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How Iguana Can Bask in the Sunlight

By John Simmons TEXT SIZE Minus Plus

You'll need to install a specific type of light bulb for the basking area of your habitat. No, you won't have to spend a small fortune on those light bulbs from the pet store. Instead, install a hooded clamp fixture in your habitat. You can find various sizes and choices in wattage available to help you to get the right heat.

In most cases, you'll want to look for a fixture that has a ceramic socket to it. This will help you to avoid fire situations!

When using these types of lighting fixtures, you have to monitor their locations. You don't want the iguana to be able to touch them or jump on top of them. They will end up with burns because of this.

One way to prevent this is to keep the bulbs out of the actual habitat. That can be hard to do in some instances, though. Instead, use a bulb guard, which is a simple wire meshing that would cover the actual bulb so that it can not easily be touched.

Now that you have the day time heating covered, you'll need to tackle the night time needs that you have.

In iguana's natural habitat, heat is necessary all day and most of the night. But, there is the need to drop the temperature on them at this point too. For iguana's lighting times are key. The best amount of lighting for them is to provide for twelve or thirteen hours of darkness. That means turning their lights off for that amount of time.

Now, it's not just because an iguana should be sleeping, but without this type of lights off time, your iguana won't be able to maintain its proper behaviors. He may not eat at the right times, he may have problems with problems with aggression and even may have problems with passing stool. Just let them get at least twelve hours with the lights off and this will help.

To accomplish this, use a timer. You can purchase those that can be programmed to handle this type of cycle. Set it to either 12 on and 12 off, or you can use 13 off and 11 on.

The question is, then, how do you manage to actually keep the heat up in the habitat for your iguana's safety with the lights off?

Actually, there is a great remedy for this problem. At night time, you can allow the temperature to drop but not lower to that of 75 degrees. To keep it regulate at that number or above, use Ceramic Heat Emitters. These can be found in most hardware stores and are sometimes called CHE.

To use them, place them throughout the habitat as you did with the other lighting fixtures that you've placed. They fit right into a standard incandescent light bulb socket, just like the others are using. Now, there are two options for you to choose from.

Have separate timers for both units. That means that when the day lights go out for the night, your CHE's should come on to maintain the temperature.

Have the CHE's on all of the time at a low wattage in addition to the other lighting fixtures that you are using. This way, no timer is needed.

In any case, you'll want to monitor the temperatures during the night time hours just as you would for the day time hours.

When using these lighting fixtures, make sure that you monitor how you are doing so. No lighting fixture should be exposed to allow the iguana to touch it. In addition, you don't want the iguana to be hurt by shattering of these bulbs. But, it is also important to monitor the location of the light bulbs to keep them from catching fire.

No light bulbs should be placed near anything flammable, including your habitat's structure if made of wood or any type of fabric you may use within the habitat. Also, only place CHE's into ceramic fixtures (porcelain works fine, too) as they can start a fire with how hot they can get when left on.

Monitor the electrical set up you are using. Don't plug too much into outlets and be aware of any electrical cords that may have frays on them. Working with a professional, licensed electrician is probably one of the best decisions you can make when it comes to monitoring your pet's habitat temperatures and lighting needs.

About the Author
Read about red iguana and green iguanas at the Iguana Care website.

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