Tailless whip scorpion enclosure question

EmperorKuzco

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Hey guys, I got a tailless whip scorpion (African Species as the vendor had it listed) pretty sure it’s a Damon Medius. She is being kept very humid/moist substrate, and has already taken down 2 crickets, however, the enclosure I have her in is not the greatest. It’s one of the large, zilla micro habitat arboreal setups, I like how it looks but really isn’t doing the job.

On to the question. Because her current home is really not cutting it for me, I purchased an Exo-Terra mini tall 12x12x18 front opening tank, I have heard some inverts can get injured if they climb onto the mesh top because their feet get stuck or otherwise messed up. I want to avoid her (pretty sure female) getting hurt. Is this really a concern? Should I remove the mesh top and replace with acrylic or glass or something of the sort, or is there little or no concern and it can remain meshed?

I realize that was kind of long winded for such a simple question, but I have not moved her into the exo yet and want it fully ready to house her when I do. Thank you for any advice or suggestions you have to offer!
 

Joey Spijkers

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To keep the appropriate humidity, you’ll have to cover a large portion of the mesh anyway. I would say just replace all the mesh with acrylic (I would choose acrylic so that you can drill some ventilation holes and not block it off completely)
 

EmperorKuzco

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Ok, that can be done. I have some acrylic sheets already, I would just need to add the ventilation. Is there anything special needed for Drilling into acrylic, or would a Dremel be sufficient?

Any Idea how many/much ventilation should be added? I know they need high humidity, but I also don't want to risk massive mold outbreaks. Because she is a messy eater, I will be including spring tails and Dwarf White Isopods, but they can only do so much.
 

Joey Spijkers

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Nothing special for drilling into acrylic. Maybe if it’s really thick it’s different, but I use pretty thin sheets and it’s easy to drill. Just make sure you don’t apply too much pressure, just let it slide through.

For ventilation, it helps that exo terra’s have ventilation in the front too, so there is some air exchange close to the substrate. I would just experiment what is a nice balance. You can always add holes, but you cannot take them away if you have too much (you could tape over them though).
 

EmperorKuzco

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excellent, I will get to work on the acrylic sheets. Is silicone recommended to add the acrylic to the enclosure, or would cyanoacrylate Super Glue be safe/efficient? I have seen it recommended for use in terrariums/vivariums before, but I don't want to put my beasty at risk. I have both available (Aquarium Silicone) but the Silicone takes FAR longer to cure, if it is recommended I can be patient, but the sooner I can move her into her new home the better.
 

EmperorKuzco

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P.S. Thank you for the replies, I really appreciate the advice, I have not been in the Hobby terribly long and this is my "first" DIY attempt. (I added acrylic on top of the mesh on my Emperors tank, but he cant get to the mesh for the foot thing to be a problem.)
 

chanda

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Hey guys, I got a tailless whip scorpion (African Species as the vendor had it listed) pretty sure it’s a Damon Medius. She is being kept very humid/moist substrate, and has already taken down 2 crickets, however, the enclosure I have her in is not the greatest. It’s one of the large, zilla micro habitat arboreal setups, I like how it looks but really isn’t doing the job.

On to the question. Because her current home is really not cutting it for me, I purchased an Exo-Terra mini tall 12x12x18 front opening tank, I have heard some inverts can get injured if they climb onto the mesh top because their feet get stuck or otherwise messed up. I want to avoid her (pretty sure female) getting hurt. Is this really a concern? Should I remove the mesh top and replace with acrylic or glass or something of the sort, or is there little or no concern and it can remain meshed?

I realize that was kind of long winded for such a simple question, but I have not moved her into the exo yet and want it fully ready to house her when I do. Thank you for any advice or suggestions you have to offer!
While screen tops can be a problem for tarantulas, they shouldn't be a problem for whip spiders.

I have kept Damon diadema for years. I use the exo-terra front opening tanks too, and I have never had a problem with them getting caught in the screen tops. It's very rare for them to even touch the screen, because they spend most of their time on (or under or between) their cork slabs, where it's nice and dark. Even at night when they're out prowling around, they usually stay on the cork. (I do have juveniles that will sometimes climb onto the screen tops - but they don't get stuck. They skitter all over the screen and it doesn't slow them down in the least.)

You can certainly replace the mesh with acrylic or glass if you want to - but I don't think it's necessary. If you are concerned about excess evaporation, you can just cut a small piece of glass or plastic and set it on top of the mesh, to reduce the ventilation area and help keep moisture in. (I don't do this with mine - but I believe D. diadema don't require as high a moisture level as D. medius.)
 

EmperorKuzco

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hmmm, ok. The mesh is divided into 2 sections, I may replace one, and partially cover the other.

I worry about mold, the enclosure she is in now, un modified lost humidity at a rapid pace, I covered some of the ventilation with plastic wrap and that help maintain humidity, but 2 days later I had a Mold bloom in the tank.

Ultimately I'm upgrading her because the acrylic in the micro habitat she is in has already warped and doesn't look the greatest, and for her sake, there isn't space for a lot of cork bark. The Exo has the entire back of the tank as 1 massive cork bark slab with plenty of room to add additional pieces for her enjoyment. But I would hate to take the time (and the $) to move her into the new enclosure just to have it catastrophically fail and lose her to mold or other terrarium caused vices. (now I have heard and found on here a post mentioning some study that mold not only doesn't hurt them, but most live symbiotically with mold, but I still would rather be safe than sorry)
 

Edan bandoot

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springtails are your best friend for getting rid of mold although its more unsightly than dangerous.
 

EmperorKuzco

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Here is her new setup, loving it and she seems happy. I wasn’t able to get a picture of her, but when I was moving her, I noticed one of her whips was missing, I found it detached on the ground of her old tank. Is this normal? My whip scorpion is missing a whip!?! I mean she still has one and has been acting normal, a little more cautious but normal. Am I going to lose her? Will it grow back with a molt or two? Anyone have experience with this?!

(It broke off at the first “knuckle” so she still has the first segment, just the long whippy part is gone)
 

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Edan bandoot

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Here is her new setup, loving it and she seems happy. I wasn’t able to get a picture of her, but when I was moving her, I noticed one of her whips was missing, I found it detached on the ground of her old tank. Is this normal? My whip scorpion is missing a whip!?! I mean she still has one and has been acting normal, a little more cautious but normal. Am I going to lose her? Will it grow back with a molt or two? Anyone have experience with this?!

(It broke off at the first “knuckle” so she still has the first segment, just the long whippy part is gone)
Its a stress response, it will probably be fine
 

Joey Spijkers

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Setup looks good. If the animal is not adult yet, it should grow back in the next few molts. If it’s adult, it won’t molt anymore, but can live with only one whip without issues. Just leave him/her alone for a bit.
 

Joey Spijkers

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Any insight as to what may have her stressed? Something to watch for?
You got it only recently, so it likely just gets spooked more easily. Also because Damon sp. are usually wildcaught, so it’s been through a lot. Try to disturb the animal as little as possible for a while.
 

EmperorKuzco

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Ok, I don’t believe she is adult, she was smaller than the others (assuming they were in fact the same species) in the tank at the pet shop.
 

EmperorKuzco

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noted, I will not disturb her. Should I continue to try to feed? Or leave that be for a little bit too?
 

Edan bandoot

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probably dropped due to the trauma it received in transit, dont worry too much
 

Albireo Wulfbooper

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Setup looks good. If the animal is not adult yet, it should grow back in the next few molts. If it’s adult, it won’t molt anymore, but can live with only one whip without issues. Just leave him/her alone for a bit.
Amblypygi don't stop moulting after reaching adulthood. They continue to moult (but less frequently) for their entire lives.

Screen top is, as mentioned, too much ventilation for a Damon medius that was almost certainly wild caught. Forget the mould - give it the high humidity it needs, at least until it has settled and moulted at least once under your care. After that if you want to try increasing ventilation a bit to reduce mould growth then go for it. But a bit of mould will absolutely not harm your amblypygi, whereas drying out will very likely kill it, especially if it is in fact a wild caught D. medius.

Amblypygi drop whips when they are stressed. It's pretty common especially with wild caught specimens. They'll grow back, and your amblypygi will be fine missing one. If it drops the other whip, hunting will become more difficult and you may need to cripple its prey, but many amblypygi have recovered from losing both whips. Your best bet in the meantime is to leave it alone as much as possible, keep it moist and quiet and dark, and hope for a full recovery.
 

EmperorKuzco

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Her new tank has a funny smell, from what I can tell it’s from the substrate. It’s not rancid, but it’s not pleasant like clean, damp earth would smell. Is this anything to be concerned about? Should I have added a drainage layer? (This is my second attempt at bio active and the first is going great with no funky smells and no drainage layer (it’s and emperor who I didn’t want getting trapped in the drainage))

I don’t want to disturb her again anytime soon as discussed above, but if I need to redo it and add a drainage in a month or so I will if this funk will be a problem.

I should also mention, I did add some of her old substrate to the new setup.
 
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