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Keeping and selling- Mud Snakes

By visceralrepulsio
Sat, August 11 2012 at 10:03

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An old friend of mine, one of the old-school naturalists, successfully kept muds for years...as I recall he used a 30 breeder-style tank with a mulch substrate and a large water receptacle and a hidebox, nothing too fancy. The snakes were gentle and easygoing thanks to constant use as educational animals. If memory serves, he housed them alone to prevent riots at feeding time. When possible he tried to get them switched to frogs (a little cheaper) whole fish (other than goldfish) or still-naked rat pups. He advised that this can take 6 months and still some won't make the switch, period.

You can find sirens and amphiuma for sale at a variety of sites on kingsnake, some through the feeder section, others in the pet classifieds. Exotic Pets Las Vegas has carried them; so has a feeder-oriented site called Swamp Monsters of Florida. No doubt there are others. It might be worth offering to buy dead or damaged specimens (for scenting, not feeding outright, as you don't know what killed them) from a dealer at a reduced cost.

Mud snakes themselves are generally not commonly offered for sale, precisely because of the issue of insurmountable prey difficulties unless you live in the South. I do know that when I've seen them, they've typically been under $100, and sometimes the dealer will kick in a frozen siren or amphiuma for scenting purposes. Because of their diet, GET IT UP FRONT as to how recently they've been wormed, if at all. If not, get the snake and a fecal sample straight to a qualified herp vet.

If you can, get it straight from the dealer on what the snake is eating and how often (remember that rodent-eaters and amphibian-eaters sometimes don't do well on each others' regimens.) Sometimes you get a break and the snake will be fully or partly switched.

I personally believe mud snakes are one of those snakes best left alone in the wild--to my mind, putting the snake through the stress of changing its diet, the headache of obtaining the main diet even for scenting, and the inroads on my sanity wouldn't be worth it. However, I would love one day to wake up in a world where these beauties are easily kept thanks to some secret unlocked by a diligent hobbyist--and who knows, you may be that hobbyist. So good luck on your endeavor and I hope at least some of this was helpful!
#1 JS Argyle on 2012-08-11 14:56 (Reply)
Thanks so much JS Argyle! It was very helpful indeed!

I do need to look into these sites you mentioned for feeders. Get a regimen from someone i can trust, etc. This will give me an idea if it's even something I can do, realistically speaking. I know my endeavor may be a bit "far-fetched" but I haven't fully committed for reasons like you have mentioned. Just trying to do the research I can, and become better aware for the sake of the animal I'd be homing, and anyone involved. This is something I'm definitely not going to just jump into. I will definitely take everything you've mentioned into consideration. I'm not able to work for awhile, so luckily, if I did take one in, I'd be able to dedicate a lot of time and care to it.

I did find something very cool, however. A Hognose breeder nearby me has a strange contraption for a tank, where it has a rock filter system, with asmall river, and a spot you can even grow plants etc. And, it's doesnt take up much room at all (it's for up to a 55 gallon, which i was thinking a 40 breeder/55G). I've read about people successfully keeping them in a "turtle" type setting-- having a dock with a nice dry hide, and a tank with water. Also they need pete moss in the water to keep them from getting blisters from soaking in water of too high ph. 6-6.5 is ideal. The problem this river contraption may pose is that it may keep the water too clean, being that Mud's like typically prefer more still and less "clean" water. But it sounds pretty clever, and probably helpful. We'll see. Thanks for replying, very inciteful into some things I may not have ever considered. And if I have any questions you may be able to assist me with, I'll be sure to bug you =p.
#1.1 visceralrepulsio on 2012-08-12 08:35 (Reply)
No problem--glad to be of any assistance, as the oddballs have always been my favorites.
#1.1.1 JS Argyle on 2012-08-16 11:07 (Reply)
A friend in Tampa would occasionally pull mats of water hyacinth to shore and show students what lived amongst the roots. The baby Farancia he sent me fed well on tadpoles when kept in a simple soft water aquarium.
#2 Wayne Fowlie on 2012-09-10 15:49 (Reply)

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