Just some general info on how I house most my stuff

tabor

Arachnoprince
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Jun 26, 2003
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I am currently in the process of making a website that will contain lots of helpful hints on the keeping of scorpions. Here is the first "article" I wrote for it tonight. Likely not the final version as I only spent like ten minutes on it, but hopefully it helps some one out!

General Care Info: Affordable and Effective Housing

Some people prefer aquariums or Kritter Keeper type things to house their scorpions in. If you are on a budget, or need to house a large number of scorpions, the methods presented here will be very beneficial to you. Some people complain that Sterilites are not clear enough to see through. However, if properly done you should be able to take the lid off at any time and take a closer look at your specimen, without the risk of escape.


Step 1) Locate your plastic box. Rubbermaid containers are fine, but the walls are a little too thick, and can be harder to drill/melt holes into. I prefer to use Sterilite containers; they are extremely cheap, and available at almost all major retailers. What size you choose is entirely dependent on what you plan on housing. This is the size I use to house either large single adult specimens, or colonies of smaller species.



Step 2) Create ample airflow by drilling or burning holes into your container. My preferred method involves a pair of needle nose pliers, a nail, and a lighter. In my opinion drilling is too time consuming and creates quite a mess. Using this hot nail method you grab the nail firmly between the tips of the pliers. Hold the nail over an open flame (lighter or a candle) for 30 seconds or so. Then take the hot nail and carefully poke ample air holes on all sides of the container. The holes should look something like this:



I usually put more holes than what is pictured. There are more around it on all sides.

Step 3) Interior design. Now, much of this is up to you. I prefer to use either natural cork bark, or cork board (which can be located at most hobby stores such as Michael’s or A.C. Moore). If it’s a bark scorpion, you obviously want to provide more vertical climbing space. If you’re housing more than one specimen in the container, it’s a good idea to provide extra hides. Choice of substrate is up to you, and I will cover this more in depth in other care articles. Pictured here is my breeding colony of adult H. judaicus. Note the number of hides, substrate mixture of peat moss and sand, and the access to water.




Step 4)
Heating and Racking. One of the most convenient things about using these Sterilite containers is that they are very easy to stack. If you have a temperature controlled area, then just stick them in there. If not, a closet shelf makes a convenient storage area. Place the containers on the shelves and point some infrared heat lights at them. Be sure you mist frequently for the tropical species. A digital thermometer comes in handy at this point, as do light fixtures with adjustable power levels.



Conclusions Sterilite and Rubbermaid containers come in a huge variety of shapes an sizes. In my opinion they are the perfect housing for any type of scorpion. They are nearly escape proof, just be sure the lid is securely snapped on, and that for the most part a scorpion doesn’t have ability to reach like lip of the cage. This is done by the strategic placement of hides and climbs. Details on how I house juveniles in a similar fashion will he found in a future article.

General Care Info: Choosing a Substrate

This section could get pretty complicated, so I will attempt to keep it as simple as possible. You have a few very reliable selections to choose from. The first is coco coir. This stuff comes in bricks (which then need to be hydrated) at your local pet store for around $5 a brick, but can be had for cheaper online from suppliers like LLLreptile, and the Bean Farm. This my substrate of choice and it used in some form or another in the majority of my cages. You can also acquire pure sphagnum moss at most home and garden centers, one bag will go a long way, just make sure it is pesticide free.

For topical (humidity loving) species, I typically use a well hydrated mixture off 100% pure coco coir. For semi-arid species I use a mixture of coco fiber and Reptisand (comes in many colors, available at any pet store).

I vary the sand/coco ratio depending on just how dry I want the cage to be. My general mixture is about 40% Reptisand to 60% coco coir. Desert species go on 100% Reptisand, which I chose mostly for the variety of colors, but playground sand from Lowes will work just as well. I will go in to further detail about substrate once I finish individual species care sheets.

General Care Info: Gear you’ve got to own!

Now that you’ve got housing out of the way, time to move on to some gear that I find indispensible. First off, a spray bottle is a must. You need a good spray bottle to help maintain the humidity in your cages, as well as provide a source of water. Just go to Wal-Mart or Target and in the hair care section there should be plenty of them. A dollar will get you something which look like this:



My second essential piece of gear for any scorpion fan is rubber tipped tweezers. They come in many sizes, but I recommend the 12” ones. These might set you back about ten dollars or so, but they will come in EXTREMELY handy further down the road, and prevent most stings from happening. This especially important if you are keeping potentially medically significant species. Here is a link to a reputable supplier of said tongs:

http://www.beanfarm.com/store/agora...8L5&product=Handling Equipment&user4=Tweezers

Last but not least, you’re going to need a black light. If you plan on doing any field collection a decent UV flashlight can be found on EBay for under $20. For just having around the house you can by an inexpensive backlight that will fit in to normal light fixtures for around $3 each. These will come in handy when you're having trouble locating a scorpion or two in its cage, and it’s also neat to occasionally show of the fluorescent qualities of scorpions to your friends.

The Importance of Labeling. As your scorpion collection grows it becomes very important to label everything you own. My preferred method is abbreviations on labels, attached to the bottom f of each container. A 500 pack of such labels can be found at office supply stores for around $3.50. Labeling is VITAL as your collection grows. Many species within the same genus can be hard to ID at various stages of their lives and it is best to not have to resort to guessing. These labels are small, and rather than removing them when you re-house things, simply put another label over the top of the old one. Believe me keeping 100% of your collection labeled at all time will come in VERY handy down the road.

Here are my labels of choice:



These are all just rough drafts of what I plan on adding to my website (once I've remasted style sheets and html). The website will have in depth care information for the 50+ species I keep.

thanks - ryan :cool:
 
Last edited:

Lawisme

Arachnopeon
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Mar 13, 2007
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wow helpful indeed hehehe can't wait for your site to launch hehehe:clap:
 

ahas

Arachnodemon
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Jun 11, 2007
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Hi Ryan,

I have a couple of plastic boxes similar to what you have. Which I' m planning to use when I' m allowed to keep scorpions. Are these Rubbermaids secure enough? I just don' t want them to escape.


thanks,

Fred
 

tabor

Arachnoprince
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Jun 26, 2003
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Thanks for compliments. The site would have been done sonner, but i know ZERO about webdesign, and as such have had to start from scratch.

Hi Ryan,

I have a couple of plastic boxes similar to what you have. Which I' m planning to use when I' m allowed to keep scorpions. Are these Rubbermaids secure enough? I just don' t want them to escape.
The Sterilite containers in my picture have lids that snap securely on. When stacking them i tend to put the "hotter" species at the bottom of the stack, so it;s 100% certain they wont escape.

Overall though, yes, the lids are somewhat flimsy. However, scropions are pretty week (especially the one i house in those). So assuming they could even reach the lid (nigh impossible), they would still have to be amazingly strong to lift it off.

There are also, slightly more expensive containers out there which do have very tight locking lids. I prefere mine, but the guide is general enough to be applied to any rubbmade type container.

- ryan :)
 

Rosenkreuz

Arachnoknight
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Jul 18, 2007
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252
If you're that worried about a scorpion or two escaping, you can always pop a hefty sized rock ontop of the lid.


Thanks for compliments. The site would have been done sonner, but i know ZERO about webdesign, and as such have had to start from scratch.

If I had the time, I would offer to do up the site for you, with provided information. As it is right now, though, I'm lucky to have time to sleep and eat, and I've started to devise ways to combine the two.
 

tabor

Arachnoprince
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Jun 26, 2003
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You should finish it and submit it as an article.
I will but i dont know how to submit stuff! Plus, this and much much more is going to be up on my website in a matter of weeks. :)

Just giving people a preview of what im throwing together here.

In my opinion there is alot of information out there, but no site really breaks it down step by step, species by species. I plan on keeping things simple and straight forward :)

is the keyboard to keep the scorps entertained? :D
I use it when im making electronic music... its not really my strong point but i do it just for fun. I play a mean guitar though boy let me tell you.

In case you didnt notice the water bottle is on top of a 12x4 stack and a crybaby wah pedal. Ah, music, my great love. Though scorpions have pretty much been the center of my attention for quite a whilte now, music making will always hold a special place in my heart.

I was actually in a few local bands and even followed around by cameras for a couple of weeks one time. Not to sure what became of the video they shot, but im sure it will come back to haunt me {D
 

tabor

Arachnoprince
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Jun 26, 2003
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If I had the time, I would offer to do up the site for you, with provided information. As it is right now, though, I'm lucky to have time to sleep and eat, and I've started to devise ways to combine the two.
thanks for the offer man but i used to be a huge nerd, I taught my self Javascript and HTML when I was like ten just for fun, and was writing "encryption" programs to protect my files when I was 14.

I've just been out of the web design scene for so long, im sure I will eventually catch back up, especially with the newest vesion of Dreamweaver to help me out!
 

driver

Arachnoknight
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Jun 22, 2007
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hey tabor, if you have any questions or need any help with your stylesheets feel free to hit me up. i do professional design, CSS and integration with most common content management systems isn't too big a deal for me ;P Dont tell me you're using dreamweaver, it will make my heart ache :( IF you haven't already ooked into it, let me recommend using wordpress to base your site on. It will make life after the design very comfy for you, and it'll give you a little bit of edge when it come sto placing well int he search engines, and everyone knows that the more people finding your page the better off you are! :)
 

driver

Arachnoknight
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Jun 22, 2007
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just as another thumbs up to wordpress (if you're considering it) it's category organization could offer you a great way to sort your caresheets and so on by genus. it's also FREE, has got loads and loads of available plugins you can use to customize your site, and a huge community to rely on for support while building your site...

http://www.wordpress.org
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
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Jul 4, 2005
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Allright! I think it might help allot of people out. Looks like you're spending allot of time on it. Interesting hole making method. I like personally like to use a drill. A drill's allot messier though. I've been playing a mean guitar for years too. It's real mean, it won't let me play it very well:rolleyes: . I do have some good equip though. Rock on.
 

tabor

Arachnoprince
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Jun 26, 2003
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Most heat lamps have a dimmer or some type of choke on them.

In fact I think Ryan uses Flukers farm heat lamps and they have an adjustable wheel on them to control the heat output of the bulb.

I did a larger setup then my brother with two 10 inch "Deluxe Arizona HOT Lamp"
It heats around 30 Hottentotta and Orthochirus species, stacked 2 high see through delis, one lamp shoots from the side the other from the top heat in the middle is a temperate 86F and outer delis are at 90F just set it up a little bit ago still tampering with the wattage controls and such but works decently.



-A.tabor
 

tabor

Arachnoprince
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Jun 26, 2003
Messages
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whats a good way to control power to a heat bulb?
I buy lamps that have adjustable power level, failing that im pretty sure a rheostat would work. The simplest way is just to move the light farther away from the cage if you need it cooler ;)

Also Driver, my website is coming together quite nicely. I had a few computer science friends hook me up with some stuff, but still I will check out your recommendation.

-ryan

edit: wow we posted at the exact same time, ah the joys of account sharing
 
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