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– Today, we are talking toads, more specifically American toads, but this care guide can be used for a lot of different species, whether that’s American, Fowler’s, Oak, Indonesian, or other similar animals Toads are similar to frogs, lots of people mix them up The differences they have this rough warty skin They tend to be less sensitive to things like certain types of water or even certain temperatures Overall, they’re more hardy, they’re mostly land dwelling, but also need a lot of water and hang out in the water They breed in the water and lay eggs, the eggs turn into tadpoles Some people call them toad poles, and then they turn into these little baby toads that go onto land So I’m going to go over everything you need to know from the enclosure to feeding, to lighting, to substrate and everything in between First off two important notes One, my hair looks a little crazy, I’m getting it cut, I promise It’s mostly this area that’s annoying me Like I can see it in the camera (scissors snap) Is that better? Does that even make a difference? I don’t know Secondly acquisition of your toad is an important note for me to add, this is the first care guide I’m doing that’s about an animal that you really can’t get captive bred There are three main ways that animals are acquired to sell to customers First is a captive-bred animals that are simply captive in somebody’s home or their facility, where they are bred and create offspring This does not affect natural populations or native populations It doesn’t affect the species it’s all done in captivity Second is our imported animals Those are animals that are basically caught and captured in bulk from different regions and then shipped to another location and sold out And then wild-caught, there’s a lot of different opinions on this And personally, I have wild-caught animals in the past and kept them So I won’t get too much into the ethics of that in this video, but just know it will be hard to find an American or similar species toad, like an Indonesian that’s actually been captive bred You can also go to goherping.com where you’ll find a link to the complete written out toad care guide I have a bunch of resources and products I recommend and a bunch of stuff there So let’s jump into it starting with enclosure American toads, they can be kept together I’ve had them kept together with no problem, but if you’re just keeping one, say adult American toad, there’s a bunch of different enclosure sizes you could use The thing about toads and American toads is there are so few care guides that there’s really no like industry standard So I’m just gonna be telling you what I do I kept my American toad Betty She’s my most recent American toad in a 10 gallon for quite a while Before that she was on a 40 with some other toads And now she’s in her own 20 gallon, it’s a 20 long, which is 30 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches And overall she’s really not active as per usual with these toads The main things they want to do is have a place to hide and stay safe and then have a water bowl that they can get to and then find food They are, I don’t know if they would be considered hunters when it comes to food because they’re definitely opportunistic and they eat anything that walks past as long as it’s smaller than them, they’ll probably try to eat it So they’re not really the type of animal to explore an enclosure that much, which is why I don’t feel the need to give them a ton of space The more toads you have, the larger enclosure you would hopefully have I kept a handful and a 40 gallon I think it was like three or four toads You could make the rule of thumb, maybe say 20 gallons for one plus 10 per extra Again, there’s not really a big basis, but more space doesn’t hurt as long as it is cluttered and crowded and comfy American toes are native to where I am in North Carolina and pretty much everywhere in North Carolina And you will see that they live in a pretty wide variety of areas from like more grassy open field areas to the more foresty filled-in areas But you’ll notice that they’re always looking for those hidden places often around water, so it gives you an idea You’re gonna want them to have a nice big water bowl that they can go into Not so deep that they can drown because they can can swim pretty well, but you don’t know the entire enclosure just to be water because they are mostly land-dwelling animals So it can give a decent sized bowl that they can get into and soak and drink from But don’t have like the majority of the enclosure water When it comes to material for enclosure, it really doesn’t matter, you can use a glass aquarium, you can use a plastic tub, a wooden enclosure, kind of whatever I like to use glass aquariums for any display animals and then just plastic tubs for animals that maybe we’re not keeping permanently, ’cause it’s just easy But there are little variations that we’ll talk about later as to why this kind of matters, but not too much for toads, when it comes to stuff like hiding places, lots of natural plants work really well, but you could also use fake plants You could use the actual wooden hides, ceramic hides, kind of whatever you want Toads are often known to be in gardens And they like to find old broken pots to hang out under, or they’ll just be around the flowers and around the plants

They don’t eat any plants or anything So it doesn’t really matter if it’s poisonous to eat But if the plant is poisonous to the touch of animals, you probably don’t want it with your toad, like poison Ivy That’s only like I think only humans pretty much are allergic to poison Ivy So you could probably put it with your toad I don’t know why you would, but it is an option But I mean, I probably avoid stuff that’s like overly prickly or sharp or hazardous, you get the idea just safe plants We like to use pothos, snake plants, umbrella plants Those are very easy to keep alive as well And those work, but you could just use fake plastic plants too, just make sure it’s not something that leaks ink, if it gets wet Cause usually the inks in fake plants can be toxic to animals They’re not frogs, so they’re not going to be as sensitive to the water ’cause frogs actually absorb water, but toads have to drink it So you still don’t want toxins on their skin, but it’s just not as big of a deal if it were a dark frog or something Obviously if you have plants in the enclosure, you’re gonna need a substrate, But even if you don’t have plants, I highly recommend using a loose substrate with American toads, the most simple would be coconut fiber It’s a brown soft, very fine type of dirt, basically, derived from coconut husks And it’s super common, super easy to find, lots of brands sell it, again, there’s a link in there description with all the supplies that I use And if you buy it with my links, I get money So you support me and there’s no extra cost on the product I just get a percentage of the revenue, so yeah, you’re gonna want a substrate Some people will use stuff like Cypress milk I don’t like to use it because toads really enjoy to burrow and basically dig themselves into a hole ’cause they blend in super well They have those Brown colors where they can just be hidden and then if insects come by they can eat them without being noticed There’s something that they can quickly dig into without anything that’s too sharp is what I like to use, I have used a mix, put a little cypress mulch in with the cocoa fiber It looks a little nicer, it’s just a more unique mix, but yeah, you can just do straight dirt A lot of people ask, can I just like collect dirt from outside? You could, however, there is a risk, a lot of little just microorganisms, maybe some parasites, maybe bugs you don’t want, spiders that you don’t want in your house necessarily So you can treat soil yourself I don’t know the exact temperature off the top of my head I think if you bake it at like probably 200 degrees, it would kill everything So I have done that before, when I just didn’t have much money, collect dirt, put it on a sheet, put it in the oven and leave it for handful of hours at just a medium temperature You don’t want to, like I don’t know I’ve been scammy, so I don’t like using them? But it has to be a temperature that would kill any microorganisms, with that said, it’s definitely easier just to go out and buy a soil I would definitely avoid any plants or substrate that has pine or cedar ’cause both of those, although they are plants that are in the areas of toads very frequently, the sap does let off a pretty strong toxin that’s actually known to cause respiratory problems in reptiles and amphibians and other animals The reason that’s okay outside is ’cause there’s so much fresh air, it’s all fresh air All the airflow is enough to keep animals from being affected It’s been shown in captivity if you use a glass enclosure or something, then you might have respiratory issues come up with the animal because there’s just not enough air flow So cyprus for example is safe But cedar and pine are the most toxic that you should probably avoid You do want the substrate to be deep enough for the toad to burrow, so if it’s a little baby toad, it can be like two inches and that’s probably enough, for adults we like to add a little bit more just enough for the toad to burrow, maybe three plus inches It doesn’t really matter, you can probably tell toads aren’t exactly very sensitive animals and it’s pretty keasy, pretty keasy, and it’s pretty easy to keep them alive But with that said, you want them to thrive and not just survive Temperatures is something that we talked about a lot with reptiles and amphibians With reptiles it’s usually pretty specific, leopard geckos, I keep it at 90 degrees I have all these little different spots, ball pythons, same thing thing, but similar thing, same idea Basically, there’s all these little differences with American toads it’s kind of hard to say an exact temperature The climate here in North Carolina, the hottest days get 105, 110 degrees It’s been 105, like almost every day recently coldest temperatures in the winter, it gets like 20 degrees We’re not going to talk about winter temps because you’re most likely not gonna be brumating or hibernating your animal So we’ll focus on the warmer temps, which is usually between 60 and 105 And honestly your toad could survive all of these They can get pretty chilly and have no problems and they can get pretty toasty and they’ll be pretty hot, but they’ll most likely be okay With that said, I’d say go for the moderate temperatures that they probably prefer And we just keep them at room temperature Our house is kept at about 70 to 75 degrees If you keep your house at 80 or 65, this would all be fine for an American toad I don’t think it would be able to tell the difference

If you do notice some maybe lethargic attitude with your toad or other issues, its possible the temperatures related to this, but it’s pretty simple Think of crested geckos people just say room temperature, which has a lot of variation, but the idea is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit with some slight like adjustment from 60 something to 80 something, it’s all good Temperature gradient is something you hear a lot with reptiles, it’s the idea that one side of an enclosure, is a lot hotter than the other or cooler And so your animal can choose where they want to go Cause they are active thermic which means that they’re cold-blooded and they cannot control their body temperature So they have to move to that temperature that they want to be But with toads, I don’t even do this I mean, you can, you can put a heat lamp I used to put a heat lamp that was like 80 The cool side was like 75 I’ve never noticed a difference in their attitude or where they go, it doesn’t seem like they care So if you want, you could add a heat lamp or something, but we’ll talk about lighting shortly Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air So 0% humidity is extremely dry and arid, a hundred percent is super humid, super, that sticky feeling like if you go to Florida and you just have trouble breathing, cause it’s just so humid American toads again, what does North Carolina? I think on average, it’s like 50% humidity There’s a big range that you could use for toads and they would be fine Again, American, Indonesian and these similar species that all seem to be pretty related So I personally don’t do that much to keep their humidity up I just spray their substrate and I keep it just barely damp Toads can’t really get the scale rock cause they don’t have scales And that’s usually when an animal like a snake is sitting in water for too long or it’s too humid for the animal and bacteria starts to grow on the scales So humidity, I would say keep it on the higher side because you could keep them dry and they won’t dry out their skin as long as they have a water bowl But at the same time, I don’t like the idea of them just sitting in this dry crusty substrate I like to have them in something softer and just a little bit damp Again, that’s just kind of my preference and if you had a super dry substrate, the toad will most likely be fine, but I say, if you really want to measure the humidity, go for like 50 to 70%, it’s more about the temperature If it was very hot and very dry, then they would probably become dehydrated pretty quickly So like if it was 95 and 0% humidity, they’d probably get pretty dehydrated And if it was a hundred percent humidity and super cold, that would likely be uncomfortable as well So I would just say, go for those middle grounds of about 75 to 70 degrees, whatever and 50% to 70% humidity If it drops to 30, don’t freak out, it’s likely no big deal This is definitely the weirdest care guide I’ve made because there’s just so much variation It’s like, do this, do that, whatever it doesn’t matter, it’s hard to mess up, please It’s going to be a little embarrassing if you mess up toad care, but hopefully this will make makes sense so far So let’s continue into lighting American toads are nocturnal animals, meaning that they are active at night And then during the day they’re usually just sleeping, hanging out, not doing much They’re always in the same state as long as they’re burrowed or safe They’re like kind of active Like they’re listening or they’re on the lookout, but they’re also kind of just snoozing, sleeping, napping, whatever At night, if your toad is hungry, it will probably come out more than a full toad that doesn’t really need to come out But during the day you’re not gonna see them be too active They still might be hanging out, moving around That’s not abnormal, normally at like around my house, I usually see American toads come out, right around dusk and they hang out until dawn and then they kind of go and start hiding And this is likely partially because that’s when insects are most active and they’re going to want to eat those insects But back to lighting, what we personally do is we generally do not give UVB to nocturnal animals A UVB, I won’t get into it in this video, but it’s very beneficial to diurnal animals, it’s often required an extremely important and in others, it really doesn’t affect them too much Metabolic bone disease Not often happens because an animal does not have UVB and they can’t properly grow But on American toad does not need this because they are nocturnal And naturally don’t absorb that much sunlight If they’re hiding all day, they’re not going to get any sun rays hitting them So for this reason, there’s no specified lighting needed again, unless you do need to add some heating to their enclosure You could theoretically keep them in the dark all the time, but I would not recommend this Many people do just keep their nocturnal animals like in the closet all day and all night and it’s pitch black The thing is that’s like a human being in sunlight all the time, it would just be confusing So you do want a day and night cycle in my opinion, which is where they have lighting for half the day and don’t have lighting for the other half You could put them by a window and they would get the lighting that they need But I would definitely not put them in direct sunlight where those glasses hit, where the sun is hitting the glass of the window and then hitting your enclosure because it’s going to be kind of like a magnifying glass and it’s gonna get super hot So you don’t want them to overheat

You could use indirect lighting, lighting in the room, studio lights, why not? Or you could just put a light on your toad If you have plants, you’ll probably want LEDs Cause that helps plants grow And that’s fine with your toad They’re not very sensitive to light, not at all If you had an albino toad, somehow they probably wouldn’t be as big of a fan But I would just say, give them lighting during the day, don’t give them lighting at night I wouldn’t use any of those blue or red lights at night either They often say they’re nocturnal or infrared, but infrared means that there is no light So it’s just a red light The thing about this is it’s kind of like the animal being on sunlight all the time, because it’s still bright And I did a test like years ago in a really old cringey video where I was like, can reptiles actually see red light? And the answer is yes, if you want to test this yourself, just turn on a red light in a dark room with your animal If the animal squints, it sees the light, it’s pretty simple If you want to use an actual infrared system, that would be like a ceramic heat emitter, which heats up the enclosure, but does not add lighting It’s simply heats up If you wanted to use a red light during the day, I guess you could, but I just try not to use red or purple moonlights or whatever, because they do still let off light Even if the animal can’t tell what color it is, they can see the lighting and it’s probably annoying So keep it dark at night and next up diet This is pretty important It’s going to keep your animal energized and alive, which is usually part of your goal American toads and similar toads, pretty much every, I think every toad is an insectivore Some toads will be carnivores and eat not just insects, but eat birds and small animals that are not bugs, but American toads, they are considered to be insectivores meaning they just eat bugs If they found smaller toads, yeah, they’ll probably eat them If they find maybe tiny fish, I’m sure they’ll eat those too, but in captivity, I just feed our toads insects My favorites are Dubia roaches and mealworms probably The most common you’ll see are crickets, superworms, mealworms, Dubia roaches, wax worms, Kelsey worms, there’s a bunch of bugs, but whether it’s a myth or not, I guess it’s hard to say because there’s also a lot of opinions on this, but can certain insects actually chew through reptiles and amphibians? This question comes up with, let’s say a super worm, which is the larva of a type of beetle If a toad swallows a super worm and the super worm stays alive for a bit, does it have the ability to eat its way from the inside out of the toad? Well, the thing is when toads eat, they stick their tongue out, it sticks to the food The food comes in and they swallow They don’t actually crunch the food up like a lizard would for example, and they don’t constrict it like a snake would So the insect just goes straight in and it’s still alive until it’s killed either by suffocation or the stomach acids or whatever it gets it first That means that there is some time for the insect to react inside Personally, I’ve never had an animal killed by something it ate, in the sense that it was chewing at it or biting it But many people often claim over and over, like in the comments that their animal did actually die because the super worm, for example, ate it from the inside Again, this is not something I worry about And I do feed super worms and mealworms to toads with no issues But if you choose, you can use something that has much less of a hazard, like a dubia roach, for example, they’re softer and they really don’t bite that much So what some people do is they actually kill the insect before feeding it to the animal The problem is a lot of animals only eat moving insects and this includes toads If something’s not moving and it’s just sitting there, even if it’s smells like food or it looks like food, a toad is most likely not gonna eat it It actually has to be wiggling around So what you could do is you could say crush that kind of a bug and then move it around on tongs or scoot it around with something and then a toad might eat it Like Betty would probably eat it I’m more nervous or shy toad probably would not because it’s a bit scared of you while trying to eat So I would say it’s just easiest to try and keep the insects alive and the toads will likely run after it or hop after it or if the insect just passes, it will go for it When it comes to how much to feed, toads just keep it on eating And they don’t necessarily stop They’re not like some animals that will actually eat themselves to death So you can kind of free feed American toads Like you could just give them a big bowl of insects and see how much they eat And they will most likely stop when they are full, but full is very full and you can probably even tell the difference before and after they eat And I’ve seen the quote a fat toad’s a happy toad, I mostly agree with this Obesity is it’s a serious problem and a lot of reptiles and other animals, but American toads, I don’t have a problem with the toad being chubby, ’cause they don’t really put on weight like other animals They just kind of grow and get wider and wider So if you did somehow see rolls up here on your toad, I’ve never seen that, but maybe that’s a bit too fat, but even just free feeding my toads as much as they want, it’s all fine An adult American toad, I’d say, if you really want to regulate it, maybe give it like five insects a couple of times a day, like five adults Well, that’s, it’s just hard to say, cause the insects are different sizes and all these different variables, maybe five medium-sized dubia roaches every other day or something,

like I just made that up on the spot It’s hard to tell you exactly how often and how much to feed, but at the same time, it can be hard to figure it out If you really don’t know, you just kind of naturally get an idea of it over time with certain animals I would usually make sure that my toads eat twice a week You could feed them once a week or every day, if you wanted, as long as it’s a little less food, but a baby toad is going to want to eat a lot And then adults also gonna want to eat a lot So yeah, just you can keep giving it insects and make sure it’s not too skinny If they get too skinny, I’ll usually just be able to see on their lower side, it gets very thin and you don’t want us to be too thin there and you can tell them their face You might be able to see their bones more if they get thin, just make sure they’re on the heavier side than the lighter side You can also add a multivitamins and calcium to their insects, which is common with a lot of animals to make sure they get vitamins and nutrients that they need What we do is a one to three ratio where it’s one third, multivitamin, two thirds calcium It’s just a powder, you can mix it up and you can sprinkle it on the insects You can also gut-load insects which is where you feed the insects healthy foods, like say fruits or veggies that have good vitamins And then when the toad eats the insect, they get even more nutrients But the American toads, because they’re so hardy and so opportunistic, they can probably just eat mealworms, not gut-loaded and not dusted and they’ll be fine But it definitely doesn’t hurt to add stuff and I would recommend it It’s also just fun to give them a variety of insects and see how they eat and I’d make sure they don’t eat anything that’s too big Like if it’s bigger than their head, they might have trouble getting it down They won’t necessarily choke on it, but it will be uncomfortable and they might have to spit it out, which is best to avoid When it comes to cleaning their enclosure They usually release these little like packets I mean, if a toad is the size of a human, it would probably be like this big and it’s like a poop sack, I don’t know what to call it They often blend in with coconut fiber really well, but normally they release them in the water and you can just clean up their water bowl Make sure it’s fresh, I highly recommend using a de chlorinator for the water I have a video on what types of water are safe for reptiles and chlorine is in most water, if you have city water and this is not proven to be safe for reptiles, many people use it with no issue, but I like to avoid the chlorine and I use Rep to Save there’s other products you can use, but Rep to Save is the common reptile and amphibian one You just add some drops of it to the water, if you’re on well water, for example, it’s hard to say, it’s best if you have a test of the well water to see exactly what’s in it And you could also even just by like Fiji Water, I don’t know if you’re really fancy You could give your American toad nothing but Fiji water So yeah, just make sure the water is kept clean and preferably dechlorinated And that’s pretty much everything I do to keep American toads happy and healthy It’s probably the most simple animal I’ve done a care guide on There’s a lot of variation, not many resources and it’s pretty easy to acquire one if you live in the right place, they’re easy to find and you can even buy many toads like American toads or similar ones from sellers but oftentimes they’re pretty sketchy sellers The reason you would want to avoid wild-caught animals is oftentimes wild-caught animals will have parasites that’s nature There’s going to be a lot of microorganisms, that are trying to find different hosts and toads are often one of those, the reason there is a high mortality rate with American toads and similar ones, especially as babies, because they’re kind of just this food for other animals, lots of animals eat toads, snakes, lizards, birds probably, fish I don’t know, just anything kind of eats toads So yeah, for that reason, they shoot out a ton of babies They will have thousands of eggs and a lot of the eggs will get eaten And then those thousands of eggs will turn into hundreds of tadpoles and some of the tadpoles will die or get eaten And then those dozens of turned into, I almost said, frogs, little baby toads and some of those will get eaten And the goal is to just to keep on reproducing as much as possible, sudden mortality and little ones is not super uncommon Cause there’s a lot of genetic issues just naturally as many animals do when they have so many babies come out Any tips you have for American toad or similar toad care, feel free to leave them in the comments And then you can check out the site linked below with all the supplies I use and this written out care guide and maybe some other resources and that you can check out all of my toad-related videos, I’ll try and make a playlist for those Also you can buy this shirt with Betty on it, my American toad or I guess it’s a hoodie, but you get the idea If you want to support me on Patron, you can get some cool perks and helps support me and the videos So it’s been a while since I did a care guide, I plan on updating some of my others and creating some more for other species If you want a specific one, let me know the comments, preferably an animal that I’ve kept before So that’d be it for this video I’m Alex and thanks for watching (upbeat music)

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