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 #665837


BlackDrangonScales
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 Might be getting some emperorís

Iíve been wanting a new pet, something different like a scorpion. I thing that there pretty neat. but i really donít know much about them, Iíve researched allot but i wanted to know how you guys keep them. Some tips would be great.



02/24/06  09:27pm

 #666052


Metz
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  Message To: BlackDrangonScales   In reference to Message Id: 665837


 Might be getting some emperorís

Hereís a link for you of how I set up my emps tank. It is the fourth post in the first post of the thread. This method isnít the only way to set them up (of course) but many (myself included) find that it works very well for emps as well as other tropical scorpions who require higher humidity and warmer tempretures.
Scorpion care
There are many different species of scorpions listed in this thread.
Hereís another link that will show you what the basic set up looks like The picture is in the last post of the thread.
Container set up



02/25/06  12:30am

 #666366


BlackDrangonScales
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  Message To: Metz   In reference to Message Id: 666052


 Might be getting some emperorís

Thanks, but Iím am have trouble on like some other stuff. What is the ABSOLUTE best substrate for emps, i hear coco husk, bark, peat moss, vermiculite. Too confusing And then there is the gravel on the bottom to keep humidity up, can i use a glass top to keep the humidity in will that help? And what a good tank size for a male and female, I would love to breed them, will they fight?

Iím very sorry for all the questions



02/25/06  11:12am

 #667479


Metz
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  Message To: BlackDrangonScales   In reference to Message Id: 666366


 Might be getting some emperorís

There is no "absolute best" substrate, all there is, is absolute WORST and vermiculite is one of them. Reptile type substrates are not good either. Peat moss is one of the best because it holds moisture well, is easy to burrow in and does not mold. NO, you CAN NOT use a glass top to hold in humidity. They NEED ventilation or mites and mold will grow. The reason I gave you those particular links and especially the tank set up is because that IS the easiest and most convienant way to keep humidity up.
2 emps can live comfortably in a 10 gallon tank and no, usually they will not fight. However, you MUST have plenty of hides for them (that means more than just 2) and you MUST make sure they have enough food or they will be more inclined to fight and kill/eat each other. Do you know anything about breeding scorpions? Do you know how to determine gender? You have to first make sure you know you are actually gettting a male and a female and that they are even sexually mature.



02/26/06  01:38am

 #667843


BlackDrangonScales
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  Message To: Metz   In reference to Message Id: 667479


 Might be getting some emperorís

Well I know some on breeding, but like I said i havent had them be for. I know that the males are smaller then females, and the "combs" on the underside of the male are bigger then on the female. Yea breeding them would be neat.



02/26/06  11:29am

 #668224


Metz
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  Message To: BlackDrangonScales   In reference to Message Id: 667843


 Might be getting some emperorís

Nope, those ímethodsí are not how they are sexed. Males are not necessairly smaller than females and the "flap" size has little to do with it, the number of pectine teeth, however, does, in some species. Hereís another link that can give you some additional info on scorpions, how to sex different species because not all scorpions can be sexed the same way...and....if youíd like, you can join the forum and ask as many questions as you want about keeping, sexing, breeding, etc. and there will be plenty of people there who will be able to give you loads of good advice, suggestions and point you in the right dirrection. Breeding emps is, by most means, pretty easy, because they pretty much breed themselves and all you have to do is sit back and watch and just make sure the temps and humidity are right. In all honesty, it would be good if more people captive bred P. imperator because not many do because of how easy they are to come by. The people in the group are a far sight more knowledgable about scorpions than I am, as Iím fairly new to scorpions (tarantulas are my forteí). Some members have kept and bred scorpions for years on end and can help you out step by step to success.
Anyway, hereís that link:
Scorpion Info



02/26/06  03:55pm

 #668232


BlackDrangonScales
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  Message To: Metz   In reference to Message Id: 668224


 Might be getting some emperorís

Thank you very much, you a big help, best person i know on this site.



02/26/06  04:00pm

 #668330


Metz
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  Message To: BlackDrangonScales   In reference to Message Id: 668232


 Might be getting some emperorís

You donít know me yet!
MWHAAHAAHAA!!!!!!!
Youíre very welcome.



02/26/06  05:24pm

 #668529


BlackDrangonScales
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  Message To: Metz   In reference to Message Id: 668330


 Might be getting some emperorís

Oh yea some more things, Most scorpions just hide all day because there nocturnal. But is there any way that i can make the active during the day, i hear to use black or red lights? Any thing that would make them move in the day so i can watch them(there so cool) i hear not to use UV because it can kill them. So i need humidy and heat but for heat can i use a under tank heater for substrate. And a glass top that has a gap where the plastic was, is that good ventilation. is a twenty gallon long good for a breeding pair? Iím sorry for all of those questions but better learn all i can and you seem to be the person to ask.



02/26/06  07:36pm

 #668662


Metz
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  Message To: BlackDrangonScales   In reference to Message Id: 668529


 Might be getting some emperorís

Yes you can use a red heat lamp for heat and they wonít see it. You can also use an under tank heater, either works. You do not want to use a black light for anything other than occasional use to see them at night. Too much black light can burn them. Mine are active all hours of the day and night. The main thing, if you want them to be more likely to be active during the day is to not have them in an area that gets a lot of light or a lot of comotion.

Quote:

So i need humidy and heat but for heat can i use a under tank heater for substrate.

I donít understand exactly what youíre asking here. Are you asking if you can use an under tank heater instead of substrate? If so, no, you can not, you have to have substrate for them.

Quote:

And a glass top that has a gap where the plastic was, is that good ventilation. is a twenty gallon long good for a breeding pair?

I have no clue what you mean by a "gap where the plastic was". Using a glass top is not a good idea in general...period. Again, a glass top is not going to provide adaquate ventilation that is REQUIRED. As I said eariler, since higher humidity is required for this species thatís WHY I gave you those links to the gravel bottom set up. I do not understand what is so difficult about understanding this? If you do not want to use that type of set up, then just plan on misting the tank every day, but ditch the glass lid idea all together and get a screen lid that is used for reptile tanks.
No, a 20 gallon is too large for 2 emps. A 10 gallon is better.



02/26/06  09:05pm

 #668796


BlackDrangonScales
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  Message To: Metz   In reference to Message Id: 668662


 Might be getting some emperorís

The heater as the substrate is not what i meant to say, i meant to say *use it with the tank with substrate* Sorry about that. And with all glass fish tank tops there is the back end attached to the glass used to cut out the size of youíre pump. Get it. A tell gallon seems way to small emps can get Petty big and with several water dishes and hideing spots thatís like no room at all.



02/26/06  10:22pm

 #670250


BlackDrangonScales
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  Message To: BlackDrangonScales   In reference to Message Id: 668796


 Might be getting some emperorís

This is the substrate and the under tank heater.

Hers the substrate substrate
Hers the heater heater



02/27/06  08:58pm

 #670777


Metz
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  Message To: BlackDrangonScales   In reference to Message Id: 668796


 Might be getting some emperorís

Ok, first Iíll address the substrate. If you noticed, in the product discription it says " It also acts as a nutritional source for live plants, to help them grow strong and healthy." That means at least one of two things and possibally both:
1. It contains composted material (leaf litter) which breaks down. This causes the growth of bacteria, mold, mites etc.
2. It contains fertilizers to aid in live plant growth.

Either of these things are health hazzards. Natural composted material will rot when subjected to high levels of heat and moisture for extended periods of time such as P. imperator require and, fertilizers and/or chemicals of ANY type are toxic to invertebrates and can kill them.
In addition, this substrate is NOT suitable for burrowing scorpions. Yes, it says "This natural substrate material will encourage your reptileís natural digging and burrowing behavior", however, scorpions are not reptiles, they do not burrow in the same fashion nor are their burrows constructed the same as a reptileís. This type of substrate will collapse and bury a scorpion, thatís why itís frowned upon and always suggested as one to not use. Peat moss my man, peat moss.
Yes, I do understand now what you are talking about with the fish tank lids. Still, the answer remains the same. No, that is not enough ventilation. Screen top, think screen top. As for a 10 gallon being too small, no again. A 20 gallon, even with all the stuff you listed as having in it (which would not be an appropriate set up) is still way too big.
What NEEDS to be understood here is that scorpions are not reptiles. They are not roamers, they donít go out for strolls, they donít go walking for miles in search of a meal. They find a hide they like or a spot to dig a burrow and they stay there. You do not need more than one water dish and, for 2 scorpions, 4 hides of an appropriate size (that means not huge ones) is plenty. Iím not sure how big you think imperators get but from how you make it sound, I get the impression you think they get up to 3 feet. The average size for an emp is about 8 inches. However, what you must remember is that a good portion of that length is tail and that the tails are generally always curled up around their backs. So, in actuality, the scorpion is really about 5 inches. Another problem with having such a large tank is, that finding food will be a lot more difficult for them. The more space and "stuff" the more places prey has to hide. I have my breeding pair in a 10 gallon with this huge, shallow water dish that is used for reptiles. It takes up one third of the tank. Itís big enough for both scorpions to climb in and bathe themselves at the same time. Iíve got about 6 pieces of alder bark of various sizes in there for hides, a PVC pipe right in the middle of the tank and my two have PLENTY of room. They will move the bark where ever they want it. They climb on it, drag it around, turn it over, sit it, bury part of it, they have a blast with it and theyíve been happy, successful breeders for going on 3 years now. Another problem with keeping such a large tank for only 2 scorpions is that you will find out just how much more difficult it is to maintain proper humidity and tempreture. As well, the growth of molds, mites, gnats and a lot of other nasties is doubled thus, making the chances of the scorpions getting sick much greater. We all want our pets to have the very best and to be happy. The trick is that sometimes we have to think outside of the box and determine what is best for the animal vs. what we think is more appealing to the eye.
Granted, itís up to you, Iím just giving you what I know from personal experience and from the shoulders of countless others who have kept scorpions for years.
Take a long, hard look at the photos in the link below then decide if you really want a 20 gallon and increasing the odds of these things afflicting your scorpions.
Parasites & Diseases



02/28/06  05:47am

 #671017


BlackDrangonScales
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  Message To: Metz   In reference to Message Id: 670777


 Might be getting some emperorís

Holy cow, no thanks I donít want that to happen, looks like that came out from a scorpion horror movie But a smaller tank is better ehe?
Well youíre the expert on this. I always thought the bigger the better, I always love to make my tank look natural. I would prefer a commercial substrate, I there any substrate i can you use that i can get at a pet store?
How a bout coco husk"echo earth" peat moss is really dusty and will stick to everything. i had a tortoise and is was really messy.



02/28/06  11:39am

 #671067


BlackDrangonScales
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  Message To: Metz   In reference to Message Id: 670777


 Might be getting some emperorís

Not trying to argue or anything but in allot of care sheets is says" A ten gallon tank is good for ONE emperor scorpion" any good size tank for a emperor other then a ten gallon?



02/28/06  12:13pm

 #671990


Metz
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  Message To: BlackDrangonScales   In reference to Message Id: 671067


 Might be getting some emperorís

What that means is that *one* adult emp can handle up to a 10 gallon tank. It does not mean that *only* one emp can fit comfortably in a 10 gallon. As far as substrate, some scorpion keepers use eco earth although I do not know how well it works. The reason your peat is dusty is becuase itís dry. The way to stop peat of being dusty is to moisten it before itís put into the container. Iíll ask around and see what others say about the various types of substrates sold at pet stores. BTW, peat moss IS a commercial substrate, it just isnít pre-mixed with a bunch of stuff.
You can, by all means set up a natural looking enviroment for your scorpions in a 10 gallon, you just have to know how to think, plan and design on a smaller scale. The only thing you can not do is use live plants because they will not survive very well.
Trust me, 10 is FINE for 2 adult scorpions. You can use any size tank you want, just keep in mind, bigger may seem better to us when it comes to visual appeal but bigger is also harder for us to maintain and keep clean and harder on the scorpions.



02/28/06  10:07pm

 #672197


BlackDrangonScales
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  Message To: Metz   In reference to Message Id: 671990


 Might be getting some emperorís

Well thank you. I feel so bad just fireing these questions at you with at Shotgun (lol) Thank you for being patient with me. But i have just two more questions. OK there are two types of under-tank heaters i like the "exo Terra" brand, one is a desert and one is a tropical, does it really matter what one i choose. I believe the desert one just gets warmer then the tropical, i have not seen the tropical one in stores, but if its the one i need ill get it on eBay And in what ways is it harder to maintain good temperature and humidity in a larger tank?(Iím sure you mentioned this before but i did not quite catch it.)

Brady



03/01/06  12:17am

 #672295


Metz
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  Message To: BlackDrangonScales   In reference to Message Id: 672197


 Might be getting some emperorís

As far as under tank heaters, I canít help you with that one. I donít use them and donít know much about the differences. The fine people at The Venom List would be able to answer that question for you though. Heat is very important with this species but too much can be just as bad as too little.
The reason itís harder to maintain a large tank is because, quite simply, itís larger. There is more substrate needed to suffice the floor space. The amount of substrate dictates how much heat and moisture is needed to maintain a proper enviroment. Letís use a 20 gallon for example. You would need either two smaller heaters or one large heater. The two heaters would cause un-even heating throughout the tank, creating hot and cold spots if not placed in just the right areas. One large heater could cause extreame tempreture differences; the part of the tank dirrectly above the heater may very well get too hot, causing either, the scorpions to get too hot or to avoid that area alltogether, thus, wasted space. The need for additional heat also creates the need for additional humidity. Since P. imperator are happiest in 90+% humidity and will not sucessfully breed without it, you would have to have the entire tank filled solid with water dishes to even come close to that percentage or, youíd have to mist every hour of every day.
In addition, since emps are a tropical rain forest species and like it hot and humid, those conditions are a prime breeding ground for bacteria, mold, mites, parasites, etc. especially in an confined space with less than full ventilation and air flow. Thatís why I suggest a full screen top and put plastic wrap over half of it to hold more humidity. When having a large tank, you have a larger area with which to inspect on a regular basis for these things. If you had an infestation of mites or gnats, that requires the tank to be dried out. For a 10 gallon, that takes about a week to let it dry enough to get rid of the pests, a 20 gallon would take twice as long and emps do not fair well in dry conditions for any length of time. You could, of course, just change out the entire tank and put in fresh substrate. That requires you to move the emps out of the tank and temperairly house them, which stresses them out. Then you have to clean the tank and everything in it, put in at least 6 inches of new substrate, that costs money and if just cleaning it out is what you prefer to do rather than letting it dry, youíll be cleaning it every other month.
Also, you would have to put in 2 to 3 times the amount of prey so that the scorpions will find them and be able to eat them before they die and start rotting in the lovely rain forest enviroment. More checking for remains, dead prey, rotting and molding prey....you get the idea. Also, having to put in additional numbers of prey for the sake of the scorpions finding and getting enough to eat poses a dirrect threat to the scorpions themselves. As Iím sure you saw in the photos in the link I gave you, a cricket will not hesitate to chew on a freshly molted scorpion. If there are crickets hiding amongst all the decorations and you donít see them, well, nibble nibble. The larger the tank, the more deco thatís added, the more searching you have to do and the more places the prey have to hide and breed and feed on your scorpions.
I hope this answers your questions. I donít mind you asking me questions. Granted, Iím by no means an expert of any sorts. I only know what I know from experience and a fair bit of research and study. The people at The Venom List would probably be able to give you much better answers than I have.



03/01/06  02:39am

 #672573


BlackDrangonScales
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  Message To: Metz   In reference to Message Id: 672295


 Might be getting some emperorís

OK so i think i get it, with a bigger tank i would have to mist more often to keep the humidity up, but i would have to also have a lot of ventilation, but to also to keep the heat up i would have to use a lot of heat because there is more substrate? So isnít this just a matter of cost and watt of the heater? this is really the only part i donít get. I get the not being able to find food if the tank is to big(but then how do they survive in the wild)

Then how do you heat youíre scorpions and keep the humity up in a ten gallon?, i would lone to breed them, so i need good humity to do that.



03/01/06  11:49am

 #672584


BlackDrangonScales
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  Message To: Metz   In reference to Message Id: 672295


 Might be getting some emperorís

Oh and i cant use the venom list, it wont let me log in, it logs me in as a person i donít even know, and it wont let me post, i think my computer has a bad rap with that site... sorry. but this site is my only Internet information.



03/01/06  12:00pm

 #672792


Metz
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  Message To: BlackDrangonScales   In reference to Message Id: 672584


 Might be getting some emperorís

Really????? If you want I can have my husband look into it, seeing as how heís one of the owners.
I use heat lamps for all of my inverts, scorpions, tarantulas, etc. For maintaining good humidity while keeping good ventilation, I use the gravel bottom/tube system. That way of setting up a tank that requires high humidity really is sweet. All that is required to do is pour warm water down the tube into the gravel layer, no misting is required that way.
Since I do not use heat mats (donít like them) I canít tell you about cost, wattage, etc. There is a lot more to it than just expence and time. Youíre basically creating an artificial enviroment with many micro-ecosystems within that enviroment. The larger the enviroment is, the more micro-ecosystems you have and, since everything resides in an ecosystem, the more you have, the more ístuffí you have residing within them, that includes molds, mildew, parasites, mites, etc.
As far as in the wild, that question comes up a lot with tarantulas as well as scorpions. Bottom line, the mortailty rate in the wild is much higher.



03/01/06  03:06pm

 #673698


BlackDrangonScales
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  Message To: Metz   In reference to Message Id: 672792


 Might be getting some emperorís

If you have a heat lamp and that gravel bottom layer, how does the humidity stay up with out misting? Surely the heat lamp would keep everything dry? In order to breed them i hear it needs to be really humid to get the female in the "mood" lol. How humid does it stay in youíre tank? Humid enough to breed them? I hear toy can also cut the very very tip off youíre scorpions tail so it cant penetrate youíre skin i doubt you can but can you? Really all i want is the easiest way to keep my emperorís and for them to be happy, good conditions so i can breed them....



03/01/06  11:07pm

 #673957


Metz
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  Message To: BlackDrangonScales   In reference to Message Id: 673698


 Might be getting some emperorís

Quote:

If you have a heat lamp and that gravel bottom layer, how does the humidity stay up with out misting?


The heat lamps I use are huge because they have a lot of area to cover, thus, they are not dirrectly on the tanks. In fact, the one closest to my emp tank is about 3 feet away and it keeps the tempreture a cozy 85-90 degrees.
Ok, Iíll explain how the humidity works again but this is the last time. The gravel bottom is there to serve as a place for the water to reside without turning the substrate into swamp mud. The reason I suggest using peat moss is because it retains moisture very well and does not rot or get moldy like these commercial reptile bark substrates. The humidity in my emps tank depends on the time of year. I mimic their natural enviroment so, depending on the month Iím mimicing, it can be as low as 70% or as high as 100%. That is completly dependent upon how often I fill the gravel layer with water, which, on average, is about once a week to maintain an RH of 80%.
The average day to day humidity in my tank is 85% and I NEVER mist. Yes, heat lamps will dry out the air, but so do heat mats, or ANY heat source for that matter. It, by all means, stays humid enough in my tank for them to breed and do so successfully because this is the second brood they are working on in the 2 years Iíve had them. I only let them breed once a year. FYI, the level of humidity will indicate when it is time to breed. A female scorpion will not produce scorplings in the timing of the breeding and the enviromental conditions are not right. Thatís why I mimic the normal climate changes that would occur in their natural enviroment so they have an actual mating season just like they do in the wild.

Quote:

I hear toy can also cut the very very tip off youíre scorpions tail so it cant penetrate youíre skin i doubt you can but can you?

I think you need to find more reputable, reliable sources of information. If the tip was removed so it couldnít penitrate íourí skin then it sure as hell would not be able to penitrate its prey like it needs to be able to do. I canít stand the people who preach, teach and promote voids. The only reason people say that crap is to make all the uneducated people ,who should not be keeping venomous animals in the first place, feel better about having a new "cool" show piece that theyíre going to end up killing in a month anyway.
Sorry man, didnít mean to go off on a rant there, I just really REALLY hate it when people screw with venomous animals to make them "safe" and all the false and misleading information that is on the web and in the mouths of pet store employees.



03/02/06  05:11am

 #674140


BlackDrangonScales
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  Message To: Metz   In reference to Message Id: 673957


 Might be getting some emperorís

Oh so i get all what you are saying. If i used the gravel bottom layer, and put a heat mat there to, wouldnít this raise the humidity up very well?
Since you have a basking light do youíre scorpions move during the day. I want good heat and humidity but also want to be able to see my scorpions.



03/02/06  11:29am

 #675062


Metz
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  Message To: BlackDrangonScales   In reference to Message Id: 674140


 Might be getting some emperorís

I do not have a basking light. I do not put visible light on my scorpions for heat. I use red heat lights so my inverts can not see the light and yes, they hang out during the day. If there is a lot of light in the room or dirrectly on the tank, scorpions will hide until the light goes off, hence, the red lights. Yes, if you used the gravel bottom with regular substrate on top of it and put a heat mat on the bottom of the tank it will help greatly to maintain humidity and you wonít have to mist all the time. All youíd have to do is keep an eye on the water level in the gravel layer, when itís gone, fill it up again but do so slowly in case the scorpions are in their burrows, you donít want to drown them.
If you do use the gravel layer, just make sure your pipe is narrow enough and tall enough so that the scorpions can not climb into it or theyíll get stuck and could drown if you go to fill up the gravel layer and donít notice them in there.



03/02/06  09:27pm

 #675180


BlackDrangonScales
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  Message To: Metz   In reference to Message Id: 675062


 Might be getting some emperorís

All righty then, all of my questions are answered except a few. Do you know of any heat matís that have a thermostat, because most heat mats donít, with that water gravel layer the mat will evaporate the water Petty fast. But with a low setting it will keep the water warm, but not too hot but will it be hot enough to heat all the way up to the top of the substrate?(depending on depth) And with rocks in the bottom youíre tank how do you clean it? Do you dispose of the rocks and the substrate? Really with the substrate how do you clean it? And finally what size of rocks do you use a certain kind, store bought?



03/02/06  10:30pm

 #675298


BlackDrangonScales
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  Message To: BlackDrangonScales   In reference to Message Id: 675180


 Might be getting some emperorís

And I have been shopping, how is this for the black lights..light
Oh is this light better in a basking light fixture, or a fish tank strip light fixture.



03/02/06  11:33pm

 #675472


Metz
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  Message To: BlackDrangonScales   In reference to Message Id: 675180


 Might be getting some emperorís

Like I said before, I donít use heat mats, I donít like them. Since I donít use them, I know very little about them, how they work, what their heat output is or what kinds they have on the market. As far as cleaning, I do not clean my tank more than once a year and when I do, I throw all the gravel and substrate away and start fresh. Cleaning out the substrate is not necessary and should not be done very often unless copius amounts of mold or mites have infested the tank. The only regular maintence that needs to be done is cleaning up any un-eaten prey and other debris.
Youíll want to use aquairum gravel and just rinse it off real good to get the excess dust off of it before you put it in the tank. The color of it does not matter, mine happens to be blue because thatís what was available at the time.
As far as the light, thatís fine, just donít use an actual "black" light. The moon glow is ok. What kind of fixture you put it in is up to you just remember that these lights, while a low wattage DO emit heat so either keep it far enough away from the tank so as to not heat it or omit the heat mat and just use the light. Two 25 watt heat lights in a fish tank type fixture will heat a 10 gallon tank perfectly and give an average tempreture of 80 degrees. One 40 watt in a basking type fixture placed dirrectly above or on the lid will do the same thing.
So, really, you donít even need a heat mat if youíre going to get heat lights as well. As far as how well will the heat warm the water, the easiest way to elevate that consern alltogether is to simply use warm water to fill the gravel with. Water everaporates no matter what you do, unless of course you freeze it and turn it to ice. Yes, the water is going to gradually evaporate, thus why the tube is there....for easy filling. I donít think itís too difficult to fill the gravel layer once every two weeks. Thatís about the average length of time it takes for water to evaporate under a 40 watt light in a 10 gallon tank.



03/03/06  05:41am

 #675677


BlackDrangonScales
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  Message To: Metz   In reference to Message Id: 675472


 Might be getting some emperorís

Wow! So I donít need a heat mat if I use heat lights.. well that will save me some money. And to me it seems that, it will be more like there real habitat, because scorpions borrow to get away from heat, so if the lights get to hot, they can borrow to get away from the heat. Isnít the forest floor not warm its the air right? But I feel with the water and no heat mat the humidity wont stay up enough, because the water will get cold and so will the floor.



03/03/06  11:21am

 #675961


Metz
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  Message To: BlackDrangonScales   In reference to Message Id: 675677


 Might be getting some emperorís

No no no. The ONLY way the water is going to get cold is if you keep your house at freezing tempretures. Trust me dear, the heat lights will keep the water fine. The water should not be *cold* nor should it be hot. It should be at room tempreture which it will be with the lights. If youíve ever made sun tea, youíll know that when you leave the pitcher out in the sunshine on an 80 degree day for 8 hours, not only does it make some awesome tasting tea but it is quite warm as well, the water in the gravel layer works the same way. You do not want the water hot, you only want it to not have a chill to it.
The humidity will stay up just fine because humidity is caused by the everapion of water into the surrounding air. Thatís why the rain forest is more humid than the desert. Humidity works in cycles, being most humid in the morning as the sun is starting to warm things up, then it gradually decreases as the day wears on and the tempreture rises, then, in the evening when things are starting to cool down again, the humidity rises again slightly until night time when it is the lowest. Thatís also why it is more humid in the warmer months of the year than it is in the colder months, because heat causes water to everape, causing humidity.
****REMEMBER****
It IS ok to allow the humidity to fluxuate and, in fact you SHOULD let it fluxuate like it normally will in nature. You do NOT want the humidity at a constant 90% all day and night. You want it higest in the morning. The easiest way to achieve that is to either turn off the lights at night, unless your house gets below 70 degrees overnight, then turn them back on in the morning and, IF the water level needs to be filled, do it in the morning, that will create a more natural climate and tempreture flux.
Yes, it is the air that is warm or cold and not the forest floor. The ground DOES hold its own tempreture and humidity though. After you get past the first layer of soil, the earth is a bit warmer.
The reason the water will not get cold is because, aside from the heat lights keeping it warm, the substrate its self acts as an insolater and further helps to maintain an even tempreture.



03/03/06  03:02pm
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