I am here because I have inheritated a green iguana and not sure how to care for her. I have named her Izzy (original I know). She is around 6 to 8 months old and not tame at all. She is in a 75 gal aquarium, set up with Iguana bark on the ground, large branch that she can lay on that is almost as long as the tank. I have had her for a week now and found her sleeping in her water dish this morning. Scared me to death, thought she was dead. I held her close and wrapped her in a towel to warn her up. Right now I am feeding her Kale and mustard greens with carrots, and today added a couple of bits of strawberries.
I am wanting to add more of a natual habitat to her tank and was thinking of live plants such as a parlor palm, philodendron, ect.
I have attached pictures so that any advice would be appreciated.
Post by JennaAndIguanaGwen on Feb 15, 2021 7:32:22 GMT -8
Hi Kimbeth, thanks for posting I put a link to our food list below that should help you expand on the food options for Izzy. She is so tiny! (or he, too young to tell really). It's been awhile since I've seen an iguana that small. Young iguana's can be quite skittish and easily scared if you reach over their head (natural response to avoid being eaten by birds). When I approached Gwendolyn, my iguana who passed away at 18 years old, I would always approach slowly from the side with my hand out and she would stay calm. Quick movements or loud/sudden noises startled her sometimes. Spending time quiet around Izzy (like reading a book) can help her get used to your presence and not see you as a threat. Young iguanas often like to hide and if other animals (or humans) are staring at them, it can make them feel like prey. Each iguana is a little different so it's important to get to know what Izzy is afraid of and work to avoid those or slowly work with her show her she doesn't have to be frightened.
On one hand, iguana's can be slow to realize temperature changes so she may have been too cold in the water but on the other hand a lot of iguana's love being in water (and using it like a litter box). I'll definitely leave it to your judgement to tell which times are which though because she is so small it would be easy for her to get cold quickly. She may enjoy swimming around in the bathtub, just make sure the water is only slightly warm and that she has a place to go to get out of the water. The empty exposed space and white coloration of a bathtub and be confusing and scary for iguana's at first but I knew multiple iguanas that learned to absolutely LOVE getting a bath. Some would even run/walk to the bathroom and climb into the tub on their own accord. That's definitely when they are older and much bigger though, don't let her wonder around at this size or she may crawl into a small space and you'll never find her again
I'm glad you don't have a heat rock! Those are all too common and the burns from them are just as common. Iguana's are slow to realize temperature changes so when the rock eventually overheats, they continue to lay on the rock and they can get severe burns before they realize they need to move. Iguana's don't need heat rocks and even if the rock seems fine at first, after 6 months, a year, or two years; at some point it will overheat and burn the reptile. I have seen it time and time again from people who say it's fine and that their reptile loves it. It is absolutely not worth the risk.
She will outgrow that aquarium within a year or so, so it would be good to think about where you would want to put a bigger enclosure for her. When I made Gwendolyn's enclosure it was 6' tall by 5' long and about 3.5' wide with a pvc frame, cloth sides/top, tarp bottom, and plastic front (well sewn and velcroed together). Wood frames with plexiglass work well too but I would avoid using any type of chicken wire because iguanas will lose toes and claws when they climb it. And they absolutely will climb it. All the time. After having Gwen for a few years I realized that she really didn't venture to the bottom of the enclosure very often so I wish I had left a foot or two of space at the bottom for storage under her enclosure. I don't recommend live plants in the enclosures because not only will she eventually eat some but she will also dig around in the dirt and most likely eventually kill the plant. Live plants usually haven't done well with iguanas and they can make iguanas sick so I don't recommend them. The live plants and soil can attract and propagate bugs as well which is not something you want in the iguana enclosure! I've dealt with that before and it is absolutely no fun. If you would still like to try a plant at some point then I would recommend a plant that is ok for iguanas to eat like nasturtium.