Oriental fire-bellied toads are a tough bunch; most imports arrive thin but in reasonably good shape. To pick out potentially healthy Oriental fire-belied toads, look for active frogs with rounded bodies and clear eyes. Avoid frogs with well-defined pelvic outlines or backbones and deeply hollow abdomens.
Because the sick fire-bellied toads are too weak to maintain a normal body posture (with the front part of their body raised), sick frogs often remain near horizontal when standing in shallow water. They hold their front and back at about the same level with the nostrils, which barely break the surface of the water. These listless, horizontal fire-bellied toads typically die within a few days.
Purchasing several fire-bellied toads (at least half a dozen) results in a much more interesting terrarium than purchasing a single frog. It greatly increases the likelihood of seeing at least one or two fire-bellied toads at any given time.
Excerpt from Popular Amphibians, part of the Advanced Vivarium Systems series with permission from its publisher, BowTie Press, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase Popular Amphibians here.