Centipede Enclosure: Escape resistant or escape proof?

Chris LXXIX

ArachnoGod
Joined
Dec 25, 2014
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5,693
With that dagger in hand.
No my man. That's a Claudio Simonetti disc cover draw with the "Deep Red" puppet :-s

Spider 8.1 Tac Spec HPi and godspeed, on the other hand, for that centipede fight, with an helluva of T's sitting in their "front raw" burrows enjoying the show :-/
 
Last edited:

kellysaxez

Arachnosquire
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
110
Christ :angelic:

That's why I have a Mafia deal with mine. A fat B.dubia everytime I spot him/her trying to exit. Btw I have no spotted that creepy today, after dinner I must search :shifty:
What a wonderful idea! I have gradually increased my skills with inverts, starting with a Rosey and three years in can comfortably keep and care for one LP, one OBT, one A. versacolor, two H. spinifers, two H. arizonensis, one Nhandu c, and, coming tomorrow, my first pede, from Ken the Bug Guy, a Scolopendera subspinipes. I have a thirty gal it is going in, but despite keeping the substrate and decor so that the pede won't be able to use it as a launching pad for escape, I am more nervous than when i first brought my OBT sling home, Malala, now a happily housed and cared for T, content to stay in her log tunnel where she's created a fanstastic tube of webbing inside and come out at night to feed. I've never tried to handle her, nor would I, she's not a poodle, she's a venomous T. Anyway, I digress, my question is, the usual wire mesh top we use for our tanks okay up there? it won't be able to escape through any gaps in the screening itself can it? I really would like someone to chat with about this. Glad I found you all here. Looking for photos of safe enclosures. Mine is a 29 gal long glass aquarium with common screen lid I have clamps for. Thanks so much in advance. I did see some photos, but a lot were of tupperware boxes and gallon mason jars, I like to keep mine as naturally as possible :)
 

Python

Arachnolord
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Mar 21, 2005
Messages
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Screen is a mere nuisance for a suspicious. They have the ability to chew through all but the heaviest of screens. If they can't reach it it should be fine but they can and will use the silicone in the corners of a tank as a ladder. Not only can they chew up a screen, they can also push up and wedge themselves between tops that just sit down on top. Clamps help, books or some other form of weight add an extra measure of security. Just be mindful that they will seek out and exploit every weakness they can find and subspinipes is not only large, but dangerous as well. Be very careful with these guys. Treat them like they have thumbs and a ladder.
 

shining

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jul 15, 2011
Messages
755
What a wonderful idea! I have gradually increased my skills with inverts, starting with a Rosey and three years in can comfortably keep and care for one LP, one OBT, one A. versacolor, two H. spinifers, two H. arizonensis, one Nhandu c, and, coming tomorrow, my first pede, from Ken the Bug Guy, a Scolopendera subspinipes. I have a thirty gal it is going in, but despite keeping the substrate and decor so that the pede won't be able to use it as a launching pad for escape, I am more nervous than when i first brought my OBT sling home, Malala, now a happily housed and cared for T, content to stay in her log tunnel where she's created a fanstastic tube of webbing inside and come out at night to feed. I've never tried to handle her, nor would I, she's not a poodle, she's a venomous T. Anyway, I digress, my question is, the usual wire mesh top we use for our tanks okay up there? it won't be able to escape through any gaps in the screening itself can it? I really would like someone to chat with about this. Glad I found you all here. Looking for photos of safe enclosures. Mine is a 29 gal long glass aquarium with common screen lid I have clamps for. Thanks so much in advance. I did see some photos, but a lot were of tupperware boxes and gallon mason jars, I like to keep mine as naturally as possible :)
Hey, I got your pm but I'll respond here So these words can be read by others in the same situation in the future. Also, so others can add on or correct.

You can scrape the sealant off of the corners so that is out of the equation. I've read about them wedging themselves in between the sliding lid types, combat that with weights of sorts to and also put some duct tape on the sliding portions to make a harder slide and tighter fit to create a harder escape route. You can replace that screen entirely or adhere some acrylic/plexiglass to it to for extra measure. What are the measurements of that enclosure and how big of a specimen are you going to be receiving?
 

Python

Arachnolord
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Mar 21, 2005
Messages
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All good advice. Just remember, if there is a weak spot, these guys will find it right away so definitely keep an eye out for any vulnerability.
 

kellysaxez

Arachnosquire
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
110
Screen is a mere nuisance for a suspicious. They have the ability to chew through all but the heaviest of screens. If they can't reach it it should be fine but they can and will use the silicone in the corners of a tank as a ladder. Not only can they chew up a screen, they can also push up and wedge themselves between tops that just sit down on top. Clamps help, books or some other form of weight add an extra measure of security. Just be mindful that they will seek out and exploit every weakness they can find and subspinipes is not only large, but dangerous as well. Be very careful with these guys. Treat them like they have thumbs and a ladder.
Thank you so so so much. I am attending to those possibilities this morning. The silicone ladder and screen.. Not sure this was a good tank for this idea.. I see folks keeping them in glass gallon jars, but that seems a little opressive for a pede this size.
 

kellysaxez

Arachnosquire
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
110
Hey, I got your pm but I'll respond here So these words can be read by others in the same situation in the future. Also, so others can add on or correct.

You can scrape the sealant off of the corners so that is out of the equation. I've read about them wedging themselves in between the sliding lid types, combat that with weights of sorts to and also put some duct tape on the sliding portions to make a harder slide and tighter fit to create a harder escape route. You can replace that screen entirely or adhere some acrylic/plexiglass to it to for extra measure. What are the measurements of that enclosure and how big of a specimen are you going to be receiving?
Thank you. I am still trying to get used to these types of forums and apologize for hacking conversations etc. I like the idea that others can share, too :) I have taken your advice to heart and did try peeling/scraping off the sealant, not too successful for the moment. I am thinking of hiring a pro to come in and set it up safely, maybe from a local Zoo, Frank D where are you when I need you lol (love Frank, he's so awesome in knowledge and skill base). The pede might be 5-6 inches and the tank is 36L X 12H X 12W. That 12 H is bothersome in that that might be about how long this little gem might get and be an easy push up and out from the right sort of launch pad :( Now, Ive taken some pics that might help a bit. I decided to use the two screens I have. One was an old metal one that is more suited with the larger holes in it for a tortoise enclosure that I have place ATOP of the Zilla Fresh Air screen. Underneath those, on the right side of the tank, is an old piece of mirror, not glass really more plastic like, that I would use as an aid in keeping humidity up in my H. spinifer tank when they were growing. ON TOP OF THAT, as the pics show, I put the tile flooring square that serves as an extra little weight but really is a place for my T Keepers Book (love you Stan) and other little items i use all the time like my tongs or flashlight etc. The IR light is usually suspended high above the tanks I turn on in the winter (it gets 30 below my neck of the New York/Canada border lol) to add a little more heat if needed (DO NOT FREAK OUT AT ME OVER USING AN IR TO ADD A LITTLE AMBIENT HEAT ON MY T'S ETC THEY ARE FINE AND THRIVING AND IM AWARE OF THE DANGER OF DRYING OUT AIR ETC..) This IR will not be kept on the Pede tank, the Pede not having the wax covering that most arthros have it is more prone to desiccation etc. So, without further ado, here is a bevy of pics of the process of setting this safety screen up, if you will. I am still scared of any gaps it might get through and am thinking the Duct tape is best for this. Im hoping the Zilla screen with smaller holes under the strong Metal screen with the larger holes, will make a chew through less likely and of course the stone on the top left is an added weight. Still, I want to close any gaps other than the screen, which is needed to avoid mold Im told. View media item 35299 View media item 35298 View media item 35297 View media item 35296
 

Python

Arachnolord
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That's a fine size tank for that pede. Gives them some running around room and offers room for water dish, room to put some cover and some decorations if you choose to add them. I think you'll be well pleased with it.
 

kellysaxez

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kellysaxez

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Messages
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Thank you. There is a shallow stone water dish in the right back corner with a stone in the center to keep crickets from drowning. Come to find out they breathe through their feet, or something like that I over heard once, which is why they drown in even the littlest amount of water. Anyway, on topic, I had some decorations in earlier, but, fearing it would use any of it as a launch pad to lift itself up, through, or over, I removed them. I will get some leaves etc more akin to their native environment on my next forage. Lord this is a momentous undertaking I am probably blowing way out of proportion, but, Safety first for all involved.
 

Python

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Typically, with high risk or high humidity species, I get a piece of lexan, cut it to size and drill a few million holes in it. Lexan has the benefit of being semi rigid, although it will sag, and that helps prevent chewing damage. One caveat, lexan likes to crack or break during cutting or drilling so it might pay to have a professional cut and drill itif you decide to try it. Lexan is my go to since it sits flush in the top of an aquarium (I usually keep mostly scorpions so climbing isn't an issue) and it's easier to keep the humidity up while still allowing for ventilation. That said, your setup looks more than adequate, just keep eyes on that screen. I wouldn't worry about the pede being able to reach the top unless it wedges itself up there to stay.
 

Chris LXXIX

ArachnoGod
Joined
Dec 25, 2014
Messages
5,693
About those jars and centipedes... mah. I wouldn't keep at all a centipede in one of those, save for the little pedelings of course. How am I supposed to add cork bark and else, in one of those? They aren't that big IMO.
 

kellysaxez

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Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
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Im settling in to almost comfortable with it. I don't have children about, other than my clients (social worker for homeless teens and sometimes I work out of the house) who rarely come and only to pick up a file perhaps and won't go where the tank will be anyway, pets that won't be interested or able to get into it, and I know what I'm taking charge of, owning to its care and keeping it would be less than responsible to approach this any other way. I love love love your Lexan idea. I had looked at the inner rim of the tank itself this morning and mused as to how that could help hold a screen of sorts.. thought of every medium BUT Lexan. My husband can cut it and drill it at work. :) Thank you so very very much :)
 

shining

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jul 15, 2011
Messages
755
Sealant can be hard to get off but it isn't necessary if you have that screen doubled up and weighted. Just be cautious of where it is at before opening, making sure it isn't nestled in that inner rim.

I would work with what @Python mentioned and add some kind of locking mechanism besides weights either the commercial lid locks at petstores or by using some Snaptight Velcro (if the commercial ones don't fit) like I used. I can take pictures of my set up and share them with you if you want.

Other than that, your bases are covered and all that would be left to do is observe it's behavior and modify accordingly.

I have to add that I appreciate your prior research and current quest for more info. I think you will do well with your cautious mind.
 

Python

Arachnolord
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You can buy acrylic hinges, hasps, latches, etc. online that will allow you to create a fairly secure top that can be siliconed directly to the tank rim itself. Cut a piece of lexan the size of the tank and then cut out a hole in the center however you want it. Cut a piece slightly larger than the hole and attach it to the top using the hinges so that it lifts open. Attach a hasp or latch of some kind and there you have a solid, built in, lockable top that a pede can't chew through but is as clear as if nothing is there at all.

I've never bought from this company so I don't know anything about them but they have some neat stuff...

http://www.tapplastics.com/product/plastics/handles_hinges_latches
 

raisinjelly

Arachnoknight
Joined
Oct 24, 2014
Messages
207
Man, after reading all of this my S. viridis must be unusually well-behaved. I've had it in the same 4" diameter soft plastic deli cup I keep my slings in and it's been about a year and a half by now with no issues. Not to say that it can't or won't happen, I've just had a hard time finding a decent looking display container for a permanent cage; the cup was only supposed to be temporary
 

Python

Arachnolord
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Part of the enjoyment for me is setting up environments. Somewhere between my brain and my hands, something always goes wonky so the vision in my head never gets to see the light of day but I still enjoy doing it. With any luck, one day I'll get to see what one of my ideas looks like in reality but until then I'll continue to make strange little worlds that only vaguely resemble "the wild". My animals are healthy and active and they don't appear to care one way or another what their little world looks like, just so the next meal is available when they want it.
 

kellysaxez

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Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
110
Sealant can be hard to get off but it isn't necessary if you have that screen doubled up and weighted. Just be cautious of where it is at before opening, making sure it isn't nestled in that inner rim.

I would work with what @Python mentioned and add some kind of locking mechanism besides weights either the commercial lid locks at petstores or by using some Snaptight Velcro (if the commercial ones don't fit) like I used. I can take pictures of my set up and share them with you if you want.

Other than that, your bases are covered and all that would be left to do is observe it's behavior and modify accordingly.

I have to add that I appreciate your prior research and current quest for more info. I think you will do well with your cautious mind.
I bow in appreciation to your recognition of my caution, however, it is because of these boards and the members, such as yourself, who have guided me in my development as a hobbyist. When I first began way back when the mere site of the common Chilean Rose had me feeling like the world's greatest lion tamer if I managed to get her to eat from my tongs, if eat at all.. lol.. the days i panicked when she wouldn't eat (which lasted for months at a time) nearly had me feeling like PETA was going to knock my door down and take away my Arachnoboard badge or something :) And I love the idea of the pics, I'd velcro, please do send a pic, and THANK YOU FOR TELLING ME ABOUT IT POSSIBLY BEING WEDGED IN THE LIP!!! I had not thought of that as a long time resting place. I did shine a light into all corners to look for spots of daylight shining through any gaps etc, so spotting her will be simple if I can remember to check, which, I will due to the fact that the client board above her tank will now hold a big red lettered WATCH THE RIM warning :) She, by the way, is one of the most wonderful of creatures I have ever had the pleasure to acquire. She is as long as an index card, about 5" long and the circumference / thickness of her seems about the thickness of a thinner sized sharpie pen, or maybe two number 2 lead pencils taped together. Truly spectacular. I don't know how old she might be, or if she is indeed a she and it's not important enough to me to pull out my legal pad, sit her on my make believe Dr. Phil couch and ask her, either :) The one word I would use to describe these creatures is IMPERIAL. Simply amazing. She is a deep burgundy color, with orange legs and a red head. The legs alone fasciate me, and this is the only charge I have that just watching it move creeps me out in really, really great way lol. Housing her went very smoothly. I simply placed the opened deli cup she arrived in in the tank and turned on the mister and it wasn't long before she woke up and was exploring her surroundings. And, a funny little anecdote, as I was roaming about my office, I went to the tank to peek in, just in time to see her emerge from UNDER her water dish, slide over the plant in the right hand corner and slip into the piece of cork bark to the point where I could not see her at all. Now, had I not accidentally spotted her doing this, I can picture myself going to the tank and not seeing her anywhere and immediately going to the phone and booking Hotel.com until my house sold. Now, if I don't see her, I know she has a few hiding spots. I chose the shape of the bark and created little beds under them that mimicked her body shape, so she went naturally right to it, also, having witnessed the cracks she was not able to squeeze through and the ones she was able to squeeze through to get under that flush to the substrate water dish I know what to look for for escape routes. She is much too thick and heavy and long to get out of the screen, and she didn't seem to inclined to give much effort to get up the sealant, YET, I will go and observe for a longer period of time this evening. Back with pics after dinner. Thinking of using a black light at night so as not to add to much drying to the air. Do they harm them the way the do scorps? I know the answers are out there on the web, but, Im here now so I'd ask. :)
 

Python

Arachnolord
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That is awesome, can't wait to see the pics. I wouldn't worry too much if I were you. As much homework as you've done on this, you should be just fine. If you do happen to look in there and not see your pede, don't fret, they like to burrow and will frequently dig to the bottom and just sit there. It's a bit unnerving when considering their uncanny ability to escape a seemingly inescapable enclosure, but throw some food in there for them and you will see it disappear soon enough.

One thing I've noticed recently, and you've brought it to mind, I've seen mention of lights being bad for inverts due to drying them out. I'm curious about this as I'm an old duffer who came from an era when lights were the way to heat everything. Heat rocks and undertank pads were available but for the most part not highly regarded for inverts. I've used lights and still do and while they do dry the substrate, I haven't noticed any damage to my animals. The lights that I use are pretty low temp incandescent/low light bulbs and in fact, I'm not noticing a huge difference in temps except directly under the bulb, maybe a couple of degrees.

Having been in the hobby for awhile, I've seen things change over the years with new innovations or discoveries. When I first got into inverts, everyone was using sponges in water dishes. There was no internet to search for answers and only a couple of books that were available in my area. My local library was less than helpful also. The first inverts I saw for sale were G. rosea and P. emperator, both wild caught adults and both kept exactly the same, on crushed corn cob litter in a small kritter keeper with a small water dish with a sponge in it. People, around here anyway, knew that's how they should be kept back then. Sad huh.
 

shining

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jul 15, 2011
Messages
755
I bow in appreciation to your recognition of my caution, however, it is because of these boards and the members, such as yourself, who have guided me in my development as a hobbyist. When I first began way back when the mere site of the common Chilean Rose had me feeling like the world's greatest lion tamer if I managed to get her to eat from my tongs, if eat at all.. lol.. the days i panicked when she wouldn't eat (which lasted for months at a time) nearly had me feeling like PETA was going to knock my door down and take away my Arachnoboard badge or something :) And I love the idea of the pics, I'd velcro, please do send a pic, and THANK YOU FOR TELLING ME ABOUT IT POSSIBLY BEING WEDGED IN THE LIP!!! I had not thought of that as a long time resting place. I did shine a light into all corners to look for spots of daylight shining through any gaps etc, so spotting her will be simple if I can remember to check, which, I will due to the fact that the client board above her tank will now hold a big red lettered WATCH THE RIM warning :) She, by the way, is one of the most wonderful of creatures I have ever had the pleasure to acquire. She is as long as an index card, about 5" long and the circumference / thickness of her seems about the thickness of a thinner sized sharpie pen, or maybe two number 2 lead pencils taped together. Truly spectacular. I don't know how old she might be, or if she is indeed a she and it's not important enough to me to pull out my legal pad, sit her on my make believe Dr. Phil couch and ask her, either :) The one word I would use to describe these creatures is IMPERIAL. Simply amazing. She is a deep burgundy color, with orange legs and a red head. The legs alone fasciate me, and this is the only charge I have that just watching it move creeps me out in really, really great way lol. Housing her went very smoothly. I simply placed the opened deli cup she arrived in in the tank and turned on the mister and it wasn't long before she woke up and was exploring her surroundings. And, a funny little anecdote, as I was roaming about my office, I went to the tank to peek in, just in time to see her emerge from UNDER her water dish, slide over the plant in the right hand corner and slip into the piece of cork bark to the point where I could not see her at all. Now, had I not accidentally spotted her doing this, I can picture myself going to the tank and not seeing her anywhere and immediately going to the phone and booking Hotel.com until my house sold. Now, if I don't see her, I know she has a few hiding spots. I chose the shape of the bark and created little beds under them that mimicked her body shape, so she went naturally right to it, also, having witnessed the cracks she was not able to squeeze through and the ones she was able to squeeze through to get under that flush to the substrate water dish I know what to look for for escape routes. She is much too thick and heavy and long to get out of the screen, and she didn't seem to inclined to give much effort to get up the sealant, YET, I will go and observe for a longer period of time this evening. Back with pics after dinner. Thinking of using a black light at night so as not to add to much drying to the air. Do they harm them the way the do scorps? I know the answers are out there on the web, but, Im here now so I'd ask. :)
I would think UV hurts all inverts if too much is used on them but I don't know for a fact.

If you want to have night viewing without adding any heat led is the way to go and they come in a myriad of colors. I use a night glow led which is blue and it doesn't seem to make it run away when I switch it on although I'm sure it can see that spectrum.

I'll take a few pics of my lid in a minute and post them up in a bit.

That is awesome, can't wait to see the pics. I wouldn't worry too much if I were you. As much homework as you've done on this, you should be just fine. If you do happen to look in there and not see your pede, don't fret, they like to burrow and will frequently dig to the bottom and just sit there. It's a bit unnerving when considering their uncanny ability to escape a seemingly inescapable enclosure, but throw some food in there for them and you will see it disappear soon enough.

One thing I've noticed recently, and you've brought it to mind, I've seen mention of lights being bad for inverts due to drying them out. I'm curious about this as I'm an old duffer who came from an era when lights were the way to heat everything. Heat rocks and undertank pads were available but for the most part not highly regarded for inverts. I've used lights and still do and while they do dry the substrate, I haven't noticed any damage to my animals. The lights that I use are pretty low temp incandescent/low light bulbs and in fact, I'm not noticing a huge difference in temps except directly under the bulb, maybe a couple of degrees.

Having been in the hobby for awhile, I've seen things change over the years with new innovations or discoveries. When I first got into inverts, everyone was using sponges in water dishes. There was no internet to search for answers and only a couple of books that were available in my area. My local library was less than helpful also. The first inverts I saw for sale were G. rosea and P. emperator, both wild caught adults and both kept exactly the same, on crushed corn cob litter in a small kritter keeper with a small water dish with a sponge in it. People, around here anyway, knew that's how they should be kept back then. Sad huh.
This is true. Mine disappeared for a month. I was so scared I dug it up like a noob and it had freshly molted. I felt bad. I thought it was dead because I'm sure it was a wc and I had no idea how old it is. All is good now and it pokes out of it's burrow holes come night fall.

Heat lamps can work, it just means you have more work to do to keep everything moist and find that perfect position where it isn't overwhelming if not regulated by a rheostat/thermostat. These hobbies have come a long way it seems.
 
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