How To Properly Supply Humidity To Your Iguana Enclosure
Green iguanas come from humid environments where the moisture in the air is natural and constant. In captivity it is our responsibility to meet the iguanas needs and provide them with a similar habitat. This means that we should be trying to maintain their humidity level at or around 70% - 80% and we should not allow it to fall below 65%.
Many iguana owners believe that the humidity needs to be so high that moisture is present. This is not only inaccurate but it can facilitate bacteria and fungal growth. If moisture is present on the walls or glass of the enclosure for extended periods of time there is a good chance that your enclosure isn't properly vented. Adequate air flow is crucial to proper housing and to prevent standing water/condensation.
There are a few ways in which to raise humidity in your iguanas enclosure. Some of them are pretty simple and others will require a small monetary investment. Regardless as to what method or collection of methods you use, something needs to be done to keep the humidity in the acceptable range.
Many digital thermometers also include a digital hygrometer built in. If yours doesn't, buy a hygrometer. A hygrometer measures the humidity in the enclosure and is the only way you will be able to maintain consistent humidity levels in your enclosure. Guessing is not an option. A quality hygrometer can be purchased at Home Depot, Lowes, Target, etc. for under $10.00. You do not want to use those radial ones found at petstores. Those radial style hygrometers (and thermometers) are notoriously inaccurate.
Spraying - Spritzing
This is the easiest and most cost effective means of raising the humidity in the enclosure. It is very simple really, take a spray bottle and spray the iguana, basking shelf and the enclosure several times a day. This method requires you to be attentive to your iguana and the enclosures humidity levels. This is not an ideal solution for many people because the amount of daily dedication isn't really feasible for people who work.
Water Bowl - Pool
A well positioned water bowl or small pool can help raise the humidity. Natural evaporation will place water in the air. This can be achieved by placing a water bowl or pool directly beneath an overhead heat source. The heat source will warm the water and help speed evaporation.
Heated Water Bowl
A faster method than an overhead heat source is to directly heat the water itself using an under tank heater on a rheostat. Heating the water from below will speed evaporation and help raise the humidity. The water temperature shouldn't exceed 80°-82° and will need to be monitored. These temperatures are safe for your iguana and will also help evaporate the water.
A humidifier on a timer is also another means for raising the humidity. This only requires you to fill the basin and turn it on. The timer will control the power flow to the humidifier and will allow you to control when it comes on and goes off. This is an ideal method for keeping the humidity constant.
If you happen to have a hatchling you should try to keep the humidity up around 80%.
Author: Richard Brooks
Iguana iguana © Fred Hsu [CC-BY-SA-3.0]