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Desert substrate (clay and sand) question?

Discussion in 'Scorpions' started by LunarBeats, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. LunarBeats

    LunarBeats Arachnopeon

    This is probably a dumb question, but im planning on doing a 3:1 sand/excavator clay mixture for my Hadrurus arizonensis Im getting. However, the clay obviously comes in like a powder form, and the directions say I need to add water and everything. Im planning on keeping the enclosure bone dry, so do I still need to add water to this clay? If i do, should i mix it dry with the sand and then add water, or what? Thanks guys.
  2. LunarBeats

    LunarBeats Arachnopeon

    Part of the reason im so hesitant to add water is I initially made the mistake of buying coco fiber bricks for my tarantulas when I started and that stuff absolutely refused to dry out on its own. My Aphonopelma seemanni was climbing the walls for weeks.
  3. RTTB

    RTTB Arachnoprince Active Member

    You add water only if you are sculpting caves landscape etc. mix dry and keep dry for your H arizonensis.
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  4. Mila

    Mila Arachnoknight

    the absolute easiest way to keep a desert species is to make the entire thing from purely clay and sculpt it, sprinkle sand on for aesthetics and then let it dry completely. youll be able to make dozens of burrows you dont need to worry about collapsing like you do when just using sand or a sand/clay mix due to it becoming too dry
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  5. Oroborus

    Oroborus Arachnosquire

    If you use pure clay it will harden like rock. The problem is your scorpion will instinctually try to tunnel and may damage its pedipalps and chelicerae if the substrate is too hard. The 3:1 sand/ clay mix will work well and you can make starter tunnels by using dollar store balloons (the ones used to make animals and such). Just inflate and bury until dry, then pop the balloon and you're left with a tunnel. Even with starter tunnels your scorpion will make its own. Make sure you pack down the mixture in layers and once you get the depth you want you'll want to either put it out in the full sunlight or under a heat lamp. Either way, it will take a couple days to fully dry out depending on the heat and ambient humidity. Cheers.
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  6. Smokehound714

    Smokehound714 Arachnoking Active Member

    Mix the sand and clay by hand, then carefully saturate it. Make sure not to go overboard on the clay. It doesnt have to be absolute bone dry, it just cant have condensation
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