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 Newbie Help! Don't want him to die!

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JDS
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PostSubject: Newbie Help! Don't want him to die!   9/16/2008, 9:49 am

Just got an Emperor scorpion as a birthday present the other day and needless to say i wasn't exactly prepared. Just got a scorpion, some dirt and a cage! Did a little research on them and tried to put together the essentials to keep him alive. Sorry that i haven't had time to read all the threads that would probably answer my questions, i work about a 100 hours a week and just haven't had time to really prepare for him. I'm a little frantic because he hasn't really moved a whole lot, and his tail is flat on the ground. Doesn't look right? Looked better (tail in the air) when i got him with nothing in the cage (although he is under a log)?

To give you an idea of what i'm working with, his body is about 2-3" long, he's in a large plastic cage in which i put about 3" of "scorpion clay-dirt" that i found (says it lets them burrow) and i put about a half inch of "coconut fiber substrate" on the surface. He's under a "half log" hideout, small water dish in corner, about 1/4 inch deep. Also threw in some moss on top of the "half log hideout" and been trying to keep it humid by spraying the moss and a little of the dirt and log. Threw in a cricket but he hasn't really moved (let alone eaten) in a couple days. Don't have heat or a thermometer yet but it's pretty warm in my garage, probably about 75 at night 90 in the day. Been turning on the light (not super bright) to resemble a normal day/night cycle. Hasn't come out of the "hidout" since i put it in the cage. Will move when i spray a little water on him though.

Iv'e never really had a pet like this, (and didn't really ask for one, LOL!) but i like him and i'm an animal lover so i don't want him to die. Really want to learn the right way to care for him, but he doesn't look so good and i don't have a ton of time. Any emergency suggestions? Is it ok that his tail is flat on the ground, or is that a death sentence? Do they not move very much in a new environment? Maybe just "stressed"? Probably silly to think he would eat right away? Should i take the cricket out? Not turn the light on? Maybe that's normal to just lay there under the log? Thanks for any advice!!!
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JDS
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Help! Don't want him to die!   9/16/2008, 10:02 am

Sorry, just realized there is an Emperor section. Maybe a moderator could move my post if that's more appropriate. It's six in the morning and i'm just going to sleep after a 15 hour work day! I'm a wreck! Thanks for the help.
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Help! Don't want him to die!   9/16/2008, 12:04 pm

hmmm....
u sure its a emp... the tail laying flat normally means they are on the way out but thats only from old age, and if yours is only 3" then that is not an adult emp!
the setup sounds good, only two problems; a heat lamp will be good to speed up his metabolisum and get him moving (if you use a heat mat it MUST NOT be under the tank!! if he burrows to escape the heat and the heat is below him he will cook himself!).
also, i have never heard of the 2scorpion clay" but it sounds dodgy. just use coco fibre only. its probably cheaper and wont hurt the scorps.
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Help! Don't want him to die!   9/16/2008, 12:21 pm

just take the cricket out at the moment, and let him settle in. you don't NEED that scorpion clay dirt stuff, a good few inches of coco fibre compacted down will be good for burrowing. is his tail down all the time, or just sometimes? if he only has it down for a few seconds occasionaly then he's pooping... but tail to ground usually ain't good... but he may just be too cold.

and if he's just lying under the log, that's fine. scorpions don't move around much, they come out at night sometimes. 75 - 90 are good temps, he should do good in that, but you may have to provide a heat source in the winter. make sure the tank is nice and humid, sometimes they let thier tail down if it's too dry as well.




so just leave him in peace for a while, and let him get settled in.
and remember to take the cricket out.

is his tail erect now?



btw, is his stinger white?

pics of the scorp and the tank would really help. good luck!
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Help! Don't want him to die!   9/16/2008, 12:46 pm

hey guys keep in mind that if hes resting under a log his tail is more likely to be on the ground, is his tail flat on the ground and fully stretched out dragging behind him when he walks or is his tail curled up next to him while hes under the log?
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Help! Don't want him to die!   9/16/2008, 1:02 pm

Temps are fine, no need to warm him up.

As said, if his tail is constantly on the ground, it's bad, but momentarily means he's wiping his bum.

If the 2-3 inches is without the tail, then you likely have an adult.

If the "scorpion clay" stuff is the same as "excavator sand," it's too hard for a scorpion to burrow into. Three inches or more of the coconut fiber makes a great substrate and holds humidity well.

To raise the humidity just dump water into the substrate (preferably the coconut fiber).

Not eating is normal (especially right when settling in), and not coming out of the hide is normal. Emps are often called "pet holes" and can easily fast for months without ill effect.

Oh, and welcome aboard. Very Happy

(Thread moved to emp section)

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Help! Don't want him to die!   9/16/2008, 1:10 pm

Mike has answered all I was going to say...so I will only add welcome to the forum!
xxxxx
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~Abyss~
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Help! Don't want him to die!   9/16/2008, 1:14 pm

Remove the clay stuff and keep the coco fiber. Try to get about 7 inches of it. It sounds to me it's on it's way out but dont worry we all KILL our first emp. You should give it another try I can send you one for free if you pay shipping.
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JDS
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Help! Don't want him to die!   9/17/2008, 9:50 am

Thanks for the warm welcome and all the advice. Read a few threads last night. It sounds like scorpions are a little tricky to keep alive. Guess the chances are he might die. I'm just not good with dead animals. Call me a "softie", LOL!

Well, just got home from work (another brutal 15 hour day)! He's still alive. Just sprayed the ground to keep him humid. He does move when i spray and his tail went back up a little. He IS under the log so i guess he can't really stick his tail up too high. I guess it just looks weird on the ground. It's curled up next to him so maybe that's normal? I'm going to get a thermometer in the morning and i'll take the clay stuff out and only use coco-fiber. The clay stuff is called "Excavator Burrowing Substrate" made by "Zoo Med". Says it can be used for scorpions? Just want to make sure i shouldn't use it before i take it out. Can they burrow well with just coconut fiber? I will also take the cricket out, but when do i try and feed him next? What will the cricket do to him if i left it in? Just curious? And he's (or she?) has a 3" body, that's without the tail. So i guess that's considered an adult. No way to tell their age? Should i "cycle" the light or just keep it dark?

Once again thanks for taking the time to help! I'm sure all the answers to my questions are all right here, but like i said, i work crazy hours and barely have enough time to sleep. I promise i'll read every thread as soon as i get a chance. Just want to keep him healthy long enough until i can devote some time to him. I'm probably not the best candidate for a scorpion right now, but like i said, he was an unexpected present and i just want to do my best with him. He's super cool and i really don't want to see him die. Pray for "Montecore" (or "Monty" for short, LOL)! I'll post some pics as soon as i can.
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Help! Don't want him to die!   9/17/2008, 10:01 am

It's curled up next to him so maybe that's normal?

Yep, that's normal. Smile


The clay stuff is called "Excavator Burrowing Substrate" made by "Zoo Med". Says it can be used for scorpions? Just want to make sure i shouldn't use it before i take it out.

That's what I thought it was. They show a scorpion on the label, but it's too hard when used on its own and doesn't hold humidity enough for forest scorpions. If you ever get burrowing desert species (classic example: Hadrurus arizonensis), it works GREAT for holding up burrows in a desert habitat when mixed with sand (70% sand, 30% clay).


Can they burrow well with just coconut fiber?

Yes, but if you're worried, just compress it a little by hand before putting the scorpion back in.


I will also take the cricket out, but when do i try and feed him next?

Give him a week or so to settle in. Keep in mind that scorps can happily fast for months at a time. Male emperors are notorious for this.


What will the cricket do to him if i left it in?

Well, how would you feel with a cow in your living room if you didn't feel like steak? Razz Prey items running around for a long period of time can be kind of stressful, but one lone cricket isn't too bad. It just might be easier for the scorp if it had a food-free week to get settled. Note, though, that crickets CAN attack and injure scorps, especially recently-molted juveniles.


has a 3" body, that's without the tail. So i guess that's considered an adult. No way to tell their age?

If they're an adult, not really. You just know that it's at least a few years old. The average lifespan in captivity is reported at around eight years, but I've heard of specimens living as long as 14.


Should i "cycle" the light or just keep it dark?

Doesn't really matter -- cycling, it will know when to come out of the burrow.

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Help! Don't want him to die!   9/18/2008, 12:17 am

I've read a little more and with everyone's advice i think i have the basics down. I found a reptile store near my house that sells scorpions, so if i can get a second, i'll go bug them with my dumb questions and not you guys, LOL! He's still alive, so maybe he's ok. I guess i'll keep researching, do my best, and see what happens. I do have two little things i'm confused on...

The lighting and a day/night cycle? So i could keep it TOTALLY dark 24 hrs a day OR i could keep it light 24 hrs a day (as long as he has a hideout)? No day/night cycle? Doesn't matter at all? When i say light, i mean a normal set of fluorescent bulbs like in a garage or kitchen. Read that they HATE light.

And how long should i wait to put a cricket back in? You said they can fast for months, but should i wait a month... a week, two weeks? Just wondering about a "ballpark" amount of time to wait.

Thanks again, i'll get some pics up this week if "Montecore" is still "kickin".

PS: Oh yeah! What's the best way to pick him up when i'm transferring him to a temporary box to clean/maintain his cage? I'm using a big "soup ladle" to scoop him up. Should i pick him up by the tail? Body? Do they make "scorpion tongs", LOL! Just keep using the ladle? Just wondering what's standard. Sorry, three "noob" questions! LOL!
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Help! Don't want him to die!   9/18/2008, 12:48 am

I'm not gonna lie stupid questions have been giving me headaches lately and in turn I've been acting like a <mule's parent>. So to make it up I will answer your NEWB questions NOT any stupid ones Wink.
First of all please come back to us for questions MOST (99.9999999) percent of petshops dont know squat about scorpions. As for lighting...it's not neccesarry. If you mean putting a bulb above it 24/7 or for a cycle. But if your talking about normal light such as your room light being on during the day or the sun shining in thats fine. They do not "hate" light but there better off in complete darkness than non stop illumantion. You can try feeding it evey day but I reccomend every 3-4 days a lot of times they get scared of the cricket and wont eat immidietly. I personally pick up my emps by tailing them. I grab them from the tail and scoop them up to an open hand immdietly but since its kinda bad to let them dagle like that a soup ladle works fine. There are tongs you can use I reccomend the metal one with rupper tips you can buy them at petco.


Last edited by IHeartMantids on 9/18/2008, 1:55 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : borderline language)
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Help! Don't want him to die!   9/18/2008, 1:56 am

24 hours of light per day would probably not be good . . . but a rigid cycle isn't necessary.

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Help! Don't want him to die!   9/18/2008, 7:38 am

I still can't thank you enough for answering my "noob" questions. Like i said, he was a present and with my working an average of 80-100 hours a week i really wasn't prepared. I'm sure it's frustrating that they sell these beautiful animals as pets to people who aren't educated in their care. I can see how much time and effort you guys put into them. I love animals and just didn't want him to suffer. If he does do well, i would love to learn the "ins and outs" and take care of him correctly. I'll take your advice and let you know what happens for now. Just got my camera to work again last night so i'll try to post some pics.

I'm still curious though... are you saying he could he live in complete darkness 24 hours a day? NO MORE QUESTIONS DAMMIT!! LOL!
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Help! Don't want him to die!   9/18/2008, 9:29 am

Just have your lighting normal. You dont need to turn a light on if you arent in the room. You dont need to turn a light off if you are in the room.
I have some of my scorpions in the kitchen. When im at work its normal day light they "deal" with and when im cooking in the evening the light is on...if not I wouldnt be able to see.
Carry on as normal for light with your scorpion.
xxx
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Help! Don't want him to die!   9/18/2008, 10:28 am

JDS wrote:
I'm sure it's frustrating that they sell these beautiful animals as pets to people who aren't educated in their care.

It's only frustrating when they don't bother to look up proper care or ask for advice. Wink


Quote :
I'm still curious though... are you saying he could he live in complete darkness 24 hours a day?

I imagine that, in some cases in the wild, an emperor could live out its whole life in a burrow (in some areas they live in termite mounds, so there would be prey readily available), so yes. However, my guess is that it would be better to have some sort of light / dark cycle just so the little guy's internal clock has some frame of reference.

If your garage has windows, the ambient light could be sufficient for this.

If you had him on 24 hours of light, he'd probably never come out of the burrow.

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