Heat and illuminate a terrarium

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Heat and illuminate a terrarium Empty Heat and illuminate a terrarium

Post by Lioth on Mon May 20, 2013 12:10 pm


Cavity-nesting species aside, the scorpions have daily need for brightness, the better to observe alternating light/dark simulating the cycle day/night. However, all species do not require the same type of lighting...

Lighting for the species from tropical or temperate climates

Find themselves in a room with Windows without panes (and therefore naturally lit by external light) will be amply sufficient specimens. It is difficult to imagine more natural than that of the sun light and a cycle day/night more authentic!
On the other hand, if the terrarium is in a windowless room or not constantly receiving outdoor light, need to provide artificial lighting. Remember to keep proper air humidity, it is not recommended to place a lamp inside a tropical terrarium or temperate. We will therefore prefer a "cold light" low heat (type neon tube) which will be placed outside the terrarium, an angle allowing a complete lighting of the substrate.

Lighting for the species of desert environments

No secret, the desert species require bright light and high heat. Is preferable therefore place a lamp inside of the terrarium, which will provide a direct light while heating the inside of the tray. To learn what type of lamp to use, see the second part devoted to heating.


Most scorpions need higher temperatures than those prevailing in our homes. We will therefore use different techniques to obtain adequate temperatures in terrarium...

Heating for the species from tropical climates

To avoid drying of the air in the terrarium, a cord heating power of 50W, generally more suitable than a hot plate will be used. It will be placed outside the terrarium against the back wall, above the level of the substrate. In this way, we often get a fairly uniform temperature about 28 ° in the tray.
Another commonly used technique is to place the cord to a half of the back wall to create a warmer area and a cooler area, between which the specimens may come and go at their leisure.
Caution: do not place cord (or griddle) under the terrarium... Most tropical scorpions like to burrow to find freshness. Therefore, keep as cool as possible substrate. In addition, heat the substrate increases tenfold the risk of developing bacterial and/or fungal (mold)!
Attention also to younger individuals, who need a high enough temperature (28 °-30 °) so that their growth is regular.

Heating for the species of desert environments

As described earlier, it is the light source which will generally serve to heat the Interior of a desert terrarium. The power of the used bulb will depend on the size of the terrarium, the ideal being to obtain a temperature between 28 °-35 ° in the tray.
Attention: young specimens need slightly lower temperatures than the adult and subadult, specimens under penalty of suddenly dying from dehydration. It is therefore better to avoid to exceed 30 ° with individuals who have not yet attained the adult size.

(Note by Sarakyel: personally, I use of small halogen, easily built-in in the lid of a terrarium.) For a tray of small size (less than 30cm wide), a spot of 20W is sufficient. For a tray of size medium (between 30 and 50cm wide), a spot of 35W is perfectly suitable. For a large bin (more than 50 cm wide), there are several solutions: either from multiple spots of 20W, se a unique spot of 50W, preferably off-center, creating a warmer area and a cooler area, between which the specimens may come and go at their leisure.)

Heating for the species from temperate environments

Most of the time, these species will not particular device for heating need: the inside temperature of your home should be quite suitable, as long as it does not descend too low...

Reproduce a cycle day/night

Whether it's the lighting or heating, it is necessary to create a difference between the day and night (called "thermal gradient" in relation to the temperature). The simplest way to achieve this is to plug all devices of heating and lighting on an electric timer. This very useful tool is equipped with a standard electrical outlet to easily program the ignition and stop to the various devices connected to it. They are available in supermarkets and stores of crafts, and their price is between 3 and 15 euros depending on the options they offer.

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