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 #2167585


Venom6547
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 Temperament?

hi i have a young american alligator he is about 17 inches from tail to tip of his nose and he was always calm before i could have my arm in the tank and he wouldnt go hide under his basking spot but lately i noticed that even walking into my room he starts freaking out and splashes and tries jumping out of the water. i was wondering if anyone knows why hes acting this way its a long shot but could it be because i was gone for a week and he only saw me when i changed his lights or fed him? hes never attempted to bite me only hissing which is new also. is this just him growing up and becoming the gator hes supposed to be or is there a way of calming him down because when i hold him hes all wiggly but then once i hold him closer to my chest and not let my fingers go around his entire body he seems to calm down and stay still. i hold him at least 10minutes a day but not all at the same exact times i try talking to him to get him used to me but i dont know if he actually understands what i say...any opinions would be great im just curious to know what his problem is if there is one.



08/06/10  06:52pm

 #2167630


Nile/water monitors
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  Message To: Venom6547   In reference to Message Id: 2167585


 Temperament?

I would say its normal behavior, sounds like predator (you) / prey (your gator)at this age. If he is freaking out like this, it sounds like he is pretty healthy. I would suggest letting him see you as often as possible. Your normal movements are most likely spooking him, you have to move slow and try to come off as a non threat, this will take time. Your gator is most likely in a tank, brings you back to the predator/ prey problem. You have to come in from up above him to feed/clean/picking him up, so he will view you as a threat. Try not to grab him, put your hand under and lift. Gator/Crocodiles are pretty much hard wired for eating, mating, surviving. They really don’t socialize even in the wild. The best we can do is try to get the animals to trust us, BUT, don’t "EVER" trust the animal, this is the best way to protect yourself and your animal. I would be willing to bet that once you can hold your Gator with out him protesting, if you were to put him on the floor he will totally see you as a predator once again and defend himself against you. What I’m saying here is expect the unexpected, always study the body languish of your animals and see what makes him defensive/tolerant of you.



08/06/10  10:05pm

 #2167635


Venom6547
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  Message To: Nile/water monitors   In reference to Message Id: 2167630


 Temperament?

That’s exactly what I was thinking, I always move slowly especially around his tank and whenever I put my arm in his tank if I pick him up I usually rest my hand underneath him and follow him as he swims and once he doesn’t move I’ll lift him and he’ll stay still until I close my hand around him and slowly, I never move fast unless hes on floor going under my bed or something and yeah I realized that he viewed me as a predator once I put him down in my backyard to let him have real sun, I wasn’t standing I was laying with him trying to not seem so tall and scary he sat still for a while and then just bolted. I was watching the whole time I didn’t expect it so I grabbed him gently but firmly and he started chirping so I held him closer to my chest and he calmed down instantly. I’ve heard that if you talk to an alligator when you handle it, it calms it down or something I dunno I’ve talked to him but there’s not much really to say to him. Also the other day I actually had him laying with me in bed while I was on the computer on my leg but then he must of got bored because he just jumped up or realized I wasn’t paying attention and tried to run. He usually freaks out when my hand goes around him fully so I’m assuming he thinks I’m like a bird or something like that but I’m afraid of him jumping out of my hand. His tank is in front of my bed so he always sees me and I know he watches me so sometimes I’ll sit by his tank on the computer and he’ll float over but once I look at him he just goes underwater. You are very helpful thank you



08/06/10  10:37pm

 #2167695


Nile/water monitors
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  Message To: Venom6547   In reference to Message Id: 2167635


 Temperament?

Just wondering, what your plans are for a large enclosure for this guy? In 3 yrs. he should be around the 4ft. + mark and almost really to big to continue housing indoors. The large size of the "adult gator" is the biggest problem when enclosures have to be built/heated. I love the gators, but, think the caiman (captive max. length 4-6ft.) is a much better/easier crocodilian species to keep for 20-30 yrs.. I hope you have the space and resources to keep this little guy healthy/happy and I would love to see you post his/your progress over the years.



08/07/10  10:51am

 #2167701


Venom6547
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  Message To: Nile/water monitors   In reference to Message Id: 2167695


 Temperament?

Well I have an empty chicken coop in my yard that I was planning on converting that to his cage, the yard area i was going to turn into all his water its 8x5 and I would put a preformed pond in there that would take up the entire yard and then the house would be turned into his basking area and I would replace all the wood and turn it into one big room because as of right now most is covered in screen. I have to turn it into an indoor because i live in New England so we got cold winters and for heat i was planning on putting brackets with heat lamps on them but i don’t know the right wattage to use. and for the basking area i was thinking of putting repti carpet so he wasn’t on plywood.



08/07/10  11:49am

 #2167766


Nile/water monitors
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  Message To: Venom6547   In reference to Message Id: 2167701


 Temperament?

You have plenty of time before you have to put your baby in the out door enclosure, I would sent up the enclosure and do a dry run (with out the gator in it) and see if your enclosure will hold proper temp.s during the "winter months", you want to know the enclosure will work well before your gator needs it, rather than find there are problems when your gator is in the enclosure. I live in Northwestern Pennsylvania, I know about the winters, 3ft. of snow in a day is not uncommon. Do you have a basement, if so, have you given any thought to using it for your gator when the time comes for the larger enclosure?



08/07/10  07:12pm

 #2167769


Venom6547
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  Message To: Nile/water monitors   In reference to Message Id: 2167766


 Temperament?

Yeah I was planning on testing it out this winter if I can finish it before the winter..what length should i put him in an enclosure that big because hes in a 75gal tank as of right now and about 16.5-17 inches and I’m thinking 2ft or even 3 would be too small for a room that big, and i have a crawl space not a basement unfortunately otherwise I would keep him there. one quick side question if its okay and I don’t know if I seem like an irresponsible owner by asking but is there a reason that when he eats he usually kills the mouse and holds it in his mouth for about 2 hours before eating it hes started doing it once i started using mice and I never read anywhere about them just holding onto their food that long I’m worried at all but I just wonder why he takes so long to eat something



08/07/10  07:31pm

 #2167784


Nile/water monitors
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  Message To: Venom6547   In reference to Message Id: 2167769


 Temperament?

I’m not sure of the measurements of the 75 gal., but it seams like a 3ft. gator would be maxed out in a 75. As for killing and carrying prey for a period of time isn’t uncommon, I’v seen adult gators do this same behavior with their kills.



08/07/10  09:36pm

 #2167793


Venom6547
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  Message To: Nile/water monitors   In reference to Message Id: 2167784


 Temperament?

a 75 gallon tanks dimensions are 48L x 18W x 21H and theres about 7 inches of water about the height of a cinderblock because that is what his basking spot is on top of its slate on top of a cinderblock and he already seems kinda big for it but I’ve seen 2ft gators in a 55gal tank



08/07/10  10:51pm

 #2167848


Nile/water monitors
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  Message To: Venom6547   In reference to Message Id: 2167793


 Temperament?

A gator 24" long would start having problems just turning around in a 18in. wide tank, and at 36" long he will be big enough to start crawling out of a 21in. tall tank. So, a average growth rate of 1ft. a year broken down to a growth rate of 1" per month, your gator should pretty much have out grown the tank in the next 7-9 months. Suggestion, do you have a spare room you could use once he is to big for the tank and put in a plastic kiddie pool and use it as a temporary enclosure until you can finish his larger enclosure? One other suggestion, you should research on how to heat the water as well as the ambient temp.s during the winter months. Cold winter ground temp.s "WILL" draw down your water temp.s..



08/08/10  08:10am

 #2167865


Venom6547
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  Message To: Nile/water monitors   In reference to Message Id: 2167848


 Temperament?

yeah there’s probably about an inch before hes as long as the tank is wide and Wouldn’t he be able to jump out of a kiddie pool or do you mean one of the heavy duty plastic ones? Also if the pond is inside and planning on digging a hole bigger than the pond to put cinder blocks against the dirt walls to keep from collapsing then filling the dirt in the area the pond doesn’t take up once its in. wouldn’t that keep the ground from getting cold?



08/08/10  11:00am

 #2167936


Nile/water monitors
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  Message To: Venom6547   In reference to Message Id: 2167865


 Temperament?

If you don’t want him getting out of the pool, buy one with tall sides or you can buy a watering trough from a feedmill or on line and use it as a tank, but, you should keep in mind the width of your door openings vs. the width of the pool/watering trough. Over on the "Caiman forum" there was a post with a really good link, ( The new pond redux) with some really good ideas on building a enclosure, the only thing I would do is to make sure there is ambient air temp.s under the pond. I know for sure with out the ambient temp.s allowed to flow under the pond will lower the water temp.s. I found this out last winter, I put a new larger enclosure in my reptile room "on the floor" and all my temp.s were perfect, So I thought. Got up one morning and my Asian water monitor was on the bottom of the enclosure cold as could be (he is ok now). With out the ambient air temp.s flowing around the enclosure, the floor of the reptile room and the substrate temperatures were closer to the out door temperatures? I raised the enclosure 12" off the floor, it made a BIG difference in the substrate temp.s.. Just something to keep in mind when you need to keep your pond water warm.



08/08/10  05:56pm

 #2168051


Venom6547
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  Message To: Nile/water monitors   In reference to Message Id: 2167936


 Temperament?

Oh okay well I will surely keep that in mind for when i move him to a bigger enclosure and I’m sorry you had to find out the hard way.. Quick question, (hehe sorry for all the questions) the person i bought my gator off of actually got him from a pet store where he was in a tank with i think it was either a bigger gator or baby caimen because he was missing about 2 inches of his tail where it was eaten, it was bad but its grown back almost completely just the spines on top and the last tip is more like a slight stub and pinkish I was wondering if one day all the spikes will grow all the way down to the tip or if it’ll stay that way forever. it doesn’t affect him in any way he swims fine and doesn’t seem to be bothered by it if i touch it so he isn’t hurt by it just looks odd.



08/09/10  01:52am

 #2168067


Nile/water monitors
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  Message To: Venom6547   In reference to Message Id: 2168051


 Temperament?

I wouldn’t think it will ever be perfect, but, it may become less noticeable with age?



08/09/10  08:00am

 #2168794


Venom6547
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  Message To: Venom6547   In reference to Message Id: 2167865


 Temperament?



if you look closely you can see where the spines stop and you can see how his tail ends in a stub



08/12/10  12:19am

 #2168833


Nile/water monitors
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  Message To: Venom6547   In reference to Message Id: 2168794


 Temperament?

Poor guy, I think it will remain like it is. Still an awesome animal.



08/12/10  08:23am

 #2169017


Venom6547
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  Message To: Nile/water monitors   In reference to Message Id: 2168833


 Feeding.

so i knwo ive asked alot of questions about my gator but is there a way i can like go by a rule of thumb on how big of a mouse i should feed him because sometimes he cant seem to swallow it because he chews on it to make the mouse longer therefore making me have to cut the mouse in half and when i see him attempting to eat a mouse too big i get really nervous and worried that he is gonna choke. any opinions?. hes about 17inches long and i feed him mice that about are about 3inches long and like 5 including tail. i just really hate worrying that hes going to choke and i cant always get the same size mouse every time for him.



08/12/10  07:45pm

 #2169029


Ballpythonclan
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  Message To: Venom6547   In reference to Message Id: 2169017


 Feeding.

I would do a little smaller but thats my opinion. Ive only feed adult gators and crocs before so i wouldnt know.



08/12/10  09:22pm

 #2169038


Nile/water monitors
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  Message To: Venom6547   In reference to Message Id: 2169017


 Feeding.

A rule of thumb alot of people go by, is feed prey that is no longer than the space from the tip of his nose to his eyes. I don’t see him even having trouble putting down prey as long as his whole head, usually if prey is too large they will just cut it down with a really fast snap of the head and the extra will go flying across the enclosure. I don’t think you have to worry about him choking on prey, but it wouldn’t hurt to cut up smaller parts and make things easy on him. Questions are never a problem, that’s how we learn to fine tune our husbandry skills.



08/12/10  09:49pm

 #2170680


KimboSliceEatsCats
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  Message To: Venom6547   In reference to Message Id: 2169017


 Feeding.

im pretty sure gators cant choke, just like snakes cant choke
and im sure youve seen all those videos of crocs eating wildebeast and gators eating deer, its not like they swallow it, they rip it up

I dont think the prey size matters as long as it doesnt hurt your gator

hold it alot, as far as I know gators are the most "tameable" of crocs, and you dont want to get stuck with an untame one, cause if its a puppy dog tame gator until its too big to trust at least you can reassure yourself when he is older that he is not aggressive if he ever requires handling or needs to be moved



08/21/10  01:40am


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