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 Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing

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S_Meister
Hadogenes
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PostSubject: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/19/2011, 6:45 am

Hello, I got a male emperor scorpion a couple of weeks ago and I got him in a 10 gallon tank with 3-4 inches of coconut fiber substrate, a towel on top of a netted top, a 40W red heat lamp, a water bowl, a fake plant, and a rocky hide. The temperatures are 85-90 F on the heated side and 77-82 on the cooler side. I try to keep the humidity between 75 and 90 percent. I live in Las Vegas, NV, so it's very dry here and I have to heavily mist about 5 times a day. A good misting only lasts 4-6 hours. Are there any recommendations on keeping the humidity up without misting so often? If nothing else works, I'm thinking about putting 2 inches of rocks on the very bottom and putting the substrate on top while adding about 1 3/4 inches of water to the rock layer thus creating somewhat of a false bottom.

As for the foul smell, earlier today, I fed him an adult mouse and he was chomping down on it for a good 8 hours and finished half of it. I dumped the other half and spot cleaned. While I was cleaning I noticed a foul smell of death and thought it was just the odor from the mouse's insides so I ventilated it out and it seemed fine. However, after I put the towel back on the enclosure, about half an hour later, the smell returned. I added a dozen rolly pollies from my backyard and now I'm hoping that they'll get whatever is producing the smell. There also isn't any mold anywhere so that shouldn't be an issue. The substrate is only a few weeks old (since I got the scorpion) so it shouldn't be that. A week ago, I was pouring water instead of misting to keep up the humidity and it flooded without me realizing it (pressing on it released a bunch of standing water) so I hand squeezed all of it out and put it back in and decided to take up misting.

Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

P.S. Is it a weird eating habit for emperors to eat 5-6 crickets in one sitting and then not eat for a week? I just keeping handing them to him until he refuses.
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*~BEX~*
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/19/2011, 8:24 am

Hi welcome to the forum Smile

a false bottom is a good idea or you can just do as a lot of us do and dump a jug or 2 of water in i have to do this every few days.

dont feed mice they dont need it scorpions do not need the calcium and it is apparently bad for them.

not really sure what the smell can be, ours smells a little bit but not of death lol, maybe its something to do with the mouse?

ive seen our emp eat about 5 crix in one sitting, and scorps only need feeding once or twice a week really anyway so that perfectly normal Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/19/2011, 9:03 am

Alright, no more mice, lol. I turned the substrate upside down and the smell got much better, still some left though but not as bad. I went ahead and dumped a pint of water through out the cage. What should I do if my humidity gauge says 50 percent in the next couple of days?
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/19/2011, 9:14 am

The gauges are quite unreliable I find digital ones are better butas long as it looks moist it should be fine Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/19/2011, 9:16 am

That seems simple enough. I read on a bunch of sites that the substrate should retain its shape if squeezed or when squeezed a few drops of water should come out. Is that just over complicating things?
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/19/2011, 9:29 am

If the top layer looks like a crusty desert, it needs water. I dump water around the edges of the terrarium, and on top of empty hides for aesthetic reason. Keeps the coco fiber from looking all pitted and such.

You don't want it to be swampy, just moist. Use your best judgement Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/19/2011, 2:29 pm

If you dont want to feed it crickets you could try cockroaches :3
as for the humidity i agree with what people have said
i live in canada so a decent mist once a day was all i needed
if i found it was getting too dry i dumped a glass of water in one of the corners
however, you do want it to keep it's shape or the burrows will cave in on your scopy! :O
you dont want that haha
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/19/2011, 3:55 pm

I added some water last night to the substrate, about a pint, and it still didn't feel moist enough when I woke up today so I misted. The substrate is packed down kinda tight, is that good? Also, ever since I turned the substrate upside down to get rid of the smell, my scorpion has been outside his rock cave. He's just chilling in the corner. I tapped him with a brush and he became very alert immediately, then settled down after a few seconds. It seems like he's sleeping. I never saw him spend so much time out of his borrow. Should I be worried?
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/19/2011, 4:02 pm

Well you just uprooted his entire world. I expect he'll settle back in after a few nights.
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/19/2011, 5:24 pm

Ok, he went back into his hole, I guess I was just paranoid
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/19/2011, 5:41 pm

Good deal.
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/19/2011, 6:05 pm

S_Meister wrote:
The substrate is packed down kinda tight, is that good?

Yes. You want it packed tight enough to hold a burrow, but not so tight that she can't dig into it.
If you can work your finger into it a few inches and the hole holds it shape, you're fine.
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/20/2011, 11:34 am

Now he's been acting strange. You know how they try to crawl up the walls of a cage? Well mine tries up to crawl up a corner and then just sits there with half it's body vertical against it and the other half on the ground. Tail is still up though so it shouldn't be dying. Is this normal behavior? He's been sitting like this for hours, almost like he fell asleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/20/2011, 11:41 am

Yeah it's normal.
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/20/2011, 2:35 pm

Another question, is it normal for him to eat even after he ate half a mouse? The next day after he ate the mouse, he ate 2 crickets and then today he ate 1 already. If scorpions are about to molt, do they start eating more? I heard that you're supposed to feed them until they refuse.
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/20/2011, 2:57 pm

Well, your aren't supposed to do that. You can and it won't hurt them. It will make them fat. Scorpions that are gravid, or bulking up for a molt may eat more, but if it's truly preparing for a molt it will be very fat, and refuse food.

I'd recommend backing off on the feeding for a minute. I feed my sub adult male emperor three or so adult crickets a week. That's plenty of food. Sometimes he doesn't even want them...
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/20/2011, 4:37 pm

What Mitchell said!
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/20/2011, 4:55 pm

Oh ok. I read on a bunch of sites to stop feeding when the white membrane starts appearing between the segments. Is that true? With this guy, I'm still not seeing any, his middle section is just getting bigger (the all white part of the body).
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/20/2011, 5:45 pm

AS long as you are feeding him 3 or 4 crix a week he;s not gonna starve.
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/20/2011, 6:26 pm

When my female molted, she stayed down in her burrow for two weeks. I had no idea she
was ready to molt because the most I see of her is two claws at the mouth of her hide when
it gets dark. After a week of no claws, I took a peek at her burrow to check on her. This is
what I saw:



The next day, she had molted. She finally emerged a week later. Not actually emerged, but
the claws were back and she was taking food.

This is my first experience with an emperor molt so I'm not sure if it is typical, but it should
give you an idea of what to look for.
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/21/2011, 4:35 am

Ok, I see what you mean. Going back to the original topic with the humidity issue. I just put in about an inch of rocks and half an inch of water on the bottom of the cage creating a false bottom and it did wonderers. As soon as I put my humidity gauge back in, it crawled up to 70%. Now would that be suitable? Some sites say to keep it between 80 and 100. The substrate feels very moist to the touch but not soaking wet. When I press down on it, water doesn't come rushing upwards. The gauges also got much closer to the ground because of the added layer so I guess they should be giving me a more accurate reading.
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/21/2011, 12:47 pm

I would say you're ok. With a false bottom, your scorp can select the humidity that suits him
best by simply moving up or down his burrow. If he prefers it more humid, he'll stay near
the the bottom; less humid, he'll stay near the surface. The same applies to temperature;
his burrow will be warmer near the surface and cooler near the bottom.
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/21/2011, 2:17 pm

false bottoms are the way to go it seems. Since i've put mine in i've really had no issues with keeping the humidity up.
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/21/2011, 3:23 pm

It's been 12 hours and it's up to almost 80%! One of my friends said that I might have an issue with the false bottom smelling bad after a while. Did any of you guys have that issue?
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PostSubject: Re: Humidity trouble and foul smell in the housing   8/21/2011, 11:33 pm

i've never had that issue. mine just smells like moist soil. Kinda like the smell you'd get after you planted a fresh plant. never any bad smells though.
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