new iguana isn't eating!

Discussion in 'Iguanas' started by RachP, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. RachP

    RachP Embryo

    i just got my first iguana three days ago, and he has barely touched his food. i got him some juvenile iguana pellets, collard greens, butternut squash, cantaloupe, mango, blackberries, bananas, carrots, and grapes. i've changed it each day... but i think he's only eaten a few pieces of banana. i haven't tried everything yet... but i have tried quite a few. i'm thinking that he's stressed because of the new environment. i live with a lot of people and they all want to see him... should i tell them to leave him alone?
    i've been doing (and did) a LOT of research. any advice i can get is amazing. maybe i'm just a paranoid new mother :D

    JEFFREH Administrator

  3. bruno

    bruno Moderator

    Congratulations on your new iggy :D
    Will take several days or even weeks to settle in and get used to you being around.
    Yes the quieter it is the sooner he will settle, it's all new and scarey to him.
    These should be treats rather than part of staple diet, he will get the "runs", also there is too much sugar in those.
    Stick with good veg, collards, endives, escarole or any dark leaf greens.
    Dust with calcium powder daily (6days) and multi-vits once a week.

    Just to make sure everything is correct, can you answer the following.
    Size of iggy, length snout to vent will do and how old is it.
    Size of tank/cage he's in
    What heating/lighting do you use
    What UVB have you got
    What are the temperatures, warm end, cool end and under basking spot
    How are they measured, IR gun, digital with probe or dial/stick-on thermometers
    Have you got a large water bowl in there, big enough for him to get into.

    The more accurate your answers, make, type, wattage of lamps etc also temps, this will help us, to help you, on your way to a happy, healthy iggy.

    JEFFREH Administrator

  5. RachP

    RachP Embryo

    He is about 21 inches, give or take an inch. The pet store I got him at said he was about 6 months (but i don't think she knew anything. i asked how big he would get and she held up her hands and i couldn't help but laugh)
    He is in a 20 gallon aquarium with bark on the bottom, a big water dish he loves to sit in, a food dish, and a tree thing he can climb on.
    He is using a light that the lady at the pet store gave me... i'm honestly not sure what it is.
    The temputure in his warm end is between 85-90.
    I only got one thermometer (but i'm going to order more) and it is a stick on.

    I live in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin and the closest pet store is an hour and a half away (ugh). So if anyone knows any good online stores, that would be GREAT!!!

    Some more info on him:
    I'm really not sure if he is a boy or girl. The pet store knew pretty close to nothing. (Good thing I did research before!)
    He enjoys sitting in the sink filled with water and a wash cloth under it. I got him a big clear container (i don't have a bath tub :D ) but he didn't seem to enjoy that as much as the sink.
    I hold him a few times a day and when I go to put him back in his tank, he puts his feet out so I can't get him back in. I'm pretty sure he likes being held :).

    Oh, and his name is Elvis. I think I included everything.

    One more thing, should I try feeding him baby food?

    JEFFREH Administrator

  7. bruno

    bruno Moderator

    Hi Rach,
    You are not going to like what I say here.
    I hope you have plenty of $$ to spare, because you need to make some serious changes, very quickly.
    Is the 21" from nose to start of tail or does it include the tail all the way to the tip.
    You really must make changes.
    The 20G tank is no where near big enough even for a baby. It's not suprizing he doesn't want to go in it, he can hardly turn round and has no heat gradient, the chances are you are cooking him.
    The temperature you mention is probably wrong as those stick-on thermometers are completely inaccurate, could be out by as much as 20°, a digital with probe is essential.

    When he's adult the cage size has to be 6(L) x 2(D) x 4(H) FEET (YES FEET) this is the absolute minimum. He will grow to 6ft long including tail, they NEED the space.
    He needs a cage 48x24x24 inches NOW, but within a year the larger size will be needed, so best start big and save yourself some cash.

    The lamp you were supplied with could be anything and is again probably wrong.
    He will need a REptisun 10% UVB tube that covers ½ the cage and he must be able to get within 8" of it + a basking lamp, halogens are good, give off lot of heat, basking spot should be 95° to 100°F. Alternatively you can use something like a Mega-Ray MVB (mercury vapour bulb) which gives the UV and heat, again he should be able to get within 12" to 16" of it, but not be able to touch it due to burns etc.

    Told you, you wouldn't like it :) but it is essential for a healthy, happy, iggy.
    I live in the UK so I'm not really familiar with your online stores but I will contact MimC a friend, who knows good online sites.
    Feel free to ask any further questions, which I'm sure you will have after this lot.

    One last thing...forget the baby food... they are vegetarian...stick with fresh greens.

    It's not your fault the setup is wrong, you were just given a loada BS from the petshop. Unfortunately this happens very often and when people come on here they find it's going to cost them to put things right.

    JEFFREH Administrator

  9. RachP

    RachP Embryo

    i did a lot of research before buying him, so i knew it would be costly. and i am willing to spend the money. stupid pet shop lady >:D
    but anyways. he's eating mangos now, at least i think. (he's just chilling on my leg at this moment)
    the 21 inches is from snout to the end of his tail.
    i was looking for a bigger tank (but like i said) the selections out here are horrible. i go back to chicago shortly so i'll be able to get him the best of the best there.
    he seems to be very happy in the cage. he waltzes around and lays in the light. he has a tunnel that he likes to sleep in.

    JEFFREH Administrator

  11. bruno

    bruno Moderator

    So his body is about 8-9" at a guess, he will be ok just for a short while till you get sorted.
    Did you manage to see what lamp you have ? it's usually marked on side near base, I assume it looks like a spot lamp rather than the fluerescent tube.
    Just curious to know, doesn't sond like a UVB, if you could fit one up even if temparary, it would be of great benefit to him.
    The chances are it's a "wild caught" rather than captive bred so a fecal check would be a good idea to guard against any parasites he may have.
  12. MimC

    MimC Moderator

    You;ve gotten some great info from bruno, there really isnt much for me to add :D It seems like you want to do whast best for this guy so if you make the changes Bruno suggested you will be rewarded withy our iggys good health and long life.

    A few things....

    A digital thermometer is crucial - you dont need to go to the petstore for one, Walmart or home depot sells them. You want a variety with a probe. The stick on varieties are extremely inacruate.

    The lighting and temperatures are extremely important, make sure to get a digital thermometer before trying to adjust the temps, but you want to have a basking spot that is 95-100 degrees. Make sure you acheive these temps by providing an elevated basking spot so that you are not overheating the entire tank. In a tank that small you may find this challenging so be attentive to the temps in all areas of the tank.

    Having a UVB light is crucial, as Bruno stated the Repti-sun 10.0 is the bulb you want, you want the long fluorescent tube variety - NOT the coil. You can order this bulb offline from a variety of places, just google Repti-sun 10.0 there are millions of distrubitors to order from. You want to order this bulb immediately. It should be positioned so that there is no glass, plastic or ideally screen in between the bulb and the iguana (you may need to cut a hole in the screen lid).

    Check out and download the iguana care guide. Its essentially a book, not really a care sheet, thats free to download. Its written by Melissa Kaplin who is the leading "guru" of iguana information. Iguanas are pretty complex critters and this care guide covers, in detail, every aspect of their care. Its going to give you much better, more complete information than we are able to on this forum.

    Last but not least, as Bruno already stated a larger cage will be needed quite soon. If you are unsure about being able to build one i would start browsing online at some of the various commericially available large lizard tanks.

    Good luck!:)

Share This Page