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Posted by W von Papinešu on March 15, 2003 at 10:45:42:
MONTREAL GAZETTE (Quebec) 12 March 03 Tap water fine for snakes (Steve Dale)
Q: I enjoy your column, even though I don't have a cat or a dog. I do, however, have three ball pythons. I've always given my snakes bottled water. I'm concerned about chlorine, as well as about tap water not being healthy. I know some reptiles get bone and digestive troubles because there are too many minerals in their diets. We buy bottled spring water for ourselves, and bottled water without minerals for the snakes, but this is getting expensive. Is bottled spring water safe for pythons?
J.F. Las Vegas, Nev.
A: Dr. Mark Mitchell, of the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, Baton Rouge, says: "I have four ball pythons myself, and they drink tap water. While tap water does have some mineral content, and your awareness about reptile susceptibility to minerals is legitimate, the mineral quantity in tap water is negligible."
Chlorine is added to our water to eliminate bacteria and other pathogens, Mitchell explains. This makes the water safe for us to drink, and the same is true for reptiles.
However, the mineral content in some tap water may adversely affect fish. Also, even slightly chlorinated tap water can impact fish and amphibians' health. While ordinary tap water is safe for your snakes, if you prefer bottled water, the same bottled spring water you drink is just fine for your reptiles.