I have a 75g tank and a 3' blue. I bought him off CL 2 days ago. I got the feeding down, but I'm confused about the lighting and what types I need to buy for the size of the tank. What do you guys use?
Post by JennaAndIguanaGwen on Feb 1, 2022 16:07:03 GMT -8
Hi Leana! There are a lot of reptile UV lights on the market and it's definitely important to get the right set up for your iguana. Make sure to get a UVB bulb specifically. Personally, I used to get a mega-ray flood UVB lamp from Reptile UV. Pet stores have some options but most are pretty weak and don't put out a good amount of UVB. If you buy one from a local pet store, look at the output of UVB for all brands opt for the higher output. They each have instructions about how far the bulb needs to be from the reptile and that is important to pay attention to, as you don't want to over expose or under expose your reptile. If the bulb is too far away then your iguana won't be getting enough UVB no matter how long they lay under it. Be sure to pay attention to any obstructions between the bulb and the iguana, including screens and even glass, as they significantly decrease the amount of UVB. When setting up your light, don't have anything in between the lamp and the reptile. The UVB output also decreases over time and will usually become ineffective before the bulb goes out. I would recommend getting a new bulb each year. There are meters you can buy to test UVB output so if you want to invest in one of those to know for sure when the output gets too low you can do that.
The importance of a good UVB bulb is that it allows reptiles to absorb calcium, among other things, and if they don't get enough then they will develop metabolic bone disease (MBD). I have seen many sad cases it weakens their bones and even causes bone deformities. A common early sign of MBD in young iguanas that aren't fully grown is a smaller lower jaw that doesn't align with their top jaw and it is also soft (perhaps one could say it's more elastic or squishy than it should be). Keep and eye out for that.
That 75 gallon tank should really just be a temporary home until you can get a bigger setup built or purchased. The enclosure I had for my iguana Gwendolyn was 6'x 5.5'x 3.5' and was made out of a pvc frame, cloth walls, plastic front, and wooden ramps/shelves. I made it specifically for her and a lot of people have converted old entertainment centers into enclosures or built enclosures from scratch because there's not a whole lot on the market for iguana enclosures except really expensive enclosures. When you build or buy an enclosure, don't use any sort of mesh or screens. Iguanas love to climb and many iguanas have lost toes or claws climbing mesh. They also often rub their noses raw on metal mesh. If I could rebuild Gwendolyn's enclosure, I would have kept the bottom 2 or 2.5 feet of the bottom of her enclosure for storage and have it not accessible to her because she was so rarely at the bottom of her enclosure and it took up a lot of space. Just food for thought.
Let me know if you have any other questions and I can spout more information, ha ha