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Posted by Accomplice on November 15, 2002 at 14:06:44:
I've been doing research and talking to alligator snapper owners/ keepers at zoos, aquariums and private residences for a while now. They seem to fall into two groups on this issue. One group which consists mostly of the public aquarium/ zoo / attraction crowd always says "well we've got ours in a X,XXX aquarium and its not big enough." They normally have tanks/ ponds around 500-1,400 gallons but feel they would benefit from more space. The other group on this issue tends to be made up of the private collectors who say "these things don't need much room, its the quality of the space (log snags, hiding areas) that's most important. This group contends that 300-500 gallons may be adequate for single adult alligator snapper. All agree that more room is better.
I'm getting all of this data to be sure that I can house my 19" 62 lb. male properly. I've narrowed down my tank choice to a rectangle, fiberglass tub with a large viewing window on one side. My options are to get the "standard" size: 5' 10" long, 4' front to back, 4' 6" water depth. This tank holds 600 gallons. My other option is to save some money by having them chop down the depth of the tank which allows for a thinner (cheaper) acrylic window to be used. The cut down version could be any smaller height but I asked for a quote on a 2'6" depth. It's also slightly smaller in length and width because this unit's walls angle out from the bottom. The 2' 6" deep tank would be roughly 300 gallons when full. My question is this: would my alligator snapper benefit from having more water depth (3', 3.5', 4' or 4.5' vs. the 2.5')? What are everybody's thoughts on this issue? I will invest in a deeper tank if it will benefit the turt. What depth would you guys select?
I'm getting a fake cypress stump made that will sit in one of the corners. Its going to have a cave in it for the snapper to hide in. You can get an idea of what I'm going for by looking at the set up on www.reynoldspolymer.com/imagea3.htm
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.