My First Scorpion and First Post

Zope

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
36
Hi Everyone,

I just recently purchased a Pandinus imperator and upon searching the net came across this forum which has become very helpful. I have a couple of questions but let me first say that I've only owned my Imp for 3 days but I already love him to death. So I find myself being quite concerned that he maintains happiness in his enclosure. I've named my little buddy Baxter because I love the movie Anchorman. Anyways his enclosure is a 10 gal aquarium. I used Jungle Mix with Vermiculate for the substrate. I have 3 things on top of the substrate; a rounded off peice of wood, a molded 2 story rock, and a shallow water dish. Underneath the tank I have a heat pad that covers about a 3rd of the bottom of the tank. The tank is in my bedroom which has a average temp of 68-70.

Now with my questions. I've read a lot of contradicting things about taking care of Imps. One is some say put the heat pad on the back side of the tank and some say the bottom. I'd rather take your opinion so if you have one please let me know. My Baxter seems to like sitting over the padded area for extended periods of time.

I also can't figure out if I should buy a heat lamp. The pet store owner said I do not need it with the pad but I'm not looking for need. If it will make Baxter happier and live longer than I will do it. So do you think a lamp would be good or too much with the pad?

Lastly the guy in the store told me I could put 6 crickets in the tank for a weeks worth of food. I've also read that you should feed him 1 at a time. Also I've read that you shouldn't feed him but let the crickets roam around and let him capture it. I'll take your opinions over anyone else's so please let me know what you think.

Thanks in advance and I look forward to posting some picture of my buddy here shortly.
 

jeroenkooijman

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
168
The heath pad should be placed on the side or back of the tank.
When it gets to warm for your emp, he/she will dig to get a bit colder.
If your pad is on the bottom he/she will get warmer and warmer ;)

If you have a pad, probably you won't need a lamp, just make sure your temp is about 30 degrees celcius.

It depends on the size of your emp, if you have an adult he/she will mostly eat a grasshopper once per week. Younger emps can be fed a few times per week, one cricket at the time. The crickets will be captured by your emp, you can't feed them yourself because of the stress they won't take the food.

Good luck with your emp, they are great scorpions.
 

Zope

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
36
Thanks for the early reply. I will move the heat pad now that you say that. I guess I'll put it on the back towards the left side of the tank. My emp appears to be a good 3-4 inches. I Think it's a male but I really need a good look to tell for sure. Hopefully I'll have pictures up fast for you all. I'm glad you told me not to feed him because I was about to try that method after I saw someone doing it.
 

Brian S

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
May 29, 2004
Messages
6,543
In order to keep it humid you should cover at least 1/2 of the top with plastic. The screen tops allows it to dry out too fast.
 

Zope

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
36
In order to keep it humid you should cover at least 1/2 of the top with plastic. The screen tops allows it to dry out too fast.
Thanks for the tip. I assume you mean ciran wrap by plastic. I do have a screen top so I will be doing that today.
 

Brian S

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
May 29, 2004
Messages
6,543
To be honest with you I dont like aquarium tanks for tropical scorpions. I prefer plastic boxes like this. Drill some holes around the side, add peat, add a hide and you're all set. This is just my personal preference.

 

intrinsic_scorp

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Messages
22
bleck

I dislike heatpads. Heatpads raise the temperature by about 2-4 degrees depending on where you have the tank. You should go out and by a heatlamp that gives off red light (they can't see red) that you can suspend above the screen top. If you are really concerned for the Emp you should also go out and get a thermometer and hygrometer to monitor temperature and humidity. You can get everything I mentioned for about $30.

I put a thermometer on each end of my tank, with the hygrometer in the middle. The heat lamp goes on one side. This provides a temperature gradient. The left side of the tank is about 78 degrees, with the right side at 85-90 degrees. This allows them to regulate their body temperatures a bit better, as they can choose the warmth they are in.

These are my thoughts; you can either take them or leave them. I know many other keepers in this forum use different techniques that they have had great success with. What I write is in no way meant to offend those other keepers either :}

Good luck with your scorps and welcome to the hobby!
 

intrinsic_scorp

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Messages
22
Forgot one thing

In addition to my previous post - if you are going to use a lamp do not use a pad.

One last really cool idea. This is ONLY if you are extremely retentive about your hobby and want to spend a fair amount (maybe $50). You can put in a regulator that will monitor tank temperature and turn your device(s) on and off as needed to maintain optimum temperature. You could use this device with a combination of devices but it is up to you.

Good luck!
 

ParabuthusKing

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 4, 2006
Messages
183
I didn't really read what others wrote, but my one suggestion is that 6 crickets a week is WAY too much food for one emp.. I would go with one or two a week at most
 

Brian S

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
May 29, 2004
Messages
6,543
Hey Brian why dont you like tanks, BTW welcome to the hobby Zope
1. I have around 300 scorpions these days so I prefer plastic boxes so I can stack one on top of the other. It saves space for me. I drill 1 large hole on the end which is just large enough to slide a cricket thru. I dont have to unstack to feed that way.

2. The screen type lids will allow the tank to dry out fast. Now if you can make a lid out of plexiglass and drill some holes in it then you have nothing to worry about. When I used to keep them in tanks with screen tops, I had to flood the substrate 2-4 times a week in the Winter in order for the scorps to have damp substrate. This method, about once a month.

I have to admit that a nice decorated tank is a site to behold when compared to my drab utilitarian type boxes. When I move in a few months and have more space I will probably set up a nice visual tank for a Heterometrus colony however it WILL have a plexiglass top. So in other words, its not the tanks as much as the tops that go with them that I dislike.
I usually push the box method because it will be easier to keep moist for someone just getting started. The most common mistake I see is when a beginner keeps their Pandinus/Heterometrus too dry and too cold.
 

Brian S

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
May 29, 2004
Messages
6,543
you should also go out and get a thermometer and hygrometer to monitor temperature and humidity. You can get everything I mentioned for about $30.
Thermometers are great but hygrometers are a waste of money IMO. Most arent accurate and besides, if your substrate is damp then your humidity is fine. I have never owned a hygrometer and I doubt I ever will ;)
 

Zope

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
36
Ok i will go out today and get a Thermometer and heat lamp. I think I did read here that red was good because they can't see it. I'm not really good with building things so I'm hoping that putting plastic on most of the cover will work. If not maybe pet smart would have something that would work.

I should mention that I already moved the heat pad to the back left of the tank and my Emp within minutes moved towards the heat pad and litterally pushed himself up on the wall. I hope that doesn't mean he's too cold but that gives me the indication he is. I did notice today that the substrate seemed kind of dry so I will have to fix that situation.

One last thing. I have not been able to handle my Emp yet because I am a bit scared to pick him up or get to close to him. Whenever I touch his tail he jumps like he is very scared or ready to attack and throws his pinchers in the air. This became a bit of a hassle when I cleaned his aquarium yesterday and had to get him out. I litteraly had to coax him with a wooden spoon into a plastic container with holes in it. My question is should he be that afraid or is my fear just causing it. I don't want to stress him out but I will need to move him from time to time as I clean the aquarium.

Thanks for the Welcomes. I'm extremely happy to have found my Emp and this forum. I will post the pictures in this thread shortly.
 

Crono

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Messages
530
If you are really concerned for the Emp you should also go out and get a thermometer and hygrometer to monitor temperature and humidity. You can get everything I mentioned for about $30.
You could get a decent digital thermometer for less than that, but an accurate hygrometer is going to set you back more, unless you find a sweet deal, but you don't really need one. Brian knows what he is talking about.

Just don't use the cardboard backed ones from petshops. Useless doesn't begin to describe them.

Also, I don't know the details for where you are, but making a plexiglass lid is usually cheaper than buying a screen one, if you have the tools already.
 

Crono

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Messages
530
One last thing. I have not been able to handle my Emp yet because I am a bit scared to pick him up or get to close to him. Whenever I touch his tail he jumps like he is very scared or ready to attack and throws his pinchers in the air. This became a bit of a hassle when I cleaned his aquarium yesterday and had to get him out. I litteraly had to coax him with a wooden spoon into a plastic container with holes in it. My question is should he be that afraid or is my fear just causing it. I don't want to stress him out but I will need to move him from time to time as I clean the aquarium.

Thanks for the Welcomes. I'm extremely happy to have found my Emp and this forum. I will post the pictures in this thread shortly.
That is one of the best ways to move them for now. You should make it a habit to not touch the scorps, and to practice moving them without touching them. You could handle your emp when you get more comfortable, but if you want to keep other species you should get used to not handling them.

Have fun
Dave Mc
 

Zope

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
36
I will see what I can do about the plexiglass. I don't currently have any tools for stuff like that lol.

I won't be handling him then lol. I just like watching him anyways. I wasn't looking for a lap pet when I bought him anyways if you know what I mean.

Here are the pictures I promised. Two are of Baxter and the other is just a good look at the aquarium. Oh the green stuff is left is sand that I originally had in there before I read to add jungle mix with vermiculate. He was only in it for a day but when I got him out of the tank he still had some of the sand on him and I couldn't really wipe it off him or anything. I'm afraid to spray him down out of fear that it could freak him out.





 

Thaedion

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
902
...i will go out today and get a Thermometer and heat lamp...I'm hoping that putting plastic on most of the cover will work. If not maybe pet smart would have something that would work.

...I hope that doesn't mean he's too cold but that gives me the indication he is. I did notice today that the substrate seemed kind of dry so I will have to fix that situation.

One last thing. I have not been able to handle my Emp yet because I am a bit scared to pick him up or get to close to him...I litteraly had to coax him with a wooden spoon into a plastic container with holes in it. My question is should he be that afraid or is my fear just causing it. I don't want to stress him out but I will need to move him from time to time as I clean the aquarium...
Thermometers are great but hygrometers are a waste of money IMO... if your substrate is damp then your humidity is fine...
Hello and welcome,

I'm with Brian on the humidity/hygrometer thing, damp but not soaked substrate. Damp substrate equals around a 85-90%, condensation on the walls 90-100% humidity.

I use a screen top also, to keep the humidity in I put a fish tank canopy on top and open/close to regulate air and humidity. Picked it up at petsmart 10-12$



I use 1 75watt IR bulb lamp per 10 gallons and it keeps it at the 25°-30°C/80°-85°F range. My House temps are 18°-21°C/65°-70°F

You'll do well to go with a substrate that'll hold moisture and allow for burrowing, coco fiber or organic peat (no chemicals) are good choices and go deep, 4-5" is good see pic



Handling a scorpion is not recommended as it will stress out the scorp. that said I handle mine, it took a long while, 10 months or so, I would get freaked out when I just put my hand in the tank next to it. (and I'm an adult here) any way the coaxing is the prescribe method of transfer. I believe there is an article in the article section about safe handling of scorps.
 
Last edited:

pandinus

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
May 14, 2004
Messages
3,084
the reason i dont care for heat lamps is the fact that they quickly dry out the air and the substrate. My room typically stays between 70-89 degrees farenheit, so i have little use for heat sources anyway.


John
 

intrinsic_scorp

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Messages
22
Never had trouble

I have never had trouble with my hygrometer that I bought from the pet shop. The readings are as accurate as they need to be and it is the same brand as the thermometers (both Exo Terra). I imagine the problem with the petstore hygros is that moisture gets trapped in them and that is why they might give a false reading. Just cut most of the backing away so that air can flow easily in and out and you will have less problems with them.

As far as the heat pad goes, when I first had my scorp I used a heat pad on the back of the tank. The little guy did the same thing yours did, tried laying flat against the side to get warm. As soon as I put my heat lamp in, he was more inclined to take cover during the day.
 

Zope

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
36
Thanks for all the advise. I've removed the heat pad and setup a red heat lamp. He seems to really like the heat lamp. I also now have my crickets living in a little case outside of the tank. I feed them calcium pellets. I have a shaker with calcium dust for when I need to remove them and put them in the tank. I also put a thermometer in the middle of the tank. I saw some hydrometers at pet smart but I'm gonna wait to buy one. It seems like most people just keep the substrate damp and all is well. I'm not big on throwing money out the window but if it deems necessary for my Emp I will do it.

Thaedion, your tank looks awesome. I love the way you have the substrate in a hill fashion. I have mine pretty flat right now but I think I want to try what you've done. I guess it would allow the Scorp to adjust his temperature a lot easier.

Do any of your scorpions tap on the glass a lot? My Emp likes to rapidly tap on the glass particulary when I'm in bed with the lights off. At first it kind of freaked me out, what with the glowing red light and glass tapping but I've already gotten used to it and think its kind of cute lol.
 
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