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Mercury Vapors For Iguanas

By John Simmons TEXT SIZE Minus Plus

The other option that you can use is that of mercury vapor lamps. These are going to provide you with the UV that you need but at a higher price, generally. But, the technology used in these lamps has improved and continues to do so. In fact, some are almost as good as fluorescent tubes. You'll want to select only internally ballasted bulbs, though. These will also provide you with a heating source for your iguana. Be careful, though, as they can fail you because of the excess amounts of heat used in them.

When using mercury vapor lamps, you'll want to really pay attention to how you use them. Follow the directions provided for their use carefully. You'll also want to monitor just how warm they will make the habitat and adjust your other heating sources accordingly to keep the proper level of heat within the habitat at all times.

As a human, you shouldn't be overexposed to mercury vapor lamps because of the amounts of UV light that they do produce. Finally, make sure that nothing goes between your iguana and your lighting source.

Providing enough heat and light to your iguana should be your main goal. Before you even bring your iguana home, you should have his habitat set up to this degree of care. Then, monitor it at several times per day and per night to insure that it has the right amounts of protection for your pet. You shouldn't assume that a set up that we've described is enough. Instead, you need to find out what it will be with use of your testing supplies and your thermometer.

Since the size of your habitat and the elements within it will vary so much from the next person's, you'll have to take measurements on your own to determine the safety of the environment.

Now that you have your habitat built and set up with the right amounts of heat and light, the next part of the three part equation for your iguana is that of humidity.

Humidity is the amount of moisture that is in the air. Since iguanas come from areas that are generally very high in humidity all the time, you'll need to mimic that here in your habitat. But, how in the world do you create the right amount of humidity?

The right level of humidity for your iguana will be between 65 percent and 75 percent, which are fairly humid conditions. There are several ways for you to get this high of a humidity level within your habitat.

First, there are the simple methods to doing this. You can just spray the habitat down with water throughout the day. Don't spray less than an hour before the lights go out for the night though. You can also place large containers of water in the habitat, which will help to make for the right amount of humidity within the habitat, too.

In the later chapters, you'll learn about how you need to bath and mist your iguana, but for now, realize that is a good way to gain the benefits of added moisture, too.

If you built your iguana's habitat correctly, the heat and humidity levels will remain high enough with these methods as you'll have a pretty decent way of keeping it in (Plexiglas is a great option for this.) But, it may not be enough.

You see, one of the largest problems with iguana's in captivity is that of maintaining the right amounts of moisture in their bodies. They just don't drink lots water on their own and for that reason they need to absorb it from the air around them.

For this reason, a better system of providing for humidity in the habitat should be considered. You can do this by purchasing a misting system. Another option is that of an ultrasonic fogger. These work on timers that will mist the entire habitat several times per day to provide for the right amount of humidity for your pet.

About the Author
For tips on green iguanas and giant iguana, visit the Iguana Care website.

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