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Old 08-08-18, 04:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Northern Ring-Necked snake advice

I recently acquired a ring neck snake, it is about a foot long. It seems to be doing alright in a 10 gal aquarium, although I am worried as to whether it is eating. I have moist soil for about 3 inches in the tank, sphagnum moss and leaf litter. He mostly hides so I haven't been able to hand feed. I have only had him for 2-3 days. Should i just go digging in the soil to find him? I know he has tunnels dug, I can see them through the side of the tank. I do keep plenty of worms in the enclosure and have some small crickets in there also.
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Old 08-09-18, 11:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Northern Ring-Necked snake advice

I've never kept that species, but I wouldn't be too worried about feeding just yet. I would let him acclimate another 4-5 days or so before trying to feed. But, again, I have no experience with the species, so I may be off.
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Old 08-09-18, 04:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Northern Ring-Necked snake advice

I have been able to observe him a little better. Crickets are missing from the tank. I definitely witnessed him jumping at the tall grass which I presume he was after a cricket. I thought my hatchling box turtle was shy but this little snake has him beat. I've noticed more activity since posting. Hard to catch him with the lights on much with him being nocturnal. He stays in the leaves/sphagnum moss most of the time but seems to be less skittish when I'm around now. I don't really try to handle him as he has musked me when I have before, stinky stuff. I had an albino corn snake over 10 years ago and this guy is a lot different.
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Old 08-09-18, 11:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Northern Ring-Necked snake advice

Ring necks really don't do well in captivity. Best bet is to release it and check out a reptile show or look around online for a baby corn or king snake. They're simply much easier to maintain and care for in general.
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Old 08-10-18, 05:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Northern Ring-Necked snake advice

i have kept many ring neck snakes back in the day..(think 1977), when i first became fascinated w/ reptiles. herpetoculture back then was in no way what it is today. anyway. my ring necks did very well on earthworms that i purchased from the bait shop. so, about every 10 days or so, you can replace the worms in your tank. the only problem with them (at least from my perspective), is that, because they were so fossorial, i NEVER saw them. they are such beautiful snakes, but you didn't get that chance to observe this, because they were doing ring neck things like hiding and burrowing. i would agree w toddnbecka though, unless you like looking at soil, you might want to pick up a king or corn for $30 or so and enjoy your snake.
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Old 08-10-18, 11:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Northern Ring-Necked snake advice

My ringneck experience pretty much looks just like MDT's. I still think they're cool, because they were the first snakes my mom let me keep inside the house. But, they're really just not great pets. I'd call them a "pet hole" like some tarantulas, but with ringnecks, you probably won't even have a hole to look at. It will just be a "pet tank of substrate."

There are so many better snakes for pets. In addition to the corns and kings already suggested, a garter snake might also be something to consider. They can also be fed worms (not ONLY worms) but are much, much more active and visible.
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Old 08-10-18, 12:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Northern Ring-Necked snake advice

I'll agree with the crowd on this one. It can be done pretty easily, but they seem to thrive when left alone. And you'll rarely see them.
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Old 08-10-18, 02:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Northern Ring-Necked snake advice

Yup, ringnecks rarely ever venture above ground, the only way you'll find them in the wild is by flipping rocks over, and they definitely seem to gravitate towards damp soil.

If you bought it, I wouldn't release it, just because it could harbor some diseases. If you caught it, I'd definitely release it where you found it.
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Old 08-10-18, 05:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Northern Ring-Necked snake advice

I wasn't looking to have this as a snake I constantly handle. I do not mind not seeing it so much but I do actually get to observe it if I am quiet. I see it out more often and it's definately active, moss, leaves, etc are constantly knocked all over the place and I see new tunnels in the dirt from the side of the tank. I definitely am not looking to kill the lil guy and was already thinking of letting him go. When I originally captured him I was planing on keeping him a few days and releasing. He is wild caught. I dont normally keep any wild animals unless I find them at work and it's an area where they are wiping out the animals habitat. No point in leaving them there to just get bulldozed etc. as land is cleared to make more houses for us humans. So I either keep him or let him go somewhere new. If I can know I can provide for him I'm ok with not seeing him all of the time. I am using soil and plants I obtained from its actual habitat before it was cleared. I am in land surveying and we are usually first before the heavy equipment comes in. I guess tomorrow I am making the decision to keep or let him go. Any other feedback would be great. He eats the same stuff my turtles eat for the most part and I thought that would work seeing as how I wouldn't need any different feeders. I always wash hands between species. They are nocturnal so if you want to observe them, night time is best.
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Old 08-11-18, 12:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Northern Ring-Necked snake advice

If you're ok with the level of interaction you're getting with him, there's no reason you can't keep him. If you're not seeing him eat, keep an eye on him to make sure he isn't losing weight. Otherwise, enjoy.
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Old 08-12-18, 05:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Northern Ring-Necked snake advice

I do actually get to see him more and more but he's definitely skittish. I can stand right next to the aquarium and observe him, so it's not so much a tank with substrate. I think I will be keeping him unless I feel he is not eating then he will be released into a new environment. I still haven't been able to observe him eating. He definitely has a lot of energy and I see it when I accidentally spook him. I suppose he would also be lethargic if starving?
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Old 08-12-18, 01:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Northern Ring-Necked snake advice

https://i.imgur.com/62n3QQW.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/8sDXM1e.jpg
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Old 08-12-18, 06:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Northern Ring-Necked snake advice

He's so pretty!
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Old 08-13-18, 05:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Northern Ring-Necked snake advice

Thanks. He seems to be doing alright. I see him out everyday and he's less spooked by me. I can legally only return him to where I found him which was in clearing limits... Probably not much to return him to. I still haven't seen him eat but he's nocturnal and shy. I don't notice any worms through the side of the aquarium or popping out the ground either. He doesn't appear to be any smaller and still pretty active.
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Old Yesterday, 07:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Northern Ring-Necked snake advice

I see poop so I guess I can assume he is eating. I know crickets disappear slowly and for the amount of worms I've put in the soil he should have plenty of food around. Crickets are gut loaded. I'm not handling him even for feeding, maybe for tank cleaning only as these are some shy snakes.
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