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What Happens When You Mix Fire-Bellied Toads with Other Species?

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If you have different species of frogs as pets, can you keep them in one terrarium? And if you have a fire-bellied toad, can you keep it with other frog species too?

Quick answer

Yes, you can mix fire-bellied toads with other species, and these animals will live together in harmony like a natural ecosystem. However, careful planning is needed to make this happen and also, you need a big, huge enclosure. If you keep different frogs in a small enclosure, these will end up fighting for territory with the more dominant and larger frogs winning.

Fire bellies are small and not at all very territorial, but they may get eaten by your other pets if food is scarce. And when this happens, the predator may suffer from toxins from the fire-bellied frog’s skin and digestive tract. Some frogs with a sensitive digestive tract may even die from the toxins emitted by this frog.

If you do a quick search for the answer online, you’ll find a mixture of opinions. Some favor this arrangement, while some may not be recommended. Let’s find out why you can mix a fire-bellied toad with other frog species

Fire-bellied toads can live with other frogs

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There are many frog pet owners, especially fire-bellied toad owners that say it’s possible to house their pets with other frogs, but you need to consider the following.

· The behavior and environmental preference of different frogs

Before you plan on housing a fire-bellied toad with other frog species, consider some important things. Fire-bellied toad is a semi-aquatic frog, and thus, it needs some water features inside its cage. So, you must include a small water feature like a large vat of water inside the terrarium where they can swim or drink water. This species will likely get along with other frogs with similar requirements. Also, consider the frog’s preferred temperature and humidity. Fire-bellied toads need an environment with warmer temperatures and higher humidity levels compared to other captive toads and frogs.

· The size of the terrarium

Yes, you can house different species together for as long as you have a very large terrarium. Consider that a larger cage is better compared to a cramped cage. The reason for this is that you need to create different areas to accommodate frogs and toads with different needs, and this includes fire-bellied toads.

A large and deep terrarium will work best because you’ll be adding different features inside it. For instance, you will place a large basin of water where your fire-bellied toads and other semi-aquatic frogs can stay and an area where there is a smooth surface made of artificial turf or carpet for frogs that prefer to stay on land or near water.

And don’t forget that fire-bellied toads also prefer some plants and branches where these can perch and just have some fun hanging around with their cage-mates. And thus, adding artificial plants or real plants can help a lot.

Use natural branches and small plants with plenty of space where your pet fire-bellied toads can perch and hide. It’s a good idea to use trees and plants with semi-dense foliage. Too dense leaves can be bad for a tank because it will become too humid. Also, dense foliage can make it hard for you to check on your pets as most fire-bellied toads love to hide behind dense leaves as they rest.

The problem with having all these accessories and plants is that you need to make sure that these won’t accidentally fall onto your pets. Also, you must replace water inside the dish or vat at least daily. Take note that some toads will swim and poop in the water, so you must replace and clean this water feature regularly. If you plan to use a larger, deeper water container, use an efficient water filter so you don’t need to clean this daily.

Finally, pet toads are usually fed with live food, and with thick foliage, even food can hide and become lost. It’s hard to find and remove food and if you don’t remove food, it can die, rot and cause microbes to grow inside the tank.

So a large tank with different frog species is indeed a good idea, but you need to consider these many factors to make sure that your pets are comfortable and the surroundings conducive for their top health. 

· Create different zones inside your terrarium

With a large terrarium, you can divide the space between making different enclosures. For instance, devote an area where you’ll place a basin of water. This area must be adequately lighted to warm the water slightly. In the middle is a common area where fire-bellied toads and other toad species can meet and socialize, although this may not be possible with some species. At the back of the cage, you may add your plants or small trees. This will house frogs that prefer to be alone or those that have just eaten and would like a safe spot where they can sit and recuperate.

A taller enclosure is better so that your pets won’t escape. A glass terrarium with high sides is a good way to accommodate tall plants and trees too. Your pets can easily climb the tree and jump off the sides of the enclosure.

Will well-fed toads escape? Toads that are kept at a long time without food can search for food on trees and even outside the tank. These individuals may wander off at the top and get out of the top cover. So whatever happens, cover the top of the tank with hinges to keep your pets in.

· Have good lighting and humidity; monitor these often

As you’re keeping different species of toads and frogs in the tank, then you must consider using different types of lighting too. For instance, an area with a body of water must have a warmer temperature to keep your fire-bellied toads happy and contented. Meanwhile, a bare area must be kept warm as well since your pet will be losing more moisture when it’s in this area. Meanwhile, the back of the tank where there are more plants and foliage must be kept cooler mimicking the natural temperature and humidity of trees and plants in nature.

With these varying temperatures and humidity, you can readily house frogs and toads of different species.

· Quarantine new animals

As with housing new pet toads and frogs in an enclosure, you must always consider quarantining any new pet. Pet owners and vets prefer to quarantine new pets in a separate enclosure for at least six months. This is enough time to rule out any illnesses and health issues which this new pet can transfer to other toads in your terrarium. The new pet frog must be taken to the vet as soon as it is home so it can be checked thoroughly. After the quarantine period, your pet has to be checked by a vet again and given proper clearance to be placed inside the communal frog tank.

It’s impossible to house fire-bellied toads with other species!

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Some pet owners are wary about keeping fire-bellied species with other species. You must consider the following things before you design a communal tank.

· Fire-bellied toads can be toxic with other species

Fire-bellied toads are coated with thick oil or residue that can irritate the skin. When touched without wearing a glove, this can irritate your skin and may even cause redness, inflammation, and severe itching. For this, you must never allow the secretions to contact your eyes or enter any open wound.

When another toad, larger than the 2 to a 3-inch long fire-bellied toad, eats it, this can easily die because of the toxins found on the toad’s skin. Some toads and frogs can develop gastric irritation after just licking a fire-bellied toad. So if you want to keep your pet frogs alive, better house them in separate enclosures.

· Some species have toxins that can affect fire-bellied toads

And it’s the other way around too. Some frog and toad species have toxins on their skin that can irritate fire-bellied toads. Some may also stress your pet fire-bellied toads, and this can severely affect is growth and development. Take note that a stressed frog can show signs of deterioration and may even die due to unmanaged stress.

So if you wish to have a communal tank with fire bellies and other toad species together, you might want to study the type or species of toads you will include in the tank.

· Fire-bellied toads live in communal groups

Take note that fire bellies will live a longer and healthier life if this is housed as a group. This means that you can’t just get one or two toads but rather three or more. And if you don’t have space or the resources to feed and care for this many toads, then you might as well stick to only a few fire bellies inside a small tank.

· Some frogs and toads have different diets

Another important thing to consider when mixing fire bellies with other toads is that some frogs may have different diets. You can’t safely assume that placing worms, crickets, and flies will feed all the toads inside the tank! You still need to prepare food for each species, and this is a painstaking task.

Conclusion

Mixing a fire-bellied toad with other species of frogs is a good idea since it is most likely what’s happening in real life. But if you want to keep a healthy, surviving community of frogs, it’s best to consider a large housing to accommodate frogs in varying zones with different temperatures and humidity levels.

Also, consider that fire-bellied toad come with toxins and thus may not do well with some toads and vice versa. Also, take note of different factors like the diet of each species, their climate preferences, and their natural behaviors. Considering these factors will help you decide if housing a fire-bellied toad with other pet frogs are better or not.

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