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Thread: Looking for Anyone Who Has Experience Raising Young American Toads (Growth, Cloacal Prolapse, Substrate Concerns)

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    Default Looking for Anyone Who Has Experience Raising Young American Toads (Growth, Cloacal Prolapse, Substrate Concerns)

    Hi there, first-timer toad fan here.

    I raised a ton of tadpoles this summer which were released to live in my garden. I kept the last seven that hatched. I want to say they probably hatched in late June or early July. I have had them in a tank in the house now perhaps 7-8 weeks.

    Everything had been going just fine until Monday night. One of my two big guys was clearly straining to pass something, and ended up with a badly prolapsed cloaca. Poor thing didn't realize it was his cloaca and just kept trying to poop it out, so it got worse and worse. I gave him a sugar water soak but within a few hours he was gone. I was devastated to lose him.

    Last night, I noticed one of my little guys also straining. He prolapsed as well, although not as severely. I also gave him a sugar water soak and put him in a quarantine tank on damp paper towels. Last I knew (I'm at work atm), he was still going, although looking very weak and still prolapsed. He had passed something else since placing him in quarantine, though, so for all I know it could have been resolved and then he prolapsed again (I haven't fed him since, he just clearly still had some junk in his pipes).

    I've been feeding the little ones flightless fruit flies dusted in Herptivite, with the odd baby woodlice or teeny tiny spider here and there (also dusted). I'd run out of pinhead crickets (cat decided to 'play' with the last batch) and it's taken me ages to get more, but they should be arriving today! Anyways, the little guy pooped out something in a worm-like shape, but I haven't fed them anything remotely worm-like in at least a week. So, I'm thinking the culprit might be the substrate. I got some Zoo Med Frog Moss (pillow moss) on suggestion by the guy at the store. I read online later that it was not recommended and could cause impaction issues, but I hadn't had any problems and other people did recommend it, so I stuck with it. I really regret that decision.

    It was fine in there for a few weeks... but now the problems have started. It was getting older, yellowing, and small bits coming out, but I thought it'd still be okay until I could get to the store and get more. Soon as I saw my little guy prolapse, I immediately removed the moss, cleaned out the tank / rinsed everything thoroughly, and put them back in with no substrate. As I mentioned, he hadn't had anything remotely worm-like in at least a week, so all I can think is it must have been a string of moss he snapped up along with a fly.

    At this point I'm super worried and I'd like to ask those with experience -- what kind of substrate is safe for young toads? I just picked up a brick of cocofiber but I'm afraid to use it, at least until I know that everyone is passing food safely. Do I even really need to bother with substrate? I had peat moss in there before and nobody ever showed any interest in digging, anyways, and actually seemed really annoyed when it got stuck to them. And anyway, it's a lot easier to clean without substrate, lol.

    Also, only two of them are/were really growing (and one of those is dead now). My biggest guy is about 1.5". The one that just died was a bit over an inch. Two others are very small but have typical chubby toad-shaped bodies. The other three are very small and thin, and they just don't seem to be growing at all. They seem healthy, active, and certainly have a voracious appetite, but they just aren't really growing. Assuming it's been about two months since they came out of water, shouldn't they be much bigger than they are? They're probably about just over half an inch. It makes it extremely difficult to feed them. I'm always struggling to breed my fruit flies fast enough to keep a good population going, since that's pretty much all they can eat.

    The bigger guys had been getting fed BSFL, some fresh-shed mealworms, woodlice, spiders, ants, pretty much whatever I could find. Usually dusted. I give them water from my koi pond outside. Koi are good and healthy and water quality is excellent. Is it better to give them tap water? I'm not really sure what product to use or how much to add to make it safe for them. Is Herptivite okay or should I use something else? I notice they usually poop right when I start feeding, so I'm thinking that jump-starts digestion? If that's the case, should I maybe not feed them for a few days so that their little toady tummies can hopefully thoroughly digest whatever might be inside them?

    I'm obviously very new to this and I am terrified of losing any more. I'd love to hear from experienced keepers as to what worked and didn't work for them on any subject: feeding (amounts would be appreciated too), supplements, substrates, water treatment, medical issues, everything. Sorry for the long rambling post, I'm kinda emotional right now. I've grown to love these little guys so much.

    Thank you so much ♥

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    Default Re: Looking for Anyone Who Has Experience Raising Young American Toads (Growth, Cloacal Prolapse, Substrate Concerns)

    I didn't read to much of the post, but I can still help! I would suggest not putting more than 2 toads in the same tank, as they will fight and may spread disease. frogs and toads identify prey and predator by movement. if they see something bigger than it moving, they classify it as a predator. if they see something smaller than it moving, they classify it as prey. I've even had toads bite my finger before! you should definitely have 4-6 inches of substrate for them to burrow in, for this is how they regulate body temperature and also hibernate. now for their diet, worms are about the best you can get. do not feed them redworms, though. redworms are like brussels sprouts for them. if they eat redworms, they probably won't ever eat worms again. you can also feed them pillbugs once or twice a week, as this supplies them with a good amount of calcium. moths and grubs are very fatty, so they are like candy for toads and frogs. if your toad is looking scrawny, feed it worms and a moth or grub. make sure to watch it eat, and if it isn't eating in the summer, spring, or fall, then it may be diseased. they only need to eat about 1-3 times a week. a shallow dish of water ( no more than 2 inches deep) will suffice for them. frogs and toads drink through their skin, so they will just sit in the dish. make sure they can get into it though. change the water dish every day, or otherwise, they will just be drinking their own waste ( they use the water dish as a toilet too).i hope this info is good enough for you, just ask again if you need more information! welcome to the forum!

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    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for Anyone Who Has Experience Raising Young American Toads (Growth, Cloacal Prolapse, Substrate Concerns)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eliherps View Post
    I didn't read to much of the post, but I can still help! I would suggest not putting more than 2 toads in the same tank, as they will fight and may spread disease. frogs and toads identify prey and predator by movement. if they see something bigger than it moving, they classify it as a predator. if they see something smaller than it moving, they classify it as prey. I've even had toads bite my finger before! you should definitely have 4-6 inches of substrate for them to burrow in, for this is how they regulate body temperature and also hibernate. now for their diet, worms are about the best you can get. do not feed them redworms, though. redworms are like brussels sprouts for them. if they eat redworms, they probably won't ever eat worms again. you can also feed them pillbugs once or twice a week, as this supplies them with a good amount of calcium. moths and grubs are very fatty, so they are like candy for toads and frogs. if your toad is looking scrawny, feed it worms and a moth or grub. make sure to watch it eat, and if it isn't eating in the summer, spring, or fall, then it may be diseased. they only need to eat about 1-3 times a week. a shallow dish of water ( no more than 2 inches deep) will suffice for them. frogs and toads drink through their skin, so they will just sit in the dish. make sure they can get into it though. change the water dish every day, or otherwise, they will just be drinking their own waste ( they use the water dish as a toilet too).i hope this info is good enough for you, just ask again if you need more information! welcome to the forum!
    There are a lot of suggestions I would like to offer. You can keep more then two toads together it honestly depends on each toads personality and how aggressive they are. Same sex have the most issues. Yes you can feed Red Wriggler Earthworms to toads. Half will take them and half won't. I have had almost every toad eat them when offered and I usually only offer them because the way the toads respond to the worms. The red Wrigglers are a complete meal for the toads just like crickets. The toads can eat the Woodlice as frequent as possible they are healthy for the toads too. I have a new video coming out soon about feeding my toads and gray tree frogs and I think it can help you out possibly. Except for some different care in the toads diet the rest of the care is good!

    Sent from my BLN-L24 using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Looking for Anyone Who Has Experience Raising Young American Toads (Growth, Cloacal Prolapse, Substrate Concerns)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eliherps View Post
    I didn't read to much of the post, but I can still help! I would suggest not putting more than 2 toads in the same tank, as they will fight and may spread disease. frogs and toads identify prey and predator by movement. if they see something bigger than it moving, they classify it as a predator. if they see something smaller than it moving, they classify it as prey. I've even had toads bite my finger before! you should definitely have 4-6 inches of substrate for them to burrow in, for this is how they regulate body temperature and also hibernate. now for their diet, worms are about the best you can get. do not feed them redworms, though. redworms are like brussels sprouts for them. if they eat redworms, they probably won't ever eat worms again. you can also feed them pillbugs once or twice a week, as this supplies them with a good amount of calcium. moths and grubs are very fatty, so they are like candy for toads and frogs. if your toad is looking scrawny, feed it worms and a moth or grub. make sure to watch it eat, and if it isn't eating in the summer, spring, or fall, then it may be diseased. they only need to eat about 1-3 times a week. a shallow dish of water ( no more than 2 inches deep) will suffice for them. frogs and toads drink through their skin, so they will just sit in the dish. make sure they can get into it though. change the water dish every day, or otherwise, they will just be drinking their own waste ( they use the water dish as a toilet too).i hope this info is good enough for you, just ask again if you need more information! welcome to the forum!
    Thank you so much for your response, Eli. I don't blame you at all for not reading much of my post. I was very emotional and rambling like a madwoman! Lol. Awkward.

    The toads are indoors in a climate-controlled environment, so hibernation isn't a concern. What sort of substrate would you recommend that is safe in case of accidental ingestion, and that won't stick to their skin? They really hated the peat moss for that. They didn't seem to want anything to do with it.

    Insect size is a concern as these are very tiny toadlets. I realize I can cut up a worm, but it has to be very skinny to begin with. Any recommendations for skinny worm species? I have no idea where I can even buy them. Seems everyone only sells big fat worms.

    I've been feeding the little guys every day because they look kind of anorexic and I feel they should be much bigger by now. I've been giving them some extra small BSFL and 1/4" crickets. They are still very big for the toads. The fruit flies are an ideal size, but they just aren't reproducing fast enough.

    I'll see if I can find anyone that will ship moths to Canada. Any recommendations on small species?

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    Default Re: Looking for Anyone Who Has Experience Raising Young American Toads (Growth, Cloacal Prolapse, Substrate Concerns)

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Wardog View Post
    There are a lot of suggestions I would like to offer. You can keep more then two toads together it honestly depends on each toads personality and how aggressive they are. Same sex have the most issues. Yes you can feed Red Wriggler Earthworms to toads. Half will take them and half won't. I have had almost every toad eat them when offered and I usually only offer them because the way the toads respond to the worms. The red Wrigglers are a complete meal for the toads just like crickets. The toads can eat the Woodlice as frequent as possible they are healthy for the toads too. I have a new video coming out soon about feeding my toads and gray tree frogs and I think it can help you out possibly. Except for some different care in the toads diet the rest of the care is good!

    Sent from my BLN-L24 using Tapatalk
    Thank you for your response, Larry! Good to know that multiple toads can be kept together. I've got four sharing a tank because they are all very similar in size. I haven't noticed any aggression (they aren't sexually mature yet, though). They all seem content to share. And it's fun watching them stumble over each other competing for food. I always make sure everyone gets something to eat, of course.

    Good to know that woodlice are safe to feed frequently. I was afraid the shells would be difficult for digestion.

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    Default Re: Looking for Anyone Who Has Experience Raising Young American Toads (Growth, Cloacal Prolapse, Substrate Concerns)

    I have a video coming out on Wednesday that will show you what signs to look for if you have an aggressive or territorial toad because if you do they need to be removed from the others or they will cause stress and problems that are unnecessary. it will also cover two different feeder insects and you will get a chance to see more of the intelligence of the Toads. They are not the only in phibians in this video but they share a great part of coverage in this video. the best situation possible would be to have a male and a female together because they show less aggression towards one another as same-sex individuals will compete and try to be the dominant of their respective gender. So if you have two decent-sized enclosures it would work out if you end up having two pairs which might not be the case but I have seen toad tanks workout because they are usually a peaceful animal and are less aggressive than most except for feeding time but trust me you would know after watching this video whether or not you need to remove your toad because I actually had to just remove one that was two dominant to be kept in with the other amphibians.

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    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for Anyone Who Has Experience Raising Young American Toads (Growth, Cloacal Prolapse, Substrate Concerns)

    Checkout the new Swarms Battle
    https://youtu.be/-9iy7J0ygGQ

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