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Our enclosures #2 Fire-Bellied Toad

Fire-Bellied toad

The Fire-Bellied toad is an extremely popular amphibian; mainly due to their vibrant orange and black undersides these truly are astonishing creatures. These colours are to warn predators of their toxicity, they can perform what is called a “Unken reflex” where they arch their body to show their predators their bright colours. Don’t worry, I know what you’re thinking, these toads are completely harmless to you unless you decide to eat them (I hope you wouldn’t consider eating your pet) but ensure you always wash your hands after handling. Their green and black back is to help them to camouflage in the marches and wetlands they inhabit all over Asia.

Step 1 – lighting and heating

Start with your chosen tank, the tank in this blog is a 60x45x60 Exo-Terra tank with a background. Like our last tank set up of our Australian Whites Tree frog, toads are also cold-blooded so must be provided with a heat mat. As well as this Fire-Bellied toads are also susceptible to MBD so ensure you provide them with calcium supplements in their food to prevent this. To make sure they are capable of absorbing this calcium you must also provide them with lighting that emits UVB. Ask for help at your local exotic store if you’re not sure which light to buy.

Step 2 – First layer of substrate

As Fire-Bellied toads like to spend a lot of time in water its important to have a good sized shallow pool of water inside their tank. In order to make sure this water sits properly in place and is filtered correctly the first step is to cover the bottom of the tank with a draining substrate, I prefer to use Exo-Terra Bio-Drain Terrarium Draining Substrate but there are other alternatives. A layer of mesh then needs to be placed on top of this to ensure your other substrates do not mix. I use Exo-Terra Bio Drain Mesh; this should be stretched across the first layer of substrate covering it completely

Step 3 – Second layer of substrate

A generous amount of soil is required for the second layer of substrate; this is because you need to create a slope leading to where you would like the shallow pool. I start right at the back of the tank creating the steepest part of the soil, and work my way down.

Step 4- Decorative pebbles

To help create a more natural looking tank place decorative pebbles (Ensure these are safe for use in animal enclosures before purchasing) where you will be putting the shallow pool for your toad.

Step 5 – Decoration

When creating any animal enclosure you want to achieve a replica of their natural environment; Plenty of fake plants should be placed around the enclosure, this is to block out the view of the outside of the tank for your toad making it more natural. You should get a mixture of different shaped and sized plants to create multiple textures throughout the tank. I also sprinkle different substrates and leaves around the tank to make a more natural flooring space. A hide and logs should also be supplied; I simply use a small plant pot, as it’s the perfect size and shape. Included in my tank is a dripping water plant by Exo-Terra, it is not a necessity but certainly adds to the overall eye-pleasing look of the tank.

Step 6 – Water

Now for the fun part where the tank comes together! Once everything is in the tank you can now add the water to your selected area of the tank, just like the Whites Tree frog you must treat the water before pouring it into your tank due to amphibians, thin, sensitive skin. Water conditioner can be purchased from most pet stores and with most brands only a couple of drops are required pet litre of water but always check the instructions to ensure it’s treated correctly.

There you have it! A perfect set up for your Fire-Bellied Toad, now all is left to do is to put them in and watch them have hours of fun in their new tank!

Want to meet a Fire-Bellied Toad in person? Why don’t you book a session? For more information please contact us via [email protected] or by phone 020 3372 4300!