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Thread: First time toad-mom, and I have a TON of questions that I can't seem to find reliable answers to. I'd really appreciate some help!

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    Default First time toad-mom, and I have a TON of questions that I can't seem to find reliable answers to. I'd really appreciate some help!

    Hello everyone! I have so many questions about caring for my toadlets and I just cant seem to find reliable answers anywhere. I get different info from different sources and my head is spinning!




    1. Is my vivarium appropriate for my toads? They are 2 Fowlers Toadlets who will move in about 1.5-2 months from now. The enclosure is a 20 gallon, heavily planted bioactive vivarium that maintains an approximate temperature of about 70 degrees and a humidity level between 70 and 80%. I designed it with them in mind, and as soon as I finished building it i found an article stating they prefer more arid environments! I spent a few hundred dollars on this, so id prefer not to start over. If it is not good for them, I can always create a new setup for them and use this for a different species - but which species?
    2. How do I separate very small live food (flightless fruit flies and pinhead crickets) from the calcium or vitamin supplements? I always end up struggling and the other day i accidentally got some calcium powder on my toadlets head (he didnt seem to mind, but I was very worried about him dehydrating)
    3. The toadlets are currently in a temporary enclosure while they grow and the vivarium settles (microfauna need to establish, plants need to throw roots). It is a 15 gallon aquarium, the substrate is eco-earth with some magnolia leaf litter and spaghnum moss on top.
      1. Are they ok in there? I worry that the substrate is too wet for them as I have read that Fowlers Toads prefer a more arid environment. It is not wet enough to pool undisturbed, but water will collect between your fingers if you open your hand and push down on the substrate.
      2. Is the enclosure too large for them? They are just under the 1 inch mark, just large enough to eat pinheads.
      3. Should I leave the eco earth packed down (easier to remove excess food and find the toadlets to make sure they are ok, less chance of impaction) or loose and fluffy (easier to burrow in). They do have a hide, and will also hide in the clump of spaghnum moss.
      4. Should I even be feeding them in their enclosure at all at this stage? Would I be better off placing them in a temporary feeding tank each night when itís dinner time? Handling clearly stresses them out Ė they do NOT like it and I do not like to stress my animals or handle them unless absolutely necessary. the feeder insects will not stay in a feeding dish (tried that).
      5. If they can eat in their tank, how do I go about removing excess food? Flightless fruit flies and pinheads are so small that it is almost impossible for me to find and capture them all. Iím more worried about the crickets than the flies as they may bite my toads. Can I mitigate this risk by adding a block of cricket food to the enclosure?
      6. Should I continue to mist the enclosure when the humidity is already fairly high (sits around 70-80% most of the time)?
      7. How often should I be changing the substrate?


    Thank you in advance to anyone who tries to help me!! I really appreciate any help i can get!

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    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: First time toad-mom, and I have a TON of questions that I can't seem to find reliable answers to. I'd really appreciate some help!

    Hello I keep American toads but know a lot of the Fowler's as well. First see if it's legal to keep them in your state.

    The humidity should be somewhere between 50-70 with spikes and drops if possible. Temperature needs to be warmer because Fowler's are more heat tolerant. They have a later breeding season in Pennsylvania because they don't like cooler temps. So somewhere like 70s to 82 would be great.

    Soil should be packed down and I would keep small toads in a critter keeper to feed. Something smaller. For adults a 40 gallon would be great.

    Idk where people are reading these toads are arid but I've known them to live along streams and shorelines of Pennsylvania along streams and rivers. So I would actually have a larger water feature for them when older.

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    Default Re: First time toad-mom, and I have a TON of questions that I can't seem to find reliable answers to. I'd really appreciate some help!

    1. The enclosure sounds good. It may be a tad humid, using a screen top, and keeping the soil drier, will help dry it out.
    2. Use a small metal sifter. Hold it over a container that can catch the vitamin dust, and then quickly dump the insects into another container, to feed from.
    3. I see no reason not to move them into the permanent set up. The toads may eat some of your isopods or whatever, but they won't keep the plants from rooting.
    There is no such thing as "too large" an enclosure. Always feed in the enclosure. Feed heavily when young, they will find their food. No need to remove uneaten food, let them eat it at their own pace. Just don't overdo it with the crickets, they could conceivably chew on the toads, although it's not likely. If the toads have ready access to moisture, misting isn't necessary, except on occasion. With a planted, bioactive tank of that size with so few inhabitants, you should be able to go two or more years without changing substrate.

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    Default Re: First time toad-mom, and I have a TON of questions that I can't seem to find reliable answers to. I'd really appreciate some help!

    Wow, thanks! This is the first Iím heading about needing a 40 gallon for 2 toads. Most of what Iíve read indicates that a 20 is good for 3-4! This is exactly why I made this post, so much info out there is geared towards ďgood enough to keep them aliveĒ and not ďgreat and theyíll live a happy lifeĒ. Luckily I have two 20 gallons so I can set up a second enclosure for the second toad. Do they prefer to live in groups? I donít know if toads get lonely or enjoy companionship. I couldnít find much on the topic, at least for this species of toad. If so Iíll pick up a 40 for them.

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    Default Re: First time toad-mom, and I have a TON of questions that I can't seem to find reliable answers to. I'd really appreciate some help!

    Yeah, I was worried about the humidity. Once my plants have adjusted to the enclosure I can reduce the mistings so that should help. For now they won’t be moving into their large tank as I really do want my isopods, springtails and plants to get established before I add another element. I also have heard that in the first few weeks, a bioactive may suddenly start getting a bit of mold and some fungus growth as part of the cycling process - similar to when you get a lot of algae in a new fish tank that’s still being cycled. I don’t want my toads to get sick

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    Default Re: First time toad-mom, and I have a TON of questions that I can't seem to find reliable answers to. I'd really appreciate some help!

    Having two opposite sex is best and if you have two same sex it's okay to keep them but two males and one female might not be the best idea.

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    Default Re: First time toad-mom, and I have a TON of questions that I can't seem to find reliable answers to. I'd really appreciate some help!

    Makes sense! I only have two, but Iím not sure what their sexes are yet as theyíre too young to tell. Iím hoping for two girls!

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