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Iguana or fish???

I'm not putting this under "WYR" because I'm debating and want input about both. DH and I both love iguanas and we've wanted one since before we got married (he had one when he was a kid). We both also like fish in general (I had fish growing up).

What's the average cost of keeping fish/an iguana (like food and that sort of thing)? For fish, we're not talking about a ton and/or a huge tank, just big enough for maybe 4 (pretty small) fish total.

If you've had both, which do you prefer and why?


Asked by Mrs.BAT at 8:43 PM on Mar. 21, 2011 in Pets

Level 38 (105,028 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • We chose a bearded dragon b/c of all the good reviews we got from people saying they were very friendly and easily handled. Ours will only get 2ft which doesnt compare to the iguana.

    Our initial set up tank...lights....ect was around 250.00....dragon was 45$. We buy him crickets, meal worms, and green veggies monthly. Around 15 to 20 dollars. As he grows that might increase.

    Our fish food lasts for about 2 months or so.....price is 6 $ a can. Fish can range in price depending on how fancy they can get some 3 for 10.....or as much as 10$ each....

    Initial set up for that can be in the hundreds too...depending on how large the tank is.

    WE clean our tank very rarely. Maybe once a year we drain half the water and replace...also scraping algae and cleaning rocks. The stores will tell you to do it more, but we learned that it can mess the PH of the system up and the fish do better if you leave it alone.....

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 9:01 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • We have a tropical aquarium 45 gallons about 15- 20 fish....have had it for about 7 years now.

    We just acquired a bearded sons...he loves animals of all types.

    I can tell you the dragon requires 10x's the care the fish do.

    I also know that (like our dragon) they get big and need larger living spaces.

    We leave our aquarium alone for months at a time.....and it it GREAT....just throw a few fish flakes in there daily.

    The lizard is high maintenance. lol I personally do not like it...son does though... :)

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 8:52 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • Oh was gonna add....if you are looking for the wow factor from friends and family who visit....our lizard usually freaks people out. They love it...or hate it....or fear it and go running. HA!

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 8:53 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • fish would be much cheaper to keep than an iguana. iguanas need a specific environment to thrive, and unless you're thinking of doing a tropical salt water tank, most fish are easy. you have to also think about what you will do with the iguana once it is full grown. do you want a huge tank in your house? i never had an iguana as a pet in my home, but when i was a zookeeper they had a full grown one that was part of my duties. i couldn't imagine having that huge habitat anywhere in my home lol.  usually iguanas don't eat special foods, just fresh greens and fruits/veggies. you have to feed them new food every day (i only did it once a day), and fresh water of course. fish usually just eat the fish food lol.


    Answer by princessbeth79 at 8:54 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • As your husband must know Iguanas get big..No I man BIG, and quickly at that. My friend who teaches school has one in her class room..each year the pen had to be made larger...It is about 7 ft by 4ft now and could be larger in my opinion. She probably would not be allowed to keep it at school but it is a Montessori school she started. FISH please ,That is my vote. Plus they are less stinky. When you have your heat lamp on your iguana and he goes poo it is a real room evacuator.

    Answer by notjustmom213 at 8:49 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • I like fish. They are pretty and easy to care for if you know how.

    Answer by mommytoJames512 at 8:52 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • Yeah, we've heard they can get up to around 8ft (one of the things that appeals to us, oddly), but his never made it that far (he died because they had the wrong stuff in his cage and apparently iguanas are deathly, literally, allergic to whatever was in the cage). My mom's friends had one that was about 4ft when I was a kid and I loved it. He was honestly more friendly than a lot of dogs I've encountered lol.

    Comment by Mrs.BAT (original poster) at 8:54 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • Fish are easy and very low cost. They only take up as much room as the tank. If you truly give an iguana the room it needs, it needs a room that is its ecosystem. That could get costly.


    Answer by dancinintherain at 8:58 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • Live plants in the aquarium also help the PH balance stay right...

    Salt water tanks our outrageous and hard to keep...IMO.

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 9:02 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • Thanks ladies! We've talked about bearded dragons before, but not recently. I think I'll bring that up with DH soon after doing some more research first.

    Comment by Mrs.BAT (original poster) at 9:04 PM on Mar. 21, 2011