Before you adopt a scorpion, you’ll want to keep in mind that scorpions are known to be escape artists, especially when their enclosures are not set up in a secure way. Considering their instinctual abilities will be very important when choosing or building an enclosure. They are naturally very good at fitting into small spaces, climbing over large objects, and even lifting moderately heavy items like lids. Products made to prevent these strengths from becoming potential hazards to you and your pet scorpion are certainly available. Make sure to read the features and specs of your scorpion habitat thoroughly before purchasing.
Scorpions are venomous arachnidas (closely related to arachnids or spiders) with stinging tails, and pinchers. They can be very dangerous to handle if you are not experienced in handling them. It is comforting to know that their venom is not fatal or even very harmful to humans. Though, you can have an allergy to it, which would make it more dangerous.
They are also anti-social, dissociated animals. Meaning, they do best when they are left alone and can become agitated with too much human contact.
What you’ll need for a scorpion enclosure:
Cage or Aquarium Tank – You will need an enclosed space of some kind. Clear plastic or glass is ideal so you can view your pet when he’s active. An enclosure that has more horizontal space than vertical space will be best since scorpions do not do much climbing. A lid is also a necessity since, although your scorpion probably won’t climb for fun, he might if he’s bored and see’s a way out of his space. A 10-gallon tank is ideal for two scorpions.
Substrate – Your cage should be lined with some kind of substrate. Some scorpions enjoy burrowing, so when choosing a substrate for your enclosure, make sure that your pet can bury himself if he so chooses. Coconut husk is great since it can hold tunnels and is safe for scorpions. Different species require different things from their substrate. Forest species need moisture. Peat moss, coconut husk and orchid bark mixed with potting soil are good options for them. Desert species need a drier substrate, making sand the best option for them.
Hiding spot – A hiding space is important since scorpions are shy and secretive animals. This will ensure that they have a place to feel secure and safe from predators. There are plenty of options for this. Something a little bit heavier is ideal so your pet doesn’t disrupt it.
Water dish – Even though scorpions hardly ever actually drink water, a water dish is an important part of your pet’s habitat since it will help to keep the humidity at an ideal level.
Foliage/plant – Lots of enclosure accessories are unnecessary since scorpions generally do best in small spaces that do not allow for lots of decorations. Short and wide plastic plants are recommended since they won’t interfere with the lid or top of the cage.
Heat source – If your enclosure is located in a space that has a consistent mild temperature, you don’t need to include a heating element in your enclosure. However, if you do want to give your pet the option to thermoregulate you’ll want to choose the right product. Heat light or lamps are not ideal since scorpions tend to shy away from light. Heat mats are the best options, but make sure you do not place it under the substrate since this could create higher temperatures that are not safe for your pet. Instead, stick the mat to side of the enclosure.
Springtails – Springtails are little bugs that can assist in keeping your pet’s habitat clean. This means you can adjust your cage cleaning schedule without sacrificing your scorpion’s happiness and health. They can also help control mold, fungus, and other harmful invasive species.
How to set-up the enclosure
After you’ve bought all the items featured above, putting them all together is the easy part. Start by ensuring the inside of your tank is free of debris and preparing your substrate. For desert scorpion species, this simply means adding an even layer of 3-5 inches of dry sand to the bottom of the tank. For tropical species, you may need to dampen the substrate yourself, depending on where you purchased it from and what type you’ve chosen.
As mentioned before, heating pads should be placed on a side wall rather than the bottom of the tank. It is recommended to put the water dish near the heating pad to assist in keeping consistent humidity levels. Just make sure to keep an eye on the water level.
For decor and accessories, these can do anywhere that is visually pleasing or functional for your scorpion. Just make sure that any taller decorations do not interfere with the lid or top of the cage. This will help to prevent accidents and potentially hazardous situations for you and your new pet.
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