A Guide To Lighting, Equipment, And Safety For Your Basking Area
Every iguana cage needs a basking area in order to be an ideal habitat for a healthy, relaxed iguana. Your iguana needs a place to comfortably bask in light and heat, and soak up the heat. Having access to a warm basking spot is crucial to your iguana’s ability to digest food, and is an important part of keeping your pet’s bones, liver, and kidneys healthy and strong. In nature, your iguana would simply head for a rock or branch in the sunshine and spend some time there. To make sure your pet gets enough sunshine on a daily basis, you could have an outdoor iguana cage that includes a sunny area, or you could arrange to let your pet visit a safe, supervised outdoor spot in the sun for at least half an hour a day. However, if an outdoor cage or outdoor visiting schedule isn’t practical, there’s another option. With a bit of planning and a few simple supplies, you can create a special basking area within the confines of an indoor iguana cage. Read on to learn what kind of light bulb you’ll need, where to place it, and what kind of ìfurnitureî your iguana will need to feel happy, and stay healthy, in its basking area.
For the basking area in your iguana cage, you won’t need any special lightbulbs. A simple, household lightbulb will do the job nicely so long as the placement is done correctly. No less than a 60 watt bulb can provide the temperature you’re looking for, and you may need as much as 100 watts. Any bulb within this range can be an ideal bulb to provide warm and light for an iguana cage basking area; the key is finding the bulb placement that creates the ideal temperature; you’re aiming for an area that’s heated to between ninety two and ninety six degrees Fahrenheit.
To ensure that your iguana gets enough heat in the basking area while staying safe, you’ll want place your UVB light bulb between eight and twelve inches away from the spot in the iguana cage where your pet will sit. The higher the wattage of the bulb, the farther you’ll want to hang it from the basking spot. Any closer, and you risk making your iguana uncomfortable with the intense heat. Any farther, and the warmth won’t be strong enough to aid your iguana’s digestion. To check that you’ve got correct bulb placement, leave a thermometer in the basking spot in your iguana cage, resting on the shelf or branch where your iguana will sit. Use the thermometer as a guide as you adjust the bulb to be closer or farther away as necessary until you achieve your desired result.
To make your iguana feel at home in the basking area, you’ll need to provide a shelf or branch for your iguana to rest on while enjoying the heat. This basking shelf should be at least twice as wide as your pet. Hanging a basking shelf or a basking branch in your iguana cage is one of the kindest things that you can do for your pet, but it isn’t always easy to do it right.
When you set up the basking area in your iguana cage, make sure that you’re taking these necessary steps to protect your pet. When you hang your bulb, ensure that there’s no way your pet can manage to come into direct contact with the bulb; if your iguana touches the bulb by accident, or out of curiosity, a painful burn can result. To make sure that your basking area doesn’t overheat your pet, use a thermometer once a day for the first two weeks after you set up or move the basking area, and check that the spot where your iguana sits to bask in the cage is within the desired temperature range. In addition to monitoring the temperature, take notice if your iguana shows any signs of suffering in the heat. An iguana’s natural response to overheating is to pant, and to leave its mouth hanging open in a wide gape for no other obvious reason. If you see these behaviors in your iguana cage, try adjusting your basking area.
By David Nunez
Iguana Cage Ideas is a website started by an iguana owner as a way to spread important information about buying, building, and configuring a new iguana’s home. Learn more at www.iguanacageideas.com
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