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 #1080256


Scorpio80
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 Very concerned new owner!!

I went to a local "tropical emporium" Thursday to check out the emperor scorpions. Sad to say, the person who ran the place must of known little about the species. There was one emperor available. He was in a 2 gallon tank with a ventilated lid, gritty sand like rocks for substrate, a bright light shining
over head, a heating pad on the bottom, with no cave or hiding place for him to hide. To my dismay, she seems to have understood the creature was native to a desert climate. Even more strange, his gland/stinger was missing. I purchased him..hoping to better his situation. First and foremost, I am passionate about these creatures. Although this will be my first. I want to be the best possible owner I can be, but I believe I have much to learn and I am worried about the damage
that may have been caused due to the pet store. I placed him in a 10 gallon tank, placed a heating pad to the back and side for heat; my room can get drafty at night. There is a water dish, two cave-like structures, a mix of soft bedding, and a jungle floor type bedding. Humidity may be a problem,
but I am currently working on it. The tank I bought has a ventilated lid, although I covered about 95% of it with plastic wrap. I do plan on buying peat moss, for I did not realize it was my best option until reading through the forums. I also plan on buying a water bottle for daily mistings. I fed him a cricket the first day and he wolfed it down. What my concern is his behavior, he is constantly trying to climb up the side of the tank, with no prevail. Sometimes he just stays there, belly pressed against the glass for long periods of time. I have had him for two days now... And the more I observe him, the more i notice the "armor" of his arms and legs are somewhat "cracked" exposing an underlying color of white. I am unsure if this is molting. I am unsure of his age, also. I am extremely worried. I am also worried that once I purchase the peat moss (tomorrow) I will have to disturb him yet again so soon; and this will cause more unwanted stress. If anyone has any input, I would be so very grateful. I am hoping to better his life in anyway and be a nurturing, caring parent. Thanks to all who reply.



12/02/06  03:03am

 #1080644


Dmetz
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  Message To: Scorpio80   In reference to Message Id: 1080256


 Very concerned new owner!!

Wow, it never ceases to amaze me how ignorant pet store people are. On the one hand, you probably saved the scorpionís life by removing it from there, on the other, you may have doomed more scorpions to that same fate. You see, when it comes to pet stores, especially ones that know nothing about the animals they are selling, they are only in it for the money. Now that the only imp available has been purchased, they will get another one...and another...and another. What I would suggest is that you go have a talk with this person about scorpions and print up some *good* care sheets on them to give to the person so he/she can at least have the oppertunity to learn and provide proper care for them. If he/she chooses to be ignorant...donít *ever* go back into that store and buy anything again and tell every single person you know to not buy anything from them either.

A 10 gallon is a bit much for just one imp, a 5 would be better. Donít worry about having to disturb the scorpion to change out the substrate, you have to do what you have to do. When you put the new substrate in, moisten it well with *warm* water and put about 6 inches of it in the container. Give it a good, wide, shallow water dish and yes, a couple hides. P. imperator are burrowing scorpions so make sure, if you are going to use a UTH, put it on the side of the container.
As far as how the scorpion looks, thatís pretty normal, as is the climbing. They do that for a while until they get use to their new surroundings, then the climbing will stop. They will, however, climb when they are hunting so, if, after a few months, when the scorpion is content in its hide or burrow, it starts to climb again, toss in some food and check to make sure the temps and RH are right. While Iím thinking of it, if you have those stick on temp and RH gauges in the tank, donít bother trusting what they say, they are pieces of junk that donít read accurately.



12/02/06  04:33pm

 #1080984


Scorpio80
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  Message To: Dmetz   In reference to Message Id: 1080644


 Very concerned new owner!!

Yes, you are right about the pet store... unfortunately. I am afraid they will most likely put another poor scorpion in those conditions. I suppose I didnít think of the aftermath, only what the current scorpion was going through. I donít plan on spending another dime there, thatís for sure. I told my family of their ignorance and mis-treatment. It blows my mind to think that a person who supposedly has been running an exotic pet store for almost 20 years doesnít know a thing about taking care of an emperor scorpion. Who knows what other animals they are mistreating. Fact and care sheets are a good idea, although I almost wonder if they will take the initiative and do the right thing. One would hope so.
I truly appreciate the reply. I feel a bit more at ease knowing the behavior isnít indicating something is wrong. As far as disturbing him, you are right... Iíve got to do what is right for him, even if he gets cranky. I will go around town tomorrow and search for a 5 gallon. I must have misread somewhere about the 10 gallon. I was wondering what your opinion may be about the missing stinger. Do some pet places remove this on purpose!!? Or perhaps an accident? I thought it was very odd to see a scorpion with out a stinger at the end of its tail, thatís for sure. I didnít ask many questions when it came to the owner... she obviously had no idea what she was doing in the first place.
Also, if those stick on temp and RH devices are inaccurate, what do you recommend?



12/02/06  10:49pm

 #1081814


Dmetz
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  Message To: Scorpio80   In reference to Message Id: 1080984


 Very concerned new owner!!

Pet stores, especially "speciality" stores are natorious for *not* knowing what they are doing and even worse about taking anyoneís advice or suggestions...unfortunately. The 10 gallon will work, itís just a bit large for one scorpion is all. It can make keeping temps and humidity regulated a bit more difficult, but having it in a 10 isnít really any big deal, it will be ok. You donít *have* to have a 5 and if you donít have or really donít want to spend the money on another tank, you donít have to.
As for the missing telson...it could have been an accident or on purpose, who knows with pet stores. Luckly P. imperator tend to grab up their prey in their claws rather than stinging them first like most other scorpions, but itís the point...having a missing telson is not a good thing for a scorpion. It would be like a tarantula without fangs....they need them to subdue their prey. The odds of it regenerating are slim, especially if the scorpion is mature, but...ya never know. As far as good humidity and temp gauges go, if you *really* feel that you need them, get the digital ones that you just stick into the container, get the reading and take back out. They are expensive, but, if they are needed, they are worth every penny.
Really the only thing you need to monitor is the temperature inside the room where the scorpion is. If the temperature in the room is around 74 during the day and doesnít drop below 68 F. at night, then a small UTH on the side of the tank or red heat lamp placed about a foot or two above the tank will heat a 10 gallon to about 80+ F which is fine.
As far as humidity, there is a very easy way to ensure that the humidity is adaquate, itís called a false bottom. You can find a link that shows how to make one HERE. This kind of set up really does make regulating humidity *a lot* easier and you donít have to mist all the time and disturb the scorpion. Basically, with this type of set up, when the water eveperates from the gravel layer completly, you refill it...thatís it. Now bear in mind, with this type of set up, you donít want to restrict ventilation too much or it could cause molds, mites or gants to collect on the substrate. *If* that happens, just remove the mold, or if itís mites or gnats, just let the tank dry out a bit until they are gone.
Iíll tell you like I said to someone else here...if the tank feels warm and humid when you put your hand in there or get your face near it, youíre doing good and your temps and RH are great. An impís tank *should* smell like a rainforest and should feel like one, hot and humid...they like saunas.



12/03/06  04:54pm

 #1084690


Scorpio80
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  Message To: Dmetz   In reference to Message Id: 1081814


 Very concerned new owner!!

I thank you for all of your advice... and will for sure set up my tank as you have mentioned (with the peat moss/ false bottom)... Now, just another question or two, if you donít mind...
As far as this set up goes, how often do you have to clean out the tank completely? Would it still be every 3 to 4 months? And as far as ventilation goes, since I have a screen-like top, would you recommend covering half or so with plastic wrap? What sort of top do you use for your tank to keep the heat/humidity in without causing mold/mites? Thanks so much for your input, once again. I truly appreciate it.



12/06/06  01:58am

 #1085057


Dmetz
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  Message To: Scorpio80   In reference to Message Id: 1084690


 Very concerned new owner!!

Youíre very welcome for the help.
Just to let you know, invert containers typically should not be cleaned cout completly more than once a year unless there is excess mold or an infestation of some sort. I generally clean *all* of my invert containers once every year or two just to put fresh supbstrate in, otherwise, I donít change out the substrate at all.
My tanks all have heavy gauge screen top lids, do not use mesh lids. Mesh is too flimsy and can be torn or bitten threw. A scorpion probably will not bite through it, but a tarantula will. I use humidity flaps on *all* of my containers that I keep high humidity invers in. Hereís a link that explains how I make them.
Humidity flaps
Scroll down the thread a bit until you get to my (Shadowspider) post with the pictures. These work wonderful, look better and last longer than just slapping a piece of plastic wrap on the tank. You can also make several flaps so you can decide how much or how little ventilation you want at any given time just by raising or lowering one or more of the flaps.
Now just so you know, the picture shows two of my tarantula tanks but humidity flaps can be fashioned for just about any size or shape container.



12/06/06  01:26pm


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