American Alligator indoor enclosure

jyabs7

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Sep 6, 2019
18
20
3
32
New here, figured this is the best site to learn for all my different animals tanks and enclosures. Currently i'm working on the next enclosure for my American Alligator named Ulysses. I got him as a hatchling, and he's a couple months old now, and time to move him out of his tank. This next enclosure is still in the design process, but i'll be planning as i go. It's not meant to be permanent, but reuseable, so when he outgrows it, i'll get a different animal for it.

If all goes well, this next one will be 4ft x 8ft, wood and glass. his land area will sit 36" above ground, be fully enclosed, with a 3ft round pond off to one side that is sunken into the land platform. I want to keep the water itself simple for cleanliness purposes, but am going to add some sort of live plant. The land area will likely just be turf. I'll have a shelf right below for his filters, spare bulbs, etc, and an area under that part for his dry food and bulkier items.

The pond is roughly 85 gallons, and with it being pretty bare i'm confident two cannister filters will do just fine. I currently run one for his 75 gallon tank and it keeps up just fine. I have a spare, so i'll just run both at once instead of buying new.

I'll have a canopy and some sort of an access door that i haven't thought of yet. It's not too critical but more for convenience. I handle him daily and plan to continue that until one of us dies first. I'm thinking maybe the whole front will come down on a hinge to help with cleaning, and getting him in and out but i'm not sure yet.

I'm not as fancy as some of you guys, and I'm learning as i go, so feel free to chime in with questions concerns tips ideas etc as i post the build.

My current questions in my mind so far are as to what i should finish off any wood parts with for a) looks and b) any moisture. The outside area that he won't have access to i'll stain with regular wood stain and clear. I don't imagine much water spillage, but i'd like to plan for it so what should I do for the inside parts that he has access to, or the parts under the turf?
 

tlindsey

Silver Tier VIP
MFK Member
Aug 6, 2011
13,306
10,237
1,645
Ohio
New here, figured this is the best site to learn for all my different animals tanks and enclosures. Currently i'm working on the next enclosure for my American Alligator named Ulysses. I got him as a hatchling, and he's a couple months old now, and time to move him out of his tank. This next enclosure is still in the design process, but i'll be planning as i go. It's not meant to be permanent, but reuseable, so when he outgrows it, i'll get a different animal for it.

If all goes well, this next one will be 4ft x 8ft, wood and glass. his land area will sit 36" above ground, be fully enclosed, with a 3ft round pond off to one side that is sunken into the land platform. I want to keep the water itself simple for cleanliness purposes, but am going to add some sort of live plant. The land area will likely just be turf. I'll have a shelf right below for his filters, spare bulbs, etc, and an area under that part for his dry food and bulkier items.

The pond is roughly 85 gallons, and with it being pretty bare i'm confident two cannister filters will do just fine. I currently run one for his 75 gallon tank and it keeps up just fine. I have a spare, so i'll just run both at once instead of buying new.

I'll have a canopy and some sort of an access door that i haven't thought of yet. It's not too critical but more for convenience. I handle him daily and plan to continue that until one of us dies first. I'm thinking maybe the whole front will come down on a hinge to help with cleaning, and getting him in and out but i'm not sure yet.

I'm not as fancy as some of you guys, and I'm learning as i go, so feel free to chime in with questions concerns tips ideas etc as i post the build.

My current questions in my mind so far are as to what i should finish off any wood parts with for a) looks and b) any moisture. The outside area that he won't have access to i'll stain with regular wood stain and clear. I don't imagine much water spillage, but i'd like to plan for it so what should I do for the inside parts that he has access to, or the parts under the turf?

Welcome aboard
Hopefully members will chime in with experience and info.
 

tlindsey

Silver Tier VIP
MFK Member
Aug 6, 2011
13,306
10,237
1,645
Ohio
New here, figured this is the best site to learn for all my different animals tanks and enclosures. Currently i'm working on the next enclosure for my American Alligator named Ulysses. I got him as a hatchling, and he's a couple months old now, and time to move him out of his tank. This next enclosure is still in the design process, but i'll be planning as i go. It's not meant to be permanent, but reuseable, so when he outgrows it, i'll get a different animal for it.

If all goes well, this next one will be 4ft x 8ft, wood and glass. his land area will sit 36" above ground, be fully enclosed, with a 3ft round pond off to one side that is sunken into the land platform. I want to keep the water itself simple for cleanliness purposes, but am going to add some sort of live plant. The land area will likely just be turf. I'll have a shelf right below for his filters, spare bulbs, etc, and an area under that part for his dry food and bulkier items.

The pond is roughly 85 gallons, and with it being pretty bare i'm confident two cannister filters will do just fine. I currently run one for his 75 gallon tank and it keeps up just fine. I have a spare, so i'll just run both at once instead of buying new.

I'll have a canopy and some sort of an access door that i haven't thought of yet. It's not too critical but more for convenience. I handle him daily and plan to continue that until one of us dies first. I'm thinking maybe the whole front will come down on a hinge to help with cleaning, and getting him in and out but i'm not sure yet.

I'm not as fancy as some of you guys, and I'm learning as i go, so feel free to chime in with questions concerns tips ideas etc as i post the build.

My current questions in my mind so far are as to what i should finish off any wood parts with for a) looks and b) any moisture. The outside area that he won't have access to i'll stain with regular wood stain and clear. I don't imagine much water spillage, but i'd like to plan for it so what should I do for the inside parts that he has access to, or the parts under the turf?
Oddball Oddball
 

jyabs7

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Sep 6, 2019
18
20
3
32

Awesome. That poor gator was so stunted :( I expect a foot a year or better out of this one based on its growth so far. So far hes on mazuri gator kibble, crickets, pike pieces, fuzzy mice and chicken. I wanted to give him a few gold fish now and then as snacks, but once I put the first one in the tank my three year old decided they are her friends....which is fine because Ulysses doesnt care for them. The one I did give him is still living in harmony with him lol. I'm always in the market for new feeder foods though, I like to keep it mixed up, but prefer to stay away from live food as much as I can.
 
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Lepisosteus platyrhincus

Polypterus
MFK Member
Nov 9, 2008
6,758
7
92
In the caiman den
Paint on bedliners hold up decently well to croc claws. For my old enclosure, I used a 20 year wood stain followed by paint on bedliner. Make sure to do it outside and leave it outside for a few days. Stuff offgases something fierce for a bit.
 
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Bsixxx

Polypterus
MFK Member
Jul 17, 2006
4,283
140
96
.
Pond armour will be your best friend. Just make sure you do about 4 thick coats. A bunch of people I know and myself use it for everything from dwarf caiman and crocodiles to active and destructive monitor's.
 

fishhead0103666

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
May 14, 2018
3,278
2,781
154
Awesome. That poor gator was so stunted :( I expect a foot a year or better out of this one based on its growth so far. So far hes on mazuri gator kibble, crickets, pike pieces, fuzzy mice and chicken. I wanted to give him a few gold fish now and then as snacks, but once I put the first one in the tank my three year old decided they are her friends....which is fine because Ulysses doesnt care for them. The one I did give him is still living in harmony with him lol. I'm always in the market for new feeder foods though, I like to keep it mixed up, but prefer to stay away from live food as much as I can.
Did you miss the part where the op said the gator turned out to be stolen and the story he had been given about the gator having lived with the thieves for several years wasn't true?
 

jyabs7

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Sep 6, 2019
18
20
3
32
Did you miss the part where the op said the gator turned out to be stolen and the story he had been given about the gator having lived with the thieves for several years wasn't true?
I guess I did! I caught the part of it being stolen, but assumed it was mistreated after and was stunted like rex if you've heard of him.
 

jyabs7

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Sep 6, 2019
18
20
3
32
I scored these two 4x8 platforms from a coworker who just got married. He used them as platforms for his head table. gonna rework them a bit and theyll be perfect for my idea on the enclosure.

20190910_162516.jpg
 
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