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FAQs About Anurans/Frogs: Fire Belly/Bellied Toads

Related Articles: Keeping African Clawed Frogs and African Dwarf Frogs by Neale Monks, Amphibians, Turtles

Related FAQs: Frogs other Than African & Clawed 2,
FAQs on: General Frog Identification, General Frog Behavior, General Frog Compatibility, General Frog Selection, General Frog Systems, General Frog Feeding, General Frog Health, General Frog Reproduction,
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Leopard Frogs, Surinam Toads/Pipa, Tadpoles of all Sorts, Toads/Terrestrial Frogs, White/Tree Frogs, Amphibians 1, African Dwarf Frogs, African Clawed Frogs, Newts & Salamanders, Rubber Eels/CaeciliansTurtlesAmphibian Identification, Amphibian Behavior, Amphibian Compatibility, Amphibian Selection, Amphibian Systems, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Disease, Amphibian Reproduction,

Fire Belly Toad    2/12/20
Good afternoon.
I have 1 fire belly toad in a 10 gallon aquarium. I have rocks for his land portion and also a repto-filter that is a large rock for him to climb on. I have 2 questions.
<Fire away, Rebecca,>
1. Is he okay to be by him self? I have been looking for another one but cannot find a roommate for him.
<He's absolutely fine on his own.>
2. I have him on my desk at work. I have a water heater in the water and turn on a UVB bulb during the day. Is it necessary to have the UVB?
<Traditionally the answer has been "no" for these and indeed most other pet amphibians. There is, however, recent scientific evidence showing that providing UV-B improves vitamin D3 formation and thereby leads to better overall growth and health. The optimal situation would be to use a combination heat/UV-B lamp over the basking area, while providing room temperature water. Heaters in the water (like the ones you'd use with tropical fish) are risky with amphibians because they sometimes climb on
them, get stuck somehow between the heater and the glass, and then get burned when the heater turns on. Use a heater guard (a sort of plastic grille) to prevent that happening. Better yet, a filter that has a built-in heater.>
Room temperature is around 70-73 degrees during working hours but at night they turn the thermostat down to 60 so the temperature in my office can get as low as 50 degrees. Is the water heater the best option for this?
<No, see above. The commonest species is Bombina orientalis, handles cool nighttime and winter temperatures just fine, so long as it can warm up during the day under a heat lamp. So long as the room doesn't get colder than 10 C (50 F) then room temperature is likely fine without a water heater. But setting it to, say, 15 C (60 F) as a 'back stop' can be a good way to make sure the tank never gets too cold. In the wild the frogs would be jumping between cold water and sunny basking sites on land, and by
alternating between the two, regulate their body temperature. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Fire Belly Toad     2/14/20

Thank you for the info!! I have rearranged his home eliminating the water heater and put a basking light above the basking area. What wattage do you recommend?
<Depends largely on the size of the tank. If the heater bulb is attached to a thermostat (the ideal) then it'll warm up to the right temperature and no higher. If the bulb is simply used 'as is' and switched on and off manually, then I'd err on the size of caution. Do consult with your retailer and/or examine the manufacturers recommendations for the bulbs available in your country. I'd imagine something like 25W would be sufficient, since you only need a small warm patch for basking; what you're not doing is heating the whole vivarium.>
Do you recommend a basking bulb or maybe just a daytime heating lamp?
<Ideally, use a combo heat and UV-B lamp for best results. With sufficient UV-B, vitamin deficiencies are less likely, particularly if you're offering a range of foods including periodical use of standard issue mineral supplements for reptiles. With all amphibians and reptiles, it's a lot cheaper to prevent health problems than to treat them, not least of all because their slow metabolism means problems take a long time to become apparent, by which time even vets can have trouble turning things around.>
Thanks again,
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Firebelly toad troubles       3/16/19
I was given a Firebelly toad for my classroom. Yesterday he was fine yet today his head is being held to the side and swimming in circles. He is breathing rather fast and irregularly. His water is fine. He was eating fine but just today he is acting weird.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
<Hello Judy. I'm sympathetic to your plight here, having recently had some Axolotls given to me by a student moving on, so now I've found myself looking after them -- and now some tadpoles! -- alongside my usual classroom animals and plants. Still, I'm going to direct you to some reading first:
While tailored to another species, the basics apply to Fire-bellied Toads, Bombina spp. I'm also going to state the usual thing that we can't really offer much help unless you tell us something about the toad's environment. What do you mean by the "water is fine"? Do you have a mature biological filter here? What is the water temperature? What sort of foods are used?
Are there any other animals in the tank? Do you use water conditioner to neutralise chlorine with each water change? Is there any exposure to airborne toxins? Bunch of things I need to know before offering anything more specific to your situation. As is always the case with amphibians and reptiles, disease is MUCH easier prevented than cured. So ensuring you understand the basics and can house these toads properly is really important. Cheers, Neale.>

Eye problem with my fire-bellied toad      12/12/12
I have two fire-bellied toads which my husband gave me a few years ago for a Valentine's Day present.  They've been doing fine, but today while feeding them I noticed an issue with one toad.  One of its eyes is red in color and appears to be bulging out of its eyelid.  I only noticed it today and am not sure how long it's been like that, but it's pretty noticeable so perhaps it's a recent development.  Do you have any idea what's wrong and what I should do about it?
<"Finrot" type infections on these largely aquatic toads are quite common.
They're usually caused by physical damage, sometimes from other animals but also from things like a filter inlet lacking an appropriate screen to keep the frog or toad out. In any case, treat as per Finrot in fish, using an appropriate antibacterial medications; I'd go with a combination of Maracyn and Maracyn 2, dosed as instructed on the package. Remember to remove carbon from the filter if used. Do also check water quality is good, i.e., zero ammonia and nitrite; if water quality sucks, then no amount of medication will help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Eye problem with my fire-bellied toad      12/12/12

Thanks, Neale.  I'll give the Maracyn a try!
<Good luck. The nice thing about using both Maracyn and Maracyn 2 is that they each target different categories of bacteria, gram-positive and gram-negative, so you have the best shot of killing off whatever's causing the problem. If you have a vet used to treating amphibians and reptiles, they may be able to help (possibly more cheaply if they'd prescribe just one antibiotic) and that's standard operating practise here in the UK; in the US, you can get some antibiotics (like Maracyn 1 and 2) in pet shops, so you do have this other way forward. Cheers, Neale.>

Why is my fire belly toads foot disappearing??? Please help  11/13/12
I inherited someone's fire belly toad and tree frog tank. It's a half and half tank.
<I see.>
The water is impeccably clean.
The filter alone must have cost a couple hundred dollars. There are 3 tree frogs and 1 Firebelly toad. There are 2, rather large goldfish and two Danios in about 15 gallons of water.
<Ah now, less than ideal. On the whole fish and frogs don't mix.>
There are about 3 large, thick branches coming up out of the water for the tree frogs and toad to climb on and a couple of plants that grow from water up and onto the branches. The toad and frogs seem happy and healthy. They bark often and eat VERY well but the other day I noticed that the fire belly toads right foot looks like it's disappearing or growing back!???
<Sort of. Oftentimes, frogs feet get damaged, the tissue dies, and a certain amount of rotting happens before things clear up. Maybe you've seen the same thing with the feet of city pigeons? Anyway, the best approach is to use a frog-safe antibiotic to prevent further bacterial infection. Your local reptile pet shop should be able to set you right here, but failing that, something like a Maracyn with Maracyn 2 combination should work great.>
It looks like a nub with 3 white toes growing out of it.
Almost like a under-developed foot. I have searched for hours on a hundred websites looking for a possible answer with no luck. I took him out and put him in a small container with fresh dechlorinated water until I can figure out what is happening to him.
<Analogous to Finrot on fish; some kind of damage or nipping, and after that, a bacterial infection of some sort. Not necessarily caused by water quality issues; could perhaps be water that's too warm or too cold, or stress, or who knows what>
The only thing I can think of is the wood in the tank. Since the wood is halfway in the water it looks like it's decomposing and there are a million little bugs on the wood.
<Those are springtails and such; harmless. But if the wood is actually rotting (i.e., you can see white fungus) then replace it with new bogwood. Plain bogwood sometimes falls apart when old, but it just feels soft or flaky, it doesn't actually smell like rotting things and doesn't have fungal threads on it. Such bogwood is okay to use, but if it disturbs you, replace with new bogwood.>
Since the tank came this way I thought maybe I'm just being paranoid since I have a tendency to over analyze everything. Should I take the wood out?
<See above.>
Should I bake it and then put it back in, making sure it doesn't touch the water? Or is it fine the way it is? Is this what could be causing his foot to be shrinking?
<Almost certainly not.>
And what should I do about it now? Thank you so much for taking the time and energy to answer all the questions you get.
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Burrowing Fire Belly Toads - How long should they burrow for?      9/23/12
Good Evening,
I have 5 fire-bellied toads in a 40L rectangle tank; four of the frogs are Bombina bombina, and one is a orientalis.
<These do have somewhat different (thermal) requirements, so aren't the best of companions.>
No, I haven't been cross breeding.  I'm not ready to be a Grandma. I have read that it is unhealthy for the Oriental to burrow for any extended period of time but I cannot locate what would be considered "extended". 
Currently the European's burrow for roughly 6 hours at a time, while the Oriental burrows for 2 - 3 hours at a time.  Are these time frames acceptable?
<For sure. In the wild they'd likely burrow for as long as they wanted, and in wintertime, that could be weeks, months.>
All five frogs have lost a little weight, but not enough for me to become overly concerned.
Below is a little about their environment, and upkeep:
I filter the water, keeping the pH between 6.8 and 7.2 which gets changed every week (or two if we're going to be honest here).  I don't use a heat lamp as they are well heated in the room, the water temp is typically 17 - 18C while the land temp is 19 - 21C on any given day.  It is cooling down a little outside so those temps have recently dropped a degree - which is also why I suspect they're burrowing, they didn't burrow much during the summer.
<They may burrow in both summer and winter, but for different reasons. But yes, in winter they'd be somewhat dormant, hidden away in damp logs and suchlike.>
I am considering adding a lamp to increase the length of their day.
<A heat lamp is useful, but a daylight lamp is pointless. So if you're spending the money, at least spend it on something with a use.>
I have their aquarium split half water (a little under 10 cm deep on one side sloping up to just under 4 cm) and half land which consists of moss and some plants.  I've had bad experiences with live plants so I keep artificial plants strategically placed for a nice bridge between land and water. I feed them mostly crickets dusted with both Herptivite and Calcium with Vitamin D3 which I keep in the aquarium with the frogs instead of feeding daily.  I also keep 5 small minnows in the water for an occasional treat which typically take a month for the frogs to go through.  I don't feed the minnows, they eat the crickets that drown.
<I don't see any advantages and some possible risks to the use of live fish used this way. Sticking with a "just invertebrates" diet minimises the risk from parasites and malnutrition (read about Thiaminase) and strange as it may seem, despite being "food", these fish could damage or scare the toads.
You mightn't be aware of it, but if the toads are leery about going into the water (in the wild, they'd avoid streams and ponds with fish) then they're more likely to suffer problems like dry skin.>
I've tried both meal worms and red wigglers, but the worms were completely ignored. Thank you for taking the time to consider my question.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

injury, infection     4/22/12
Good afternoon.  I have been caring for 2 fire bellied toads in our classroom now for about 4 or 5 months and up until about a two weeks ago things were going great.  I noticed one morning that one of he toads was floating in the water with one let sticking straight out and it seemed a bit swollen but the other let seemed like it was curling in on itself or so I thought.  After taking a closer look I noticed that his back right foot was gone.  He was shaking a bit but otherwise in good spirits.  I took it  out of the container and put it in a smaller more portable one then took him to our local pet store to see what they thought.  They said it sometimes happens in the wild and in captivity and that he would most likely be fine but to keep it away from the other one for several weeks and to also make sure that when I feed it not to leave the crickets in there for to long because they may nibble on his wound.  Never found the missing foot.  Is it
possible that the other toad ate his foot or what?  I am a teacher at a early childhood education school and I am  at a loss for what to tell the kids who are all 4 and 5.  I want to be correct with the information I give them and don't want to do anything wrong for the toad.  What do you suggest?
<Our resident herp. specialists appear to "be out", so I will ask you to read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FireBelToadF.htm
and: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GenFrogHlthF.htm
for background, input. Bob Fenner>
Re: injury, infection  /Neale      4/22/12

Good afternoon.  I have been caring for 2 fire bellied toads in our classroom now for about 4 or 5 months and up until about a two weeks ago things were going great.
<I see.>
I noticed one morning that one of he toads was floating in the water with one leg striking straight out and it seemed a bit swollen but the other let seemed like it was curling in on itself or so I thought.
<Ah, not good. Do look up "Red Leg" before anything else. While these toads are pretty resilient, they can be quickly infected with opportunistic bacteria should they be both damaged and environmentally stressed. If the injury is a clean amputation, and the water conditions are excellent, the wound can heal without any intervention on your part. Unfortunately, this isn't always the scenario, in which case prompt use of antibiotics is required. Do read this page about Xenopus:
Though your toads are a different species, the issues and medications are identical.>
After taking a closer look I noticed that his back right foot was gone.  He was shaking a bit but otherwise in good spirits.  I took it  out of the container and put it in a smaller more portable one then took him to our local pet store to see what they thought.  They said it sometimes happens in the wild and in captivity and that he would most likely be fine but to keep it away from the other one for several weeks
<A good idea.>
and to also make sure that when I feed it not to leave the crickets in there for to long because they may nibble on his wound.
<Possible, but seems unlikely if the toads remain in the water all the time. And do vary the diet a bit -- crickets are fine, if dusted with vitamins first, but "as they come" they're nutritionally limited, and even in the best situation, shouldn't be the only thing the toads eat.>
Never found the missing foot.  Is it possible that the other toad ate his foot or what?
I am a teacher at a early childhood education school and I am  at a loss for what to tell the kids who are all 4 and 5.  I want to be correct with the information I give them and don't want to do anything wrong for the toad.  What do you suggest?
<I'm a high school teacher, and if all else fails, I tell the kids the truth. If the issue is welfare -- the vivarium is too small, there's nowhere for the toads to bask, the water isn't filtered and changed enough -- then let them understand the cause/effect and then encourage them to participate in improving things. There's a pretty good summary here:
At some point I should get something written about these popular amphibians for WWM. We seem to be getting a flush of queries about them. Anyway, hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

orientalis Eggs and Tadpoles    4/16/12
Hey Y'all,
I've got two Fire-bellied Toads in a fifty five gallon planted tank with only about five gallons total water space; it's very deep, about ten inches; they seem to enjoy it. <Good to know.>
There's several points of egress so they won't get stuck or tired. The water isn't planted yet; my LFS has a crummy selection.
<Do try plain vanilla pondweed, or better yet, floating Indian Fern ("water sprite") as these won't be uprooted and provide nice resting places at the surface where the toads can bask, which I'm sure you've seen them do.>
We tried a tank with more water when we got them but swiftly realized they preferred to bask/hunt on the land; we redesigned the vivarium. It's planted with moss, and ferns with limbs, hides and peat for digging. Their diet is varied; they're active and vocal. We've had them for over a year and never expected them to breed thought we had males actually.
Now we have about 150 eggs which are already starting to hatch. I am finding little detailed information for caring for them or what to do with them if they do become toadlets. What is the activity level of tadpoles immediately after hatching and then over the course of the first few days?
<Not huge. Tadpoles tend to eat and sleep.>
I know they survive on the yolk for a time.
<Not that long, actually.>
Mine wiggle a bit then either sink or hang motionless and suspended at the surface. Are they dead? Hungry? Cold perhaps?
<Don't worry so long as they look plump and they react if you gently prod them and they move (a pencil or similar is ideal and less likely to hurt them than a finger).
My water is at 70-72. Land right at 78.
Will adults eat the tadpoles/toadlets?
<For sure. Isolate a few in a floating breeding trap or similar, and let the others take their chances. You can be overrun with toadlets otherwise, and that may not be the way you want things to go.>
In my experience with these guys if it fits in their mouth and moves they'll eat it. Should I move them, if so what are the safest steps to do so? I'd prefer to relocate the adults (which I'm prepared for and comfortable with doing if needed) and raise the toadlets in the large mature habitat if possible (I'm sure I'm bugging.. Sorry! I'm awed by these little fellas).
<By all means do so. Isolate the adults to temporary quarters, or move as many tadpoles as you can to a 10, 20 gallon system with a filter and possibly a heater to maintain a steady 20-22 C/68-72 F.>
I can only find info about feeding the tadpoles fish flake..... Is this really best?
<It's fine.>
As for the toadlets, they say simply "feed them small insects"... What constitutes a small insect in this case?
<Fruit flies are the ideal. You can get wingless varieties from reptile stores, and obviously these are best because they're [a] easy to catch and [b] won't escape into your home.>
Obviously something very tiny. As for the eggs that still need to hatch...
I see thrashing in some and that seems normal.
Some are developed equally but aren't AS active, again still seems fairly normal in my mind. And some have never advanced beyond a white dot in the middle of the egg. Am I right in assuming since I've seen no development in these eggs that they aren't viable?
Should I remove them?
<By all means. Be ruthless. If you get 200 eggs, do you really want 200 toads? It may be better to concentrate on rearing, say, 20-30 tadpoles that you can then sell as viable pet toads to your local store. Or maybe just let nature take its course, and protect just 2-3 specimens that you can add to your group of adults.>
However they ALL have what seems to be a film of dust over the eggs. It appears to be particles of sand and peat that the toads have pulled with them into the water. It hasn't stopped them from hatching. Should I worry?
<White threads will be fungus, and these can spread and will kill viable eggs. So that's bad. But plain vanilla silt is harmless. Still, gently cleaning the eggs now and again, e.g., by using an air stone or even a turkey baster to blow clean water (gently) past the eggs will be helpful.>
To my way of thinking they would encounter this and more in the wild.
<For sure.>
Last thing.. The eggs are covering the internal filter and clinging to driftwood and such. I need to clean the filter and the tank, what's the best method to do a water change without suckin' 'em up?
<Actually, wet hands can work just fine. They are tougher than they look.
Don't be afraid to damage a few: you'll have far more tadpoles that you really need regardless!>
And how can I get them the heck off my filter? I'm worried it'll suck 'em up. I suppose you can figure most of my worries even if I managed to forget something. They're hatching fast and it's wonderful. I want them to live.
But the ones hanging suspended head up have me nervous. They simply aren't swimming.
<Ah, if they don't move at all, then yes, likely dead. Either remove at once, or else isolate into a net or breeding trap so you can wait a few hours to see if anything changes.>
Oh! One frog shed his skin but didn't eat it... It's clinging to some eggs.
Worry or no?
Thank you thank you for any help you can give me. -Kay
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Orientalis Eggs and Tadpoles - 4/17/12

Thanks so much for the info! I've done a water change and removed the leftover eggs and dead tadpoles. The ones hanging suspended were the newest hatched and finally started swimming I've culled dead and dying and ended up with about 150 tadpoles. We'll raise em and then keep or sell what's left. There's no herp store here in town so I'm going to attempt to breed
crickets and raise my toadlets on freshly hatched pinheads, will this be suitable or should I think about trying to breed the little flightless flies instead?
<Worth a try with the hatchling crickets, but wouldn't bank on it. Vitamin dusting will be useful, as well as very regular meals; small amounts, but 4+ times per day, ideally.>
One other thing has happened in he few days since I emailed you guys. A friend of a friend purchased (I think they caught him in the wild, myself but can't be certain) a Siren intermedia.
<The Lesser Siren; a fully-aquatic newt-like animal.>
Then became disgusted by it's slime coat and frills and so they brought him to me which is good I suppose as they were attempting to house him in an Red Eared  Slider tank. :/
<Not compatible, for sure!>
Again.. Not much comprehensive care info online.. I think I've got the diet down.. That seems to be one of only two things people agree on.. Diet and the fact that they are more active at night.
No one seems to know what water parameters they prefer.
<Is a very widespread species, from the Eastern US to Mexico, so likely quite adaptable re: pH, hardness, temperature. Room temperature water, around 18 C/64 F up to low-end tropical conditions, 24 C/75 F, would seem about right, perhaps at the cooler end in winter for extra vigour. Water chemistry anything, just not too hard and not too soft; 2-20 degrees dH, pH 6-8 probably fine. I'd go with something in the middle, around 10-15 degrees dH, pH 7-7.5.>
And there are lots of differing views on how a captive habitat should be arranged. So far I'm housing him in a shallow water tank about room temp, so between 72-74. I'm much distressed by the fact that I've acquired yet another creature simply because folks are dumb. Anything you can tell me would be great.
<Very similar to the Axolotl in general care. As ever, wean off live foods (certainly don't use feeder fish). So by all means start with earthworms as good "settling in" foods, but get them onto small slivers of tilapia fillet (cheap and Thiaminase-free) alongside occasional bits of prawn and mussel.
Use worms, krill, etc. as treats. I find steel forceps essential tools for keeping predators, allowing me to wiggle dead foods and thereby elicit the hunting instinct.>
In the meantime I'll be reading as much as I can find and trying like heck to make him happy. I am also considering letting it go.. But am not sure if that's a good Idea since I can't be sure if he's captive bred and therefore not really suitable for release.
<For sure. Once an animal has been taken inside and especially if mixed with domestic livestock (such as turtles) there's too many risks to be happy about releasing it. This is a VERY unusual beastie, and to be honest, I'd be thrilled to have one!>
He's common in our area. Could this cause a problem for the wild population, i.e. New diseases and parasites not found here?
<Precisely so. Your local Fish & Wildlife people should be able to help decide if release is a good idea, or else, you could try a herpetology club or wildlife visitor centre type thing, where this sort of animal might be used for education, to show visitors local animals.>
I'd like to make his new tank comfy if I keep him.. Ideally what size tank, somehow 20 gallons of deep water and a piece of PVC doesn't really strike me as the best idea?
<May well be fine from his perspective. Hidey-holes plus floating plants is often the ideal for most animals. They don't have the same aesthetic sense we do, and often value practicality above all else. Alternatively, you can use bogwood and smooth rocks to create the right sort of terrain with a more natural look.>
My observation is that they aren't strong swimmers, preferring instead to scoot along the bottom basically mouthing on just about anything.
<These animals live in ponds and ditches, so aren't real picky. But they may well take some time to settle in. Earthworms are great foods to get them fattened up, and once feeding, they should become more accommodating.>
They don't seem to see real well.  And I'm reading about a life span of something like 7-15 years.. Is this realistic..
<Yes, though temperature will be a factor, with the cooler end of the range resulting in longer lifespan.>
I'm also seeing differing views on how big they'll actually become.. 
Thanks again for everything and sorry to be bugging about something new so soon after asking about FBT's..
<No problems. Cheers, Neale.>

Fire-bellied toad beh., terr... repro. 2/17/12
Hello. I have 2 fire bellies toads, Johnny and Jimmy, and I just bought a third one, Loretta. I put Loretta in and Jimmy attacked her. How do I introduce the new one with the old ones without her getting hurt?
Thank you,
<How big is the tank? Jimmy probably didn't "attack" her as such, rather he may have attempted to mate, and that can look a lot like wrestling. A decent-sized tank and plenty of floating plants (Elodea for example) can make all the difference.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: re:

It's a 20 gallon long tank with a waterfall filter, and around 6 plants dispersed around the tank.
<Floating plants?>
But the little girl had escaped around 5 days ago and we haven't found her... I wish we could have! And how can I keep the temp and humidity up? I have placed a piece of cardboard over the top, cut a hole where the light goes but I can't seem to maintain the right temp or humidity.
<Indeed not. Cardboard, being porous and good at absorbing water, allows humidity to escape. Get some glass or Perspex cut to size if the tank doesn't have a hood. Be sure to leave a half-inch or so gap at either end so air can flow through, otherwise fungus becomes a problem.>
I have a heater but it doesn't seem to work very well.
<What sort of Fire-Belly Toads are these? The standard sort, orientalis, is fine at room temperature provided it has a hot basking lamp above the land part where it can warm up, or even better, above the shallowest part of its pool of water. It'll sit/float there warming up if it needs to. Otherwise use an under tank heater of some sort. These aren't expensive to buy or run.>
Thank you!
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: re: 2/17/12

Thank you! There are a few plants that are anchored to the bottom that float on top of the water. And we have a uv light on the land part but it doesn't give off heat at all. I think they are oriental fire bellies toads but one is a brown and the other is a lighter brown (almost yellow) with green splotches. The heater we have is for the water and it keeps it at around 73 degrees. I read that it was a little cold for them though.
<orientalis has a broad temperature tolerance, and around 22 C is fine as an average, slightly cooler in winter and slightly warmer in summer being ideal. They aren't tropical animals but subtropical, so some slight variation is good. Keeping the land warm and the water cooler is better, so an under tank heater or a basking lamp will be much safer and better than a heater in the water. Cheers, Neale.>

fire belly toads, repro.   12/1/11
We have three fire belly toads and have had them for maybe two months now.
When I fed them tonight I noticed a "large" clump of jelly laying on the moss against the glass. I have no idea what it is and I have never seen anything like it before. Can you help me?
<Could well be their eggs. Like other toads they lay eggs in a jelly-like mass just below the waterline. The eggs hatch in a few days depending on the temperature, and each day you should see some change in the black embryo inside each egg.>
Also, I have a question about the layout of the tank. I have read articles that say they don't need a lot of water because they don't really swim, but a lot of other tanks I've seen online have a large body of water for the frogs to swim in. What is the best way to set up your tank? With large body of water of not?
<The answer depends on the size of your vivarium! Obviously in the wild they jump into ponds, lakes and streams, so they can swim perfectly well in bodies of water thousands of times larger than even a very big vivarium.
But at the same time, wild toads will be crawling about on land for much of the time as well. So, the key is a balance. If you have an average-sized vivarium based around a 20-40 gallon aquarium, then providing a water depth of 4-6 inches should be ample, and the rest of the tank can be moss, coir, or whatever else you've used to create a soft, damp land habitat.>
Thanks for your help.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Bloated fire belly   11/13/11
To whom it may concern,
My green fire belly toad started to shed its skin like two weeks ago. He's still bloated and now his tongue is sticking out. He's not moving and has notost
< not lost?>
any color. I thought he was dead but his tongue is moving. The other fire belly toad I have is normal and eating healthy and still likes to go near him. I don't know what to do?
Thank you for your time,
<Shannon, do need some information on this toad's environment. Fire-Belly Toads are temperate-zone species that appreciate room-temperature water, proper filtration to keep their water clean, a varied diet, and a dry land area that is at least smooth and ideally contains something they can dig into, either coconut husk or moss. Kept properly, they can live a long time, typically 10-12 years. If they sicken or die prematurely, there's usually something wrong with their environment. Common problems include poor water quality (i.e., no biological filter); tap water not properly treated before use to remove ammonia, chlorine, Chloramine and copper; monotonous diet; lack of humidity in the land half of the tank; and handling by their owner that causes damage to their skin. Once frogs and toads are stressed or damaged, they quickly become subject to bacterial and fungal infections, and these are very difficult to treat. A vet should be able to prescribe the right medication, assuming the frog or toad isn't too far gone, but otherwise prevention is always the best way forward, rather than trying to find cures. Without information about his environment (size of the tank, filtration method, temperature, diet, etc.) it's impossible for me to give any specific treatment ideas. But without information to the contrary, my assumption would be that the problem is environmental, and even if this toad can't be saved, you need to establish what's wrong if you want to keep the other one healthy .Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Bloated fire belly   11/13/11

Thank you for all the info. He didn't make it.
<Too bad. Not unexpected though, given what you said was happening.>
I have a filter and I didn't know you have to treat the water.
<Oh my, yes! Buy yourself aquarium water conditions like that used for tropical fish. Ask your retailer specifically for one that removes chlorine, Chloramine, ammonia and copper. That's the one you want! All
these are very toxic to animals like your toad. The old school approach of letting tap water stand overnight will allow chlorine to go away, but Chloramine, ammonia and copper will remain. Much better to treat your tap water at each weekly water change.>
I recently changed the type of water I was using.
I have big and small rocks because that's how I got them.
<Look for sharp edges. Even small puncture wounds and scratches allow frogs and toads to become subject to bacterial and fungal infections. If in doubt, remove everything from the aquarium except stuff that's obviously smooth and safe. Good choices are ceramic and plastic ornaments sold for vivaria, as well as clumps of pondweed (toads like this stuff!) and of course the sand bank area of the tank topped with coconut fibre or moss.>
I did notice that the water is colder than temp.
<Maintain these toads around or slightly above room temperature; not too hot, not too cold. 20-24 C/68-75 F is ideal.>
It a 20 gal tank. I use a light and mist to try and keep temp and humidity.
Thank you again.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Using Melafix with Oriental Firebelly Toads    9/29/11
I have an Oriental fire bellied toad that has what appears to be an eye infection. The eye itself is slightly cloudy. The lower rim of its eye appears somewhat gooey for lack of a better descriptive. Yesterday it was keeping its eyes closed but today they are open more often than closed.
The tank got a complete tear down and clean up about 10 days ago - no chemicals, everything just rinsed really well. We used bottle spring water
<Mmm, not really suitable depending on make-up... May have too much mineral content or not enough... What is pH, alkalinity? Is this system cycled?>
and not tap.
We have a submersible sponge filter- no carbon. I have been reading the archived answers on your site for other fire bellies with eye problems and it seems that Melafix is the most often suggested treatment.
<Not by me, no>
I have a bottle but no idea how to actually administer it. It seemed from the previous posts that I am to apply the Melafix directly to the eye and not to the water?
Please advise.
Thank you for your time!!
<I'd place nothing here. Your frog will very likely cure on its own w/ the system maturing. I would add a modicum (like half) of tap water to the bottled. Bob Fenner>

My frogs died :-(    2/22/11
I've had two fire bellied toads for about six months now.
<orientalis I assume, the Oriental Firebelly Toad.>
They've been healthy and happy as far as I can see. They eat very well (gut loaded crickets as well as worms!).
They have lights (purple nightlight is new, had a red one until two weeks ago) for heat and uv (white light added in daytime because I turn my heat down). I only have two in a 20 gal terrarium with one anole. The anole stays on the "land" side, pretty much. The frogs will leave the water often (feeding, exploring).
<Indeed. They like damp moss and peat for crawling around in.>
There are several small plants in there, coconut bark for bedding. I have several pieces of wood and some small rocks. They were still fat. Today, the electric went out for a few hours when I wasn't home. My neighbor said her heat never went off so I'm assuming mine didn't either. The worst it could've gotten was 50-60.
<Hmm the thing is that Firebelly Toads are subtropical animals. They hate being kept too warm. Room temperature, around 18-24 C/64-75 F, is usually ideal for them. If you have a heating lamp for the Anolis, you should find the frogs bask at the surface of the water if some of the heat gets to the water, but otherwise you shouldn't need to heat the water at all unless your house is very cold. Indeed, even in winter, temperatures as low as 10 C/50 F will do them no harm at all.>
When I got home, they were dead :-( They were outside their water container (about 3" high, round pebbles on one side) dried up and sprawled out. They have not had any white stuff on them or anything else I noticed. They bark regularly.
<I see.>
Can you figure out why they died?? I'm so upset over this. I love my terrarium and now am afraid I'll kill them if I get new ones. I don't handle them (except for cleanings). I've done my homework and believe they have a happy, healthy, well diversified home.
Thanks for your help.
<Firebelly Toads shouldn't be killed by cold, so the fact the heater went off for a few hours isn't likely to be the problem. Review other issues such as water quality (there should be a simple filter, like an air-powered sponge, installed) and that they aren't bring harassed by the Anolis (personally, I wouldn't mix them because of their considerable differences in requirements). Try and get a book called "Keeping Amphibians" by Andrew Gray, a short book sold very inexpensively at places like Amazon (where it sells for under a dollar!). It is filled with lots of excellent tips on keeping these toads, and is squarely pitched at those who don't want too much technical detail, Latin names, and all that sort of stuff. Cheers, Neale.>

*******PLEASE HELP !!!!!!!FIREBELLY TOAD EYE INFECTION********  11/19/10
I was reading your study you conducted regarding fire belly toads, and I have a Question for you I was hoping you could answer. My son had a fire belly toad as a pet he received it from a friend and soon after he got the toad he experienced a really bad eye infection. I read on other sights of the internet that the toad itself can experience a cloudy like infection over their eyes . This is the same reaction my son had...Is it possible that he caught whatever infection he has from the Toad?... The optomologist seems to think it is a herpes virus but I do not agree... the meds they gave him did not work as expected and his eye is starting to get the fogginess back and I think the doctors are dumbfounded and do not know how to treat this infection properly.... Can you please give me some insight on this ? I would really appreciate it if you can give me any idea if my sons symptoms is something that you came across in your research
Sincerely Michelle Spatz
<It is extremely unlikely that a toad would pass on a viral infection. However, toads also secrete toxins through their skins to defend themselves from predators, and if carried from hand to eye, such toxins could very easily cause irritation, inflammation or weeping. Furthermore, the warm, humid conditions in an aquarium or vivarium can culture bacteria such as Salmonella, and if basic hygiene practises are not followed, e.g., washing hands after cleaning the tank, it is certainly possible for aquarists to catch bacterial infections. Children are notoriously bad at cleaning their hands after handling animals, and it is also crucial to understand that a dirty, overcrowded aquarium with overfed animals and under-filtered water is MUCH more likely to culture dangerous bacteria than a spacious, clean, properly filtered aquarium stocked at a low density. Generally zoonotic infections (as they're called) are very minor and clear up by themselves. Most people with a healthy diet and a normal immune system will not be at any risk at all, and won't show any signs of infection; in fact I think my immune system is quite strong precisely because I've swallowed gallons of aquarium water over the years! But individuals with a poor diet or weak immune system can contract serious infections this way, and such zoonoses are something to consider in such situations. Note that zoonoses are not restricted to fish or frogs, and any pet, farm or wild animal can pose a health risk to individuals with weakened or compromised immune systems. We are not medical doctors and cannot offer you any medical advice at all, morally or legally. Consult with your own medical doctors and health practitioners and act accordingly. One last thing, as/when you write back, please don't send 6 MB photos! They really gum up our e-mail system. Use iPhoto or whatever to resize the images down to, say, 640x480 pixels, or less than 500 KB. We do specifically ask for that at the place where you found our e-mail address, and sticking to our few minor rules is one of the things you can do to make it easier for us to help you. Cheers, Neale.>

**Foamy water after fire belly toad death 11/08/2010
We had 2 fire belly toads for almost 2 years and one died. We replaced it 2 weeks ago and it died last night. Then the frog we had longest died a couple of hours later. They are in a small aquarium that is cleaned weekly and fed only crickets that have been covered with vitamins. The water is dechlorinated. They have a dry area and a wet area. The water area has a filter. After we took the dead frog out, the water started to foam like large soap bubbles. We have never cleaned the tank with soap. The frogs have been healthy and eating then just dropped dead and then the foam formed in the tank. What happened? Debbie M
<Hello Debbie. It's unlikely that whatever killed the frogs caused the foam. But organic material from dead animals, or for that matter mucous produced by stressed frogs shortly before death, can form foams when mixed with air and water. If you've ever seen foam along the seaside or a large lake, or for that matter a protein skimmer in a marine aquarium, you'll be aware of this phenomenon. The organic material may be unrelated to the death of the frogs, or even tangentially related, in the sense that whatever caused the foam also stressed the frogs, though the foam itself didn't cause the death of the frogs and wasn't in turn caused by the death of the frogs. In other words, you have to keep you mind open on this one! Let's recap what Fire Bellied Toads need, because the usual reason for death is poor care. Cold-blooded animals can take a very long time to weaken and die, so simply because they lived for a year or two proves nothing either way about how well they were looked after. Put another way, a good lifespan in captivity for orientalis, the Oriental Fire Bellied Toad, is 20 years, so dying after 2 years is very abnormal indeed, and for both of them died within a few weeks of each other, that implies more than mere bad luck but something very wrong with your vivarium. So, here are the basics. Firstly, a reasonably big vivarium; a 20 gallon tank should be adequate for 2-3 specimens. I'd go for a "tall" one in this instance because it's easier to decorate but it shouldn't matter too much either way. Next, the tank needs shallow, luke-warm water, about 8-10 cm/3-4 inches at most. This should be filtered using a small fish tank filter; a small air-powered box or corner filter would be ideal. Use a heater if your home gets colder than 15 C/59 F, but you'll probably need to keep it at its lowest setting and make ABSOLUTELY sure there's a heater guard over the heater (many heaters come with these already, but if yours doesn't, buy one). Otherwise you shouldn't need a heater if the vivarium is kept in a centrally-heated room. Stick a clump of Pondweed or Indian Fern in the water. Fire Bellied Toads love floating among plants under a warm light! Use smooth gravel to form the substrate at the bottom of the watery part, then build it up to form a hillock at the dry end. Shore this up with smooth pebbles and bogwood roots. You can alternative use a vivarium expressly designed for amphibious animals that has a watery compartment and a dry land compartment, but do bear in mind that anything less than 20 gallons isn't really worth using. Place moss on the land part to create something soft. These toads are easily damaged by sharp gravel, and the moss provides a good place for them to rest and cool down. Add some smooth ornaments of whatever sort you want to provide extra hiding places above the waterline. Keep the air humid by placing a lid on the tank, but there should be some ventilation to stop fungus. If you have good lighting, any number of houseplants can be grown in the land side of the tank. Clean the tank regularly, throwing away soiled moss as required and changing the water at least weekly. Diet should be more varied crickets! While useful snacks, they lack moisture and are not nutritionally complete. Instead offer a variety of invertebrates: earthworms, spiders, mealworms, and so on. Do not handle these frogs; it's bad for them and bad for you. If you haven't already bought a good book on keeping amphibians, let me recommend "Keeping Amphibians" by Andrew Gray, an excellent book that can be bought used from Amazon for the princely sum of one whole cent. Cheers, Neale.>

Sexing Fire bellied toads.   8/26/10
Hello WWM.
I have recently decided to try keeping fire bellied toads and I have some questions regarding gender identification.
<Indeed; this is not easy to do.>
It seems there is quite a large quantity of conflicting information on the proper method of sexing these amphibians. Some people seem to think the bumps of the skin are greater in number in males, while fewer on females "others say its the reverse" I've also been told that there are black stripes on the females bodies and on males there are small spots instead "again some say its the reverse" The people at the LFS claim the Middle digits on the rear legs are longer on females and the webbing between them is shorter.
<As with most frogs and toads, the males have stronger arms and during the mating season develop horny pads on the inside of their hands used to provide extra grip during Amplexus. These are by far the best traits.
Females tend to be a bit more rounded than the males, especially during the mating season.>
The Sounds also seem to be Significant factor as the males allegedly make more noise.
<Males are the ONLY ones that croak.>
the sound the males make has been described as a barking sound. And despite all of this I have read cases where the gender was misidentified.
<Yes indeed.>
could I get some clarification regarding this? with all of this conflicting info on the net I thought it prudent to ask the experts.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Sexing Fire bellied toads. Hlth. now 8/28/10
Thank you for replying so quickly!
<My pleasure.>
You have provided useful information.
<Glad to hear it.>
I have some questions I forgot to ask. I noticed today there seem to be a small patch of slightly lighter colored Green skin on the back of this one fire belly. The patch in question is located just behind the skull, actually it looks as though there are two tiny patches. This is normal?
<Not normal, no. But difficult to say if actually harmful or merely some genetic abnormality. A photo would help. Do be aware that amphibians have skins that are easily damaged, and they should never be touched with dry hands, and even with wet hands handling must be only when 100% essential. Once damaged, they quickly become prone to opportunistic bacterial and fungal infections.>
Also today I had to remove the fire belly from the tank for some maintenance but the toad managed to jump to the carpet. I immediately caught him again only to have him jump on a blanket. From here I moved him into a proper container and from there back to the tank.
I wouldn't be as concerned in this were a reptile or a mammal but I have been told Amphibians are prone to absorbing cleaning agents and other hazardous chemicals through there skin which are fatal to them. It seems uninjured from the jumping but I am skeptical that the animal could get away with crawling on the carpet without somehow suffering some ill effects.
<The walking on the carpet shouldn't be too bad, but being grabbed with anything washed with laundry conditioner isn't going to be helpful. With amphibians, the best approach is to either use wet hands to catch them, or else drive them into a plastic container like a Tupperware so they can be lifted back to their vivarium.>
I tried feeding the animal afterward and it didn't have a problem eating but I'm not sure if that matters. What can potentially happen in these situations?
<Well, the damage is done now. Just have to see what'll happen. With luck you'll be fine. But do make yourself aware of the early signs of bacterial secondary infections such as Red Leg so you can act should things take a turn for the worse.>
Thanks again.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Sexing Fire bellied toads. 8/29/10

Thanks for the heads up.
I will monitor him to see if anything occurs. so far it seems fine.
Oh and to clarify in case I did not make it clear, I did use wet hands to catch it, and he was indeed deposited in a empty Tupperware container during the tank maintenance. it was not actually grabbed with anything except my hand, the only thing I think the animal came into contact with was a blanket that the he landed on.
I have tried researching Red leg disease just in case. I am curious though,
Since these animals have red undersides to begin with how can you determine if red leg is present.
<Very different! Red Leg is more like Finrot or for that matter an open wound on a human.>
Specifically how does the disease manifest, does it resemble a rash, lesion or a growth of some type?
<The first two in your list. Starts off as a sore or bloody rash, and then becomes more severe. Usually fatal by that stage.>
Thanks again.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Quick question about adding Plantation Soil for Fire Bellied Toads   6/10/09
I just changed over my fire bellied toads 20 gallon with new plantation soil
<Are you referring to the Exo Terra product:
and was curious if I should wait for it to dry before I add it to the aquarium.
<If so, no, not necessary>
I just put it all in and put a layer of fresh moss on the top but was thinking afterwards that it might cause mold if it is still somewhat moist.
<Mmm, no>
I thought that perhaps the light would just dry it out as long as I don't keep misting any water in there.
Any input would be greatly appreciated,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Fire bellied toads questions :D 5/14/09
Hi, I was just curious if I want to watch my fire bellied toads at night is it alright to use a fluorescent black light?
<I don't know for sure. Certainly, I'd only use this UV light for short periods: some animals can detect UV light (we can't) and UV light can, over long periods, cause health problems. To be honest, you might find a row of dim red LEDs rather more effective.>
Also, if my terrarium only has about 600ml of water in it, if the fire bellied toads happen to mate will they be able to lay eggs in the dish?
<For want to anything better they may do, but it certainly isn't enough water for the eggs to stay healthy. Just like the tadpoles, the eggs need clean, filtered water.>
Thank you very much,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Fire bellied toads questions :D 5/14/09
Thank you very much for your response to my questions, as for the my second question, if they toads were to lay eggs in the small water dish I have put in the terrarium I would definitely transplant them into another terrarium with more suitable living conditions.
Thanks again,
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale

A couple of questions about fire bellied toads terrarium... 05/09/09
Hi, my name is Don. I just purchased 3 fire bellied toads. I have a 20 gallon terrarium set up with a water dish roughly 7 by 6 inches and about an inch and a half deep. I am going to be using tap water for the water dish so I purchased a bottle of Aqua plus tap water conditioner. On the bottle it directs to use a capful to cleanse 37.8L of water however I am only using it for a rather small amount of water. I was told by the person whom I spoke to before purchasing the toads to put approximately 5 or 10 drops in order to cleanse the water. I just want to make sure that this is a good amount and be certain that it will cleanse the water enough for the fire bellied toads and whether or not I should use more or less.
<Sounds about fine. The dish here is 18 by 15 by 4 cm = 1080 cm3, or slightly over a litre (1000 cm3). So you're going to need about 1/37.8 of each cap, which really isn't very much. You could find out how many drops it takes to fill the cap, and then divide that by 37.8 to get the precise amount required. But much better if that cap actually says how many millilitres it contains, let's say 20 ml for an example. All you'd need to is divide that by 37.8, to get roughly 0.5 ml per litre of tap water. Even if the cap doesn't quote it's capacity, you could work it out easily enough: one level US teaspoon is just under 5 millilitres (4.93, to be precise). So you'd fill the cap with teaspoons of water, and multiple the number of teaspoons needed by 5 to get its capacity in ml.>
Also, when decompressing Exoterra Forest Moss it says on the package to mix with tap water. I was curious if the water should be treated with the Aqua Plus before I mix it with the moss.
<Ideally, yes, but in reality, it won't make much difference.>
I was intending to do so myself however I accidentally added the tap water and put the moss in the terrarium before I realized that I had not conditioned the water first. Basically I want to know if, having this happen the one time, is it likely to cause any damage or sickness to the toads?
<If you under-dose water conditioner, you can set the toads up for problems via skin irritations, so there's an argument for taking the time to get it right, at least first time around. Once you've calculated how much you need, you can write it down, stick that note on the fridge, and just refer to it each time you do water changes.>
Thank you very much for your time,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Fire bellied toads, beh., sys., hlth.   12/22/08 Hi, <Hello.> I need a little help with our fire bellied toads. We have 4 of them, and have had them for about 2 years. They are in a 40 gallon breeder half and half tank. The water area is maybe 3-4 inches deep, sloping (gravel bottom) upwards towards a ramp. The ramp connects to the land section, which is suspended above a false bottom. Drainage is very good, there are live plants, and we change the soil maybe 4-5 times a year. There is, in total, about 8 gallons of water. It is filtered by a canister filter which contains mechanical and biological media, as well as carbon. We test the water for ph, nitrates, and ammonia every few days, and though we've never seen anything change or spike, we do a full water change every 2 weeks or so. We use only bottled spring water. The toads are fed a diet of mostly live crickets, which are fed with commercial calcium supplemented feeds and watered with the commercial cricket drinks. The air is generally around 70-75 degrees. Humidity depends on the weather, but in the winter time here, I can't seem to get to hold above 60-70%. <During the winter it likely doesn't matter so much. These toads are somewhat seasonal, and in the wild will become dormant in winter, hiding under logs and in other damp niches. So long as there's some moss and a cork (or similar) cave into which they can crawl, they'll find local pockets of moisture more than adequate to their needs.> Anyway, about a month ago the toads all seemed to become lethargic, and are much less enthusiastic about eating. All of them are plump, and have not begun to lose weight. They also seem to keep their heads to the ground, and keep their eyes closed a lot. I thought maybe it was just because of the winter, then I noticed clouded eyes, and it appears a white substance (fungus I assume) has appeared around the eyes. <Yes, these toads will rest a lot more in winter, though whether they truly hibernate is debatable. So cutting back food as the tank cools down to a minimum of, say, 15 C is just fine. But if your toads show signs of secondary infections, then treatment is important. Use a proprietary anti-fungal treatment of your choice; your local reptile-centric pet store should have a variety. Avoid anything based on either salt or tea-tree oil (e.g., Melafix/Pimafix) as these products tend to very unreliable.> We moved them all to a temporary habitat and did a complete cleaning and reconstruction of the main habitat, and then moved them back and attempt to keep the habitat very clean. Two weeks later, no change in behavior has occurred, and the white eyes persist on 3 of the 4. Tonight I set up an alternative, aquatic habitat treated with Pimafix, and plan on putting the 3 with cloudy eyes in there nightly. <Pimafix has not been medically tested and isn't recommended by vets. We don't recommend it either. It's just too inconsistent as a treatment. If you had a bacterial infection and the doctor offered you an untested tea-tree oil potion or an antibiotic proven to work for decades, which would you go for?> I don't like resorting to meds or chemicals, but I felt like something needed to be tried. Is the Pimafix an appropriate and safe treatment? <Safe, yes, appropriate, no.> Is there another course of action you would recommend? Should all 4 go in? Thanks for any help you can give. Pat <Would treat all 4 at the same time, just to be sure. If anti-fungal medication doesn't work, try something anti-bacterial in case of such an infection. Some medications treat both, and such would be ideal in this instance. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: fire bellied toads_followup 1/14/09
Hi, <Hello!> Just wanted to let you know how things were going with our sick fire bellied toads. After your advice, we actually continued the Pimafix for a few more days while searching for an alternative, frog safe antifungals are difficult to find over the counter, and we figured Pimafix at the very least couldn't hurt. <"Couldn't hurt" is about as far as I'd go! Tea-tree oil is a mild antifungal at best, and in terms of results, very inconsistent. Some folks swear BY it, others swear AT it.> The eyes of 3 of the 4 toads cleared up either due to the Pimafix, or on their own and were moved, as a group, back to their freshly cleaned habitat. <Well done! Probably a mix of both the Pimafix slowing down the problem and the immune system fixing the problem.> Feeding took a few more days, but those three have all since resumed feeding and their eyes have remained clear. The 4th toad got worse, his whole face became engulfed in the white stuff, even becoming bloody, and he became very lethargic and seemed afraid of food and water. He was separated from his tankmates, and we took him to the vet. <Good.> The vet felt the most likely answer was that the sickest toad was injured by a cricket, and it became infected. <Can indeed happen. It is crucially important to select prey of appropriate size for your pet.> I was skeptical as I thought it was a fungus, but we followed her advice. <Generally very wise.> The vet prescribed 0.03 ml of Baytril (diluted I think) orally daily for 10 days, and Neo-Poly-Baci + Hydro to be applied topically to the white area for 7 days. We were unable to get him to take the Baytril orally without hurting him (small toad), so we applied it topically to the infected area, let him sit for 10 minutes, and then applied the Neo-Poly-Baci. For 7 days we saw little improvement, but then the infected area began to shrink. Today was the 11th day, the first day without treatment, and the infected area seems limited to a small area between the eyes, and it isn't white anymore, more of a clear shiny looking surface (scar tissue?). And tonight, I'm happy to report he ate for the first time in a month, and he was quite hungry and hunted energetically, 4 crickets. <Brilliant! Sounds as if this is a success.> They are still separated and will continue to be until the one who saw the vet is completely better. But I sit here tonight with 3 toads who are eating, calling, climbing and jumping like toads should. The sickest has resumed hunting and I hope he's on his way to recovery, but he still has a little ways to go. Thanks for your help. Pat <This is a nice story to hear. Usually we only hear the front end of the tale, when the animal is sick, and don't always hear back after the animal in question has got better. So thanks for sharing. Enjoy you pets, Neale.>

Thank you for your fabulous web site...and... (orientalis; diet, winter)  10/5/08
Dear Wet Web Media Crew,
While searching for information and advice about our relatively new fire belly toads I stumbled across your web site. It's fabulous; I've only read one page and I already know more than I ever thought it was possible to know about the different sorts of amphibians people keep as pets.
However, I didn't find an answer to the question I had Googled: Do captive Fire Belly toads slow down in the winter months?
<Oriental Fire Belly Toads (orientalis) are temperate zone animals, and should indeed be kept cold in winter. They need to "slow down" as you put it, otherwise they are less healthy overall, and will certainly live shorter lives. The recommended wintertime temperature is 10-15 degrees C, compared to around 20 degrees C in summer. While they don't actually hibernate, they will need less food (perhaps half as much, and with any uneaten food quickly removed).>
Since July we have had two such toads living in a luxurious 10 gallon aquarium that has a filter, plenty of plants for them to float with, a lovely deep section for them to swim in, a gentle slope for them to hang around on and a pebbly section for them to catch crickets on.
<Do offer a variety of foods: crickets by themselves are not "well balanced", although dusting with vitamins and gut-loading across a few days prior to use helps dramatically. Even so, single food diets are never a good idea, and at best the toad will get bored with them, and at worst you'll have a problem with vitamin and mineral imbalances over time.>
I've noticed that over the past week the darker colored of the two isn't particularly interested in eating. Both of the toads used to swim eagerly to the pebbles whenever they heard me banging the cricket tube onto the side of the aquarium to get their dinner out. Now neither comes over at all at first. If I encourage them to swim to the side the bright green one will eat a couple of crickets, but the darker one won't go after a cricket unless I really encourage him to do so. He even lets the crickets jump on his head and his back and he won't try to eat them. Both of the toads swim and float as much as before, their only change has been their interest in food.
<Do consider boredom and simple slowing down due to dropping temperature.>
If the problem were just the one little guy I would be a little more concerned, but because both of the toads are less interested in the crickets than they had been it seems as if they could just be slowing down for the winter. The temperature in our house and in their aquarium has remained the same so if they're noticing that it's getting closer to winter they must be noticing the change in the amount of sunlight.
<These toads do need strong sunlight or better still a basking light. Unlike most other amphibians, which tend to avoid direct light, these toads actively bask, much like reptiles. Whether they need this for good health (as do reptiles) I cannot say, but it is generally recommended that anyone keeping these toads plan around their needs and supply some sort of light.>
I'd appreciate any information you can give me about how Fire Belly toads spend the winter. Thank you.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Thank you for your fabulous web site...and... (orientalis; diet, winter) 10/5/08

Hello again, Wet Web Media Crew,
Thank you so much, Neale, for this prompt and informative response to my fire belly toad questions. I'm so glad to know there are people out in cyberspace, such as yourself, who can help us novice pet owners with our minor issues. Of course, nothing takes the place of quality veterinarian care and we're lucky to have a practice very close to us which is recognized for its competence caring for small and exotic animals.
<Happy to help.>
My comments on your points, and a few additional questions, are as follows:
We try to feed the toads some mealworms when possible but mealworms are practically impossible to fine here in eastern Pennsylvania. Most of the pet stores claim there's a 'nationwide shortage' of mealworms, prompting my boys and me to wonder if we could make a fortune in mealworm farming. Superworms are available but they don't look like anything the toads or the juvenile leopard gecko would eat. (The gecko has her own habitat in her own
20 gallon aquarium; of course she doesn't live with the toads). The Superworms are so large so I think that even if the toads or gecko could bite one in half, once they're bitten and stop moving they'll also stop being food in the minds of the animals. We also tried some sort of red wiggly worms that came in a little container at the pet store. They were probably red wigglers but I don't remember now. The darker toad sometimes took a worm but the bright green one always ignored them.
<Do also try stuff from the garden, such as earthworms, assuming you don't spray the garden.>
I agree with your other posters who mentioned that feeding the toads is very time consuming, having to wait for the toads to eat the food before the crickets jump into the water or the mealworms or red worms burrow into the pebbles. Sometimes particularly determined crickets have leapt out of the aquarium while the lid is off because I'm rescuing a swimmer. Since the mealworms aren't very fast I put them into a little bowl but it took the toads many feedings before they would look into the bowl for food. At first they happily hopped into it and out of it but didn't seem to notice they were sitting on their potential dinner. Any crickets that the toads don't eat within what I consider to be a reasonable amount of time - 5 to 10 minutes - get flushed away. Do you think it's OK to either return these crickets to the cricket keeper or feed them to the gecko?
<Both are fine.>
I never have because I don't want to transfer any bacteria or other contaminants from the toads' most environment to the gecko or to the other crickets who will eventually get their turn to be a meal. If they can't become another food source, can I let them go outside?
<They'll die outdoors; the crickets and mealworms sold are from tropical countries and not likely to survive in the temperate zone.>
To alleviate the toads' boredom we rearrange their habitat every time we clean the aquarium. Of course, in a 10 gallon aquarium we don't have a lot of choices, but we've come up with three arrangements. Sometimes their 'land' area is on the side closest to the window, sometimes on the other, and sometimes on both sides with the swimming area in the middle. Sometimes all the plants are in the deep part making it seem (to us) jungle-like in the water, and sometimes only one or two plants are in the deep part (still giving the toads plenty of surface leaves to hang around on) but making the 'land' area a bit more lush and cricket stalking a little more difficult. To one of your posters you mentioned changing out only a portion of the toads' water when cleaning the tank. Please tell me if we've been a little too fastidious with our tank cleaning and if we could back off on our regime, at least every other time we change the water. We always transfer the toads and a little of their tank water to the container they came home in. Next we vacuum out as much of the water and junk as we can and replace it with regular tap water and water conditioner. Then we vacuum that water out, taking with it more floating junk. Next we replace that water with more tap water and water conditioner and dig deep into the pebbles and stir them all around. This creates eve more floating junk which we try to remove with the vacuum. Finally we arrange the pebbles and plants and filter the way we want them and refill the aquarium with tap water and water conditioner.
<This all sounds good; because amphibians are prone to skin infections when exposed to poor conditions, erring on the side of caution when it comes to cleanliness is no bad thing at all.>
Then the toads are allowed to return. As you can imagine, this is quite the process, especially since the aquarium is in a bedroom and there are a lot of trips to and from the bathroom with a bucket of water. Many of those trips are made by a 10 year old. Is there any way we can cut back on this, maybe doing it every other week, with just a water replacement
on the off week? Do we have to put water conditioner in all the water that goes in and comes right back out or is it only necessary for the water the toads eventually live in?
<Add conditioner on a _pro rata_ basis to any new water added to the aquarium. To be honest, with terrestrial amphibians, replacing 100% of the water is a good idea.>
Thank you all again for this wonderful site full of information about our pets and our ponds.
<No probs.>
Yours sincerely,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Please tell us what's wrong!! Spinning toads... No data  4/12/08 Hello, We are starting to get a little bit worried about one of our twelve fire bellied toads. We call him Spinny because every time he gets in the water he starts to spin uncontrollably. <Mmm, not good> At first we thought he was just one of those "freak" frogs... You know the one, a little bit different from the rest. But as time progressed and the spinning got more and more out of control, we feared something might be seriously wrong. Especially when we noticed that even his land behavior is kind of strange. His head bobs in this strange way... What is going on? <Mmm, likely genetic trouble... perhaps developmental... not likely (as all would be affected), but possibly pathogenic> Is there something wrong with his equilibrium? Is he sick? <Likely just this one> To top it all off, we just recently noticed there is now a Spinny number two. <Oh oh...> Is Spinny number one infecting our entire population of toads?? Love, <3 <3 <3 Cochina <Mmm, perhaps environmental... nutritional... Need to know much more re what it is you're doing to keep these specimens... Their systems, maintenance, foods/feeding... Bob Fenner>

Re: Please tell us what's wrong!! Spinning frogs 4/15/08 > <Mmm, perhaps environmental... nutritional... Need to know much more re what it is you're doing to keep these specimens... Their systems, maintenance, foods/feeding... Bob Fenner> Okay... Here goes... These "specimens" a.k.a. frogs... reside in a 30 gallon tank. <Mmm, may need more room than this... many amphibians are very sensitive to metabolite build-up> It's set up with sand, rocks, trees, water which is continuously filtered and changed weekly... <... how changed? With pre-stored water I hope/trust> Even a floating lily pad. The frogs are fed every six days. They are given crickets for sustenance... Also the crickets are dusted each time they are placed in the tank. The tank is heated and maintained at a constant temperature of 77 degrees... The water is always flowing and moving... There is even a waterfall. There is also something else we forgot to mention earlier. Almost all of the twelve frogs have these white dots around their mouth and head area...Some have them on their legs also. Is this yet something else we should be overly concerned with?? Thank you for your time and any assistance you might provide. We love you. <Do see the Net re the care of this species... and do please include previous correspondence when writing us. I suspect the same general issues as above... the environment and nutrition are lacking. Bob Fenner> Sincerely, Miss Katrina Joyce Newsome and Jimmy James

Tank Diversity... I'll say! And a partridge in a pear tree?! 2/18/08 Hello and thanks in advance. <Hail.> I've jumped in feet first here and I feel slightly overwhelmed. I am trying to be as conscientious as possible and want to offer the best environment possible for the animals I've chosen to support. <For the love of God, please tell me this is research *prior* to purchase. Obviously these animals won't get along. One is big and aggressive, one is soft and easily damaged, and the other is a land animal that drowns when it falls into deep water. No chance whatsoever of these animals coexisting in an vivarium.> I have a new 29 gallon tank with a very young Red-Eared slider turtle, a Fire Belly Toad, a Hermit Crab (species unknown to me). <Oh dear.> I have the tank divided into three distinct "zones"; I have a tall pumice stone which offers a place to climb and explore and where I deposit the food for all of the animals. In the middle I have a 2-2 1/2 inch deep area intended for swimming. And finally I have a raised, dry, sandy area for the turtle to bask and for the crab to burrow/bask. I've also planted a few small aquatic plants throughout each "zone". <Water area too shallow for the Terrapin, but fatally deep for the Hermit Crab.> I have a new UVB light and a new infrared light which keeps the humidity and temperature within nominal limits and I regularly test in each of the three respective areas. I have a new 140 gph filter and a heater in the swimming area. I am using decomposed granite and aquarium gravel as substrate in the wet areas and washed play sand in the raised "beach" area. <Hermit Crabs need moss or coir (Coconut fibre) to burrow into when resting. Sand doesn't hold moisture so well. In any case, the crab can't be kept in this enclosure.> I have been reading as much as I can about the animals and believe that I have provided an ample environment for each of them. While I understand that a new environment and new "roommates" can be intimidating, how do I ensure a good quality of life for the inhabitants? <By keeping each in a tailor-made environment specific to their needs. Firebelly Toads for example need relatively cool water less than 24C, but this is too cold for Terrapins. Conversely, while Terrapins appreciate a gravel substrate for resting on while basking, Toads can swallow gravel and die, and should NEVER be kept in enclosures with gravel. They need bare glass or pebbles in the water side of their tank, and damp moss 5 or 6 cm deep over the gravel on the land side of the system. Again, terrapins are hugely polluting animals that dump a lot of ammonia in the water; toads are highly sensitive to ammonia, developing the amphibian equivalent of Finrot, known as "Red Leg".> I've never seen a tank divided like this and believe there is no reason why it can't be successful. <Many, many reasons. Too numerous to list here, but even a quick read of the literature on each species should make these immediately obvious.> Please give as much detailed information as you can afford. ~ Joel <Separate these animals into their own systems, or else return two of them and specialise on just the one. There is no way these animals can be kept together. Cheers, Neale.>

Question About Firebelly Toads... spoogie   11/12/07 Crew, We have 2 Firebelly toads. We do not know the sex of either. Every once in a while we get a clump of clear "jelly-like" substance usually in the water. Obviously this comes from the toads but we don't know if its an egg sack or just some sort of secretion. Looking closely we cannot see any small dots inside the clump. Do you know what these clumps are ? Pierce, Joy and Eden <Greetings. What you're describing does sound a lot like toad-spawn. Each egg is about 1 cm in diameter, but the developing embryos are (at least to start with) very small, maybe one-tenth that. So they're easy to overlook. The eggs are normally deposited on plants close to the surface of the water. If cared for well (i.e., given a coldish sort of winter and then a moderately warm summer) orientalis breeds quite freely in captivity. The tadpoles will swim out of view for a the first couple of days; just like fish fry, there's a period of time where amphibian tadpoles consumer the remains of their yolk sac before actively foraging for food. Rearing isn't difficult, but it probably goes without saying that the parents will eat the tadpoles given half a chance. If you want to rear them, you'll probably need to move them to another tank (or at the very least a covered breeding trap of some sort). Cheers, Neale.>

Question... Can two fire belly toads and a red eared slider turtle live together in the same aquarium?  8/10/07 I think the tank is 20gals and is a terrarium. we have a filter, heater and a filter/water circulator. I have had some bad experience with previous turtles and don't want the same to happen. A few years ago two of my turtles that I had for approximately 2 years were eaten by a craw fish that was supposed to be a treat for my painted turtles. the crawfish was living under a rock eating the turtles fish and other food sources for a couple months, ate one turtle then a few days later the other. It was a big surprise when I drained the tank and found a crawfish about three times the size it was when we bought it. Especially since I thought it was already eaten because I didn't see it for two months. Anyway if I put the two toads in the same tank as the turtle which is about 2 and a half inches will they stay away from each other and be able to live healthy? I know the kinds of environments they both need and am just wondering about having a variety of species living together. Is there any species that can coexist with a red eared slider? <Greetings. No, you must not mix frogs/toads with your sliders or for that matter crayfish. Sliders are largely herbivores and 75%+ of their diet should be plant food, particularly when they are adult. But that doesn't mean they aren't opportunists, and in the confines of an aquarium they will catch and eat anything. Even if they don't manage to kill the toads, their nipping are likely to damage them and let fungus or some other infection set in. Furthermore, your terrapins are very messy animals and pollute the water heavily; the toads, by contrast, are largely aquatic and require good, clean water. Bottom line, you can't mix them. Now, you're mentioning feeder fish, and I'm just going to remind you that [a] sliders don't need to eat live fish; [b] live goldfish and minnows especially are a source of thiaminase, a substance known to harm reptiles in the long term; and [c] your terrapins should be mostly eating greens anyway. I mention all of this because of your story with the crayfish; if I'm feeling charitable I'd suggest you hadn't done your homework on how to keep terrapins in captivity. Crayfish don't mix with anything, period. Not even each other. Terrapins and turtles cannot be mixed with anything but other terrapins and turtles of comparable size. Please understand a red-ear slider get to the size of a dinner plate, so before adding "tankmates", consider whether you have space enough already for the ones you have. Realistically, you're after something around 55 gallons for one or two specimens. So, be sure and read the articles here at WWM about keeping red-ear sliders; there are several of them, all good, and brim full of useful information. Cheers, Neale

Fire Belly Toad With Infections I have a fire belly toad with cloudy eyes and a swollen leg and have no idea what is wrong with him. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Sarah <Frogs are very susceptible to infections when the water is not kept perfectly clean. Start by doing a large water change, vacuuming the gravel and cleaning the filter. If things don't get better in a couple of days then try treating the tank with Myacin.-Chuck>

Firebelly Toad Changing Color   3/21/07 Hello! I am writing to you because I have a Firebelly toad in my kindergarten classroom. I have two frogs in the tank, one of which was adopted from our local petstore because he was born with only three legs. Normally his color is green, but today we noticed that his coloring is much darker than usual and the frog is not as active as usual. Could it just be an off day or could something be wrong?? Thanks!! < They do shed their external skin so this just could simply be a case of a toad getting ready to shed. Just in case do a water change and clean the filter to see if he perks up.-Chuck>

Fungussy Firebelly  3/12/07 Hi, <Hi, PufferPunk here< I had wrote to you before regarding my Firebelly toad that has a fungal problem, I think. You had told me to use erythromycin in the water and it has not helped at all. His upper lip is red and he still has the discolored skin near his eye and around his mouth. He is not very active and is always hiding his face or has his head way down to the ground. Any other suggestions?  Thanks <Try adding Melafix & Pimafix, in addition to the antibiotic already recommended, for an added boost.  Be sure to keep it's water clean. ~PP>

Fat Fire Bellied Toads   3/4/07 I have one female who has become large in the stomach region.  Tank has river rock and lots of live plants.  She is active and likes to stay in the shallow end of the water.  Just recently, another female has begun to get large but spends most of her time in the deep end.  Their diet consists of small crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and chopped up earthworms.    Humidity is between 80 - 100 and water temperature ranges between 70 - 75 degrees.  There is a total of 9 fire-bellies in a 56 gallon tank. Can you tell me what is wrong with them?  Some people have said they are with eggs and others say bloat but have no idea how to tell which is which.  Like I said, both are very active and act completely normal.  Any help will be very much appreciated since I have been researching this for quite a while and haven't found any answers.  Thank you! Nicole < Keep track of where the food goes. If these two in particular are actively eating prey then I am going to assume that they are healthy and may indeed be pregnant. If they are not eating at all and still getting fat then it may be an internal infection.-Chuck>

Feeding Firebelly Toads Bugs from The Garden  2/18/07 My name is Daniel and I have a Firebelly toad. I (accidentally, had a lot to do that week) didn't feed him in around 4-5 days. When I realized this at 9:30 p.m., my pet store had already closed. When I went to check on him and he didn't move, so I tried pouring water around him, still nothing. Finally, I slightly moved him, and his eyelids opened, and within the next  couple minutes he started moving. Thinking he was very hungry, I went outside to find bugs. I was able to  find a grub worm, and I gave it to him. I an sure there's nothing wrong with that, but I was just wondering is it bad for Firebelly toads to eat grub worms? Just wondering.  Thanks,- Daniel <Most insects are harmless and are actually very good food for your toad. You only need to worry if you have put out some poison that may have been ingested by the bug and carry the toxin to your toad. I have kept toads alive for years in Sothern Calif . just by catching my own bugs and a few worms now and then.-Chuck>

Cloudy Eyes on Fire-Belly Toad  1/16/07 Hi! <Hi Sue, Pufferpunk here> I enjoyed reading through other amphibian owners' questions but am still unsure of what to do for my daughter's fire-belly toad. Both eyes are very cloudy and have been for some time. I think I see a little blood around the edges too but that may be irritation. He/she is still feeding normally but seems to be in discomfort and is significantly less active that when his/her eyes were clear. After reading through questions and responses, I'm pretty sure it is a water quality issue. We can take care of the water quality by cleaning the 10-gallon tank and changing the water more frequently but I would like to get advice on treatment, as the irritation or infection looks pretty severe and I would like to keep the poor toad from going blind if possible. <Since these animals eat, sleep & drink in water that they poo in, water quality is definitely important.> I noticed that one Crew member's advice to one owner was to put one drop of MelaFix in each eye daily but that was an Asian bull frog. In answer to another question relating to cloudy eyes, a different adviser suggested sulfa drugs in the water. Could you please help? <Actually I was also thinking of using Melafix for the eyes (I believe that's what you meant?)  Worked for some of my frogs.  Be sure to dechlorinate the fresh water, after cleaning the tank.  ~PP> Thank you so much!! Sue W.

Fire Belly Toad On Fire 10/22/05 Hi. I have 3 Firebelly toads. I've had them for about six years or so. Just today, one of them started acting weird. It is very weak and has constant spasms in its legs and body. Its stomach sometimes pulsates and it can't jump. I have no idea what is going on and I was wondering if you could help me out.  Oh ya, and also its back legs have a lot of mucus on them. I don't know if that's related, but I just want to find out what's wrong with my toad. Thanks < Frogs can succumb to bacterial infections. One in particular is called red legged disease which is a bacterial infection on the legs of the frog. The mucus on the leg may be this disease. It is difficult to see on a frog when a red pattern is on the belly and legs already. Clean the tank and the filter. Heard of some remedies using dyes and antibiotics with mixed results.  Sometimes the frog is too ill to survive the treatment. Frogs in general are very sensitive to chemicals in the water since they seem to absorb everything through their skin. Isolate the toad from the rest so he doesn't contaminate the other two. I would try a product from Jungle called Start Right.  It is a little Methylene blue and salt. This should inhibit the bacteria and give you toad a chance to fight off the disease on its own. It looks like it is getting worse then antibiotics would kill the bacteria but I am not certain how the frog would react to the medication. I would recommend that you look online at some frog site that have had success in treating this disease to be sure.-Chuck> 

Fire Pebbled Bellied Toad   6/16/06 Dear Crew, I know for a fact that my small fire bellied toad just swallowed a large pebble.  She was going for her second cricket and missed.  I was trying to catch her to pull it out of her mouth, but she choked it down.  I don't think that there is any way that she can pass that, unless these critters are extremely stretchy.  Is there anything that I can do?  I don't want her to suffer. Thank you, Linda < If the stone went down then it can go back up. When the toad is ready I'm sure he will cough it up.-Chuck.>

Firebelly toad hlth.  - 09/01/06 Hi. < Howdy! >   I recently bought two young fire-bellied toads.  I have had  them for about one week, and they seem to be doing fine.  But today one of  them has started making weird faces and rubbing his front feet over his head and  kicking his back feet around as if he were in pain or something.  I can see  what looks like loose skin clinging to his sides and am wondering if he is just shedding? < Sometimes these guys are affected by excess metals and minerals in the water. Have you tested the hardness of the water? They are also affected by improper water quality: excessive ammonia and nitrites. Last, but not least, air-borne pollutants and contaminants can have this reaction as well. Aerosols, room fresheners, carpet fresh, etc. will cause chemical burn. >   He is even opening his mouth and making faces, and I wonder is  all this normal behavior just to shed his skin, or might there be something else  going on? < Possibly shedding, but more likely a chemical reaction. > Could he have swallowed a pebble or something and maybe it has  nothing to do with the shedding skin? < I hope not, pebbles can be hard to pass! >   Any advice you could give would be  greatly appreciated.  I've never had any type of frogs before, only fish  and turtles.   Thanks. < I hope I helped some. RichardB >   Paula
Re: Firebelly toad
  9/11/06 Richard, thanks so much for responding.  Believe it or not, I think he  was just shedding after all.  After he got the loose skin off, he resumed  acting normally.  A little later, I was looking through a book from the  library on frogs and toads, and there was a picture of a toad doing exactly what  mine was doing, and it said that he was shedding his skin and eating it and that  this was normal frog behavior.  So I think he's OK!  He's eating and  acting completely normal now.  Thanks so much for your response! < You are very welcome! RichardB >

Help!  My Lunch Is Stupid! - 04/04/2006 My fire belly frog is eating. <Uh, good!> i <Oh my.  PLEASE capitalize your "I"s.  For one, it shows some healthy self-respect in your writing, and for two, we really haven't the time to correct these....> bet your wondering why I'm writing. <Indeed I am.> the <Ack!  The beginnings of sentences too, please?> problem is his silly food! I get him crickets and they just dive right in the water and decide to go swimming! <Hey, I would too!  I love to be in the water.> And then I end up spending 20 minutes trying to save the dumb crickets but they just keep jumping to their death. <They really are NOT the brightest, are they? By the time its all said and done my poor frog eats 1 and the rest are dead! <A sad waste.  I can't tell you how many stupid gray/feeder crickets I've met.  I don't know how the species continues to live....> I recently bought him ghost shrimp but he my frog didn't even know they were there. They ended up living together and he wont eat them. <Neat!> I don't know what to do because at this rate I'm going to the pet store everyday! My poor frog eats the crickets that don't end up jumping to their death. I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do. I need an easier option on what to feed him. <A couple of options.  The best, and healthiest, is to keep the crickets in a separate container and only feed him a couple at a time.  In the separate container, you can feed them ("gut load" is one term for this) a high-quality fish food and give them a piece of fruit for water.  This will make them better for your frog to eat and keep them alive until feeding.  Optionally, you can give them something in the water at the surface that they can climb out on and not drown; a floating plant (real or fake) may do the trick.> PLEASE get to me quickly...... <As quickly as we could.> Thank you so much, - Needing a Resolution <All the best to you,  -Needing a Nap (Sabrina)>

Amphibian and Chelonian mix 8.27.05 I keep my red ear slider in an aquarium with 3 Firebelly toads, a tree frog, and a chubby frog. I have the aquarium so one side is water and the other side is land. I have been wondering, however, if the mix of reptile and amphibian is safe.  I do have a filter and light source and the animals usually keep away from each other. Also, I used to have a soft-shell turtle; I had kept him with the frogs (but at that time I had one Firebelly). Sadly, he died in a weird way. A large, black, tube like thing with feathery ends came out of his anus, and hung out about an inch. We suspected that it had to do with the turtles eating habits, for it ate up to six fish a day. Recently, I have been wondering if it had to do with the frogs. I really don't want my red ear slider to die, so please help. Also, we have been feeding the slider a more reasonable amount of food. PLEASE HELP!! <I am not sure what the large black feathery thing might have been, but it might be worth contacting a reptile Veterinarian to find out.  I would not recommend keeping frogs with turtles.  Turtles foul the water very quickly, frogs and toads are very sensitive to the quality of their environment and will not tolerate less than optimal conditions for very long.  I am not sure if the frogs and toads you are keeping are toxic to animals that ingest them but it is definitely something you will want to look into, I am sure a turtle would sample a frog if given the opportunity.  I would definitely keep the turtle in a separate tank. I would also get some care sheets on the different types of frogs you are keeping to ensure that your setup is meeting their needs as well, heating, lighting, feeding, etc. -Gage>

FB Toads Won't Eat  9/12/05 We have 2 fire belly toads in a aquarium with a screen top they are on a bed of Jungle Earth with a water bowl the room is usually 78-80 with a lamp above them .The problem is that they won't eat anything we have offered crickets mealworms brine shrimp  canned crickets They also seem to have a blackish film growing over their face and eyes I think they can see but not positive What can I do? Paula Holcomb < The dust from the Jungle Earth has covered their most skin and eyes and they probably can't see. They won't eat what they can't see. I would actually set them up more for frogs than for toads. Use fine sand instead of the jungle earth.-Chuck>

Mixing Amphibians Can fire belly toads live with baby whites tree frogs if they are about the same size? What about adding green tree frogs to the mixture? <I would not mix any of these, they all have different environmental requirements.  If you want entertainment go with the fire bellies, if you want an adorable frog that is not as active, go with the Whites Tree frog.  I like tree frogs as well, but they are really jumpy, open the lid to clean them an BOING! all over the room.  Ok, it is not that bad, but they are really fast.  Do some research on all 3 and go with the one you like best.  -Gage>

Fire Belly Toads I've had my 2 fire belly toads for 3 years in a filtered 10g 1/2 full tank with 1/3 land today while feeding one frog has lost more then 1/2 body weight and seems to have an equilibrium problem only seeming to move one direction (very little movement ) basking on land , with other frog standing guard in some type of protective mode the sick frog was not strong enough to eat. I feed once a week and dust crickets with Reptocal is there any thing I can do I don't think it will make it very long and is there any thing I'm doing wrong. <Well... you've got me stumped here, I do not have much experience with fire belly toads.  If I had to guess I would say the problem may have started with the diet and developed into something else.  Most problems that I have encountered with amphibians were related to problems with their environment.  The link below has some good information on captive care of the Fire Belly Toad. http://www.livingunderworld.org/anura/database/bombinatoridae/bombina/orientalis/ I would make sure I am meeting all of their requirements.  You could also try using google.com to search for common ailments or diseases.  A local reptile shop may have some good information as well.  Best of Luck, Gage>

Black Lighted Frogs Okay thanks. I thought it would be something like that. He does scuba dive near the filter ( it just so happens the filter is near the heater too ). But I have yet another question for you. One night, I turned all the lights out in my room and I put a 15 watt tube black light above the Firebelly toad's tank to simulate night. I came back perhaps 1-2 hours later, turned the light back on, and looked in the tank. Jeff was scuba diving, Fred was on the log, and Bob and Joe were some other place. To my surprise, their skins were brownish-black ( even Jeff's, and he was underwater ) instead of green! After a while their skins turned green again. I think it was the ultraviolet light in the black light that did this, but is it safe to do it again ( and will their skin turn green again every time )? < Black lights do some amazing things to some animals. Never heard of any ill affects from black lights. Humans are exposed to them all the time but we are not frogs. Try using a ZooMed nightlight reptile bulb instead just to play it safe.-Chuck> 

FAT AND LAZY TOAD Hey it's me again! I'm sure you heard about Jeff, my scuba diving Firebelly toad. Well, he hasn't been as active as all my other toads are, and I'm just concerned. I dust the crickets I feed them with Herpcare cricket dust so he is definitely getting the proper amount of energy. He just sits under the log hut I have in my tank most of the day. How do I get him to be more active? < Assuming he is healthy, then I would do a big water change and maybe rearrange the landscaping a little bit. If he is just fat and content from eating, then I would feed smaller crickets so he has to work harder to get the same amount of food. In the wild they probably have to work a lot harder to get the same amount of nutrition.-Chuck> 
Scuba Diving Frog
Hi its me again and in the reply you sent me you didn't say anything about Jeff , "scuba diving", but that's ok because it would be kind of hard to find stuff about that. Anyway thanks for the advice about the tree frogs I'm not sure I'm going to get them now because I would have no place to put them. < It is normal for fire belly toads to dive under water for periods of time. The area he hangs out may be near a heater, the outlet of a filter or where some food can be found.-Chuck> 

Mixing it UP in My Cauldron - Herp Question Hi there! I was wondering if it was ok to mix Australian white tree frogs with Firebelly toads because I might get some once I get the $$. And one more thing: one of my Firebelly toads ( Jeff ) seems to like to go scuba diving occasionally. He goes underwater in the deepest, most secluded part of the tank, looking kind of dead ( which he isn't because he swam to the surface after a while). he has done this three times already. Is this normal and why does he do it? < White tree frogs are very arboreal and are usually found at the upper levels of the terrarium. Fire belly toads are very aquatic and usually don't do too much climbing. If the tree frogs try and eat the toads then there could be problems because the toads are somewhat toxic and I am not sure of the effect on the frogs. To be safe it would probably be better to keep them separate. You fire belly toads usually can swim all over an aquarium but they really need a place to get out of the water.-Chuck>

Firebelly Toads 3.28.05 Alright, I'm sorry if my improper punctuation bothers you. <I must have missed the first message, I am sure it was nothing personal, just a lot of emails to edit and post on the website. No worries.><((((º> Anyway, my dad thinks I should get a little fish to live in my Firebelly toad's pond. But I'm worried that the firebellies might eat the fish or poison it with their skin toxins, and the fish food might poison the toads. Is it okay to get such a fish? And if it is, what species would be most appropriate? <I'd leave the fish out of this setup, in my experience firebellies will try to eat just about anything that wiggles. I doubt eating the fish would harm the toad but it would not be very fun for the fish. The fish and fish food will also foul the toads water faster which means more work for you cleaning the pond. Best Regards, Gage >
Bloated Firebelly newt Follow-up
Thanks for the information. Any cures for gut impaction other than hoping nature take its course?  <I would think you could use Epsom salts at a rate of 1 teaspoon per ten gallons and if he is still eating you could use vegetables like peas.>

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