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 #2203803


Cchoquette
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 Looking for ideas for a custom enclosure!

Hi,
I am new to this forum and have really enjoyed looking through alot the old forums about stuff that is relevant to my situation and some stuff that isnt but is just plain cool! so anyways just decided to make my first post and really look forward to hearing from you guys! thanks


I am working on designing a new enclosure for my dwarf caiman. Although he is still really small right now I would like to be prepared. I had an american alligator for several years before college and would have held onto him but went across country to go to college so my uncle and his private zoo took him in. Anyways my american grew really quickly so I know the importance of having a sizable enclosure. The only problem now is that I have moved to Wisconsin where I am settling down so the enclosure is going to have to be indoors for now. I am thinking of building an enclosure anywhere from about 6x8ft to about the size of a bedroom. Granted I know a larger one will last longer but if I do not come up with a great idea I will probably go with a smaller cheaper one that will last a few years. I have a plastic pond about 75 or 100 gallons which would be plenty big for him now and I would guess would last him about 3 or 4 years? I was considering makeing a base out of plywood and cutting a hole for the pond to fit into and putting down some good water proof tyvek plastice over the plywood and frame. I would then put a thin layer of concrete of fiberglass formed to the way I would like for land and put some water proof paint on top of that with a non-toxic sealer over it with a small amount of blank sand sprinkled over it for some grip. It wouldnt necessarily have to be that waterproof seeing as how the pond would be indented but I would do it just as a precaution. also the pond would be removaible so I could clean it easily and the land being mostly a smooth surface could be easily scrubbed once all the foliage and stuff is removed. The biggest problem I am coming up with is finding an out of water filter large enough and a water heater to hook up to it. I figure the water could go out to the filter then through the heater and back into the cage via a custom waterfall. Nothing spectacular just a copper pipe slightly laid back in a mound of concrete/fiberglass/sealer with a downward angle into the pond. The walls i suppose i could do mostly plywood wiith tyvek or just some of the waterproof paint and sealer seeing as how it most likely wont get to wet other then the corner the pond is in. Also just wondering if anyone knows if there is a plexi glass strong enough to use as part of one of the walls so I could see into a good part of the cage. If not I can get a piece of strong 3/4in glass and inlay it with some sealer and silicone. Also lamps large enough to hang high enough out of jumping hieight and yet produce enough heat and UVB/UVA rays? Is there such a thing? I think if they are around 40 inches high that would be enough for now seeing as how he is still very small. anyways these are just ideas I have been tossing around for a while. If anyone has some other ideas or wants to see some of my sketches (be warned I am no artist!) I could post them or if anyone wants to post some pics of their enclosures or sketches they have done that would be great. I havent broken ground yet so I am willing to completly change my ideas. Also money is kind of an issue and kind of not. I obviously cant spend $50,000 on a zoo like aquarium but I do not mind spending a pretty penny on a legit enclosure that will last a while. I am really handy with tools and get find good bargains on things so Im not to worry about cost. Thanks again really look forward to any Help I can get!



02/08/11  03:12pm

 #2204178


Nile/water monitors
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  Message To: Cchoquette   In reference to Message Id: 2203803


 Looking for ideas for a custom enclosure!

What do you think of using a water troff and build the enclosure floor around the top edge of the troff, like the decking around a swimming pool, them build the 3 walls and ceiling and a sliding glass door on the front wall? The dwarf caimans don’t get as large as the gators/croc’s do, so you may get some long time use if you build large enough.



02/10/11  04:21pm

 #2205277


Cchoquette
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  Message To: Nile/water monitors   In reference to Message Id: 2204178


 Looking for ideas for a custom enclosure!

Ya thats kind of what I was thinking of doing with the pond. Just layin it in a custom built box or just building a deck around it and putting walls right up against it. It would be pretty simple other then figuring out ventilation and a little bit of waterproofing. But definitly sounds like a good idea. Just wondering if you had any ideas on lighting or waterfilters/heaters large enough? Thanks again



02/16/11  01:36pm

 #2205500


Nile/water monitors
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  Message To: Cchoquette   In reference to Message Id: 2205277


 Looking for ideas for a custom enclosure!

I used a fountain pump into a filter and returned to the pond, I stepped up to a small swimming pool filter and it worked great. make sure you set up your enclosure and pond about 8in. off the floor, if you set up your enclosure on the floor the "water temp." will be leached out during the winter months and you will have a hard time holding proper temp.s, allow room ambient temp.s to circulate completely around the enclosure and under the pond. As far as lighting/basking I use the 45- 95 watt "FLOOD LIGHTS" ("NEVER USE THE SPOT LIGHTS") you can get the out door flood lights from Lowe’s/depot. You couldn’t go wrong with a laser temp. gun to get surface temp. readings( about 40-60 dollars at harbor freight). As far as a water heater I used a large aquarium glass tube adjustable heater, but, you need to place it where he can’t get to it.



02/17/11  06:12pm

 #2207780


Russell55
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  Message To: Cchoquette   In reference to Message Id: 2203803


 Looking for ideas for a custom enclosure!

Just to let you know, if your Schneider’s grows as fast as mine does the 75-100 gal pond will be too small in a couple of years. Mine is about 3 years old and is already out growing the 4’ x 6’, 150 gallon pond he has now. And his 8’ x 8’ enclosure is getting a little small, too. I’m planning on starting a new, larger enclosure this summer. If you want to see his current enclosure, go to my Youtube page, RussellAllen55 and click on "Building my Schneider’s Dwarf Caiman’s new pond" in my video section.



03/02/11  03:44pm

 #2213330


Cchoquette
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  Message To: Russell55   In reference to Message Id: 2207780


 Looking for ideas for a custom enclosure!

Ya thanks for all the info I will definitely look into flood lamps and possible small pool pumps. I am building this next set up higher with some insulation underneath to keep it warm. It gets pretty chilly way up here. I did check out your you tube and I realized I have already seen it several times. I really like the idea and might go with something like that. The pond I have might be bigger then 75-100 gallons that’s just what the guy from craigslist said when I bought it. But it was a little bigger then my buddies truck bed. I would guess about 5ft x 7ft ish since its about a foot taller then me and I can barely grave both ends of the short sides. So i think I might use it in this next enclosure until he gets a to big for it then get some pond liner like you had in your enclosure and build a larger one. I have a ton of plans just trying to figure out which way to go with them. If you have any other ideas please let me know. He is still in his 55gallon tank cause he is still only about 8-9in long. But he eats like crazy! which I suppose is a good thing.



04/06/11  11:41pm


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