Want to get into this!

tylErFTW

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
17
Hello everyone!

I've always thought scorpions were neat and just recently I've decided to get an emperor scorpion I've been reading up on them over the past week or so and I have read a few things that contradict. I was hoping someone here could just clarify a few things so I go into this as knowledgeable as possible.

First off, what is an ideal temperature? The heat gradient idea is fairly agreed upon it seems so I plan to get an under tank heater to put on one end of the tank (20 gallon long, for reference sake). I've read that they need anywhere from the upper 70s to the lower 90s. This seems a rather large variation in the tank.

Ideal humidity? Also, how do you keep your tank at the appropriate humidity levels? I will likely have a screen lid so I know that will allow much of the humidity to escape. I have looked around for one of those corner waterfall type things to double as a shallow water dish and help the humidity. I didn't know if anyone had used one of these in their scorpion tanks before.

I know UV light is bad for them, but is there any light that you can have on the tank to illuminate it? Not that illumination is a big concern to me, but I wasn't sure how sitting in the dark all the time would affect the scorpion. I've read some people say they use the infrared heat lamps and that those are OK to use with scorpions.

What is the preferred substrate? I've read that many people that prefer coco bark because it helps with humidity, but others that prefer sterilized potting soil. I know emperors like to burrow and I wasn't sure how well they would be able to burrow into coco bark. I've not seen coco bark, so the first thing that comes to mind is a mulch type material which doesn't seem like it would accommodate burrowing very well.

How well do scorpions do with tank mates? I have a 20 gallon long tank, so there should be plenty of space for one scorpion, but if I were to get two, do they usually get along well assuming ample hiding spots are provided?

I've read that non-adult scorpions need to 1-2 crickets every day and adult scorpions should have 1-2 crickets every other day. Is this accurate?

Are there any benefits to using live plants in the tank? I would like to make the tank look somewhat "jungley" since they're from the rain forest and what not. Do scorpions mind tank decorations such as plants or do they do better with less clutter?

I'm sorry for the wall of text, but I'm weary of information I find on cheesy looking websites. I just want to make sure I know the basics before I get into this. Also, if anyone has any tips or suggestions on keeping an emperor scorpion, I'd love to hear them.
 
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Embers To Ashes

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
269
I am also new to scorpions and am keeping emporors. This is what I have found (I may not be completly right on everything as I am still a noob)

Temp- You usualy want to keep them between 80-90 degrees. They can live at room temp, but will not be active and wont be as happy. It can drop slightly at night.

Humidity- You realy want it to be as high as you can get it without it being soaking wet. I would recomend misting every-other-day and covering 3/4 of the screen with plastic wrap to hold it in.

Light- They are nocturnal. They will try to get away from the light. I just leave the light on in the room they are in durring the day and turn it off at night.

Sub- I use eco earth. The kind that comes in blocks. As long as it is something they can burrow in that is not wood chips it should be fine. You want alteast 3 inches of sub so they can dig.

More than one- If the tank is large enough, they are all well fed, and more than enough hiding spaces are available, they can live in groups as long as they are simeler in size. Just look after the molting ones so they dont get picked on. Also, a gravid female will not hesitate to kill everything.

Feeding- For adults 1-2 crickets 1-2 times a week is good. I have no idea about babys.
 

scorpionmom

Arachnobaron
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
349
The temperature should be about 80-85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you get a heating pad, make sure it is on the side of the enclosure, not the bottom.

The humidity should be around 80 to 90 percent. As you probably know, they do need good humidity, but don't use a waterfall. A small to medium sized water dish and weekly misting is enough. Make sure, however, that there is adequate ventilation to prevent mold.

Ultra-violet light is not really bad for them unless you keep it on them for too long or too much. I just use a regular light.

I personally use sterilized potting soil, but coco fiber or peat humus works well.

Many scorpions are surprisingly communal. Tityus spp. (don't get these yet, most of these are highly venomous) are very communal, to give an example.
You should be able to fit about five in that enclosure, provided there are an ample number of hides and that they are well fed. Emperor scorpions are rarely cannabalistic.

Feeding--no, that is not really accurate. While scorpions can take on prey 150 percent their size, they have a slow metabolic rate. Emperor babies can probably have 1 cricket a week, unless they seem like they are especially "hungry". I wouldn't recommend feeding the more than twice a week. Adults usually eat about the same amount, sometimes a little bit more.

I would like to emphasize ventilation. It is critical that the scorpions have good air flow, even if they need higher humidity. That is all I can think of now.

Good luck with your new scorpions!!;):D
 

tylErFTW

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
17
Thanks for the responses guys!

So, no waterfall. What about one of those humidifier things they make that occasionally mist? Surely there are some that can be set to maintain a certain humidity. I'll have to do some searching.

As for the under tank heater, why does it need to be on the side?
 

Embers To Ashes

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
269
Thanks for the responses guys!

So, no waterfall. What about one of those humidifier things they make that occasionally mist? Surely there are some that can be set to maintain a certain humidity. I'll have to do some searching.

As for the under tank heater, why does it need to be on the side?
It has to be on the side so that when he burrows, he cant get burned.

The misty thing is probably over kill
 

tylErFTW

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
17
It has to be on the side so that when he burrows, he cant get burned.

The misty thing is probably over kill
Ahhh ok, thanks for the tip!

Ok, I'll hold off on that then. I just don't want to get one and have it living in sub par conditions. I'll monitor the humidity for a few weeks to make sure it's stable before I do anything like that then.
 

scorpionmom

Arachnobaron
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
349
Thanks for the responses guys!

So, no waterfall. What about one of those humidifier things they make that occasionally mist? Surely there are some that can be set to maintain a certain humidity. I'll have to do some searching.

As for the under tank heater, why does it need to be on the side?
Sorry to say no to everything you ask, but I wouldn't recommend using a "humidifier" either. Misting or using a straw to make the bottom wet works the best. Make sure the substrate is not wet, just damp.

The heating pad needs to be on the side because it can become too warm for the scorpions if it is underneath. The scorpions can't get away from it if they want to be in a cooler spot if it is on the bottom. It will also dry out the substrate faster.
 

tylErFTW

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
17
Sorry to say no to everything you ask, but I wouldn't recommend using a "humidifier" either. Misting or using a straw to make the bottom wet works the best. Make sure the substrate is not wet, just damp.

The heating pad needs to be on the side because it can become too warm for the scorpions if it is underneath. The scorpions can't get away from it if they want to be in a cooler spot if it is on the bottom. It will also dry out the substrate faster.

Don't be sorry! I'm glad everyone is giving suggestions. I really appreciate it!
 

Roblicious

Arachnodemon
Joined
Mar 2, 2011
Messages
671
Hello everyone!

I've always thought scorpions were neat and just recently I've decided to get an emperor scorpion I've been reading up on them over the past week or so and I have read a few things that contradict. I was hoping someone here could just clarify a few things so I go into this as knowledgeable as possible.

First off, what is an ideal temperature? The heat gradient idea is fairly agreed upon it seems so I plan to get an under tank heater to put on one end of the tank (20 gallon long, for reference sake). I've read that they need anywhere from the upper 70s to the lower 90s. This seems a rather large variation in the tank.

Ideal humidity? Also, how do you keep your tank at the appropriate humidity levels? I will likely have a screen lid so I know that will allow much of the humidity to escape. I have looked around for one of those corner waterfall type things to double as a shallow water dish and help the humidity. I didn't know if anyone had used one of these in their scorpion tanks before.

I know UV light is bad for them, but is there any light that you can have on the tank to illuminate it? Not that illumination is a big concern to me, but I wasn't sure how sitting in the dark all the time would affect the scorpion. I've read some people say they use the infrared heat lamps and that those are OK to use with scorpions.

What is the preferred substrate? I've read that many people that prefer coco bark because it helps with humidity, but others that prefer sterilized potting soil. I know emperors like to burrow and I wasn't sure how well they would be able to burrow into coco bark. I've not seen coco bark, so the first thing that comes to mind is a mulch type material which doesn't seem like it would accommodate burrowing very well.

How well do scorpions do with tank mates? I have a 20 gallon long tank, so there should be plenty of space for one scorpion, but if I were to get two, do they usually get along well assuming ample hiding spots are provided?

I've read that non-adult scorpions need to 1-2 crickets every day and adult scorpions should have 1-2 crickets every other day. Is this accurate?

Are there any benefits to using live plants in the tank? I would like to make the tank look somewhat "jungley" since they're from the rain forest and what not. Do scorpions mind tank decorations such as plants or do they do better with less clutter?

I'm sorry for the wall of text, but I'm weary of information I find on cheesy looking websites. I just want to make sure I know the basics before I get into this. Also, if anyone has any tips or suggestions on keeping an emperor scorpion, I'd love to hear them.
You 'can' keep them at room temperature but they wont be active at all, 80-90 is best
I would recommend a 75-100 Ir lamp shining into the enclosure 24 hours a day, the scorpions will move to the cooler side if needed.

Humidity 80+ as well, you can either mist every other day, pour water all over the enclosure once a week (use your hands to feel around), or do a false bottom setup, but since you got a 20 gal i dono it might be too heavy :/

Day time lights are fine, the scorpion just hides most of the time anyways, as long as the light doesnt have UV and shining directly at them constantly you are fine.

coco fiber or potting soil both work just make sure you pat it down so they can burrow and it wont collapse on them.

Rule of thumb is 1 scorpion per 5 gallons, make sure they have enough hiding places 1 per scorpion, and they are well fed.

You can feed an adult a cricket or 2 a week and be fine, when they start getting fat is when you want to stop for a few weeks, they can go months without food, and dont forget a big water dish/bowl they like to take bathes and drink ALOT of water

Live plants help maintain humidity, and give it a nice look. I use a pothos plant in all my tropical enclosures, they can survive in straight water too and they look really really nice. Like 4 bucks at walmart.
The scorpions will climb on and around the plants when they do come out, they will spend more time burrowing or hiding in their tunnels then walking around up top.
 

tylErFTW

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
17
You 'can' keep them at room temperature but they wont be active at all, 80-90 is best
I would recommend a 75-100 Ir lamp shining into the enclosure 24 hours a day, the scorpions will move to the cooler side if needed.

Humidity 80+ as well, you can either mist every other day, pour water all over the enclosure once a week (use your hands to feel around), or do a false bottom setup, but since you got a 20 gal i dono it might be too heavy :/

Day time lights are fine, the scorpion just hides most of the time anyways, as long as the light doesnt have UV and shining directly at them constantly you are fine.

coco fiber or potting soil both work just make sure you pat it down so they can burrow and it wont collapse on them.

Rule of thumb is 1 scorpion per 5 gallons, make sure they have enough hiding places 1 per scorpion, and they are well fed.

You can feed an adult a cricket or 2 a week and be fine, when they start getting fat is when you want to stop for a few weeks, they can go months without food, and dont forget a big water dish/bowl they like to take bathes and drink ALOT of water

Live plants help maintain humidity, and give it a nice look. I use a pothos plant in all my tropical enclosures, they can survive in straight water too and they look really really nice. Like 4 bucks at walmart.
The scorpions will climb on and around the plants when they do come out, they will spend more time burrowing or hiding in their tunnels then walking around up top.
My setup is in a basement and it runs cool. In the winter it can be 65 degrees and in the summer usually about 75. Do you think the IR light will be able to heat the tank sufficiently? Are the under tank heaters not as effective as the IR lights?

I guess I'm underestimating the humidity levels in these tanks. I thought they'd need lots of attention to humidity, but misting every now and then isn't bad at all.

There are lights above the tank, but I can point them a different direction so direct lighting shouldn't be a problem. Sunlight doesn't shine in either. How convenient!

Is the EcoEarth stuff coco? It has really good reviews online and supposedly holds humidity really well.

I should have plenty of space then. I won't be getting more than 2.

How big should the water dish be? Big enough for them to completely sit in it? I know they have to be shallow to prevent drowning.

As for the live plants, how do they fair with no direct light? Also, do you water them separately or is the humidity in the tank/substrate enough to sustain them?

Sorry for asking so many questions, but you guys seem to be full of knowledge!
 

scorpionmom

Arachnobaron
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
349
My setup is in a basement and it runs cool. In the winter it can be 65 degrees and in the summer usually about 75. Do you think the IR light will be able to heat the tank sufficiently? Are the under tank heaters not as effective as the IR lights?

I guess I'm underestimating the humidity levels in these tanks. I thought they'd need lots of attention to humidity, but misting every now and then isn't bad at all.

There are lights above the tank, but I can point them a different direction so direct lighting shouldn't be a problem. Sunlight doesn't shine in either. How convenient!

Is the EcoEarth stuff coco? It has really good reviews online and supposedly holds humidity really well.

I should have plenty of space then. I won't be getting more than 2.

How big should the water dish be? Big enough for them to completely sit in it? I know they have to be shallow to prevent drowning.

As for the live plants, how do they fair with no direct light? Also, do you water them separately or is the humidity in the tank/substrate enough to sustain them?

Sorry for asking so many questions, but you guys seem to be full of knowledge!
Don't be sorry.:D:D;)

65 to 75 degrees is pretty cold. One alternative (if you are able to) is to heat the entire room.

Yes the EcoEarth is coco, at least I think so. I've actually never used it.

The scorpions likely won't drown but a small to medium size one is good. Also, the little disc that comes under the clay pots for plants works really well as a small water source. I trust you to use your good judgement.

In fact, I don't know about the plant. I would think that they will get enough water when you moisten the substrate. Again, be sure that the substrate does not get too wet, just damp. And again, good luck!:D;)
 

Bayushi

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 26, 2005
Messages
1,236
My two cents on emp care*

optimally temps should be in the mid to high 80's, but temps in the mid 70's are okay. Any lower is starting to get into the bad zone, especially for prolonged times. I use a standard red light bulb for heating and have had no problems with temps, but then again my room temp is usually in the 70's year round.

humidity should be around 80% +/- a bit. If the substrait is moist to the touch, you are fine.

live plants.... I have used pothos, since since they do well in standard room lighting. If you get them from a plant shop, keep them out of the tank for a week or so and mist them regularly. This will remove any residual pesticides that may be on them. Keep in mind thought that pothos are a vine plant and will try to take over the tank if you let them.

* Disclaimer: i am not an expert, nor do i claim to be one. these are just the things I have found worked for me in the past 28 years or so i have been keeping scorps. Your results may vary on an individual basis....
 
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Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
8,982
Hello, just adding a little more. A waterfall wouldn't be bad imo, just kind of hard to do but I see it done often in a store that specializes in exotics/inverts around here. As for not putting the heater on the bottom, it's because sometimes they tend to burrow and fry next to the heater on the bottom. It happened to me once while leaving an inverts' container on a fluorescence light fixture while fixing it's terr up, it stayed at the bottom and fried, only took about 15-20 minutes to kill it, what a bummer. "Why do they do that?" Here's the theory, ..since they have evolved(lol, or "created", whichever you prefer) with the sun above and cooler ground below, their instinct is to burrow down to escape heat, no matter the direction of the source. So they go down to where it's even hotter, to the heat mat on the bottom. If their instinct could talk out loud, it might go something like this, "Hey, I need to go even deeper to escape the heat, but I can't, I hit a wall down here...., I'm screwed!" So they sit there hugging the bottom on top of the heater "thinking" (I know it's instinct), that they've gotten as far from the heat as they can. I put something like a 9X9 heater pad on the side, having it next to some substrate also. That will heat up the substrate there that is moist so the humidity will stay up. It's not a danger when the source is on a side, they even move next to it to regulate their temp. At my house, they often make a chamber next to the heat source and move away from it sideways if they get too hot. So your whole tank doesn't need to be the same temp, I don't worry about that when they have a warm place to go. I also wrap the tops with plastic wrap like was mentioned, this works great. Emps don't need a lot of ventilation since they are trop species. Inverts need very little ventilation to get O2. Instead, ventilation here has more to do with molting and keeping fungal growths down on their bodies depending on the species. Desert sps are esp. susceptible to fungal growths on their bodies so they need to be kept drier with higher ventilation, not so with tropical sps like emps. ....ime anyway!!
 

tylErFTW

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
17
Thanks for the input everyone! I've gained a lot of valuable information.

I'm still kind of torn on the waterfall idea. It's mostly for cosmetic purposes I guess but it could serve as a water dish as well if I could find the right one.

The more I read, the more excited I am to get my setup going.
 

John Bokma

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
486
http://johnbokma.com/mexit/2008/03/20/pandinus-imperator-terrarium.html

This has been working for me OK for 3 years. The cover is a piece of glass with a 3 mm hole. In the past I slid the glass to one side to provide additional ventilation, but now I just leave it closed.

The substrate stays moist. I now and then drop some additional water on it, but that's rare (say once in 2 months). IMO the substrate and the height of it is perfect. Higher is better.

I currently have several small pothos plants growing in it, and that works perfectly. If you get problems with fungus flies (small flies, that run around) drop a few small house spiders in the terrarium. At least that's what I did: the spiders catch the small flies and keep everything healthy (now and then they do manage to get a superworm or cricket, though).
 

Roblicious

Arachnodemon
Joined
Mar 2, 2011
Messages
671
Isopods do the trick too when trying to get rid of mold and leftovers, I have like 10 in my little 5 gallon.

Whats the problem with a waterfall? Exo terra has those nice ones for cheap too from Joshsfrog.com free shipping on them as well.

Yeah it is a fun hobby, but the emperor usually stays hidden for the most part coming out rarely even at night :/
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
8,982
Yeah the isopods are great! I don't have any holes in my plastic wrap either john. It's a sliding top, sometimes I crack it 1/4 or so, I haven't had to add water to the sub in several months either. I do have to fill the water dish about every 3 or 4 months, maybe some wicking to the sub going on there. Think humid warm forest/jungle. This one in the terr has had the same sub for 3 years, looks and smells fine. I use coco fiber mixed with sand. I have 30 or 40 others in delis I'm raising, one small hole in each.
 

tylErFTW

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
17
By isopods do you mean roley poleys? Or, as some people call them, pill bugs. I hadn't thought about those. Won't the scorpion destroy them?

I can't wait to get started. And I'm going to look into the waterfall a little more. I think it would be pretty neat looking in a jungle scene. If there are adverse effects it would have on the scorpion, however, I won't get one.
 

gromgrom

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
1,743
By isopods do you mean roley poleys? Or, as some people call them, pill bugs. I hadn't thought about those. Won't the scorpion destroy them?

I can't wait to get started. And I'm going to look into the waterfall a little more. I think it would be pretty neat looking in a jungle scene. If there are adverse effects it would have on the scorpion, however, I won't get one.
nah, its okay for them. its just expensive and you gotta maintian it. And no matter what you do with the cage, realize they will try to tear it down :p mine did to all of the decorations and even premade burrows.
 

tylErFTW

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
17
nah, its okay for them. its just expensive and you gotta maintian it. And no matter what you do with the cage, realize they will try to tear it down :p mine did to all of the decorations and even premade burrows.
Haha, ok, thanks for the heads up! Do they intentionally tear it up or just accidentally by burrowing?
 
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