Iguanas are inhabitants of evergreen humid rainforests.
If you decide to have this exotic lizard at home, it needs to create familiar climatic conditions in the terrarium and maintain them regardless of the season.
Optimal Terrarium Size
The terrarium should be appropriate for the size of the iguana. It can be purchased or made by your own hands.
The size of the “apartment” depends on the age of its inhabitant. A small iguana doesn’t need a house that “grows out”: it will feel uncomfortable and uncomfortable. This is fraught with stress and loss of appetite. Keep the young one in a small terrarium, and when it matures – in a year and a half – you can think about expanding its living space.
If you buy a ready-made tank, then for the initial dwelling of the iguana 150-200 liters of the aquarium will be quite sufficient. An adult lizard should be settled in a 400-500-liter tank.
Those who decide to do the terrarium with their own hands can focus on the following dimensions: 50cm (length) x 100cm (height) x 50cm (width) – for the reptile up to a year and a half; 170 x 170 x 80cm – for the pet older.
Glass, plexiglass, or plywood can serve as building materials. In the latter case, the walls should be covered inside with plastic or cork panels to maintain the necessary level of humidity. All seams must be carefully sealed.
What kind of filler to choose?
Mats made of artificial turf are an excellent filler for the terrarium.
The substrate must be hygroscopic, safe for the iguana’s health, and not difficult to clean. Artificial turf mats for example fulfill these requirements. The main thing is to anchor them securely to the floor and to monitor the condition of the edges. If they become loose, the individual fibers may wrap around the iguana’s paw or tail, pulling them over and causing necrosis. It’s best to have a couple of mats at once: while one is drying after washing, you can lay the other.
Another option for filler is pelleted bark. The main requirement is that the pellets must be large to avoid being eaten by the pet. Because of lizards’ taste for everything surrounding it, we don’t want to put earth, gravel, sand, chips, cat`s fillers on the terrarium floor.
Alfalfa feed for rabbits can play the role of ground. However, with all its merits it is short-lived: because of high humidity it quickly gets soaked, so you will have to change it often.
Paper – packaging or filter paper – is suitable only as a temporary filler. For example, during the quarantine period. It is better to refrain from using newspapers: the printing ink is harmful to the reptile’s health.
Source of ultraviolet
Iguanas need a lot of suns and a long daylight period
Iguanas need a lot of suns so that the body absorbs trace elements from the food and produces vitamin D3. In summer, the animal can be taken out on a glazed balcony. The rest of the year the lack of sunlight will have to make up for it with special lamps, which you can buy in pet stores. The daylight for iguanas must last at least 10-12 hours. Replace the lamps once a year because the intensity of the UV radiation decreases with time.
How to keep the iguana warm?
A regular light bulb will do for heating a terrarium with an iguana
Warmth is as important to the iguana as light. The average temperature in the terrarium should be between +28 and +37 degrees. A ceramic or mirror heater will help to keep it up. They are convenient because they do not disturb either the animal or the owner at night.
You can use artificial stones with built-in heating elements. However, it is better not to buy devices with thermoregulators: in case of the relay malfunctions, the reptile may get burned. If your house is hot enough, ordinary incandescent lamps can provide the necessary temperature in the terrarium. Install them so that the pet can’t reach them.
Humidity in the terrarium
It is a good idea to teach your iguana to drink
The humidity in the iguana’s house needs to be kept at 80%. A humidifier, specially designed for terrariums or a household one, will help. Furthermore, you can make a waterfall and a pool for the lizard to splash in from time to time.
Usually, reptiles prefer to lick condensate off the walls or leaves of plants. Also, try to accustom the animal to the drinker: it will become an additional source of moisture.
In the wild, iguanas live in trees, so branches in the terrarium are a must
Iguanas spend most of their lives in trees, so branches should be added to the terrarium interior. They can be found in the garden, the nearest park or forest. It is best to choose branches of fruit trees or oak trees. Conifers are contraindicated for iguanas.
Branches before installation should be cleaned of old bark, washed and heated in an oven for a couple of hours at 100-110 degrees. So you rid the house and its inhabitant from uninvited guests: mites and other insects, as well as pathogenic microbes.
The branches should be properly fixed on the terrarium walls, so they can support the weight of the pet. Pay special attention to the joints. If there is even the slightest gap, the tip of an iguana’s tailor finger can get in there, resulting in injury.
From a couple or three small snags build a shelter for the reptile. Also, make several shelves at different heights. Do not polish them to a mirror shine: iguana can escape from there. Make the surface slightly rough, but without splinters.
You can also hang two or three thick ropes in the terrarium. The pet will be happy to climb them.
Terrariums can be decorated with iguana-safe plants
Both live and artificial plants are used to decorate the iguana’s dwelling. The advantage of live plants is that they can serve not only as a shelter for the reptile but also as natural food. They also increase the humidity in the terrarium and improve its aeration.
Hibiscus, Scindapsus, Tradescantia are the most preferable. The main thing is to carefully cover the soil in which they grow to deprive the lizard of access to it.
When choosing artificial plants, make sure that they are made of non-toxic materials and do not have sharp elements on which the reptile can hurt itself.
Cleaning every day
The cleanliness of the terrarium needs to be carefully monitored. Residues of food, which rot quickly in conditions of heat and high humidity, as well as pet waste, are detrimental to the microclimate. Therefore, you should clean it daily. Wash once a week with baking soda. The iguana can be moved into the bathroom while you are busy tidying up.
How to set up a terrarium for iguanas (tips)
There are many tips on how to set up a terrarium for your pet iguana, and they include making sure the terrarium meets certain requirements. Iguanas need a climate of 70-80% humidity and a high ambient temperature. If you are unsure about how to achieve these conditions, consider purchasing a commercial misting system from companies like ZooMed and ExoTerra. Other tips include using a hygrometer to monitor the humidity. You can also use a gravity drip or electric fogger system.
When setting up an iguana terrarium, you should first determine the size of the enclosure. The terrarium should have a surface area that’s twice as large as the iguana’s body, and should be made out of sturdy wood. To increase the surface area, add a few shelves to provide extra space. Adding additional shelves will allow the iguana to stretch out and hide. Before assembling the enclosure, sand it lightly to remove splinters and then paint it with a baby-safe paint. Be sure to cut off the bark and treat it with a pesticide.
Start by constructing the cage frame. The cage frame will be the first step. Next, add the walls, floor, and ceiling. If you want to make the terrarium even bigger, you can use an old window pane or piece of furniture. If you decide to use wood, make sure you treat it with sealant. You can also consider using plastic, vinyl, or aluminum pipe to build the cage frame.
Iguanas love shelves, so choose one that provides enough space for them to stretch out. Besides, adding multiple shelves makes it more appealing to the iguana. You can also use pieces of furniture that you’ve used for your terrarium to create a custom terrarium for your pet. Remember to make sure the wood is sealed and protects the iguana from moisture and rot.
The first step in setting up a terrarium is to build a cage. Once you have decided on a size, you can begin building the terrarium frame. You can either use wood or PVC pipe to build the frame and attach it to the walls and ceiling. When building the cage, ensure that it is large enough to pass through doors. A wooden frame can be made into a doorway, and you can attach the door to the frame with screws.
Another tip on how to set up a terrarium for an iguana is to use a combination of wood and glass. You can use a combination of wood and glass, and the wood should be on three sides of the cage. The wood should be glued down to the bottom to prevent any iguanas from climbing. The other two parts of the terrarium should be made of plastic or mesh.
The terrarium should be large enough for your iguana to comfortably live. A terrarium with a door should be 3 feet by five feet tall. It should have a door that opens from the top and have a wooden floor. The roof should be about two-thirds of the terrarium’s height. The floor should be made of plywood or another material that can prevent the iguana from escaping.
First, you must make a cage frame. The cage should be large enough to house an iguana. Ideally, the terrarium will contain a few species of plants and trees. You will need six posts to make the terrarium. If you don’t have a garage, you can assemble the frame outside the house. You can also build a terrarium inside your home.
The cage frame is the key component of the iguana’s enclosure. Using the right materials, the cage frame will have many advantages. Aside from being larger, it will allow the iguana to live in a large area. Aside from being larger, the terrarium will also be more comfortable for your iguana.