Our Fish Friends – by Greenie and Brownie

It’s time to tell you about our fish friends that live in our aquarium with us.

We showed you the male guppy and the babies in another blog.  Here is the female and male guppy.  They don’t stay still very long so April has a hard time getting a decent picture of them.  Guppies  They’ve been living here for about 6 months now.  We don’t know how many babies she may have had but right now there are three hiding among the rocks.

The neon tetras are really pretty.  They slow down and even stay still for long periods of time.  April has no problem taking their picture.  neon tetras  One of them has been here a year and the other two came when the guppies showed up about 6 months ago.

We don’t know the name of this third fish.  These guys are shooters!  They shoot here and they shoot there.  April had to be very, very patient and use some special settings on her camera to get this picture.  striped  They came at the same time as the guppies.  Does anyone know what they are called?

All of these fish love frozen brine shrimp.  They go crazy when they get fed that!  But they also eat the crickets that hop into the water from land.  And, they love waxworms just like everyone else in this tank.

You don’t fool me.  That waxworm is dead.  I don’t eat dead food and you know it.  10-29-07-greenie-and-waxworm.jpg  That April is always testing us.

Back to the fish.  There are a few other fish in the tank.  But, they don’t swim around much.  They stay on the bottom and clean up the mess the rest of us make.

Brownie says she has given up trying to take private showers.  She says everyone watches her.  10-29-07-brownie-shower-with-greenie-watching.jpg

Greenie especially loves the new hiding places he has since the tank was cleaned and rearranged.  Greenie under water          10-29-07-greenie-under-rock.jpg

I guess next time we have to tell you about the snake.  YUCK!!!  We are trying to put that off as long as possible.

Kind Regards,

Greenie & Brownie

Greenie and Brownie

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Newts are our Friends – by Greenie

I think we can breath easy now.  The newts seem to be okay.  They even became more photogenic in the last 24 hours.  We have named them Randall One and Randall Two (after a monster in Monsters, Inc.).

Newt close up

Yesterday Randall One, who we have not seen eating, ate a piece of waxworm off of a toothpick that April held for her.  She had to be enticed it to eat, but finally did.

After that cuddling the other night.

Newts cuddling

We are now wondering if we have a male and a female newt in our midst.  Perhaps the lack of appetite on Randall One’s part was because of that.  Does anyone out there know if a female or male newt would not eat if they were breeding?

Anyway, these two newts have become our fast friends.  I spent the day on one side of the tank with Randall One and Brownie (who seems to be avoiding me) spent the day on the other side of the tank with Randall Two yesterday.

Newt belly  Here is Randall One showing off her fire-belly.  The crickets on her head are there to keep out of the water.  Those little devils will go anywhere to get as high up as possible.  They don’t realize how close they are to the jaws of death in this picture.

Our tank was thoroughly cleaned yesterday.  This needs to be done about every other week with the way it is set up.  Many tanks for fire-bellied toads need to be cleaned every week, or even more often, since they have less water to absorb our waste products and our toxin and get too dirty for us to live in much sooner.

In the process of cleaning we found three baby guppies.  (I guess that male and female guppie have been busy). 

 Baby Guppies        10-28-07-male-guppy.jpg

April gave us permission to use them as a food source if we wish.  So far we have been happy with the crickets and waxworms.  But, if April goes away for a period of time we may start looking at the fish as a meal.

That’s about all that is happening here today.  I just wanted to give you an update on the newt’s progress.

I think I’ll go over and find out why Brownie is avoiding me.  She sure is beautiful.  Don’t you agree?

Brownie’s belly  Check out her fire-belly.  Isn’t that the most beautiful toad in the world?

Kind Regards,

Greenie

Greenie showing fire-belly

The morning shower – by Brownie

Hi everyone,

First, I want to discuss courtship.

Why can’t a male fire-bellied toad take no for an answer?

I hid in the corner near a rock all day yesterday and all night last night while Greenie floated in the water barking like a puppy.

I know what he wants, but I’m making it very plain to him I’m not interested, right?

Obviously NOT!

The second I moved to eat breakfast he was after me. Courtship1

He grabs me and hugs me sooo tight.   Courtship

I tried to push him away, but he REALLY thinks I love him.  How can men be so stupid? I bet he thinks because he is the only man in my world that I have to love him.

Well, I finally got rid of him and then guess what?

I go to take a morning shower.   Brownie heading to shower

And, April shows up starts taking pictures of me in the shower.

shower2       Brownie in shower

Well, that was the last straw!  I stomped out of the shower and am now back in my corner pouting.

Brownie getting out of shower

Kind Regards,

One Frustrated Brownie

About Waxworms and Newts

Hi,

Today we want to discuss waxworms and newts.

Newt           Newt

April brought home some live waxworms for the newts and she offered one to Greenie who “jumped” at the chance to try one.  He literally JUMPED at it and stuffed it in his mouth.  It was too big to fit in his mouth without a lot of shoveling in with his front feet.  But, eventually he consumed the whole worm and looked around for more.

Later she offered one to Brownie and she ate a whole worm too!

So, it has been decided that fire-bellied toads also love their waxworms.  We understand they are better than mealworms because waxworms outer bodies aren’t as hard as the mealworms.  April thinks they all look the same way to her – YUCK!  But YUCK to one critter is YUMMMM to another.

Now, to the reason the waxworms were brought home in the first place.

Those fire-bellied newts that came home with us from the pet store just aren’t as lively as we are.  The first couple days both of them would eat dead crickets at the bottom of the tank and thawed brine shrimp placed in the tank for the fish. 

Then they just stopped moving around the tank.  One of them stays submerged just under the water line with his head above the water and the other one just lays under the rock tent.  We never see the one that lays under the rock go anywhere or eat anything.   April became concerned.  She had fed them both a waxworm when we first came to live with her and they seemed to love it.  So, she stopped at the pet store and bought some fresh live waxworms to try to entice the newts to eat and move around more.

The newt that stays submerged gobbled a waxworm up right away, but the newt under the rock tent is not interested.  He isn’t dead and if he “accidently” gets shoved into the water by April he swims around and then climbs right back up onto the rocks.  April has checked during the night to see if they are moving around then but they have always been in the exact same places they are during the day.

Does anyone out there know if this is normal activity for a newt?  We sure would like to make them happier, so if you have any suggestions we would like them.

We also need names for the newts.  We are open to suggestions.

Sorry about the bad pictures of the newts, but they aren’t very photogenic either.  We’ll keep trying to get better pictures of them.

10-27-07 Update:

Well, they are still alive and kicking.  Last night they were cuddling.  Isn’t that sweet?

Newts cuddling

Kind Regards,

Greenie and Brownie

Greenie and Brownie

Crickets – YUMMMMM!!!!

Hi,

Today we get to talk about our favorite subject.

Crickets!

As fire-bellied toads we only eat live food.  Don’t try to feed us that dead or thawed out junk!  It won’t get by us.

So April had to figure out how to keep live food on hand without running to the pet store every other day.  You see, we are moving next year to a small town in Wyoming and her hubby said they wouldn’t be able to afford to drive 60 miles one way every other day to buy crickets for us.  It is obvious where we land in the food chain in this household!

 That is okay though because April bought this great cricket keeper from PetcoThe complete cricket care and dispensing kit for up to 30 medium crickets.  Complete system features well-ventilated top with clear viewer/feeding window, two cylinders, and food/water dishes.It has an opening at the top to drop the crickets in and there are two round holes on each side where these black tubes go.  The tubes have plastic caps on them.  The crickets like to climb up the tubes and when it is feeding time April pulls out a tube, covers the open end with her hand and lowers the tube into our home.  She just leans the tube a little and the crickets come out all by themselves.  Greenie (who is the least shy of us) sits right at the end of the tube and gobbles them up as they come out.  Sometimes Greenie even jumps into the tube a little to get at a cricket if he is not in a very patient mood.

We know when it is time to eat because April feeds us about the same time of day and always puts the black tube into the aquarium and leans it a little to let us see the crickets.  She thinks it is cute the way we scrunch down when we know the crickets are coming.  She says it looks like we are stalking our prey like the lions in Africa.

We don’t have long tongues that fly out like some toads and frogs so we have to pounce at the cricket and grab it with our mouth.  Then we use our front feet to shove it down into our mouth.  April and her hubby think that is cute also.  Her hubby is always watching us and smiling.  So, even though he doesn’t think we are worth the 120 mile round trip every other day for food, we know he does love us.

Another great thing about the cricket keeper is that April buys small crickets and we get to watch them grow.  Before she puts the crickets in it she sprinkles some calcium with supplements into the cage so the crickets have to walk in it.  We need calcium and other supplements and we get it because it is on the crickets when we eat them.  Clever, huh? And, she puts in a piece of egg carton or even a crumpled up tissue so the crickets have more space to go and don’t squish each other by standing on each others heads.  (We never said crickets were smart.)  Then she puts a slice of a tangerine or orange (leaving the rind on it) in the keeper for the crickets to drink and eat.  The rind helps keep the moisture of the orange seeping onto the egg carton or even on the floor of the cage.  It is amazing how fast those little crickets grow eating the orange.  She says you can practically see them get bigger by the second as they eat.  This is important because we should eat what is called gutloaded crickets.  Which basically means a cricket that has just eaten so much his belly is bulging.  After eating on that orange those crickets are definitely gutloaded.

Here are some pictures of the crickets eating.

10-23-07-cricket1.jpg

Well, we have to go now.  It’s time to EAT!

Kind Regards,

Brownie & Greenie

BrownieBrownie

Greenie showing fire-bellyGreenie – see my fire-belly?

What we want

Hi again, 

April said we should tell you about what we want.  Just in case someone out there sees us and says, “Boy, I would love to have one of those fire-bellied toads as a pet.”

 We are fairly easy to keep but do require some attention.  Things you need to know before you decide you want one of our kind in your house are:

  1. Aquarium or equivalent:  We need land and water.  April fills her 20 gallon aquarium up quite high because she has fish.  But then she has piled a lot of interesting items up in the aquarium and then laid rocks across that are out of the water.  She gave us some good hiding places (one of them is always being used by the newt though) since we do appreciate our privacy. 
  2.  We only eat live food.  Crickets are our favorites, but April has read that we will eat waxworms, mealworms and other worms.  So far, we haven’t eaten anythiing but crickets.  We do love those crickets!  YUMMMY!
  3.  We need to be fed about every other day.  April has been told we could go without for a week if absolutely necessary.  But, we don’t want to try it.  We heard she heads out to Hawaii with her hubby about every other year and we do hope she has her neighbors come over and feed us while she is gone.
  4.  We really like a filter in our aquarium because we accumulate quite a bit of waste and get our home pretty dirty without one.
  5. We don’t require a heater but love a light to bask in.  We like the water to be about 75-78 F or 24-25C.
  6. We need our water changed regularly.  You see, we are toxic – we try to tell everyone with our red bellies – and although we aren’t extremely toxic any other animals in the aquarium with us could get sick or die if the water isn’t changed regularly.
  7. Here is a good site to read up on how to take care of us at About.com Exotic Pets

 There are a lot of great sites about fire-bellied toads.  The one we really like is at Frogland.  They have a lot of good information and fun things there. 

Later we get to tell you about our crickets.  YUM!  We get to watch them grow and grow.  Then, April puts some in our house and we gobble them up!

 Kind Regards,

Greenie & Brownie

Greenie

Brownie

Hello world!

We started this blog to tell you about us – fire-bellied toads – and our friends.  First, we are Brownie and Greenie the fire-bellied toads that live with April and Trumpet (the green elephant).  Brownie is a girl and Greenie is a boy.  Right now Greenie is in the mating mood and has been singing or calling for a mate.  Last night he woke April up and she thought a puppy was in the kitchen.  Nope!  It was Greenie checking out the girl scene.  Unfortunately, for Greenie (and perhaps Brownie also) there is only one girl on the scene – Brownie.  So far, she has not been happy with Greenie’s pick up lines.  We’ll let you know how it goes.  Got to go for now.  Will write more later when April has more time to type for us.

– Kind Regards, Brownie and Greenie

Brownie    Brownie        

    Greenie fire-bellied toad close upGreenie