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How dry does sand have to be for H. Arizonensis

Discussion in 'Scorpions' started by InfestedGoat, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. InfestedGoat

    InfestedGoat Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I am doing a mixture of 60% sand, and 30% clay. Its been drying for like 4 days now I think. And Ive noticed like, once the top layer gets dry, it can no longer hold a burrow, it turns into normal sand agian. Am i not suppose to dry out the sand completely? Because there is no water at all anymore, its just a little bit damp after about 3-4 inches into it (my substrate is around a foot deep), but not really wet. I know Desert hairies can get mycosis really easy, so i dont want to put it in there without being 100% sure it wont get mycosis, but at the same time, i want him to be able to burrow, hence why im doing this set up.

    What do i do?
  2. Widowman10

    Widowman10 Arachno WIDOW Old Timer

    i've done a 50/50 mix with peat/sand before, and it holds a burrow fairly well without being too wet. mycosis can easily be a problem though too. your clay is probably fine, as their natural environment seems to be very clay-ish. someone else who has had good success will chime in with suggestions shortly i'm pretty sure...
  3. When you say 'clay' is it the "Zoo Med Excavator Clay"? if so and you are still not getting a burrow to hold go with a heavier clay ratio.

    I use 100% clay for my A. mauritanicus all I did was preform a few burrows in the wet clay and let it dry for a week or two. To preform a good deep burrow mix the clay up and insert and bury a semi-inflated party balloon (the ones used for animal shapes) and put it close to the glass if you want a window view.

    As a side note I mix the excavator clay in with my coco fiber 1 brick to 5 pounds (1/2 a bag) for all my burrowing tropical scorps, it really holds a tunnel.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
  4. ~Abyss~

    ~Abyss~ Arachnoking Old Timer

    Typical mixture of escavator sand and regular sand is one part escavator 2 parts sand. Should work well if you compact it and let it dry.

    Hi Thaedion.
  5. InfestedGoat

    InfestedGoat Arachnobaron Old Timer

    well its dry. its just not bone dry like it is on top. its like slightly damp about 3 inches deep and beyond. Is that okay? I would hate to give him mycosis.

    *edit* the top layer is so dry. But like i dug a hole a put a hide on it as a burrow for when he can get in. put a hygro in there and it was like 100% humidity. Seriously nothing is drying this out.

    If i take out all the sand and dry it, or stir it up dry, stir it up, repeat. Wouldnt this like not allow it to burrow. Cause the top layer is just like sand right now, you cannot burrow in it at all because it is so dry.

    *editedit* at this rate my tank is never going to dry out. Ive left a heat lamp 2 inches away from the sand and it wont dry anything deeper than an inch! What do i do!!!! Please help!

    *editeditedit* http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?t=19695 read this. See, it cant hold a burrow with it being bone dry. So I think I am going to introduce him to his new home tommorow. This is a dry as its ever going to get I think. Somone please stop me if they think its a bad idea! (I am so close to just putting back in 100% sand, im starting to think it is too humid where I live for anything else, anyone have any thoughts??!?!?)
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
  6. Hello Eddy, \m/_

    What type of sand and what type of clay? Is it aquarium sand or play sand, is it real fine or coarse? (side note I had real fine sand in a flatrock enclosure, and the sand impacted in the throat and on the mouth and after removal [with tooth pick and tweezers] it was about pea sized) Is the clay fine clay of the excavator formulated to hold a burrow?

    also is the enclosure open and lamps on the surface? if so add an air flow across the tank to aid in evaporation.

    just some thoughts.
  7. InfestedG, I use clean desert sand wet down and dried thoroughly. Actually, it baked in the summer sun for about 4 hours. I did not even need to make any starter scrapes. The H. arizonensis went right to work. No help needed. The animal is clean of any infestation.

  8. InfestedGoat

    InfestedGoat Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Well, seem my problem is it wont dry. Its too thick and deep (giggity) so its just holding all the moisture. And (looks out window) hm it actually is a sunny day. I'll leave it outside for today. See if it makes a difference. But it seems like 2 heat lamps would make it go faster.

    Its that zoomed excavator sand. I used 1 bag of that and 2 bags of desert blend english walnut shells. Its not very fine sand, its alot like beach sand if not a tad bit thicker. It has 2 lamps on top and a fan blowing at it. Im doing a different method of letting the top inch dry out, then stiring it up, letting the top dry out, stiring, etc. I hope it works. But it wasnt drying because its over a foot deep.
  9. InfestedGoat

    InfestedGoat Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Well. I took half the sand out, layed it out and dried it bone dry. And mixed it with my damp sand. So its dryish and still kinda holds a burrow. The outside is about 50% (at night) but inside the burrow it was like 90%! I put him in there already though. Someone please correct me if this is a bad idea!!!!

    If I see even a slight sign of weird behavior or mycosis, i will take him out and put him back on 100% sand. (actually I'm kind of thinking I'll do that now. It might just be too humid to have a burrowing enclosure here...so please somone respond)

    *edit* okay. Noone has responded. I'm getting to worried. I'm going to say f*** it and put him back in his temp home. Empty my 66% sand and 33% clay outside. I'm going back to 100% dry sand. I think it is just too humid in Houston to keep a HA in a burrow. I'll just provide him with many hides that go deep. And when he starts getting fat ready to molt I'll spray under his hides to get some moisture in there. Good idea? bad idea? need feedback asap!
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
  10. Raan_Jodus

    Raan_Jodus Arachnodemon Old Timer

    last time I remember making a sandy enclosure for my old haddy's, it took about a week or so for the sand to dry out. Good air flow is the trick to help it dry out, just put it near an open window, or get a fan and stick it nearby. The burrows will always have a different humidity than the top, pretty sure thats how they like it, and being able to burrow to a point where they are comfy. 100% really wouldnt be great for him, but I'm sure what you've got will be fine.
  11. InfestedGoat

    InfestedGoat Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Well. I decided to put him back on 100% sand and its back to being at 40%. I am just going to spray his hides when he is about to molt. It is just too humid to have a burrowing enclosure for my HA where I live. Thanks for the input guys!
  12. signinsimple

    signinsimple Arachnobaron

    I assume the excavator sand you mention is really the excavator clay, but walnut shells are not sand. Also, if you stir the sand while it drys it won't ever be able to hold a burrow once dry. You have to wet it, compact it (push it down hard), and then let it dry. Compacting it is important because it makes the sand fit together structurally. If you stir it, the sand will be loose, not tight, and any burrow will collapse.

    This is a bad idea. Your dessert hairy will die if it's burrow's humidity is 90%. They need very dry conditions with maybe a slight moisture gradient at the deepest level of sand

    It's not too humid, you just have to let the sand dry completely. It takes a while. Sometimes over a week or 2, depending on how wet your sand was initially.

    Patience. If you really wand to give it a borrowable substrate, wet down the sand, compact it and let it dry. It'll take a while but you'll be able to tell by looking at the moisture line in the sand on the side of the glass. When it reaches the bottom of the tank all around, it's dry.
  13. InfestedGoat

    InfestedGoat Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Well I mean its normally always 100% humidity outside, and in the tank with the walnut shells it is like 40-50%. I mean anymore and it is too much. And thats with 100% dry sand. Its just really humid where I live
  14. praetorian2150

    praetorian2150 Arachnoknight

    your heat lamp should counter that humidity if its a 75watt or above. Setup the clay/sand/lil peat moss mixture wet it down, and let it dry with the lamp on. My desert hairy cage got dry in a day
  15. Athlon2k2

    Athlon2k2 Arachnobaron

    I don't think humidity is as big of an issue as people make it out to be. I have been keeping one of my little H. arizonensis at about 50-60%Rh to get him to molt. He has not developed mycosis and still is a great eater. I've seen several burrows that have water drops on the roots. Then again quite a few wild caughts have some sort of mycosis.
  16. InfestedGoat

    InfestedGoat Arachnobaron Old Timer

    He is doing fine on the 100% crushed walnut shells. I have one side (which he is always at) at like 30% humidity and 84F and the other cool side is around 78F and 40%. When he is getting ready to molt I will mis that side and get it up to 50% or so. I think a scorpion is smart enough to know if he wants to be on the humid or non humid side when molting. Each side has a hide that is burried all the way to the bottom to act like a burrow but it wont collapse. But he very much enjoying the dry hotter side, he's been staying in there non stop and hardly even digging (expect for random spurts of random holes in his hide). So I think I got him set up good :D
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