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Old 09-13-17, 11:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Semi-aquatic

Are there any snakes that would prefer a semi-aquatic enclosure? Can I trust a snake to not drown itself?
I was thinking of garter snake possibly since they are riverbed dwellers
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Old 09-13-17, 11:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Semi-aquatic

False Water Cobra?
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Old 09-13-17, 11:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Semi-aquatic

A water snake
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Old 09-13-17, 11:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Semi-aquatic

Ok, I just seem to remember hearing it's not good to keep snakes in a wet environment. But any of the shoreline species should be fine if I made a tank with a divider dirt on one side water on the other
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Old 09-13-17, 12:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Semi-aquatic

Wet environment is due to causing scale rot. If you had a land and water area it would be fine.

You'd also want a smaller species. I'd consider garters and ribbons. Anything that will readily eat fish basically.
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Old 09-13-17, 01:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Semi-aquatic

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Wet environment is due to causing scale rot. If you had a land and water area it would be fine.

You'd also want a smaller species. I'd consider garters and ribbons. Anything that will readily eat fish basically.
ok, cool. and could I keep a breeding population of guppies or would the snake eat itself into obesity?
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Old 09-13-17, 01:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Semi-aquatic

Some fish contain thiaminase, which destroys thiamin (vitamin B1), an essential nutrient. ... Snakes fed nothing but fish with thiaminase develop thiamin deficiency. Thiamin deficiency is potentially fatal but can be treated with massive doses of thiamin.

Be careful of the fish you choose!

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ok, cool. and could I keep a breeding population of guppies or would the snake eat itself into obesity?
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Old 09-13-17, 01:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Semi-aquatic

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Some fish contain thiaminase, which destroys thiamin (vitamin B1), an essential nutrient. ... Snakes fed nothing but fish with thiaminase develop thiamin deficiency. Thiamin deficiency is potentially fatal but can be treated with massive doses of thiamin.

Be careful of the fish you choose!
guppies are safe from what I can tell, my real concern here is "do garter snakes have self control"
I have made this mistake with fish. I bought 3 dozen glass shrimp for my two bala sharks and thought. they won't be able to eat all of them, and then maybe i'll end up with a self sustaining food source in the tank. BOY WAS I WRONG!!! all the shrimp were eaten in under 20 minutes. I thought the fish were going to burst, they seemed to be having trouble swallowing more they were so stuffed.
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Old 09-13-17, 03:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Semi-aquatic

Snakes don't really have an off switch when food is around, if that's the answer you're looking for.. "eat until full and then keep eating". Also, make sure that the snakes have enough dry land... and I mean dry, not soggy wet because of the water... that's very important.
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Old 09-13-17, 03:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Semi-aquatic

I seriously doubt you'd be able to keep a thriving population of fish in a tank with garters or ribbons. They're very active, and will eat fish almost to the point of amazement. You wouldn't believe how many they'll eat in one sitting, especially since guppies are so small. You're adult breeder guppies would likely get eaten quickly, and then your whole population is going to collapse.

They won't eat themselves to death. Obesity? Maybe. But they won't kill themselves eating too many fish. Also keep in mind, you don't want to make it overly difficult to change the water because the snakes will poop in it a lot.
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Old 09-13-17, 03:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Semi-aquatic

A semi aquatic enclosure can be an eye-catcher if you do it right and if you set the aquatic part as an aquarium you get an unusual view of your snakes and their behavior like swimming and diving. The downside is that you need the same technical infrastructure you would need for a "real" aquarium, especially an aquarium filter system to keep the water quality and oxygen level up for your fish to survive. Since your snake will leave its excrement in the water more often than not you will have to replace the water frequently, which will reduce its quality for the fishes. There is also the problem that you need an additional opening for the filter tubes which might create a possible escape route for your snake.

So basically it is much easier to provide your water or garter snake with a big removable water bowl, which you can clean and refill outside the enclosure and where you add the fishes you want to feed to your snake when you want to feed it. Creating a real semi aquatic setting will require much more effort to keep it going and to prevent the water to go stale.

However, there is another alternative. There are some aquatic snakes which have to be kept in an aquarium. Most of them are rear fanged colubrids from Asia (look for Homalopsidae), some of them are available from time to time in the trade, ie Puff-faced Water Snake (Homalopsis buccata) or the Tentacled Snake (Erpeton tentaculatum). To keep the you set up a medium or large aquarium like you would for some fishes, fill it 3 /4 with water and add your snake(s).


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Old 09-13-17, 09:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Semi-aquatic

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A semi aquatic enclosure can be an eye-catcher if you do it right and if you set the aquatic part as an aquarium you get an unusual view of your snakes and their behavior like swimming and diving. The downside is that you need the same technical infrastructure you would need for a "real" aquarium, especially an aquarium filter system to keep the water quality and oxygen level up for your fish to survive. Since your snake will leave its excrement in the water more often than not you will have to replace the water frequently, which will reduce its quality for the fishes. There is also the problem that you need an additional opening for the filter tubes which might create a possible escape route for your snake.

Roman
I'm aware of the struggles that to with a semi-aquatic set up. my girlfriend wanted axolotls and that's why I was even thinking of it, thing is they require a much larger tank than we have. what I would be using is a 5 gallon which would be perfect for the first couple years of caring for a garter snake. after that I would have to abandon the tank and upsize but it would last long enough to be worth it.
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Old 09-13-17, 09:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Semi-aquatic

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I seriously doubt you'd be able to keep a thriving population of fish in a tank with garters or ribbons. They're very active, and will eat fish almost to the point of amazement. You wouldn't believe how many they'll eat in one sitting, especially since guppies are so small. You're adult breeder guppies would likely get eaten quickly, and then your whole population is going to collapse
thanks for the info, basically it would turn out exactly like the Bala sharks and shrimp did. good to know.
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Old 09-14-17, 10:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Semi-aquatic

Back when it was part of my job to set up enclosures, my main method was to just get a large Tupperware-style container and bury it into the substrate. I'd leave about an inch or two of the rim sticking up so the substrate wouldn't fall in, and then place moss or plants (artificial or real) around the rim to cover it up. Looks nice but is also very easy to clean. Sometimes I'd put that common household ivy (can't think of the species name) in the water dish. It grows easily and looks fantastic. The ribbons would love to hang out in it.
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Old 09-14-17, 10:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Semi-aquatic

Enhydris won't get scale rot and stay in the water a lot of the time. They will eat frozen thawed silversides that you can get at any pet store. There are a lot of things that can go wrong when feeding fish eating snakes, the best source of infomation I have found are the garter snake forums. Having said that, the frozen silversides found at petco are definitely safe to use. They are rear fanged but there is little or no reaction in humans, can use a hook and feed with long stainless tweezers off ebay if it makes you feel more comfortable. They learn to associate you with food and will often come out of hiding as soon as they realize it is feeding time and beg for food. This is another good reason not to feed with your bare hands because they will go kind of crazy at feeding time.
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