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Old 03-14-17, 12:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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anyone keep Nerodia rhombifer. Diamond back water snake

Looking for people that keep water snakes and have good information and husbandry. Also many some pictures of enclosure set ups handling just generally information about captivity really. I think they are really nice looking snakes and verry underrated. Thanks
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Old 03-14-17, 01:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: anyone keep Nerodia rhombifer. Diamond back water snake

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 03-14-17, 06:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: anyone keep Nerodia rhombifer. Diamond back water snake

Welcome to the forum. I always appreciate people who do their research before taking on a new animal.

Diamondback Water Snakes (and most other Nerodia species) are very easy keepers once started. Keep them much like any Corn or Kingsnake, just be sure their water bowl is big enough for them to soak in. It is very important to note that these are not aquatic snakes, and if kept too wet they will develop skin problems. They are primarily terrestrial animals that have adapted to hunting in an aquatic environment, and as such are considered semi-aquatic. Keep them on a dry substrate (I use newspaper) with a few hides, a large water bowl, and maybe some décor to climb on. Keep humidity around 30-40% and temperature in the mid to low 70's on the cool side, mid 80's on the warm side. As always, all heating elements must be thermostat controlled. You can boost humidity a bit when they go into shed to help with an easy shed. They do great in simple tub setups, but can make great display animals once they grow out of their skittish baby stage. Like many in the Natricinae family they do well in groups of two or three when provided enough space, but I wouldn't recommend keeping them in a group unless you're experienced and have space for a very large enclosure (think of something along the lines of what you might see in a zoo). Juvies usually take fish no problem and switch to rodents pretty easily. It's a good idea to get them on rodents as soon as possible as they are capable of getting pretty big (in the neighborhood of an adult Ball Python), but be careful not to overfeed. These guys are voracious feeders, very food oriented. An overweight snake in an unhealthy snake. Diamondback Water Snakes are messy and poop a lot, often in their water bowl, so you have to stay on top of keeping them clean, spot check water bowls at least a couple times a day.
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Old 03-16-17, 06:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: anyone keep Nerodia rhombifer. Diamond back water snake

Man I can not wait until she gets big!!!! So I can make a awesome enclosure with a nice basking spot to view her from! She's about 7 inches now. I handle her several times a day if not that at least once a day if im busy. She's just about out of the musking stage hasn't bit once but is still a flighty little Nerodia. Literally flys but is getting better. Should I roll pinkies in fish to swap her over ? I find so many of these in the wild (im in calallen) I hope she gets to be 54 inches. I have seen some really light ones and some really dark greens even after a shed do you know why that is ? Is that a Wc rat in your profile picture? I have a monster texas rat I can share
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Old 03-16-17, 07:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: anyone keep Nerodia rhombifer. Diamond back water snake

Sounds like it will be an interesting snake to keep. Sipedon are very common around here and they are cool looking snakes. Look forward to seeing some pictures of yours.
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Old 03-16-17, 08:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: anyone keep Nerodia rhombifer. Diamond back water snake

FWK pretty much summed up everything. At my old work we had some, and I enjoyed keeping them. I honestly feel like they are the best to keep out of the other species we have around here (Broad-banded, Mississippi Green, and Plain-bellied). I put them in a very large enclosure with a large circular plastic bin (probably 3' across and 1' deep) for their water, with several branches and plants hanging over the dish. I find that, just like in the wild, they love to have branches and plants (even artificial) either hanging over the water or directly adjacent to it. They always ate well, especially once they got into the routine.

As for coloration, they vary. I see them almost everyday and I'll se some really dark and some really light all in the same location. I saw one a few days ago that was actually more of a light brown. It took me a minute to realize it was even a diamondback. I would think that it would get pretty large...the one's I've worked with always did. I've seen some monsters in a couple locations by me. Several that were around five feet. Best of luck with it!
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Old 03-16-17, 08:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: anyone keep Nerodia rhombifer. Diamond back water snake

Quote:
Originally Posted by FWK View Post
Diamondback Water Snakes are messy and poop a lot, often in their water bowl, so you have to stay on top of keeping them clean, spot check water bowls at least a couple times a day.
FWK hit it pretty well. I'd add, that if you can swing a filter system in the water source (depending on the size of the water container), it'd be handy and helpful in keeping the waste broken down and the smell tamed. I've kept several off and on over the years and found that filter systems were helpful. Additionally, their tendency to musk (like many water snakes) is pretty impressive. Starting with a juvenile, you may not have this issue.

Best of luck with this little guy. They are neat snakes.
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Old 03-16-17, 09:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: anyone keep Nerodia rhombifer. Diamond back water snake

I would like to eventually. Diamondback and copper belly are illegal to keep in the state so that narrows things some. I wouldn't mind a nice, big diamondback. I debate the banded periodically and it's more safely within the law since it's not native here but I'm not doing it this year. I also saw some mud snakes (Farancia abacura) for sale once. They are more aquatic.
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Old 03-16-17, 09:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: anyone keep Nerodia rhombifer. Diamond back water snake

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I also saw some mud snakes (Farancia abacura) for sale once. They are more aquatic.
They also have a much more difficult diet to adhere to.
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Old 03-16-17, 10:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: anyone keep Nerodia rhombifer. Diamond back water snake

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Originally Posted by krakerlip View Post
Man I can not wait until she gets big!!!! So I can make a awesome enclosure with a nice basking spot to view her from! She's about 7 inches now. I handle her several times a day if not that at least once a day if im busy. She's just about out of the musking stage hasn't bit once but is still a flighty little Nerodia. Literally flys but is getting better. Should I roll pinkies in fish to swap her over ? I find so many of these in the wild (im in calallen) I hope she gets to be 54 inches. I have seen some really light ones and some really dark greens even after a shed do you know why that is ? Is that a Wc rat in your profile picture? I have a monster texas rat I can share
The snake in my profile pic is indeed a wild Western (formerly Texas) Rat Snake, but I didn't keep it. I only detained it long enough for pictures. I do have a couple field collected Western Rat Snakes though, I have a picture of them in my snakeroom thread. We'd definitely love to see pictures of your critters, post as soon as you can (the forum requires a minimum number of posts from a new member before they can post pictures, I think it's five). I would start working on switching the Diamondback to rodents.

Calallen is in a great location, in the Nueces River delta, I hope to get a chance to herp down that way this fall. I'm in the Victoria area.

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I also saw some mud snakes (Farancia abacura) for sale once. They are more aquatic.
Farancia sp. (Muds and Rainbows) are a completely different game. Mud Snakes are diehard amphibian eaters, adult Rainbows eat American Eels almost exclusively. Both are highly aquatic and extremely shy, they stress quickly if disturbed. Difficult animals to keep.
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Old 03-16-17, 06:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: anyone keep Nerodia rhombifer. Diamond back water snake

Plan on making a little pond with a filter. I would like to do that fown the road for any snakes that will use take advantage of a pond. Also plan on getting everyone im a bioactive enclosure which is pretty much already done but im missing plants. When I click the picture logo it says to attach url.?? Do I have to go post 4 more post before I can just upload from my phone gallery or does this not work that way ?
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Old 03-16-17, 09:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: anyone keep Nerodia rhombifer. Diamond back water snake

I think that you now need 2 more posts before you can post a picture, but even then it can be somewhat of a pain if you're trying to upload from your phone. There are strict picture size requirements to upload. I've found it much easier to use a image hosting site like imgur and upload your pictures there. Then you just copy the url and it will automatically resize your picture.
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Old 03-17-17, 03:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: anyone keep Nerodia rhombifer. Diamond back water snake

The problem I had with bioactive and water is the soil will go in the water container. For blood pythons most seem to solve this by giving them humid hides instead of soaking containers but that likely wouldn't be as acceptable of solution for nerodia species. If it's raised with rocks instead of buried like I first attempted it might work but even with rocks surrounding the water container I had a snake digging in the dirt, going through the water, and then digging in the dirt more so there were mud streaks everywhere and the bowl still got dirty relatively quickly. It was of the size I could easily pick it up and rinse it though. For bigger I'm not sure but filtration might be the only way to go. The filter would have to survive the particles of your substrate which can chew up filters that hit the impeller instead of the fine media first depending what you use.
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