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Thread: Skimmer ; both a blessing as well as a bane

  1. #1
    Sansai
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    Skimmer ; both a blessing as well as a bane

    A skimmer no doubt helps cleaning floating feaces and other flotsam. On the flip side it becomes a great nest for garter snakes to wind itself in the basket and stick its face out of the mouth of the skimmer , looking around for the feeding time of koi.

    Everytime , if one of the snakes are in , i have to drive them away , and then give koi their feed. Still i could see the garter snakes putting on good thickness ( and a few of their little one swimming around ) . I decided to relocate the snakes , by bagging each of them once any of them nestled in the skimmer basket. Unfortunately it didn't work out as planned . With a big vinyl bag closing the mouth of the skimmer , and through the lid cover of the skimmer , i prodded on the snake with a stick to escape itself into the bag. It refused to go in , instead , shaked itself vigrously within the skimmer basket , dislodging the seated basket , and dived into the suction of the skimmer . Horror of horrors , the skimmer pump , reduced its discharge ; the snake must have found its way into the impeller vanes. Just managed to flick of the switch of the skimmer pump and hoped that the snake would wind itself back out of the skimmer line, more or less intact . Switched on the pump after 3 hrs , the discharge is back to normal, still will have to check the suction and discharge ports of the pump and see if any kind of matter is decaying .

    From trying to bag the snake , another bag of problems , came my way !

  2. #2
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I've learned something about koikeeping in India. I occasionally get a small garter snake in my skimmers, but only about 20cm long and the diameter of a pencil. Never anything like what you describe.

  3. #3
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Is the garter snake venom poisonous? Hope it's not. If you can put a 4-mesh screen into your Skimmer, would it keep the snake away? Too fine a mesh would require constant cleaning.

  4. #4
    Sansai
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    I've learned something about koikeeping in India. I occasionally get a small garter snake in my skimmers, but only about 20cm long and the diameter of a pencil. Never anything like what you describe.
    They are really big Mike ( recently my wife got to see a cobra just insided our main gate , with its hood well spread out i am told. By the time she could get her mobile to focus , he disappeared, funny thing is that soon after the appearance of the cobra , the garter snakes or rat snakes , had all together disappeared for 3-4 days ) . Yesterday night the big fella was back ( thankfully the vanes of the pump , didn't chop it , and i presume it found its way back out of the skimmer line , i had wantedly kept the the skimmer basket out of its seating , so that it could get out ) , he was dead tired , and curled up in a corner , looking at me ! Must have been exhausting for it . Will again try to bag the snakes this weekend . This time though , whenever the skimmer basket is found empty , will first place a heavy round stone in the basket , so the snake can't , dislodge the basket , and get into the pipe line.

    The trials and tribulations of koi keeping can be demanding , let alone the cost !

  5. #5
    Sansai
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    Hi Yerrag,

    Read that water loving snakes aren't poisnous ( except of course for sea snakes , which has the most deadliest venom among all the snakes ) . I am presuming they can be rat snakes , they have their bands in that kind of a design. The variety of rat snakes , though are vast and varied . They are non-poisnous. Will try to upload a snap.

  6. #6
    Jumbo jnorth's Avatar
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    I really really really really hate snakes. I think if I saw a cobra in my yard I would move immediately to a place where there were no cobras.
    Koi-Unit
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  7. #7
    Sansai
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnorth View Post
    I really really really really hate snakes. I think if I saw a cobra in my yard I would move immediately to a place where there were no cobras.
    When they are just next to you , goose pimples do come over, depending ones state of mind at that moment . Unfortunately in outdoor pond keeping , snakes are a part and parcel of the whole package.

  8. #8
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    The toads and frogs attracted to the pond will draw snakes that are not themselves attracted in water. Most years I see garter snakes, ringneck snakes and corn snakes pass through. Ribbon and crown snakes are less often seen, but do show up. All of these are fairly small. More rare to see is a 5-foot black snake that I've not identified. It may be a black racer. It has shown up from time to time since the hurricanes came through in 2004, but there will be many months between sightings. All are harmless and slither away when they notice people or pets around.

  9. #9
    Sansai
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    The toads and frogs attracted to the pond will draw snakes that are not themselves attracted in water. Most years I see garter snakes, ringneck snakes and corn snakes pass through. Ribbon and crown snakes are less often seen, but do show up. All of these are fairly small. More rare to see is a 5-foot black snake that I've not identified. It may be a black racer. It has shown up from time to time since the hurricanes came through in 2004, but there will be many months between sightings. All are harmless and slither away when they notice people or pets around.
    I have always felt , to enjoy pond keeping , one has to be at peace with all the creepy crawlies ,and give them ones good will from time to time

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