Building an Adequate Iguana Cage

Iguanas are often touted as one of the hardest pets to take care of, due to all of the requirements of the reptile in captivity. Before you discard the idea of owning one, you have to understand why iguanas have these requirements in the first place. The first thing that you have to bear in mind is that iguanas are reptiles. 

This means they are cold-blooded animals, and they are highly dependent on their immediate environment in order to function properly. In the wild, an iguana will bask for two to three hours in the sun, just so it can excrete the waste generated from yesterday`s meals. 

Without a consistent source of heat, an iguana won`t be able to eat, digest, and excrete waste. Wild iguanas are also known for spending most of their days on the branches of trees. 

They rarely venture down to the ground if they don`t have to, because they are arboreal or tree-dwelling reptiles. 

When they need to feed, iguanas can find as many as fifty different plants to feed from, and they get all the nutrients they will ever need, because if one plant is lacking in one particular nutrient (such as calcium), the reptile will simply move on to the next available plant. 

Tropical rainforests are extremely abundant in plant matter  it is no small wonder that iguanas of all shapes and sizes can be found (also in abundance) in tropical territories.

If you want to build an adequate enclosure or habitat for your green iguana, there are a couple of things that you have to keep in mind: 

1. Adult iguanas can grow up to six feet in length. If you take care of your iguana well, it will most likely grow up to at least four feet in length. Your iguana habitat has to be at least twice as long as your iguana. It is alright to start off with a small aquarium in the beginning, but over time, you will have to transfer your iguana to a larger enclosure. 

Otherwise, your reptile will end up suffering in a tiny prison where it can`t move around much. There is also the risk of the iguana escaping the enclosure, because it has become very cramped. 

2. A mesh enclosure is fine if you live in a relatively warm part of the country. But if you live in a state where temperatures are very cool (below 79 degrees Fahrenheit on most days), you have to invest in a large glass terrarium, because glass is capable of keeping heat in. 

You will also have to install heating lamps and UVB lamps to supply the reptile with ultraviolet rays and heat. UV rays are needed for calcium-related metabolism. Heat is needed to warm the reptile`s body enough so he will be able to function well. 

3. Since iguanas are tree-dwelling reptiles, climbing structures will also have to be installed in the terrarium. Climbing structures have to be wide enough, and strong enough, to support your iguana. If you purchased an adult iguana that is around four to five feet in length, the reptile probably weighs close to five kilos. 

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