Oriental fire-bellied toad, Bombina orientalis

Oriental fire-bellied toads are group living, semi-aquatic toads that make great pets

At a glance...
  • Oriental fire-bellied toads make great display animals
  • Social amphibians that can be kept in groups
  • Opportunity to create a paludarium set-up
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Do Oriental fire-bellied toads make good pets?

Oriental fire-bellied toads are a communal species of semi-aquatic amphibian that spans a wide range across Korea, Northeast China and Russia. They require quite a large water area within their enclosure, which makes them ideal candidates for a large display paludarium. Oriental fire-bellied toads are also very active and make highly entertaining pets to watch whilst they interact, swim and hunt.

All of the Oriental fire-bellied toads for sale at Swell Reptiles were captive bred in the UK, meaning that you can rest assured getting your new pet had minimal impact on their native ecosystems, and significantly reducing the risk of parasitism and disease.

Which enclosure should I choose for my Oriental fire-bellied toad?

For a group of 5-6 Oriental fire-bellied toads, an enclosure of 90 x 45 x 45cm (36 x 18 x 18”) is sufficient, for example the Exo Terra Glass Terrarium 90x45x45cm. As they need quite a large water area and high humidity, glass enclosures with deep bottoms tend to work the best, giving you the opportunity to create a paludarium.

Do Oriental fire-bellied toads need to be heated?

Oriental fire-bellied toads do best with a warm end temperature of around 26°C (78°F), with the cooler areas of the enclosure, including the water area dropping to between 18-22°C (64-71°F). Due to the larger enclosure size, this is best achieved using either a basking lamp or ceramic heater suspended above the mesh top of the terrarium.

All heating equipment must be connected to a compatible thermostat to prevent overheating and maintain the required temperature. If you opt for a basing lamp this will be a dimming thermostat, whereas if you go for a ceramic heater it is a pulse thermostat that you need.

Do Oriental fire-bellied toads need UV?

Oriental fire-bellied toads will benefit significantly from the presence of a low-level UVB, within a UVI range of 1-2. This can be achieved using an Arcadia ShadeDweller ProT5 Kit positioned 25-40cm (10-15”) above the basking area, or an Arcadia ProT5 Kit - Forest 6% positioned 40-45cm (15-18”) above the basking zone.

How can I create the water area for my Oriental fire-bellied toads?

We recommend a 50/50 split for your water and land areas, which in a 90cm (3ft) long enclosure, is quite a large area of water. Most water bowls are not going to provide this, so it works well to use a divider in the terrarium and build up the substrate in one half whilst using aquatic substrate in the water area. This also gives you an optimal view into the water area to observe their underwater antics.

All water provided to Oriental fire-bellied toads must be treated with an amphibian safe dechlorinator to remove chlorine and chloramines. You will also need to use an aquarium or paludarium filter to keep the water area free from debris and convert harmful ammonia and nitrites into nitrates that can feed your live plants in a bioactive set-up.

Despite the large water area, you will still need to add humidity into the enclosure, either by spraying with a handheld spray bottle, or using an automated fogger or rain system to maintain the required humidity levels of 70-80%.

Can Oriental fire-bellied toads be kept in groups?

Oriental fire-bellied toads can be kept in large groups if you can provide enough space, and are extremely entertaining to watch interacting with each other. If keeping a mixed sex group, it is good to aim for more females than males, to avoid putting too much stress on the females if there are too many males around. Alternatively, you can opt for an all male, or all female group.

This species is quite vocal, particularly the males if they are looking to find a mate. You may also observe your toads clinging onto one another, which is a battle for dominance that isn’t harmful, and is a part of their natural behaviours, although if you are seeing this a close eye should be kept on the individuals.

How do I decorate an Oriental fire-bellied toad terrarium?

An Oriental fire-bellied toad enclosure has the potential to create a fantastic display, with a large water area with aquatic plants and terrestrial plants, foliage and natural reptile decor furnishing the land area. There is even the option of creating a DIY background encompassing a waterfall that runs from one end of the land area and back into the water area.

Bioactivity and waterfalls aren’t a necessity, however, but plenty of cover should still be provided in the land area using artificial plants if live plants aren’t your thing. Along with other pieces of decor such as hiding caves, logs or cork bark pieces.

What do Oriental fire-bellied toads eat?

Oriental fire-bellied toads are insectivorous and should be fed a varied diet of livefoods. All livefood offered should be supplemented according to a strict schedule to ensure they get all the nutrients required from their diet. We recommend using a calcium-rich multivitamin on every feed, such as Arcadia EarthPro-A, a calcium plus magnesium supplement on every fourth feed, such as Arcadia CalciumPro Mg and finally, a vitamin D3 supplement on every eighth feed such as Arcadia EarthPro RevitaliseD3 and finally, a vitamin a reptile supplement on every 12th feed, which is particularly important for most amphibians.

Can I handle my Oriental fire-bellied toad?

For the same reason their water must be treated to remove harmful contaminants, Oriental fire-bellied toads should not be handled unless this cannot be avoided. Salts, oils and other substances present on our skin can cause them irritation and discomfort, so if you do need to handle your toad it is important to do this with clean, damp hands to reduce discomfort as much as possible.

How do I buy an Oriental fire-bellied toad?

Oriental fire-bellied toads are often for sale at Swell Reptiles, but we cannot ship livestock so they must be collected from our store. If you are thinking of adopting an Oriental fire-bellied toad, please feel free to come in and see us.

We will ask you a few quick questions and also ask to see some images of your set-up with the required temperature and humidity requirements and adequate UV lighting. We reserve the right to refuse adoption to anyone we feel is unprepared to adopt.

For more detailed husbandry information, please see our dedicated Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad Care Sheet. If you are interested in an alternative to the Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad, check out our Chinese water dragon care sheet.

Common names Oriental fire-bellied toads
Scientific name Bombina orientalis
Country Asia
Captive-bred Yes
Adult size 5cm (2”)
Natural habitat Woodland, temperate rainforest, marshland, swamp and farmland habitats
Housing 90 x 45 x 45cm (36 x 18 x 18”)
Ideal temperature 26°C (78°F) (warm end); 20°C (68°F) (cool end)
UVI 1-2
Ideal humidity 70-80%
Diet Insectivorous
Average lifespan 15-20 years
Personality Bold
Ease of handling Handling should be avoided
Cohabitable Yes
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Help Guides
  1. Oriental fire-bellied toad, Bombina orientalis, care sheet
    Categories: Care sheetsAmphibians

    Oriental fire-bellied toad, Bombina orientalis, care sheet

    Oriental fire-bellied toad, Bombina orientalis, husbandry guide from the experts at Swell Reptiles, covering housing, heating, lighting and more.