Firebelly Toads as Starter Frog

Week 2 - Lid, Lights and Fish

The tanks has gotten a week of aging to it - now for some final organization. Does the tank still look good? If "yes" that is great you are ready to move on, but if the answer is "no" it's time to take a step back. You may have to put in new plants or change the whole tank.
Click here to go back to last weeks work, start again, but don't add ammonia this time.

If it is going well then measure the inside lip of the tanks lid.

Make sure to measure the inside lip not the outside.

Now measure it again, if the measurements are the same then write them down.

A simple lid can be made with 2 pieces of glass and one piece of corrugated plastic (of course a simpler lid can be made with only one or 2 pieces of glass but the electrical cord gets in the way of making the tank escape-proof)

Top view of a simple frog tank lid, front of the tank is down

The "door" of the tank is made 3 inches wide and spans the front of the tank (longest side).  For a lid that opens to the shorter side use a 5 inch width. The second lid piece is plastic and spans the back of the tank. It only needs to be 1-2 inches wide and holes will be cut in to it to allow an electrical cord to run out of the tanks. Vent holes need to be cut in the lid (any hole in the lid needs to be escape-proof). Many plastics will work but I prefer corrugated plastics sheet, often used as temporary signs.

The final piece of the lid is double strength glass, cut to fill the remaining space (see diagram above).

The entire structure is held together with black vinyl electrical tape (other colors can be used). Seams are wrapped with it, sides are sealed with it and the hinges and pulls on the front pane are made of it. (See following diagram)

(a)Top showing where tape is used to seal seams and make a hinge. The pieces on the front (bottom of image) are tabs to open the lid. (b) side view of the lid showing how seams are sealed on both sides, opening tab is formed by wrapping tape around to edge of the glass, while the hinge has tape on one side.



Put the lid together and then seal the seams with the tape. If you put a fruitfly in you tank could it escape? It shouldn't be able to.

Why add fish?

Fish will add more movement to your firebelly thank giving the water side something to entertain as much as the land side. Unhealthy water (high ammonia or nitrite levels) is harmful for fish and they tend to show signs of stress. Ammonia and nitrites are deadly to frogs.

Fish are not a good idea for dart frog tanks (IMO) but some keepers do combine them.

Two good, cheep, easy and attractive fish for this set-up are "white-cloud mountain minnows" and zebrafish. Both available at most pet stores. Buy 3-5.

Also look at their firebellies (but don't buy one yet!) are they plump and an inch or more long? Check if they sell crickets.

While your getting glass cut buy a fluorescent light that will span the length of the tank- one bulb- cool white is fine. Add full spectrum, multiple bulbs or compact fluorescent if you need to spend more money.

Go on to Week 3 & 4

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