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 Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?

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Roblicious
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PostSubject: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   2/26/2011, 5:17 am

I just got a 5 gal tank and I filled it with a 5 lb bag of ex sand and whatever was left of my 10lb calcium gray colored sand I picked up at the local store. I mixed the 2 of them in a bucket and now they are drying with a heat pad and 50w IR light heating up the thing.

I want to know before I put my desert scorpion in there how I would go about with a live cactus in there? I know water in the enclosure is bad due to the humidity, so how would I water the cactus? Even though it is every so often since it retains water very well. Should I even bother with a live cactus? I want the enclosure to look cool, so far I have a partially broken Greek pot with cracks and holes in with a tunnel that I built leading into it .

I think mine is either a juvie or pre adult? I am not sure how old he is I bought him at a local mall pet store a month or so ago.

If the age that matters for the humidity. Here is a pic of the guy holding onto a adult cricket.



Thanks
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H. laoticus
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   2/26/2011, 7:13 am

I wouldn't go with a cactus and deal with the spines, etc, but I do think succulents would work well. You can find them all over your gardening store and there is a very large variety. All of them are nice looking in my opinion. What I would suggest, though, is to keep the plants potted so all you have to do is water in the pot every once in a while. You still have to watch for humidity because you don't want your scorpion getting mycosis, but the good thing is these plants don't need much watering at all. They often sell these succulents in mini plastic pots and I think putting those in would work well. You can add more substrate to reach the level of the pots so that they're covered and it also looks more natural.
Here is a pic of the variety to choose from:

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Taledus
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   2/26/2011, 7:30 am

My mother told me about putting "air ferns" in the setups for Desert hairy's when I get them because they would look much better than a cactus, but I have yet to get any so I have yet to try it. I know Walmart sells these closer to summertime, and their fairly inexpensive.
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Roblicious
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   2/26/2011, 1:17 pm

I cant tell whether or not they will look good in a desert enclosure lol All i know is a cactus will look normal but if its too much of a hassle, maybe a fake one? lol

maybe if i saw a pic of a desert plant other then a cactus in a desert setting i would be more sold :p

EDIT:

If it was a small cactus that had tiny spines would it still pose a problem? I mean wouldnt the scorpion have to go head on to it to hurt itself?
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Jay
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   2/26/2011, 1:45 pm

Hmm those succulents look like great desert terrarium additions. Chin Scratch

I wouldn't fancy putting a cactus with spines in there though.

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Roblicious
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   2/26/2011, 2:09 pm

Ill check it out
Even if they are small tiny hair spines?
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Scorpioooo
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   2/26/2011, 2:32 pm

i have a cactus in my setup and my arizonensi touched it a few times and than tried to avoid touching it. i am pretty sure it wont hurt itself. here are some picsPhotobucket" border="0" alt="" />Photobucket" border="0" alt="" />Photobucket
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Roblicious
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   2/26/2011, 4:54 pm

you dont have problems with humidity when you water them?
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Scorpioooo
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   2/26/2011, 4:59 pm

no both plants are in pots. and to water them i take them out and do it outside of the tank than let them sit for an hour or so and put them back in the tank. i know its sounds like a hassle but you only have to do it once in a month or two. i am not really sure how often you have to water them but i had a cactus once and i only watered it once in 3 monhts and it was fine. hope that helped
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Roblicious
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   2/26/2011, 6:49 pm

I just bought a small cactus from petsmart and put it in a small pot with soil and sand lol.

Its in the terrarium now along with some extra reptile sand (really thin/soft sand) that I bought and wetted/padded down to add a few more inches of substrate.

My mixture of sand and excavating sand made it super rock hard! I know this cause I had to use a spoon to help dig a hole for the pot lol
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Scorpioooo
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   2/26/2011, 9:10 pm

For the future dont buy things at petco if you could buy them somehwere else. you probably paid 7 dollars for it.? i got my cactus from home depot for 2 . I also bought fake tropical plants at k mart. They also have moss. Just letting you know how you could save because some of the prices in petco are ridiculous Very Happy
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Roblicious
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   2/26/2011, 9:36 pm

Yeah something like that PETCO is bad around here they mislead their prices to reflect members only but don't show real ones lol
I went to home depot for sand but honestly I have no need for 50 lbs of sand lol so I just bought the pet store one lol
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ColoredPencils
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   2/28/2011, 11:52 pm

The great thing about cacti, is that they are ridiculously resilient. I actually keep quite a few in pots around my house and are probably the only plants that can die from too much attention. They really just want to be left alone! You can forget about them for weeks on end and they'll be just fine, and can even survive without soil/sand for long periods of time.

I think this would make them an excellent addition to a desert tank, as long as you keep them in their own separate pot. Only water every month or so, and definitely take them out of the tank to do so, because you'll want to drench and let the cacti drain. Also, they have shallow, but very wide root systems that would probably take the tank over and make burrowing difficult for you scorpion if not in their own pot. Succulents are just as resilient, and need only a little more water. Every couple weeks or so.
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Roblicious
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   3/1/2011, 1:23 am

Yeah I have it in a oversized shotglass with some soil and sand mixed in there I just watered it so Ill take it out in a month or so to water again and then leave it out for an hour or so

the tank is still drying right now, I just dont think it is dry enough beneath the surface so yeah maybe another week?

got a 50w heat lamp on it + a heat pad taped to the bottom for drying, I will move the heat pad to the side when it is all said and done though Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   3/1/2011, 1:48 pm

I'm not sure the shot glass would be good for the cactus. That is, if you're actually concerned about the well-being of the plant. Haha. Being desert plants, cacti require very good soil drainage or the standing water will cause them to rot. It should be in a pot with drainage holes at the bottom. If you don't want to risk extra moisture seeping through into the tank, after it drains you can place that pot in something else.

Actually, that might make it less of a hassle to take out and water. If you have a solid container already buried in the sand, and the cactus sits within it in its own drainage pot, all you have to do is take the drainage pot out of the solid container to water it. You wouldn't have to dig it up and bury it again. =)
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Roblicious
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   3/1/2011, 3:58 pm

well if im taking the shot glass and cactus out while i water i think it will be ok lol
damn should of just gotten a fake one :p
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Scorpioooo
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   3/1/2011, 6:43 pm

great idea Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   3/1/2011, 8:56 pm

Roblicious wrote:
well if im taking the shot glass and cactus out while i water i think it will be ok lol
damn should of just gotten a fake one :p

I'm just saying, if you water the cactus while in the shot glass, the cactus might not get enough drainage and rot. =P
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   3/2/2011, 4:16 am

lol i think a fake one would be a far easier option lol we had a plant in our emp tank and it just died, so switching to fake, we have fake mini palm trees with coconuts in our scorpio maurus tanks they are pretty cool, there isnt enough nutrients in the substrate to maintain a normal plant but a cactus should be fine in desert setup just annoying to care for i guess Smile

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Roblicious
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   3/2/2011, 4:29 am

yeah if this one dies ill go back and buy a fake one, I was going to buy a fake one but it was cheaper for the live one so I gave it a shot lol
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   3/3/2011, 1:47 am

Roblicious wrote:
... so I gave it a shot...

*Gigglesnort.* Get it?
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Roblicious
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   3/3/2011, 3:18 am

lol
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Jay
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   3/8/2011, 10:55 am

I picked these up from a garden centre the other day to use in some of my desert tanks. They're succulents, they're all different species of Haworthia. This species is recommended in one of my natural terrarium books as excellent for the desert terrarium. Just thought I'd post a few pics, they'll be in some tanks soon.






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Roblicious
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   3/8/2011, 1:24 pm

whoa those look nice, i might replace my cactus with one of those as I am running out of room in the 5g lol
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PostSubject: Re: Live cactus for my desert hairy terrarium?   3/8/2011, 2:38 pm

They do look cool, gotta kinda aloe vera look about them, will have to let us know how they get on in a tank, the live plant we used just kinda died lol Smile

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