First Timer With Just A Few Questions? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-21-2006, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Question First Timer With Just A Few Questions?

Hey all, I'm new here, and was looking for a good, busy forum to join with some "smart" people that new alot about iguana and I hope I've found it. I don't have an iguana yet, but I should have one this coming sunday, 1/22/06. I'm buying it from my nephew and a reasonable price.

I saw a scaled down photo of him (Kato) and fell in love with him!! I want him bad, I have been reading up on the care of iguana's the last two days and have learned alot, but it leads to me just a few questions. I first started drilling my nephew for more information on the care given to Kato (the iguana). In the email to me he stated..

1. One of the bulbs burnt out and his cage is at 77 degrees. (this of course upset me)
2. I asked him what he feeds him and he says he feeds him iguana pellets or food. (this upset me as well, because I read where they need veggies.

I know the iguana that he has doesn't like to be picked up and we will work on that in time. I also learned that he's in sort of a small cage. This will change payday when I can get him a larger one, and then will change again when I get him a "real big" home.

My questions are:

Should I be concerned that he has kept Kato at 77 degrees? Should I feed extra calcium to help with the bones? I'm working on getting the rooms ready for him now..

What do you guys/girls think for the iguana "food pellets?"

Also, I read in a book that they suggestion you give them vitamins along with their viggies and calcium as well?

I did get an updated picture of Kato, he looks healthy, I'll try to post a pic. From what my Nephew says.. it's 18" and about a year and a half old. I asked him about that too.. why is he only 18" long at that age. The Nephew told me that at a young age, part of Kato's tail just fell off for no reason. I wonder why?? But he is real green, and looks healthy to me from the picture. The tail seems to have brown on it, I guess because some of it fell off. He did say he treated it, when it did fall off.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Come Sunday, I'll try to take a few pics of Kato.

I also wanted to ask.. I plan on getting an open air cage.. What is a good way of maintaning the heat needed for the iguana?? Or are open air cages a bad idea?
Kato (name will change once I have him)
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-21-2006, 10:20 PM
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A friend of mine was just in Florida, and the iguanas were out and active at 64 degrees. The temperature is not a -huge- deal, but he really should have a warmer basking area so that he can digest his food properly. A normal household bulb in a metal hood will work just fine to generate heat, you don't necessarily need to go for one of the fancy ones they sell at the pet stores, your wattage will depend on how high up it is, and how much space you need to warm, etc. As well, a UV light is absolutely necessary for igs.

Most commercial iguana pellets are utter garbage. Corn meal or soy meal with colors and flavoring to make them palatable, and all their nutrition added in because the bulk is just filler. Using pellets as a "condiment" on top of a variety salad mix, with calcium powder and a multivitamin (look up RepCal and HerpVite) supplimented on top will be the best bet. The unfortunate thing is, iguanas can survive on the worst possible diet you can think of, for literally years. They're tough buggers... but it ends up making it very difficult to convince people they're doing something wrong when they say "But I've had him for three years on dog food, he's doing just fine!" when really the iguana is suffering from kidney problems, bone loss, muscle loss, and general digestive upset.

I highly recommend Melissa Kaplan's Iguanas For Dummies. Thats not a shot at you, its actually a very good book with all you'd ever need to know in a very common sense approach. There are also many, many websites out there if you do some Google searching for iguana care.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-21-2006, 11:16 PM
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Here, it has a lot of good info about igs, as well as suggestions for books to read and other stuff (this is Melissa Kaplan's page, really good info!)

Here you can find info on how to build your own iguana cage. They need very big cages, and if you are tool-savvy, then this way you can save money in the long run. They are done with pvc pipe, and seem pretty easy to do... one of the site gives you basic instructions, the other site sells you plans with the instructions, including everything you need to buy to build your cage:

Good luck with your new baby. 8)
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-23-2006, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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Hey all.. Thanks so much for all the input and information!! Thought I'd do another post and show you some pictures of Kato. I got him today, he's smaller then what I thought I was getting. So see the new post.
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