Gartner snake care?

Venom1080

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Found a small one. Interested in keeping it. Question is, how do I keep it? Should I even?

What stuff would I need? Food items? Temps? Humidity? Etc etc.

Here's the current set up.
20190827_183433.jpg
 

Mikeyspikeyz

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I used to take these from the garden and raise them (poorly might add because I was an irresponsible young boy). They will eat almost anything, so crickets small mice and what not. I would put in a UV and heat light for well, all the reasons. You can do anything you want with the enclosure, they are hard to kill.

Edit: I would put in a hide though, one on the warm and cold side, similar to other reptiles. Also a water dish they will be able to soak in if they want :)
 

Venom1080

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Where are you? what species of garter? please give pictures
Southern Ontario. Windsor area give or take.

Does the care differ between species?

Sure, I'll try to grab some pics.

@Hairyleglover what kind of lamp should I be looking at? What kind of bulb? I'm really rather a beginner with reptiles. :)

I did put a few things to climb on in the cage.
 

Hairyleglover

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Look for a day light basking bulb that produces heat and UV, it will give the little friend enough heat to bask and provide the UV, make sure not to get anything made for desert species as these will get too hot for the snake to properly bask.
 

Mordax8393

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The care will differ between species but all ontario species have the same care. There are three species in Ontario - The common garter, the ribbon snake, and the butler's garter. If yours is butler's (I'll let you know after I see the pictures but make sure to get a detailed picture of the body scales from the side) please release it - they are endangered. Common and ribbon snakes are both fairly good in captivity, but ideally you would keep them in same-sex pairs, that calms them down significantly.

Keep them on aspen. Provide a large water bowl as they are semi aquatic sometimes. Provide a basking light, climbing branches, and multiple hides which are hot or cool. They should eat mostly mice but occasionally worms and fish are good too. Make sure your fish don't have thyminease or your snake will get seziures.
 

Venom1080

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Sorry, here's some pictures. I did find another smaller one I'd like to keep together with this first one.
Screenshot_2019-09-01-23-58-14.png
New one I found. Looks really nice imo.
Screenshot_2019-09-01-23-58-22.png
Side view of new one
Screenshot_2019-09-01-23-58-35.png
Original
Screenshot_2019-09-01-23-58-40.png
Original
 

Venom1080

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Alright, here's the cage. Added a couple things.
20190902_000143.jpg

So, i need heat for proper digestion. Heat lamps or mats? There's special bulbs for reptiles, which ones should I be looking at? I assume just a 50watt bulb above one side of the cage wouldn't be good?

How a big a water dish are we talking about? Half the snakes length? More?

I really don't know much about reptile care obviously. Haha appreciate the patience.
 
Last edited:

Mordax8393

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@Venom1080 Both are nice looking Eastern Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis).

My first tip is to let these snakes go where you found them, and buy some captive-bred ones. Here is why:
- Catching them from the wild puts stress on wild population. While 2 garters doesn't make much of a difference, field-collecting can become a habit and has decimated populations of many reptiles in the past. (Montane rattlesnakes in Arizona, for example).
- Wild caught snakes make bad pets - they are not used to people and will not be as friendly or calm as captive bred individuals.
- Most importantly, wild caught snakes are usually unhealthy. They usually will refuse to eat at first, which will stress a new reptile keeper like you out tremendously. Plus, they will likely have diseases and parasites and will often die within a few months unless you spend a fortune on vet bills.
So in the long run, it is much smarter (and cheaper) contact a reputable breeder (not Petco/smart!!) and buy captive-bred snakes.

But if you still want to keep garters you should keep them well. Here is what you should do:
- 3x1.5 ft cage for both together. Make sure you check you have a same-sex pair or you will have many babies!!
- Aspen bedding is best but coco-husk materials work well too.
- Large water dish, big enough for them to soak completely.
- Keep many branches and things but you have too much right now - you will never see your snakes like this.
- Keep a basking bulb on top. Any strong heat lamp should do, just make sure the snakes cannot get to close to it. Get a laser thermometer to make sure the temperature is good.
- Feed mostly mice (frozen thawed!) and fish/worms occasionally. Make sure to not feed goldfish or other thyminease rich fish.

- important: watch these videos. Care:
feeding:
 

Venom1080

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@Venom1080 Both are nice looking Eastern Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis).

My first tip is to let these snakes go where you found them, and buy some captive-bred ones. Here is why:
- Catching them from the wild puts stress on wild population. While 2 garters doesn't make much of a difference, field-collecting can become a habit and has decimated populations of many reptiles in the past. (Montane rattlesnakes in Arizona, for example).
- Wild caught snakes make bad pets - they are not used to people and will not be as friendly or calm as captive bred individuals.
- Most importantly, wild caught snakes are usually unhealthy. They usually will refuse to eat at first, which will stress a new reptile keeper like you out tremendously. Plus, they will likely have diseases and parasites and will often die within a few months unless you spend a fortune on vet bills.
So in the long run, it is much smarter (and cheaper) contact a reputable breeder (not Petco/smart!!) and buy captive-bred snakes.

But if you still want to keep garters you should keep them well. Here is what you should do:
- 3x1.5 ft cage for both together. Make sure you check you have a same-sex pair or you will have many babies!!
- Aspen bedding is best but coco-husk materials work well too.
- Large water dish, big enough for them to soak completely.
- Keep many branches and things but you have too much right now - you will never see your snakes like this.
- Keep a basking bulb on top. Any strong heat lamp should do, just make sure the snakes cannot get to close to it. Get a laser thermometer to make sure the temperature is good.
- Feed mostly mice (frozen thawed!) and fish/worms occasionally. Make sure to not feed goldfish or other thyminease rich fish.

- important: watch these videos. Care:
feeding:
I let them both go. :) Interesting how varied the species ids I got for them. Guess it's the same with tarantulas lol..

I am still interested in some sort of small snake. Can you give some recommendations? Preferably comfortable in 20g or less
 

AzJohn

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I am still interested in some sort of small snake. Can you give some recommendations? Preferably comfortable in 20g or less
Rosy boas, and sand boas stay small but are fairly heavy bodied. Personally, I think rosy boas are awesome. Four feet would be huge for a rosy. They are known to be supper gentle and are fairly easy to keep. Plus they are pretty cheap. An Adult rosy can be housed in a twenty gallon short. I would get a tank with a more secure lid than what you pictured. Something that slides and can lock in place. You might also want to check out hognose snakes as well.
 

AzJohn

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This is how set up my rosy when I first got her. She was sort of a rescue. So, I didn't plan on getting her. I placed her in a 37 qt plastic bin that was fairly flat.It has 6 clasps, two on each long side and one on each of the short sides. I used aspen chips (never pine or cyprus) as substrate. I used a undertank heater with a thermostat and one hide(you should use two, one on each end). Add a water dish for drinking and your good. This set would work for all of the species as a permanent home, but I like to house my snakes in larger tanks, so I moved her into a 40 gallon. This set up would probably work for the other species I mentioned as well.

20190902_174913.jpg
 

Venom1080

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This is how set up my rosy when I first got her. She was sort of a rescue. So, I didn't plan on getting her. I placed her in a 37 qt plastic bin that was fairly flat.It has 6 clasps, two on each long side and one on each of the short sides. I used aspen chips (never pine or cyprus) as substrate. I used a undertank heater with a thermostat and one hide(you should use two, one on each end). Add a water dish for drinking and your good. This set would work for all of the species as a permanent home, but I like to house my snakes in larger tanks, so I moved her into a 40 gallon. This set up would probably work for the other species I mentioned as well.

View attachment 319401
Wow, that's it, huh? I'm a tarantula keeper at heart, so the simpler husbandry the better haha.. very tempting... I'll keep it in mind.

I really liked the look of hognose snakes as well. Do you know anything about their care?
 

Mordax8393

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Jan 24, 2019
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159
Clint's reptiles on YouTube has a series on helping you decide on a good pet snake - here's one video from it:

Snake Discovery and Go Herping have accurate care guides for most common reptile species.

Just don't trust Brian barczyk's care info - he is just trying to sell animals and doesnt care about them.
 
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