Originally Posted by obrowell
Garters are faster to get hold of but if you're confident and get in there, there's no problem whatsoever. You may get a bit of musking but I've had that off my small king snakes too!
As for the water/aquatic thing, what you'll find is that in the wild garters are often found by areas of water but when kept in captivity they generally need a bowl big enough to soak in but a bone dry substrate to 'live' on to avoid blisters etc similar to other snakes. There are a few exceptions to this, thamnophis melanogaster, scotti and obscurus (these are Mexican localities of garters) being the ones that can be kept more aquatically. However, these species are rarely offered apart from the odd breeder from the continent 'visiting' shows such as Doncaster. They are fun to own though and a bit different (I kept the melanogaster for a while).
The species of garter you'll most likely come across in captivity are the likes of chequereds, plains, red-sideds and sometimes easterns. None of these require a particularly large water area, but do require a dry vivarium.
Hope this helps
I said there'd be someone who knew about garters along soon
Do people keep them in groups? I've never had garters.