The terrarium

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The terrarium

Post by Lioth on Mon May 20, 2013 11:57 am

The key to the success to maintain a scorpion in good condition is to achieve a terrarium that it is suitable. Therefore, recreating an environment approaching as possible its natural biotope, and responding to his lifestyle... Not to mention that we will then have to properly maintain the installation!


Last edited by Lioth on Mon May 20, 2013 1:14 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: The terrarium

Post by Lioth on Mon May 20, 2013 11:59 am

Tray


(1) Dimensions

Should be careful to choose a size suitable to the species maintained terrarium... When you want to maintain a single specimen, here is a rule that runs not too badly: If we consider T adult size of the specimen, L the minimum width of the terrarium and P the minimum depth, then L = Tx3 and P = Tx2. In other words, the terrarium must be at least as wide as three times the size of the specimen, and as deep as twice its size.

If you wish to maintain a whole group, then must take into account the sociailite of species: If the genus Euscorpius lives without problem in colony in confined spaces, this is not the case of Buthus genre, which has a strong propensity to cannibalism. See the fact sheets farmed for more information...

In all cases, the tray must be at least 25 cm in height, see more for burrowing specimens (see below).


(2) Material

Include essentially two types of materials used to build terrariums: glass and plexiglass. Scorpions can climb on one or the other. However, they have both advantages and disadvantages:

The glass:
  • Positives: aesthetic, difficult to scratch

  • Negative points: heavy, easily breakable, sometimes expensive


Plexiglass:
  • Positive points: lightweight, inexpensive, resistant

  • Negatives: scratch easily

Overall, we will take the glass when you will be using a sand-based substrate in order to avoid that it doesn't scratch the walls. In the other case, the choice will be made according to the preferences of each...


(3) Opening

For the scorpions, is always preferable terrariums with opening on the top. Models with front opening are best suited to the tarantulas or reptiles, which can sometimes climb the walls. Scorpions are unable, an opening blocked with a secure lid upwards to maximum limit the danger of escape (attention still shelters and other elements of decoration can allow to climb).
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Re: The terrarium

Post by Lioth on Mon May 20, 2013 11:59 am

Substrate


(1) Types

We generally choose substrate type depending on the level of humidity desired:
  • For humidity high (above 80%), it will opt for the blonde well humidified peat. This type of land has the advantage of being acid (pH), and so to limit the formation of bacteria and parasites.

  • For a moyenne(entre 50 et 80%) humidity, it will opt for the blonde dry peat, see a mixture of peat and sand.

  • For a low hygrométrie(inférieure à 50%), it will opt for fine sand.


(2) Height

The height of substrate is adapted to the mores of the maintained specimen:
  • For a burrowing scorpion, is preferable to a good height of substrate. A minimum of 15cm is generally recommended... Careful to take a slightly higher bac!

  • For a terrestrial scorpion, low substrate, between 5 and 10cm height, will suffice.

  • For an arboreal scorpion, just a simple layer of substrate of 5cm, see a little less.


Shelters and accessories


As the substrate, the nature of props to integrate into the terrarium depends on the mores of the maintained specimen:
  • For a burrowing scorpion, some stones or pieces of wood are perfectly the case. As shelters, half a coconut or one-half of a clay pot is welcome. It is best to avoid the plants: the scorpion would not hesitate to uproot them by digging its galleries.

  • For a terrestrial scorpion, it often advocates the use of flat stones under which it précreusera of small cavities to hide.

  • For an arboreal scorpion, it will obviously favor elements facilitating the escalation: branches across the terrarium, plants, high stone... Generally, placing at least two shelters from which the scorpion can come and go at its option: one in height and one at the level of the substrate.

There is not especially 'rules' for decoration: "let you go" and be creative!
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Re: The terrarium

Post by Lioth on Mon May 20, 2013 12:00 pm

Relative humidity


(1) General

Humidity characterized the humidity of the air. It is expressed as a percentage. On the basis of their natural biotopes, species of scorpions have needs varied in terms of relative humidity. A bad humidity often means the death of specimens: too much moisture promotes the development of fungus and other parasites, while too little moisture causes dehydration of the specimen.


(2) To measure the relative humidity

A hygrometer is used to know the ambient humidity of a terrarium, (until then normal). However, there are mechanical hygrometers (a needle in one consistent), and electronic hygrometers (a probe connected to an enclosure with LCD display). Some seem more reliable than others, and these are not necessarily the most expensive the best... So better to inquire before you buy!

(Note by Sarakyel: personally, I use small mechanical hygrometers of trademark Exo Terra, and I am completely satisfied).


(3) Maintain a good hygrometry

Obtain and maintain a defined level of humidity is not as simple as one might think. However, there are a few tricks... Which depend, of course, the original biotope of maintained specimens. The so-called tropical specimens prefer a very high humidity, while the so-called desert scorpions require a relatively low humidity.

See the sticky dedicated to humidity for more information.


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Re: The terrarium

Post by Lioth on Mon May 20, 2013 12:00 pm

Temperature, heating and brightness


(1) General

Scorpions are animals who prefer warm enough atmosphere, it is a fact. However, some enjoy much warmer temperatures than others. In addition, apart from the cavity-nesting species (infrequent in terrarium), they daily need of light on a cycle day/night. Of course, this cycle should also have an impact on the temperature: some scorpions, especially the desert species, require a strong thermal gradient (temperature difference) between the day and night, night time are sometimes very cool in arid environments.


(2) Measure the temperature

To determine the temperature of a terrarium, it uses a thermometer (surprising no?). As for hygrometers, there are mechanical thermometers (a needle in one consistent), and electronic thermometers (a probe connected to an enclosure with LCD display). Some seem more reliable than others, and these are not necessarily the most expensive the best... So better to inquire before you buy!

(Sarakyel note: there also, as for hygrometers, I use small mechanical thermometers of trademark Exo Terra, and I am completely satisfied).


(3) Heat and illuminate his terrarium

While it is often essential to heat a terrarium to maintain the temperature required by specimens, it is not always required to provide artificial lighting. In addition, there are a variety of accessories and methods for heating and/or enlighten a terrarium.

See the sticky dedicated to heating for more information.


Last edited by Lioth on Mon May 20, 2013 12:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The terrarium

Post by Lioth on Mon May 20, 2013 12:01 pm

Installation and maintenance


(1) Hygiene

In order to minimize the problems of bacteria, we recommend that you disinfect first bin and items that will be installed in the terrarium. It is preferable not to use bleach (or any other detergent) due to the risk of poisoning of the specimens. There are several alternatives:
  • The passage in the oven: approximately 30 minutes at 200 °. Very effective for everything concerning the substrate and organic elements (branches, bark, etc...).

  • Boiling water: plunge objects a few seconds into a large pot of water to boil. Ideal for minerals and synthetic objects (fake plants, decorations made of resin, etc...).

  • Cleaning with SOAP: rub the objects with a brush bristle (of type nail brush) soaked in soapy water (good old SOAP of Marseille, there that it's true!), then rinse thoroughly. This method is used only for objects that cannot be disinfected by using the two methods previous car too fragile or too large (thermometer, hygrometer and walls of the terrarium).



(2) Verification of the conditions of maintenance

Host a scorpion in terrarium is not a decision that is taken lightly (at least in theory). On the contrary, it is an act which must be extensively premeditated, as the breeding of scorpions is regulated in many countries (including France). Moreover, recall that the scorpions are animals who act by instinct, and who will be always wild, even when they were born in captivity. The slightest things therefore welcome them in good conditions. It is highly advisable to install the terrarium at least one week before the arrival of a specimen in order to verify that the above conditions (temperature, lighting, humidity...) are suitable and stable.


(3) Maintenance and cleaning

Compared to those of other animals, terrariums welcoming scorpions are easy to maintain:
  • Every day, simply remove feces that can be found on the surface of the substrate (small white deposits), as well as any remnants of prey. These simple cleaning operations to limit the development of bacteria. Remember also to check heating and humidity.

  • Every 3 to 4 months, replace the top layer of substrate (for about 3cm), and then stir well the entirety of the substrate. Re-sterilize the hideouts and decorative elements before putting back them in place.

  • Once a year, replace the entirety of the substrate, clean the tray and re - sterilize various hideouts and decorative elements.
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