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 New project for H. Arizonensis.

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Shakudo
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PostSubject: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/20/2013, 6:22 pm

Hello everybody,


I am thinking about getting H. Arizonensis.

A scorpion I have wanted for a very long time.
In this thread I am going to post updates on how I am making the enclosure.
I read a lot on the forum and took in some inspiration to make something of my own.

I am not going to make something very complicated. I want it simple and efficient, but most important, something nice for the scorpion.


I have ordered a new exo terra 30x30x30 (cm), it will arrive shortly.

I already have gotten the compact top for the lighting.




As for substrate.....
I did some research and came up with this product :
Trixie Hohlensand, it's a mixture of red sand with clay.



Here is a video of me blabbing away about the substrate Embarassed




Here are some accessories I already bought...

Slate stone, Rainbow stone and some fossilized wood.











Hers is a video of me yabbing away about some stones.... bounce



This was it thus far folks.... I'll keep ya posted....

Take care now,


Joey

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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/20/2013, 6:43 pm

study Keep up the good work!
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Shakudo
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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/20/2013, 7:20 pm

~Abyss~ wrote:
study Keep up the good work!

Thanks!! YEAH! bounce
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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/21/2013, 9:27 am

Are you going to mix the Hohlensand with play sand or use it straight out of the bag? If it dries as hard as the Zoo Med Excavator Clay, you'll want to mix it with sand.

I usually split my slate into 1/4 inch thick plates to make it lighter. At 1/4 inch, the slate doesn't need additional support; the surrounding sand is sufficient to hold it in place. I use a thin chisel and small hammer to split the slate. Some sort of jig or a third hand to hold the slate vertical while you split it helps a lot.

Remember to leave some room at the front of the Exo Terra tank to hold excavated sand, otherwise, you'll end up with sand piled against the doors and leaking out the front vents.

I'm eager to see how your enclosure turns out.
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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/21/2013, 9:33 am

shebeen wrote:
Are you going to mix the Hohlensand with play sand or use it straight out of the bag? If it dries as hard as the Zoo Med Excavator Clay, you'll want to mix it with sand.

I usually split my slate into 1/4 inch thick plates to make it lighter. At 1/4 inch, the slate doesn't need additional support; the surrounding sand is sufficient to hold it in place. I use a thin chisel and small hammer to split the slate. Some sort of jig or a third hand to hold the slate vertical while you split it helps a lot.

Remember to leave some room at the front of the Exo Terra tank to hold excavated sand, otherwise, you'll end up with sand piled against the doors and leaking out the front vents.

I'm eager to see how your enclosure turns out.

Well, I am kinda leaning towards mixing it with some regular red sand. I know what you mean, you get that kinda stoney sand which is very hard and rocky looking. I want to make it a bit more sandy;)

Yeah... that last part about leaving a bit of room is a very welcome tip. I want to make a bit of a slope. I don't know if I want to make it as super high as I saw in some of the pictures here and elsewhere, because I am working with a lot of stone and am afraid it will buckle when I make it to big a composition.
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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/21/2013, 10:20 am

Shakudo wrote:

Well, I am kinda leaning towards mixing it with some regular red sand. I know what you mean, you get that kinda stoney sand which is very hard and rocky looking. I want to make it a bit more sandy;)
While you're waiting for your tank to arrive, you could try mixing and drying a few small test batches to determine the hardness of various ratios. A cup of each ratio dried in the oven would be sufficient.

Shakudo wrote:

Yeah... that last part about leaving a bit of room is a very welcome tip. I want to make a bit of a slope. I don't know if I want to make it as super high as I saw in some of the pictures here and elsewhere, because I am working with a lot of stone and am afraid it will buckle when I make it to big a composition.
For Haddys, the deeper the substrate the better, but I understand the limitations of only having 30cm of height to work with.
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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/21/2013, 10:57 am

Yes, they like to dig and I wil try to maximize the floor surface by cutting the rock foam background about 10 cm off the ground. As I did with my other enclosure. So it has a maximum surface. The terrarium will arrive within a few hours but I will get another bag of red repti sand and mix it with the clay mix. I will first make a 50/50 mix and 25/75 (sand/claysand) to test it.
And put it in the oven for a few minutes. I'll get back to it shortly:)
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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/22/2013, 6:03 pm

So.... I'm back again...

tried a few things... cut the background... added 5 kg of clay mixed sand with 3 kg of "normal" sand....

Playing around and made a preliminary setup.....

I'm think about adding another 2 or 3 kg's of regular sand on top of the mixed batch...
But don't want to much more... left a bit of space in front for excess sand when H. Arizonensis arrives and starts digging Smile

Added some stones and some Tilantsia moss... thinking about adding a little fake cactus but wanted to go for the desert kinda thing...

The sand needs to dry for 20 hours but letting it dry for a week or two....
Seeing how it dries... and H. Arizonensis is very difficult to come by so ... I have some time...











The colors are a bit dull, but that's flash for ya...
Not sure if I am happy with it yet... most of that comes from the fact it hasn't dried yet and I like lighter sand....So hence the adding of the top layer of regular sand tomorrow...

Shebeen?
What do you think?
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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/22/2013, 6:47 pm

Ok... some things just didn't "click" with me...

wanted to incorporate some wood... boiled out some Moorkienwood. and left it to dry for a few days...

Starting to like this look a lot more... I got to much... aquarium vibe ... from that first thing.......


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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/22/2013, 7:29 pm

You will want to be careful with that sponge back drop as your scorpions will try their hardest to get behind it.
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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/22/2013, 8:22 pm

It is cut right above the surface and it doesn't run all the way down to the bottom. But yes. I will keep this under my attention.
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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/22/2013, 8:24 pm

Like the tank shakudo!

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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/22/2013, 9:14 pm

You've made a good start. I would add more substrate to the back half of the tank, although it would be the sand/clay mixture, not loose sand. You'll have plenty of loose sand from the tunnels. I'd let the substrate you have dry out before adding more. It seems to dry faster if you work in layers, but it takes a long time to dry regardless. My tank took 3 weeks to dry under a heat lamp.

I'm not a big fan of the Exo Terra backgrounds. I feel they take up too much space and present a fall danger, especially with rocks below. I've also read reports of scorpions getting trapped behind them.
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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/23/2013, 10:32 am

Patcho wrote:
Like the tank shakudo!

Thanks Patcho!
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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/23/2013, 11:02 am

shebeen wrote:
You've made a good start. I would add more substrate to the back half of the tank, although it would be the sand/clay mixture, not loose sand. You'll have plenty of loose sand from the tunnels. I'd let the substrate you have dry out before adding more. It seems to dry faster if you work in layers, but it takes a long time to dry regardless. My tank took 3 weeks to dry under a heat lamp.

I'm not a big fan of the Exo Terra backgrounds. I feel they take up too much space and present a fall danger, especially with rocks below. I've also read reports of scorpions getting trapped behind them.

Thank you for responding.


I have added more sand and mixed it with clay embedded sand.
I choose to add some more regular sand, because the sand mix I created was very, very thick, and I didn't like the consistency, I pinched it between my fingers and it kinda stuck, so I thought.... a little bit too much clay.
The scorpion would have had issues with digging it out.


The result was a very nice mix of not too thick , nor to loose sand. I am very happy with it. I heightened the slope, added as you suggested more substrate, and further shortened the Exo Terra background. And I am now letting it all dry. I put a heat pad underneath, and my self adhesive night time heat pad for the back will arrive shortly and will be implemented.

Of course, when the substrate has dried, the heat mat underneath the tank shall be removed.


I have stayed with my second design I very much like the combi of the dried Tilantsia with the Moorkienwood and the fossilized wood. I will add some slate stone pieces, but that will happen after H. Arizonensis has arrived and has begun digging, because it won't have much use to make it all neat and tidy when a digging scorpion can demolish it in a night;)

Left plenty of room in front for excess sand from digging:


Increased the slope (left side view):


Right side view:


Front overview:


I hope this will be an acceptable home:)
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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/23/2013, 11:55 am

Nice job. If your substrate is sticky, you have too much clay; I wouldn't worry about it though. H. arizonensis encounter some pretty hard soil in their natural habitat. Glad to see you made more room under the front vent.

Will your hood handle incandescent bulbs without melting? If so, you can use it to speed the drying.
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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/23/2013, 12:01 pm

Functional and pleasing to the eye......just how it should be .. Nice looking setup Wink

The only thing i would have done differently is i'd have made a very small batch of consolidated sand, probably about the size of an apple and quick dried it to test for consistency....It's almost impossible to get a good appreciation of how your consolidated sand is going to be while it's damp and it would be incredibly annoying to make such a delicious looking setup only to discover your sand is either as tough as cement or as loose as fresh fallen snow when dried...

I have my own recipe for consolidated sand so i don't need to reinvent the wheel....however if it was my first time using a unknown product it would definitely be wise to test a small batch first.

Hope yours dries out with the perfect consistency and you have no problems with it...... Peace headbang
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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/23/2013, 12:24 pm

shebeen wrote:
Nice job. If your substrate is sticky, you have too much clay; I wouldn't worry about it though. H. arizonensis encounter some pretty hard soil in their natural habitat. Glad to see you made more room under the front vent.

Will your hood handle incandescent bulbs without melting? If so, you can use it to speed the drying.

Thank you very much and thanks again for the help and tips.

It does and I have ordered a new bulb for it. The lamp was a loaner Smile

Now I am going to let it dry and dry..... And my search for a H. Arizonensis now continues, very hard to come by in Holland these days.
I am looking for one and have found one about half an hour drive from me and the store guy is getting information on age and sex.

I am so exited !!

Ps added my new self adhesive heat pad to the back of the tank. Normal just for nighttime use but have it on to help
dry.
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PostSubject: Re: New project for H. Arizonensis.   2/23/2013, 12:28 pm

Den wrote:
Functional and pleasing to the eye......just how it should be .. Nice looking setup Wink

The only thing i would have done differently is i'd have made a very small batch of consolidated sand, probably about the size of an apple and quick dried it to test for consistency....It's almost impossible to get a good appreciation of how your consolidated sand is going to be while it's damp and it would be incredibly annoying to make such a delicious looking setup only to discover your sand is either as tough as cement or as loose as fresh fallen snow when dried...

I have my own recipe for consolidated sand so i don't need to reinvent the wheel....however if it was my first time using a unknown product it would definitely be wise to test a small batch first.

Hope yours dries out with the perfect consistency and you have no problems with it...... Peace headbang


Thank you very much!

Yes I wanted to make a batch in the oven but my planning was off and out of the bag the substrate dries in 20 hours. At least that is what the bag says. I'll make it dry a lot longer of course.

But tried my best with what was available here:) now I hope the H. Arizonensis I found online will be the match for me.

I'll keep everyone posted and thanks again! It means a lot to get good critisism from people with a lot more expirience with this species than me:)
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