Oriental Fire Bellied Toad deaths
Hey frog/toad experts:
We bought some Oriental FBTs (Bombina orientalis) and we have a nice water/land setup. One toad died after two days... it didn’t really show much in the way of symptoms, it just got kind of slow and didn’t react much to anything one evening and the next day it was dead.
After a week the other toad seemed fine, it got a bit darker but it was doing fine so we went to a different store (petco) and got another toad. This new toad did just fine for like 2 weeks. The older darker toad is a male probably, because it barks a lot, we thought the new one was probably female because the other one liked to mount it a lot and it only made really quiet noises.
But then two days ago the newer toad suddenly bloated up really big. I thought maybe it was gonna lay eggs, but today it was dead.
Our tank is a 10 gallon tank. We have a big log in there that goes most of the way across the middle, it has an overhang on one side. We filled up the tank on one side of the log with fish-tank gravel to create a land side and the other side has about 2-3 inches of water. On the gravel side we put a little artificial ’cave’ thing for some shelter, and also some live moss. They have a dish over there too which we pushed down into the gravel.
We put in a small filter that goes in one corner, it has a charcoal filter in it and it seems to keep the water fairly clean, but the wood does stain the water a bit, so it looks sort of yellowish. We also put in some small floating plants called American Frogbit.
We put in more water every few days. I mix tap water with ’Stress Coat’ which says on the bottle that it removes chlorine and neutralizes chloramines and detoxifies heavy metals. It also says it has aloe in it which is supposedly good for fish. I dunno if it helps the frogs or not.
I’ve been feeding them with medium crickets and sometimes I put mealworms in the dish. I’ve seen both frogs (the older darker one and the one that just died) eat crickets and mealworms. The mealworms are alive, I just put a few in the dish and a day later most of them are gone, I don’t think they are escaping. The crickets I put in a different little box, it’s like a tiny pet carrier. We put in carrots and also ’gut load’ stuff that they love to eat, and a piece of sponge with water for them.
So I’m wondering why the frogs died? I think the one that just now died might have been because it ate a piece of gravel. They go after the crickets really fast, it could accidentally swallow a piece. Before it died it was really big and swollen, it’s whole abdomen and even its hind legs looked kind of fatter.
But also could it be the mealworms? After they eat a mealworm you can see their little bellies move a bit, I think the worms thrash around a lot. The frogs don’t seem to mind much but it worries me. Another thing is the crickets are not all the same size, when you ask for medium they give you a bag and some are bigger and some are smaller. I’ve seen both frogs gobble down crickets that are really big, they kind of stuff them in their mouths and then jump in the water to help drown the cricket or something.
Another possibility is the temperature. The tank has a screen top so it doesn’t get too hot, the thermometer usually reads between about 68 and about 80. There is a light at the top with two normal bulbs in it but the tank is next to the window so I open the blinds to give them some natural sunlight too. The house has a heater with a thermostat so it shouldn’t get below about 64 at night.
The first frog that died after 2 days didn’t get fat but maybe it was already sick from the store? Or maybe it was handling, we had to take them out a couple of times while we were figuring out the best tank setup.
Here is the frog that just died after we had it in there for about 5 days...
They seem to love the Frogbit, but could it be a problem? What about the mealworms? The guy at the store said they only feed their frogs with crickets, but I have seen other people’s websites that say they can eat mealworms.
Is the chunk of wood a problem? It doesn’t seem to be huring the loud male frog, he’s still acting totally normal. But maybe he’s just tougher than the other ones?
We’re gonna get some dry moss and cover up the gravel, hopefully that will help keep them from eating the pieces. Any other advice guys? I don’t want the last frog to be lonely, he should have more froggy friends but I’d hate to kill more of them, it’s so sad! They’re supposed to live like 10-15 years, not 2-3 weeks!