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 10 scorplings . . . 10 fatalities. Where did I go wrong????

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WyattEarp4137
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PostSubject: 10 scorplings . . . 10 fatalities. Where did I go wrong????   5/22/2011, 9:11 pm

Howdy,
My first batch of scorplings have all died it would seem. I have managed to find none of them aside from a couple small corpses. What could have gone wrong?? Sad
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Bedlam
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PostSubject: Re: 10 scorplings . . . 10 fatalities. Where did I go wrong????   5/22/2011, 10:26 pm

A number of things could have happened. Don't be discouraged though. It happened to me for my 1st 2 batches but the scorpion gave birth back to back. I was pissed but you know, it happens. Now I'm raising 16 juveniles in 2i and I have another tank with another emp who has about 8 or 9 on her back.

You live and you learn buddy. Trial and Error but again, it just sucks. So here's a list of what I can think of.


  • Possible Causes
    Too High Humidity/Low Humidity
    Too dry
    Constant pestering
    Live food attacked the babies
    Not enough food
    Unsuitable habitat
    Cage Mates


Think of anything that could have caused stress, then next time... you'll do great.
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WyattEarp4137
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PostSubject: Re: 10 scorplings . . . 10 fatalities. Where did I go wrong????   5/22/2011, 10:35 pm

Wow, I feel bad cause I will bet money it was a number of those things. I plan on completely overhauling my Emp Tank now though to prevent future failure. What do you reccommend as a good substrate? Right now I have some wood chip type stuff in there and it's bone dry. I have fought to keep it moist and humid in that tank but it's a one way battle . . . I lose. Any tips for keeping humidity up? Also, I have some pathetic heating pad under her main cave and a red bulb heating lamp on the cage. Is this too much or is there something better I need to do? Thanks!
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Streettrash
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PostSubject: Re: 10 scorplings . . . 10 fatalities. Where did I go wrong????   5/22/2011, 11:57 pm

A few things...

Ecoearth bedding is perfect for emperors. It is sold in brick form at the pet store. It's basically coconut fibers that have been shredded into "dirt". You put the brick into a bucket and soak it with water so it expands. Here is a link so you know what to look for.

ecoearth

There are a bunch of different brands of this, but most will work fine. Bark chips, or "forest floor" bedding should not be used. It can injure your pet as they are very delicate on the underside.


The heating pad you are using should not be placed under the tank. Scorpions burrow to hide, but also to escape heat. It's quite possible to cook your scorpion if you put the under tank heater under the tank. Also, heating their hide is not necessary for the same reason. The ambient temperature in the tank will heat the hide plenty. The hides should always be cooler than the rest of the tank.

As for keeping the humidity level up you can make a false bottom tank. The idea here is that the bottom of the tank will have water in it that will evaporate up through the substrate providing humidity. Start with an empty tank, pour in 2" or so of aquarium gravel, or hydroballs (linked). Next add your substrate. For emperors a MINIMUM of 4" is required but 6"-7" is better, and pack it down solid. Emps burrow. It's in their nature to do so, and will if provided with the correct setup. Now some people use a piece of pvc pipe to add water to the bottom, but it's not really necessary. I just over fill my water dish until I can see water pooling in the bottom of the tank. The nice thing about this type of set up is that you don't have to constantly mist. As long as the dirt looks dark brown you are good to go. It also allows for a humidity gradient. Your animal can hang out on top where it's not quite as humid, or burrow down to the wetter part of the cage.

As for heating, get yourself a decent digital thermometer that will measure air temperature. Most pet stores will have several to choose from. Use your IR light for heat and keep it at least eighty, not more than ninety during the day.

Good luck!
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junosama
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PostSubject: Re: 10 scorplings . . . 10 fatalities. Where did I go wrong????   5/23/2011, 1:21 am

I like coco fiber for substrate. It's soft and they can burrow and it holds moisture or the eco earth. I use a half log for a hide or one of those piece of cork bark from pet stores works well.

Remove the heating pad from under her hide. I use a 50 watt infared bulb on one side 24/7 and the emp seems to be happy.

For humidity i spray the tank like 15 times in the morning and 15 sprays at night. I have a 10 gallon tank and have a piece of acrylic cut to cover like 70 percent of the top and the open part is for ventillation and for the heat lamp to rest on the wire top. This helps keep humidity in.

I tend to spray more water in the cool side otherwise the heat lamp will dry it up fast.

Make sure you use bottled spring water for the drinking water dish and for the spray water.

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Bedlam
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PostSubject: Re: 10 scorplings . . . 10 fatalities. Where did I go wrong????   5/23/2011, 4:21 pm

I'm trying not to give you a wall...

I had mine on wood chips too, and the 1st 2 births were a failure. When you ask for recommendation of substrate most people are gonna say Eco Earth. It's Coco Fiber and yes, it is great but it's not the only thing you can use. Potting soil and Sphagnum Peat moss is great too. Just make sure it has no fertilizers. You can get away if it just has added food for plants, but absolutely no fertilizers.

For humidity, you can make a false bottom. All you have to do is fill the bottom with rocks (Aquarium rocks are great or turtle rocks) and then place the substrate over it. Give a half inch of rocks and keep a pipe (small PVC) running from the surface to the rocks. Dump an appropriate amount of water for how ever much soil you have into the PVC pipe and that's it. The water will evaporate into the soil and after a week or when you see fit, pour more water into the PVC. For aesthetic reasons, you can cover the pipe with a rock or water dish and just move it to pour the water into and put it back.

Move the light to the other side of the tank and stick the heat pad on the back or side, not on the bottom. She's probably over heated as she doesn't need so much heat. The light or the heat pad, not both in my opinion. The heat source should be away from the hide. She'll naturally dig to get away from it but she'll actually be cooking herself.

If you need anything, keep asking on posts to get different ideas or just private message me.
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shebeen
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PostSubject: Re: 10 scorplings . . . 10 fatalities. Where did I go wrong????   5/23/2011, 6:43 pm

I just recently set up a 10 gal. aquarium (20Lx10Wx12H) and found that two bricks
of ecoearth was just about right. I actually used one brick and one bag as that's what
I happened to have on hand (they both provide about 7 liters of lose dry media). I used
the brick for the bottom layer and the bag for the top. Soak the brick in 1/2 gal. of water
until it falls apart (~30 min) then add it to the tank one handful at a time, squeezing out
as much water as you can from each handful. I found that a flat bottomed jar works
well to tamp it down. For the bag media, I added about one inch at a time, misting each
layer and mixing with my fingers to bring up the moisture content.


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WyattEarp4137
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PostSubject: Re: 10 scorplings . . . 10 fatalities. Where did I go wrong????   5/24/2011, 12:55 am

Bedlam: Thanks man. I thought the tank would be good at first but I think I rushed things in the excitement of it all and paid for it. Round two will definitely be different. Right now (Until I can get the main tank overhauled) I have mom in a smaller tank with some finely ground bark chips, but I sort of modified your false bottom tip, at least temporarily and cut a sponge into tiny pieces for a base layer, saturated them, and then added the bark followed by a good misting. Like I said not permanent but to be on the safe side, bad idea or not really gonna matter? Only thing I could think of at the moment since I have less than no money to invest in Emp stuff right now unfortunately. Just out of curiosity, how is your tank set up? Thanks again!
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Bedlam
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PostSubject: Re: 10 scorplings . . . 10 fatalities. Where did I go wrong????   5/25/2011, 4:51 pm

That is alright, I rushed too and learned from my mistakes and I have came a long way since my 6 months of keeping.

Your false bottom alternative is fine, if it works it works. You'll end up having to do a lot of 'DIY' (Do It Yourself) kind of things in this hobby. But I have heard that sponges breed bacteria and that is why you should never use them as a water source. Don't know if it will affect your False Bottom negatively but keep that in mind.

Here are my set ups, sorry for the late reply but the world has been hectic lately.

So here is my adult enclosure. 20 Gallon long, heat mat on the side, 2 hides, terrarium moss, pothos plant, water dish big enough for them to have a soak and a piece of bark. The substrate is a mix of Potting soil and wood chips. I will be dumping it and changing it for 70% Sphagnum Peat Moss and 30% Potting soil. 2 reasons for this are, I think it will work much better and I had a break out of mushrooms. Non-lethal but I do not want them so I am changing it all. I have kept 4 in this tank simultaneously, but one died and I had to move things around since I removed a mom who was carrying just recently.

Substrate about 4 inches at the low point and 7 inches at the high point.



Here is the mothers temporary home in her kritter keeper. The soil is a mix of Sphagnum and Potting Soil. About 6 inches deep all around, one hide and a water dish. Strangest thing, this Emperor is almost NEVER in her hide. She spends most of her time out. She eats, drinks and walks about fine. I do have a lid for her enclosure, I removed it for the photos.






The Juveniles I have are about 15 all in 2i (2nd Instar.) 10 gallon enclosure , substrate is potting soil about 3 inches all around. Hide's I constructed myself using tiles I broke to pieces and created caves. However, through observational data I notice that the juveniles don't care for burrowing, yet rather squeeze themselves into an area. Though they have 4 deep hides, they all share one and about 8 live under the water dish. So if you create a juvenile tank, focus on that for the hides. Adults will also huddle up in the same hide, but always be sure to offer more than 1 hide anyways.





Image of the caves I constructed from tile.


I don't have a false bottom for any of my enclosures but I do mist occasionally and still pour water into the substrate. I'm just careful not to add to much because then I risk making mud instead of a nice damp floor.
I just pour cup fulls of water into the substrate until I see fit. You can see the substrate dampen on the sides. I take an educated guess on how much water to add and have always done just fine.



Condensation on the side is normal. If the walls of the tank, over the surface of the substrate on the side are foggy to the point that you really can't see much, then you don't have good ventilation. The only exception is if you have just freshly misted, but it should dissipate soon enough.
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WyattEarp4137
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PostSubject: Re: 10 scorplings . . . 10 fatalities. Where did I go wrong????   5/25/2011, 5:20 pm

Yea, your tanks are polar opposite of mine. I guess if I had some sort of desert scorpion my setup would be perfect but not for Emps. Soon as I find money I will definitely be over-hauling EVERYTHING and making it the way it should be. Good point about the sponges, I hadn't thought of that. But for now it seems to be working well enough.
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shebeen
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PostSubject: Re: 10 scorplings . . . 10 fatalities. Where did I go wrong????   5/26/2011, 11:58 am

Another reason to avoid using sponges in a false bottom set up is that they will probably decompose over time.
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