Acquired: Pet store
Posted Mar 14, 2015
Having owned many American Toads over the years, I decided to experiment by purchasing two Oriental Fire-bellied Toads from the local pet store, one male and one female. While speaking with the pet associate, she informed me that the Fire-bellied Toads should not be touched with bare hands. Apparently they have trace amounts of toxins on their moist skin. The American Toads I had previously owned let me hold them often, so it was a big adjustment for me to not be able to hold my new pets.
When I first took them home, I set up a 10-gallon aquarium with dry dirt lining the bottom (as I had previous done with my former American Toads). I then did a little online research and decided that it was best to have more water in the aquarium than land, to keep the Toads' skin moist. So, I filled the whole bottom of the tank several inches deep with water, then placed a few rocks and bricks as land. The two toads loved the water and spent most of their time playing in it.
One issue with having water as the primary habitat is that it becomes polluted quickly. I know pet stores had water filters, which unfortunately cost around $80 for the cheaper ones that would have worked for that aquarium set up. Not wishing to invest that much more money into it, I decided that I would just have to drain the water every week or so and replace it with clean water. It was a little bit of an inconvenience, but it worked.
The other issue with almost all water was feeding time. The Fire-bellied Toads loved crickets and sometimes meal worms. I would place a few meal worms on the brick in the aquarium, and if the toads noticed them, they would climb out of the water and eat the food. However, what would often happen was that the toads would ignore the food, and the meal worms would walk to the edge of the brick, fall into the water and drown. I realized that I would have to stick with crickets for the toads, which would hop around, swim in the water, and give the toads a nice workout to catch them. It was really fun to watch the toads hunt the crickets down.
When I moved states, I unfortunately had to sell the Fire-bellied Toads. But, the buyer was a teacher at the Science Center, and promised to take great care of them and would provide all the crickets they could eat, while letting students watch and observe them. I was glad they would be loved.
Overall, the Oriental Fire-bellied Toads were a little more maintenance than my previous American Toads, and I couldn't hold them which was difficult. But I really loved watching them eat, and their bright colors made them appealing. If you don't mind changing the water often, and are ready to spend a few dollars a week to buy crickets for them, Fire-bellied Toads are a great pet.