Ball Python Drinking Water

Asked August 31, 2019, 6:56 PM EDT

Is well water and Reverse Osmosis water safe for ball pythons to drink? Do I need to treat it?

Michigan

1 Response

Thank you for your question. Whether or not your water is suitable depends on the pH, the hardness/softness of the water and the mineral/salt content of the water. Your well water can be easily analyzed for these properties, and you hay already have this data. Reverse osmosis can remove many contaminants, but it also removes minerals and salts. Even though they are minute quantities, animals need a certain amount of minerals and salts to stay healthy.

Here are links to a couple of articles in Reptiles Magazine that discuss water quality that explain these characteristics:

http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Snake-Care/Water-Quality-Reptile/

http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Reptile-Health/Ask-A-Vet/Herps-And-Distilled-Water/

I have not been able to locate any definitive information on this subject. There seem to be lots of opinions, but I could not locate any specific information on this subject from an authoritative source or study. I recommend that you obtain data on your well water before and after it goes through your reverse osmosis system and take this data to a reptile veterinarian to get their opinion on the suitability of your water. In the meantime, you can use bottled water, but be sure to consult the label on the water to make sure that it contains basic minerals and salts. Also, it's a good idea to check the pH of the water, as this can vary. You basically want a pH of 6.5 to 7.0.

I hope this information helps, and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.

Jim