Cage & Habitat

A uromastyx with a good home that provides him with everything he needs can live a long and happy life. Supplying your pet with the proper cage, decor, and accessories will help keep him healthy and increase the enjoyment you will receive from this wonderful reptile.

Cage
Making sure you get a tank big enough for your uromastyx is important for his well being. A bigger tank is always better, so go with the biggest tank possible.

The size needed depends upon the size of your pet. A tank’s length should be about 4 to 5 times as long as his body and its width should be about twice as long as his body. A 55 gallon aquarium or terrarium is around the appropriate size to allow plenty of room for a mali uromastyx to move around.

The tank should have a screened lid to protect your unromastyx from escaping. A screened lid also protects your pet from small children, other pets, and from getting to close to heating and lighting fixtures.

Light & Heat
Like many pet reptiles, a uromastyx needs a source of UVB which aids in the metabolism of vitamin D3. There are a variety of UVB fluorescent bulbs available that can supply the needed UVB. The long fluorescent UVB bulbs that extend the entire length of a cage are a great way to ensure your pet always gets the light he requires.

Since uromastyx come from very hot and arid regions, having multiple sources of heat are a plus. An under tank heat pad is an excellent source of heat from beneath the tank. A heat pad easily attaches to the outside bottom of the tank.

A secondary source of heat can be from a daylight basking bulb or a heat emitter that fits in a light socket. A thermostat to make sure your pet’s cage is the correct temperature is a good idea. A uromastyx needs a daytime temperature around 85 degrees F and a basking area than can get up to 115 degrees F.

A combination light fixture that will support a UVB fluorescent bulb and incandescent bulbs are perfect to organize your pet’s lighting. These fixtures are attractive, house all the lights and heat emitters your pet needs, can withstand the heat from the bulbs, and usually have switches to control each light independently.

Substrate
Commercial play sand, reptile sand, a reptile Eco-earth, or a combination of them make an excellent substrate. If using Eco-earth, make sure it is completely dry before adding it to the cage.

Uromastyx need low humidity, less than 40%, and leftover moisture in the earth can raise the humidity in a tank to unhealthy levels. The substrate should be several inches deep. Uromastyx like to dig and burrow, so your pet will love a deep substrate.

You should not use sand for a young uromastyx for fear of accidental ingestion and possible impaction. Paper towels make a decent alternative for a young uromastyx.

Decor
Caves and half logs make excellent pre-made burrows for your pet. Formations of rocks or a large rock under the basking area will give your uromastyx a place to sun himself and absorb needed heat and UVB. You can further decorate your pet’s habitat with various backgrounds, climbing areas, branches, and other decor.

Food & Water Bowl
Your pet will need a food bowl to feed him his greens and veggies. A second food bowl can be used for bird seed that uromastyx like to eat.

A water bowl is not necessary. Your pet will get all his needed water from his food. Also, a water bowl could possible raise the humidity level in the cage.

Cleaning
Cleaning your uromastyx’s home is not very difficult. Do a daily cleaning of the food bowl and substrate. An aquarium fish net is a quick and easy way to scoop the waste out of the substrate. You should periodically clean all the fixtures, tank glass, and replace the substrate.

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