Fire-bellied Toad Habitat Constructionby Richard Brooks
This Fire-bellied Toad Habitat Construction article is a documentation of how my daughter and I created a habitat for her Fire-bellied Toad. We hope this construction guide, complete with images, will help offer ideas and inspiration to others.
Completed Fire-bellied Toad Habitat
Click the images below for a larger view.
We began our project with a trip to a local arts and crafts store called "Michaels". The materials in the picture below were purchased there for around $50.00.
Our Materials - Tools List
· 45 Gallon Aquarium
· Aquarium Silicone
· 2 - 6" Styrofoam Rings
· 2 Hollow Logs (Same Height)
· Glue Gun
· Glue Sticks
· Mixed Bag of Moss
· 4 - 14" x 11" Pieces of Plexiglas
· 9 Bags of Rock (Various Sizes)
· Razor Knife
· Jigsaw (Metal Blade)
· Masking Tape
We started by hot gluing the base piece of Plexiglas to one of the logs, and then the other. The hot glue worked very well for this application. The image depicts how it appeared once glued. The base is below the gravel in the finished product, so its appearance is not of concern. Load the glue on if you need to. It will be hidden.
With the logs glued to the bases, I slid them beside one another as if they were in the tank already. I then placed the other 2 pieces of
Plexiglas on top of the logs, beside one another, and drew out a pattern with the sharpie. This would then become the pattern and cutout for the land and water cave.
Everywhere I intended on cutting was covered with masking tape on both sides. This helps prevent serious cracking when I pass over the line with the jigsaw.
Here are what the pieces looked like once cut out.
I then placed the newly cut patterns onto the top of the logs. (The rocks shown were used as a weight while I snapped the picture.) The cutout on the left of the picture depicted is where the "water cave" is located. That cutout
accommodates the filter.
I then placed both of the land masses side by side, and taped them to keep them
I identified a flaw in the design, and corrected it with a piece of driftwood I had. The weight of the rocks on that unsupported ledge would not have worked.
I then did a dry run and placed the masses inside of the tank. This allowed me to get a visual of how it would look, and also allowed me to prepare to do the cave entrance.
With the land masses in place I trimmed the pieces of Styrofoam to create a layered tier and entrance. This would be the base for
adhering the rocks.
It was now time to begin positioning the rocks where I wanted them. We started with some ledges, which we supported with
popsicle sticks. Each rock was glued into place individually.
Here is another shot once more rocks have been added. It still doesn't look like much at this point.
Progress has certainly been made in the following picture. The cave is just about covered.
We had a few plants laying around so we decided to add some greenery to help offset the rocks.
We slid the 2 land masses together and started outlining the second mass with rocks. While they currently appear to have become one land mass, they are in fact 2 separate pieces still.
On the larger section of land we decided to incorporate some additional driftwood, moss, and plants. We affixed the plants and the driftwood with glue. The moss is simply resting there, surrounded by everything to keep it in place.
Once surrounded with rocks, the moss and driftwood really pop out at you.
Once everything had dried we placed it in the tank. I then added the rocks to the bottom, covering the base and added the water and plants. It was now that we gave the thing a test run with the water running.
Everything ran great. Once the water had reached our desired temperatures, we
re-added the fish. The fish displayed are Zebra Danios.
I monitored the temperatures in the tank overnight. We added her frog the following morning. He has taken to the tank and has explored almost every inch of it. He has also put the water to good use. If you look closely, you can see him sitting in the middle of the land mass.
We hope this little article helped to offer some ideas. Thanks for looking!