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 #2157437


FayeFaye
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 NWS Food?

Hi there everyone, I have a Northern Water Snake that my fiance caught near my old home a few years ago when he was a baby (roughly 4 inches long) and he was eating rosies and guppies and last year he moved up to goldfish. Our NWS is now almost two feet and eats 6 goldfish in one day. We get him fish from the petstore about once every week or so (half dozen each time) and he gobbles them up and leaves two to eat for the next day. We never owned a water snake before and this has been working out and our snake seems healthy (grew from 4 inches to 2 feet) and sheds every once in a while but I was wondering if this is acceptable and if we can feed him anything else.
Any information and help would be appreciated!



06/21/10  09:30pm

 #2158820


Cphill58
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  Message To: FayeFaye   In reference to Message Id: 2157437


 NWS Food?

Water snakes will enjoy frogs and larger fish...possibly other snakes and lizards too. Might be intriguing to see if it will eat a small mouse as if it fell in the water???



06/27/10  02:20am

 #2167747


Pitbulllady
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  Message To: FayeFaye   In reference to Message Id: 2157437


 NWS Food?

DO NOT FEED GOLDFISH to your snake, unless you want to KILL IT! Goldfish and Rosy Reds contain a high level of a toxic enzyme called Thiaminaise, which prevents the snake’s body from absorbing vital nutrients such as Vitamin B, which is necessary for proper neurological functions. It might take awhile for symptoms to show up, but once they do, the snake is doomed. Most Water Snakes will readily accept pieces of cut fish from the supermarket if offered on tongs, and safe species include salmon, tilapia and trout. Many pet shops also carry fresh frozen silversides; look for the San Francisco brand, since the Hikari brand are not real silversides but smelt, which also contain Thiaminaise. It is also quite easy to switch these snakes over to frozen/thawed small mice or baby rats by scenting them with fish; just drop a few dead rodents into a ziplock back with some pieces of fish or whole fish, freeze them together, then let them thaw out together. Offer the rodent by jiggling it by the tail using forceps or tongs in front of the snake. Water Snakes fed rodents tend to have less poop and be healthier in general than those fed on fish exclusively.

pitbulllady



08/07/10  05:36pm

 #2169343


Cphill58
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  Message To: Pitbulllady   In reference to Message Id: 2167747


 NWS Food?

Thanks for that info pittbull...awesome to know !! ...I feed silver sides to the red earded sliders and often thought about buying smelt at the grocers. Any thoughts about smelt??

Cp



08/14/10  12:11pm

 #2169445


Pitbulllady
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  Message To: Cphill58   In reference to Message Id: 2169343


 NWS Food?

Smelt also contain Thiaminaise, so they should be avoided as both Water Snake or aquatic turtle food. Silversides, IF they are real Silversides(Hikari sells Smelts as Silversides, which is not good, but San Francisco foods sells real Silversides that are fortified with extra Thiamine to offset what is lost through freezing) do not contain the enzyme and so make good snake food. Here is a link to an article on Thiminaise and its effects on carnivorous pet fish, but the same can be applied to any species of animal that eats fish primarily. At the bottom is a list of fish and invers to avoid, and those which do not contain the enzyme and are safe to feed, and fortunately, many of the safe species are widely available, commercially, in supermarkets and fish markets, or can be easily caught in local waterways.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_1/thiaminase.htm

pitbulllady



08/14/10  10:25pm

 #2169569


KimboSliceEatsCats
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  Message To: Pitbulllady   In reference to Message Id: 2169445


 NWS Food?

water snakes will eat anything you can find, if you see any animal around your house that could fit in his mouth catch it and I bet he will eat it

and yea, gold fish suck, nothing but goldfish is like eating mcdonalds every day and all day when your diabetic

mice may not be recommended until it is much larger since they could possibly hurt your snake if the snake is too small, especially since they over power their pray not constrict

go to a bait shop and buy bait fish, they will be local fish most likely, something nice and natural for it to eat
shiners work great, and they will go apespit for a toad



08/15/10  05:02pm

 #2170059


Cphill58
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  Message To: KimboSliceEatsCats   In reference to Message Id: 2169569


 NWS Food?

Quote:

Silversides, IF they are real Silversides



Yes, they are then SF brand fortunately....thanks again for the info...appreciate the link.

Cp



08/18/10  01:41am

 #2170743


Pitbulllady
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  Message To: KimboSliceEatsCats   In reference to Message Id: 2169569


 NWS Food?

Quote:

water snakes will eat anything you can find, if you see any animal around your house that could fit in his mouth catch it and I bet he will eat it

and yea, gold fish suck, nothing but goldfish is like eating mcdonalds every day and all day when your diabetic

mice may not be recommended until it is much larger since they could possibly hurt your snake if the snake is too small, especially since they over power their pray not constrict

go to a bait shop and buy bait fish, they will be local fish most likely, something nice and natural for it to eat
shiners work great, and they will go apespit for a toad



No, Water Snakes WILL NOT "eat anything you can find", and I have no idea where you got that piece of misinformation. I’ve been breeding several species of Water Snake for several years, and they are actually quite picky. NO Nerodia species naturally feeds on rodents, birds or eggs, but all of them feed exclusively on AQUATIC animals-that is why they are called WATER snakes! They can be conditioned to accept mice that are already dead by scenting the mice with fish or frogs, but this is not their normal inclination and if offered an unscented rodent for the first time, they will usually react with fear and make no attempt to eat it. NO responsible snake owner would even attempt to feed a live mouse to a Water Snake, since as you did point out, they have no means of killing a rodent, which can seriously injure the snake. I don’t even feed live rodents to my Boas and Pythons.

Shiners, aka bait minnows, which are available at bait shops, DO contain Thiaminase and while it’s not in the high concentration that goldfish have(they are both in the Carp family), it’s still there, so those fish should only be fed sparingly when nothing else is available and the snake refuses to eat cut fresh fish from the supermarket. Most Water Snakes, however, WILL readily accept salmon, trout, perch, flounder and other Thiaminase-free fish which are easily obtained from any supermarket chain. Toads and frogs are good, BUT what happens to those in the winter? They aren’t always easy to find, even in warm weather. Frogs and toads are both very scarce where I live due to years of drought combined with pesticide use on local farms; you’d be lucky to find one frog or toad per month, not even to feed even one snake. Most people need a steady, convenient source of food for their snakes rather than rely on some hit-or-miss chance of finding something.

pitbulllady



08/21/10  03:45pm


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