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Proper Heating for the Green Iguana
Proper temperatures are extremely important for the well-being of the Green Iguana. Iguanas require a basking temperature of 95 degrees F for proper digestion of food. That said, the rest of the tank/cage should cool off to the mid 70's to 80 degrees F, creating a thermal gradiant. The entire cage should not be in the 90s or the iguana will get stressed. There are a variety of heating devices out there such as:
    thumbnail of model cage, click to see larger image
  • Light bulbs - We use regular old light bulbs of varying wattages for heat. Wattage will depend on size/type of cage and room temperature.
  • Mercury Vapor Lamps (UVHeat) - These are a great “2-in-1” solution. They give off heat and UV light. Be careful as they give off quite a bit of heat. They are not recommended for small enclosures.
  • Ceramic Heat Elements (CHE) - These screw into a ceramic fixture and put out heat with no light. These are great for additional heat and/or nighttime heat.
  • Heating Pads - These are only of limited use for iguanas. Iguanas don't hang out on the ground where heating pads are used. These are only good in a small cage for a very small iguana for night-time use. Your money is better spent on overhead heating.

Thermal Gradient
To accomplish a proper thermal gradient regardless of cage size you will need to place the heating device off to one side. Never put the heating device in the middle of the cage. You do not want the entire enclosure to be all the same temperature. If you choose to use a heating pad you will want to place it under the tank on the same side as the overhead lighting. See the image above for proper placement of the heating devices.

If you have a problem with the temperature being off by only a couple of degrees too hot or too cold on the basking spot you can simply raise or lower the basking branch an inch or two. Alternatively you can raise and lower the overhead heating device.

**Note - Do NOT use Heat Rocks! These only heat up themselves, not the air around the iguana. They can cause thermal burns as well. We consider these dangerous to use.

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