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RE: Water snake advice please?

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Posted by: Macfa8 at Sun Jul 10 16:30:57 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Macfa8 ]  
   

I was in your position about a year ago and ended up carefully reading this paper, which discusses the temperature range and water quality of e. plumbea's natural habitat.
http://www.fmnh.org/research_collections/zoology/pdf/Voris_Karns_1996.pdf

As you'll see, they're mostly aquatic, unlike garter snakes or north american water snakes, which would easily get scale rot in a truly aquatic setup. I've basically tried to mimic the environmental factors described in the paper through a riparium setup. I keep the water level around 2-3", provided plenty of driftwood for the snake to hide in underwater, and use a submersible heater to warm up the water to around 82 deg. F. I provide a large piece of cork for when the snake wants to leave the water, which is almost never. I've also seen other keepers build a small island out of gravel and driftwood, which probably works better than cork. I try to keep the water slightly acidic (~6.6 ph) and do partial water changes weekly, depending how foul the water is.

As for feeding, I use a mix of freshwater fish, including minnows and danios. If you get a chance, check out the little rear fangs at the back of the snake's mouth. Really cool little snakes. Let me know if you have any other specific questions.


   

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