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 New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...

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patrickm23
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PostSubject: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/23/2011, 5:27 pm

Hello, I'm new to the forum, and I recently bought my first scorpion, a male Opisthacanthus Elatus who will be two years in april. Measures about 4.7 inches and looks pretty healthy to me.
The terrarium I'm keeping him in has a capacity of 130 Lts. dimensions: L= 100cm, H= 43cm, W=30cm.
I put some plants I picked up from the forest, some leaves on the floor, and some rocks. There's also a water dish which I change every day.



I gave him a spider yesterday, and he ate it right away. It looks like this...



I also caught two more of these spiders, a grasshopper, and a tiny frog. which of these should I feed him? The spider is much smaller than a cricket, probably the size of the nail in your thumb, and the frog is also pretty tiny, a bit smaller than the spider.

What else should I do to take proper care fo him.
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/24/2011, 3:00 am

Hi patrick,

I can see your effort in decorating the enclosure so that it looks natural. Nicely done.

One suggestion.. the substrate depth can be increased, preferably between 4-6 inch so it does provide an option for burrowing. Although it might not be a neccessity to keep it alive, it is good to provide them options to choose from. If you find it a hassle to redo the whole tank, you may consider just increasing the substrate depth on one side of the tank.

As for feeder for your scorpion, it is not advisable to feed them wild caught bugs due to possible contamination from insecticides/mites. Try to get farm-bred crickets/roaches instead.

For other suggestions with regards to their husbandry, you may wish to take a look at the "forest scorpion caresheet" link in my signature.

More importantly, Welcome to the forum Smile
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/24/2011, 10:56 am

welcome to the forum Smile

+1 to everything Gs said Smile

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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/25/2011, 3:11 am

Thanks.
I'll add more substrate, I just didn't know he needed to burrow, and I have a whole bag.
one more question I had. I've noticed he finds somewhere to hide from the light, and usually stays there all day until around 1 in the morning. is this normal, i mean, 1 in the morning...but from there on, he walks around the tank all night. I dont know, but maybe this is due to me turning the light on, since he's in my room, i turn the light on when it is dark outside, maybe this somehow affects his day/night cycle.
also, the guy who sold him to me said to grab him by the telson if i needed to handle him, and i did so the first day, but ten i read about handling and, apparently, doing that stresses him and mayeven damage the tail. I dont do that anymore now, i get him into a container and then let him climb on my hand, or just but my hand in the tank till he climbs on it. seems to be pretty calm, cause it hasn't stung me yet.
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/25/2011, 4:31 am

It is normal, sometimes i work late till about 3 in the morning. Some will be out for a moonlight walk within mins after the lights are off. For those who kept the scorps in their room, it'll be hard to replicate the nearest day/night cycle unless you have a delicated room just for them or you don't mind using IR lamp as your light source once the sun sets..

As for the substrate, no worries. As mentioned earlier, it might not be a "need" but its good to provide options.
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Den
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/25/2011, 4:56 am

Hi Patrick and merry Christmas.Wink

Quote :
one more question I had. I've noticed he finds somewhere to hide from the light, and usually stays there all day until around 1 in the morning. is this normal, i mean, 1 in the morning...but from there on, he walks around the tank all night

The reason he finds somewhere to hide from the light is simply because scorpions are generally nocturnal. Of the dozen or so species i have, there's none that come out during the daylight....and if they did i'd be thinking there was something wrong, as in hungry, thirsty or ill. Occasionally i might see one or two of them around dusk or alternatively early in the morning but on the whole they are creatures of the dark.

I can see you've put a lot of work into your enclosure and it looks very nice although to be honest your scorpion would probably be more comfortable with an enclosure a third of that size and it would be more practical for you to.
Scorpions are usually ambush predators. They lay with their claws just protruding out of there burrows, hides or wherever it is they have made home and wait for a suitable prey to come by. With such a large enclosure you'll have to put many food items in in the hope that one of them will walk by your scorpion. This will mean you'll have a lot of insects in there that will remain in there. It's unlikely your scorpion will eat them all and you run the risk of your scorpion being stressed by them..A smaller enclosure will limit the amount of food items you have to put in to ensure your scorpion gets one......also it'll be easier for you to maintain the environmental factors........And being active at 1 o clock in the morning is absolutely normal..Wink

Quote :
but maybe this is due to me turning the light on, since he's in my room, i turn the light on when it is dark outside, maybe this somehow affects his day/night cycle.

You could try draping a sheet or maybe simply putting a piece of cardboard covering one end if you like to turn the lights on when it is dark. This will give your scorpion the chance to find a darker area so that it won't be so bothered by you turning lights on..Alternatively you could place the enclosure somewhere that doesn't catch the light so much.

The reason he's wandering around at night time is probably because he's looking for somewhere to dig his burrow although it could also be because he's hungry/thirsty and is looking for for food/water..I'm sure once he's settled in his activity level will drop of, so deepen the substrate if you intend to carry on using that enclosure so that he can get started digging his burrow....and once he has done that you'll probably see much less of him although your scorpion will be more content.

Quote :
the guy who sold him to me said to grab him by the telson if i needed to handle him, and i did so the first day, but ten i read about handling and, apparently, doing that stresses him and mayeven damage the tail. I dont do that anymore now

Basically any untoward movement will probably stress your scorpion to a greater or lesser degree...and picking him up by his telson does carry the risk of damage if you do it wrong. Also you might also experience that your scorpion wriggles and turns back on himself trying to nip you with his claws, which could possibly startle you, causing you to drop him..
Although saying that many scorpion owners pick their scorpions up this way when wishing to move them or place them somewhere, for example in combination with picture taking.....The one thing you need to remember though is not to do it to often....Stress or lack of is a prime factor in scorpion health...less is definitely better..Wink..
When i move my scorpions i usually opt for the "small container transfer method" where i'll simply place a small plastic container in front of the scorpion and coerce the scorpion into it. I can then place it where i like without running the risk of dropping it or getting stung.

Quote :
seems to be pretty calm, cause it hasn't stung me yet.

Your scorpion is not one of the "hot" species although getting stung by it would probably hurt anyway... Not getting stung is definitely better than getting stung,...so the less you handle your scorpion, the less is the likelihood that he'll tag you one day or nip you with his powerful claws which would also probably hurt more than you imagine.

Good luck with your Opisthacanthus Patrick Wink


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patrickm23
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/25/2011, 1:17 pm

Thanks a lot, then i guess i have nothing to worry about.
Quote :
your scorpion would probably be more comfortable with an enclosure a third of that size
About the tank size, is the only problem the fact that insects will take longer to pass next to him, or is there something else that will bother the scorpion? because i can just put the insect next to him, whuch wuld be the same, right?
cheers, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! santa
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/25/2011, 3:39 pm

A reduced tank size like what Den has suggested would make hunting/feeding attempts easier for him and provide greater ease during tank maintainance but not neccessary more comfy for him. You can imagine that his territory in the wild will be much larger than what keepers like us can provide. As a keeper's collection grows, most likely the tank size being offered would be reduced to a minimum requirement if the "invert room" space does not increase along with the collection. But i do not see a point reducing the enclosure size now.

Regarding feeding concerns, you can always tong feed him slightly disabled prey. For time savers, i recommending B.lateralis roach as feeders. They do not burrow and a few can be left within a tank size like yours. As and when your scorpion is hungry, he can always hunt down one or two.

Btw, when you mentioned "insects" as feeders, i certainly hope that you're not thinking of wild-caught bugs again Smile
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Den
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/25/2011, 4:01 pm

Quote :
is the only problem the fact that insects will take longer to pass next to him, or is there something else that will bother the scorpion?

Yes and no.......In your case there's probably not going to be so many problems (for now) with crickets or whatever you decide to feed with being constantly in the enclosure...but if you got into scorpions and thought that the way you keep your adult male now would basically apply to all scorpions then you'd undoubtedly end up with problems..Your male is adult which means he's finished moulting..If you had younger scorpions that had a few moults remaining until they were adult, then keeping them in a large enclosure with food items constantly in there would almost certainly end in their deaths...which more often than not would occur while they were moulting or just after....I guess i'm a bit of a purist Wink but why develop bad habits when it's not necessary.

Quote :
because i can just put the insect next to him, whuch wuld be the same, right?

At the moment, yes,..kind of (in the wild your scorpion wouldn't have food dished up like that and you'll also no doubt disturb him through vibrations every time you do it)....but sooner or later your scorpion is going to dig a burrow and spend an awful lot of time in it..When he does that it won't be so simple throwing food directly in front of him...and throwing crickets down the burrow when he's not in the mood for eating will only stress him out..You'll probably find that your scorpion will eat his fill over the course of a few days or weeks and then basically stop eating for long periods......but listen Patrick....my suggestion is for you to start reading everything you can find on your scorpion as well as other general scorpion information...for example, it surprised me a bit that you didn't know scorpions were nocturnal.
There's loads of information on this forum as well as all over the net.....use google pictures to have a look at other peoples scorpion enclosures to get an idea of the way to go..

And lastly.....apart from the food issue, another important advantage with smaller enclosures is that it's just so much easier keeping it clean and maintaining the correct environment...and trust me...your scorpion will be just as content in lets say a 12 inch square enclosure as he is in that one.

But hey, it's up to you Patrick...No one else seems to be chirping in backing me up so maybe i am to much of a purist...maybe you need to play and experiment and learn for yourself what's what.....That's probably the way most of us have learnt what we've learnt anyway...

Good luck mate.... cheers


Edit to include a facepalm after noticing GS had posted a reply while i was writing this reply....





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**GS**
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/25/2011, 10:56 pm

Den its all good info from your side don't worry. You have taken effort to write in details which will definitely help out new hobbyist Smile
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patrickm23
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/26/2011, 3:20 pm

thanks a lot. btw, i did know they were nocturnal, its just i read they started walking around 6 or 7 pm, and mine did so at 1, lol. but then again, this doesnt seem to be a problem. and as for the feeders, i'll stop feedig him wild caught insects, even though buying crickets here is a very hard task, harder than you can imagine. See, I liv ein Panama, and, even though insects here are everywhere, there's just no way i could find a scorpion. this scorpion i bought from a small group of people, who were basically the only ones with scorpions. there is NO scorpions in any pet shop,whatsoever. forget about emperor scorpions, there is just NO ABSOLUTE WY to buy a scorpion here, save for the way i did, and it took me long to track these guys down. finally, i bought the scorpion for 40 bucks, yea 40! so, ill try and find food for him, even though it will be hard, but if you say its important not to feed him wc bugs, well, ill do my best. hope ill find soome crickets for sale.
cheers!
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lmiller
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/26/2011, 4:09 pm

Meal worms, roaches, crickets... there are numerous diff foods it can eat.
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/28/2011, 3:32 am

I made him a hide out of a coconut shell, but he's been there all day. it's 2:30 am now and he hasnt moved from there. i dont wanna stress him tho, so ill just let him be.
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/28/2011, 5:21 am

I'm more concerned about the substrate moisture condition you have provided.
From the pictures, i can't tell if the substrate is adequately dampened. Well dampened substrate should be dark brown with moisture evenly spread out across. Not in a soaking wet condition. Another easy way is to grab a handful of the substrate and do a squeeze. If drops of water comes through, the moisture level should suffice.

Ignore If it's just the picture reflecting a wrong impression Smile

I like your D.I.Y coconut hide as i do it alot as well. Works superbly well for forest and desert scorpions.
btw, whats that white thing on top of the coconut hide? scratch
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/28/2011, 9:46 am

Oh, this is funny, just as I finished writing and went to bed, i looked again and he was already out...but the moisture is ok, dont worry, not soaking we tho. the white thing on top is just a shell, not really doing anything useful, just looks better lol.

Quote :
I like your D.I.Y coconut hide as i do it alot as well.

i figured it's got more space than the hide i first provided (toilet paper tube cut and opened), it's natural, and, when i look in, i cant see the scorpion, even when i turn on the lights, which means he can efficiently hide from the light. also, i provided him with a little extra substrate inside the cconut hid, in case he wants to burrow in it.

Ok, i just watered the substrate again, this time to be dark brown. when i pick it up and squeeze it, no water drips from it, but its pretty wet. ill water more times a day. also, should i water equally inside the hide (removing the scorpion), or should i leave it dry inside the hide.
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/28/2011, 11:42 am

patrickm23 wrote:
should i water equally inside the hide (removing the scorpion), or should i leave it dry inside the hide.
There's no need to do that actually. Each time i pour water into my enclosure, I'll spread the water around the hides/burrows. Even if you just pour in one corner, in a matter of time, the water will seep through and reaches the covered parts (e.g. the "dryer" area under the hide).

After trying a few times, you'll get use to the correct amount of water to provide and not cause flooding Smile
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/28/2011, 3:01 pm

GS,

out of curiosity, how much water do you pour in each time? I've noticed keeping the heat on them 24/7 now that it's colder is really drying out the top layer of substrate in my tank, and although I'm misting and watering regularly, it just keeps drying out. I keep a towel over each end of the tank where the heat lamp is not located.

Thanks Smile
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/29/2011, 2:43 pm

Oh, and do you use treated water? I have been.
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/30/2011, 1:49 am

hmnn.. it may not be accurate to give a guide how how much water to dump in as it depends on the existing moisture condition of your tank's substrate and how much ventilation allow for that tank.

An example below shows a exo-terra faunarium of enclosure size of 33cm x 20cm x 15cm. Substrate depth of 4inch
Click here to view:
 

After setting up the initial enclosure above, i dump in a cup of water (quantity that will fill up a 330ml coke can) once every 1-2 weeks. No need for misting for as long as the substrate is well dampened, the humidity will be there. Drinking of water is from the dish provided.

As for condition of water, it is untreated and straight from the tap. No issue as well Smile

Placing a IR heat lamp on the top of the enclosure does spread out heat evenly within the tank but the top layer as you have noticed, does dries up faster than the bottom.

If it works for you, you may consider placing the lamp on the back of your tank either at left or right side. Pointing the heat direction at the tank's side wall.. that way, the "top layer drying out" issue will be less significant and you can have a heat gradient in that tank, allowing the scorpion to choose her "comfort zone" in the hides at different areas.

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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/30/2011, 1:19 pm

Thank you! Smile
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Den
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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/30/2011, 2:47 pm

It might also be relevant to just throw in a little snippet of info here .. and that is that warm air holds more humidity than cold air. For example air at 30C holds 3 times as much water as air at 10C.
This basically means that a warm enclosure doesn't really need as much water to keep the relative humidity up as it would if it was a colder enclosure......so increasing the overall temperature in your scorp room would mean you wouldn't need to continually keep topping up water in the enclosures.

I have a 400 watt grow light timed to a 12 hour day hanging from one corner of my scorp room and although i don't do it i could just as easily place a bowl of water within the heat gradient of the light which would also produce a humidity gradient, independent of the humidity in the scorp enclosures.

Another possibility would be for me to place wide leafed plants within the light gradient which would also increase the overall humidity, especially at night time when it's colder and therefore less humid.....Couple that with a small 20 watt blower and it would be an easy way of spreading the humidity throughout the room.

Of course you'd want to open a window every now and then to air out but it's a relatively simply way of achieving a high RH throughout your scorp room if you kept quite a few high RH needing scorps...for desert scorps though this would be an open invitation to mycosis.

Also, for you guys that maybe just have one or three scorpions in your bedroom or living room it probably wouldn't really be the way to go unless you to enjoyed the higher humidity Wink


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PostSubject: Re: New to the forum and scorpion care, would like some tips...   12/30/2011, 8:19 pm

Or the ones like me that keep them in your computer room, lol. Just sayin.
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