desert hairy experience/share cage setups

mttnry

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 7, 2010
Messages
7
I have had my first scorpion, the desert hairy I named Orion, for about a month now. I hadnt seen him out for a couple of days so I decided to lift the slate rock to check his primary burrow and he wasnt there. I then started looking under other rocks but still could not find him. Eventually I checked under the water dish and saw that he had made a new burrow on the colder end of his cage (heating pad was on the opposite side). So yeah, I read H. arizonensis were excellent burrowers and my experience confirms lol. I could barely see the entrance to his burrow because he had built it in the corner of his cage.

But while posting was wondering what other people have as far as cage setups. Here is my current setup sorry Orion was in his burrow when I took these Ill try to take more when he is awake the black sand makes a really cool contrast with his light color.

A minor change I would like to make would be to add more sand so he has more depth to burrow into. Also the water dish normally remains empty. I do add some water when I feed Orion his crickets to keep them hydrated and therefore him hydrated. Though this is probably not necessary it keeps me at ease. And the water dries up quick enough humidity doesnt seem to be an issue.

Looking forward to see other scorpion cage setups
--
Matt
 

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Canth

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
655
Your scorp is lucky to have found a burrow at all. I'd really like to suggest you add about 3 to 4 more inches of compact substrate in there for him to dig a much better burrow. I really like your black sand and slate pieces though, they look cool.

You can do this by wetting the sand and compressing it in the aquarium, then letting it sit out for a few days to dry.
 

JesseD

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 23, 2005
Messages
226
I think the key to keeping these with a deep enough substrate for them to burrow. The great part is how active they are. It's not like my young emperor who I only see at the end of it's burrow and scurries down it whenever I get close. Having a tube that goes to the bottom of the terrarium so you can send water to the bottom works great in keeping a humidity level below which is what I think they really need and what babies need.
 

Irene B. Smithi

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 1, 2009
Messages
520
My desert hairy cage, dry as can be and burrows every where!!

just to note, when I did his cage, it was nice and flat, all those hills are from him moving the dirt around :)
 
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mttnry

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 7, 2010
Messages
7
thanks for sharing, definitely going to pick up some more sand tomorrow. What kind of weather conditions are needed to make the compact sand? Will it dry up if left indoors? Wisconsin is pretty much in winter mode already so if I were to leave it outside I would just end up with a giant sandsicle.

Alternatively I was thinking of setting up some rock tunnels filled in with sand so he can dig them out to build his burrows that way.

Once again thanks for all the feedback. And Orchid, the picture really helped to give me an idea what to shoot for sand wise.
 

JesseD

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 23, 2005
Messages
226
I think I was reading about mixing clay dust in with the sand to make it stick together. You don't want the sand to become rock so he can't burrow so you have to get the mixture just right. I have never done this so don't quote me on it. Maybe somebody can comment about the method if they have used it.
 

Nomadinexile

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
2,675
What kind of weather conditions are needed to make the compact sand? Will it dry up if left indoors?
Normal house humidity is around 50%, this is variable of course on what is in your house, ie: aquariums, etc. It should dry just fine in your house though. You could keep it somewhere warmer to help it go faster. Dry time also depends on how dense you pack it down. I had a mix that packed hard take two or three weeks to dry completely. That was with a heat pad underneath, and a box fan blowing directly on it! :wall:

You don't want the sand to become rock so he can't burrow so you have to get the mixture just right. I have never done this so don't quote me on it. Maybe somebody can comment about the method if they have used it.
It is easy to make it into concrete. I did that on one of my Androctonus cages. I don't remember the %'s I used, but I'll give you an idea of what I would try now.

1/4 coco coir or fiber
1/4 excavator clay
1/4 fine sand
1/4 course sand (like well rinsed play sand)

I think this would make a firm yet burrowable substrate, but hopefully others can give you a better recipe, or a confirmation of this one....

Good luck!
 

Treynok

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
May 17, 2009
Messages
202
I do about 70% play sand and 30% eco earth. Make it as deep as your tank allows at least 4-5 inches and I place rocks much like your slate at random in the dirt mix before packing, like under the surface. It gives him things to follow underneath the dirt with his tunnels. A collapse is almost imminent over time no matter what setup, they just dig that actively when given the right mixture to dig. I also recommend maybe pebbles on the very bottom underneath everything and a straw or some tube in one of the corners going to the bottom of the tank. This is where you can add water for a humidity variable depending on how deep he wants to dig he can control his own humidity this way. I have some pictures of his permanent enclosure on photobucket.

You wanna soak the dirt and dry it hard before putting him in.
 
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