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 Curious noob questions I haven't seen covered yet

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Latourious
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PostSubject: Curious noob questions I haven't seen covered yet   12/16/2010, 4:37 am

Hey guys. I'm new to the forum and new to the scorpion scene. I'll be the happy owner of an Emperor Scorpion at the beginning of January and I've got a couple of questions to ask. So, bare with me and thanks for all the help!

1) Is it alright to catch my isopods (I'll be going with rollie pollies) outside, or do I need to buy them from a retailer? And if I can get them outside, should I clean them a certain way for mites, or would they be fine?

2) When I've got her (Hopefully a her) setup ready to go, how would I make sure all the substrate is moisturized? I know it should be able to hold it's form and have a couple of drops of water come out if you squeeze it in your hand, and that you should pour the water on to the substrate instead of misting, but when I think of pouring, I picture just dousing it with water (Obviously I'm not going to do that.) So, without stressing out my emp and taking out everything from the setup once or twice every two weeks, how would I fully moisturize all the substrate?

3) Must I always feed her with tweezers? I mean, what's the whole deal with the tweezers? I think I read somewhere that after a moulting when they're ready to eat you should use the tweezers and put the food in front of them. Not all too sure about it, so any info on that would be nice!

4) I've also heard that Scorpions like to feel secure, so it's good to wrap three sides of the tank with a background (Back and both sides of course) for less stress. Is this true?

5) This question is more regarding the crickets, but since I'll only have one emp would it be alright if I just went outside and found one or two crickets (The black ones since they're more common here. Not sure if they're any different from the brown ones, but yeah) to feed her every week, or is it best to buy them from a retailer. And if yes, would I also have to clean them for mites and what not, or would they be fine? I only ask this because it's winter here and right now I've got a 30GL rubbermade bin in my closet (My mom will freak if she finds out) with about 12 crickets (Wild black ones) in it. I can't really keep them outside without them dying and my closet is the only other place I can keep them. I know I should gutload them and all but I'm a bit stuck. Any advise would help here.

6) Finally, I've read that keeping a scorpions food in their tank for more than an hour stresses them out. Is this true? I know that if they don't eat it within an hour to take it out and try again in another 4-6 days, but I'm curious because if it does indeed stress them out, wouldn't that also be true for the rollie pollies?

Thanks a lot for all the answers and if I have any more questions not yet addressed I won't be scared to ask.
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H. laoticus
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PostSubject: Re: Curious noob questions I haven't seen covered yet   12/16/2010, 5:02 am

Hey there, welcome to the forum!

Here is how I would answer your questions:

1) I think it's fine to catch them. Just make sure the area they're in isn't contaminated with any sort of harmful chemicals. If you're fearful of mites, you can always breed the isopods and use the second or third generation. I didn't do that myself, though.

2) For dampening the substrate, I gently pour water into a corner or an area that is least likely to bother my scorpion and let the substrate soak it up. When the substrate gets to a nice, dark and saturated color, I stop. Dampen the sub so that it's moist to the touch, but not wet and you're good to go.

3) I have never used tweezers for my scorpions. They're perfectly capable of capturing their own prey unless you have your scorpion in an enormous enclosure. After they molt, I wouldn't feed them prey such as crickets because those guys can chew your scorp up. My scorps don't eat after molting, but if you do feed, you can prekill their prey or maim them and set it in front of the scorp.

4) Wrapping the tank is a bit overkill. Provide them enough substrate and hides without having a blinding light all day in their eyes and they'll be fine.

5) I've fed my scorpions wild caught prey before with no problems. But I'm sure it may be different for other people. If you want to go the safe route, buy them from the store. You can gutload them by feeding them a nutritional diet such as fresh veggies. I would suggest you get a colony of roaches, but I doubt your mom would like that!

6) The rollie pollies are pretty small and slow moving. I've never seen my scorpions attack a rollie pollie, so I doubt they're bothering them. Yup, it's suggested that you take prey out, but I've kept a few prey (roaches) in for some of my larger tanks with no probs. However, if you have a molting scorp, don't let crickets in there.

No problem! Great, ask away Smile
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Mr. Mordax
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PostSubject: Re: Curious noob questions I haven't seen covered yet   12/16/2010, 9:58 am

H. laoticus pretty much answered your questions. Regarding WC prey, the greater risk than mites is parasites, which is why the general consensus is to get store-bought prey. If you manage to breed field crickets (the black ones of which you speak) in captivity, then the offspring should be safe to feed.

I'd also suggest breeding the isopods in captivity for a generation or two before introducing them to your tank's cleanup crew.

As far as feeding after molting, don't worry about the tweezers -- just withhold offering prey until your scorpion glows as brightly under a blacklight as it did before the molt. But if you're buying an emp from a pet store, odds are it will already be adult and won't molt.

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Latourious
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PostSubject: Re: Curious noob questions I haven't seen covered yet   12/16/2010, 1:36 pm

Wow, thanks for the answers guys! Very imformitive.

One more question though. I really don't want to jump straight to an adult, but I'm skeptical on ordering online and having them shipped to me. I'd think it would really stress them out. I don't want it to die within a couple months of getting it. So, would you guys, or have you bought emps online? Is it safe? And if so, where would I buy one from?

Thanks again for your answers!
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H. laoticus
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PostSubject: Re: Curious noob questions I haven't seen covered yet   12/16/2010, 4:44 pm

Actually, a lot of hobbyists order online or get their scorpions shipped to them one way or another. It's rare that you'll get anything else other than an emp or red claw scorpion from your local pet store. Whether or not it's safe depends on who you're buying from and sometimes it's simply the conditions of shipment that affect your package. There are many reputable dealers and dealing with them is relatively safe. Shipping does cause stress, but there are some great dealers that have excellent packaging skills to keep any deaths to a minimum. Pretty much everyone in the scorpion hobby has had some of their scorpions shipped to them--most of mine are.
Where do you live? That way we can find a few dealers that ship to your location.
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Latourious
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PostSubject: Re: Curious noob questions I haven't seen covered yet   12/16/2010, 5:10 pm

I live in North Carolina.

I saw you said that they are able to keep their deaths to a minimum. If you were to get one and it was dead, would you get a refund/another one, or would you just be stuck with a dead scorpion and out however much money?
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H. laoticus
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PostSubject: Re: Curious noob questions I haven't seen covered yet   12/16/2010, 11:58 pm

Great, you're in the states. Popular online sellers include tarantulainc.com or kenthebugguy.com
You can post a "want to buy" ad here in our classifieds section as well.
Refunds and terms depend on the seller and sale conditions. Those questions are best left to ask the person you're buying from because it varies from seller to seller. For example, if you ordered to have your package with priority shipping, you will most likely not be able to get a refund. If you pay more for fast shipping such as express, you may have 24 hours to report the dead specimen for a refund or exchange. I will send you a pm to other sources for buying scorpions.
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Mr. Mordax
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PostSubject: Re: Curious noob questions I haven't seen covered yet   12/17/2010, 12:32 am

Two main points to consider.

1) Check reviews threads before buying from anyone. You can find them in almost any forum's classified section (we have them here, and Arachnoboards and The Venom List have their own).

2) Work everything out with the seller ahead of time what the conditions will be if there are DOAs or post-arrival deaths. Any seller worth their salt will offer a live arrival guarantee if you pay the extra for faster shipping (priority or express), but don't expect the same if the scorpions are being shipped first-class. (However, scorpions are generally very hardy creatures and can survive being stuck in a box in some post office for quite a long time.)

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