Terrarium set up and worries

Aymin

Arachnopeon
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Mar 3, 2020
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Just bought a desert scorpions 🦂 (Urodacus Yaschenkoi ).

Question: I’m worried about mites, I’ve had the 30x30x30 tank with the scorpion in it for a month and I’ve been misting a few times a day. I’ve been reading up about a lot of people having mite problems. My scorpion eats super clean, doesn’t leave much behind but it’s recently dug a borrow and I want to make sure it’s as clean as possible. Pet store said it was a few months old so it’s not very big. At first I used bark off a tree in the yard and some dried leaves and sticks, but I’ve taken all that out now from fear of mites? Simple is best?

-How many times do I mist a day and where do I mist?
-I need to maintain humidity but will this attract mites even if there are no dead insects in the terrarium?

Thanks heaps everyone :)
 

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Dr SkyTower

Arachnobaron
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because it's a desert scorpion the possibility of mites in the enclosure will be very low. It needs to be kept dry though, so a small water dish will suffice. I would only spray it maybe once a week, if that if you don't put a water dish in there. Desert scorpions are more likely to get mycosis than mites and that'll be due to the humidity being too high. Beautiful scorpion by the way!
 

Aymin

Arachnopeon
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Thanks for the quick response and compliment! :) A few threads on here say to make sure humidity is high for desert scorpions? Temperature in the tank is around 25 degrees Celsius. I also read up on water dishes in the tank for desert scorpions and it wasn't recommended due to risk of scorpion drowning or the water attracting mites? My terrarium has a mesh top but I've covered 3/4 of it with cling wrap to try to keep heat and humidity in there.

Sorry if I sound like an amateur! Exciting new hobby that I'm enjoying but I want to make sure I'm doing things right :)
 

Tim Benzedrine

Prankster Possum
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I'm a bit skeptical that there are threads that suggest high humidity for desert species. Are you sure you didn't accidentally enter a thread discussing the Heterometrus species (Asian forest scorpions) or some other tropical type of scorp? If somebody posted that desert species require high humidity, there would be numerous responses correcting that, I'm sure. There has been some advice to dampen a small area slightly infrequently and provide a water souce now and then, but that should not result in high humidity.
I only keep one arid species, Hadrurus arizonensis (Desert Hairy scorpion) and the prevailing belief is that they get enough moisture from prey to make frequent watering unnecessary. I put in a bottlecap of water once a month or two, but that doesn't raise the humidity enough to make a difference in my belief.
 

Albireo Wulfbooper

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Wait, why would a desert species need high humidity? Where they come from the air is dry, the ground is dry...I don't understand why anyone would think they need high humidity. They will burrow in search of moisture when they need it, so at most I'd expect to add a bit of water to the bottom layer from time to time via a straw or tube.
 

Aymin

Arachnopeon
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This is why I'm getting confused. High Humidity or low? Mist the tank or not? False bottom or just red desert sand? You can see my photos in the first comment I made above but I've just got a simple set up with about 8cm red desert sand and glad wrap over 3/4 of my mesh top cover.

Thanks for the link by the way!
 

Dr SkyTower

Arachnobaron
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This is why I'm getting confused. High Humidity or low? Mist the tank or not? False bottom or just red desert sand? You can see my photos in the first comment I made above but I've just got a simple set up with about 8cm red desert sand and glad wrap over 3/4 of my mesh top cover.

Thanks for the link by the way!
That's why I included the link because it got me confused too o_O
 

Albireo Wulfbooper

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Any species that instinctively burrows for moisture isn't going to benefit from above-ground misting. That's why I suggested bottom-watering, which is essentially what they're doing in that link (though their system is certainly a much better mimic of the animals' natural habitat). It sounds like you're going to need MUCH deeper substrate though - even the juveniles burrow deeper than the 8cm you've given it.
 

Aymin

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Is there anyway I can water the bottom without setting up the false bottom system?
 

Albireo Wulfbooper

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Is there anyway I can water the bottom without setting up the false bottom system?
Sure, you can use a straw or tube down the corner of the enclosure (away from the burrow) to feed water to the bottom layer of sand. It won't be quite as effective but will at least give something like a moisture gradient.
 

Albireo Wulfbooper

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Thanks! Is there a photo you can send to show me an example?
I don't have a setup like this because I have no critters that would benefit from it, but plenty of people here have posted photos of this sort of thing - it's pretty common. Try the search function.
 

Rhino1

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@Aymin I have successfully bred and raised yaschenkoi in varying conditions. Sand is fine but it needs to be installed damp and let to dry out so it's structural or have Coco fibre added, I've mainly used reptile one or URS brand red sands and I install it slightly damp and firm them down and let dry out, both brands seem to have a fine red clay in them and will set quite firm which makes a good red desert soil burrow.
Either use an installed tube in one corner to add a small amount of water straight to the base of the substrate (because they dig deeper to find the most comfortable humidity requirements) or keep a corner slightly damp.
Always let the substrate dry out a bit between these, don't forget they are a true desert species, and have a small water dish available.
High humidity, long term, is damaging for yaschenkoi and yes there is a parasitic mite that's pretty common in Australian collections but will only thrive or become a problem in overly moist conditions, it commonly gets out of hand with rainforest species, trapdoors, funnels etc kept too wet, never with desert species.
There is never a reason to mist that species of scorpion or its enclosure.
 
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Aymin

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@Rhino1 boss response bro. How much sand do you put? And when you say damp a corner, do you mean with a tube to the bottom? Awesome photo btw
 

Rhino1

Arachnobaron
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If you don't have a tube then just use a corner and limit the amount of moisture on the surface of the substrate, the corner method see's the water tend to run along the glass straight to the bottom. I normally use black poly pipe around half inch size and I have it finishing just below the lid so crickets don't fall down it.
You can go as deep as you want with the sand, I prefer mine at only 10-15cm deep as my OCD makes me worry about burrow collapse and I start digging up enclosures if I don't see them for a while haha.
 

Aymin

Arachnopeon
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Mar 3, 2020
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@Rhino1 how do you clean the burrows? I don’t want mites but I’m not sure what to do with the burrows it’s built. I want to keep the terrarium as clean as possible.
 

Rhino1

Arachnobaron
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Keep it fairly dry and mites cannot exist, if they are a problem with desert species then it's a sure sign it's way too wet. Always let the sub dry out before adding more moisture, so in summer adding a little bit of moisture once a fortnight will be enough, in winter once every 3-4 weeks or less. Give them a water dish for 24 hours once or twice a fortnight to drink from and take it again.
Once it settles in you will find that it will bring out any cricket remains and dump them within a day or two of being fed, either by the entrance or in a corner somewhere, they shouldn't leave much at all just a few legs and things.
 
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