What to put in a desert setup?

Salmon

Arachnopeon
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Mar 25, 2017
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46
So my landlady informed me today that she changed her mind about allowing scorpions, so the H. arizonensis I've been building a setup for is now out of the question, despite my protests that it is nonvenomous and docile, and native to some parts of our state. Now I have a half finished desert habitat and about 200 dollars worth of supplies with no creature!

What should I use this stuff for...

1 Aqueon 10 gallon aquarium (a little excessive, I know, but I wanted to build an attractive vivarium with room for plants and death feigning beetles, which I don't want to keep alone, as they're a little on the boring side.)
10 pounds of ZooMed Excavator clay
10 pounds of filtered sand
ZooMed NANO dual bulb heating lamp
ZooMed Infrared heat bulb
ZooMed Daytime heat bulb
assorted rocks, mopani wood, succulants, rocks, ect
 

WeightedAbyss75

Arachnoangel
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Feb 22, 2014
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921
Could go with a colony of sand roaches, most common one is, I believe, Polyphaga aegyptica. Given, you'd probably want to drop the clay for ecoearth since roaches don't prefer hard burrowing subs. Other than that, you'd be good. Plus, you already have lamps for heat. Could get a nice colony going, and each individual lives for a long time. A nice desert roach display could be nice ;)
 

Salmonsaladsandwich

Arachnobaron
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Jul 28, 2016
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490
A colony of Platymeris assassin bugs (which are found in xeric habitats in the wild) would do well in that setup. Definitely can't be kept with death feigning beetles though.

Anthias beetles could be another option but I don't know whether they can be kept with death feigners. I believe they have different moisture requirements, and the latter could be injured or at least stressed by predation attempts.

Perhaps a vinegaroon? Again, I don't think they could be kept with death feigning beetles for the same reasons.
 

RTTB

Arachnoprince
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I find BDF beetles to be highly entertaining.
 

VolkswagenBug

Arachnobaron
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Feb 26, 2017
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483
Yup. Black death feigning beetles can be less fun, but if you're talking about blue death feigning beetles, how are they supposed to be less entertaining than a scorpion? Lol.
At any rate, sand roaches, desert millipedes, or darkling beetles would be a good choice. Millipedes probably need more dirt mixed into the sand and a more humid area than the others. You could also keep a single vinegaroon, but that tank is probably too big for just one and they aren't communal.
 

Kuwagata

Arachnopeon
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May 5, 2017
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I actually would get a centipede, and if the landlady has any problems, call it a harmless millipede. ;)
 

RTTB

Arachnoprince
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Yeah I meant Blue Death Feigning beetles. They wander aimlessly without a care in the world.
 

VolkswagenBug

Arachnobaron
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Feb 26, 2017
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483
Oh, I was actually talking to the guy who posted the thread who was saying beetles were too boring.
 

Hisserdude

Arachnoking
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Sand roaches shouldn't actually be kept on sand, it's too abrasive and scratches their cuticle, which causes them to lose a lot of water and ends up killing them. Coconut fiber or some other soft substrate choice is best.
 

VolkswagenBug

Arachnobaron
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Feb 26, 2017
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Sand roaches shouldn't actually be kept on sand, it's too abrasive and scratches their cuticle, which causes them to lose a lot of water and ends up killing them. Coconut fiber or some other soft substrate choice is best.
Oh yeah, I forgot about that, even though I recently learned that and switched my only sand roach to coco fiber (it had only been on sand for about a month).
 

pannaking22

Arachnoemperor
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A variety of tenebrionids could work and should still be entertaining. BDFs certainly, but there are tons of tenebs that do well with a dry sandy setup and should be active pretty much all the time. Should be easy to win your landlady over with them too since they're quite charismatic.

The assassins are an interesting idea too. Though your landlady might not be a fan of them either since they're kind of "scary" looking. Fun to keep though.
 

Salmonsaladsandwich

Arachnobaron
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Jul 28, 2016
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490
Hmm, I never thought of Platymeris assassins as being particularly scary looking. (Definitely worth not mentioning that they're likely more dangerous than the scorpion though.)
 

pannaking22

Arachnoemperor
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Same, I actually really like the look of Platymeris, but many people get freaked out by them. I assume it's due to size and the rather sharp and angular look they have.
 

Xafron

Arachnosquire
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Apr 5, 2017
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82
I'm sure some will find them boring, but certain species of darkling beetles are very long-lived and fun to watch. I've read some species can live 15 years or more, while others as little as a couple of months. I had one that lived a very long time. The genus Eleodes can rear up and spray you, however mine never did.
 

Tanner Dzula

Arachnoknight
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Feb 29, 2016
Messages
190
id say
1. vinagroon,

2. An actual millipede(not a centipede since, like stated, she might look it up and see what it looks like)

3. switch up the set up a little bit and get a Green Desert mantis!
 
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