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Posted by chelefloyd on May 07, 2003 at 13:55:15:
In Reply to: A few thoughts.... posted by srjohnt on May 06, 2003 at 20:10:58:
I still find it amazing how varying the information is out there.. As for general care I go with the anapsid site.. and as for feeding I believe the igden diet is best www.iguanaden.com
Keeping a baby in a 30 gallon is just fine and dandy.. I have a baby in a 20 gallon and it is thriving and maintaining the gradients works just fine if not easier than a large cage.. you just have to be ready or already building/looking to buy a bigger cage within the first year.. preferably the cage it will have for the rest of its life. Like I said though, there are so many differing opinions and everyone with a different opinion thinks theirs is the right one... Hey if you have an iguana that is 20 lbs 6ft StT and 20 years old than you did something right!
:First of all, it is normal for an iguana to not eat for a few days after a major change in it's routines. If this is a new iguana for you, the best thing you could do is to leave it alone for a few days. Don't handle it, and give it a place to hide. Keep fresh food and water available at all times. As to food, no meat, no pet shop iguana food, no cat or dog food. Everything he needs is available in the produce section of the supermarket. Here's a sample that works: 60% fresh chopped greens (turnip, collard, mustard, dandelion, endive), 30% other veggies (shredded green beans, snow peas, green pepper, butternut squash, okra, and parsnip) 10% fruit (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, figs) There are other foods that are OK, and many that ARE NOT (spinach, banana, broccoli flowerlets, kale, lettuce in any form, to name a few) OK to give a little wheat bread every couple of weeks. This will give your ig a good balance of calcium to phosphorous, which is essential.
:Next, your 30 gallon tank is already too small, no matter how small the ig. You can't start them out in too large a cage. In no time, they outgrow it. An adult needs 6'x6'x4' MINIMUM, and should have 8'x8'x8', so just get the largest you can afford as soon as possible.
:Next, heat and light. Most captive igs die before they mature, and and 99% of those die from one of three causes: inadequate diet, not enough heat, and no exposure to uvb radiation (light)You will need to maintain 75-80 degrees everywhere in the cage, and have a basking spot where the ig can heat up to 95 or so as it wants. A heat gradient from one end of the cage to the other is what you want. This is another reason the tank is too small. This can be accomplished with a basking spotlight, and flourescent lights such as zoo-med iguanalights. (They MUST emit uvb radiation, not just uva) Make sure the ig can bask within 1 foot of the lights, but NOT touch them. My setup has a wire top, and the lights are above that. Some keepers use the new all-in-one light which supplies heat AND uvb at the same time. I have't tried them myself, however. You should also try to maintain at least 60% humidity or above,which is easy in the summertime, and difficult in the winter, depending on where you live.
:I've included a website that will supply you with much more info, including more good foods, and many that should not be fed. I hope you enjoy your ig as much as I have mine over the years... Feel free to ask any more questions... John T