How to Care for Fire Belly Toads
Fire-belly toads are a popular pet that can live for ten to twelve years or more if properly cared for. You will need to provide your toad with the right environment. A large aquarium with proper lights is important. Feed your toad a diet of fresh insects. Make sure to avoid over-handling fire-belly toads. They tend to be private animals that need a lot of space to thrive.
Providing the Right Habitat
Get the right size aquarium.In general, bigger is better for fire-belly toads. They are active animals and need room to roam around. Five adult toads can fit comfortably in a 15-gallon aquarium that's 24 inches long, and 12 inches high by 12 inches wide.
- You can buy an aquarium online or at a pet store.
- The aquarium you use should come with a screen cover. This promotes ventilation, which is important for the health of fire-belly toads.
Fill the aquarium properly.You should have a land and water area in your aquarium as fire-belly toads are only semi-aquatic. The land area should be two thirds to one half of the tank. You should attempt to create a natural-like habitat, with rocks, soil, moss, fake plants, and driftwood. You can purchase these supplies online or at a pet store.
- The land area should gradually slope into the water area. You can use things like sand, aquarium gravel, and driftwood to create an incline into the water.
- Avoid using distilled water, as it doesn't contain the necessary minerals your frogs need. Instead, use tap water conditioned with the appropriate chemicals to remove chlorine and heavy metals from the water. You can find tap water conditioner online or in an aquatic pet store.
Provide lighting.If you live in a cooler area, or keep the tank in a cool area in your home, use a small incandescent light bulb. This can provide heat. You should also provide a light that will give the toad UV rays, which will prevent metabolic bone disease.
- Look for ultraviolet lights made specifically for animals, such as ReptiGlo.
Monitor the temperature.Fire-belly toads thrive at a temperature between 71 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit (22 and 36 degrees celsius). The temperature should not exceed 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius). At night, you can drop the temperature as low as 61 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius). You should monitor the temperature closely by keeping a thermometer in the tank. If it gets too hot, move the tank to somewhere cooler in your home, turn on the air conditioning, or use a fan.
- A heat lamp may not be necessary, as fire-bellied toads can tolerate cool temperatures and thrive at room temperature.
Spray the cage with water each day.Humidity is not as important to fire-belly toads as it is to other amphibians. However, it's a good idea to spritz the tank with water using a spray bottle every day. This will keep the tank adequately humid for fire-bellied toads.
Feeding Your Toads
Feed your toads crickets and mealworms.Live crickets and mealworms, which you can buy at a pet store, should be the staple of your fire-belly toad's diet. You should feed your toads as many crickets and worms as they can eat in a 15 minute period.
- Opt for smaller crickets to avoid a choking hazards.
Add other insects to your toad's diet.In addition to crickets and mealworms, fire-belly toads can benefit from having other food available. You can add food sources to their water, such as guppies, and snails. As fire-belly toads are active animals, they can benefit from having live food sources in their aquarium.
- All food should be live. Fire-belly toads do not recognize non-living food sources, and these can quickly contaminate your toad's tank.
Supplement your toad's diet with vitamins and minerals.Gut load your crickets before feeding them to your toad by buying cricket food for made specifically for this purpose, which you can find at the pet store. You should also dust your crickets with a calcium and vitamin supplement at least once a week.
- Talk to your vet before offering supplements. You want to make sure any supplements you use are healthy and safe for your toads.
Keeping Your Frogs Healthy
Address shedding issues.Fire-belly toads need to shed for their health and wellbeing. Do not be alarmed if you see your toad crunched up in a slouching position. This means it is getting ready to shed. If you see your toad engaging in these behaviors, it's important you help the shedding process. If your toad isn’t shedding correctly, mist the toad with water and gently massage it until the skin slips off. As fire-belly toads dislike being handled, this can be stressful.
- If the skin still doesn’t slip off with a gentle massage, take your toad to an exotic veterinarian. Continuing to massage your toad could damage its skin.
- You will have to increase the humidity in the tank during shedding time. If you notice your frogs crouching, and that their overall energy has slowed down, start misting the cage twice a day instead of once a day.
Give your toads privacy.Fire-belly toads are not that social. They dislike being handled often and need a great deal of privacy. Only pick up your toads when necessary and be sure to provide lots of hiding places for the toads. You can buy structures for toads to hide in online or at a pet store.
Wash the tank regularly.You need to wash the tank regularly to keep your toads healthy. The water container should be cleaned daily with mild dish detergent. It should then be replaced with filtered water or de-chlorinated water.
- Once every two months, clean all items in the tank with mild dish detergent and wipe down the inside of the tank with vinegar and water (one parts vinegar to eight parts water).
- Make sure to rinse all items thoroughly before returning them to the tank.
QuestionHow can I tell if my fire belly toad is getting sick?
VeterinarianVeterinarianExpert AnswerPay regular attention to your toad on a daily basis and notice any changes in its behavior. If you see that its not moving around as much as usual, is losing weight, or isn't eating, your toad is likely sick. Bring it to a veterinarian that is comfortable treating amphibians.Thanks!
QuestionWhere do fire belly frogs come from?
VeterinarianVeterinarianExpert AnswerFire belly frogs are native to Asia, although people now have them as pets all over the world.Thanks!
QuestionWhat type of container/environment should they be transported in when going to the vet?
VeterinarianVeterinarianExpert AnswerThe best container would be small and plastic, with a ventilated top. You can find this type of container at almost any pet store.Thanks!
QuestionShould I have more than one fire belly toad?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. Fire belly toads do better in groups of two or more. When you only have one of them they seem lonely and even try to escape, but in pairs or groups they seem calmer and more content.Thanks!
QuestionWhat would cause clouded eyes in a frog?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere are many things that might cause a clouded eye, including: damage to the cornea, infections, keratitis, uveitis, cataracts. You should take your frog to a vet and let him or her diagnose it.Thanks!
QuestionWhat type of rock do you put in for the fire belly toads?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUse any rock that is typically seen as "aquarium safe". Slate is a safe bet, but make sure it's from a pet store, as slate from a landscape store may contain elements that could leach into your tank and harm your frogs. Otherwise, any fish store should carry aquarium-safe rocks. Make sure you choose rocks that are free from sharp points too, as frogs have sensitive and fragile skin.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the lowest temperature the water can be?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe frogs can go as low as about 60 degrees. They prefer cooler water temperatures and shouldn't be housed in anything warmer than 80 degrees. Go for around 72 degrees.Thanks!
QuestionHow many times a day do you need to feed it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThese frogs should only eat once a day. They are smart so they will work with your schedule well. Feeding amount would be about 1-3 small crickets or 1-3 small mealworms.Thanks!
QuestionWhat kind of water do they need?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can use distilled water or tap water that has been treated in the same way you would treat any aquarium water. Use something from the pet store to remove the heavy metals and neutralize any chlorine or ammonia that would be in the water.Thanks!
QuestionHow often do I need to clean the tank?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe tank should be cleaned around once a week. If their tank looks dirty before then, of course you should clean it. The tank typically don't get messy fast, so you can get away with a longer time of no cleaning if your toads are comfortable.Thanks!
Is there such thing as too much humidity for these frogs?
- Fire belly toads are poisonous to other animals that may want to eat it, including pets like dogs or cats. Keep your toad in a safe location, such as on a high counter, and in a container with a secure lid so that your other pets can’t reach it.
- Wash your hands after handling your toads as their skin can be mildly toxic. You should also refrain from handling your toads unless it's absolutely necessary.
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Video: Fire Belly Toad Care
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