Keeping/Cages

Keeping/Cages

The bottom of these cages are made with 4mm plastic sheets. This way makes sure no water will leak from the substrate and that the iguanas can't destroy the bottom when they dig to lay their eggs.


Substrate:

Bio active substrate can be used in adult and baby cages. The bio substrate is made of 50% forest floor and 50% compost. All the bugs that live in these two types of substrate are added to the cages, which mean that we have alot of different types of bugs in the substrate. In the substrate there are bugs like woodlice, springtails, earwigs, centipedes, milipedes and a few snails.

The plan is to add a few Lepidodactylus lugubris later on to control the amount of bugs and to kill the crickets that get into the cages sometimes( the once that ecape the monitor lizards and find a way out of there cages).

the dept of the substrate is only about 15cm, it is deep enough for the females to lay there eggs( they normally dig under a branch or a log in the cage).


heck the substrate once a week to see if water need to be added. Try to keep different levels of humidity in different areas of the substrate so that when the females are ready to lay eggs, they can choose what level of humidity is perfect for them.

Same go for substrate temp. The temp insubstrate should be around 22-28c depending on where in the cage. This is achieved from the monitor lizard cages that I have below the iguana cages. The area where the monitor lizards have there basking spots, is the hottest area in the substrate in the iguana cages.

This temp difference is not a problem the the bugs and microbes that live in the substrate.



 


This page is just giving you a quick run through on how you can set up iguana cages. You can read on the sub pages for more about the specific part of keeping.


Cage:

Fiji iguanas do best as single or in pairs.Fiji iguanas normally grow to a total length of about 70-80cm, the tail make up for 2/3 of the lenght.


The cage size is 100x110x120cm ( WxDxH). The cages are made so the iguanas have a big active surface( the active surface is the total amount of space the iguanas can physical use), It can be the bottom of the cage or the branches.

To max out the active surface area, the cages are made with thin branches on the walls which give the iguanas the possibility to use all the walls to climb on. Branches are added in different sizes and angles all over the cages, and all have rough bark. A fake Weeping fig/Ficus tree is also added in all cages to give the iguanas a place to hide if they feel like it. Its hard to keep  live plants in the iguana cages because the iguanas either destroy them because the climb in them or they simply eat them. All in all this gives the iguanas a total active surface of about 5,2 square meters.

It is more important to have a big active surface then a big cage, since a big cage don't automatic mean alot of surface for the iguanas to use( This have been seen alot of green iguana, iguana iguana cages where the iguanas has less active surface then then these fiji iguana cages).


Baby cages can be made from big plastic boxes(124L), the substrate in these boxes is bio active just like the adult cages. The basking spots in these boxes are solar raptor 35w spot bulbs. The main light is made with 6w led tube light.

 


Light/heat:

All my cages has LED lights as main light. I use 2x14w for each cage, the color is 4200 kelvin which is a neutral white. Each light put out 1550 lumen.

As basking spots I use Solar Raptor HID 35w flood bulbs, they give a wider beam then a normal spot bulb, this way the iguanas can have there whole body under the light(without the tail), I use the 35w because I dont need the basking bulb to heat the cages, it only has to create a basking spot. My basking spots are around 40-45c(temp is measured on the back of the iguana)


all my iguanas are in the same room as my central heater for my house and it give enough heat into the room together with the cages to create a day temp of 28c. At night the temp drop to about 23c during summer, in winter the night temp drop to about 20c.

The main lights are turned on for 12.5 hours a day. Basking lights turn on 1 hour later then the main lights and turn off 2 hours before the main light. That way it create a “evning” and the iguanas will find there prefered sleeping areas.


Humidity:

As for the humidity, I use a mist system from ENT terrarientechnik. One sprayhead in each cage, and they mist every 12 hours for 15 sec. this together with the bio substrate make it possible to have a constant humidity around 75-80%.

Another nice thing about this mist system is that it can run dry without the pump  take any damage. they spray heads can be taken apart to be cleaned.


Trust building.



Trust building can be done in diffrent ways, but some are better then others. Im very much against forced handling as a way to “tame” a iguana. Using forced handling do not make the iguana gain trust in you, what you are doing is that you break the iguana mentally. It was a way alot of people used to do.


My way of gaining there trust, is a long prosess. I never start the trust building before a new iguana is eating well and show no signs of stress.

When i start the trust building, i start with finding out what the iguanas favorite food is. For alot of my iguanas, some of there favorite foods are forest straberries and mango. I will use these favorite foods for the trust building, i will be like a snack. At first i will use a long tweezer to see if the iguana will eat from it, not all will do at first. After a few tries most iguanas start being okay with feeding from the tweezer. When i can see that the iguana is comfortable feeding from the tweezer i will start making the iguana come closer to me, this is a long prosess and can take months, for some even more then a year. In the end it will be possible to get the iguana to walk up on my hand and feed from my fingers.



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