The good, the bad, and the downright scary

So I want to show that keeping snakes isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and that although it should be enjoyable hobby for anyone and everyone I also want to be open with everyone and ask what was your worst experience when buying a snake or what was your mistake you regret most when keeping a snake? My worst experience was when a seller that shall not be named stole my money for 10 months and only returned it when I reported him and started to file a case on him. I tell this story and ask this question because although this hobby should be as enjoyable as possible I also want everyone to remember that there is always some risk with keeping snakes just like there is risk in everything else. I also just thought the threads could use a little switch up to keep it interesting :slightly_smiling_face:


Vague story is vague for a reason but here goes.

Went to a show that’s kind of a big deal.
:eyes: :eyes:
“I thought you needed permits for those.”
“Nawww we checked before we brought them.”
Brought one home. Spoke to wildlife rep. for my area to finish paper work on another animal. We’re pretty friendly. He asks “So what all did you pick up?”
:eyes: :eyes:
“Drive that animal back to the person you bought it from right now.”

I got a ticket and lost some cash. Spoke to the person I bought it from. “We don’t do the scientific name thing. They change all the time and no one has time for that s@#!”


I’ve had a few things happen to me in just over the past year or so. Mostly all things I’ve learned a lot from. This is going to be excessively long, so you’ve been warned!

  1. Didn’t quarantine a ball python I got from a pet owner in a trade. He had mites, which got into the rest of my collection. Now I quarantine all my animals for at least a couple weeks.
    Don’t worry, the mites are gone now and they didn’t give me too much trouble!

  2. Same guy I got the mite-infested ball python from. I also bought a baby albino checkered garter male off of him for $50.
    Garter died a few days later, he said he would refund me the money but still has not. Due to the symptoms before he died (he looked to he having seizure-like spasms) I suspect the previous owner was feeding him fish with thiaminase in it.

  3. Trusted my mom to help me with my reptile thing.
    She failed to clean a soiled tub, which got my girl Butters sick with mouth rot. (I wasn’t in the best place mentally at the time, which is why I didn’t step up and clean it myself. Butters recovered fine from the mouth rot.)
    She’s caused at least 3 rodents to die prematurely due to her own negligence. Won’t go into details on that.
    Come more recently, I found out she’s been abusing the puppy she had just taken in from a neighbor at their place. She hit the dog so hard it broke the bones in two places on the back leg. Why? Because the puppy pooped on the floor instead of her potty pads.
    No idea how she’s doing now since my stepdad opted to surrender her.
    Since it was recently signed into law, this is now a federal crime and my mother is probably gonna be arrested for a felony charge.
    I’m never letting her near my animals again. Nor near me, I don’t want to associate with people like that.

  4. Listening to vets who clearly don’t know what they’re talking about, over experienced keepers on the internet — so my girl Butters had an abscess, right? Many breeders/keepers I spoke to online told me that’s what it likely was.
    I had one vet tell me it was “nothing to worry about,” another vet tell me “it’s just scar tissue”… finally took her to the only board certified vet in Indiana, which is nearly a 3 hour drive away from me… and they operated on her and discovered it was, in fact, an abscess. This poor snake had that abscess for nearly a year before it was taken care of.

Always go for second opinions if you’re not sure, and try your best to find a proper exotics vet that specializes in your species of reptile!

  1. Letting people bully me.
    A lot of the online reptile communities I’ve found to be extremely toxic. This forum is one of the few that I’ve found to be welcoming!
    I had a group of people who basically claimed I was a horrible keeper, and would harass/berate me over these things:
  • Keeping my snakes in “too small” of tubs, and having no hides and just paper towel as substrate… this is apparently neglect according to these people
  • The fact that I got mites in my collection (which… can literally happen to anyone even if they’re careful?)
  • The fact that a snake died in my care (they tried blaming it on me having the temps “too high” — I don’t think 90°-95°F hotspot would kill a baby garter)
  • Tried claiming all of my snakes were overweight and unhealthy. I have… ONE snake that is overweight, but I am actively working to slim her down by offering less frequent/smaller meals and taking her out for more exercise.
  • Somehow my snakes are unhappy and stressed. Because my… ball pythons… ball up sometimes. Not always, but sometimes.
  • I’m a horrible person for supporting/deciding to breed the spider gene. I’ve actually been banned from a few Discord servers just because of that simple thing.

That’s all I can remember off the top of my head, but yeah… some crummy people in this hobby that think it’s their way or the highway.

Woo, end of long rant! Will add anything in later if I remember something I forgot to add lol


I had my messages deleted and a moderator edit theirs just to cover up that they argued a hognose should have a 25 gallon enclosure minimum with plenty of room to climb because they’re avid climbers. The hognose was a hatchling. The “exotic” pet they owned? A chinchilla. Left that Discord asap.

On some discord forum, that you would think would be reputable, the advice to put ball pythons in 50 gallons and UVB.

Some communities have always been a bit wacky but the crazy pills must be on sale this year.


I need to show this thread to my GF she’s had a bad experience (one I’ll list below) and she felt so stupid for it.

Here are my bad experiences so far.

  1. When first just collecting, not wanting to breed, I went to order my first snake online. Went to a individual sellers website and found what I wanted. Paid them the total upfront. Excuses after excuses happened from the seller as to why the anake wasn’t being shipped. I waited 3 months before finally demanding my money back, filed a complaint with the BBB, and never got that money back. To this day I have constant anxiety when buying a snake even after 10 have successfully been sent to me via MM.

  2. Went to a local in town expo (had been to several larger shows in the past) and picked up 3 snakes. Came back home and in excitement didn’t quarintine. All three expo snakes ended up with mites but thankfully I caught it early and saved my established snakes from getting any.

  3. One of those expo snakes was an adult female sand boa. Gf picked her out and was excited to maybe start breeding this coming spring/summer. However in both of our excitement we didn’t notice the impacted tail glands on this girl or realize (lack of having owned such a large sand boa) that she was also fairly skinny. Fast forward a month and she lost even more weight (despite eating well) making her tail impaction more visible. After another 2 months of vet visits, medication, and everything else she died anyways. To this day gf feels extremely guilty about this mistake. Thought it would break her from wanting even breed her Sands.

  4. One of my baby corns hadnt shed the last inch of her tail. Concerned about it I soaked her and then, what I thought was carefully, worked the but off. Come to find out I not only bruised the end of her tail but may still lose the last 3 scales worth of the tail thanks to my overreaction to the improper shed. Another few soaks and I’m sure it would have come off without issue.


Yep, some discord communities is where I encountered group of bullies. I left the discord, tried coming back a second time, and then gave up and left for good.
That same group of people followed me on Instagram to post their crummy comments, and then after I blocked them they either made new accounts or sent other people to harass me… either way I luckily haven’t heard from them in a long time.

I’m surprised mods in those communities do not enforce rules and ban those people who are spewing toxic behavior everywhere. It’s kinda disappointing honestly, considering as you said, some are supposed to be reputable.

Luckily most is sunshine and rainbows, but some indeed not. Here are mine:

  • bought a nice fake climbing rock for my ball python. There was one small hole in it and I was worried that he would get stuck in it so I decided to cover it with powertape from the inside of the rock, thinking that the rock would be to heavy for the snake to lift (he was only a few months old). Went well till one day he did get himself underneath and in the rock(it was open on the downsite and hollow), got stuck in the tape, struggled so much that the whole tape got totally trapped around him, mashed with his head against the floor and got his mouth full of cocosoil. I found him gasping for air in a position you can not believe even a snake can be in. Took me almost and hour to get him loose and even with use of water for getting the tape of he lost the top layer of almost half of his scales. Thank God it didn’t leave any damage for the long run. They still love the fake rocks but now I filled them up with foamy material from aquarium filters.

  • after a man came to clean the warm water system he put the temp up from the water. It took me weeks to figure out thanks to a temp gun why suddenly almost half of my defrosted rats where bursting open with all the gut pouring out as soon as the snakes strangled them. I will not describe the full picture in detail, but it was not a beautifull one and the snakes obviously don’t like rats in pieces.

  • the shocking experience of getting the electricity bill on the end of the year. We pay for an estimated use of electricity every month in advance and on the end of the year the electricity company checks how much you really used and you get money back or have to pay extra. I had to pay extra…a lott.

  • bought a nice big heatmat of more than half the size of the enclosure, nice for winter I tought, but the thermostat failed. Found the snake squeezed in one corner on the cold side of the enclosure. The heatmat was 60 celcius. Now have only heatmats of 1/3 of the enclosure and with max 18 watt so even when there is a fail it will not get dangerously hot.

  • not really believing that they can really squeeze themself through very tight spaces and if they are older, can open doors of terrariums even when you close them well and really can be very quick when they want. At least half of them one time or the other escaped. The worst one was Scarlet, our butter cinny yellowbelly. I just got her and was still keeping her in my bedroom because if quarantine. Took her out for the first time and sat on the bed. She saw here chance, slithered in top speed if the bed, on the floor and was gone like magic. Searched for more than an hour, messed up the whole room , destroyed the woofer of my music set because I thought she got inside. In the maintime my son was crying his eyes out, praying to God, Allah and every other god he could think of (he hoped at least one of them would do something, he likes some drama) and two dogs barking and scratching at the door because they wanted to be a part off the hustle. Finally I found her, in a sneaker almost on the top layer of a shoerack. They do go up sometimes so it seems. But one bennefit of the plenty escapes, I am a master now in finding escapees.

But finally, we learn from it. I at least learned to never use tape in a enclosure for snakes, don’t defrost rats in water hotter than 55 celcius, don’t use to big heatmats, put your electricity bill up monthly and I should never ever keep too small our venomous snakes.


The best thing to do is email them.

The idea that someone that hasn’t even had the experience of their first job and complains their “stupid parents” bought them a “stupid beardie” instead of a snake being in charge of some forum is :roll_eyes:

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The seizures the garter was having could have also been due to vitamin a deficiency. If you only feed fish, that can happen. Only way to get them to recover quick is to feed it a small pinkie mouse, or half of one and load it full of vitamin supplements (like ones you would use for lizards). Only problem is you usually have to force feed them the vitamin filled food since it doesn’t smell good.

Wait! People feed… fish… to a forest/grasslands predator?? I mean, i can understand scenting for stubborn eaters but an actual… fish… and exclusively to top it of? Seriously?? What kind of logic is that???

In the wild they are known to eat fish if they find some, and are actually really good at catching fish. But they would also eat other things with the vitamins they need. (Mice, bugs, birds, eggs etc.). The reason people feed small pieces of fish is because baby garters are small. But only pieces of fish flesh have little to no nutrition, and even little minows don’t have much either.

Yeah, ok, i can understand it as an oportunistic feeding but it’s that exclusivity which bothers me and people thinking it’s fine. I mean, sure, hatchling probably gnaw on whatever moves and fits their mouth because of their size, but 100g up, what’s the problem with rodents and like quail chicks or something? But fish. :confused:

Yeah, I think the guy was feeding him tiny feeder fish and earthworms. I had no chance to fix the problem before it was too late, as I only had the little guy for maybe a few days before he passed away.

However, I can definitely keep that in mind if I ever get a garter snake again in the future!
Though next time it’ll be from a reputable breeder…

I can’t speak of experience of some other forums but I can tell you that John (MM owner) put a awful lot of though and effort into making this place the opposite of what you mentioned and I hope it stays that way.

I came here from Reddit, and though it is extremely helpful and welcoming at times, most others it’s just people looking for controversial things to say. Rarely anyone posted pictures of their enclosures anymore because you could guarantee someone would say something about a tiny bit of spilt water or “experts” are sure your banana python has mites… Not just spotting.

This place was a god send, the only person that has any attitude on here is @thecrawdfather… And that’s why we love him :joy:. Really though, I’ve asked staff members questions that they have probably had a thousand times and they have still gone out of their way to help, then I’ve seen others ask the same question and again staff help out without batting a eyelid. John selected not only well educated people but nice people that actually make me enjoy the community a whole lot more.


Wait seriously? He complained over something like that? Hell, I’d be happy to have gotten any sort of pet as a kid


Same thing happened to me when buying a snake. It was my first attempt at purchasing a snake on MM and the reason I say “attempt” is because he just stole my money. He did not respond to any email attempts for nearly a year. I dont know why I waited so long but i filed a case against him and contacted the BBB. Turns out that this seller has been arrested over fraud and money laundering. And he does still sell here unfortunately. And more than anything is wasnt about the amount of money it was the principal of being a business owner and fulfilling a order that bothered me the most. And to cover his own ass after finally refunding me he sent me a mojave het pied. I dont even know if its het for pied and to be honest I’m not too hopeful that it is only because of who sent it to me.

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@eaglereptiles I’m going to make a late New Years resolution to be less snippy :grimacing::grimacing:


Some bad buying experiences:

  1. Bought a $2000 snake and it arrived with a broken tail. The seller never mentioned it before hand, but admitted afterwards that he knew about it and “forgot” to say. He said it was the result of a bad shed. My vet agreed with me that this was BS. The snake needed expensive medical intervention and ended up losing the tail tip, which affected her value.
  2. Bought snakes from a big name breeder, they had mites. This one might not have been the breeder’s fault, because the snakes were purchased at a show and might have caught the mites there.
  3. Bought a pair of snakes, they were sexed incorrectly, seller admitted she never sexed them and just went off what the previous owner told her.
  4. Made a large order from a breeder, snakes were underweight and sexed incorrectly. Two of them died.
  5. Bought an expensive snake from a big name breeder, she was seriously undersized for her age and the breeder’s employee later admitted she was deliberately underfed to save money.
  6. Bought an expensive snake from a private individual, she was a year behind in size, seller admitted she “hadn’t been good about remembering to feed her.”
  7. Bought an expensive snake, it died 8 days later of a raging bacterial infection. This is the only instance in which I got my money back.

I’m totally fine with naming names, but I don’t think the rules of the site allow it. So, message me if you want to know.


Don’t you dare change :neutral_face::+1:


We need people like him who isn’t afraid of speaking his mind. Lol