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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have asked around and around from all sorts of boards, and just nobody knows.

Whoever keeps the "toadily awesome" little disglossids, anybody have a toad that was bright green at the store, and then turned olive green to black, and never changed back?

I hear all of these dubious rumors that it is from them spending large amounts of time in the water. One of my toads, Roger, used to soak in the water all the time and was bright green. I have seen too many set ups with mostly water and they spend a good deal of time there.

Then, you hear that they change permanently dark because of unhappiness with husbandry. Well, my toads are as fat as day and active for the last two years. You also hear that they are only green when they are stressed. That is obviously not the case, as even in the wild the toads are bright and colorful, even more so than captive bred.

They are still cool anurans, but they are always that ugly coloration.

I have deduced it down to three options. Coloration of substrate, lighting, and temperature. My temperature is always around 74-80, changing depending on the season slightly. I plan on moving them to the basement where it will be much cooler.

The lighting I have is only a single fluorescent bulb for a 10 gallon. The substrate is coco bedding with shagnum moss.

Any help would be appreciated to solve this chronic mystery.
 

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Funny, I heard it might be dietary? Kinda like santa isabel tricolors being bubblegum pink except if you suppliment the diet... then they are the bright lipstick red. But then you get those animals that have the olive with a couple of splashes of the original bright green, not showing the gradual fade in color that would be dietary.

Anyone keeping Bombina maxima in the states? I've kinda wondered about the species and wanted to try my hand with them.
 

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I would think it is due to the fact that almost all of them you see in the petstores are wild caught imports. They are bright green do to having a varied diet in the wild, while after being in captivity for a certain amount of time it's usually just dusted crickets and the coloration fades or turns ugly.
 
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i know this is going to sound weird but my father used to have them and they stayed bright green he said the trick was to dust the crickets with paprika
not the terrible papkrika you get in the grocery store but the really strong stuff you get at an indian grocery store, mostly refered to as spanish paprika.
 

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I don't know if I can agree with the greens being relative to good husbandry. I had a firebelly a while back that disappeared, and I thought that it had escaped, so I removed everything from its 5 gal except the false bottom and about an inch of horribly dirty water. Then the tank sat for AN ENTIRE MONTH, and I paid no attention to it, until I decided to totally drain it and toss it. So, as I'm stripping the false bottom who do I see? A slighly thin, but very green firebelly! I have no idea how it survived that long, but I guess it's a testament to their hardiness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That may be the trick after all. However, that doesn't explain why so many people I know still have green fire bellies, while mine darkened THE DAY AFTER I brought them home from the pet store.

What is the real temperature range for B. orientalis? I disagree with warm temps, as they are native to the mountains of Korea, but it is true, they have a wide range down into Thailand.

You've got a point there, Corey. My two bombinas have a small splotch of green on their back that has always stayed there. I don't know why.
 

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Do you think that they could have been Bombina variegata instead? I have my B. orientalis in an enclosure that is 60% water, keep them in the low to mid 70's and they are still green. We also have B. variegata that we got about 5 years ago from a breeder. The variegata have a yellowish belly, and are about 25% larger than the B. orientalis. I feed both gutloaded crickets, superworms and large field sweepings, but nothing for color. The orientalis get dark once in a while and the variegata do get lighter, just seems to depend on their mood.

They are great and I really like them a lot, I'm still surprized that they have all their fingers and toes, they are such aggressive feeders.

Ed
 

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I highly doubt they are varigata from my experience. If we are talking pet store fire bellies, these are the cheap imported korean firebellies, have the nice orange-red belly markings going on, but have either come in olive already, or quickly go that way. For a color change to occur over just a couple days, I'd lean towards stress, diet changes wouldn't be that drastic. If you got them recently imported (and thus less stressed) and into a good environment.... they might have staid green like already mentioned. But then why wouldn't animals in good environments go back to bright green (which I've never heard of them doing)?

Guess its not food after all, tho I can't doubt they don't get very good diets anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yah, definitely they were crowded and prone to stress at the store. While I have definitely learned that my nitrate levels have been too high, pH is much, much better and low levels of nitrates. The frogs are still their normal, olive green.

Once again, what is the temp range for korean firebellies? I have kept mine at 75-80. it can get up to 84 degrees in the summer.

But even when the water temp has dropped, they still are dark...

I'm going to have to play around with different things to find out. My frogs are definitely MUCH healthier than the crowded, green store toads.

I have a feeling it could have to do with lighting as well, but not sure. I'm going to increase the lighting with Power compacts and drop the temperature to see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ed, can you show us a pick of your B. orientalis enclosure? I'm in the process of building a 15 gal epoxy coated tank that will have an over flow and sump (so I have to change water less frequently, and keep things more stable).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes. The call sounds like a barking dog.

Firebellies are among my fav frogs, even more so than mantellas even.
It is unfortunate that these wonderful, bold, active frogs are sold for a measily price and end up in the hands of the careless, much like the awesome pipids, Hymenocheirus and Xenopus.

That just proves that the frog itself, not the money, is what really matters.
What really keeps the hobby itself going.
 

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AJ, those firebellies are actually showing the discoloration that we are talking about. The frogs pictured on the site are the "brown" or "olive" we are referring to as the color they fade to. Interesting to see those light spots on there.... what is also interesting is these frogs are evidently CB and might never have shown the color....

My thoughts on the subject jump back and forth between stress and diet. It could be both, in some cases one or the other, or possibly neither.

Thus, the great mystery.
 

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These Bombina have always been that colour ever since they morphed. They are CB04 and their parents were the same colour. Like I said, not all strains/races of B.orientalis are green. Colour feeding can enhance the red belly colour, but the green dorsal colour is inherent to the strain (with the exception of diseased or highly stressed animals which may change colour).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you go to the petstore, you will find a natural morph that is brown and black ontop. It is not an ugly, mud brown, more of a light tan. It actually is pretty handsome contrasted with the black stripes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
cyber loach, are you sure, absolutely, that your dad wasn't using paprika for the belly? I've known people to give them paprika because the belly coloration fades.

I wonder if spirulina and paprika would have an effect on firebellied toads.

But, lets say my toads were "stressed," even though they eat well and all.

What causes "stress?" Nobody really has come forth and told what temp they have kept bombina at. I've read on websites that say they like temp around 72-78. My tank, once again, can run between 75-82. It all depends on the time of day, and what season. My nitrate and pH are decent. The lighting is only a normal fluorescent, and it is pretty shady, as the plants block most of the light. But the water area is decently lit.

However, it was cool in my sister's room one day, and the water temp was only 70 degrees. The frog was lighter, but still rather a gray olive color.

Could it have anything to do with colony? When you see the toads at the store, they are living in big colonies, perhaps over crowded. I have kept a pair of males in a 10 gallon. I doubt this could be a reason.
 

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Lol maybe it's just the color they are, or they change on purpose to confuse you. :lol: I have 5. One is bright green (Lump is an ornery lil cuss too, very spunky), one has been very very dark, almost black since I brought him home, one has always been brown, one is very fat and changes between bright green to an olive green randomly, and my female is relatively small and she fluctuates between olive green and dark green. I think they do it on purpose so I have trouble telling them apart.
 
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