Reptiles/Green iguanas


Green iggy
Green iggy  
Hi I have two green iguanas and a 30 gallon tank The problem having and I don't if it's a problem is they are more brown shade then green I have a heat lamp over there basking spot and a cooler area where they eat and drink  I am not sure of age I have photos tho I love them and was not informed how to care for them when I got them I feed them kale lettuce and a variety if fruit thx

Yes, you have to do considerable research before acquiring any pet; especially reptiles.  And pet stores do NOT give proper care advice.

1) In the span of 3 or 4 years, these animals will grow to lengths of 4 to 5 feet long.  If both are male, they will NOT be able to be housed together.  Each adult animal will require a vivarium that is approximately 5 feet tall, 8 feet long, and 4 feet deep.  If the animals are both female, you could house them together if they get along, but the enclosure would need to be a bit larger (maybe 10 ft long).  THINK ABOUT THIS CAREFULLY.  Giant green iguanas are one of the worst impulse buy pets in existence. The babies are cute, but reptile rescues are full of juvenile iguanas that outgrew their 50 gallon starter setups!  Few people have the space or the budget to house animals like these!  Be VERY SURE you're prepared for this.  Enclosures will cost $1500 to $2000 each, when equipment is factored in.  You CANNOT free-roam them in your house, and expect them to remain healthy (unless you like living in a rainforest, yourself).  You shouldn't house a male and female together - the male may be aggressive in mating, and she cannot escape.  They will produce huge clutches of eggs.  You cannot house two males together.  If you are not prepared for this, it's time to start looking for permanent homes for them NOW.  Don't wait until they outgrow the setup you can provide for them.  Again, these animals are large, and rescues are generally full - they cannot take more.  Zoos absolutely don't want them.

2) Iguanas have complicated dietary requirements.  Kale and some fruit is not going to cut it.  In fact, kale is not recommended to be fed in large quantity at all, and neither is fruit!  Here's a site that explains how to put together an iguana diet:

3) Green iguanas absolutely require very high UVB output lighting.  They can't metabolize dietary vitamin D3 very well, so they MUST have proper lighting.  This is CRUCIAL for growing babies.  They will develop hypocalcemia, resulting in jaw and bone deformities weakened bones (lots of broken bones), edema, and eventual death, if their calcium and UVB light needs are not met.  Do lots of research.  The Mercury-Vapor reptile lights that produce both heat and UVB are a good choice.

4) Your iguana looks a little dehydrated.  Green iguanas are tropical rainforest animals, and they cannot keep their body hydration up when humidity is too low, no matter how much drinking water is available.  Humidity in the enclosure should be 65% to 75%.  Get a humidity gauge to make sure.

Here's another good site with housing information:

Again, consider all of this VERY VERY carefully.  If you cannot care for these extremely large (and sometimes aggressive) animals for their full lifespan, the time to find someone who can is NOW.

Pet iguana:

Iguana bite wound (Graphic!  warning!  Not to scare you, but you need to know!):

Iguana enclosure (Only one company I know of builds reptile enclosures that can be used to properly house iguanas - and they are NOT cheap.  That company is Cages By Design (
Most owners build their own, and this is one example):
Here is another:
And a third:

Remember - iguanas need tropical rainforest humidity, and tropical rainforest temperatures.  That means the enclosure can't be mesh, unless it's outside in South Florida!  It should be insulated, and waterproof.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Donna Fernstrom


My particular focus is on snakes and lizards, but I have a decent smattering of knowledge of turtles and crocodilians as well, plus the experience to get relevant information quickly if I don't have it on hand in my brain. I can answer questions on captive care, diet, breeding, incubation of eggs, starting hatchlings, and more. I am particularly experienced with ball pythons, Lygodactylus geckos and other small lizards with similar care requirements, leopard geckos, and garter snakes.


I am a professional breeder of ball python morphs, Lygodactylus (dwarf) geckos, and mourning geckos. I have begun working with Irian Jaya carpet pythons, and plan to expand to include more gecko species in the future. I also have a background breeding leopard geckos, and have kept several other species of small lizards, snakes, and a water turtle.

Nebraska Herpetological Society (

I have many care sheets published on my own website.

High School Graduate. Extensively self-taught due to high interest in wildlife and reptile care.

Awards and Honors
Fauna Classifieds board of inquiry Good Guy Certification

©2017 All rights reserved.