Getting your substrate suitable....

Jaffster

Arachnoknight
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May 30, 2007
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Just been to my dads on my dinner to check on my P.Imperator.

It's 1PM here, quite hot outside too. Lovely day :D

Anyhow, I walked in and she was pressed up against the glass, claws up in the air and resting on her tail..... I stopped for a minute to see what she was actually doing then she started moving around. This is the first time I've ever come through the daytime and she's been active and moving around. I turned the flourescant light on which I use for locating bits of corpses etc and she ran into her hide (half a plant pot, buried in the corner of her enclosure).

Now I can only presume one of two things. Either there isn't enough natural light getting into the room she's kept in (it's an outhouse with only one small plastic window) and she doesn't know the difference between day and night OR she's unhappy with the hide she has and she's looking for a new one.

You see, the problem I have is that the enclosure isn't really suited for more than 1 or 2 inches of substrate, it's wooden and opens at the front rather than the conventional 'open top' you find on most other enclosures.

I've been thinking of having it around 1 inch deep at the front and have it on a gradient so it's 5+ inches deep at the back.

I use a mixture of compost and vermiculite, what's the best way to make this stable for burrowing and can anyone give me advice on the best way to make this work for an emperor scorpion?
 

Brian S

ArachnoGod
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You see, the problem I have is that the enclosure isn't really suited for more than 1 or 2 inches of substrate, it's wooden and opens at the front rather than the conventional 'open top' you find on most other enclosures.
Have you considered changing to a more suited enclosure?
 

Jaffster

Arachnoknight
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Have you considered changing to a more suited enclosure?
I would but I spent alot of money for the wood enclosure, as it does get very cold here in the UK at night..... I thought it'd keep the heat in better.
 

Thaedion

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I've seen pics of your tank. Just put a 'plank' of plastic, glass, wood... in the front to facilitate a wall, say 12 - 13 cm tall, then fill the sub behind it. You'll still be able to open the glass front without the sub falling out. I wouldn't feel your scorp will try to squeeze between the glass and the new wall but if it does it'll also be able to squeeze back out. the prey might get stuck between but oh well.
 

HufnPuf

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sad that you can't keep the scorp inside.

i'm aware of your situation-mom doesnt want it at her place, dad sez you can keep it in the shed.

not sure why you would even try to keep an animal if you couldnt care for it properly.

P.Imps are tropical you know. :?

not native to England to the best of my knowledge.

hopefully you can figure it out before winter.

or else:

 
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Mr. Mordax

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So did you get a new scorp, or did you find your escapee? If you got a new one, how long has it been in there? Emps seem to wander around for a while before getting settled in enough to call their hide home and start a burrow.

The substrate gradient doesn't sound like a bad idea until you can get Thaedion's suggestion incorporated. And, uh . . . I'd suggest supplimental heating if you don't already have it and monitor the temperatures to ensure your emp stays toasty.
 

wonderwes

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mine dose too

i have to emps in a 30 gallon long tank and every night they do that i wonder if its normal or not, they only do it at night though
 

Uroctonus

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I wouldn't worry a whole lot about natural light, scorpions tend to avoid it when they can. Pandinus species like to burrow, so if you can, try to give it at least a few inches to dig down. However, if you can't, I'd recommend giving it an inch or two of substrate, then laying something down on top like a piece of tile or a flat rock, something big enough that it will cover your scorpion that will give it a chance to dig a hide for itself. If you do this, make sure to arrange it so that it won't fall and crush/pin the scorpion should the scorpion dig too much of the dirt out from under it.
 

Jaffster

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Iheartmatids, the day it went missing was the day I brought a female back for him..... maybe he had cold feet and did a runner.... who knows? It was around 3 or 4 weeks ago, if I remember rightly?

I think it's best if I do just use a gradient for now, at the minute she seems content with the plant pot I'm using for her but I'd rather see her burrowing to be honest.

But with compost, what's the best way to make it stable for burrowing, because at the minute the substrate is loose and would collapse if I tried to dig a hole in it, do I need to wet it then compact it down?
 

Thaedion

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...
But with compost, what's the best way to make it stable for burrowing, because at the minute the substrate is loose and would collapse if I tried to dig a hole in it, do I need to wet it then compact it down?
The best way to gauge soil stability is to first moisten it as you suggested, then 'squeeze' it in your hand if it says compacted it is good and damp enough, if it falls apart not good moisten it some more, if if squishes like a sponge too wet :p then as you said, with your hand to firmly pack it.

Be mindful not to place heavy objects on the surface of the soil. Any heavy object I ever put into my tanks were founded to the bottom first then the substrate was packed around them.
 

BadBikaDamo

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Hi Jaffster, good to see you English getting some sunshine at last, pity the rain has moved back to Scotland, anyway, more stable substrate, some would suggest add some sand,(10-20%). I would suggest, cracking your plant pot in two, put both halves next to each other at the back of your enclosure where you can pile the substrate up a bit higher, then bury both the hides in loads of soil. Your lassie will probably burrow from one hide to the next, and the extra hieght of the substrate will help with it's structural integrity.:D

Damo
 
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