European fire bellied toads (Bombina bombina) are 3” long, diurnal, terrestrial amphibians native to eastern Europe. They are brown and green on top, with bright red or yellow and black patterned bellies.
As is the case with most amphibians, they should be handled sparingly and good hand sanitation should be maintained both before and after handling — it’s best to keep a box of disposable gloves on hand. That being said, they’re fairly easy to keep and are considered beginner-level amphibians.
Fire bellied toads can be housed in a small aquarium. They can be housed individually or in groups. 5 gallons is the minimum for one toad, but larger is necessary for more. Although they are small, fire bellied toads are strong jumpers, so make sure that the enclosure is well secured.
Fire bellied toads spend time both on land and water, and they also like to burrow. Since the water requires frequent changes, the easiest way to do this is by creating a pool with a shallow dish or Tupperware. Place a piece of rock or cork in the pool to help the toads leave the water as needed. The water should be changed daily or every other day, and appropriately dechlorinated with amphibian-safe water conditioner. Distilled water should not be used. Humidity should be no lower than 60%. Live plants and regular misting with a spray bottle will help maintain humidity
Substrate should be at least 2” deep and composed of soil or coconut fiber, leaf litter, and sphagnum moss. You will also need to provide multiple hiding areas in the terrestrial part of the enclosure to help them feel more secure.
Heating and Lighting
Fire bellied toads are generally regarded as not requiring any particular lighting besides ambient light, but low-intensity UVB is still beneficial. And if live plants are in the enclosure, plant grow lighting will also be needed. Avoid lights that give off significant amounts of heat in order to avoid overheating the enclosure.
Generally, fire bellied toads can be maintained at room temperature without additional heat. Fire bellied toads do best at room temperature (around 65-70°F); temperatures should not exceed the low 80’s. If the ambient temperature exceeds the low 80’s (which should only occur occasionally), use an ice pack or other frozen item to cool the water.
Food and Supplementation
Fire bellied toads are small but hearty eaters. They eat a variety of bugs and worms, including but not limited to mealworms, crickets, silkworms, hornworms, NutriGrubs, dubia roaches, and other roaches. Fire bellied toads should be fed 2-3 times per week. Feeders should be around ½” long. Fire bellied toads can also eat small fish such as guppies, which can be released into the aquatic area to be hunted.
You will also need Repashy Calcium Plus LoD to provide extra vitamins and minerals to cover the gaps in your toad’s nutrition. Prey should be lightly dusted at every feeding.
*This care sheet contains only very basic information. If you are new to fire bellied toads, please do additional research to obtain additional information from more detailed care sheets.