FBTs - Social, but HOW social? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-28-2003, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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First off let me just say that this is a great little forum and I've enjoyed the last few hours I spent reading all the topics here

Now, I have 20g Long Vivarium that is currently holding 2 FireBelly Toads and some Wild Minnows (aka Mosquito Fish).
After doing some reading around the net, I've read that 6-8 FBTs can be kept in a well cared for 10g tank. So this got me to thinking, maybe I should get some more FBTs (FBTs are my all-time favorite pet, I've had quite a few of them throughout my life and just love them).

I've always only kept two, assuming they would want roughly 10g each, which I think I read somewhere long ago... maybe I'm just confused though :P

Anyway, would it be ok for me to pick up 4 more FBTs, equaling 6 FBTs in a 20g Long?

Here's a (hopefully) less newbie question as well :P
Sometime very soon I will be the proud owner of my parents 180g tank (their getting a 300g Custom Acrylic O_O). I've been planning on setting it up as a Malawi Cichlid tank, but now that I've got toads again, my love of them has been rekindled, and I've considering setting up the 180 as a Viv instead.
Noting that it would have at least 2 FBTs, although propably 6, how would you set this tank up, and wha would you put in it?

I'm a pretty good DIY-er, so waterfalls, rivers, etc shouldn't be to hard. And I've got access to a lot of NICE driftwood.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-28-2003, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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Also, I've already bought a bunch of black sand (for the Cichlids), if I switch to toads, I can still use this, right?

It would be a LOT of money wasted if not.... ops:
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-28-2003, 03:14 AM
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I have seen up to 20 in a 20 gallon tank. These guys are very communal. They also gossip a lot, from what I have heard... but have yet to hear! (Mine must be all males! Was that sexist?)

The trick is to have ample floor space. They don't mind bathing in tight quarters, but they all want their own pad... No pun intended. I use a lot of flat and twisted grape-vine wood and broken up patio stones. (Not cement, actual stone, slate, mica fleck, mud stone flats)

To simplify things for yourself, you should setup a drain of some kind. Since these guys are slightly toxic, and they sour substrate rather quick.

I put a drainage hose, followed by green lizard matting, followed by a layer of small - medium stone, with substrate on top.

The drainage hose should be made from 3/4 inch hose. The hose should have one end sealed. Heat it with a lighter and clamp it closed with pliers. From the sealed end, to the place where the hose starts to bend up, you need to cut thin holes where the hose touches the bottom. Do this by pinching the hose flat, and cutting a shallow "V" notches, just enough to get through to the inside of the hose. Now throw an adapter on the hose so you can attach more 3/4 inch hose when you need to drain the tank. You can cork the hole to stop stuff from getting inside the hole.

Every two or three days, spray the tank liberally. This will help frog stuff wash away into the bottom of the tank. After one to two months, depending on how much you are spraying the tank, and how much stone and substrate you used... You will have to drain the tank.

Hook up a hand pump gravel cleaner to a 5 foot length of 3/4 inch pipe. Now hook the pipe onto the adapter on your drain. Don't use the filter bag for this... Now bring the pump to the same level as the water, or lower. Start pumping, gravity will help, or take over once you get it going. If your bucket or gallon jug is full, raise the pump and the bucket higher than the water level in the tank to stop water from flowing. Once you empty the tank, saturate it with about a gallon of fresh water and drain it one more time. To clean a clogged hose, unhook the hand pump and wrap your hand around the hose, keep the hose about 1/2 inch inside your hand. Do not let your lips touch the hose! Now blow gently to pop the clogs free. Then blow hard, to make sure all clogs are out. (Blowing hard at first may blow substrate around your tank if a lot of holes are clogged. This should never become totally clogged, the pump has a check valve that isn't 100% effective, so every time you pump, you are helping to unclog the hose as pressure first gets sent back into the tank.)


You can get real ill and die. Between the toxins that the frogs constantly release, and waste bacteria, and two month old substrate drainage... you will not be a happy camper!

This method of cleaning is better than the other way of cleaning. Which would be to trash your hard work by removing all frogs and stuff from your tank. Pulling up, and wringing out the substrate. Redecorating the tank back to what it was. Stinking up the house from the aromatic vapors that emanate from wringing out the substrate. Then lastly, placing all the frogs back... and cleaning out the place where you kept the frogs while the tank was being cleaned.

Whew... If you need drawings on setup, let me know... I love to draw!

NOTE: These guys will destroy ferns, the love to jump on them, like kids like to jump on beds! Mine go out of their way to land on every standing fern leaf. I am thinking of replacing the fern with a cactus!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-28-2003, 03:16 AM
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I forgot to mention, I have 4 FBT, in my 55 Gal. and they all hang out in 1/4 of the tank area... around the fern.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-02-2004, 12:53 AM
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renew old thread...sorry

i have to ask, my fbt are in a 20 gallon (three, they ate the 4th i think) and it has 5 gallons of water in it (depending on evaporation rate). mine are in the water most of the time. do yours (and maybe i misunderstand you) have a pond area? do they hang out by the fern in the water??
also, i can't keep any plants alive in the water section. is this on account of the fbt toxins or should i look to other culprits?

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50 gallon long, killer filtration, low tech otherwise
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Jag
Also, I've already bought a bunch of black sand (for the Cichlids), if I switch to toads, I can still use this, right?

It would be a LOT of money wasted if not.... ops:

Sand is not good for FBTs as they can ingest it and get compacted.
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