Care Sheet For Green Iguanas
The Green Iguana is one of the most beautiful, popular and recognizable of the large reptile species kept as pets today. While they can be feisty, they will generally settle well in captivity given the proper habitat and regular handling. Because of their size, they are considered an ideal pet for intermediate level reptile pet owners. Adult Green Iguanas will reach average size of 4’ to 6’+ and have an average lifespan of 15 to 25 years.
A large secure enclosure is required. The iguana must have space enough to freely turn and move around. Babies can start in a 20 gallon long tank but will soon need to be moved to a larger enclosure such as the Colossal Corner Lizard Cage or Multi-Level Cat Crate. Length of 2x iguana’s size and width of 1x iguana’s size is a good rule of thumb for choosing the best enclosure. The enclosure should provide plenty of perching areas since iguanas are arboreal in nature. Adult males should be housed separately to avoid aggressive behaviors.
Zoo Med Eco Carpet or washable tile are popular options and will help avoid the problem of accidental ingestion of substrate. Cypress mulch is a popular bedding option but be careful that your iguana does not ingest the mulch.
Green Iguanas require a temperature gradient of 70° to 90° Fahrenheit with a basking area of 90° to 100° F. Big Apple's Black Heat Infrared Ceramic Heat Emitters and incandescent lights, such as the Zoo Med Basking Spot Bulbs, are ideal for this purpose. We recommend controlling the ceramic emitter with a thermostat, such as the BAH-500 or BAH-1000DC, and monitoring the temperatures with a thermometer to keep track of your warm and cool sides.
Green Iguanas require full spectrum UV light for 10-12 hours per day for optimal health. We highly recommend a SunForce UV Mercury Vapor Bulb. Make sure your iguanas are at least 8” to 12” from heating and lighting bulbs. NOTE: You must change your UV bulbs every 6 months in order to maintain proper UVA/UVB.
Green Iguanas should be provided a variety of hiding places and basking areas, such as the Big Apple's Java Wood Basking Perches.
Green Iguanas will regularly shed and require a humid environment and daily misting. Maintain 70-90% humidity. They will often immerse their entire body in water to facilitate shedding but if they are constantly laying in the water this is sign that the humidity level is too low. To aid in shedding, you can also provide a shed box: a hide box with moistened Big Apple's Imported Premium Grade Sphagnum Moss.
A large bowl of clean drinking water should be provided daily. Maintain 70-90% humidity by misting daily. Increase the humidity level and misting scheduled if your iguana is laying in the water bowl – this is an indication of dehydration.
Green Iguanas are strictly herbivores and should NEVER be fed any animal products. Provide a balanced diet of 70% dark leafy greens (i.e., collard greens, spinach), 20% bulk vegetables (i.e., cabbage, carrots, broccoli) and 10% fruits (i.e., mango, banana, strawberries). To ensure proper nutrients and add variety, you may also wish to add ready-to-use iguana diet such as Zoo Med Bulk Natural Reptile Foods. Be sure to remove uneaten foods daily.
A calcium supplement such as Zoo Med Repti Calcium or RepCal, should be sprinkled on food daily. A multi-vitamin supplement such as Herptivite Vitamins, should be provided once or twice a week. NOTE: Healthy Green Iguanas will sneeze to rid their bodies of excess salt.
Remove uneaten foods and soiled substrate daily. Provide clean drinking water daily. Thoroughly clean the habitat and cage furnishings with Quat TB Pet Area Cleaner, Deodorizer & Stain Remover or a mild detergent weekly.