Given the similarities between frogs and toads, you might be wondering whether they can be housed together or not.
Even though frogs and toads are both Anurans, an order of the class Amphibia, it is generally not advisable to keep them together in the same tank.
Frogs and toads have different environmental needs, and it is difficult to provide one tank that suits both animals. On top of this, frogs and toads can be dangerous to one another because of their various secretions and differences in size.
Let’s take a further look at why it can be so difficult to successfully house frogs and toads in one tank.
What are their differing environmental needs?
One of the most important aspects of keeping amphibians as pets is maintaining a proper terrarium environment.
The size, temperature, and humidity of your tank will need to suit the species that you are keeping. Otherwise, they will not survive.
It can be particularly challenging to maintain a tank environment that is suitable for multiple species. This is especially true of frogs and toads.
For starters, almost no tank will be big enough to truly give frogs and toads the space that they need to stay away from one another.
In the wild, frogs and toads keep away from one another to avoid confrontation, but this is nearly impossible in a terrarium.
In general, the larger the species, the larger the tank will need to be. On top of this, the tank size should also reflect how many animals you intend to keep in it.
If the tank size is too small, this will lead to aggression amongst the animals, no matter the species you are housing.
Temperature and Humidity
The temperature of a terrarium is also extremely important to the well-being of your amphibians.
Frogs and toads have different temperature requirements, which vary significantly from species to species. Some amphibians need different daytime and nighttime temperatures as well.
Humidity is another environmental factor that cannot be ignored. Humidity is especially important for frogs, who must maintain moist skin.
A frog can dry out and die if it is not in an environment that meets its humidity needs, whereas toads are more tolerant to drier air but still need access to clean water.
Whenever you are considering keeping different species in a common enclosure, you need to learn about their unique environmental needs to determine if they are compatible.
Oftentimes, it is difficult to find multiple species that have identical environmental needs.
In the wild, frogs and toads can have vastly different natural environments. When we keep them in captivity, it is essential to mimic their natural habitat as best as possible.
Will frogs and toads try to eat each other?
Yes, frogs and toads will try to eat one another. This is especially true if one animal is larger than the other.
If, for example, you try to house a larger toad with a smaller frog, it is practically a guarantee that the toad will attack the frog and attempt to eat it.
The same situation would happen if you tried to house a larger frog with a smaller toad. Frogs and toads are well known for eating any prey that they can fit into their mouths.
Even though frogs and toads have a strong potential to attack and eat one another, there are two basic steps you can take to try to prevent tank violence, regardless of what species you are keeping together.
First, a larger tank is always a good idea when keeping multiple animals together. This allows them to spread out and have their own territory.
A larger tank will decrease the frequency of interaction amongst its animal members, which will incite less aggression.
Another way you can try to prevent amphibians from attacking one another is to get species of similar size.
When your frog or toad cannot possibly fit the other tank species into its mouth, they won’t be able to eat one another. Attacks will still likely occur, however.
While it might seem like a cool idea to keep frogs and toads together, it’s really not what is best for either animal.
Can frogs and toads make each other sick?
Another complication of pairing up frogs and toads is that they can actually make each other quite sick.
Frogs and toads secrete chemicals from their skin, and these can be harmful and even deadly to any animal that attacks them.
Some frog and toad species are more toxic than others, but they are all toxic to a certain extent.
When one species attacks, bites, or attempts to eat another, they will absorb the toxic secretions from their prey.
This can sicken or even kill the predator animal. In a worst-case scenario, the attacking animal may die.
Cane Toads, Colorado River Toads, American Toads, and Fowler’s Toads are just some of the incredibly toxic species.
Poison Dart Frogs are notorious for their venom, but they are actually less harmful in captivity. This is because their venom is derived from their diet in the wild.
Apart from toxins, frogs and toads carry unique bacteria that can be passed between species and spread throughout a terrarium.
Bacteria that might not be so harmful to one species could severely sicken and kill another.
The swapping of secretions and bacteria is a huge risk factor involved in keeping frogs and toads together.
It can cause serious health problems in your pet, which can be hard to see and difficult to treat. It can also result in a lot of lost time and money on your part.
Do frogs and toads stress each other out?
Frogs and toads really don’t interact much in natural environments, so forcing them to live together in a small enclosure will significantly stress them out.
In the wild, frogs and toads have plenty of space and prefer to have their own territories.
Male amphibians will call out to attract mates, but they will also call out as a territorial display. When other males and other species hear these territorial calls, they are more incentivized to stay away.
An attack will likely ensue when one amphibian stumbles into another amphibian’s territory.
This is true in the wild and captivity, but the animals will not have enough space to avoid one another in a terrarium. This will lead to chronic stress.
Chronic stress is debilitating for any animal and can make them more likely to get weak and sick. For the well-being of both frogs and toads, it is better to avoid putting them through such unnecessary stress.
Frogs and toads will be both healthier and happier if they are not kept together in a terrarium.
What other options are there?
Frogs and toads can peacefully coexist in a large, natural environment that is suited to both species’ needs.
If you really want to keep frogs and toads together, you can look into the possibility of creating and maintaining an outdoor pond and surrounding area that can support both species.
Your geographic location will play a significant role in the feasibility of an outdoor frog and toad environment.
You will want to research and attract local frogs and toads that already exist nearby. If you live in an area without much amphibian life, this may not be a practical option for you.
Choose one species first.
Apart from this, you might want to look into keeping an enclosure that has multiple animals of the same species.
If you are considering a multi-species terrarium, you will first want to practice caring for a tank with more than one animal of this same kind.
Then, you can research compatible species, talk to experienced pet owners, and meet with experts in the field. After taking these essential steps, then you can move forward with a multi-species terrarium.
Whichever species you choose, it is essential to make sure that they have nearly identical environmental needs, are the same size, and are not toxic to one another.
This is for the well-being of the animals and to prevent unnecessary suffering.
If you dream of creating a terrarium that holds multiple species, this can still be a reality. While it is best to avoid putting frogs and toads together, you might find success with other pairings.
To do this, knowledge is key. Make sure that you take the time to conduct thorough research and discuss your ideas with experts on each species that you are considering.
You will find a lot more success in caring for multiple species if you have a strong understanding of each animal’s needs before making a purchase.
With a clear plan in place, you will be better able to care for your pets and provide them with a healthy and happy life.
To get started on this path, it is usually best to begin with one species that does well with multiple animals in an enclosure, like certain kinds of tree frogs.