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 [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium

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LXDNG79
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PostSubject: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   7/14/2011, 5:15 pm

A few months back, my Italian friend, Tita, spoke to me about his ideas for making a scorpion vivarium as an attraction at Ruai bar; fitted with UV lights to illuminate numerous scorpions as they crawl about in a terrarium enclosure. The plan was kept on the shelf since Ruai bar was pending relocation. Soon after the move, Tita gave me a call to follow up on this project. This is how it went.


The enclosure was an old fish tank that the bar had lying around. Handyman extraordinaire, Tita constructed the rig for the aquarium to be fitted at the end of the bar against the wall. Both of us did our share in constructing the secure light-fitted lid.

The idea behind the setup was to provide sufficient hiding spaces for many scorpions without diminishing their inclination to come out and be 'seen' during the night. In any case it was ideal to have their pre-made burrows facing the clearing before the waterbowl and visible from the front so that scorpions that lurked from their burrows could still be seen.

The farthest bark hide to right was propped up against the front glass to allow a cutaway view of a den. The foreground driftwood has a burrow that opened facing the front view. The driftwood pieces were novelty items that Ruai bar had lying around. Other pieces were collected scrap from various locations. The halved-bamboo trunk came from remnants of construction materials used to construct the bar. A mossy brick was placed in the immediate foreground, primarily to keep the waterbowl in place; also to add surface variety to the terrain.

A gap was intentionally left between the largest driftwood and the back glass panel. Filled with substrate, it formed a narrow alleyway at a higher elevation from the foreground substrate; so scorpions crawling at the back of the terrarium would still be visible from the front. At its completion, this project used up almost 4 buckets of coco-fiber.


For the forest floor to closer resemble their natural habitat, some leftover ExxoTerra Forest Bark was used up to cover any bare surface of coco-fiber.

Additionally, generic generic bark-bedding for reptiles and some gravel+sand mix was sprinkled in several places to break-up the uniformity of the surface layer.

Lining the waterbowl perimeter with gravel prevented substrate from washing back into the bowl when it was over-flooded for hydrating the enclosure.


Tita picked up the plants from the back alley behind the bar. Truth be told, Kuching city is blissfully laden with greenery. The ferns, still attached to their tangle of roots and tendrils, were wedged into the 'ditch' between the two large pieces of driftwood.

The bar's proprietor had some orchid moss lying around which he happily suggested to be included to the setup. He also provide the deer skull; a wall-mounted decoration which added a macabre touch to the natural looking enclosure.

Alas the Finished Product... All in all this setup took 3 hours to complete; awaiting its intended inhabitants

13 Heterometrus longimanus... most of which were acquired as rescued strays.

Over the course of a year, some friends of mine had started catching scorpions that they had found wandering into their houses and kept them alive for me. As a result I had a surplus of male H. longimanus ready for this exhibit.

This spacious Vivarium enclosure was certainly a far cry from the tubs I had kept them in.

Within an hour of their relocation, many of them began exploring their new home. Despite them all being males, there were only brief, minor scuffles over hiding spots and food, ending typically in a hasty parting of ways.

I hope to introduce some females at some point as soon as I find some individuals that were not overtly territorial.


Mission accomplished; an eye-catching vivarium exhibit featuring some fascinating creatures 'illuminated' against their 'natural' environment in a manner which most people rarely see first hand; undoubtedly the most attractive aspect of this exhibit - UV magic!!!

The response was considerably encouraging. It was indeed a good feeling to see many people approach these highly misunderstood creatures with a rare sense of fascination instead of instinctual fear. Needless to say, it was a true privilege be a part of this rather 'original' endeavor. Ultimately, it gave the public an opportunity to marvel and appreciate these creatures through a refreshingly new experience. Apart from being the largest terrarium project I've ever undertaken, it amounted to an educational conversation piece at the very least. Thank you Ruai bar for making it happen!

Cheers and Best Regards


Last edited by GS on 3/16/2012, 2:53 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Updated title)
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Streettrash
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   7/14/2011, 5:41 pm

That enclosure looks great, and male longimanus are quite impressive scorpions. Nicely done!
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leiurusSaleen820
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   7/14/2011, 7:27 pm

Awesome brother Smile

That is def 1 of the nicest enclosures I've seen in a while.

I'm expecting a couple of those H. longimanus from a buddy soon and I'm def gonna try for an enclosure like that.
Once again Awesome and great work bro.
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Will3
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   7/14/2011, 8:03 pm

Looks great, but i think it should be placed in some other way so there isnt much movement too close to them, also UV is harmful to scorps so thats a big nono
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Streettrash
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   7/14/2011, 8:15 pm

Will3, Alex knows what he's doing. I'm positive he knows the effect of UV on scorpions.
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Scorpion19981000
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   7/14/2011, 10:02 pm

Nice enclosure.

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sowhon
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   7/15/2011, 3:35 am

another awesome thread by bro LXDNG79...
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pluto
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   7/15/2011, 4:01 am

Well actually it is great, but if the music in that bar goes up occassionally and people screaming and yelling.. the vibrations in the air, will go into the ground and you have some messed up stressed out scorpion.

And prolly with booklung cancer too from the amount of cigarette smoke floating around.

Then again, from a people's perspective.. it does catch the eye and it will be a subject people will talk about.


Anyway, it is nicely put together.

From my own perspective. No, the animals dont need to go through all that. They are nocturnal creatures, hiding a lot because they are light and movement /sensitive shy.

I am not attacking anyone here especially since I dont know what that bar is during parties, especially not Alex, because at least he did give them a great terrarium to live in.

Too bad for the surroundings. Putting them in a separate "relaxroom", like most bars have today would suit a lot better. Some bars around here easily put up a good match for jetfighters regarding noise.
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Streettrash
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   7/15/2011, 9:51 am

The bars here don't have a relax room Sam. They do have coke in the bathroom though.
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pluto
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   7/15/2011, 10:43 am

I dont mind snif snif
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Streettrash
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   7/15/2011, 11:03 am

Noriega.
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pluto
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   7/15/2011, 11:12 am

BUSTED, again!

I see this forum from within my cell after 25 years of the 40 years conviction I got for drug traffic!

Have pitty!
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Streettrash
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   7/15/2011, 12:56 pm

I knew it all along Mwa ha ha ha ha ha!
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spinnin_tom
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   7/19/2011, 5:32 am

better stop talking about these illegal doings (wink) (wink)
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Scorpeace
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   7/20/2011, 7:14 pm

That looked very cool! I agree it could be too stressful for the scorps tho =/
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Bedlam
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   7/21/2011, 9:33 pm

Looks great
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   7/22/2011, 3:24 pm

nice, I love the longimanus claws so cool.

Lol @ the worlds worse bar banner :p
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H. laoticus
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   8/11/2011, 9:18 pm

Obviously there are always ideal ways to keep your scorpion, but this thread is about Alex making a display tank for his buddy to place in his bar. In any other scenario, Alex would have given the scorpions the best of care that anyone here could only hope to imitate. The tank looks great and I'm sure people were in awe of their beauty under UV Smile
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LXDNG79
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   11/13/2012, 9:48 pm

Hey guys and gals... I know some have expressed concerns about the bar+music environment being a bit too stressful for the animals...

Well, I frequent the bar quite a often Razz and made brief checks on the state of the enclosure and the animals. I've recommended to the caretakers to keep up on the misting of the enclosure not to mention more regular food dumps.

Not a month into the enclosure, one of the females had a brood, which the staff found delightful; showered with the giggles of the ladies about how cute the babies look Razz. I personally was curious to find out how the babies would do overtime...

Every so often the staff would find a wild scorpion wandering around in the backstreet near the back entrance to the bar... *NOT escapees mind you... This is Borneo after all and it is not unusual to find H. longimanus in greener spots of the city especially near dump sites crawling with roaches. So when they find one, they just simply catch it and add it to the community.... Yes the staff are quite scorpion friendly by now and are quite capable of handling scorpions with the help of a plastic container and a coaster... and YES, they are all H. longimanus, being the predominant representative of the urban scorpion fauna Smile. Tita did ask if he could chuck in a centipede or tarantula if he found one but I advised against it lol...

Sometime later Tita piled up more logs, bark, moss patches and epiphytes which provided even more hiding places for the growing community. There was no intervention in the event that any female had a brood, which by now has occurred numerous times which is a reasonable indication that the bar+music is not stressing them out too much. Possibilty of the little ones been gobbled up by the errant new additions to the community did cross my mind but me and Tita decided to leave the community to their devices and see what happens as time progresses.

Cannibalism has occurred occasionally, particularly among the adults and sub-adults. This is to be expected considering strangers are added to the tank every so often. However, recent inspections have revealed a good number of young scorpions of varying size (and age), taking up residence among nooks, crannies and crevices around the log pile, claws sticking out in characteristic ambush pose. Apparently these were the ones that evaded the wrath of any less discriminate adults lol.

I suppose this means that the population is 'stabilizing' somewhat considering it accommodates a dynamic community comprising of a good mix of adults, sub-adults and juveniles. Far from being as natural as a wild scorpion community, but as attractions go... I personally feel it's surely more than one up from the scorpion death pits you find in many butterfly farms. Very Happy

Cheers and best regards... Will post more recent pictures of the tank soon
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Kroune
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a Large Scorpion Vivarium   11/22/2016, 11:13 pm

this is my large enclosure 6Lx2Wx2H. More Plants to follow,



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