Green iguanas, iguana iguana, are cold-blooded reptiles that can grow to a length of 8 feet (about 2.4 m) and weigh up to 18 pounds (about 8.2 kg). They have a remarkably long life span for a reptile living in captivity and can live to the age of 20 when properly taken care of. If you are considering the purchase of an iguana, its future size and longevity are two factors that can help you determine what the best iguana supplies are for you to purchase.
When purchasing an iguana for the first time most new owners seriously underestimate how big a full-grown iguana will be. While most pet stores will send you home with a 10- to 20-gallon (about 38 to 76 liter) tank as part of your initial setup, a 55-gallon (about 208 liter) tank is usually more realistic and is one of the first basic iguana supplies you will need. This size of tank will be fine for getting you started; however, most iguana owners eventually build their own cage since even a 55-gallon (about 208 liter) tank often becomes inadequate as the iguana continues to grow.
Because an iguana needs a good heating source to help keep it warm and to allow it to digest its food properly, a basking lamp or heat emitter is another item to consider. Iguanas need a daytime heat source that reaches a high of about 90° F (about 32° C) with a basking area of 100° F (about 38° C). There are a wide variety of iguana supplies that produce heat that you may wish to use to help achieve this. Under-tank heating pads, ceramic heat emitters, and basking heat lamps are all good choices for supplying heat. You may also find that your start-up kit contains a heat rock, but these are generally not recommended since they may burn your iguana if the rock gets too hot.
Another source of lighting that your iguana will need is a bulb that produces ultraviolet B (UVB)rays. These bulbs are generally fluorescent tube lights and provide artificial sunlight that helps the iguana produce vitamin D3. This vitamin is needed to metabolize calcium in the iguana’s body and helps keep the bones and nerve cells healthy. Since standard filament bulbs produce heat but not UVB, these bulbs are needed in addition to the regular bulbs that produce heat.
Other iguana supplies you may want to consider are decorative items, such as climbing branches, tree limbs, and iguana hammocks. When purchasing items for your iguana, choose supplies specifically made for reptiles that are well-made with no loose parts or exposed wires. If tree limbs are desired for inside the cage, the store tag or item information should state that the wood has been sanitized and is for actual reptile use and not for decorative purposes only.