Green anoles (anolis carolinensis) are small lizards native to the southeastern United States.
Not sure how to get a green anole tank setup the right way?
In this article, we’ve created your complete guide to a green anole cage setup.
First, the best green anole tank size is typically 10 gallons for one lizard or double for multiple lizards. They require high-humidity levels and warm basking areas. This species of lizard also requires appropriate hides and climbing areas.
But what else does their tank need? And how do you properly set up a tank for a green anole?
Check out the upcoming guide to find the answers to these questions and more.
Table of Contents
Green Anole Tank Setup Guide
You’ve just taken your green anole lizard home from the pet store, and you’re eager to set them up with a safe home.
But what size tank does a green anole need, what is its proper habitat, and what in the world does it eat?
Next, we’ll lay out the most important details you need to know to help with your green anole tank setup.
Let’s jump right in!
Green Anole Natural Habitat
Green Anoles live in high-humidity habitats and are found in forests, swamps, wooded beaches, and other areas with a high density of trees. Green anoles love climbing trees!
They are typically found in the southeastern United States, stretching from southern Virginia to Texas.
The green anole habitat, and their preference for this region of the US, gives them the nickname the Carolina anole.
Choosing The Right Green Anole Cage Setup
You’re putting a lot of time and effort into properly getting your new pet lizard’s tank setup by learning about their environment. Now it’s time to put that knowledge to work.
What is the best green anole lizard tank setup?
Green Anole Tank Size
A 10-gallon tank with a screened lid is best for a single green anole lizard.
Screened lids are required to help with ventilation for this species of lizard.
You can keep two anoles together in a 10-gallon tank if they aren’t both male anoles. Males tend to be aggressive with one another.
Follow these tank size suggestions for more than two anole lizards.
- 1-2 Anole Lizards = 10 Gallon Tank
- 3-4 Anole Lizards = 20 Gallon Tank
- Avoid Keeping More than 5 Lizards in a Single Tank Unless Experienced
- No More Than 1 Male Per Tank Enclosure
Check out our top pick for a green anole tank enclosure here.
Green Anole Enclosure Materials
Keep your green anole in either glass or a sturdy plastic tank with a screened lid for ventilation. We prefer glass enclosures for the best results, although they are a bit more expensive than their plastic counterparts.
Selecting The Best Substrate for Green Anoles
Green anoles require specific substrates to stay happy, healthy, and comfortable. Peat moss and soil made without bark is the substrate anoles prefer.
Moisture and Humidity Levels for Substrate
You want to choose peat moss or soil made without bark because green anoles require a good amount of humidity to stay healthy. These two materials absorb moisture and mimic the natural habitat of green anoles.
Top Substrate Options for Green Anoles
These are the best substrate options for maintaining proper humidity levels inside your pet lizard’s enclosure.
- Orchid bark
- Coconut Fiber
- Royal Pillow Moss
- Sheet Moss
Temperature Gradient & Humidity Regulation
You’ve put much effort into determining your lizard’s proper substrate and tank sizes. Now, let’s take a look at their ideal temperature and humidity requirements.
Optimal Temperatures During the Day & Night
During the day, the optimal temperature for green anoles is 75-80 Fahrenheit. At night, green anoles prefer a temperature of 65-70 Fahrenheit. If the temperature in their environment drops below 65 degrees, green anoles turn brown.
The Importance of a Basking Area
Pet lizards need a basking area to thrive. The temperature of the basking area should be around 90 Fahrenheit.
Why Your Green Anole Lizard Needs Humidity Levels to Stay Balanced
For reptiles, humidity is critical. Your green anole lizard is not immune to their dependency on safe humidity levels. Like the green anole, tropical, warm-climate lizards require humidity levels of around 60-70% inside their tank.
To maintain these humidity levels, you can keep a small water bowl inside their tank or spray down the insides of their enclosure. You can also buy a misting system like this one to automate the process.
Creating a Natural Habitat that Green Anoles Love
Now that you know what size tank to buy, the appropriate substrate, temperatures, and humidity levels, it’s time to do a bit of interior designing for your pet lizard’s home.
Here’s what to keep in mind.
Use Live Plants
Live plants are better than fake plants for your lizard. They help with the humidity in their enclosure and create a luscious environment replicating their natural habitat.
But what live plants are best for this species of lizard?
Best Live Plants for Proper Green Anole Care
Our top recommendations for live plants include the following:
- Jewel Orchids
- Grape Ivy
- Snake Plants
Always Use Non-Toxic Plants
There are non-toxic and toxic plants for green anoles.
Some live plants to avoid in their terrarium include:
- Bracken Fern
Providing Hiding Spots
Green anoles need a secure, dark hiding place to reduce stress and feel safe. They’ll need an arboreal and terrestrial hide to feel completely safe.
Hiding Spots Prevent Stress
The overall health of your reptile depends on its ability to find hiding spots inside its enclosure. In addition to the two types of hiding spots mentioned above, they also need lots of foliage to feel their best.
As do the live plant list we mentioned, the moss types outlined above are also great for creating hiding spots for your pet lizard. Bright green foliage also helps them stay camouflaged, giving them even more peace of mind.
Best Hiding Spot Materials
We recommend hides in the form of rocks, although avoiding any type of heat rocks you may find is important. Small cork logs, branches, and bark can greatly add to their hides.
Keep one hide on the warm side of their enclosure and one on the cooler side of their tank to make your lizard happy.
You can find these materials at a reptile supplies store.
What about lighting? Yes, your lizard requires the best lighting equipment to stay healthy and happy. Let’s look at what their lighting requirements are.
Basking Lights for a Green Anole
Green anoles love to bask in the sun, so they require a basking light in their enclosure. A full-spectrum UVB light is the best option.
Check the temperature inside their enclosure often to ensure the light isn’t turning into a heat lamp for your lizard.
Only use the light for up to 12 hours daily, as too much UVB lighting can overwhelm them.
Hydration for Your Pet Lizard
Besides their need for high humidity levels, lizards also need water to stay hydrated. Here’s how to provide everything your pet lizard needs to stay hydrated.
Shallow Water Dish Only
A shallow dish lets your lizard take a dip and cool off and prevents them from drowning. The dish should allow water to come up to their shoulders while they enjoy a cool bath.
Regularly Clean Your Anole’s Enclosure
Keep your lizard’s enclosure clean by removing their water dish when giving them feeder insects. The last thing you want is to make your lizard sick from bacteria left behind by their dinner.
Diet and Feeding Requirements
Green anole lizards are insectivorous reptiles, meaning their diets consist primarily of insects. Providing your pet lizard with a varied diet is the key to keeping them happy and healthy.
In this section, we’ll dive deeper into the diet and feeding requirements of the green anole.
What Green Anoles Eat
This species of lizard enjoys chowing down on a variety of insects, including:
- Small Roaches
- Small Silk Worms
- Small Meal Worms
- Small Crickets
- Small Red Worms
As a general standard, you shouldn’t feed your lizard anything that is more than half the size of your anole’s head. Also, you should serve their meals alive and well since they’re not big fans of dead meat.
For younger lizards and hatchlings, 2-3 food items should be offered to them once per day. For adults, 2-3 food items should be offered once every other day.
Understanding The Importance of Gut-Loaded Insects
Not only should you feed your lizard live insects, but you should also gut-load them before feeding. Gut loading is the practice of feeding insects nutritious diets full of vegetables before you feed them to your lizard.
The goal is to have insects become a vehicle for delivering essential nutrients for your pet lizard.
To do this, you may feed crickets a mix of fruits, vegetables, and diets rich in vitamins and minerals. You can also dust live insects with calcium and vitamin D3 supplements for an added boost.
Make sure your insects are a nutritious meal before you hand them over to your pet lizard using these simple tips.
Maintenance and Monitoring
Proper maintenance and regular monitoring of your green anole’s enclosure are essential to creating a healthy and thriving environment for your scaly companion. You want to be a responsible pet owner and to do that, you need to create a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable environment.
So, what’s the best way to keep your pet lizard happy inside its tank?
Monitor Temperature Gradient and Humidity Levels
It’s crucial that you keep track of the temperature gradient and humidity levels. You’ll need a quality thermometer and hygrometer to monitor the enclosure’s temperature and humidity levels.
Remember, the temperature gradient for anoles should stay within 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and slightly cooler than at night.
Humidity levels should be around 60% to 70% to support shedding and general health.
Monitor Lighting and UVB
Monitor the lighting and UVB source for your anole. Keep track of your lighting equipment and ensure it is working properly.
Replace your UVB bulbs regularly, as well. Like all other light bulbs, UVB bulbs deteriorate over time, so they do need to be replaced frequently.
Also, ensure the UVB light is positioned correctly to enhance the effectiveness of the basking area for your lizard.
Too close, and it could become too hot for them. Too far, and it might not be hot enough. Double-check your lighting equipment regularly to ensure your pet has the perfect climate in their tank.
Observe Your Anole
So, how do you know if your pet is happy and healthy? By watching them!
Observing your anole’s behavior is the best way to ensure they are and stay healthy. Take note of their appetite, appearance, and activity level.
Any changes in their behavior or appearance could indicate a problem with their health.
Regular Cleaning is Critical
Green anoles love a clean and healthy enclosure. Once you’ve set up their tank correctly, it’s your job to ensure it stays clean and well-maintained.
Thoroughly clean your green anole’s tank every single week. Start by gathering the appropriate cleaning materials:
- Reptile-safe cleaning solution or mild dish soap.
- Room temperature water
- Clean, soft cloths or paper towels
- Fresh substrate
- New hides (if so desired)
How to Clean Your Reptile’s Tank Step-by-Step
Step 1. Create a temporary enclosure. Before you start cleaning, set up a temporary holding enclosure for your lizard. Just make sure they can’t escape from the holding tank.
Step 2. Remove your green anole. Gently remove your anole from their existing tank and put them in their holding tank.
Step 3. Empty the tank. Remove all accessories, substrate, and hides from the enclosure. Ensure there are no signs of uneaten food, shed skin or feces.
Step 4. Clean the tank. Thoroughly wash down the tank using the cleaning solution and water. Don’t use bleach or other harsh chemicals.
Step 5. Rinse the tank. Rinse the walls and floor of the tank with water. Remove any traces of soap that may have been left behind.
Step 6. Clean all accessories. If you plan to place your accessories back inside the enclosure, wash them with water thoroughly. Rinse them well!
Step 7. Replace the substrate. Add the new substrate to the tank using previously discussed materials like sphagnum moss or coconut fiber.
Step 8. Reassemble the enclosure. Once everything is clean, put it back together inside the tank. Ensure all items are secure to avoid hurting your lizard.
Step 9. Check the temperature and humidity. Before you put your lizard back inside their home, verify the temperature and humidity levels are safe for their health.
Step 10. Place your lizard back inside the enclosure. Gently place your lizard back inside its tank.
In between your weekly deep cleans, spot-clean the tank to keep your lizards healthy.
Give Your Green Anoles The Gift of a Perfect Tank Setup
Setting up your green anole’s tank can be a bit of a challenge, but with the help of this article, you can create the perfect environment for your brand-new lizard.
Remember to use a 10-gallon tank for single anoles and double that size for multiple anoles. Monitoring the temperature and humidity gradient for the tank is equally important, so keep a close eye on both.
Did you find this article interesting?
At Oddly Cut Pets, we always strive to create the best articles to help you take care of your green anoles. For more information about green anoles, check out our website.
Thanks for reading!