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 Heat vs Ventilation w/ desert scorpions

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MRMB
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Registration date : 2013-04-05

PostSubject: Heat vs Ventilation w/ desert scorpions   10/20/2013, 4:46 pm

Desert scorpions tend to need high heat. High 80s in the day and high 70s in the night. They also need low humidity.

My dilemma is this - How do you keep the temps high and the humidity low? By heating the enclosure and keeping the ventilation high the heat just escapes. By lowering the ventilation the heat will stay in better but humidity could become a problem.

The obvious solution is to heat the entire room....but that's not an option for me due to circumstances. So, the enclosures must be heated.

The best idea I can come up with is to get a large aquarium and put several (4-5) 2.5 gallon aquariums inside. Each 2.5 gallon aquarium houses 1 scorpion. There will be 4 red heat lights keeping the temps inside the large aquarium in check. The red lights will be on a thermostat. HOWEVER, I need to have some kind of lid on the large aquarium to keep all the heat from escaping. Too much ventilation (ie. screen top) and the temps wont be right but a lid that keeps ventilation low makes me wonder if humidity will be a problem.

What to do.......?

Any ideas?
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~Abyss~
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PostSubject: Re: Heat vs Ventilation w/ desert scorpions   10/21/2013, 11:07 am

Where do you live is that humid where you are? As long as the enclosure is ventilated as in not covered (screen is fine) then you shouldn't have a problem with humdity. Specific temp isn't really neccesarry you can just a heat pad on the side or whaterver you're using for heat as long as theres is a heat source the whole enclosure does not need to be a specific heat. In fact I think a gradient awould work best for most arid species.
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MRMB
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PostSubject: Re: Heat vs Ventilation w/ desert scorpions   10/22/2013, 11:11 pm

~Abyss~ wrote:
As long as the enclosure is ventilated as in not covered (screen is fine) then you shouldn't have a problem with humdity.
But how much ventilation? Screen is fine, but what about 1/2 screen and 1/2 covered? 3/4 screen and 1/4 covered? 1/4 screen and 3/4 covered?

All screen works when it is hot out, but a decent portion of the enclosure must be covered when it gets cool out otherwise temps drop pretty low.

Just to be clear, the enclosures that the scorpions are in have a screen top, so lots of ventilation. It is the large aquarium that the multiple smaller enclosures are in that would be partly covered when it gets cool.
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TheKevil
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PostSubject: Re: Heat vs Ventilation w/ desert scorpions   10/22/2013, 11:28 pm

Heat your tank from the side at the substrate level with a heat mat or FlexWatt and you won't have any problems. You don't want the entire enclosure hot anyway. You want a gradient from hot to cool.

Keep in mind, also, that air conditioning is designed to drain humidity out of the air in your home. As long as you don't introduce humidity into the enclosure (which you should rarely do in a desert setup) you shouldn't have any problems. I, personally, use FlexWatt on the back end of my enclosures. I have my lids covered with tape up to about 3 or 4" from the front so that heat doesn't escape completely. I still have a good balance of humidity and heat.
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robert44
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PostSubject: Re: Heat vs Ventilation w/ desert scorpions   10/23/2013, 7:07 am

Both air conditioning and heating will lower relative humidity in a house.  I live in humid Houston, TX and I never have trouble with too much humidly in desert enclosures.  There are several schools of thought regarding watering desert scorps but I usually put a small plastic bottle top (the kind from bottled water) full of water in the enclosure about every week or two.  For juvenile scorps I fill it every week and for adults every-other-week.  Also for juvenile scorps that are still molting I use substrate that is a 50/50 mix of Eco Earth and sand.  For adults that no longer molt I use pure sand.  

I believe that any organic (in the scientific sense) substrate will pull a bit of moisture from the air even if you don't moisten it.  Sand, being inorganic, won't do this.  So if a desert scorp still has molts to come I allow a tad more moisture in his enclosure.  For adults I try to minimize moisture except for a small drinking cap of water every-other-week.  The trick is to find the balance between  a tad of moisture for molting desert scorps vs too much moisture (especially for adults) which will lead to mycosis (fungal infection). I think pregnant desert scorps may require a tad extra moisture as well but I'm not an expert in this area.

If your house is heated and/or air conditioned and you have a tank top that is at least 25% open and you are using only a small bottle cap for water I doubt you will have too much moisture in the tank.  The only caveat I can think of if you live in a humid area and you keep your windows open and don't a/c or heat your house.
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