Fire-bellied toads are a type of amphibian that have become very popular as pets. These toads are known for their bright red and yellow bellies which contrast with the dark green or black skin on the rest of their bodies. Not only are fire-bellied toads an attractive species, but they can also be very amusing as pets. If you are looking for a unique pet to keep in your spare aquarium, consider setting up a habitat for fire-bellied toads.
The fire-bellied toad is capable of reaching a maximum size of around 1.5 to 2 inches and a maximum weight of up to 2 ounces. Though they may be small, these toads require at least 3 gallons of tank space and, if you plan to keep multiple toads, you should keep them in a tank no smaller than 10 gallons in capacity. For the best results, however, you should consider setting up a 15-gallon aquarium for a group of five fire-bellied toads. Keep in mind that fire-bellied toads are semi-aquatic – they require access to both land and water in order to thrive. That being the case, you should arrange your tank in a terrarium-type set-up to provide your toads with both land and water.
To create a semi-aquatic environment for fire-bellied toads, use gravel, rocks and pieces of driftwood to cover about two-thirds of the tank bottom. Fill the rest of the tank to a depth between 3 and 4 inches with fresh tap water and treat it with an aquarium water conditioner to remove the chlorine. To make sure that your toads have easy access to land, try to create a slope that leads down toward the water. Decorate your fire-bellied toad tank with more rocks, driftwood and live plants to recreate the natural environment of your toads as much as possible. You should also be sure to cover your tank with a tight-fitting lid to prevent your toads from escaping and set up an incandescent lamp above the tank to provide heat. You may also want to consider installing a small submersible aquarium heater in your tank to maintain a stable water temperature between 72° and 78°F.
Feeding and General Care
Fire-bellied toads are likely to accept a variety of different foods but the majority of their diet should be made up of live insects. Feed your toads live insects like crickets, moths, wax worms and earthworms. In addition to these live foods, you can supplement the diet of your toads with the occasional minnow or small goldfish. You should also add some commercial toad pellets to your toads’ diet just to make sure they receive adequate nutrition. Feed your toads two or three different types of food every two days. Live insects are likely to burrow into the substrate in your tank so your toads will be able to hunt for them over the course of a few days.
Other Tips and Tricks
The key to keeping your fire-bellied toads healthy is to ensure that their tank environment remains clean. You should be prepared to remove solid waste from the tank at least once a week and you should also perform routine water changes at that time, swapping out 10% to 20% of the tank volume for fresh water. To keep your tank water clean in between water changes, consider installing an EcoBio-Stone. In addition to providing your toads with an additional surface to rest on outside the water, an EcoBio-Stone will also help maintain the nitrogen cycle in your tank. The nitrogen cycle is the process by which beneficial bacteria convert harmful toxins like ammonia into less harmful substances, thus keeping your tank water clean and clear. EcoBio-Stones are infused with this kind of beneficial bacteria and, once you add the stone to your tank, you can just sit back and let the bacteria get to work.