are hydrophobic. In fact, some tarantula species can even swim.)
That being said, small slings that still don’t have their hairs fully developed may be more likely to drown.
Of course, this does not mean you can put a dish of just about any size.
The water dish provides not just a source of freshwater for the tarantula to drink from but also regulates the humidity in the enclosure.
The water dish’s size will determine how long the water will last before evaporating or being consumed by the tarantula.
Some of the shallower water dishes can evaporate in less than an hour in some instances, which is not ideal as the owner would have to refill them more frequently.
There are a few good rules of thumb that you can follow to ensure your tarantula is always provided with the best possible water dish in terms of size.
- One rule of thumb is to keep the diameter or size of the water dish less than 1/2 the tarantula’s diagonal leg span (DLS).
- Another good rule of thumb, some owners follow, is to have the water dish be about the same size as the tarantula’s abdomen. Generally, the water dish should never be large enough so that the whole tarantula can fit inside.
What Is the Best Water Dish for Adult Tarantulas?
For bigger and adult tarantulas, water dishes about 2″ to 5″ in diameter and about 1″ to 1.5″ in depth are usually more than enough.
If the tarantula is constantly hovering above the cap and drinking water from it or displays clear dehydration symptoms, then a bigger water dish may need to be placed in the enclosure. So keep an eye on your tarantula and adjust if necessary.
Some tarantula species may need access to more water, too. For example, tropical species generally prefer living in enclosures with higher humidity.
What Is the Best Water Dish for Slings?
Slings also need access to water.
However, there is a distinct difference in how water is provided.
Often, slings with DLS below 0.5″ to 2″ are not given water dishes. They are kept in containers with higher humidity levels where the substrate is kept damp. This allows them to stay hydrated. On top of that, their enclosures may not even be big enough to house a proper water dish.
Most owners will not worry about water dishes until their tarantulas grow to about 0.5″ to 2″ in DLS. They can then be transferred in a container with a dry substrate and provided a suitable water dish. That being said, a small water dish can be introduced to slings as small as 1/4″ to 1/5″ in some instances.
In most cases, a water dish that is 1/2″ in diameter and fairly shallow can be more than enough for most slings.
Do You Need to Use a Dedicated Water Dish?
The good thing about tarantulas is that they are not usually very picky. So what water dish they drink from is often left up to the owner to decide.
When it comes to water dishes, you can choose from a wide variety of different options. While many of these are great, you don’t necessarily need to go with something very special or expensive.
And just so it happens that there are a ton of different options that are very cheap and inexpensive.
- For slings, you can use water bottle caps, small Lego pieces, Gatorade, or Powerade caps. These are usually around 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter and can be used for smaller tarantulas and slings between 0.5 to 4 inches.
- For juvenile tarantulas, usually, milk bottle caps can be used. Gatorade caps are fine, too.
- For adult tarantulas, owners usually use ramekin, spice, deli, or souffle cups. They are cheap and easy to clean or recycle. Ideally, you should go with some of the smallest 2 oz to 8 oz cups.