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Scorpion Questions

Discussion in 'Scorpions' started by galeogirl, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. galeogirl

    galeogirl Arachnoprince Old Timer

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    I recently freed up a 55 gallon tank with a locking top when I divided my lobster roach colony into smaller enclosures for ease of maintenance and I was thinking about using the tank to create a communal scorpion set up.

    I'm looking for suggestions of species (I've kept Pandinus imperator and Hadrurus arizonensis in the past) and ideas for creating habitats for them. Also wondering if maybe this enclosure would be too large for scorpions. Would they have trouble finding their prey?
     
  2. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    Galeo,

    Welcome to the dark side. With a tank that large, you are probably going to want to go with Pandinus or Heterometrus of some sort. Or you could try Hadrurus, I suppose, though they have more issues with communal living from what I understand. Alternately, you could try something smaller like Centruroides, but you are going to need a LOT of them to create a good scorpion density.

    Assuming you go with Heterometrus (hint, hint ;) ), you are probably going to want to create a false-bottom tank to help keep the humidity up. An inch or two of water, followed by maybe six inches of substrate, topped off with lots of hiding spots, a shallow water dish, plants (real or fake) and perhaps a waterfall would be great.

    If you go with a desert species, you will want to put in several inches of sand with maybe some other stuff mixed in (Kugellager uses sidewalk underlay or something like that and says it works great). It is best to wet this thoroughly, pack it all in and then let it dry. Then all you need are some good hides and scorpions. Check out the enclosure thread for ideas, as both John and I have posted some pics.

    As for size, 55 gallons is large, but not too big for multiple scorpions. It is good to give them a bit of room. If you do chose Pandinus, they might have problems with prey capture. The faster Heterometrus, however, usualy don't. In the end, if you keep your prey density high enough or hand feed, you shouldn't have a problem. Alternately, if you want to make a smaller community, you can drive up the 55 gallon to me and I'll trade you for a 10. :D

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  3. galeogirl

    galeogirl Arachnoprince Old Timer

    LOL! I love how charitable everyone here is.

    I was considering Heterometrus, actually. What do you mean by a false bottom? Do you set the substrate on mesh or egg crating, then pipe the water underneath? (I have a background in breeding frogs, so this is what I envisioned when you said to build a false bottom for the tank). Or do you just pack the bottom with a loose material like gravel, then fill in over that with substrate?
     
  4. Kugellager

    Kugellager ArachnoJester Arachnosupporter

    Galeo,

    I would also recommend Heterometrus sp. ...for the false bottom method I use about 1-1.5 inches of pea gravel on the bottom and 3-8 inches of peat over that. There is a plastic tube running from the gravel to the top for easily adding water to humidify the setup. See pics of my 20long setup for my H. spinifer in the Set-up thread in this forum. There is a closeup of the gravel layer and I believe you can see the watering tube in one or more of my setups. The water tube is to humidify the set-up from below. I put 1-1.5 quarts in the tube per week along with at least one heavy misting. I keep 3 scorps in the 20L but I could keep 5 in it comfortably. You coud prob keep at least 10 adults in the 55 gallon. This would also work well for emps.

    John
    ];')
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2002
  5. galeogirl

    galeogirl Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Thanks! This is great, I could have the whole thing set up in just a few days. Now, where to get the scorps from? Glades Herp is the only dealer I have bookmarked that currently has Heterometrus sp. They also have P. cavimanus, which are slightly less expensive.

    Do you change out the gravel from time to time? Any problems with fungus?
     
  6. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    Galeo,

    Well the whole free spider thing in the T forum has put me in a charitable mood. I'm still not willing to send out free spiders, but the least I could do was offer to take that big, heavy, tank off your hands.

    My setup is a bit fancier than John's, although his seems to look better. My false bottom consists of inverted tupperware with holes cut in it, surrounded by gravel on the outsides. That way it looks natural from the outside, but there isn't so much gravel taking up space in the water section. On top of that I have screening to keep the dirt out and hardware cloth to keep the scorpions out. On top of that I have several inches of peat moss. In the center, I have a hole in the screening through which I place the pump. A large rock sits on top of this hole and the tubing from the pump runs up the back and shoots water onto the rock. It acts as a nice waterfall and is actualy growing moss these days. I also have a couple of pre-made burrows, including a large rock one in the front of the enclosure. I have provided a bit of plexiglass for mating, though I have no idea if they are using it or one of the other flatish rocks. I haven't changed any of the substrate for quite a while now and have never had any problem with fungus. That being said, I am going to be redoing the enclosure at some point to make it easier to maintain.

    As for the scorpions themselves, Pat at Regal Reptiles may have some. They were on the price list a couple months back -- longimanus, I think they were.

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  7. Kugellager

    Kugellager ArachnoJester Arachnosupporter

    I got my H. spinifer from Arachnocenter...I'm sure you have seen the reviews...one is my review in fact. I would recommend that whoever you order them from that you get sub-adults that are all about the same size so that there will be little if any chance for squabbles. I have yet to see any with the ones I have. They were one molt away from adult hood when I got them and have molted to about 5-6 inches in length stretched out.

    The top of my 20L is covered with plexiglass under the screen top except for where the lamp with 60w bulb sits. This is all I use to heat the enclosure. It keeps the tank temps from 95-100 on the lamp end and 80-85 on the low end. As I said earlier the substrate over the gravel is 100% peat and usually fairly moist most of the time. It is always moist where the scorps borrows are situsted. They have actually burrowed into the gravel layer ans seem to enjoy the almost wet location. I have yet to have mold...I fact I have never had mold with 100% peat...I believe Dave has not either...he has suggested that the acidity of the peat may keep mold from forming...I tend to agree with this
    theory.. The plant I use is a Pothos which I planet its roots at the gravel level so it is watered well evertime I add water...it has grown well since I planted it.

    John
    ];')
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2002
  8. galeogirl

    galeogirl Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I've been searching around online and I'm considering four species now:

    Pandinus imperator
    Pandinus cavimanus
    Heterometrus spinifer
    Heterometrus longimanus

    Trying to narrow it down is the hard part. I wish I could afford all of them. The two dealers who have them in stock are also not people I'm sure I want to do business with. One is very expensive and far away with a decent reputation for quality, the other is much cheaper and closer to where I live, but the quality of their animals and shipping practices is questionable.
     
  9. galeogirl

    galeogirl Arachnoprince Old Timer

    By the way, does anyone know anything about Pandinus africanus?
     
  10. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    The species you are talking about are so common that you shouldn't have to deal with anyone who is less than reputable. The four species are really similar, but these are my takes:

    Pandinus imperator -- boring.
    Pandinus cavimanus -- only Pandinus I would consider.
    Heterometrus sp. -- very similar, with only slight differences in morphology between logimanus and spinnifer. Shouldn't make much difference which you get. Very cool scorpions.

    Cheers,
    Dave

    P.S. I would type a lot more, but Tamara is bugging me to help with the housework. ;)
     
  11. AlbinoDragon829

    AlbinoDragon829 Arachnobaron Old Timer

    AMEN Dave, I hear you on that one. I'm bored of my two already, I'm ditching them for another T (not after finding them a good home first though, all arachnids deserve good homes :) )
     
  12. Kugellager

    Kugellager ArachnoJester Arachnosupporter

    I think people (me included) get a stigma about the starter species....many advanced or intermediate hobbiests stay away from them...Teh emps are like the roseys of the T hobby.

    There are always desert hairys or H spinifer...good 2nd scorps...

    John
    ];')
     
  13. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    I'm actualy thinking of getting an emp. Not now, of course -- I have other priorities. In a while, though. I want to make that scorpion apartment complex and stock it mostly with Heterometrus, but partly with Pandinus.

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  14. galeogirl

    galeogirl Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I'm tempted to try a few H. arizonensis together since I'm having very little luck finding the scorpions I listed above from reliable dealers at reasonable prices. I've heard it can be done and the tank I have is fairly large so there would be plenty of room for multiple hides.

    Has anyone tried S. mesaensis communally?
     
  15. Kugellager

    Kugellager ArachnoJester Arachnosupporter

    I don't believe you can keep them communally...In Rubios book it lists them as not being communal...but it also states that H.arizonensis is not communal either even though you can keep them communal. I am currently experimenting on keeping H.arizonensis and H.spadix communally...so far it seems to be working.

    John
    ];')
     
  16. Wade

    Wade Arachnoking Old Timer

    Sometimes there's a good reason an animal is popular...emperor scorions are really cool!

    I used to have the anti-emeror attitude, though. Early on, I wasn't interested since they were so common, but a dealer sent me a buch of 1" babies as freebies when I placed a big order of other, "cooler", stuff with him.

    I set them up, and lo and behold, they became some of my favorite animals. The "freebies" turned out to be more fun and interesting than the stuff I had paid for! Their reputations for being lethargic and dull is often a result of them being kept a sub-optimal temperatures. Warm 'em up, and they're quite active. Their earth-moving abilities are also impressive, the shovel-like pedipalps really get the job done!

    Those same babies are now adult breeders, and I've just begun a breeding project involving THEIR offspring who reached maturity earlier this year, which will be at least 3rd generation captive bred!

    Big, docile, communal and easy to breed. What's not to like?

    I will now climb off the emperor scorpion defense soap box :)

    Wade
     
  17. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    Red teslons. That being said, you have done more to convince me that I should eventualy get one (or more).

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  18. galeogirl

    galeogirl Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I find it disappointing that most of the scorpions available (regardless of species) seem to be wild caught still. I know there are people out there breeding them, are they just not getting into the hands of dealers?

    Wade, what you say about emperor scorpions does make a lot of sense. Most of the ones I've seen have seemed kind of dull, but they were also usually in pet stores or at trade shows and probably incredibly stressed by poor environments so they just sat very still.

    Once I talk my husband into bringing the tank downstairs to my office, I can start setting it up and making a final decision about which scorpions are going to be added to the mini-zoo.
     
  19. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    Galeo,

    People are breeding them, but not nearly as many as breed Ts and the litter size is nowhere near that of Ts. Even if half of a Ts egg-sac survives, you still have at least a hundred s'lings. To get the same number of scorpionlings from your average scorpion, you would need 4-5 succesful partuitions with 100% survivability.

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  20. galeogirl

    galeogirl Arachnoprince Old Timer

    SHD,

    Those odds kind of appeal to me. Now I definitely want to try breeding them.