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UVB for a free-roaming Ig

Discussion in 'Habitat Lighting' started by Dor26, Dec 26, 2006.

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  1. Dor26

    Dor26 Active Member

    I am nervous about the current set-up I have for Rocky--our 3-year old iguana. I too am currently using one of those spiral bulbs in a clamped light fixture. Rocky is free-roaming, so I try to clamp it to an area where he spends most of his time, usually on his bench, or on top of our cabinet. I used to have the flourescent tubes in an old aquarium fixture, but it wasn't working out as far as mounting it to his bench. So I went with the clamp light and thought it was perfect.

    But now I'm scared that he is not getting what he needs. I think this is his breeding season, based on what I've read in these forums, and he is acting a bit different. He isn't eating as much, he is only going to the bathroom every other day and he is very orange in color. I just hope he is not getting sick from a lack of UVB light.

    What do other free-roamer owners do to ensure adequate lighting? I appreciate your advice as always...

    Rocky's mom, Doreen
  2. SurvivorSteph

    SurvivorSteph Subscribed User Premium Member

    It does sound like he's in breeding season... behaviors change, colors change.

    As for your question about lighting, spend some time investigating the Reptile UV systems. They're great lights and last longer than the flourescent tubes (the flourescent spirals are not adequate for igs, by the way).

    You can find Reptile UV systems at:
  3. XBurner

    XBurner Elite Member

    As a free-roamer's owner, all I can do is tell you what I've done and it has worked for the last four years (since he grew out of his terrarium). I basically set the whole thing up so that he knows where everything he needs to live is. His big perch that I've constructed has his heat and UVB lamps and his food. He'll climb down, go out and explore in the bathroom and stare at himself in the mirror for a good hour, then come back, climb up and sit back under the lights... get warmed up and repeat an hour later or so. I like to think he knows by instinct now where to get his warmth and food, so it's no problem at all.

    I've never followed the whole "cater to and baby the iguana" thing 'cause Bud's always been self-sufficient as long as I turn on his lights and feed him. We've got a great relationship going and it works out well for both of us. I think if I'd ever hook up a timer for his lights and something that would feed and bathe him, he probably wouldn't miss me. =P But the thing about free-roamers is that you gotta find a way to set boundaries and limits to what they can do. I don't EVER let him go into the living room without me there to watch him. If he tries to climb up the curtains, I'll hold him back or put my hand up to block his site of them... he'll look at me like ", is that something i can't do?" and then move on to something else. I'd much prefer it this way than to keep him caged. They don't live in cages in the wild, so they really shouldn't in our homes either is just how I see it. Some iguana's aren't as mild-mannered as Bud is though. It all depends on the iguana's usual behavior and temperment.
  4. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I'm not an Iguana owner hopefully in the future when space permits though. But how can free roaming be good for an Iguana? There is no controlled environment for heat, humidity or UVB.
  5. XBurner

    XBurner Elite Member

    Sure there is, in my situation, Bud has his perch where all of his heat is and he knows it. Most days, he'll sit under the lamps and be content, when he climbs down to go out exploring, when he starts losing his warmth, he'll come right back into my room and warm up on his perch again. The control is in one spot, and as long as he knows where that is, it works and has worked for the last 4 years that I've had him out of a terrarium.
  6. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    What about humidity? Or as stated before getting enough UVB.
  7. XBurner

    XBurner Elite Member

    Humidity is a challenge, but I like to think that he's pretty well covered as far as hydration goes. I've discussed the whole situation with the vet that I take Bud to and he's said that what I'm doing works 'cause Bud's in perfect health. As I said before, he gets his UVB from the lights on his perch that he sits on most of the day. He's got one heat lamp and one UVB. All is good for and with him or I'd be noticing something. As far as I or the vet can see, he's healthy and relatively happy.

    The only thing I really need to do is to get a new bulb, 'cause I think this one is going on six months or so, but it's not showing signs of age.
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Hmmmm what do you mean by not showing any signs of age?
    UVB is not visible to the human eye. The light may still light and produce,..well "Light",:rolleyes: ..
    but contain little or no UVB.
    The only way to tell for sure is using a UVB light meter.
    Which by the way are well worth their cost when they can save you having to replace bulbs unneccessarily.
  9. XBurner

    XBurner Elite Member

    I think it was my brother that told me when the bulb starts to show some brownish discoloration on the sides of the tube, then it's "showing signs of age". He's been pretty well right about everything else when it comes to iguana raising, since he had a Peruvian Rock iguana for like 10 years, heh.
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Never heard of anything called a peruvian rock iguana. Got any pictures?

    As for the discoloration of the bulb all that means is that the bulb itself is getting old. Even though it is still producing visible light it may be producing nothing in the way of UVB light. The only way to judge UVB output is with a meter.

    IGGYOWNER Elite Member

    i have talked to bob from reptile uv. and he had told me tht his new SB 100 Series self ballasted UVB bulbs last anywhere from 9 months to a year. some a little longer but if u don't have a UVB meter he said that i should change it once a year. And as for humidity, i have had many different answers about this and i am still a lil iffy on how much they need, i keep my tank at 80 percent humidity, do they need more than this?
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The mercury vapors do have a longer lifespan than the flourescents. That along with MUCH more UVB is what is in their favor.
    The humidity should be in the range of 65-75 percent. Your 80 is fine but much more and it will grow mold on anything organic inless you have good airflow.
  13. XBurner

    XBurner Elite Member

    I did before my computer crashed a couple weeks ago, I lost all of Bud's pix too. Even the ones where he was tiny and sitting on my window seal looking outside, then the comparison pic of him a few months ago sitting the same way. But my brother's (Daniel) was this massive, brown/grey/blue five foot long iguana that had a huge head with two thick lumps like a crown at the top of his neck. Like how the green iguanas have them, but they're soft and squishy, but these were hard and thick, almost protruding out like little horns. He had a little flimsy horn on his nose, too. This guy here, looks simliar, but he's minus the head-horn-things:
    He said it was from Peru, and they live on rocks, ect in that area... so I don't know. I just know my brother took really good care of Daniel and he (Daniel) was at least 10 or 11 when he had to be put down. :( But he was a beautiful iguana... I really miss him being around.

    The tube might need to be replaced then... I'll hafta wait until I get paid and I'll splurge and get the MegaRay UVB I've heard so much about.
  14. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The picture you posted is a green iguana but it sounds like you are describing one of the cyclura species, also known as rhinoceros iguana or Cuban rock iguana. They come from islands in the Caribbean not Peru. And they are much more expensive than the greens and some of them are a protected species.
    But they are awsome looking animals! Particularly the Blue iguanas!
    Check out the cyclura sites and see if that is what Daniel was.
  15. XBurner

    XBurner Elite Member

    I've scoured through several pages and not found one that looks like Daniel did as an adult. I'm very, very certain he wasn't a green iguana. The closest I've found to him is this Cuban Rock:
    But that one is still lacking the flimsy little horn on his nose. It kinda looked like a little horn, but was barely attached or like it was made of some kind of rubber.
    We talked last night about Daniel and he said that he ordered him from a seller here in Indiana and he got two for around $60. They were both the same and named them Jack and Daniel (yes, after the alcohol :rolleyes: )... Jack had to be put down early because of other complications, but Daniel lived on for 11 years or so. He turned pretty aggressive in the end and wouldn't eat. We took him to the same vet I use today and the vet couldn't figure out what was wrong with Daniel. It was just a sad and slow process to watch him stop being himself. He was just so big that he was such an awesome lizard to have around. Bud got to meet him once before the end, heh.

    And yeah, the what... Grand Cayman blue iguanas are beautiful. I had one as my PC's desktop for a few months. :p
  16. XBurner

    XBurner Elite Member

    Oh thank God. The pix of babyBud were on my secondary Photobucket.


  17. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member


    That little horn you mentioned on the iguanas nose is called a Rostral horn. Some iguanas retain it, others lose it as they mature or right after pipping. When they are young (hatchlings) it is what they use to open the egg so they can get out.
  18. XBurner

    XBurner Elite Member

    Oh... Can iguana's retain them for 11 years though?
  19. Dominick

    Dominick Founding Member

    Sure, though most rub them off at some point in their captive life.
  20. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

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