hadrurus setup questions


Jul 24, 2007
good day, folks. I'm brand new here, but I've been lurking for awhile trying to pick up tips. I have never owned any scorps, but have always been fascinated, and have finally decided to pick some up. I like the look of emperors, but figure I will start either h arizonensis or spadix because they seem more active.

my plan is to set up about a 30G tank, and try to house 2/3/4 scorps. I know they may not be communal, but I'm hoping to give them enough space to tryand get along. I'd like the substrate to be kinda orange-ish in color, with some of white/black/brown, so my plan for the setup is to make some mixture of calcisand, playsand, bentonite nd whatever else to get the right color and consistency for burrowing. I will put some flat rocks, desert type logs, and other ornamentation, and a small rock water dish to fill up maybe once every 2 weeks. I'm planning on no overhead lighting, but a ceramic heating element on one side. maybe a fixture with the CHE on one side, and a blacklight on the other side to use only every once in a while to show my friends their glowing trick. I live in southern cali, so heat and humidity should not be much of a problem.

I have a few questions at this point, that I'm hoping all you knowledgeable folks can help with...

  • what material is ideal for the substrate, and in what ratios? can I use mostly the colored calcisand to get the color I want, and then mix it with other stuff to make it burrow-able?
  • I don't want to feed crickets because of the smell and noise. will this species eat roaches, and do I need to create a roach colony if I only have 2-3 scorps that eat 1-2 times a week? what are the best roaches to feed that don't really climb or fly? what kind of container can I keep the roaches in?
  • I don't really know where to buy either the scorps or roaches. I've checked pet/reptile stores around me and haven't found any. will I have luck finding some online to buy and have shipped? how many roaches would I need to start with?
  • do I need to have a separate enclosure or 2 to put the scorps into when I need to clean the cage, or in case one of them becomes preggo?
  • I read about people putting rolly pollies or other isopods in the tanks to help keep it clean, do I need anything like this for desert species?

basically, I'm new to all of this, and I'm doing my research...I want to make sure I do everything right. I have not found any care sheets that spell everything out regarding this species, so I'm looking for the "best practices" that are used by people who keep them. any and all advice, and criticism of my gameplan, is appreciated. I look forward to being an active member of this board. thanks!


Feb 27, 2017
These will keep your enclosure clean and the hadrurus wont eat them.. blue death-feigning beetle


Old Timer
Sep 10, 2008
Start by watching my care video:
Know that Hadrurus will eventually cannibalize, consider dividers of some sort. Know that H. spadix is typically more defensive than other Hadrurus. This is a hard time of year to obtain Hadrurus but I will be collecting more very soon, I only sell large and extra large adults. Never buy/collect juvenile Hadrurus as they typically don't survive molting in captivity. Substrate should be 10-20% clay and the rest should be sand. Not sure how calci-sand will bind with clay. I also sell the blue death feigning beetles and have them in stock. PM me with your other questions!


Arachnosupporter +
Aug 31, 2012
I am surprised that no one at the time in 2007 answered the OP's questions when they were originally posted.