The iguanas need a perfect enclosure, so you must consider their size, plants, UVB light, stones, and sand. Cleanliness of their enclosure, take note, affects their health.
Appropriate Size of Your Iguana’s Cage
Iguanas are an arboreal forest species, so they like to live in the highest branches. This means you need to provide them a very tall cage. The size should be 8 ft. long, 4-6 ft. deep, and 8 ft. high. This helps the iguana to walk around and climb the branches. The size of the cage depends upon the size of the iguana.
Iguana's cage based on their size
|Size of the Iguana (in inches)||Size of the cage (in feet)|
|9–18||3 x 1 x 1.5|
|20–28||3.5 x 1 x 2.3|
|28–36||4.5 x 1.5 x 3|
|30–42||5.25 x 1.75 x 3.5|
|35–54||6.75 x 2.25 x 4.5|
|45–60||7.5 x 2.5 x 5|
|50–66||8.25 x 2.75 x 5.5|
|50–72||9 x 3 x 6|
Does your iguana need bedding in the cage?
The bedding material should be non-toxic, easy to clean and disinfect. You can use the following materials as the substrate
- Butcher paper
- Commercially available recycled paper pellets
Artificial grass is made for reptiles (commonly called “reptile carpet”) as substrate
The Best Plants for Iguana Habitats
The following plants are some of the best choices for iguana habitats.
Remember that iguanas hail from very different environments, depending on its species. Make sure you select the plants that are likely to survive in the same kind of conditions your iguana requires.
You need to provide them the non-toxic plants. The particular plants in the enclosure will provide humidity, shade, and a sense of security. These plants also add an aesthetic quality.
- Philodendron hederaceum
- Sansevieria trifasciata
- Tradescantia zebrina
- Platycerium bifurcatum
- Aechmea recurvata
- Nephrolepis exaltata
- Epipremnum aureu
- Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
What plants do iguanas hate?
Iguanas hate tough plants with thick leaves as well as citrus, pentas, and crotons.
UVB lights are necessary since they mimic natural sunlight needed by iguanas, especially if the enclosure is placed indoors. If the enclosure is outdoors, then no need.
UVB lighting is essential for the iguana’s system to produce Vitamin D. Iguanas generally need 14 hours of light and 10 hours of darkness. They should be turned off at night to give the iguana a light-dark cycle. The UVB light source should be less than 18 inches from where the iguana spends most of its time.
Iguanas are cold-blooded reptiles, so they require supplemental heat for proper digestion. You need to provide 84-90°F during the day and 70-77°F at night. A cold iguana cannot digest properly, so you need to take them to a warmer place. Place a good quality thermometer in the cage at the level the iguana spends most of its time to monitor.
Water and Humidity
Keep the drinking water inside the cage. Humidity levels drop during winter, so you need to mist your iguana with water several times. The iguanas like to immerse themselves in water, so provide them a larger container for it.
Ensure your iguana can get easily out of the container! Clean the container regularly as it might collect dirt (dust and/or your iguanas urine).
Customizing the Cage
The iguana cage will be customized according to the owner’s maintenance. Most iguana cages are probably made up of large boxes, built from sealed wood, plastic, glass, metal wire, or a combination of the three. The cage must be easy to clean.
You need to build the cage according to the age and size of the iguana. The adult iguanas can reach 6-8 feet in length. If built too small or too large, the iguana will not feel comfortable. You also need to have good ventilation. Allow your iguana sufficient room for climbing the branches, as they spend most of the time on the branches.
UVB Light Set-up
Remember that iguanas need UVB lights, so ensure a space for them. UVB light is used in the absorption of vitamins. A lack of UVB light might endanger the iguana to suffer MBD.
Provide one or two lamps, too. Iguanas are cold-blooded reptiles, so they need a sunning area to warm themselves up.
Advantages of Correct Enclosure
Never buy your iguana’s cage randomly. If you do not choose the right cage, your iguanas will end up unhealthy with limited growth and mood swings. Placement of plants and UVB light within the enclosure ensures they get their a natural environment.
Cleaning of the cage
- Make sure the natural items (rocks, branches) that you introduce into the environment are clean.
- Rocks should be cleaned and boiled in water for 30 minutes.
- Sand should be rinsed with large amounts of water to remove the particulate debris and then you need to heat the sand in the oven at 200-250°F for 30 minutes.
- Branches should also be cleaned, and then you have to heat them in the oven at 200-250°F for 30 minutes.
Cage Cleaning Tools
You need to have tools for cleaning the cage.
- Back-up cage – a clean environment for the minutes, hours, or even days your iguana must be relocated in a particular safe place.
- Brushes – A toothbrush is good for corners and crevices in cleaning.
- Herp-safe terrarium cleaner – dissolves the hardened matter on surfaces.
- Paper towels– To wipe after the cage got wet.
- Sand-sifter – removes debris from sand and other fine-particulate substrates.
- Soap or dishwashing detergent – Soap keeps the cage clean. Do not use any products that contain phenol or pine scent.
- Sponges – 1 set for cleaning, one for rinsing, and one for disinfecting.
- Bucket, gloves–
Iguanas in captivity should be kept healthy and clean. If their enclosure is not clean and has sufficient space, they may get sick. If you cannot afford a ready-made enclosure, you can customize a cage of your own. Ensure the cage has sufficient space for to iguana to climb