The Oriental Fire Bellied Toad Beginner Care Guide
Updated: May 3
The oriental fire-bellied toad originates from areas in Korea and north east china and are a semi-aquatic frog which means they live both in the water and on land. They’re easy to spot due to their bright green colouration on the top side with bright yellow and orange underneath. They also have patterns of black spots and stripe which contrast with the colours to make them look even more interesting. They’re quite small, only growing to around 2 inches and can be expected to live for around 15 years with proper care.
We’d recommend a terrarium that’s around 15 gallons per 3 toads and you’ll need to build up both a water environment for them and a land one. They can be escape artists, so make sure there’s a secure lid. Clean the tank once a week while you place the toads in a lidded container, you don't want them escaping. When you're handling your toads (which should be kept to a minimum) use latex gloves. This is protection both ways - the oils in your skin are harmful to your toads but they secrete chemicals on their skin too which can sting if they get in your eyes. Don't touch your face when you're cleaning your toads! For temperatures you’ll want to stay between 70F and 75F during the day, but night time temps can drop to low 60s. They won’t need a basking light as they tolerate the cold just fine. Humidity will need to have around 50%-80% humidity, but the 50/50 water to land ratio will help achieve and maintain this with minimal misting on the sides of the tank.
Every other day, offer them a variety of insects in their diet such as small crickets and meal worms and dust these guys off with repti calcium and reptivite, reading the instructions on the back of the packaging. Place the food on to a land section of the tank, not in the water and they should be fed at a similar time each time - these guys learn to understand the schedule so they'll be expecting the food! These toads do well in groups when you give them the proper set up and free space. Give them a bunch of live plants to hide around and explore, this will also help maintain humidity.
Breeding these toads is quite easy even for first time breeders. If you have a male and a female in your tank you'll notice the male making some unusual barking noises when they're about to... you know. You can expect the female to produce around 60 to 80 eggs on the first attempt. Older frogs with more experienced breeders can create up to two hundred eggs! Tadpoles will start to hatch at around 3 days and after around a month they’ll complete their metamorphosis! When they hatch you’ll see them clinging to the sides of the tank or to vegetation and they’ll consume their stored yolk to feed on. When they become free swimming you can start to feed them a powdered tropical fish flake. In terms of health, you're looking for: - Active and alert - Clear eyes - Healthy skin - Clear nose and vent - Eats regularly - Hopping and swimming You're NOT looking for:
weight loss or decreased appetite lethargy bloated abdomen skin lesions distressed breathing weak leg movements
The most common health issues in fire bellied toads start with chemical intoxication. This comes from an exposure to soap, detergent and things such as pesticides and you can come about this by not rinsing the tank properly as you clean it. If you can get away with just cleaning the tank with hot water - do it. Soap can be really harmful to your toads. If you really need to deep clean something such as a decoration, rinse it more times than you think you need to. If you notice your toad might have chemical intoxication then get them out of the tank, into a container and get them to an exotic animal vet.
Another health issue is intestinal obstruction, this comes most likely from swallowing gravel or by eating too many hard shelled insects. To combat this, get them a substrate that's small, like dirt or sand, and watch how many of the hard shelled tasties you give them. If you think this may be occurring in your toad, take them to the vet - be aware that surgery may be required.
Nutritional deficiencies are noticed when your toad has weak hind legs, they become lethargic or their skin goes lighter or darker. Make sure you're using the vitamin and mineral supplements and if this happens to your toad, go to the vets.
Lastly, skin problems. This could be abrasions or bacterial/fungal infections. If it looks like an abrasion check for anything that could have caused it such as rough or sharp edges on decorations and be aware that these can lead to bacterial infections. For bacterial or fungal infections you can find treatment products online, if these don't seem to be working then get to your closest exotic animal vet.
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