HELP! My Colorodo River Toads are not eating :( - FaunaClassifieds
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:20 PM   #1
Question HELP! My Colorodo River Toads are not eating :(

Hello! We have 5 colorodo river toads that haven't been eating the last few days. We had been feeding them worms for a few nights because the large crickets were unavailable in our area. When the crickets were back we tried feeding them some and they ate the majority we had given them. However, there were still 5-10 left in their home so we thought we would give them the night to finish. When we woke up there were still as many as when we went to bed. We left them in there for a few more hours to see if the toads would eat them. When they didn't I took the crickets out one by one. The toads seemed to like this and just sat watching me. Once I was done, we decided to give them a break for the night and not feed them to see if this would help them to regain their appetite. The next night we gave them about 10 or so crickets to get started and make sure they would all get eaten. The toads didn't even move. They just basked and went to sleep. The toad that was burrowed was getting bothered by the crickets crawling on him and just hopped into the water and went back to sleep. They seem fine, other then they are not hungry. They were eating so much and so well that we are worried that something is wrong. We aren't sure if they just like the worms more then the crickets lol but love our toads and want to make sure they are as happy and healthy as we are. If anyone can help us out with this that would be so wonderful and helpful! We would truely appreciate it!

Also, something I just thought about. We live in washington and it's been really wintery up here, sometimes below freezing. We have been getting snow and everything here. I was just curious if this could be a part of the reason they are not eating as much, because it's winter? They still hop/jump around all over their home and burrow. They look plump and there are no physical signs of anything wrong. Our home is kept warm, the room they are in especially (we always turn the heat on & leave it going...this also helps with humidity levels in the room & usually keeps the humidity in the tank lower).

Things we are using/doing:

Substrate: 100%worm castings & coconut husk fiber mix (will be using just coconut husk fiber next time, we think this will help with humidity)

Water: Filtered water (use the same water we drink, which is filtered at our local co-op)

Food: Crickets, Superworms/King Worms, Wax Worms & Pinky Mice (haven't done this yet, but plan to treat them for solstice)

-We clean their home once every 3 weeks.

-We feed them every evening between 8 and 9pm.

-We turn their day cycle on at 9am and turn their night cycle on at 9pm.

-We clean their water bowl every evening before feeding around 8 or 9pm. (so we disturb them as little as possible)

-Temperature on the cooling side is always 80degrees or a little over and on the basking side is always 85-90degrees or a little over 90 at the most.

-Humidity usually lies between 35-45% (and usually only rises when we take the lid off for water dish cleaning).

(Please contact us with any help or suggestions you may have. Thank you!)
Old 12-04-2010, 02:57 PM   #2
It sounds like you have a group of fat, healthy, happy toads. Even though you are maintaining the day/night cycle and keeping temps up it's hard to fight thousands of years of instinct. Keep in mind this time of year they would be hunkered down in some nice little burrow and sleeping the winter away. This sounds like just what they are trying to do.

Try skipping a couple of days of feeding and see how they are when you do feed. If they still seem not so interested you might want to change your day/night cycle and lower temps and let them have some time off. I know my toads always seemed to do well when I did that. I would give them two months brumation and slowly bring light cycles back up along with temps and they would come out hungry and ready to breed. Took me by surprise the first time I came home to find the water bowl full of eggs.

Not to worry I think your toads are fine and just following nature's course.
Old 12-04-2010, 03:50 PM   #3
Thanks so much for your reply. They are very fat and healthy toads. We are just new to this and want to make sure we are doing everything right.

How low would you suggest we drop the temps to? Should we give them complete darkness then?

Out of curiosity, did/do you have colorodo river toads? If you do, would you have any tips on breeding? We have read and been told that breeding them in captivity is next to impossible unless you have the perfect environment. Breeding them is something we still plan to try and accomplish. Our toads are still young, so we have lots of time to figure this out. Getting some tips from someone with experience on breeding them though could prove beneficial in being successful.

I would be full of joy if I came home to a water dish full of eggs! That would be a dream come true Having toads that are as exotic, uncommon and rare as these is a blessing in itself. Helping to nurture and love them enough for them to feel comfortable mating and laying their eggs, is helping to make them more common, more well known and could help their extinction/wild capture cease. That's one of our main reasons for wanting to breed them too. This is a beautiful species and it brings a lot of ancient knowledge and wisdom to the world. Just having them in our home has changed the energy completely. We noticed it the first day they were here It's such a happier place, even our kitty notices the energy. It's amazing. Sorry for that tangent Thanks for your reply again lol Take Care and maybe we will talk again.
Old 12-04-2010, 08:06 PM   #4
Cycling and brumation

I had Woodhouse toads I had found in the Pine Barrens in N. J. They were little toadlets when I found them and raised them up in a 20 gallon aquarium set up much like the area I found them in. Lots of leaf litter and fairly "marshy." I had a big ceramic water bowl about 10" in diameter and 3 inches deep. I had a little pile of rocks on one side so they could climb back out again. They didn't spend a lot of time in the water but every now and again they would go in there. The really didn't need the big water bowl as the setup had drier areas as well as small pools to soak in.

For cycling I would drop your daylight an hour a day over the next few weeks until you are giving about 8-10 hours daylight and the rest night without any heat at night. If your room has good ambient light once you get your day cycle down stop providing any light and let them just have natural daylight so you aren't giving them any heat. At the same time you want your temps to drop ideally to below 70. You may want to get a large sweater tub, nothing too deep maybe 6" like these;

use a razor knife to cut out most of the lid leaving a good 1" or 2 around the edge. Hot glue some 1/4 hardware cloth onto the lid. Then set it up similarly to how your enclosure is set up as far as bedding. Cocohusk is fine for this and have it deep enough for them to burrow thir fat little bodies down into. A small shallow water bowl is fine. If you can get your room down below 70 the tub probably would not be necessary and you can keep them in their enclosure. But the tub would allow you to move them to a lower level against a north wall where temps would be lower if needed.

STOP feeding, their little tummies need to be empty and they have plenty of weight to keep them for a couple months. In either enclosure they should hunker down into the bedding and be less active although on warmer/sunnier days they may hop about a bit.

After 2 months slowly bring light cycles and temps back up to the normal range you keep them in and start feeding heavily. You may want to put a shoebox size tub in their enclosure for a pool just be sure they have "ramps" of some sort to get in and out. If you have males and females the males may start calling at night and if luck is with you they will meet in the "pool" and mate. You will be able to tell he males and if mating has taken place as the males thumbs will swell. So keep a close eye on this.

If all goes well and you see swollen thumbs make sure there is plenty of water in the shoebox. If algae grows in the water let it, do not clean it just don't let it get too choked up with algae.

Hopefully one day you will look in to find long jelly like strands of eggs. If you do there will be lots of them.

I will admit when this happened for me it was just pure, dumb luck and a natural cycling that took place in my herp room at the time in upstate NY.

IF you should happen to get eggs you will need an aquarium set up for raising the tadpoles. It will need strong fluorescent light for algae growth and some live water plants. Anacharis and Hygrophila are 2 inexpensive plants you should be able to get from a decent aquarium shop. Don't use gravel if you can put a good layer of decaying leaf litter in the bottom and fill the tank a little more than half full. You're trying to emulate the conditions that you might find along the edge of a pond. The plants I mentioned don't need to be buried in the litter these are "bunch" plants and don't need to root up. Even better if some of them turn yellow and decay a little. If you can find some natural pond litter with duck weed that would be ideal to add to the tank. The little tadpoles, if you get any, will live off of the decaying leaf litter and the "critters" that live in it. This is why natural pond litter would be beneficial.

Like I said "pure, dumb luck" on my part that this even happened with me so don't be disappointed if it doesn't happen for you. But I think you stand a good chance of success with this process. Either way your little toads will still bring you years of joy. If you end up with eggs let me know and I can help take you from there on raising eggs and tadpoles to toadlets.

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