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 Desert terrarium

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Jake the snake
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PostSubject: Desert terrarium   11/6/2010, 8:05 am

Hi folks,

I'm new to keeping scorpions (getting my 1st one soon) and was wondering if anyone had any tips on setting up a desert terrarium for a Hadrurus arizonensis. Specifically how I can best go about building a burrow so that it won't collapse. I want to build it at the edge of the tank i have got for viewing.

I am planning to use a clay/sand mix for the substrate but is it perhaps worth using a ready made hide under the substrate just to avoid collapses?

The other thought I had was to layer the substrate as I do it so do a couple of inches, then build a trench in and use some wood or slate or something to make a roof for the burrow and then continue the substrate over the top leaving an entrance tunnel?

I will be starting setting it up next week so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Jake
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Kristopher
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PostSubject: Re: Desert terrarium   11/6/2010, 8:28 am

Hi Jake.

In my experiences with H. Arizonensis, they are quite content to make their own burrows, but if you want yours to have a viewing burrow, then you're more or less on the right track in your thinking already.

Before building your set up, I would recommend experimenting with your clay/sand ratios until you find the right consistancy. My most successful attempts were about 70% to 80% sand/20% to 30% clay. Of course this all depends on the type and quality sand/clay you're using. If you mix it properly, there really isn't any need for a ready made hide or roof structure.

Lay it down wet, in layers like you said. You just have to think 3 dimensionally as you're doing it, scooping out the shape of the burrow in each successive layer. H. arizonensis tend to burrow deeply so you're going to want to have a minimum of 5 inches or so of substrate.

Allow it to dry out completely before introducing your scorp and it would be a good idea to make the burrow entrance underneath a rock or piece of dry bark.

Hope this was helpful. Good luck!
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Jake the snake
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PostSubject: Re: Desert terrarium   11/6/2010, 8:44 am

That's really helpfull thanks.

I'll probably build a viewing burrow and if the little fella digs his own one I'll just have to hope he uses mine sometimes.

Am I right in thinking that the sand/clay mix will go to the consistency of sandstone?
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JMason19
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PostSubject: Re: Desert terrarium   11/6/2010, 11:28 am

The 80% sand and 20% clay mixture worked out very well for me. I also wet mine, patted it down, and let it dry under a heat lamp for a couple weeks. I felt the same way as you about the burrow/hide. I wanted mine to burrow against the glass as well. All I did was make a small indent in the substrate along the glass before it dried and the next morning after I introduced him to the enclosure, there was a burrow the length of the tank all the way down to the bottom right up against the glass. Since then every burrow mine has made has been against the glass.
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Jake the snake
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PostSubject: Re: Desert terrarium   11/6/2010, 12:19 pm

I'll give it a go and see what happens

20/80 is what a lot of people seem to say, i'll try first and see how it goes

Any other good ideas for a desert set up? I want it to be a really good display tank
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iitomodachi1
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PostSubject: Re: Desert terrarium   11/6/2010, 3:19 pm

I'm not experienced with this species but from what I have read in numerous resources is what JMason19 said. Wet the substrate down when you are putting it in and allow to dry a bit before adding your scorps this should help allow them to build a solid burrow.

How is excavating sand for these guys to burrow in? I have read that is good but have only used it for my set ups I have awaiting my P. Trans which are not known burrowers.

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JMason19
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PostSubject: Re: Desert terrarium   11/6/2010, 8:10 pm

Opps my mistake. I dont use the excavator clay. I use the excavator sand, about a 80/20 mix. Thank you iitomodach1, I never wouldve noticed my mistake lol. So yes, the excavator sand works very well in my experience.
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iitomodachi1
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PostSubject: Re: Desert terrarium   11/6/2010, 8:45 pm

No problem Very Happy So what percentage is the excavator sand? And the other percentage is normal sand? I used 100% excavator sand for the P. Trans enclosures I have set up but as I said earlier I'm still waiting on them to show up. Sad
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JMason19
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PostSubject: Re: Desert terrarium   11/6/2010, 9:28 pm

I used about 20% excavator sand and 80% sand. I wouldve used just 100% excavator but it was like 20$ for 10lbs when I could just get a 50lb bag of sand at Lowes for like 40$. But yeah 80/20 sand/excavator is working just fine for me.
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iitomodachi1
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PostSubject: Re: Desert terrarium   11/6/2010, 11:28 pm

Awesome, thanks for the clarification. Yeah that stuff was expensive! I'm thinking your sand may have been a little high too. If you have a home depot (which I normally hate) near you, go look at playground sand. I'm thinking it is a lot cheaper. I use playground sand and coco fiber for my Hottentotta's and H. Spinigerus enclosures. It may at least be worth a price comparison.
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TELOW
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PostSubject: Re: Desert terrarium   11/7/2010, 3:30 pm

playsand works well Wink and its cheap you just have to wet it pack it and dry it out
but it does work
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Jake the snake
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PostSubject: Re: Desert terrarium   11/9/2010, 5:08 am

Just bought playsand from Argos, 2.99 for a 15kg bag

Nice
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