Well, these are still some
difficult questions to answer with pin-point accuracy, and at this point I don't
believe anyone has the exact answer to all 3 of these questions. What I offer
below is a mix of what I Think, What I know and what Appears to be....
Anyone currently attempting to
answer these questions with some type of "Universal Knowledge" on the
subject--is Full of BS--BEWARE! Yes, that includes Me. I don't have the
Complete answer to these questions--and neither does anyone else. This is
a subject that needs to be studied in-depth by someone that has all the
resources to carry it out: Lab, veterinary knowledge/skills, Acrochordus snakes,
What is it:
At this point--I don't know, but here
is what I believe based on experience, observation and research: The skin of the
Acrochordus javanicus and arafurae is very impermeable. So, that makes it a very
protective mechanism against the outside world. It is commonly understood that
"Stress" causes a reduction in the ability of the immune system to do its
job--in humans and other animals--including Acrochordus snakes. Stress appears
to cause a decline in the immune system of Acrochordus snakes causing a decline
in the effectiveness of the skin as a protective barrier against the outside
world. This loss of effectiveness increases until Secondary Infections set in and
ultimately kill the animal.
Where does it come from:
See the paragraph above and add:
Improper Husbandry. Yes, it really is that simple. In the Wild, these animals
have the ability to move from Habitat to Habitat--Microenvironment to
Microenvironment. Even though the White Spot Fungus appears to be a "Captivity"
Problem--the snakes in the Wild maybe be able to prevent it--not by some
"Magical Bacteria", but, rather: by simply selecting
Environments/Microenvironments that they are "Happy" with--i.e., minimum
sustained stress level. In Captivity--the snakes don't have that choice. Plain
and Simple. Additionally, it appears that the more acclimated to captivity that
these snakes get--the more secretive and stress prone they become.
How do We get rid of it:
Proper Husbandry--Yes, it really is
that simple. Reduction of "Stress" will reduce the Progression of the White Spot
Fungus. I have seen it myself. Elimination of Stress will Halt the progression
of White Spot Fungus. Note: I did not say anything about chemicals, medications,
etc.--just eliminate the Stress and the progression of the White Spot will stop.
What is there will remain until the next shed. After the next shed--the animal
will be clean and remain that way--as long as all of the husbandry parameters
are and remain in order. Its just that Simple. A new animal going through the
acclimation process may need to shed 2, 3 or even 4 times before the White Spot
relents completely. However, its progress should be visibly reduced with each
So, what is "Proper
Husbandry"? Well, that's what this website is about. No, I don't have all the
answers right now, but I've come a long way in the last couple of yrs dedicated
to these snakes.
1) If You are genuinely
interested in these snakes--then read this website: Every page, every word, look
at every picture. This website is not setup for those who are just mildly
curious at best. Those folks are more then welcome here. But a lot of
information is "Hidden" within the text for those who are serious about these
animals. Nothing is truly "Hidden", but even this explanation is not sitting on
the Front Page for the "Scanners" to see.
2) Spend the hours necessary
researching these animals for Yourself. Right now, the more people that reach
the same conclusions--based upon knowledge and experience--the Better. The
Online Bibliography at the
link is a Good place to start.
3) Acidic water (pH~6.0), Low
TDSs (~200ppm), Low light--especially in the hide, Lack of vibrations, etc are
Good key elements to the reduction of Stress and the furtherance of "Proper
Recently (4/2007) I have seen
a couple of "For Sale" ads for Acrochordus javanicus for one vendor that are
wrought with misinformation--therefore: Misguidance on the keeping of these
snakes. One ad was for CB Babies basically stating to put them in acidic water
and because they are CB and White Spot free--You (the buyer) don't need to worry
about any future "Bacterial Infections". Sorry, it just doesn't work that way.
The current ad states:
"I have adult specimens of Acrochordus javanicus, about 4' in
length. Perfect specimens with no scrapes, scar, and most importantly NO SKIN
BLISTERS! As many people know WC adult Acrochordus javanicus are very rarely
offered for sale, primarily because of the high mortality rates due to improper
packaging during transport which causes skin blisters (Pseudomonas bacteria
which cause septicemia, aka "Blood Poisoning").
You won't have to worry about that here. These adults came in perfectly and
there were transported correctly. I am only able to offer unsexed specimens.
This species is usually female heavy. There are many reports of this species
being able to be parthogenetic, with LTC females "cloning" themselves. A great
display snake, they feed on fish. As with all Acrochordids, I reccomend great
filtration and the regular addition of a product called "koi zyme."
I am asking $250.00 per a specimen, quanities are limitied. Once
these are gone I will be a few more years until such nice large animals come
Information. Improper packaging/shipping is only one factor and most importantly:
"You won't have to worry about that here." That's Pure
Non-Sense. I am familiar with
this particular individual. He claims to have "...many years of Experience with
Aquatic Snakes." and apparently did a stint at a local zoo which I guess makes
him a Guru in his own mind. His website is and has remained void of his Great
claims of "accomplishments" (suddenly that's changing 6/07 LoL) and has been up for a few yrs now. Buy the
snakes--just don't buy into the BS claims. Apparently this person thinks that
you just need to buy the "Clean" animal from him, toss it into "acidic water"
via peat moss, add Koizyme and Wha-La: Instant Acrochordus! Again, Sorry, it
doesn't work that way. If it were that simple: Someone would have
figured it out a Looong time ago. I have used Salt, Koizyme, Melafix and
Pimafix. I have also researched those products and contacted the manufactures
with any specific questions that I had. One thing that I can tell you is:
None. Not One of those products are necessary to successfully
keep an Acrochordus javanicus or arafurae, Or halt the White Spot Fungus. More
importantly, in reference to the Ads,--Just because You receive a clean
animal--doesn't mean that it is going to stay that way. That whole
thought process is coming from a Total lack of Experience. If that
were True--Plenty of people would be successfully keeping
Javanicus. Am I being
Hardcore: Maybe. But I don't think that I am. I am tired of seeing these snakes
die--that's why I am working with them with the dedication that I am. That's why
I put up this website--including all of the hours and hours of putting it
together and the added expense. That's why I am willing to Openly call these
so-called "Gurus" out here--and on the Forums. Sadly, they don't go
"heads-up" with me in public any more. They just continue to hold onto their
erroneous beliefs and pass along their Bad Information. These
animals will always go to the skin trade. But let's get it together and get them
established in captivity, so they will always be around, and so people will be
able to experience and enjoy their unique presence. I'm no rocket scientist, but
I am a guy that can do research and think my way through most problems. If
Acrochordus husbandry was as simple as some make it sound: This website would
not be here. And You can tell from reading this website that A) its not that
simple, and B) its a lot more involved than the "Gurus" want You to believe. I
have come across a number of individuals that all claim that they have kept
Acrochordus snakes long-term. Notice: the Past tense of: HAVE!
Strangely, None of them happen to be "Currently" keeping
them. Always--Past Tense! Hmmm, I'll leave You to Your Own
Conclusions on that one. Just Beware of the "Claims" out there.
Follow the path that You feel is Best--but base it upon Research and,
White Spot Fungus? Its caused
by Stress and, basically, it appears to be a break-down in the skins ability to
protect the animal from the Outside World, eventually leading to Secondary
Infections that lead to the demise of the snake. There is No "Magical" Bacteria
that Your snake was or was not exposed to in the wild--these snakes die in captivity
from White spot all over the world--including captivity in Asia that contains
water from their own natural environments. Improper Shipping is not the sole
source of White Spot, Skin Blister, Whatever. Animals that Arrive in Your hands
"Clean" Will develop White Spot if Housed Improperly and
Will die from it if the Husbandry Parameters are not Corrected.
Wild-caught, Captive Born, Captive Bred and Born--doesn't matter. Tolerance is
the only difference between these animals--Environmental Imprints on their
brain. Captive Bred and Born babies are always at least a bit easier then
Captive Born babies. Captive Born babies are always a bit easier than
Wild-Caught babies. Wild-Caught babies are always easier then Wild-Caught
adults. Acrochordus snakes are no different.
If You see White Spot fungus
on Your animal--the First question is: Is it Progressing? If it is, then
You probably need to fix something. If not, then the animal may just be
acclimating (If new or just put into a new setup), or the source of stress was
temporary and has already been corrected. Is it a "Death Sentence"? No,
definitely Not. So, don't Freak-out and start adding Salt or any of that
other stuff. Don't start ripping the snake out for Salt Baths, Melafix Dips or
any of that non-sense. You will just be ADDING stress. Just
step back and look at the Big Picture. Observe the snake's behavior. Try to
calmly sort out what may be wrong. As stated in the
Javanicus Caresheet: It could be something as simple as Your kid(s) or 150lbs
Rottweiler bouncing around on the wood floor, or the Thumping from Your too cool
Home Entertainment System. White Spot Fungus is just an indicator that let's You
know that the snake is stressing about something. But it can kill
Your snake--if You don't do Your Job.
This Information is offered on the Acrochordus
javanicus and Acrochordus arafurae Filesnakes as is. This Information
is not offered in reference to any snakes other than the Acrochordus
javanicus and Acrochordus arafurae Filesnakes and even so:
use at You Own Risk!
Additionally, this caresheet is obviously based upon admittedly limited
experience! It is not intend to be a recipe of do this, do this, do this---Bam!
You have a cake. It's intent is to offer more of a conceptual understanding of
these fascinating creatures and their apparent needs both in the wild and in