Fire Bellied Toad (Bombina orientalis)
Life span: 5-15 years
Size: 2-3 inches as adults.
Native to: Southeast Asia, Korea and China
Appearance: Fire bellied toads can be a green to brownish color with black spots on their dorsal side. Their under belly are bright red to a weak orange (thus the fire color) with black blotches. Their backs are bumpy, bellies smooth; eyes are set high, and a blunt nose, almost shovel shaped. Their skin does secrete a toxin and thus should be handled with caution, and hands should always be washed immediately after handling.
Classification: Kingdom: Animalia
Species: Bombina orientalis
• Size: 10 gallons will be sufficient for 2-3 fire bellied toads.
• Substrate: River rock, or very large pebbles, large enough for them to not ingest, organic potting soil, coco bedding (Bed-a-beast or Tropical Soil) can be used under. Sand, bark, mulch, small gravel, and loose moss should be avoided as they can cause impaction. These and reptile carpet can cause skin irritation as well. Coco bedding or organic soil seems to be the best choice as they can be passed if accidentally ingested, and also is more natural for them.
• Light: A low wattage light can be used to help maintaining a 12 hour day/night schedule. If you have live plants, you may want to get a light with a full spectrum or perhaps get plants that are okay with low light. But you definitely want plants that can flourish in high humidity.
• Heat: Room temperature is fine, but if the temperature rises into the higher 80°F they can become heat stressed. Between 65°F-82°F in the air. I suggest staying in the low 70’s in the water.
• Humidity: If enough water is in the tank, the humidity is not too big of an issue. If there is not a large amount of water in the habitat, then humidity should be kept around 80%. Live plants also help keep the humidity up.
• Water: Half the tank should be water, about 2-4 inches deep. The water should also be de-chlorinated. Amphibians have a very porous skin that and absorb water through it. Chlorine can cause severe illness and death to them. Also, since they secrete toxins, the water should be filtered and partially changed at least once a week, or it should be changed daily. The water should also be kept at a temperature between 70-74°F. If you have trouble keeping your water temperatures down, try moving your tank closer to the floor, adding a little fan, or, if you have a filter on the inside, try getting one that sits on the outside.
• Other: A hide is suggested, either in water, on land, or both. Hides can be created out of caves, drift wood, or broad leafed plants. The land area should be easy to access. A secure screen lid is an absolute needed item. While they may not have toe pads to climb glass, they manage to use their wet bodies to push their way up the wall. You can buy lid clamps to help keep them down.
Diet: Fire bellied toads will eat most SOFT bodied invertebrates and should be fed either be fed one food item daily, or fed every other day. Crickets, silkworms, black worms, small tomato worms, night crawlers, red wigglers, butterworms, and fruit flies. Wax worms can also be offered, but take care not to over feed them and only given to them as a treat. Wax worms are very fatty and have very little nutrition value to them. Make sure they aren’t so big that the toad has trouble eating it. They should never be fed food from outdoors, as you never know if the prey item has come in contact with pesticides, herbicides, and may carry diseases or parasites. These guys can become over weight quite easily, so never dump all your feeders in at once. Crickets and worms should also be dusted in pure calcium (no phosphorous), and every so often in a multivitamin.
Habits: Fire bellied toads are rather active, especially at night and sing quite often, especially after being fed. Be aware that they are quite the escape artist and can fit through small cracks, so a secure lid is a must!
Handling: Like all amphibians, their skin is porous and they handling should be kept to an absolute minimum. Natural oils in our hands can damage their skin, and thus you should always was your hands before handling them, or wear latex gloves.
Habitat Maintenance: Depending on your set up, a filter can be very beneficial and help keep the water clean. If you’re using a water dish, dump it frequently as put fresh water in. Daily is best. If you have a large water area, every couple of weeks you should drain a bit of it and refresh it. If you have live plants in your habitat, its not too big of a deal, but if you don’t have plants, replace the bedding every couple of months and sterilize.
Major health issues:
• Exposure to soap, detergents, and pesticides can be lethal. Be careful that there is no soap in the water when replacing it, and wild caught bugs are not recommended as they may have come in contact with pesticides.
• The swallowing of sand, gravel, or too many hard shelled invertebrates can cause intestinal obstruction. A vet should be contacted and surgery required.
• Make sure to use a varied diet and vitamins to avoid nutritional deficiencies. Signs of this can be weak legs, being lethargic, and discoloration.
• Open wounds, odd growths, or fungus on the toad’s skin should be looked at by a vet.
• Keep an eye out for lethargic movements, lack of response, loss of appetite, weight loss, bloated abdomen, and other abnormalities in your toad’s personality should be signs that there may be something wrong with it.
• If a new toad is being added, quarantine is HIGHLY recommended as you never know if your new pet could have something that may infect your current toads. A quarantine period should be at least a month. Some illnesses may take longer to incubate, so if your new pet is not eating well or the place where you purchased your toad, you may want to bump the quarantine to two months.
Facts and Notes:
• Never put a smaller frog/toad in with your toad, they may try to eat it. And if it’s a poisonous frog, then it could kill your toad.
• Never stick a bigger frog/toad in with your toad; it may try to eat it which can result in the death of either both or one frog/toad.
• Do not keep other species of any type of animal in with your toad. Results are very likely to be disastrous.
• When a fire-bellied feels threatened, they will roll onto their backs to reveal their brightly colored belly to warn the predator that ‘HEY! I’M NOT HEALTHY! DON’T EAT ME!’
• Fire-bellied toads are also communal toads, which mean they live in communities. It is suggested that you should keep at least two or more together.
• These toads are also diurnal and nocturnal, meaning they can be found active during the day and at night.
Fire Bellied Toad caresheet
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