Help with caiman setup

Aligators, caimen, crocodiles, terrapins, tortoises and turtles exotic to South Africa.

Help with caiman setup

Postby reptilecrazy » Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:09 am

I just want to make sure my setup is done correctly.My caiman is about 6 months old and I keep him/her in a 150L tank with UV light and my water temperature is 30 degrees.I use a 100W moonlight at night and a 100W red basking light during the day.I don't use a lid and the tank remains open.I mainly feed him pre-killed mouse pinks which I leave on his rock which is in the middle of his tank and just above the water level.He wouldn't take food offered with tweezers and will only go to the rock at night to feed there...of cause it might be better that way because he doesn't associate my fingers with food lol.Any tips would be appreciated as I only want the best for the little critter.
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Re: Help with caiman setup

Postby reptilecrazy » Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:52 am

Oh I forgot to mention that I also have a small filter in the tank and a glass water heater.I placed the glass water heater in a 50mm pvc pipe to prevent the heater from breaking
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Re: Help with caiman setup

Postby Warren Klein » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:13 am

Hi,

Can you post a picture of you set up as this will help to better advise you?

What are your basking spot temps? A bank of 2 or 3 low watt spotlights is better than a single high watt as it is easier for a croc to heat it’s who body and not get spot burns.

Regarding feeding, its often better to leave food on the edge of the water at night and not stress the animal trying to get it too eat from the hand. After time when your Caiman gets used to you it will not have a problem taking food off the tweezers. Pieces of larger rodents are better to feed than pinks as they have more calcium in their bones and no milk fat. Whole prey animals are always best but you can also supplement by feeding chicken necks that have had the fat and skin removed and the bones crushed up with a hammer etc.
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Re: Help with caiman setup

Postby reptilecrazy » Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:29 pm

Sorry for being so quiet,was very busy.I will post pictures a bit later.Another thing that is bothering me is the UV lights...what UV lights will be the best?I have heard of some UV lights that actually causes blindness in some reptiles.Are Germicidal Fluorescent UV lights which are being used in fish tanks harmful to reptiles?
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Re: Help with caiman setup

Postby Sico » Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:50 pm

Also have a look at my thread on Alligator mississippiensis, you will get some good ideas off that, their husbandry is similar. And Warren is right, she needs a much more varied diet...
Mark
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Re: Help with caiman setup

Postby reptilecrazy » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:40 pm

Thanks for the help Sico.Do I need extra UV light/s or will the 150W infrared basking light be enough?I have another fluorescent light for daylight installed as well.
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Re: Help with caiman setup

Postby reptilecrazy » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:44 pm

Oh yeah I am giving it a variety of meat like pinks,chicken liver,chicken heart and once in a while a wack a pigeon with the pallet gun.I'm planning on throwing in some guppies too...any thoughts on this?
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Re: Help with caiman setup

Postby Sico » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:45 am

In my setup I had one Infrared basking lamp, one ceramic heat lamp (I stayed in one of the colder parts of the East Rand), and two straight forward fluorescent tubes of the kind you would use to grow aquarium plants under (one white, one pink). She stayed in this for the nearly two years I had her, before she outgrew it. I did not add any specific UV lights, once or twice a month I would take her outside for about 30-60 minutes in the sun, but I had an enclosed area that I could safely do this in.
I was feeding as much variety as I could, a LOT of insects (Flying ants, roaches, crickets and locusts, as well as large water beetles and water scorpions etc that I fished out of my dam) - remember as juveniles they will eat a large amount of these - Chicken necks, beef, beef heart, chicken heart, chicken liver, chicken fillet, the occasional strip of fresh hake - all chopped up into cubes around the size of the last joint of my thumb ('gator was about 24cm at the time and she took these without a problem), and then I would also use her as a trashcan for anything my cats left on the carpet during the night, as a result she got plenty of rodent heads (and assorted oddments), a variety of partially complete amphibians and the odd bat. She would get prepared food at least every other day (I would buy say kg of chicken hearts and split them into small baggies of 5 hearts/1 meal - the same with every other food items to a similar quantity), and I would try and not feed her the same thing twice in a week. I very seldom used any supplements, but occasionally I would very lightly sprinkle some Calsup onto the beef, as her diet wasn't high in calcium as it is hard to get small bones... Once she reached about 40cm whenever I feed my pythons piglets, I would cut the legs off them, and chop those into thumb sized sections and she would gobble those as well, which obviously boosted her calcium intake significantly, I then never used the supplement again. In the first year I had her, she tripled her length (over 90cm @ 2yr old - her clutch mates were still below 60cm) and after another 12 months she was sitting at 1.48m, weighed in at about 4kg and was one bloody strong beastie! When I get another, I will definitely feed the same way.
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Re: Help with caiman setup

Postby reptilecrazy » Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:35 pm

Thanks Sico,this will help me a lot.I'm also planning on building an outside enclosure for when mine outgrow his/her tank.Maybe I should take mine out into the sun too every once in a while
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