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H. arizonensis molting problems - I have an idea

Discussion in 'Scorpions' started by Moakmeister, May 10, 2017.

  1. Moakmeister

    Moakmeister Arachnobaron

    As we all know, H. arizonensis finds extreme difficulty molting in captivity. Most keepers agree that it is nearly impossible to raise one that isn't already an adult. The reason for this is generally agreed to be impossible-to-recreate wild humidity. The H. arizonensis lives in a very dry desert, but deep in its burrow, it's humid enough to molt. Obviously in an acrylic enclosure, this isn't the case, so I have an idea for how to fix this.
    Get a really tall cylindrical enclosure. This way, the scorpion can dig the spiraling burrows that it usually makes in the wild. At the base, drill one or two VERY small holes, maybe a millimeter in diameter. Through these holes, you can use a thin pipette to inject some water into the bottom of the substrate. In case the hole leaks water or sand, you could cover it with tape or sticky tack. So that's just my two cents. The water under the ground would create humidity in the scorpion's burrow so it could molt. It's worth a shot.
  2. Mila

    Mila Arachnoknight

    How far down do they burrow? Must be quite a distance to be near enough ground water to cause a significant humidity spike right? X
  3. Moakmeister

    Moakmeister Arachnobaron

    I've heard it's over five feet. I've dug holes in dry sand before and just a foot down I found slightly damp soil.
  4. Mila

    Mila Arachnoknight

    Well an acrylic container that's over 5 feet deep seems to be quite an issue lol. Would it not be easier to move them to a higher humidity environment for when they want to molt? If they only burrow that deep to get the right humidity providing it higher up might work? X
  5. Moakmeister

    Moakmeister Arachnobaron

    I didn't mean a five foot deep enclosure lol. Just like, a foot or a little more. I think they just molt in their burrows automatically, so raising the humidity on the surface won't do anything.
  6. SpiderInTheBath

    SpiderInTheBath Arachnosquire

    I don't keep Scorpions (I am just nosy, haha) but I've thought about this kind of thing before. Could you set the enclosure in a tray and fill the tray with water, as you would with some plant pots?
  7. Christianb96

    Christianb96 Arachnoknight

    you could always just have the usual aquarium setup, and set a peice of pvc pipe in a corner and start a burrow near it, allowing the same thing you are talking about.
  8. ScorpSarah

    ScorpSarah Arachnosquire

    I've thought something similar as I have an H. Arizonensis that is premolt. My idea was getting custom cut glass and using acrylic glue to build my own 24" deep tank with a plastic tube attached to one corner going all the way down to a false bottom, very costly though. A cylinder would most likely work as well and would be cool to try :D although I'm not sure where I would find an acrylic cylinder that is tall but also is big enough around for ground space at the surface. o_O
  9. Mila

    Mila Arachnoknight

    Drainage pipe might work? Long, cheap and wide. (That sounds, erm, yeah)
  10. this is an issue i also have been contemplating as i have an adult of this species but i am going to soon acquire 1-2 very gravid females and have been thinking of how to raise the young into adults with this issue.

    one thing I've noticed that might would, would be a bottom enclosure set up similar to Dart frogs with the Aqua Bulbs/balls(don't know their specific name). basically how this st up would work (with minimum funds put in)
    1st step: would be to do a layer of ~2-3 inches of the aqua balls, and at the top half inch on this layer, on one side of the tank, cutting a small Hole to fill the bottom area with water.

    2nd step: would be to cut a piece of acrylic to fit directly over the layer of the aqua balls, so it completely covers it and you can then put the substrate over later.
    take the piece of acrylic (after making sure it fits) and drill small ventilation holes in the top, very small but a large number of them, so the evaporating water can pass through onto the substrate.

    3rd step: take a batch of freshly prepared cocofiber substrate and basically strain it until you only get the actual husk fibers left and do a ~1-2 inch layer of just the fibers(so any sand/substrate doesn't just fall through into the Water below, but still allowing the condensation to pass through up and dampen the substrate around the bottom) this layer of course will be flattened down when the substrate on top of put in, but would basically act as a fiber layer to block any sand/thin substrate.

    the ideal enclosure would then have atlas a good 6-12" of substrate between that fiber layer and the top of where the scorpion would reside. this allows them to still build a deep burrow, but somewhat replicates the natural process that actually creates the moist dirt in nature AND allows you to control the water (IE if its maturing to adult hood, you can then drain or not add more water so as to not cause extra high humidity, and you can keep it dry until the time of the next molt)

    I haven't fully tested this out yet, but from the calculations, it should be rather inexpensive(aqua balls, 5-10$, substrate is dirt cheap and the acrylic plate would be cheap, especially if you drill the wholes yourself)

    while it would be a process too set up, I'm going to test it out soon and this method, theoretically, would allow basicly any shape of enclosure to be used, as long as you could get the acrylic cut to match.
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  11. RTTB

    RTTB Arachnoprince Active Member

    All are interesting ideas.
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  12. I've seen a few tanks with false bottoms over a water source to regulate humidity. Ive considered putting a water dish on the bottom of the tank with a straw thru the substrate to add water.
  13. darkness975

    darkness975 Dream Reaper Arachnosupporter

    If anyone tries any of the suggestions here and has successful molts out of it don't forget to share. I too have been pondering over the whole "H. arizonensis poor molting in captivity" thing for some time. All but one of mine are adults so I am curious about my one sub adult and what the future holds for him.
  14. ScorpSarah

    ScorpSarah Arachnosquire

    Does anybody know if it is okay to move a premolt H. Arizonensis to a new tank? I'm thinking of doing a false bottom but he'd have to redo his burrows and he is looking like he's going to pop any day now. I want him to have the best chance at molting but I'm worried that him having to redo his burrows in order to get to the false bottom may wear him out too much. :( I'm at such a loss here.