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Caiman Lizard Info

modernsavage

New Member
Messages
3
Hey yall.
Im building a terrarium about 300*40*140 cm incorporating a 360 liter aquarium. Id really love to have a caiman lizard, would this tank be big enough for them? And if so how thick glass would i have to use for it to be crack safe from a tail whip? The aquarium i intend using is about 1cm thick.
A big problem would be actually aquaring one of these beutys, i live in sweden and they are virtually none heard of around here. Would it be ok to import from say the states? I feel a bit uneasy about shipping a live reptile so far...

// Oskar Pettersson
 

chelvis

Active Member
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
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1,446
I saw your post on the other thread but I will answer here. First off welcome! Caiman lizards are fun but a lot and I mean a lot of work. The terrarium you mention might be a bit too narrow, these are big lizards and can get over a meter long and weight close to 4kg so they need plenty of space. How wide the cage is would have me concern is if its only 40cm or if thats the height then its too short as they love to climb and dig. For the water area make sure its easy to clean.

As for how to get one, there is a member here in the Netherlands who has two pairs and is trying to breed. Otherwise the large reptile show in Hamm, Germany might be a place to start a search. Shipping them out of the US would be expensive due to the CITES application process, plus most of the ones in the US that are "Captive Born" are just farmed down in Peru so they would be shipped from Peru to Florida and then over to you.
 

modernsavage

New Member
Messages
3
first off thanks for answering. no its the width. im well aware that they need height. unfortunetly thats the most width i could get out of this cage. Are you saying it could work or are you saying no dont do it? :)

could they be aquired imedietly from peru?
 

chelvis

Active Member
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5 Year Member
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1,446
the cage could work for a small one that is growing up but I wouldn't keep an adult in one.

You need to be an importer to get one from Peru, you can see if there is anyone that has an import permit.
 

ry-jen

New Member
Messages
3
I have 3 together and they get along well. The only issue is at feeding time, they will go after each other. If they're all eating at once they're OK, but if one finishes first, it tries to steal food from the others. There is video on underground reptiles out of florida, they have a cage with a whole bunch of juveniles feeding, if you watch, you will see them biting each other.
Shipping into Canada was 100$ and the CITES paperwork was 500$. I may do another bulk order in the future if I get enough interest. They were 300-400 each wholesale, 250$ish, if you get 5 or more. Prices seem to be dropping a bit on these guys.
 

Erythrinus

New Member
Messages
1
Hello
I've been keeping reptiles for over 20 years but have little experience with tegus. I purchased 3 juvenile caiman lizards a few months ago and so far all three are healthy but they are very aggressive. They lunge at me when I open the cage, whip their tails, hiss and struggle when I try to handle them. They are not particularly difficult to catch but so far they are not warming up to me.
I know from other types of lizards like monitors and iguanas that regular handling over time helps but I was wondering about a few things.

Are they better kept together or alone to tame them down faster?
Sometimes I feel that they feed off each other's aggression.

Also so far they seem to only want apple snails. Luckily I have a ready supply of frozen ones at the asian supermarket but I've tried different catfoods, clams, fish, periwinkles and they just ignore them.

Lastly how bad is their bite? I know they crack snail shells so I assume it is bad, but do they have serrated teeth like iguanas or is it more of a crushing bite.

Thanks in advance. I've always wanted one of these since I saw a picture on the cover of the TFH reptile atlas and am glad they are finally affordable and clean (ie-not wild caught). I want to make sure that I raise them properly and hopefully at least tame one of them...
 

tupinambisfamiliaris

Member
5 Year Member
Messages
92
So, who is successfully keeping these guys other than Chelvis? Do others who've been attempting this have thriving animals, or is it normally a struggle? They've been around for a couple of years at lower prices and much higher access, so what's the general consensus? I'd love to get one just to raise as a display animal, but if they're really that difficult to get eating, then I'm going to stay away.

I suppose it boils down to whether issues people having are due to inappropriate husbandry or just an extremely difficult species that does poorly in captivity. I'm willing to put some skin in the game in terms of taking time and buying whatever I need to make it work, but if 70% of these guys are crashing and burning regardless, then I have to consider that.
 

chelvis

Active Member
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5 Year Member
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1,446
Honestly they are not to hard to work with as long as they are feeding. Darwin is an amazing lizard (my second caiman lizard I lost Bacardi my first to a brain infection). A word to the wise, if you just want a display animals and something you can interact with (mine free roams when I am home and sits on the couch on sunday night football) then buy a sub adult. Let someone else take the time to get them to eat different foods, get them eating well and thriving. Its heart brake sometimes with the young guys as they will not eat or only eat a few things. I got lucky with Darwin and Bacardi as they seem to eat everything. Even this morning my baby tegu wouldn't finish the ground turkey so Darwin cleaned the bowl. Once they are about the 2 foot mark you can see what kind of caiman lizard they are, those who have them at this side will tell you they are eating machines or they are picky. There is a very good chance that they may die on ya (something to think about with $600 going into a lizard). Its getting close to the baby season for theses guys.

IMG_0848.JPG
 

Renske

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
196
Caiman lizards are not that hard if you givethem enough space. I have 4 adults and 3 babies. Never had subadult and had no problems with the adults and the babies. They all eat from the start. Snails, shrimps, cat food, fish, fruits and more.. They need a lot of light, space and good quality water. A uvc filter on the water is a must. It kills al the bacteria and you will not risk your caiman tegu to get an infection in the brain or an bacterial infection.
They can get extreemly tame and are beautiful and nice pets. :D
 

Joel Vargas

New Member
Messages
2
Location
Houston
Renske your that guy with the amazing freaking outdoor enclosure (idk if its indoor cant tell).
I have been creeping on your stuff on you tube lol. THAT S*** IS AMAZING!!

Side note for Chelvis and Renske. I got a young caiman lizard about 2ft long now. He eats almost everything I give him. he is in a 100 gallon palu. my problem is that he or she freaking hates me to the core, i cant even get close to the enclosure without him or her going beserk. Picking up for water change is just a no go. Now I have to use towls to drape over him or her to get it out. I know this isnt a great method but the fact is I cant even touch it. What can I do? I know the towl has to stop because it puts more stress, but besides that what can help??
 

Renske

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
196
Yes i am that girl. :p
I think the biggist problem with agressive caiman lizards is that they need space. My enclosure is very big and in only a week they became tame by them selfs. The babies. Adults took me a longer time. But that was with handeling and like you discribe sounds like the frustration my baby caimans had.
 

tupinambisfamiliaris

Member
5 Year Member
Messages
92
I am going to slowly and deliberately put an enclosure together. If it takes 6 months to a year, then so be it. I'm going to use a 150gal livestock tank to start off. Eventually, I would like to use the tank as a the water feature in an adult cage.

I'm considering a sand/soil mix for the substrate. Monitor keepers swear by it, and it encourages humidity retention. I'm going to build a wooden top for the stock tank and allow for almost zero ventilation. I'm going to work in a fogger as well.

One question for Renske: If I want to use a UV filter for the water source, is there a specific brand or model that's best? Are they made strictly for fish or are there turtle-type versions for animals that produce large amounts of waste? Is it a submersible canister unit? Brain infections seem common from what I've read, and I'd like to do what I can to avoid them.

Did anyone here go the vet-check route? Being imports, it seems like a good idea, but it would also add stress to a new animal's acclimation. I haven't purchased a WC animal for 20 years, and any time I've taken something to a vet, it seems to be very traumatic for the reptile.
 

jeremy piner

New Member
Messages
3
What do you recommen
Honestly they are not to hard to work with as long as they are feeding. Darwin is an amazing lizard (my second caiman lizard I lost Bacardi my first to a brain infection). A word to the wise, if you just want a display animals and something you can interact with (mine free roams when I am home and sits on the couch on sunday night football) then buy a sub adult. Let someone else take the time to get them to eat different foods, get them eating well and thriving. Its heart brake sometimes with the young guys as they will not eat or only eat a few things. I got lucky with Darwin and Bacardi as they seem to eat everything. Even this morning my baby tegu wouldn't finish the ground turkey so Darwin cleaned the bowl. Once they are about the 2 foot mark you can see what kind of caiman lizard they are, those who have them at this side will tell you they are eating machines or they are picky. There is a very good chance that they may die on ya (something to think about with $600 going into a lizard). Its getting close to the baby season for theses guys.

View attachment 6995
What would you recommend i do to feed my baby caiman?since i got it. All it does is sit in the water. It has not eaten
 

polcyn1030

New Member
Messages
5
Try feeding with tongs...and have you had a vet checkup on ur baby cl? I would recommend a vet visit and then try tongs they could take a week or two to settle in...how long have you had it? What are your parameters? Humidity Temps etc...pic of your setup will help as well
 

jeremy piner

New Member
Messages
3
I
Try feeding with tongs...and have you had a vet checkup on ur baby cl? I would recommend a vet visit and then try tongs they could take a week or two to settle in...how long have you had it? What are your parameters? Humidity Temps etc...pic of your setup will help as well
I had it for three days now. I have it in a 40 gallon tall tank humidity i keep at 60 to 80 percent. I have a uvb 10.0 bulb on the aquatic side. Basking spot of 110 degrees. I got the caiman from underground reptiles
 

polcyn1030

New Member
Messages
5
That sounds good but only 3 days I wouldn't worry so much right away...give it some time to settle in to its new enclosure...I would recommend starting to give it a bigger enclosure...also where are you located? My caiman lizard and most people that live in a cooler climate...the cl goes into brumation you can Google that and read about it but if you would like more knowledge and information I am an admin on a Facebook page called all about caiman lizards and you have a good amount of info on their as well! Let me know if you have any other questions
 

jeremy piner

New Member
Messages
3
I live in flo
That sounds good but only 3 days I wouldn't worry so much right away...give it some time to settle in to its new enclosure...I would recommend starting to give it a bigger enclosure...also where are you located? My caiman lizard and most people that live in a cooler climate...the cl goes into brumation you can Google that and read about it but if you would like more knowledge and information I am an admin on a Facebook page called all about caiman lizards and you have a good amount of info on their as well! Let me know if you have any other questions
I live in florida. I will join your facebook page today. Thank you
 

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