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Thread: Semi-Aquatic Garter Tanks??

  1. #1
    "Preparing For First shed" 05brandon50's Avatar
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    Question Semi-Aquatic Garter Tanks??

    Hey guys!

    I have been pretty bored lately and was wondering if anyone has any experience with custom semi-aquatic enclosures for their garters! I was looking on youtube and saw an amazing tank that didn't look too tough to replicate. Of corse I would not be using fish, frogs, or any other living organisms in the water, but I was just thinking of trying to make an interesting cage. Does anyone have any experience and or advice in regards to substrate, radios of land to water, etc.? Would garters enjoy or benefit from having this kind of setup? Like I said, I am rather bored with my typical snake setups on my corn snake and ball python cages and garters could support a "creative" cage.
    If not semi-aquatic, any ideas or experience with planted cages?? That could be an interesting project as well.

    Any input would be great!

    Thanks!
    Brandon

    *note my grammar and paragraphing are terrible as I just got off of work and am exhausted
    1 corn: August
    1 ball python: Kenya
    1 red sided garter: Rita
    Brandon

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    "PM Boots For Custom Title" d_virginiana's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-Aquatic Garter Tanks??

    Garters like to soak and swim around, but they also like to crap in their water. Always. Having dealt with aquariums and such, I think you'd have a very difficult time keeping a permanent water feature that you can't take out and wash separately clean enough. A water dish large enough to swim around in is usually good for them.

    I personally don't like planted terrariums. My snakes climb on and crush even plastic plants, so I don't even try live ones. Maybe someone else could give you info on that though.
    I'll go ahead and write out some instructions for something I do that I think gives my terrariums a very natural look. Great for placing hanging vines and stuff. I use it for my garters as well as my tree frog, and they all seem to like it.
    Great-stuff expanding foam
    100% silicone (make sure there are no fungicides in it)
    Cocofiber
    Decorative plastic plants

    I create whatever shape I want the plants to 'grow' out of with the foam. You can cut and sculpt it after it dries. Then, I use the silicone to glue it into the aquarium where I want it. After that sets, I coat the outside of the foam mount with the silicone again, and press cocofiber into it and let that dry. Then I stick the decorative plants into it. Works great, since you can take the plants out to wash them, and switch plants if you want a different look. It's also pretty easy to clean around since its coated in the silicone.
    If you get tired of it, you can just tear the foam out and scrape extra silicone off with a putty knife (not that it matters since its aquarium safe).
    Lora

    3.0 T. sirtalis sirtalis, 1.1 T. cyrtopsis ocellatus, 1.0 L. caerulea, 0.1 C. cranwelli, 0.1 T. carolina, 0.1 P. regius, 0.1 G. rosea, 0.0.1 B. smithi, 0.1 H. carolinensis

  3. #3
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-Aquatic Garter Tanks??

    This issue has been discussed before but it seem the consensus was the enclosures are difficult to clean and control the humidity(usually too high).

    Here's a thread I did find that addresses some of the concerns.


    http://www.thamnophis.com/forum/encl...waterfall.html
    Steve
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    Forum Moderator aSnakeLovinBabe's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-Aquatic Garter Tanks??

    You can do it, you just need to learn how to build up a proper bed of dirt and what not for the soil, it involves several layers of various substances... And you need a filtration system in your water feature. Once the soil and the water are bio-active, waste will be proven down quite efficiently. And you will have to choose plants that are durable enough to withstand being crawled over. The bigger the better, because then the snake won't pave back and forth over the same few plants all day and crush them. I will eventually be setting up bio-active vivaria for some of my stuff. You can also utilize the helper or several types of tiny invertebrates to break things down and keep things clean.
    Mother of many snakes and a beautiful baby girl! I am also a polymer clay artist!


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    "PM Boots For Custom Title" Didymus20X6's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-Aquatic Garter Tanks??

    I constructed a two-tank system. I have two enclosures, linked together by a pipe, that has land on one side, and water on the other. The snakes can freely move between them, bask in the lamp and dry off on one side, and cool off and swim in the other.

    But it does get pretty dirty at times. I use siphon pumps to clean the water (which I generally have to do once or twice a week), and about once a month, I have to give the water tank a good scrubbing.

    You can find pics of my setup here:

    http://www.thamnophis.com/forum/encl...tml#post211232
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    Forum Moderator aSnakeLovinBabe's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-Aquatic Garter Tanks??

    Quote Originally Posted by Didymus20X6 View Post
    I constructed a two-tank system. I have two enclosures, linked together by a pipe, that has land on one side, and water on the other. The snakes can freely move between them, bask in the lamp and dry off on one side, and cool off and swim in the other.

    But it does get pretty dirty at times. I use siphon pumps to clean the water (which I generally have to do once or twice a week), and about once a month, I have to give the water tank a good scrubbing.

    You can find pics of my setup here:

    http://www.thamnophis.com/forum/encl...tml#post211232
    have you tried adding a lot more surface area to the water? Including a deep bed of gravel and surface area pellets for your filtration system? The more surface area you can cram into the water, the better. The beneficial bacteria that break things down need as much as possible. And that "slime" that grows inside your filter, and on all of the tank glass and fixtures in the tank is the beneficial bacteria so you don't want to wash them all away and kill them. If you completely take it all apart and scrub everything once a month, your system can never fully cycle and that is the reaso the water gets so dirty. The bacteria need anywhere from a month to 3 months to establish and the more surface they have to grow on the healthier the water will be. All water features are likely to cloud up for a while, anywhere from 1 week to 2-3 months. You simply need to wait that part out and not try cleaning it so much or adding chemicals to try and fix it. It's a bloom of beneficial bacteria that are responding to the elevated levels of ammonia in the water. Eventually they multiply to the point where there are enough to break down all of the waste quickly and that is when your water goes crystal clear. You could add two or three small live fish to the system and then not allow the garters to access it until it has fully bio'ed. The fish introduce the necessary bacteria into the system and then from there they just need time to grow. If you have a deep bed of gravel In the water every once in a while you can siphon to remove the buildup of broken down waste that accumulates slowly but you don't want to remove the stones, wash them, or let them dry out (basically you can't kill your bacteria or you've ruined the whole system). If you use one of those "bio wheel" filters you should NEVER wash the wheel, or replace it (unless it breaks of course) or allow it to dry out. Same goes for the media you place in a filter to promote bacteria growth.

    ^ this is he number one reason first time fish tank owners fail miserably. They constantly take the tank apart every month or every 3 months and clean everything way too thoroughly and kill off their bio, and then the fish become sick, the water's always clouding back up, etc etc. that and adding live creatures, too many, way too soon, and the bacteria can't keep up with it all and it turns the water downright toxic.
    Peterra likes this.
    Mother of many snakes and a beautiful baby girl! I am also a polymer clay artist!


  7. #7
    "Preparing For First shed" 05brandon50's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-Aquatic Garter Tanks??

    Thanks for all the input!

    My father has multiple aquariums (one over 200 gallons) with large wet/dry systems, so I know all too well the importance of bacteria in an aquatic habitat. I've also owned and raised chameleons in fully furnished cages in the past and whoever mentioned that the more fancier or creative the tank, the harder it is to clean reminded me how true that statement was.

    Anyone have good substrate ideas for a planted tank? I was thinking peat or ecoearth with pothos cuttings, but I am worried about it being too moist and giving my snake health problems by growing mold, etc. Shannon had mentioned getting a "clean up crew" which usually consists of beneficial isopods, but I tried them in my large B. Vagans tank and they all disappeared within a week, never to be seen again. lol


    Idk guys, like I said I just want something differant than the typical snake enclosure. If you have any other ideas please feel free to share as I am looking for inspiration


    Thanks,
    Brandon
    1 corn: August
    1 ball python: Kenya
    1 red sided garter: Rita
    Brandon

  8. #8
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" Didymus20X6's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-Aquatic Garter Tanks??

    I use peat in my land enclosure, and I cut it with crushed clay. The clay makes it a bit drier; I have to spray some water every now and then to keep it from getting too dry.

    Shannon: I don't add chemicals to my snakes' water, and I don't currently use a filter on it, either. Had one, but it blew. If the snakes poop, I still had to clean the water, so I decided not to bother with it. I also don't use chemicals when I clean. I just scrub out the green slimy stuff and rinse. Also, the water in that enclosure isn't very deep. The way the pipe is positioned, I can only keep about two, at most three gallons in it at a time without making a huge mess; I could probably remove the rock from the center, but the snakes like to coil up on it. It's really just enough for the garters to bathe if they want. But I will take into consideration that I probably don't need to clean it as often.
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff.

  9. #9
    Forum Moderator aSnakeLovinBabe's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-Aquatic Garter Tanks??

    Quote Originally Posted by Didymus20X6 View Post
    I use peat in my land enclosure, and I cut it with crushed clay. The clay makes it a bit drier; I have to spray some water every now and then to keep it from getting too dry.

    Shannon: I don't add chemicals to my snakes' water, and I don't currently use a filter on it, either. Had one, but it blew. If the snakes poop, I still had to clean the water, so I decided not to bother with it. I also don't use chemicals when I clean. I just scrub out the green slimy stuff and rinse. Also, the water in that enclosure isn't very deep. The way the pipe is positioned, I can only keep about two, at most three gallons in it at a time without making a huge mess; I could probably remove the rock from the center, but the snakes like to coil up on it. It's really just enough for the garters to bathe if they want. But I will take into consideration that I probably don't need to clean it as often.
    zero chemicals are needed in the process I described

    unless you're counting the chemical dihydrogen monoxide.... You absolutely need that to be successful
    Mother of many snakes and a beautiful baby girl! I am also a polymer clay artist!


  10. #10
    Subadult snake rickymar81's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-Aquatic Garter Tanks??

    This is one of my land water enclosures i made for my radixes. I don't fill the water level to high. I also add a chemical that is used for turtle water to keep it clean. When it comes time to clean I use a pump to suck the water out. securedownload-206.jpgsecuredownload-207.jpg

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