This is only a quick guide to Iguana Housing.
To own an iguana you need:
If you do not have any of the above then an iguana is not the correct choice for you. There are no compromise with iguanas, they are not hardy and therefore do not tolerate substandard care. Iguanas can grow up to 6 feet, weigh 8 kilograms / 18 pounds and live 20 years. They need large spaces, expensive lights, high heat, humidity, a specialized diet, free roaming time and socializing. An iguana is a long term commitment and human interaction plays a vital role in an iguana’s ‘captured’ upkeep and health – both mentally and physically.
Male and female seasonal requirements:
- Each iguana need a separate habitat regardless of sex.
- 2 Male iguanas should not be kept in the same household due to dominant aggression for territory and high levels of stress. (link to Iguana rules where Forest wants to kill every rival that he sees)
- Multiple females may be kept providing each female has her own habitat and nesting box. Dystocia - Egg binding or Egg retention in reptiles
- Male and female or several females can be kept but each must have their own habitat. Males in breeding season must be kept away from females when she is not receptive.
Height: Minimum 6 feet
Length: Minimum twice the length of the iguana
Width: Minimum half of the iguana’s length
Wood and glass. Wood must be humidity resistant and treated with varnish. Do not use cedar or redwood.
Air vents at the top and the bottom.
Doors must open from the front and not the top. No type of mesh or netting must be used.
Lights secured inside the cage supply more heat than when resting on the roof.
Iguanas need a flat basking ledge wide and long enough so the iguana can stretch out and comfortably turn around.
Proper constructed ladder or ladders, they do not clime easily when they are adults.
Iguanas are tropical and need plants in the habitat for hiding and to boost humidity.
Do not provide a hide box.
Lights day and night time
All heat sources must be secured away from the iguana’s reach. Only use Ceramic fittings.
Lights need to be on a day and night time cycle that suits your lifestyle. My lights go on at 06:00 and off at 20:00.
You need 1 UVB light above the basking ledge Choose the wattage according to the size of the cage.
Either 1 x 100 wat Mega-Ray UVB. Minimum distance from the lamp surface to the iguana’s head 35 centimetres / 14 inches.
Or x 1 x 160 watt Mega-Ray UVB. Minimum distance from the lamp surface to the iguana’s head 50 centimetres / 20 inches.
In addition to the UVB light you need a basking light or several basking lights depending on the size of the cage. It needs to be a Reptile Basking lamp, incandescent lights are not suitable.
Iguanas see in ultraviolet and need a full spectrum light in addition to the basking and UVB light.
Ceramic heater above the area where the iguana sleeps. It needs to be pitch dark for the iguana to have a restful sleep.
Ideally the iguana needs 2 basking areas with different temperatures.
1 x Basking area at 43 Celsius / 109.4 Fahrenheit.
2nd Basking area at 38 Celsius / 100 Fahrenheit.
Ambient temperature 32 Celsius / 90 Fahrenheit.
Night time temperature between 25 and 29 Celsius / 77 – 84 Fahrenheit.
Meters and other necessities
1 x Infrared temperature gun to measure the basking temperature and iguana’s temperature.
1 x Digital temperature and humidity gauge to measure the ambient temperature and humidity.
3 Timers. 1 for Day time lights switch on and off. 1 for Night time ceramic heater switch on and off. 1 for Humidifier.
To maintain the correct temperature:
Dimmer for the basking lights if your home remains at a constant temperature at all times.
Or a thermostat / rheostat with a probe. Either non proportional (switch lights on and off) or proportional (regulate voltage to the light by dimming it).
Please take note that these can only be used on the basking lights and ceramic heater and not on the UVB light.
Or Ecozone vivarium controller. https://www.ecozonevivarium.com/
Ultrasonic humidifier – can be directed at the basking area without causing condensation.
Hot steam humidifier – more sufficient than an Ultrasonic but can only be used for ambient humidity and needs to be out of reach of the iguana.
The higher the humidity the better for your iguana, the minimum is 70%.
Vinyl to cover the wood from water damage. Tiles. Artificial grass. Proper constructed carpet.
Refrain from buying cheap reptile carpet, claws get hooked. Strange things that iguanas eat!
Food and water dishes
1 Large food dish shallow enough for your iguana to easily eat out of. I use plant saucers.
1 Water dish for drinking. It must be too small for the iguana to clime into.
1 Large water dish that your iguana can soak and defecate in. It must be deep enough so that the iguana can stand and still have his head above water. Or you can have a pond in the habitat.
Spot cleaning must be done daily, do not leave food to rot or any fecal matter laying around. F10 SC is the safest product to use and do not need rinsing.
Taming your iguana
Understanding the internal, external and digestive system of the iguana
How to sex your iguana, shedding problems, toilet training and more
Green iguana forum