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The iguanas away from their natural habitat | Pet care.

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Just a few weeks, or months, until you have knowledge of your new iguana in the shop of the seller, was probably her comfortably-lazing in their Tropical America.
A typical settlement could be one foresta rainy Brazilian where you can find our arboreal animal climbing to the branch of a tall tree over a stream of water, taking a well balanced diet of fruits, flowers, insects and leaves reach a few feet away, all free of preservatives and pesticides.
The fresh rain water in the jungle is often deposited on the leaves and vines from which you can drink the iguana, and if this is alarm or feels threatened can jump several feet down the River to get to safe. Caloric equatorial sun rays are even more beneficial than these factors. In addition to providing the necessary heat to keep the digestion and metabolism, the intense ultraviolet rays of tropical sunlight empower the iguana to develop complex processes inside your body and make maximum use of vitamins from food. It would be difficult to describe a more quiet existence that which occurs in this situation, in which have available all the necessary ingredients for a perfect life, and also free! Is it paradise?
In principle it may seem like it, but the tropics, besides being a perfect environment for the iguanas are also an ideal fertile ground for parasites and harmful bacteria. A plethora of ticks, mites, and leeches are here ready to suck the blood of an iguana and transmit diseases to change. A variety of predators, from large birds to boas (which when they are hungry can dispense with their dams diet only warm-blooded) is considered the iguana an adequate food supply, especially the unfortunate ones who become ill or are injured. The man from the list of predators, can not be excluded since are hunted iguanas for food, for their edible eggs, and for the inevitable trade of companion animals. With this more realistic view of the environment of the iguana how we establish an atmosphere in captivity in which pet to thrive?
Many animal owners feel the need to imitate the "natural habitat" where to stay their iguanas, creating terrariums sophisticated with Earth, live plants, tap water and other details. Although undoubtedly picturesque, this model well intentioned of rainy forest is not suitable for iguanas captive for various reasons. The necessary moisture to keep a terrarium of this nature would harm iguanas causing frequent problems of skin in animal health. Any dirt, MOSS or humus gives asylum to many germs and bacteria, and if you have live plants that flourish, probably the iguana is the eat all.
On the contrary, it is best to simply opt for a dry terrarium , keeping it as much as possible: what you lose in appearance will earn it in animal health.

A new home

Even when you can buy or build different types of cages, the most common is choose from glass or aquarium fish. It is very easy to clean and maintain; It offers good visibility and is much easier to heat than a mobile plant-based or wooden receptacle. Probably for the first years will be sufficient a tank with a volume of about 80 to 120 litres, but, if you want to anticipate the future size of the iguana, should be one higher (between 160 and 400 l) model. You have to decide the material to be used as substrate (or bottom layer) cage, having many possibilities to choose from. Again the most attractive option may not be the most practical and should always consider the health of the animal in the first place and the presentation of the terrarium in second.
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The following points should be considered:
1) moisture and odor control.
(2) cleaning.
(3) easy to maintain.
(4) heat conduction.
(5) cost.
(6) presentation.
Then we are going to try every one of the current options, pointing out the advantages and disadvantages that I could find.
Absorbent paper. A good sterile ideal substrate for quarantine (new, sick or injured individuals) cage . Moderately expensive considering that we have to change it every day. Obviously, with a lackluster but very functional appearance.
Arena. The fine, white sand located in pet shops is my personal preference.
A good hot rock buried partially in dry sand, warms the floor of the cage. Set appearance is pleasant, offering a reflection of light which tends to give brightness to the cage.
Food waste and feces are dehydrated quickly and can be removed to style cat keeping to the minimum moisture and odor. If flooded the arena (e.g., dump her water dish) must be removed and spread itself to try to dry it or use a stove. Young iguanas constantly looking for crickets and worms can consume too much substrate of this and suffer abrasions in the mouth, you have to keep in mind.
Depending on the size of the pet, this substrate needs to be renewed every month or so (when the smell starts to increase). Their cost is reasonable.
Gravel. In many respects it is similar to the sand. It is slightly more expensive but are you can wash, rinse and dry, so it can infinitely last. Even when other publications say that an iguana can ingest gravel voluntarily, to help the process of digestion (such as the crop of a bird), I never have seen my own iguanas eating gravel deliberately (for example, sand for parakeets served in separate bowl), but it is confirmed that particles appear in the stool when used as substrate.
Corn cob farfolla. Wood shavings. These two substrates are similar to the employees for the care of exotic birds which are normally used to cover the cage. Virtually they are refractory to the absorption of moisture and odor. Its cost is reduced despite the fact that these substrates should be renewed every few days, and practically the only drawback that I find them is their low thermal conduction. It actually wouldn't trust any kind of fixed heater buried in one of these flammable substances, and any cage covered with some of them must be heated externally.
Pieces of wood (chips). Accessible in nursery plants and greenhouses, wooden parts form an excellent pavement to the cages. Its advantages are similar to the chips, but more attractive and natural appearance. You must choose only clean and dry, pieces which are normally sold in bulk, better than the previously packaged that may contain too much moisture. Thus, choosing large enough pieces, prevents that lizards can be inserted. The cost is minimal, and the drawbacks are: low heat dissipation, flammability and possibility of crickets who seem to be able to hide entirely in that material.
Astroturf. It is probably the best green material for interior and exterior that is sold to cover patios and porches. It combines the ease of maintenance with its good appearance; It is thus a lucky choice, especially for beginner fans. Not being particularly absorbing, moisture dissipates quickly of this synthetic material, and odour and the spread of bacteria are minimal. Weekly should be washed thoroughly will occupy only a few minutes, over another half hour of drying. The heating can be done based on hot stones, and easily the shackles of its surface can be removed.
Cage heating
iguana
Iguanas come from the tropical areas of South America and need quite high temperatures. Under no circumstances can we expect an iguana to thrive at room temperature; You can simply not do so without running serious hazards to animal welfare. It must be for a temperature of about 32 to 35 ° C in the cage, with a maximum of 40.5 ° C and 27 ° C minimum, these being the critical limits. By in the cage a thermometer of quality and meticulously attends his instructions without trying to round up. A procedure to keep warm cage is to heat the room in which it is located. This procedure may not be practical if you have only an animal, but if you want to have several iguanas or an assortment of specimens, the easiest solution may be to enable a "reptile room" and heat the atmosphere of this. If this procedure is not possible will have to heat the tank directly, there are several ways of doing it. A pillow can adhere to the bottom or the back wall of an aquarium, which will radiate some heat and remain hot all glass panel. Inwardly, pad can be buried in sand or gravel or hide under a sod of turf to achieve the same effect.
More effective action would be to wrap the pad around a log or branch where the iguana can climb. Here we will say a few words about the location of the source of heat in relation to the appearance of the group. The source of heat, are they pads or hot stones that rest on the bottom of the cage, attracts iguana downrange, contrary to its arboreal habits, giving an unnatural perspective. One expects to see the iguana hanging from a branch, and not lying on the ground like a lazy dog on a summer's day.
In this case the scene you want to see and that is most suitable for our pet agree, because the iguana seems to prefer a source of radiant heat from above as it did in its freedom.
A good effect is achieved by using a heat source located at the bottom of the cage to supply heat at all hours by adding a second source, this radiant (which may be a filament lamp) to wear during the day.
This procedure not only entails a pleasant visual effect, but it also mimics the natural light of the animal cycle. Also will be sought that the maxima in the cage occur during the day to resemble more the Sun (filament lamps), while at night they should be on the floor to rest on objects that store heat (heating pad).
Artificial stones comprising small units electric heating, constitute a very recommended accessories for use with reptiles. However, for my part I consider them only as supplemental heat sources since most of them do not heat up any cage. Little pleasure will experience the animal lying on a rock whose surface is at 38 ° C while you breathe air at the temperature of the atmosphere at 18 ° C. This aspect of the question will never be quite balanced. Iguanas need a temperature high and continuous, not only a hot spot to warm your tummy.
In addition to fluorescent lamp with light emission stimulating the growth of plants already used for lighting, it is worth adding a sunlight as described before. A 50 to 70 W incandescent filament bulb fixed inside or on top of the cage is enough to supply the necessary radiant heat.
Remember that the iguana has a tendency to approach when you can to the heat source and can suffer serious burns if it comes into direct contact with the bulb. Therefore the fixed part of the system should be on the outside of the cage (to light through a screen or ceiling of own cage) or protected as appropriate with a screen.clip_image022

Accessories

Even if your iguana habitat can be as elaborate as your imagination, they form the minimum equipment needed:
1) a cage.
(2) a substrate.
(3) lighting.
(4) a heater.
(5) bowls for food and water.
(6) a device for climbing.
These last two paragraphs are self-explanatory, but deserve comment.
Almost any tree branch used to climb, but must take into account the cleaning. If you are going to use branches or from outside Woods sure well be clean, free of parasites and dry. Woods that have remained in the open may contain germs, parasites and bacteria, so by way of caution must bathe in a mild bleach solution and are then washed and dried. This technique is copied fans to the tropical fish that washed and bleached wood, coral, etc., to prevent the pollution of the aquarium water. If you find yourself with an infected mite iguana you must use this procedure to treat the animal and prevent reinfection by mites and their eggs in the wood.
Strong containers which can not be easily tipped are used for water and food. I personally prefer the dishes of stone used for dogs. A stone in the water dish will help fix it and provides a refuge for crickets who might otherwise die drowned island.
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