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RE: First Time Owner Needs Advice

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Posted by: laurarfl at Sat Feb 28 10:16:59 2009  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by laurarfl ]  
   

Glad to hear you found the poo!

When my ig was a new little hatchling (he was a rescue), he was in a mesh enclosure. He had a homemade enclosure that was made of a light, wooden frame with thick plastic mesh that we still use as an outdoor basking cage. I didn't build it, but someone else did. I'll email you a pic since I don't have it in my ks gallery. Right now he's in a huge wire, plastic coated iguana cage with two shelves to hang out on and plenty of room to roam. Of course he doesn't...he just sits on one shelf like a king. I've always used newspaper on the bottom because it's cheap and easy to clean. Fortunately, my ig has decided that he's a tub man now and won't poo in his cage, only the tub.

Iguanas absolutely must have a UV bulb. It sounds like you have a bulb that provides heat, which is good. You want a basking spot that is 90-95 degrees, but a cool spot about 75. Simply put, as part of their physiology iguanas require natural sunlight to produce vitamin D so that they can process calcium properly. If they do not have adequate Vit D and calcium intake, then the muscles and organs cannot function properly. The body must get the calcium out of the bones, causing them to get soft and become deformed. Calcium deficiency is a symptom of Metabolic Bone Disease, a common yet preventable disease of captive lizards.

Well, if iguanas are kept indoors and cannot access the sun's UV (window glass and screen filters UV), then we must provide it artificially with UV bulbs. There are quite a few on the market, some good...some not so good. The coiled/compact bulbs are not so good, in my opinion. Some of those only put out UVA, but UVB is necessary for Vit D production. The long, linear fluorescent tubes like ReptiSun 10.0 are good. But they need to placed properly, not too far away (no more than 12" from the ig and not filtered through a fine mesh screen top. There are also Mercury Vapor Bulbs that produce high quality UV and heat. They are sold as MegaRay or PowerSun bulbs. (Right now my ig has a 100watt PowerSun bulb, but he also has the advantage of basking in the FL sun quite a bit).

Also, a proper diet with rich greens (not lettuce) will provide the ig with a good calcium source. Supplements are usually overdone, strain the kidneys, and are derived from oyster shell (who eats those?).

This got kinda long, but I hope it helped. Definitely gotta get a decent UV bulb! Your ig can't live without it...trust me!


   

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