New To Hobby

Big Louie

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
7
Well I just wanted to introduce myself. I have been reading the forums for about a week.

About 3 weeks ago I went to the Pottstown show with a friend so she could get some frogs. While she was looking I noticed a table with some T's. I went over and looked around and saw he had a few Scorps. I had always been facinated by Scorps and started talking to the guy. I decided I would get a Scorp. It was between the Desert Hairy and the Emperor. Well he made me an offer to take the emperor's, 4 for $25 (2 male, 2 female). I didn't plan on getting 4 but couldn't refuse a deal.
I followed his instructions and bought a light, a 10 gallon tank with screen lid, some vermiculite and some jungle mix. I put them in the tank and I must say I was disappointed. I realize they are nocturnal but for a week I saw the same one out maybe twice. My humidity was 80% and temp was roughly 80deg. I decided to investigate to make sure they were still alive. I lifted the half log that they hide under and saw all three scurry away. Wait a minute, only three. so I looked and looked. Then I turned on the blacklight. There lied two glowing claws but no body. They had cannabilised the one male. I picked his pieces out. Then they went back to hiding for another week.
Well, I finally found this site and read about how you guys keep yours. Went out today, bought natural potting soil, thin pcv pipe, aquarium gravel, and a sheet of lexan. I came home and scooped out the Scorps and put them in my critter carrier. Dumped out the jungle mix and began my project. I layed about a 1/2" layer of gravel at the bottom. Cut two pieces of pvc and stuck them in the corners. I mixed the vermiculite I had left, some potting soil and some other kind of cedar bark substrate I had picked up together with water and made my substrate. I put about 6" of substrate on one side and made a gradual decline to about 3" on the other. I embedded the log they love to hide under on the low side with substrate covering the sides and back. I put some moss on the top.
Well when I was done I put the scorps in and in no time they found their home. Since it was still light out they hid. I figured it would probably be awhile that I would see them, since I probably disrupted them. Well I took a nap. When I woke up, to my surprise all three were out and about. I couldn't believe it. Hopefully now I will see more of them and am glad that my tank looks much better and suits their needs better. I plan on getting a desert scorp soon but figured I should wait to see how I do with these. If anyone has any suggestions for me or any tricks you have learned, feel free to share them with me. If you made it through this whole thing, I thank you for listening to how I found a new obsession.

~Mike
 

Bry

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 22, 2003
Messages
773
Welcome to the hobby. I would have to say, get rid of the cedar. The aromas kill reptiles over time, and I think it will do the same to inverts. Anyone else?

Bry
 

Big Louie

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
7
I went and looked at the bag, it is not cedar, it is 100% tropical red cypress, the brand name is Keepers Choice.
 

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Aug 15, 2002
Messages
4,343
I'm glad to hear it isn't cedar. There is a reason they use it in closets, i.e. it kills bugs dead. Cedar substrate is a recipe for disaster with any invertebrate.

As for your setup, it sounds pretty good now. You didn't mention what you did with the lexan? I assume you used it to restrict ventelation and raise humidity? Also, do you have a water dish in there? Anyhow, sounds like a generaly good setup. Welcome to the hobby.

Cheers,
Dave
 

Big Louie

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
7
Yeah, I cut the lexan to cover about 75% underneath the screen. Drilled a few ventalation holes just in case. I do have a water dish in there. I also have a 75 watt infra-red bulb and a mini undertank heater on the back of the tank. The temp doesn't really get over 80deg. I do notice that when I pour water down the tubes it will rise in the lowest spot and form a small puddle. One of which is under the log where the scorps hide. I don't know if that is a problem, but I moved the light over the log to try to evaporate some of the water.
 

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Aug 15, 2002
Messages
4,343
Louie,

Sounds like a fantastic start. No problem with puddles, as long as they won't drown in them. I do have a couple questions that might lead to some fine-tuning of the enclosure. Where are you measuring the temperatures? Idealy you want it to be 80 in the cool spots and up to the mid 90s in the warm spots. Test the temperature right under your bulb. If it gets past 90 then you are set. I severely doubt that a 75W bulb over a 10 gallon tank won't raise the temperature enough. Speaking of 10 gallons, that is a big small for three emps, but is ultimately doable. You said your humidity was 80%? The cover should raise that slightly. Where are you measuring it? You idealy want some spots over 90% ... which under the log might very well be. An 80% background humidity is substantial.

Cheers,
Dave
 

Big Louie

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
7
Right now I only have one temp/humidity gauge. It is dead center along the back of the tank about an inch from the top. My bulb is to the left of that and their log is to the right. I plan on picking up two more gauges tonight. Placing on close to the substrate under the bulb, and one close to the substrate on the back right. I know that my gauge position isn't that accurate cause it is only reading 50% humidity right now, and I felt the ground and it is plenty moist. I haven't cut the lexan yet (will do that tonight) so that should help with consistency. Thanks dave for your help.
 

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Aug 15, 2002
Messages
4,343
Louie,

If you haven't cut the lexan yet, I'd advise you go for more like 90% coverage.

Cheers,
Dave
 

Frank

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
474
As for the blacklight, put it on day only (when scorps are hidden) because if used at night (as they are nocturnal), after a while they won't fluorescence again, and it'll hurt their eyes.




Welcome to the wonderful world of scorps ;)





Frank
 

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Aug 15, 2002
Messages
4,343
Originally posted by FrankQC
As for the blacklight, put it on day only (when scorps are hidden) because if used at night (as they are nocturnal),
He said infra-red bulb, not blacklight (uv) ... opposite ends of the spectrum.

Cheers,
Dave
 

Big Louie

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
7
Originally posted by skinheaddave
Louie,

If you haven't cut the lexan yet, I'd advise you go for more like 90% coverage.

Cheers,
Dave
Well I was nervous about putting the lexan under the light being that it gets really hot. Plus the door through the screen is kinda in the middle. Do you think the lexan would be ok if it was under that kinda heat. I don't want it melting onto the scorps.

Yeah I found out the bad part of blacklight through this forum and promptly got rid of it. Plus it wasn't getting hot enough.

Thanks all for the warm welcome and the tips
 

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Aug 15, 2002
Messages
4,343
I'm not actualy sure how quickly Lexan will warp. You could always give it a try.

Cheers,
Dave
 

XOskeletonRED

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 6, 2003
Messages
707
It wont completely turn into a glob of melted goo, but it makes things look like you're looking through a plastic mirror or something and completely distorts everything at first. Then, it turns the unsightly brown, cooked color. Keep the heat lights away from the lexan and make sure if there are any metal items that get hot, they do not make contact with it either. It melts the same way as other plastics, but slightly slower.

adios,
edw. :D
 

Frank

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
474
Oh thanks Dave, what is the color of the infra-red's light?



Thanks for un-mixing me ;)






Frank
 

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Aug 15, 2002
Messages
4,343
Well, technically, infra-red is the portion of the spectrum that is beyond red and which we cannot see ... much like UV light is the portion of the spectrum beyond violet that we cannot see.

Practically speaking, UV lights will also often put out some purple and IR lights put out red. All this being said, nothing wrong with a plain red bulb. I don't even know how much true IR light IR lights put out.

Cheers,
Dave
 

Kugellager

ArachnoJester
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Jul 24, 2002
Messages
2,354
Personally, I prefer nothing other than the basic old lightbulbs as 90% of their output is in the IR range anyway and they cost much less that all the other fancy bulbs out there. They also allow you to simulate the natural day/night cycle.

I keep mine on a timer that shuts them off at night providing them with a 10-15F degree temp drop at night. As with all lightbulb heating sources you will need to experiment with the wattage to get the correct temperatures and also keep a close eye on humidity levels.

I find that a 60W bulb works well to keep my 20long H.spinifer tank in the correct temperature range. I have a screen top with plexiglass underneath covering everything except where the reflector lamp is...the placstic melts fairly quickly otherwise. I use the under-substrate humidiifcation method to keep the humidity in the tank between 70-85% at all times.

I have a paper somewhere on scorpion fluorescence but I am unable to find it at the moment. However, the UV only penetrates the outermost layers of the exoskeleton...except possibly when nearing molt and just after molt before the new exoskeleton hardens. The reasons given for it being able to possibly damage their eyes is that over time it can cause the clear part of the exlskeleton over the eye areas to fog and therefore blind them. That may be one reason that some species may flee from it...I have noticed that it is mostly desert species that flee...which would make sense as getting caught it the open heat of the desert would be bad as they would quickly dehydrate and die. I have also noticed that my jungle species do not flee...my theory on this is that they live in dense jungles and rarely would be out in open sunlight where low humidity and dessication would be a problem.

The actual process of fluorescence involves a mineral in the exoskeleton that absorbs the UV wavelength light and re-emits it in the greenish/bluish visible wavelengths we can see...that's how they fluoresce in a nutshell. As to why they fluoresce...this has not been determined as it hs been found to have no biological benefit, nor detriment for that matter.

John
];')
 

Reitz

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 12, 2003
Messages
339
John,

I had heard that the fluorescence was potentially a way to attract prey. Have you ever heard anything like that? I can't remember where I read it, but it had to do with the light spectrium within the range of certain insects' vision. Any clue?

Chris
 
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