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Thread: Suitable plant species for iguana terrarium?

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    Suitable plant species for iguana terrarium?

    I keep looking for suitable plant species on numerous "iguana care" websites, but I keep getting conflicting information.

    What I want to do is buy plants early and grow them bigger throughout the spring, so they'll be of decent size to put in the terrarium (it's going to be a summer project, so I don't have anything built or ready yet--what I want now is just the plants. There's no way I'm putting new plants in there with an iguana, ROFL. I'd like sturdier specimens that are less likely to get broken when trampled).

    Anyway.

    I read that pothos and dracena are okay, and I read on another site that they're toxic. I already have several stocks of pothos growing (not intentionally, we already owned it), but if it's not acceptable...

    If there's anyone here that has experience in terrariums (or iguanas in particular), what would you suggest for plant species? I want quite a few, or at least large ones that would make for good hiding places.

    What's a decent flowering plant that's safe (besides hibiscus)?

    What kind of trees are safe?

    I also read that "ivy" is non-toxic and safe, as well as philodendron, but neither site I've read is really specific. (I've also ordered a book, this one, but it'll probably take a week or so to get in and I want to get the plants as soon as possible.)

    Your opinions, suggestions? I'd appreciate them greatly.

    (I have owned iguanas in the past, so I'm familiar with basic care and set-up, just not the plants. I never used real plants in the past, so it's currently my biggest concern. I wanted the book because I figured it would be better to re-familiarize myself with care, in-depth and basic. It's been a few very good years since I've had iguanas, so it wouldn't hurt. :lol: I won't be getting them until around July anyway (we're going on a huge summer trip, so I'll be getting them--two iguanas, not sure about sex yet, but I'll talk about breeding them with some friends and family first and see what their views are--afterward), so I have plenty of time. )

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    Senior Member BambooZoo's Avatar
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    Suitable plant species for iguana terrarium?

    I have a spiny tailed iggi. They are much smaller than the greens and he is a little less than 2 feet. I can say that what you are trying to accomplish will be very difficult unless you have 4 to 6 foot trees you are willing to replant! hmy: every few days. I use a 4 inch dirt surface for my buddy and he TEARS it to shreds almost daily. I do use some live plantsin other environments but his? And ones they are not tempted to eat :P you got a rough road to tread.

    I believe that pothos is not good to eat and he may be tempted to do so....though it is common in terrariums of insect eaters.

    Spider plants would be delicate but good to munch on.
    Might work if you could hang it in there where he could reach the babies but not the mother plant.

    Some of the different grasses might survive if introduced big enough. Thyme is edible but I dont think it is a preferred taste and might be ok too.

    Pansies are edible but probably much too delicate. Planting dandelions would be a good one for him.

    Please dont consider breeding iguanas. Iggi's are known along with the red eared slider to be "disposable" pets. People cant find homes when needed, they are very common in rescues, they need large spaces that most cant supply, they are an invasive species as well. And if you are going to get an iggi I suggest a rescue one.

    That being said...

    Dee has done an article on her Iggi's on my site and it lists a number of iguana information sites. There is also under health a couple of other lists of safe plants. I would make a common list of plants you are interested in to be extra safe......if 5 sites are saying it's safe....then it likely is.

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    Pat
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    Suitable plant species for iguana terrarium?

    I really need to encourage myself to become more active and get away from the computer more often, so having to put a lot of time into the terrarium is just what I'm looking for. I have way too much free time (even though I have a job and will soon be a part time student, it's easy to just find a lot of wasted time these days).

    I was planning to use a rocky (or shaped Styrofoam? I'm not sure about the possibilities of using this) layer on the bottom covered with artificial grass that I could exchange every so often and wash (instead of dirt, as that would be quite a chore). My thoughts behind that would be to give the terrarium a realistic look to it, instead of it just having a flat bottom. If Styrofoam is acceptable (I haven't looked into this possibility, so if it's not I'll have to look elsewhere, obviously), I would love to shape it around pots to make them look incorporated into the environment (instead of just sticking out randomly in the scenery). And, of course, layering the artificial grass over the Styrofoam.

    I do have a spider plant though, and will definitely be using it in there. And also dandelions, the iguanas I used to have loved them!

    What kind of grasses would you suggest?

    Ah, I see! Then I won't consider breeding them. I'm not sure about being able to get a rescue though, as I live right out in the middle of nowhere and the closest rescue is a good six hour drive away.


    EDIT: What about arabica trees or peace lillies?

    Post edited by: Casey, at: 2009/03/21 19:04<br><br>Post edited by: Casey, at: 2009/03/21 19:26

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    Senior Member BambooZoo's Avatar
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    Suitable plant species for iguana terrarium?

    That is a good plan Casey. I don't know if it will work for him but I like the sound of it. You would have to be able to wash the styrofoam or replace it often as it would retain an odor I think. But I think it is worth trying that way. I dont really have any suggestions as to the types of grasses that would work for you.

    Well, if you can find one that needs a new home over buying one from a pet store that would be the way to go. Here in Southern Ontario they are always on the classified ads, usually with all accessories for 100 bucks or so. You really are in the boonies!

    Pat
    The BambooZoo is 260 pages of the information you are looking for: feeders, health, feature reptiles, cohabitation, bio active soils, caresheets (in depth), health articles and links, DIY's and cage art. Check us out, and participate too! www.bamboozoo.weebly.com

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    Suitable plant species for iguana terrarium?

    Before I work on the terrarium, I think I'll see how well odor washes out of Styrofoam. :lol: I didn't think about that at all.

    I will search the classifieds this summer, I can remember seeing sale ads for iguanas every now in then in the big city news papers. But yep, I'm way out there! We don't even have a Target where I live, LOL.


    Would you (or anyone else) have an idea about using peace lilies? I've looked and looked and can't find a list that lists them as toxic or non-toxic, so I'm stumped. We have tons of them (tons of plants in general) and my mom wanted to know if we could use one in the terrarium. (I also have a 5ft arabica tree that would look really nice with the plan I have, but I'm also not sure about this one either.)

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    Suitable plant species for iguana terrarium?

    What size is this Terrarium??
    How long are you expecting it to last your iguana's size??
    I would not make any kind of Philodendron, Ivy or Lilly available, as most are poisonous. My way of thinking is that if you can not be sure of this, DO NOT TRY IT!! You want a good source of plants, get the book "Iguana's for Dummies" by Melissa Kaplan.. Has a whole section of Plants in there and like I said, not listed, Don't try!!
    I don't know of many Iguana owners that even bother with this type of enclosure due to the fact of distruction and cleanliness. That also includes grass for the substrate. You put something like that in there, you better be ready to change it out at least every 4 days due to the fact that you will never be able to disinfect it enough to maintain a healthy enviroment!! :unsure:
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    Suitable plant species for iguana terrarium?

    Oh! Sorry about that. The deminsions I'm planning on are 6ft and 5in high, 4ft long and 3ft deep. I plan to get a young iguana, so it should last a good long time.

    I want to use an artificial grass, but I know it'll need changing frequently--which is what I'm hoping for. I need something that will get me working and using energy.

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    Suitable plant species for iguana terrarium?

    Also keep in mind that if you put him in a too big of a cage it may and can freak him out and he may not move around as he should to thermoregulate, or eat. They seem to do better in a smaller cage up until about the age of 1 year or so.
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    Suitable plant species for iguana terrarium?

    I do have a 35gal aquarium that I had intended to use at first, before I got the idea of a larger terrarium, so I guess it is more likely that he'll be living in it for a while as construction on the terrarium goes along. (There's no way I'm finishing that thing in just a few weeks, rofl. Work around here goes slow... Our house is 35 years old and we just finished my bedroom about two years ago. That's how slow... :lol

    I just felt kind of bad that they had to be in such small, cramped places. D: Is it common that a young iguana won't feel comfortable in a larger enclosure?

  10. #10
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    Suitable plant species for iguana terrarium?

    Yes it is common. As it is common for them to stay in groups as hatchlings [safety in numbers] but that also changes as they approcach the year age.
    35 gallon will be on the small size, should be no less than 55 for the 1st year then move up to the bigger one. Even then they can still be quit paranoid of the large space, just depends on the Iguana. If this is the case then you can divide it in half for the time being until he reaches an age where you can't get by without the whole big cage. The problem with the 35 is that it is almost virtualy impossible to regulate the temps so that you have a cool side, which they need to thermoregulate. Remember these guy's need a basking point of 92-96, ambient temps of around 80 [middle] and a cool end of no less than 70.
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