When you are an exotic animal lover, you've probably thought about buying a lizard more than once. If you're reading this article, you may be in the process of buying one right now!
Lizards make exceptional apartment pets. They can be beautiful and relatively easy to care for when you know what you're doing.
The first step to being a good lizard owner is buying the right cage and outfitting it with all the right stuff. We know you can do it, but we will help you choose the best lizard cage for your reptilian friend.
Keep reading to learn all about how you can determine what kind of cage you need and what other accessories to buy.
Types of Lizard Cages
Lizard cages come in many different shapes and sizes depending on the type of reptile that is going to live in them.
Geckos are most comfortable in enclosures known as terrariums or vivariums. These are cages made of plastic or glass with water and land inside them.
These cages come in a few different shapes. Terrariums and vivariums can be horizontal, vertical, or cubic. Different kinds of lizards prefer these different shapes.
Chameleons and other larger lizards prefer wire or mesh enclosures. Normally these cages have the most room vertically for them to climb up onto branches or steps.
Always make sure that your cages are escape-proof for your type of lizard. Reading the reviews of one type of enclosure will often give you this answer.
When setting up your lizard cage, it should be away from vents, windows, and children. Your reptile tank should also be on some kind of stand. If you have an under-tank heater, this will be especially handy.
Sizes of Lizard Cages
Your lizard cage should fit your lizard. After you know the shape of the cage you need, you will also need to determine the size. The tank you choose should fit the lizard at its maximum size, not the size it is currently.
Yet, baby lizards can get stressed and confused in larger tanks. You may need to give them a temporary cage to live in until they have grown big enough.
If you have chosen a vertical cage, your cage should be twice as big as your fully grown lizard. The height will be two times the size of the reptile's length. It is recommended that your width is about the length of the lizard.
For a horizontal cage, the logic is similar. The terrarium will need to be larger in width and shorter in height. The width should be at least two times as large as the fully grown lizard. The height should be about the lizard's width.
Lizards vary greatly in size. A monitor lizard can grow up to seven feet long, but a leopard gecko will only grow to be about 10 inches.
Lizard Cage Fixtures and Lighting
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of a lizard cage. Reptiles can be sensitive to light, and it will affect their well-being.
Certain lizards can need as much as 14 hours of light in one day. It is nearly impossible to give them this much natural light if they are indoors during the winter or fall. That's why you'll need a cage with light, maybe even UV light.
UV light can be important for lizards to stay healthy. Lack of UV light can cause weak bones due to a lack of vitamin D and metabolized calcium.
Natural and UV light allows the lizards to be in better moods. They also promote digestion, better eating, better navigation, and stronger eggs.
Some fixtures have a timer, which makes it easy to turn off during the night and back on in the morning. Make sure your light isn't too low in the tank. Occasionally, lizards climb to the top of the enclosures and burn themselves.
Different lizards need different amounts and types of light, so make sure you research your lizard. For example, geckos like to split their light and darkness time right down the middle. That is 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark.
Lizard Cage Temperature Setup
Temperature is another key factor when setting up a cage for your lizard. Most lizards need their enclosure to be quite warm, so you will need special equipment when choosing your cage.
It is not uncommon that a lizard should need a tank that is up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. They thrive in hot areas, but they will need shade as well. Find rocks that they can sunbathe on and tunnels they can hide in.
You can find ceramic heaters and basking bulbs that hang over the enclosure on a stand. The stands are almost always adjustable, and they adhere to the back or side of your tank.
Under-tank heaters are another common option. They go underneath your enclosure to heat the floor of the tank. You can find these at pet supplies stores.
Consider purchasing two thermometers to go with your tank to ensure that your lizard is receiving the heat it needs. It is recommended that you put one on the cooler side of their enclosure and one on the warmer side.
Substrate and Décor Application
Once you can fit everything they need to survive into their tank, you can move on to the fun stuff: decorating. Lizards need things like rocks, pools, and substrate to live a happy life.
For bedding, many reptiles enjoy aspen, reptile sand, and alfalfa bedding. You should research your lizard before buying bedding, though. Depending on the reptile, certain types of a substrate can be harmful.
Once the floor is down, you will move on to decorations and climbing toys. You can buy hideouts, plants, branches, and even hammocks for your pet cage.
You want to make your lizard as comfortable as possible. Do some research into their natural habitat and try to mimic the things you find. You can also search for lizard cage ideas online.
Choose Your Lizard Cage
Finding the best lizard cage for your reptile can be daunting. When you know what to look for and what to include inside it, you will feel better about your decisions.
Before you go out and buy lizard cages for sale, explore our reviews. Find the best lizard enclosure for the size, species, and other needs of your reptile.