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twosheds
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PostSubject: Substrate Question   12/17/2009, 2:11 am

Hello everyone,

I have had my first Emperor Scorpion about a month now. He is in a 10gal aquarium with a false bottom type setup and about 3-4 inches of sterile potting soil on top of the gravel. The humidity is kept around 75-80%, and the temperature at the cool end of the tank is about 75deg. I also have about 15-20 pillbugs in the hope of keeping the tank clean.

The last few days here, I have noticed some mold forming in places on the surface of the soil, and also some tiny white worm like things in the soil. I have heard that mold can be harmful to emps, and that it is caused by poor air circulation. I am contemplating changing the substrate on the weekend. Does this sound like a good idea? I don't know how to prevent it from getting moldy, I have adjusted the cover ventilation to maintain the desired humidity, any more ventilation and the humidity will not be high enough. Any one have any ideas here? Don't know if the little white worms are harmful or not, but I don't like them either.

Thanks for your help, this is my first ever scorpion so I am still learning!
Chris
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binksyboy3
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   12/17/2009, 2:49 am

There was a discussion on this forum a while ago and the conclusion was that mold isn't harmful to your emp however most people like to keep it clean so that it looks nicer etc.

As for the white worm things, i don't know, maggots? honestly know idea on those, i'm afraid you'll have to wait for one of the others to answer that for you. Smile
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The-Scorp-Whisperer
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   12/17/2009, 6:53 am

to deal with the mould gather some woodlice from the garden and put them in theyll deal with the mould no problem, as for the white worm things they could either be springtails which are harmless and actually help keep the tank clean or they could be scarid fly larvae that are harmless to the scorps but a real pain in the backside cause the flies buzz about everywhere _

Hope this helps!
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lucas339
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   12/17/2009, 9:46 am

if you go the wood lice route, be sure to breed them for a couple of generations before you introduce them. this way you don't introduce any parasites to your emps.

the worm like things are probably fly larvae. if they are sciarids then you're ok but if they are phorids, thats another storey.
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twosheds
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   12/17/2009, 11:12 am

I do have woodlice in there, and they have done nothing to keep the mold situation under control. I have attached pictures of the mold and a worm. I think I will try to scoop out some of the mold tonight, it looks terrible.



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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   12/17/2009, 1:30 pm

jesus!!! with that amount of mould itll take a while for htem to clear it, try n clear as much of it as u can urself then the woodlice should clear up the restr and it should appear again.

as for that worm, it does look to me like a scarid fly larva but cant tell 100% that it is ide say im about 80% sure shouldnt have anything to worry about....sept those pesky flies Laughing
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twosheds
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   12/17/2009, 5:18 pm

Ya, I know, it is really bad. It is not just on the surface either, it seems to permeate into the soil.

That is by far the worst end of the tank, the other end has the infrared bulb over it, and there is no surface mold there. A lot of that seemed to spring up almost overnight, it didn't look nearly as bad yesterday.

Chris
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   12/17/2009, 5:20 pm

yeah mould grows pretty quick, if its all teh way thru the substrate ide suggest changing it and giving the tank a good washing and when u put the new substrate in whap some woodlice in there and keep an eye on things
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twosheds
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   12/17/2009, 5:25 pm

Thanks for the advice. I will have a go at changing it then, I think it would probably be best. Just don't like to disturb him though, oh well it is probably for the best!

Chris
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   12/17/2009, 5:29 pm

yeah better to put him in a bad mood for a bit and be fine than have all that mould kickin about doin god knows what plus its not healthy for u either
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twosheds
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   12/17/2009, 5:36 pm

Ya exactly, lesser of the two evils I reckon.

Cheers,
Chris
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H. laoticus
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   12/19/2009, 5:10 am

looks like that piece of wood has mold growing on it too. Did you get that from outside or buy it? I brought an outside piece of wood in and before I knew it, mold was everywhere. However, I used an aquarium drift wood piece from petco and no mold has ever grown on it.

I also know that the mold only grew because of that outside piece of wood.
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   12/19/2009, 12:29 pm

No, that was a piece of aquarium wood that I purchased. The only thing I brought in from outside was the gravel in the bottom, which I washed and then baked first in the oven.

Chris
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   12/20/2009, 12:37 am

What sort of substrate are you using?

I'm not sure what that worm-thing is, but it doesn't look good. It's also WAY too wet in there.

My advice is to remove all that substrate, give the tank a good cleaning, and put in fresh coconut fiber or peat.

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twosheds
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   12/20/2009, 12:45 am

Yup, did a total cleaning today. This time I used 3 parts coconut fiber and 1 part sphagnum moss (as I read this is suppose to combat mold). Sterilized everything, either in boiling water or baked in the oven.

I don't know how to keep the humidity at 75% without either a)having the substrate dryer with no air ventilation or b)having very damp substrate with moderate air ventilation.

The more ventilation, the damper the substrate needs to be to keep the humidity up, which is the route I tried first (obviously unsuccessfully). Can anyone provide any advice as how to achieve a balance?

Thanks,
Chris
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   12/20/2009, 12:49 am

they way i keep my Emps is in an old aquarium, u know the kind, with hte light fixture in the lid and a wee hatch for feedin the fish etc, i just keep the lid on and the hatch shut and i get a constant 85-90% humidity and a good consistent temperature and i have no mould problems at all, dont know how i just put it down to the woodlice i have in there that eat any mould before it has a chance to germinate fully and spread all over the place
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twosheds
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   12/20/2009, 12:55 am

Then what do you do for keeping the substrate moist? I have mine setup with a false bottom type setup with gravel in the bottom that I can add water to via a tube in the corner, exactly the way described here:
http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?t=11336

Cheers,
Chris
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   12/20/2009, 12:59 am

i dont do anything, cause theres no ventilation the substrate doesnt really dry up any moisture that does comne out condenses at the cool side and runs downthe glass back into the substrate, all i have to do is keep the waterdish topped up and feed the scorps lol other than that its a self sustaining environment Laughing
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klingonman
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   1/2/2010, 1:11 pm

i use a 1 inch bed of marine gravel then a further 2 inches of spider suitable substrate (vermiculite mix) and my temps stay at 75 degrees with a infra red 50 w bulb, and the moisture stays stable at 80 percent.
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   1/3/2010, 12:14 am

It sounds to me like you're putting too much trust in your humidity gauge. You shouldn't have to fight to find a middle ground between bone dry and sopping wet.

To get the right humidity, just dump water on your substrate until it feels slightly damp. Not soupy, not dry and powdery, but somewhere in the middle. And ignore what your humidity gauge tells you.

I also suggest keeping good ventilation, as stagnant air is more likely to produce mold and what-not.

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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   1/3/2010, 7:05 am

thats the thing with the gravel base, you can see how much water you got in there, and add more if need be, the first time i did it tho i turned little emps home into a swamp, i did not realise how quick the substrate sucks it right up.
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   1/3/2010, 7:31 am

i had a look at your titties con, amazing scenery and bugs found, what was the black and white arach on a beam in the ranch? the girl with the beer is pretty as well lol
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PostSubject: Re: Substrate Question   1/3/2010, 3:45 pm

I'm not sure . . . some sort of cool spider is all I can say. My fiancee (the redhead holding the T) took the vast majority of those pictures and I should have let her put them on her site Embarassed . Sky, the woman holding the St. Pauli Girl, organized the trip. Very Happy

Anywho, a bit off-topic from the thread . . . sorry, twosheds.

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