MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS (LAND BASED SETUP)
MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS (AQUATIC SETUP)
For the terrestrial enclosure, you will need a suitable sized tub or glass tank. If placed in a warm room, there may be no need for any source of heating. However in a colder room (regularly below 65oF), it may be necessary to place a heat mat under the tank (or stuck to the exterior side if using deep substrate (>2inches deep)), covering no more than ½ base area, and this should be left on 24/7.
At the opposite end to the heat mat, you should provide your animal with a deep water bowl. Water bowls with rough edges are preferred as it makes it easier for your animal to get in and out of, alternatively, placing an artificial plant in the water bowl will also work. Tap water can be used, but if in doubt, water treatments are available. You should also spray your animal daily but do not saturate the substrate.
For the substrate, a layer of peat covered by a layer of moss is recommended. The moss and peat must be kept damp at all times. Spot clean the tank regularly removing any faeces or left over food. A full tank clean should only be needed once every 6-8 weeks or more. Providing plenty of hiding places will help your animal feel more secure. Cork bark and artificial plants work well.
Aquatic Tank Set-Up
For the aquatic set up, a suitable sized Exo-Terra glass tank or aquarium will be required. As above, in a warm room there may be no need for any form of heating. If the room temperature regularly drops below 65oF, a water heater, set to 74oF will be required. Always turn off your water heater and allow it to cool down before you take it out of water.
Provide plenty of artificial foliage in and above the water to help make your animal feel secure. A floating platform must also be provided, such as a piece of cork bark, so that your animal can get out of the water.
A water filter, suitable for the size tank you’re using is essential in maintaining a suitable water quality for your animal. A third-half water change will usually be required somewhere within the region of 2-6 weeks, depending on your animal(s). A water change will be needed when waste matter found at the bottom of the tank becomes excessive, or the water clarity becomes poorer. At the same time as performing a water change it is worth cleaning the filter. NEVER wash filter pads under the tap – this will kill the de-nitrifying bacteria that breakdown the toxins in the water- instead, wash filter pads in a bucket of water taken from the tank.
UV lighting is not essential but all firebellies will benefit from it and there have been a growing number cases of metabolic bone disease. We suggest the Arcadia 6% tubes for amphibian species. If using an Exo-Terra glass tank, the bulb should be suspended within the tank, approximately 1/3 of the way down. Reptiles have adapted to living with strong UV radiation from above, so placing the UV tube level or within 45 degrees of your firebellie’s eye could damage it severely (photokeratoconjunctivitis or cataracts). Symptoms include swelling of the eye(s) and area around it, or cloudy eye(s). This is thankfully not too common but it is better to be safe and not allow your animal to sit alongside or within a few inches of your tube. It is also important to ensure there are plenty of places such as plants and cork hides so your animal can find shade.
It is worth noting that glass filters out all UV and mesh will often halve the effectiveness of your UV source.
Always remember to replace your UV tube every 6 months unless the manufacturer suggests otherwise. The tube’s UV producing capability will degrade though the tube will show no obvious sign. As far as we can tell only the Arcadia D3+ and T5 range last 12 months and give a virtually guaranteed 6% UV for the duration of that time.
A firebelly’s diet consists of a range of live insects. Your firebelly should be fed 3 times a week and should be given as much food as it will ravenously eat leaving no excess in the tank. Excess crickets have been known to bite and dead food will eventually rot, increasing bacteria levels in your tank and increasing the frequency of the need to clean it.
A good quality vitamin supplement is essential to the well-being of your firebelly. Nutrobal is recommended and this powder should be dusted onto food every 2 out of 3 feeds, or even every feed if possible.
Handling your firebelly is not recommended due to various issues. However if you do choose to handle your animal make sure your hands are wet an clean, and it’s strongly suggested that sensible personal hygiene is followed when having to remove your animal from its enclosure. Always use a good hand rub and a good quality anti-bacterial spray on all surfaces after handling.
When it comes to your animals health, if you are ever in doubt ask a respected dealer for they’re advice, and if still in doubt go to a specialist veterinarian. There are a few simple things to look out for.