"Inheriting" Fire-Bellied Toads--HELP?

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"Inheriting" Fire-Bellied Toads--HELP?

Post  Chu'Wuti on Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:28 am

Most of you who know me know that my husband and I keep snakes. While I have kept many other critters, I have never kept toads. However, my husband's colleague who has leukemia has asked us to take his fire-bellied toads. He needs to put all his energy into taking care of himself and does not have any to spare for the toads.

I've looked at the care sheets, but I'd like more in-depth information from any of you who have kept fire-bellied toads.

First, we are trying to figure out where to put them. We are "under construction," as some of you know. Only a couple of rooms are currently useable as living space--the kitchen and dining room--though we will be able to bring the family room back to liveable in about a week and a-half to two weeks.

As it seems they are pretty active little critters, we're thinking of putting them in our dining room, where we spend quite a bit of time. I'm wondering about the possibility of putting them in our bay window where we currently have one of our ball pythons. The window faces north, so it won't get too hot in the summer. What are others' opinions on this? Safe, unsafe, risky, idiocy . . . ??? confused

If this seems like a bad idea, would it be feasible for two weeks? The family room is on the south side of the house. It has east and south facing windows, and there are multiple places critters can (and some will!) go. I had planned to make that my colubrid room, but I guess toads could share the space as well, unless there is some reason I don't know of that toads and snakes should not be near each other. (I am NOT planning to keep them in the same habitat, of course!! I am just talking about vivaria being placed in the same room, no more.)

Second, what I read about feeding is they require moving live food, such as crickets, mealworms, etc. What variety do you suggest? Any concerns about nutritional requirements that I need to be aware of, especially fat, calcium, protein? I seem to recall that some grubs are very high in fat and should only be used rarely--do mealworms fall into that category?

Third, what suggestions do you have for feeding them? That is, do you just toss the feeders into the habitat? Do you put them in a feeding bowl? I know no self-respecting cricket is going to stay in a bowl for any length of time! Do you put food for the feeders into the habitat, too, to keep them going for however long it takes the toads to find & eat them?

Fourth, how many of you raise your own feeders? What? How? (not sure I want to do this, but we may need to consider it if we do decide to keep these toads!)

Fifth, what haven't I thought of that I need to know? I welcome all suggestions and tips anyone has to offer!

Thanks for your time!

Sandy
Chu'Wuti--Snake Woman in Hopi


1.1.4 Lampropeltis triangulum hondurensis
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Re: "Inheriting" Fire-Bellied Toads--HELP?

Post  Snakeman on Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:13 am

Sandy,

With regards to food.

Appropriately sized crickets and roaches are your best bet.

With crickets, if you pinch the back (hopping) legs at the "knee joint" they will fall right

off making the cricket a little less mobile.

Wax worms are high in fat, but are great for an occasional treat or for putting weight

back on.

Meal worms are commonly used, but they have a lot of non nutritional chitin.

Fruit flies are too small for adult fire-bellies.

You might also try earthworms, but stay away from red wigglers.

Don't forget to dust and/or gut load feeders.


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Re: "Inheriting" Fire-Bellied Toads--HELP?

Post  Chu'Wuti on Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:17 am

Larry, thanks for responding!!

I was afraid someone would suggest roaches. Crying or Very sad John may have to help more than he thinks with these critters!

Wax worms are the ones that are high in fat--OK, I can remember that.

Red wigglers are bad, huh? Do people raise earthworms for their toads, or do they dig them up? I would not mind doing either at all; raising them seems like it would be particularly easy. Aren't red wigglers the ones that people raise for composting purposes? Guess I need to learn more about the earthworms.

I've heard of gut-loading but have never done it. How is it accomplished?

I will continue to ask questions until I believe we can keep these little guys alive and healthy!


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Re: "Inheriting" Fire-Bellied Toads--HELP?

Post  okie alice on Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:30 am

I've had fire-bellies for some time now and feed crickets and mealworms and wax worms when I can get them. I have a 10 gal. tank and have found the foam log with the small pump inside is excellent for keeping the water clean. I have the log setting a few inches away from one end and I have a plastic container filled with soil and a pothos planted in the dirt. a few rocks placed on the other end are arranged so the toads have a place to hide. The water level is up high enough so the water covers the tube from the hidden pump. I just add fresh de-clor. water from time to time. It is the easiest way to maintain them I've found.
I love these little guys.
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Re: "Inheriting" Fire-Bellied Toads--HELP?

Post  Snakeman on Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:28 am

Sandy,

Red wigglers are a problem if they were raised under rabbit hutches (a common

practice with some "earthworm farmers" who sell them for fish bait.

They are toxic for herps.

If they were raised in the traditional earthworm beds and fed appropriately then

they're fine.

If you plan to use a lot of earthworms, the simplist thing to do is make a worm shocker

and harvet them from your backyard UNLESS you've used chemicals out there or

there's other concerns.

Gut loading is feeding your feeders a nutritional diet before you feed them to your

herps.

There's a lot of recipies for nutritional diets out there so you can take your pick.

Some are better than others.

When I was into lizards and other herps I got my feeder food premixed from AA.

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Re: "Inheriting" Fire-Bellied Toads--HELP?

Post  Chu'Wuti on Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:22 pm

Alice, would you be able to post a picture? If you don't have a digital camera, that's OK; I'll understand.

Neil is giving us the toads' current habitat, but at some point we may want to change it out, and I would really like to know what the possibilities are.

Larry--it sounds like I could start a worm farm with non-rabbit-poop-fed red wigglers and we'd have worms doing double-duty--composting our vegetable scraps & creating good garden soil & tea AND, for some, serving as toad food!

Even going up to AA once a week is too much for me now that grading demands have increased . . . affraid

Thanks, both of you! You are really helpful!

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Re: "Inheriting" Fire-Bellied Toads--HELP?

Post  Chu'Wuti on Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:33 pm

Hey, what about the window setting--any thoughts on that? Do you think it will be safe?


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Re: "Inheriting" Fire-Bellied Toads--HELP?

Post  Snakeman on Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:55 pm

"it sounds like I could start a worm farm with non-rabbit-poop-fed red wigglers and we'd have worms doing double-duty--composting our vegetable scraps & creating good garden soil & tea AND, for some, serving as toad food!"

Sandy,

Sounds like a plan. Smile



And since you ask for feedback, here's my two cents on the window location.

I'm not a big fan of putting herp cages in or in front of windows regardless of the

exposure.

Even if the sunlight does not come in on the cage (which would be a disaster), there

is usually too much temperature variation.



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Re: "Inheriting" Fire-Bellied Toads--HELP?

Post  Chu'Wuti on Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:55 pm

That's kinda my worry, too, especially for amphibians, so you're confirming. We do have double-pane, low-e insulated windows, so the temperature variation is considerably reduced, and this window won't get lots of sun to overheat them. Still . . . .

I'm not sure where else it can go, though, with our current limitations in space.

Gotta wander around & think, I guess.

Thanks, Larry!




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Re: "Inheriting" Fire-Bellied Toads--HELP?

Post  Evilwezal on Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:24 pm

I used to keep 10 fire belly toads in a 55 gallon tank, had it setup with patrial water/land. FTB's should be kept just like a frog, they are a semi-aquatic species. Also they are EXTREMELY heat sensetive, any thing over 80 F will stress them. I gave my friend a few of mine, he let his house it 85F one summer, and he lost all of his FTBs. I wouldnt place them directly in front of a window, they are nocturnal.

Also make sure you have a secure fitting top, they can stick to the side of a tank and walk there selfs up. They also are semi-poisonous, so wash those hands if you handle them.

I used to feed small crickets, calci-worms and any silverfish. Make sure to gutload/dust with a mineral supplement that has beta-cerotine added. It will enchance their belly colors.

Also they enjoy to climb, so put some branchs ect over the water section if your going that way.

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Re: "Inheriting" Fire-Bellied Toads--HELP?

Post  okie alice on Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:20 pm





I had five and now have two, the others climbed out I guess. The cat was playing with a mummified one he found somewhere. Yuck!
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