Couple questions on plants/cacti for desert viv

neubii18

Arachnosquire
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Dec 14, 2009
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Couple questions on a Desert viv for C.Sculpturatus

I will be getting a pretty large group of C.Sculpturatus soon, and wantto set them up in a desert viv.I had a couple questions reguarding the plants though...

1.Can I use cactus?Will the spines hurt them?I figure they live with them in the wild,so why not?Tell me what you think.
2.Are they're any drought tolerant plants that don't need supplemental lighting?(obviously desert plants need lots of light,but will any that don't need lots of moisture do good with regular lighting?
3.What soil/sand should I plant cactus in?

Thanks for any and all help!!!
 
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Kaos

Arachnolord
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1.Can I use cactus?Will the spines hurt them?I figure they live with them in the wild,so why not?Tell me what you think.
2.Are they're any drought tolerant plants that don't need supplemental lighting?(obviously desert plants need lots of light,but will any that don't need lots of moisture do good with regular lighting?
3.What soil/sand should I plant cactus in?
1. I would be carefull with cactus with big spines. They do live with them in the wild but there they are not confined to a space.
2. Probably, don't have any suggestions, but ask where you buy plants.
3. You get special soil mixes for that, just make sure it does'nt contain any fertilizers except natural ones.
 

Roblicious

Arachnodemon
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Mar 2, 2011
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671
I have a small live cactus I bought from Petco in my desert hairy enclosure, he walks by and around it, but its never hurt him any, hes actually sitting next to it right now

You can buy a small pot from a craft store, put some dirt in there and then the cactus, just make sure you take it out once a month to water and drain and then put it in again.

Real low maintenance

Here is a a link to my enclosure pics if you want to look.

http://scorpionforum.darkbb.com/t5947-my-new-desert-hairy-enclosure

The only problem I can think of is that sometimes crickets climb up top and dont come back down and might start eating the cactus, when I see mine climb up there I flick them off and they suicide into the scorpion.

I asked the same questions as you, but you should be fine
 

scorpionmom

Arachnobaron
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
349
I will be getting a pretty large group of C.Sculpturatus soon, and wantto set them up in a desert viv.I had a couple questions reguarding the plants though...

1.Can I use cactus?Will the spines hurt them?I figure they live with them in the wild,so why not?Tell me what you think.
2.Are they're any drought tolerant plants that don't need supplemental lighting?(obviously desert plants need lots of light,but will any that don't need lots of moisture do good with regular lighting?
3.What soil/sand should I plant cactus in?

Thanks for any and all help!!!
I would agree more with KAOS, be careful with the cactus. I would not recommend it. There are plastic cacti if you just want to have the aesthetics but the scorpions will not really benefit from the plant. There is something called cactus mix...you may want to look in to that. If you are looking for a very good desert enclosure the best thing to do is just find some pictures of C. sculpturatus' habitat and try to replicate them the best you can. Again, I don't think the cactus will add anything except aesthetic appeal, but that is just my opinion. Good luck! I hope you enjoy them and try to breed them.:D;)
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
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I would really consider laoticus's reco, "succulents" in general, not only cacti. Some don't need as much light as others and some have a nice desert look. "imo", cactus shouldn't be a danger either though. If they can hide there and keep you from getting them, that's good for them lol. I had a couple of cacti in a terr that lasted about a year. I think the ones I had needed more light than I gave them. There are also a bunch of cacti species that don't have hard spines, sometimes you can find those at a place like HomeDepot, many times those aren't labeled there at that store. Some cacti species are even usually found in the wild at the base of bushes in the shade, so those might not need much light. Sorry that I don't remember the names of particular species. I usually get something and forget the name. What about typing in "succulents" in google, looking at images, maybe email some internet stores, tell them what you want to do and see if they have succulent recos.
 

neubii18

Arachnosquire
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Thanks for everyone's suggestions!

I will make sure to get some cacti with soft spines if I go with them,and I found a few really cool succulents outside I may try.I also have an aloe I think I might give a go at.I have been pondering this all all day,and have come up with a few ideas.I mixed play sand and excavator sand with water and did the basic landscaping of the tank.I'm going for a kind of dried up creek bed,or similar at least.I went out and found various grasses that I thought looked "deserty",so I'll be drying those.I also found a variation of sage(at least it smells and kinda looks like it) that I think I'm gonna dry and dry it.It will look like an old shrub when dry.I also found a really nice piece of bark that resembles a fallen log that I'll be using for their main hiding spot.I'm gonna paint a background for them too.This will be my first scorpion tank that I've gone the asethetic approach instead of the cheap way to house them.By the way,this will all be in a 10 gallon tank,so security won't be any trouble.I think it will work out good.

I do still have a few questions that I would appreciate answers on!

1.Does all this sound good?I'm looking for critiques and suggestions on it all.

2.How many adult C.Sculpturatus could live in a 10 gallon.

3.Does anyone have any pictures of US desert habitats?I will google them,but It's cool to see people's personal pictures.

Thank you everyone who has helped and helps!And when these guys start breeding,I may send some people that give a lot of help some babies for only the cost of shipping:D

*If it is possible,could a mod change the title to"Couple questions on a Desert viv for C.Sculpturatus".I'd really appreciate it!*
 

Roblicious

Arachnodemon
Joined
Mar 2, 2011
Messages
671
Did you check out the link that I posted? I have gotten compliments on my setup and all I got is 1 cactus as it is a 5 gal tank you should be able to do more with your 10 gal.

I say the only 2 things you need to worry about is feeders climbing up top to hide from the scorpion and then eating the plant itself, and watering as it will raise the humidity. I suggested using a pot and taking it out once a month to water and drain for an hour before putting it back in.

I am not to familiar with your scorpion species you are getting, does it burrow? If so do a 70/30 mix of sand and exc clay and it will hold and allow for burrowing.
 

neubii18

Arachnosquire
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Dec 14, 2009
Messages
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Did you check out the link that I posted? I have gotten compliments on my setup and all I got is 1 cactus as it is a 5 gal tank you should be able to do more with your 10 gal.

I say the only 2 things you need to worry about is feeders climbing up top to hide from the scorpion and then eating the plant itself, and watering as it will raise the humidity. I suggested using a pot and taking it out once a month to water and drain for an hour before putting it back in.

I am not to familiar with your scorpion species you are getting, does it burrow? If so do a 70/30 mix of sand and exc clay and it will hold and allow for burrowing.
I did check out your setup,and it's really cool,but Im going for something a bit different.I don't want to use anythig man made looking in there,like the jug.I'm gonna have a piece of bark that will be ableto hold all the adults under for hiding.I'm looking to get about 15-20 of them if they can live in a 10 together.They are not burrowers,and are supposed to be very communal.Thanks for your input though!I think I wanna try that type of cactus you used.I have an identical one outside.
 

LeilaNami

Arachnoking
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I was pursuing a natural desert environment before. My list after research included these but I don't remember how big they get:
Bougainvillea sp.
Sages (Salvia sp.)
manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.)
junipers
wormwoods
Lantana spp.
lavender cotton (Santolina thamaecyparissus)
fairy cactus (is either spineless or has very small soft spines, I can't remember)
and of course succulents and other soft spined cacti

You can also try dwarf mondo grass but you will have to keep it in a pot and bury it to keep it natural looking.
 

Roblicious

Arachnodemon
Joined
Mar 2, 2011
Messages
671
yeah i just ment plantwise, no need for the other aesthetics, I would put more plants, but room was an issue.

Its plenty for my DH though so yeah he has a ball climbing in and out of that jar and hes burried his burrow and the tunnel i made for him, bastard lol
 

scorpionmom

Arachnobaron
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
349
Thanks for everyone's suggestions!

I will make sure to get some cacti with soft spines if I go with them,and I found a few really cool succulents outside I may try.I also have an aloe I think I might give a go at.I have been pondering this all all day,and have come up with a few ideas.I mixed play sand and excavator sand with water and did the basic landscaping of the tank.I'm going for a kind of dried up creek bed,or similar at least.I went out and found various grasses that I thought looked "deserty",so I'll be drying those.I also found a variation of sage(at least it smells and kinda looks like it) that I think I'm gonna dry and dry it.It will look like an old shrub when dry.I also found a really nice piece of bark that resembles a fallen log that I'll be using for their main hiding spot.I'm gonna paint a background for them too.This will be my first scorpion tank that I've gone the asethetic approach instead of the cheap way to house them.By the way,this will all be in a 10 gallon tank,so security won't be any trouble.I think it will work out good.

I do still have a few questions that I would appreciate answers on!

1.Does all this sound good?I'm looking for critiques and suggestions on it all.

2.How many adult C.Sculpturatus could live in a 10 gallon.

3.Does anyone have any pictures of US desert habitats?I will google them,but It's cool to see people's personal pictures.

Thank you everyone who has helped and helps!And when these guys start breeding,I may send some people that give a lot of help some babies for only the cost of shipping:D

*If it is possible,could a mod change the title to"Couple questions on a Desert viv for C.Sculpturatus".I'd really appreciate it!*
1. I still would not recommend cacti, but that is my opinion.
2. I think four at the most would be best. If you think there is enough room you can add more, just make sure the scorpions are comfortable.
3.You can see some pictures of habitat pictures for desert species in the U.S. on The Scorpion Fauna, in the gallery section, "Biotopes."
 

neubii18

Arachnosquire
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Dec 14, 2009
Messages
74
Okay cool.Here is a couple pictures of what I have so far.I need your guys' opinion on which piece of wood looks best.

1.
2.
3.

Thanks!
 

Kathy

Arachnoangel
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Apr 4, 2009
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852
You are going to enjoy watching the behavior of your c. sculpts. :) You can easily have 25 or so in a 10 gallon enclosure. They will all gather together anyway and pile on top of each other. In answer to your question about the cactus, I would not recommend that. Sure they live around them, but that's not necessarily a good thing. You don't need any cactus potting soil either. I am in Phoenix and they are all over the place here. I rarely see them on the ground in the dirt or on the grass. They love to climb so they are always running along the block walls. Put things in the enclosure they can climb on and hide in. Throw a bunch of different sized rocks on the bottom and they will be happy. Throw in different sized branches and that will be good.

Looking at your pictures, that sand is not a good idea.......I know people think desert/sand, but we don't have sand here, it's too fine. Gravel is better.
 

scorpionmom

Arachnobaron
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Dec 5, 2010
Messages
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I would agree with Kathy, they definitely need more vertical hides, and I am still not recommending using real cacti. She's correct about the sand too, that would be alright for burrrowing desert species, but not exactly C. sculpturatus.
 

neubii18

Arachnosquire
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Okay cool.Thanks.So what kind of substrate should I use,and where can I get it?And Im planning on keeping around 15 in here.Thanks for all the help!
 

Kathy

Arachnoangel
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Do any of your neighbors have rocks in their yard instead of grass? Grab some handfuls of that, rinse it off good and throw it in. If you really want some substrate than use the eco-earth and mix some in with the rocks. But really, branches, big ole rocks to crawl on and hide under, stuff to run up and down on, they will be thrilled. :) You don't really need to buy anything. ;) They are indestructible.....and try not to get sting, seriously not fun.....lol.
 

Nomadinexile

Arachnoking
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So I've had this conversation on here before, and I know that many or most disagree with me. However, I still feel the same as I always have, with a slight amendment.

I would personally have no problem using species native to the scorpions habitat. That being said, this should only be done when you are absolutely confident that the scorpion can not climb above the said cacti. Doesn't matter if we are talking cage corners, or driftwood, whatever. The greatest danger is from the scorpion falling onto a cactus, not wandering into it and poking its eye out!

Good luck and have fun!

(this opinion is mine alone, and you may want to consider following the "group think" advice.) There is always danger when putting animals around sharp things. :p me included! :D
 

ArachnoYak

Arachnoknight
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I would recommend against using real cacti and succulents in a desert vivaria. You can't have both, you can either have healthy scorps or healthy succulents. I imagine you'd choose scorps so go with plastic plants. Real cacti and succulents require one thing you can't provide in an aquarium, excellent drainage.

There is also no substitute for real sunlight when it comes to keeping these plants healthy, and if there's enough sunlight coming into your vivarium to keep the plants happy chances are the scorp won't be too happy about it. Not to mention the temperature fluctuations that would occur.

Sure there are varieties of succulents that can survive on lower light levels, like Haworthia for instance, but just like any other succulent the drainage issue comes into play. As the metabolic rates for these plants(cacti&succulents) is slower than other species of plants, it takes a lot longer for them to show signs of neglect, (ie spindly growth, soft spots, etc.), thus they look good for the first little while but eventually are destined to death.

So to summarize, if you value the health of the plant as you do the health of the scorpion, don't use live cacti and succulents in a desert vivarium.
 

neubii18

Arachnosquire
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Thank you everybody!I do think I will not be using anything live in this cage.I will be using dried things,as well as possibly fake cacti.Now I have gotta switch the substrate though...

I was thinking I will go get some of this dirt that I catch A.pococki in.Do you think it will work?I will just make sure it's dry,and then I'll mix go grab some rocks from my front yard.They are pretty good sized( a little bigger than a quarter,but are not round.They are like brocken cubes almost,but not perfect by any means.Will they work?Thanks!

Also,could someone please post some pictures of their C.Sculpturatus setups?Thanks!
 
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