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Posted by pamotto on April 12, 2003 at 11:44:47:
Our nature center has recently acquired two young (born last fall) CB northern water snakes and one young (about the same age) CB diamondback water snake. They're currently being kept together in a 20-gal. long aquarium on aspen shavings with hide areas, a basking log and a water dish; they have a flourescent light above, but no additional heat. Here's my question: What treatments are necessary for the bait-shop fathead minnows we feed them? I've heard everything from formalin (Quick Cure) to salt (any advice on concentration would be appreciated) to freezing first to gat rid of parasites. (But with that last option, I worry about destroying vitamin B.)I do not know what, if any, chemicals are added to the water at the bait shop before hand, but that would be easy enough to find out.
Another question--should the snakes be removed to a separate container for feeding? There are several large pieces of bark surrounding the water dish, and most of the eating seems to occur in that area, but I worry that the little guys might ingest some of the aspen shavings. Is that a valid concern?
I want to make sure these snakes, who all are great eaters, remain as healthy and happy as they seem to be right now!