A Complete Guide to Iguana Habitat
Knowing how to set up the right iguana habitat and give him or her the proper care are things that you absolutely need to know before you acquire an iguana. Iguanas can be rewarding pets but they require much more maintenance than a traditional pet like a dog or a cat.
To start with, an iguana does not have a short lifespan. If they are properly taken care of, an iguana can live up to twenty years or more. During that time he will be totally dependent on you for all of his care. That also means having someone to care for your iguana if you should go away for the weekend or on vacation.
Sometimes you might see a six-inch iguana at the pet store and think how cute it is, and how great it would be to have one of your own. When you are staring at that cute, little iguana, jump forward in time, and imagine what that iguana will look like in five years when he is around seven feet long.
The little tank that six-inch guy is in is nothing like the gigantic one you are going to need to take care of an adult iguana. You need to consider all of the details well in advance of bringing home an iguana. Many people don’t and often these are the people who end up releasing an iguana outside just because he turned out to be too big and too much trouble.
If you seriously want a pet iguana and are prepared to be a responsible reptile owner, iguana habitat is going to need some serious planning. You iguana’s tank is going to need to be a minimum of three times as long as the iguana. When you start out, you can get by for a while with a tank that is around four feet long and three feet high. In a couple years, you will need to graduate up to a tank that is at least ten feet long by eight feet high. This is one of the reasons some people let full-grown iguanas have free access to the entire house.
Because reptiles are cold-blooded, your iguana is not going to be able to regulate his own body temperature. That means your iguana habitat needs to be very warm as an iguana is a tropical creature. You will need to buy a heater and a lamp for basking. The cool side of the habitat needs to be 85-90 degrees while the basking side needs to be 95 degrees and above. You also have to create humidity by regularly spraying the tank. An iguana needs to have living conditions of 80% humidity.
UVB lights will have to be installed in the tank as well. Put these on an automatic timer so that they can be on for twelve hours and off for twelve hours every day. Iguana habitat also needs to have climbing branches and hiding places. Your iguana needs somewhere that they can hide and not be visible. They also need water to drink which can be kept in a large container.
Flooring material is known as substrate and it must be a material that is safe for the iguana. The worst materials include newspaper, shavings, paper towels, and bark. Tile is good as is carpeting. The only problem with carpeting is keeping it clean but if you have the ability to replace it when it gets dirty, it is a fine, functional choice for the floor.
Make a place where you can put your iguana’s food every day. They are herbivores, meaning they only eat plants. Make sure they get good quality greens as well as a variety of other fruits and vegetables every day.
Iguana habitat takes planning and it takes some money even if you make a homemade enclosure. Make sure you have the habitat all set up and working before you bring your pet iguana home.