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 Setup and general help with a new scorpion

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thezedword86
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PostSubject: Setup and general help with a new scorpion   8/2/2010, 5:12 am

Hey guys, I was perusing the forum trying to get as much detailed information as I could, and everyone has been super helpful, but I guess I need some advice more custom-tailored to my setup. I just brought an Emp home today after doing literally months of research to make sure it was what I wanted to pursue. She seems healthy enough, and after looking at pictures of the little fin thingies I can safely say "she". Anyway, I have a few questions, because my local pet shop has been contradicted many times on this website, and I want to make sure I'm doing everything right.

I have one female Emp in a 10 gallon tank with a jungle mix substrate of fir and spaghnum (sp?) peat moss about 4-5 inches deep, one hide, which she seems to just now have found, and the water dish. I have fed her 2 crickets so far, which was highly enjoyable, and she eagerly ate them right up. My major concerns are that I was told at the pet shop to get a dome light for the enclosure. It's a 20 watt UVB, and I have found many threads here and on other sources that say this is a huge no-no, so should I return that and get my money back? If so, should I bother with a light at all, or will natural sunlight provide?

I also have not installed a heat mat, because the owner of said pet shop informed me that the scorp would get plenty of the needed heat from this bulb, yet I don't feel any heat coming from it, and I just feel as if I am damaging my little girl with harmful rays. My apt usually stays about 72ish degrees, spiking as high as 80, so will she be okay at room temp? She seems very active, even with the hurried setup I have for her right now.

Last issue, and I'll leave you all alone: my tank is 10 gallons deep, and there's literally no way she could get out, and I don't have any other pets or children, so should I look at getting a screen top for some semblance of moisture retention, or is this necessary? Thank you all so much in advance for being so patient with an eager, scorp-curious noob Very Happy
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tel0s
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PostSubject: Re: Setup and general help with a new scorpion   8/2/2010, 7:52 am

thezedword86 wrote:
Hey guys, I was perusing the forum trying to get as much detailed information as I could, and everyone has been super helpful, but I guess I need some advice more custom-tailored to my setup. I just brought an Emp home today after doing literally months of research to make sure it was what I wanted to pursue. She seems healthy enough, and after looking at pictures of the little fin thingies I can safely say "she". Anyway, I have a few questions, because my local pet shop has been contradicted many times on this website, and I want to make sure I'm doing everything right.

I have one female Emp in a 10 gallon tank with a jungle mix substrate of fir and spaghnum (sp?) peat moss about 4-5 inches deep, one hide, which she seems to just now have found, and the water dish. I have fed her 2 crickets so far, which was highly enjoyable, and she eagerly ate them right up. My major concerns are that I was told at the pet shop to get a dome light for the enclosure. It's a 20 watt UVB, and I have found many threads here and on other sources that say this is a huge no-no, so should I return that and get my money back? If so, should I bother with a light at all, or will natural sunlight provide?

I also have not installed a heat mat, because the owner of said pet shop informed me that the scorp would get plenty of the needed heat from this bulb, yet I don't feel any heat coming from it, and I just feel as if I am damaging my little girl with harmful rays. My apt usually stays about 72ish degrees, spiking as high as 80, so will she be okay at room temp? She seems very active, even with the hurried setup I have for her right now.

Last issue, and I'll leave you all alone: my tank is 10 gallons deep, and there's literally no way she could get out, and I don't have any other pets or children, so should I look at getting a screen top for some semblance of moisture retention, or is this necessary? Thank you all so much in advance for being so patient with an eager, scorp-curious noob Very Happy


First of all I'll say im new to the hobby too, so take anything I say with a pinch of salt until its confirmed by people more knowledgeable than myself.

I dont know much about your substrate, so I'll leave that topic well alone. You do not need a heat mat, as long as you're able to keep your vivarium between 70-85 fahrenheit. although that bulb...well, I'll talk about that in a sec.
The UVB bulb is a definite no-no I'd imagine, Scorps are highly sensitive to UV rays, so if you must use a light to heat the viv rather than a mat, then get one that serves no UV.

Only other tips I'll give you, being a relative newbie myself, is make sure your humidity is right (60%-80%). dont do this by spraying otherwise you'll have to do it every day, and your humidity levels wont be too stable. instead, make sure there's a cover of some sort over your viv, and wet one corner until you reach 75% ish humidity once a week, and that should do you nice and fine. Obviously, if your humidity starts getting a little low, top it up. Careful of overfeeding with emperors, a cricket every couple of days is enough.

Have fun with your new emperor... It wont be long until you're hooked, and you go and get your next species ^^ (it took me all of two hours to order my second scorp....)
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the lycan mikey
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PostSubject: Re: Setup and general help with a new scorpion   8/2/2010, 11:03 am

thezedword86 wrote:
Hey guys, I was perusing the forum trying to get as much detailed information as I could, and everyone has been super helpful, but I guess I need some advice more custom-tailored to my setup. I just brought an Emp home today after doing literally months of research to make sure it was what I wanted to pursue. She seems healthy enough, and after looking at pictures of the little fin thingies I can safely say "she". Anyway, I have a few questions, because my local pet shop has been contradicted many times on this website, and I want to make sure I'm doing everything right.

I have one female Emp in a 10 gallon tank with a jungle mix substrate of fir and spaghnum (sp?) peat moss about 4-5 inches deep, one hide, which she seems to just now have found, and the water dish. I have fed her 2 crickets so far, which was highly enjoyable, and she eagerly ate them right up. My major concerns are that I was told at the pet shop to get a dome light for the enclosure. It's a 20 watt UVB, and I have found many threads here and on other sources that say this is a huge no-no, so should I return that and get my money back? If so, should I bother with a light at all, or will natural sunlight provide?

I also have not installed a heat mat, because the owner of said pet shop informed me that the scorp would get plenty of the needed heat from this bulb, yet I don't feel any heat coming from it, and I just feel as if I am damaging my little girl with harmful rays. My apt usually stays about 72ish degrees, spiking as high as 80, so will she be okay at room temp? She seems very active, even with the hurried setup I have for her right now.

Last issue, and I'll leave you all alone: my tank is 10 gallons deep, and there's literally no way she could get out, and I don't have any other pets or children, so should I look at getting a screen top for some semblance of moisture retention, or is this necessary? Thank you all so much in advance for being so patient with an eager, scorp-curious noob Very Happy



im not sure if the spagnum/fir substrate is right...someone else would know better...i use 100% cocnut fiber substrate...
if she (you cant tell 100% by the pectines - the fins - post a pic and youll get a guaranteed answer unless your happier thihking what you want lol) just ate 2 crickets, dont feed her again for about a week, than toss her 3 more...
what color is her stinger, thatll give you some kind of idea on if shes sub adult or full adult..

absolutely no UV light of any kind...scorpions are negatively phototactic and are nocturnal animals...the UV light is cool for like picture taking to show the flouresce in their shell, but should not be used to simulate day and night (now i have that song stuck in my head)

if your house is that warm, heat mat and light shouldnt be necessary at all...i live in florida and i dont use either on any of my 3 tanks...i believe the natural sunlight helps to adjust a sleeping schedule or so they know the difference between day and night, my 2 adult females are in a 30 gallon long tank in my closet, and i see them wandering around every other night...about the humidity, constant misting will get pretty redundant, if you wanna have a good humidity, just pour a glass of water on the substrate...
youre looking for slightly damp, not soaking wet...
the general rule is if you can grab a handful and water pours out...its too much

the top is up to you, ..i use a screen top with plastic wrap covering 95% and a really thin towel over it and i have no issues with my humidty (i also have a false bottom setup on my 30 gallon)

if you have any other questions, their are more than enough knowledgeable people on here to help dude...
and dont worry about bothering us, this is what we do...if we didnt want to help, i dont think this forum would be around long =)
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binksyboy3
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PostSubject: Re: Setup and general help with a new scorpion   8/2/2010, 11:06 am

Welcome!

If you ever want to post up a couple pics of your scorp, then please do so. (In sexing the genital operculum is a much more accurate guide to go by rather than the pectines "fin like things")

No need for the sphagnum moss, however you can use some along the surface of the subrate if you wish.
Coco fiber is the best substrate to use. 100% coco fiber (it is also known as eco - earth or coir). It looks natural, cheap, easy to prepare and add, holds burrows very well, holds moisture well and allows burrowing)

"(sp?)" = species

4 to 5 inches of substrate is about perfect.

I would add at least another hide in there - you should have at least two hides per scorp even though they will generally pick one and stick with it.

Do not use the UVB bulb or any UV light for that matter as it can detrimental to the health of your scorp. As long as your temps are fine, then you don't need a day time bulb unless you have your curtains shut in your room all day every day Razz

You can either use a red bulb (infra red) as they cannot see red light on their spectrum or do what I do and use heat mats by "habistat". If you get a heat mat, then use that brand as they are the best and most reliable/have the least amount of problems.
I am still using 6 that I bought 5 years ago and I'm yet to find a single fault with one of them!

If you do get a heat mat, ensure that you stick it on the backside and not underneath.
So I would definitely return it and get your money back.

If your temperatures are 25-30 celcius without a heat source then you do not need one or at least while your temps remain constant between that range. Yours are too low however, so you will need a heat source. She will be fine if you turn that bulb off until you get a new heat source as emps are a hardy sp.

As long as your enclosure has a top/lid along with some method of ventilation then its fine - restricting humidity is not advised likewise with not having a lid of some sort at all as all the humdity will leave the tank as soon as you raise it.
Why don't you post up a pic and we'll tell you if you're ok or what you need Wink

If you've any more questions feel free to ask, that's what the forum's for Smile
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thezedword86
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PostSubject: Re: Setup and general help with a new scorpion   8/2/2010, 11:25 am

Awesome, thank you guys so much. I will post up some pics of the habitat and try to get some shots of the underbelly for sexing as soon as I find my darn camera, lol. As soon as my pet shop opens I'm going down to return the UV bulb, and I'm really upset I didn't come across this forum *before* I bought all this. I figured a licensed herpetologist like the pet shop's owner would possibly know enough about scorpions to trust his judgment. All wonderful advice and ideas guys, I'm going down to make this all right and hopefully increase my scorpion's happiness Very Happy
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thezedword86
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PostSubject: Re: Setup and general help with a new scorpion   8/2/2010, 11:48 am

Okay I had another quick question before I go return this UVB bulb. Where my scorp is at right now, in my room, is up under a kind of "lip" I guess you would say, as my apt has a set back entrance. She wouldn't get like direct sunlight this way, but there is enough coming in for the untrained eye like mine to say "oh hey, it's daylight."

So I was wondering if I should scrap the lamp altogether or if it would be better to get an infrared bulb, and what wattage it should be. I found a listing on petsmart http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2752565 that seems pretty good. I really appreciate everyone's help, this has made my venture into the hobby so much more enjoyable and convenient.
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binksyboy3
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PostSubject: Re: Setup and general help with a new scorpion   8/2/2010, 11:57 am

You don't need a lamp in that case for lighting at all.

Your options then are either to buy an infra red light (red bulb) for heating and viewing at night.

Or

Buy a heatmat for heating.

I cannot say what wattage for the bulbs as I don't use them, perhaps someone else can help you out with that one Smile
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thezedword86
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PostSubject: Re: Setup and general help with a new scorpion   8/2/2010, 3:04 pm

All right, here's a slight update: I got an infrared bulb and installed that above her tank. She's much more active now, I think the UVB light that they used at the pet store was making them lethargic, because she's walking around her enclosure with her claws up instead of occupying her hide. Is this normal behavior? I read somewhere that this could be an indicator of health issues, but I'm thinking she's just exploring now that she feels heat. I also got a brick of coco fiber and was going to put that in there. Can I just put it over the substrate I already have (fir, spaghnum peat) or should I get her out and change it entirely? Again, thanks so much to all you wonderfully helpful people Very Happy
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the lycan mikey
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PostSubject: Re: Setup and general help with a new scorpion   8/2/2010, 6:18 pm

change it entirely....
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binksyboy3
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PostSubject: Re: Setup and general help with a new scorpion   8/3/2010, 9:19 am

I would personally change it entirely so that if they burrow below the coco fibre, they don't then run into a layer of moss.

Well she would be trying to burrow if she is too hot, so I would say that she is just exploring.
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