Iguana Enclosure Ideas
A Look At Iguana Enclosures
Iguana Enclosure Ideas
Green iguanas are large animals and require space in order to thrive. How you offer the required space is just as important as the space itself. many people purchase their iguana because it is a small attractive lizard and they fail to realize that it will grow into a beautifully large lizard. There are several options and approaches that can be made to housing. this page is geared toward exploring some of those ideas.
Converting A Room
Converting a room of your home into a reptile enclosure is about as good as it could get for your iguana. Even a small room would be larger than how most iguanas end up housed. This isn't practical for most people but for those that do have this option, this is exactly what you should be doing. The room would need to be set up in a manner that would allow for easy cleaning while also covering all of the required housing requirements such as heating, lighting, and humidity. Customizing the room to meet the desired requirements will be necessary. You will likely want to rip out any rugs that may be in the room and replace them with linoleum or tile. Rugs will become embedded with feces and urates, which will harbor odor and bacteria. Linoleum and tile are easily cleaned and will withstand humidity much better than carpet. You may want to consider putting a splash guard around the perimeter of the room using the same tile or linoleum. The walls will need to be painted with several coats of bathroom paint, Dryloc or protected with FRP or other moisture resistant material. (Dryloc is typically used for waterproofing basements.) The humidity in the room will be relatively high and the walls need to be able to withstand the ambient moisture. Three coats of gloss or semi-gloss, followed by 2 coats of clear coat will help offer this protection. The rest of the room will need to be designed using your imagination. Try to create an environment that will allow your iguana the ability to climb and explore, creating smaller micro-climates where the iguana can thermo-regulate. Create lighting stations for proper UVB access and maintain those locations at the proper temperatures.
Many people neglect to realize that their basement has the potential to become a stunning enclosure area. If converting a section of your basement sounds appealing, I highly suggest you check out the construction of the Summer Palace.
Iguanas can not reside in large aquariums their entire lives. Many shouldn't be in an aquarium of any size following their first birthday. For many of us, building an enclosure is not only practical, it is cost effective and offers us control over the outcome. Working with wood is relatively straightforward. There are literally thousands of ways you can design your enclosure. For some ideas you should check out our Reptile Enclosure section. Your imagination and skill level are your only obstacles.
The enclosure above was built with recycled 2x2's and 1/2" plywood. The laminate used is actually peel back tiles. I then used inexpensive trim wood to make sure the tiles didn't come off the wall. The door was created with a single sheet of lexan and framed with 2x2's. The shelf was just plywood and 2x2's that was wrapped in outdoor carpet. This enclosure was tossed together in 2 days because the iguana inside it was a rescue that was residing in a column style enclosure that measured 2' x 1.5' x 5' tall.
A. This is the left side of the enclosure. The driftwood was roughly 3-3.5' tall. The shelf was 6' off the ground. The food and water dishes were under the driftwood.
B. This shot was taken with the door open. This displays the shelf and the support holding the shelf up, which was wrapped in outdoor carpet. Below the shelf, on the floor, is a removable container that measured roughly 4' long x 1.5' wide x 8" deep. I referred to this as the Iguana Jacuzzi. He would soak and use this as his toilet "most" of the time. He resided in this enclosure until I was able to find him his forever home.
PVC Pipe Enclosures
PVC enclosures are an inexpensive way to create a large enclosure when space is permissible. These style enclosures can be created using the PVC for the framework and then covered with numerous different materials including wood, canvas, screen (outdoor enclosures), etc. You should view the PVC Knock Down Cage article to see how they are assembled and function.
Open Air - Gated
Some people allow their iguanas to free roam the house but create locations where there are micro-climates that offer proper UVB exposure, heat and humidity. Free roaming is somewhat controversial for some because it can be difficult to offer the proper husbandry that can be easily controlled in an enclosed environment. If free roaming sounds like something you wish to learn more about, have a look at our Free Roaming Iguanas section.
Author: Richard Brooks