A Fiji iguana is best kept in a large wooden vivarium. This is because wood is an excellent insulator of heat and so a wooden vivarium will make it easier to control the crucial temperatures required inside the habitat. Other enclosures such as glass terrariums are far too efficient at releasing heat making it difficult to get up to temperature and keep this temperature consistent throughout the year. The wooden vivarium should have good ventilation to help remove humidity and replenish the air in the enclosure. The iguana’s vivarium should be at least 1150mm (46″) in length and 915mm (36″) tall. There are 2 main reasons for this; firstly Fiji iguanas are not small lizards and can easily grow to 600mm in length. They require a proportionate amount of space to live happily. Secondly, the vivarium needs to have a sufficient length to allow for the creation of a temperature gradient. The enclosure needs to be intensely hot at one end, but have enough distance for the temperature to drop at the cool end. With iguanas height is also necessary as these lizards can be very active and do like to spend a lot of time off of the ground.
During the day, Fiji iguanas require a very hot basking temperature. This is achieved by using clear spot bulbs at one end of the vivarium. To accomplish the required basking temperature of 95oF we use 2x basking bulbs (60w in a large Vivexotic vivarium). A narrower basking area can be achieved by using one higher wattage bulb instead. Basking bulbs should be on for 10- 12 hours per day. At night Fiji iguanas require a drop in temperature and darkness. The basking lights should be switched off. A night time temperature of 75oF is created by using a ceramic night bulb. These radiate heat but produce no light. This bulb should be protected with a ceramic bulb guard and controlled by a good quality thermostat. The thermostat will automatically turn on the ceramic heat bulb at night when the temperature in the vivarium drops. Temperatures should be monitored daily using a thermometer.
Fiji iguanas are from intense UV regions. Animals that actively bask in hot climates naturally receive a high dose of UVB from the sun. Their UVB tube should reflect that. A fluorescent UVB tube should be used inside the vivarium with a reflector so no UVB is wasted. The tube should be at least 10-12% UVB for desert species. There are 2 different types of fluorescent tube, T8 and T5. T5 tubes are the new technology providing double the range (24”) and lasting twice as long (12 months) so if possible we would recommend the upgrade. Fiji iguanas require UVB in order to synthesise vitamin D3 inside their skin. Vitamin D3 helps the iguana to absorb calcium which crucial for bone structure and growth. Without proper UV lighting the iguana may not be able to use the calcium in it’s diet. It is recommended that T8 bulbs are replaced every 6 months and T5 bulbs every 12 months.
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