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    FALSE BOTTOM Enclosure Set up

    Fire Starter
    Arachnida Elders
    Arachnida Elders

    Number of posts : 180
    Age : 33
    Registration date : 2009-02-25

    FALSE BOTTOM Enclosure Set up

    Post by Fire Starter on Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:29 am

    The "False bottom" Enclosure set up guide.

    Vivarium Set up.

    First of all, each Scorpion owner will have their own preferences for a different type of set up depending on their desires for the Vivariums appearance, finances available to them, and maybe the number of Scorpions that will live in the Vivarium. So long as the required Heat and Humidity and general requirements for the basic Scorpion care are met I don't really think any set up can be right or wrong so long as the Scorpions seem happy with their home and if they are not they should give you clues to this by the way they act within the enclosure.

    You will need of course your choice in Enclosure/Tank/Vivarium. This will depend on the Size requirements you have, number of Scorpions you intend to home in the Enclosure, the amount of money you can/want to spend on the Enclosure and of course the available choices in Enclosures you have at your disposal in your local area or within your means of purchasing. Specialists Enclosures (such as Exo Terra Terrariums/Vivariums) are not the only option, you can use a fish tank or other style of tank, however the Exo Terra variants are very good for the task and have some features that you will appreciate. Whatever Enclosure you decide on it must meet certain requirements to keep your Scorpions safe.

    Make sure the Enclosure is going to be large enough for either the Specimen or Specimens you will be placing in it.
    Having a lid or roof is also strongly advised, this is a safety feature to stop escapes (both Scorpions and prey!) as well as serving other purposes such as helping keep humidity up and can also prevent unwanted hands or other pets invading the Enclosure. Either way a fully contained Enclosure is a safer option than one that is not, it is also more practical as previously mentioned about the humidity levels.

    Glass or Plastic?
    This is down to yourself and your preference and or budget.

    One of the main methods used is called the "False Bottom" set up, this is what I will be describing first of all as it seems to be the most popular route and one that I use, though with a few variations between the several Vivariums I have to home my Emperor Scorpions in. This set up is a good arrangement as it not only helps to keep humidity within the tank but it also looks very pleasing to the eye.

    First of all you will need:

    1 Enclosure/Tank/Vivarium:
    The bottom few inches of the tank must be capable of holding a quantity of water without leaking so check this is the case before trying to attempt this set up!

    Pea Gravel or some other similar small stone that is available to you:
    Garden centres and building merchants may be cheaper than buying from a Pet Store or specialist store of this nature!
    A decent sized bag (20kg) should only set you back a few Pounds (I found a bag at B&Q for £1.98) and will be enough to do one large tank or a few smaller ones.
    I would opt for stones that are on average 10mm or above up to say about 20mm, this gives you a decent enough size on average to create a nice layer that is visible but also has enough gaps between it to hold the water that will be used in the bottom of the Enclosure to aid humidity levels but not so large gap wise that if your substrate should be lying on top of it it won't all fall through the stones.
    You will also need a piece of pipe or some tube to place into the stone to pour water down and fill the bottom of the tank, plastic pipe is ideal for this but ensure it is long enough to reach from the bottom of your tank up to near the top of the tank so pouring water in it will be easy enough for yourself and that the end you fill is high enough so as to be out of reach to your Scorpions, placing some mesh or other netting over the top of the pipe where you fill it can stop prey items such as crickets climbing up it and falling down the pipe and drowning. You may also want to cut a notch into the bottom section of the pipe to aid water flowing out of it when you pour it in.

    Some Mesh or netting to place between the stone layer and your substrate:
    This is an optional idea and can help keep tank maintenance easy and also aid keeping your substrate out of the bottom of the tank in the water. Aside from that it should stop any borrowing Scorpion from digging too far down and getting trapped in the water layer. You will find this does not always keep all of your substrate from getting into the stone layer, but it keeps the majority out.

    Your choice of substrate:
    Enough to cover the tank area and give enough depth to keep your Scorpions happy should they decide to make a Burrow.
    The choices for Emperor Scorpions range from Vermiculite, Peat, Bark chips, Coconut Fibre and a combination of other substances with these listed. It is all a matter of personal choice.

    A water bowl/feeding bowl:
    Emperor Scorpions need a ready source of clean water, so a shallow water bowl/container/dish should be provided.
    Depending on what type of food you intend to provide a feeding bowl or container may also be provided (Mealworm feeding bowl for example)

    A cave or hide, or some other form of shelter should be provided:
    This can range from a pre-made hide or cave, to making a shelter from rocks and slate yourself. Several options should be given to your Scorpions and preferably in different areas of the Enclosure, so say one near the heat source and one away from it will help the Scorpions thermoregulate themselves. These also provide safety and security for the Scorpions giving them a bolt hole should they get stressed or feel threatened. You should aim to have enough Hides so that each Scorpion can have it's own, and if possible offer more hides than you have Scorpions to try and avoid or eliminate territory disputes.

    Other furniture and fittings:
    You may want to place other items in with your Scorpions to give them something to climb over or hide behind or just so the enclosure is not too plain or dull. Anything from hollowed out bark or logs through to ornaments is fine so long as it is cleaned and safe to use with Scorpions (Check no toxic paints or varnishes have been used and any logs or other products have been treated with the proper agents and are Scorpion safe).


    First of all make sure your Enclosure is clean and ready to be used, do not use heavy quantities of cleaning agents/products and if you are going to add cleaning agents to your water for cleaning out the tank make sure it is all rinsed thoroughly away before adding the actual enclosure stone, water and substrate. You should not be able to detect any faint smells of the product once you have cleaned it out and are ready to add your enclosure contents.

    You will probably want to wash off the stones you have picked for the Enclosure, this is probably best done outdoors as it can get messy. I find using two buckets or large bowls is a good way of doing this. Tip a quantity of stone into a bucket to about the half or three quarters full level and then use the other bucket to add clean water. Give the stones a good shake or stir by hand to allow all the stones to get a good rinse in the water. Then slowly tip out the water and with it any sand or grit that may have been inside the bag or coating the stone.
    Repeat this process till the water you are tipping out is clear and the stones are also clean. Then do it again with more stone if required, repeating as many times as required till the desired amount of stone has been prepared and is ready to use. If you can lay your hands on a decent strong sieve this could aid the process, but I find the bucket way is easy enough if you don't have access to a sieve.

    Now, you will want to add a rough layer of about 2 to 3 inches deep inside your tank. Depending how deep your tank is and the desired depth you require. At least 2 inches of stone is what I have found to be a best minimum, 2 - 3 inches is preferable and 4 inches is probably optimal. The stone will settle a bit though so always add a bit more and then compress it down gently till it smoothes out nicely.

    Once you have got the base of stone set up as you want now is a good time to place the water pipe or tube into a corner. Make sure the area you pick for the placing of the tube is going to be easy enough to get at once all the tank is prepared and your Scorpions have moved in. Also ensure that the part of the pipe that will be going into the stone has a small notch cut in to the bottom part of the pipe (see Diagram) to aid the water pour out into the stone when you pour it in at the top of the pipe.

    Simple Diagram to show where to cut a notch in to the bottom of the Water Pipe Simple Diagram to show where to cut a notch in to the Water Pipe.

    You can now add your water if you desire, do not add too much though as this will soak your substrate and that is not the desired effect, moist is what you want not soaking wet through! It is best to start with a little bit at a time as it will take time to make it's way spreading across the floor of the tank because of the stones. Depending how deep the layer of stones you have used depends on how deep the level of water you will want to add will be.

    Once you have your desired depth of stone, now is the time to add that layer of mesh or netting if you are going down this route, cut it to size and then add on top of the stone layer. I found that the mesh I bought which was in roll form when I bought it was rather a pain to lay in the tank as it kept trying to roll back up, if you have the same issue or want to avoid it, have some medium sized stones at hand and you can place these in the areas that try and roll back up. Once enough substrate has been added this issue should no longer cause a problem as the weight should force it down, if you are using a light substrate the stones you placed should hold it till in time it stops trying to spring back. It may be worth noting that cutting out a small section in the mesh for the area where your water pipe will be, this just stops the mesh curling up and helps keep it neat and tidy.

    This is also a good chance to maybe add some contouring or relief to your stone base level. You may want to avoid having a flat terrain and instead have a slope at the back of the tank or maybe a mound in the middle, the choices are endless and yours to make or design. So you can help create this terrain by adding more of the small stones used as your base, or add larger stones or rocks to build up the areas where you want to create relief or features.

    Once all that has been done you will now be ready to add your substrate. Each type of substrate will probably require it's own preparation. Once it is prepared start adding it to how you want it. Then you will be ready to add the other things you are going to need or want in the tank such as a water bowl and caves/hides and rocks/slate/stones or bark/logs. One thing is for sure, however you set it up the Scorpions will probably have their own ideas about it and will either dig out areas or move stuff about if they can and want to.

    If you didn't add your water now is the time to do this, just carefully pour it down the pipe or tube and as mentioned above, a little at a time is best till it has time to spread out across the bottom of the tank and you should be able to see the water level rise slowly till it reaches the desired depth.

    Once all the above is done, depending on your substrate choice and how you prepared it, you may want to consider giving the tank or top level of substrate a good misting with water so it is nice and moist till the water level at the bottom of the tank starts to slowly evaporate or make it's way into the substrate. If you do not already do so, it may be worth collecting rain water for this purpose, it's natural and free! If you live in a hard water area this is also ideal as it tends not to leave deposits on your tank so those nasty white water spots do not build up as quickly.


    FALSE BOTTOM Enclosure Set up

    Post by Guest on Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:36 pm

    bro, much better if naa kay sample pics. para mas dali m.sabtan or naa mi idea kung unsaon.


    Re: FALSE BOTTOM Enclosure Set up

    Post by Guest on Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:09 am

    bitaw sir para pareha nako nga beginer makasabot og dali Laughing Laughing

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    Re: FALSE BOTTOM Enclosure Set up

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