Iguana Update -- Info You Need to Know
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Sliced cucumbers get swallowed without chewing. Vary your iguana's diet for best results.
Aqualand strives to keep you up-to-date on what you need to know to keep your iguana healthy and growing. This page contains miscellaneous information you may know already (but we want to make absolutely sure you know).
Not Cheap. Your critter costs only 10% of what you need to spend to house it.
Size. We want to remind you that iguanas that donít grow to six feet long still get very large.
Full-Spectrum. Incandescent (screw-in bulbs) are not full-spectrum EVEN though they say so on the box. Most do not produce the UVB your iguana needs to make good bones. Whoa, dude. They make screw-in fluorescent light bulbs these days.
Misting. Baby iguanas need more humidity than big guys. Use a mister daily. They really like it.
No Meat. Iguanas are folivores (they eat leaves). Please donít feed them crickets (way too much phosphorous) or barbecued ribs (way too much sauce). If you absolutely need to add protein to their salad, add some rabbit pellets as croutons.
Hungry Monster. Your baby iguana considers you a big, hungry predator until he gets to know you. He is a wild animal in a stressful situation (alone and in the presence of a monster). Note how they try to climb into unseeable places. Some people recommend hide boxes for the little guys.
Feeding Time. New iguanas will not eat in front of big predators (you). Leave them alone. Feed them for best results. If you feed them last thing at night, they canít digest their food until the next day. A gut full of fermenting green stuff canít be fun. And fresh food left out all night tends to spoil.
Low Temp: Iguanas need 85o or higher to digest their food. Three or four-year-old iguanas can withstand cool temperatures better than the youngsters.
Bad Food: Improper diet ends their lives prematurely.
Too Hot. On a long-term basis, 95o is too hot for your iguana.
Night Temp. Let your temperature drop 10o during the night. Turning off your incandescent lights usually does the trick.
NO Hot Rocks. Iguanas live in trees not on rocks. Save your hot rock for ground-dwelling lizards. And, keep it clean.
Heat Sources. Put a heat pad on one end of your iguanaís cage bottom. Focus an incandescent light on the same area. This lets your ig go to the cooler side if it wants to cool off. Make sure your ig cannot touch the bulb. They love to fry their hides on bare bulbs. Iguanas are not very bright.
No Water Dragons. Water dragons look like iguanas but donít mix well. They will tear the legs off iguanas and eat them. Water dragons are much tougher (and smarter) than iguanas -- but then who isnít?
Cage Floor. In spite of all the substrates available, artificial carpet works best. Keep loose strands trimmed (or the dummies eat them). Use two carpets so the other one dries between cleanings. Carpets clean easily with a scrub brush under running water. If at all possible, clean it elsewhere than your kitchen sink.
Wood Floors. Put linoleum on the floor of your wood cage to make it easier to keep clean. Obviously, an under cage heater wonít penetrate a wood floor. Heat it with light bulbs.
Climbers. You cannot provide too many climbing surfaces. Iguanas are tree dwellers. They do not live on the ground.
Timers. Those timers that turn your lights on and off cost very little. Get one to put your iguana on a regular schedule.
More Thermometers. Too many ďI have a hot rockĒ people have absolutely no idea how warm they keep their iguana. You need a thermometer at the top, at the bottom, and in the middle of your iguana cage.
Low Bowls. Use a food bowl no taller than a jar lid for young iguanas. Make it easy for your iguana to see (and get into) his food and water bowls. Youíll also notice that they soon learn what their food bowl looks like. (At first, they may not even recognize what is and isnít food.) Once they learn the drill, theyíll eat whatever you put in their food bowl. Make it good stuff. LA.
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