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Thread: Feeder Guppies

  1. #1
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    Feeder Guppies

    So, my Cali Red arrived today and is getting settled in. However I ran into an unexpected problem: None of the stores in my neighborhood carry anything other than goldfish or minnows as feeder fish. I never thought about sourcing them in advance because I frankly didn't expect shops to have stopped selling the common guppies. I worked at PetCo 15 years ago, and no only did we STOCK the common guppies for really cheap, we also had no trouble pointing someone in the right direction if they needed something we didn't carry (even if it was sending them to Petsmart!). The kids working there now looked at me like I grew a second head when I asked for them. What have these stores come to?

    Long story short, (too late) I can't believe I have to ask this, but does anyone in St. Louis know a reliable source for guppies? I've found two places that carry them so far while calling around, but neither are conveniently located, one is out of stock, and the other may not have any small enough (mine is MAYBE the length of my hand.

    Ideally I want to set up to breed my own, but even if I were to start today I'd be looking at at least a month before there's even a litter, much less any fry large enough to actually use.

    My local Walmart carries baby nightcrawlers so I at least have something to feed her for now, but she's too small for pinkies right now even if I chop them up first. The breeder already had them on guppies so I want to continue on them until she's big enough for chopped pinkies.

  2. #2
    Old and wise snake
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    Re: Feeder Guppies

    Baby garters are never ever too small for chopped pinkies
    Albert Clark likes this.

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    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Feeder Guppies

    Be sure they are baby Canadian night crawlers and not compost/redworms. Redworms are toxic.
    Steve
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  4. #4
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    Re: Feeder Guppies

    Quote Originally Posted by guidofatherof5 View Post
    Be sure they are baby Canadian night crawlers and not compost/redworms. Redworms are toxic.
    Yes, I did double-check to be certain. So far she's not shown an interest in either the crawlers or scented pinkies. She may still be stressed from shipping, but I did pick up a couple guppies as small as I could get from one of the stores this afternoon I'm seeing if she might go for just in case she's decided to be fussy.

  5. #5
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    Re: Feeder Guppies

    Looks like she was just being fussy. I gave her three guppies this morning and two are gone. I'm leaving the third in there for a bit to see if she takes it, as well. I'm sure it doesn't help that she's been really skittish since she arrived, (even undoing the lock securing the top makes her bolt) so trying to tease-feed her chopped bits of crawler or pinkie with forceps is probably spooking her out.
    Albert Clark likes this.

  6. #6
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Feeder Guppies

    Good to hear she's eating.
    Albert Clark likes this.
    Steve
    5 awesome kids!
    Emmy, Kale, Molly, Gabby, Hailee
    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

  7. #7
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    Re: Feeder Guppies

    Thanks. Maybe once I can get her tamed down to where she's not bolting whenever I try to get into the cage I'll try using guppies to sent pinkie bits, but for now I'll keep her on the fish.

    Now I have to figure out what to do with those crawlers since she's too small to eat a whole one, (they're labeled as "babies" but all of them are nearly as big around as she is, and some of them might be nearly as long!) and hasn't shown any interest in eating chopped up bits. :-P I was tempted to turn one or two loose in the terrarium to help maintain the substrate. However I seem to be getting mixed feedback when I research doing it.

  8. #8
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    Re: Feeder Guppies

    Out of curiosity, the thiaminase in fatheads and other fish is only a problem if ALL the snake is eating is fatheads, correct? If I'm able to get her feeding on mice as her main food source, the minnows will be acceptable as an occasional treat for variety?

    The reason I ask is I'm planning to build a paludarium for her once she's big enough, and I actually have room (hopefully the latter within a year). The idea being to replicate the natural environment as best I can, which I want to design to look like the banks of a creek or stream in California.

    That brings me to a conundrum...

    What fish would be a good choice to stock the water feature?

    I know that any fish that I put in IS going to get et at some point or another. Fatheads aren't native to California, but are a native American fish, and are present as an introduced species. There's also the thiaminase. Others I need to watch for because they'll just end up being a very expensive meal, or may harm the snake directly (so I'll be staying away from any kind of catfish and their spines). The fish can't get too big, and a shallow water species would be ideal (if I'm able to do a 135 or 180 like I want, the water feature will be 1/3 of the tank, so about 24x24, and perhaps up to 8" deep with additional water volume provided via a sump tank).

    So basically what I'd be looking for is:

    1) Something either native to the snake's range, or "close enough" it could act as a substitute (IE, I'm using Silver Falls Dichondra as ground cover in the terrarium I have right now because the native Dichondra isn't easy to come by, but it's a similar enough plant).
    2) Something that will breed readily either in situ or in a secondary tank (perhaps using the sump tank as a breeder, so it's tied to the same water system as the water feature itself) so I can replenish the population if necessary. ESPECIALLY if the fish itself is going to cost a good couple bucks each.
    3) Something that won't harm the snake when it inevitably gets nommed if she's feeling peckish between mice.
    4) Nothing too big for the feature, and preferably a shallow-water species.
    5) It goes without saying it ought to be something actually AVAILABLE.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Since mice will eventually be her main food source (assuming I can get her converted. And no one figures out how to make readily available feeder frogs a thing) would it be ok to simply use the minnows since she'll have an alternative source for thiamine if she decides to snack?

  9. #9
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    Re: Feeder Guppies

    I am from Michigan and my local pet stores stock guppies but not even normal ones. These ones are pretty. Some have a different color. Also striped danios and Molly's are a couple I've gotten when I couldn't get fuzzy mice or pinkies. Maybe someone sells those?

  10. #10
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" Albert Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Feeder Guppies

    Try feeding the infernalis baby sliced thawed Sally's San Francisco Bay Brand Silversides mixed with chopped thinly sliced nightcrawlers. Place the mixture in a shallow saucer or bottle top as to make it easily accessible to the reptile. Sprinkle or dust with powdered reptile vitamins every two weeks.
    Silversides are sold at both Petco and Petsmart freezer section.
    guidofatherof5 likes this.
    Stay in peace and not pieces.

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