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I guess this is a little divergent from the topic at hand, but I'm wondering, to those who are able ... the poo? Are your herps "potty trained,"? (for lack of a better term) If so, how did you manage that?

As CJ and Charlie have mentioned, Iguanas are fairly easily housebroken. They tend to go in the same place. Other people with large lizards may soak them in the tub and wait for a poo there before they then let the lizard roam the house. I've even read stories of folks who have trained their large tortoises to use newspaper.
However, I don't think you'll have much luck with housebreaking an aquatic turtle. IMO they won't have the built-in capacity of a terrestrial species to attempt to keep their area clean. Land animals often poop in one area so that they don't have to forage or sleep in it. For aquatic animals, this is not an issue, since the water carries the mess away. And since you have an aquatic turtle, soaking it before letting it roam is rather redundant. You might try to find out how people have housebroken their tortoises, but don't get your hopes too high that you'll have the same results. I tend to think of aquatic turtles as being not as smart as tortoises.

Of course, I may be completely wrong and it may be a snap. I hope it's the second. I'd love to hear of a potty-trained aquatic turtle. It would make water changes much less necessary!
I know I read the house-breaking article for tortoises somewhere online. Probably on the Sulcata Station or Tortoise Trust websites. Good luck.

-Z
I can get to alt.binaries.pictures.animals now, Julian!

~J
I guess this is a little divergent from the topic at hand, but I'm wondering, to those who are able ... in a designated area.Or otherwise, how you manage to deal with all the droppings. I appreciate your input. Thanks! Jana

Have you thought of getting a play pen? That way you could put down towels or whatever and then have a little area your turtle could stay in without you having to interrupt him.
As long as he's not blind, he shouldn't bump into the walls of the play pen.
-Rubystars
People like the original poster make me so angry, going out and getting animals without having any idea beforehand what ... trying to make things right. I don't understand why people get animals if they don't know anything about them. -Rubystars

==I'd suggest we take care not to alienate people who will potentially be good keepers. The fact is, these pet stores encourage the impulse purchase of totally inappropriate species and intentionally disseminate false information to support their sales, and they should be the focus of any acrimony. I have convinced my daughter in law, who as taken over the management of a largish pet store, to NO LONGER carry Igs and several other difficult-to-keep species, in spite of the fact that the former manager always kept a dozen or so juvie Igs in stock because "every redneck who came through the door" wanted one.

The salesperson who is serving the client will be taken as an "authority" on the care and needs of the animal in question, and if they are absolutely bald-faced, ***-ignorant liars, you can only attach a small amount of 'blame' onto someone who thought they had secured the necessary info. People aren't born knowing this stuff, and if the first inquiry they make about care is answered with "there's nothing to it", its not too amazing that they don't dig any deeper in the first instance.

Now, they know better.
There will be opportunities for self-recrimination later, if my own experience is any guide.
And I would also agree that attempting to keep 3 Iguanas of unknown gender as a first project is a bit much. I'd return them ALL, politely insist on a refund, and after the money was safely in hand, REALLY flame the salesperson.
DC
Whats a redneck?
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of any acrimony. I have convinced my daughter in law, who as taken over the management of a largish pet ... always kept a dozen or so juvie Igs in stock because "every redneck who came through the door" wanted one.

What if they're buying them to raise to adult size and eat?
Not very cost efective if you are feeding them good food at $3.00 each for food per week 3 tears to get them to eating size would cost a small fortune to feed a family of 5 one Iguana dinner
Havent most people bought on impulse? it does seem that the shop person aid they were good pets etc, thats ... a untamed Ig is a aggressive animal that needs exp and lots of clothing, even then your still at risk.

Of course, plus the original poster said that he trusted the pet store employee (an iguana owner) to give accurate information. Granted, that's a big mistake right there, most pet store employees are pretty clueless about the animals they sell, but it isn't like the OP was an idiot.
Iguanas are sold as cheap, throw-away pets, just like burmese and some of the larger snakes. Nobody bothers to tell you that you're going to end up with a 6' long, possibly aggressive lizard with a nasty bite and strong, rending claws. They don't tell you that you're going to end up feeding large rabbits and small pigs to your burmese either. That's why you see so many people trying to give away/sell these animals when they become too large to handle and probably end up either killing or releasing them when they have no takers.

That said, you CAN have tame, well-adjusted iguanas if you're willing to take the time and effort to make them that way. I have three myself which are very well adjusted, but I had them from the hatchling size and handled them daily the whole time.
They didn't have any more bearded dragons... all they had left were leopard geckos (?) (leopard something) and two chamelons - crested I think.

Leopard geckos are better animals than iguanas, they stay small, they are not aggressive, etc. I would really suggest bearded dragons if you can find them, they are just such wonderful animals with none of the down-sides of an iguana.
The iguana we are planning to keep has a body length that is not even as long as my hand. ... be just yet, but for now it stays perched on my shoulder for a long time. It seems perfectly relaxed...

My first set started out the same size. We used to block off both ends of a long hallway and just lay down and let the iguanas crawl all over us for a couple hours a day. It's a good idea that anyone who plans on interacting with the iguanas do this daily, it really doesn't do a lot of good for them to become accustomed to just one person.
As for the size of a 30 gallon tank... It's approximately 30 inches (76 cm) wide by 18.5" (47cm) tall ... that will give you some size perspective. The iguana on the right is the one we are planning to keep.

That size is fine for the moment for one iguana, just realize that in
6 months, you'll be in a 60-gallon, within 9 months, a 100-gallon,etc. You will be building your own custom enclosure by the time the iguana is 15 months old, they simply don't make them that big.

I have three custom enclosures outside that are 12x9x12 or something like that. Each has a small tree growing in the middle of it for the iguana, has custom heating and light setups, etc. Each iguana gets time out of the cage every day and all three are very tame (although there is one male that I got as a rescue at about 18 months that is definitely less tame). My big male is dog-tame, walks on a leash and will come lay on the couch with you and watch TV. I don't know that I've ever been injured by him. My female is a little more skitterish but still very good.
It can be done but it requires a huge commitment of time for the 20-year life of the animal. These are not dogs and cats, they are wild animals that will never entirely stop being wild.
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