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  1. #1
    Juvenile snake suzoo's Avatar
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    Thiaminase & red worms

    First of all, what if the type of fish you feed your Garter isn't on the list? And what if you have fed a snake a type of fish that has thiaminase in the past, such as goldfish, because you didn't know any better, even if you don't feed them it now. Will your snake still get sick? And if a species of fish isn't on the list, how can you find out if it has thiaminase?
    I know what blood worms are, and nightcrawlers. But what is a red worm? Is it the type of Earthworm you dig up in the backyard? Or the other kind they sell at Walmart, "Trout Panfish worms"? And... what do the red worms do? How do they harm our snakes?
    That ought to keep some of you busy a while
    Thanks all!!!

  2. #2
    "Preparing For First shed" GGarter's Avatar
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    Re: Thiaminase & red worms

    Hey Suzoo.

    Allways nice to be put to work!

    Concerning your past feeding with thiaminase-consisting species, you don't need to worry.

    The Thiaminase is a highly selective enzyme, created for one single purpose, which is to break down Thiamin (Vitamin B1). (quote from my dear father, the biologist)
    That means that if your snake hasn't shown any signs of lack of vitamine B1, it will probably have no further problems, that of course if the diet is restructured, and the new diet is sufficient.

    By the way, you can feed your garters with prey, that contains thiaminase as long as you give them a B1 supplement. You should ask an expert for the exact amount of supplement, as too big amounts of B1 can be harmfull to the snake as well.

    I find it hard to believe that a home-testing kit for thiaminase is be found on the market, but I have been surprised before...
    try making contact with some zoological researchcentre near you. maybe they can come up with some more results, than the ones in the book.

    Concerning the worms, I'm afraid, the only thing i can tell you is that red worms are the tiny little buckers found in your composte. It is not the same species that you typically find in your lawn. maybe you'll come across a few, but you can allways look up some pictures on the net to compare.
    I am not sure that I have the same "wormfauna" here as you do in the US, so an american would probably be able to help you better than me. (With the lengual barrier in mind)

    hope this is will be to some help for you.

    Tore

  3. #3
    Former Moderator Cazador's Avatar
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    Re: Thiaminase & red worms

    Nice job Tore,

    With one foot dangling over the side of the cliff, I'll say that the concentration of thiaminase is more important than its mere presence. I wouldn't recommend this but one might, for example, feed a goldfish once a month or even a couple times a month as long as they're also fed other types of fish lacking thiaminase or they're given a B1 supplement. Doing this, though, is flirting with danger because it's hard to know the thiaminase:B1 ratio within the snake at any given time. That's why it's safest just to avoid giving them fish with thiaminase. It MAY end up killing them, but at lower concentrations, it might just end up retarding their growth, impairing their nervous system, making them lethargic, or impairing their reproductive capacity.

    Red worms (AKA "red wigglers") are also smaller than night crawlers and they're much less active. You could keep a colony of red worms in a flower pot, and they wouldn't crawl out of the pot. That's one reason they're great for composting... because they're unable to leave the locality where they're placed. Night crawlers, on the other hand, are able to crawl out of your hand, across your driveway, and into the neighbor's yard.

  4. #4
    Old and wise snake KITKAT's Avatar
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    Re: Thiaminase & red worms (and minnows?)

    I have fed minnows alternating with nightcrawlers for years with no noticeable effect. I do not know what species the common bait minnow is, or whether it is on the thiaminase chart (or high or low in content).

    Does anyone know?
    KitKat
    "Acts of kindness should never be random."

  5. #5
    Juvenile snake suzoo's Avatar
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    Re: Thiaminase & red worms (and minnows?)

    Thank you all so much! And KitKat, that is what I have done for years too. I buy minnows from the local bait shop and worms from Walmart in the winter. In the Summer I use minnow traps in the creeks and dig my own worms. Plus, in Spring, Summer and Fall, my kids and I catch frogs and things Garters like to eat.

  6. #6
    Brother Snake GarterGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Thiaminase & red worms

    As much as your garters probably love the frogs you get for them, they're probably the worst thing to be feeding them. As a rule, you're pretty much better off feeding captive bred prey items, just due to the fact that they "tend" to have lower parasite loads (if any) when compared to wild caught prey. Also frogs can carry a number of parasites that can get into your snakes and cause problems. Since it's a natural prey item, parasites that affect snakes will be naturally found in them. That's how it works in nature, the only problem is that in captivity, the stresses that snakes have and the small area they live in, make it that the parasites can get out of control and can really harm the snakes.....where in the wild, they may be able to live with them.
    Roy
    0.1 T.s.pallidulus

  7. #7
    Juvenile snake suzoo's Avatar
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    Re: Thiaminase & red worms

    Quote Originally Posted by GarterGuy View Post
    As much as your garters probably love the frogs you get for them, they're probably the worst thing to be feeding them. As a rule, you're pretty much better off feeding captive bred prey items, just due to the fact that they "tend" to have lower parasite loads (if any) when compared to wild caught prey. Also frogs can carry a number of parasites that can get into your snakes and cause problems. Since it's a natural prey item, parasites that affect snakes will be naturally found in them. That's how it works in nature, the only problem is that in captivity, the stresses that snakes have and the small area they live in, make it that the parasites can get out of control and can really harm the snakes.....where in the wild, they may be able to live with them.
    Thank you! And I have to say you're right GarterGuy, I have been very fortunate so far. I do raise Shih-Tzu puppies and am familiar with Panacur and "Frontline", and my Vet. even lets me use his microscope. But I probably shouldn't take chances! I love my snakes too much!
    Thanks, again, Suzoo

  8. #8
    Juvenile snake ClosedCasket88's Avatar
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    Re: Thiaminase & red worms

    "killfish" would be the name of some common baitfish minnows. "shiners" are also common as well as "smelt" and "shad"

  9. #9
    Juvenile snake suzoo's Avatar
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    Re: Thiaminase & red worms

    Quote Originally Posted by ClosedCasket88 View Post
    "killfish" would be the name of some common baitfish minnows. "shiners" are also common as well as "smelt" and "shad"
    They call the bullheads or bulls at my baitshop, but they just look like minnows to me. They have "Shiners" and "Shad" too, but they are bigger than the ones I buy.
    Thank you. Maybe I can post a picture of them

  10. #10
    Juvenile snake ClosedCasket88's Avatar
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    Re: Thiaminase & red worms



    Killfish, they are more common around saltwater areas cause there more meater and fattyer for bigger fish , ive noticed that alota freshwater fishing shops have shinners or shad or standard american minnows .
    i would go with the killfish , they get rather big and there very soft, no sharp big scales or spiny fins or anything that would cause a problem and the killfish eat like champs so if you raise them yourself you can fatten em up with all kindsa nutritional items that would be ideal for garters.

    also if you go fishing then in the spring and summer u can slice up sunfish or small trout or something abundant that your allowed to keep alot of that you probobly wont eat yourself and just fillet them and slice strips of meat and theyl even take the hearts and guts and just about anything you feed them (no bones or sharp parts obviously), now in this case if you feed them the strips they wont get full nutritional value since there only eating a certain part of the fish wich could lead to vitamin deficiancies but i only do this as a treat for them here and there , but they love it .
    thats about all i have to share about that
    i have a question myself, waht exactly are the red compost worms ? are they the trout worms you get at fishing shops?

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