How to choose and use a UV light for turtles or tortoises

Ultraviolet (UV) bulb – the source of artificial ultraviolet radiation for pet turtles, obtained by applying the thin film optical color filter on the glass.

The function of the ultraviolet

In the wild turtles get a dose of ultraviolet radiation from sunlight.He is responsible for the absorption of calcium – the main element of bone structure.

And other Central Asian tortoises can't get D3 from food as they feed on plant food. Vitamin feeding without UV light not absorbed in the right amount for the health of the turtles. For water turtles same lamp less important because of the nature of power. Red predators D3 is extracted from the innards of animals we eat. But, when the content in the home, and for land and aquatic turtles UV lamp is optional equipment.

One UV lamps for turtles is not enough, so in the terrarium and the aquarium must be installed and other types:

  1. Heating. It is used to heat the cold blooded reptiles during the day. To maintain the required temperature can be used an ordinary incandescent light bulb.
  2. Infrared. The primary function of this lamp – heating. Light, it does not, therefore, used in night time low temperatures in the room.

Valid parameters

Artificial light is necessary for activity and health of the turtles. Too low temperature (<15°) can trigger a state of hibernation and reduce the immune system, and too high (>40°) can cause death.

For a comfortable life of a pet it is necessary to maintain the following temperature conditions:

  • 23°-32° on land;
  • 22°-28° in the water.

The optimum temperature is achieved with lamps with a capacity of 40-60 Watts (W) heaters for water in 100W (assuming the aquarium on the 100L).

Have UV lamps power range from 10-40W and depends on the length of the device. The longer the lamp, the more ultraviolet light it emits.

In addition to the power necessary to take into account the value of UVA and UVB – ultraviolet rays that have a different effect on the body of a reptile. The maximum allowable value of UVA, responsible for the stimulation of natural processes, is 30%, and the value of UVB, promote calcium absorption depends on the form of a turtle:

  • for the red-eared terrapins need a lamp from 5 to 8% UVB;
  • for land – not < 10 and >12% UVB.

IMPORTANT! At the time of pregnancy and disease UVB increase to 8-12%, even aquatic reptiles.

The main types of lamps

For the maintenance of tortoises quite normal incandescent lamp, and for the maintenance of water need a more powerful bulb (not <20W) which heats the pool or an additional heater.

In addition to the classic "light bulbs Ilyich" the lighting in the terrarium and the aquarium is regulated by:

  1. Reflector lamp. From incandescent bulbs different directional lighting, retaining heat at a specific point due to the mirror coating.
  2. The neodymium lamp. In addition to the lighting and heating is responsible for the contrast of colors, giving brightness and saturation of the color of reptiles. Is more expensive than other types, but is protected from water.
  3. LEDs. The led lighting is economical and durable, but loses the other types on the power output. It's hard for her to warm up the terrarium and aquarium, but can be used for aesthetic purposes, mixing red, green, blue and other colors available.

Among night lights, producing no visible light, you can use:

  • infrared;
  • ceramic protected from high humidity.

Ultraviolet lamps

UV lamp for aquarium and terrarium comes in 2 varieties of fluorescent and metalloprokat.


The shape of the bulbs are divided into:

  • Tubular. Thanks to the protective coating on the bulb, the ultraviolet light is not dangerous for the human and snail's eyes. The minimum diameter and the maximum power is seen in expensive models T5. Wide model T8 is cheaper, but inferior in quality.
  • Compact. Look like regular incandescent light bulb and installed into the E27 socket. Lose tubular counterparts lower service life decreases due to frequent power surges.


Along with the necessary dose of UV lamp is good warms the terrarium, so it is suitable for tortoises as the only source of daylight. Unlike fluorescent tend to have much longer service life, reaching to 1.5 years.

The most popular brands of UV lamps

If a light bulb you can buy at any hardware store, then UV will have to be purchased at larger pet shops or order online.

The price of the UV lamp depends on:

  1. Manufacturer. The most expensive models include Chinese samples (Repti Zoo, Zoo Simple Bulk), and the most expensive European (Narva, Sera, Arcadia, Namiba Terra) and American (ZooMed, Lucky Reptile).
  2. Appearance. The maximum value have a narrow and long fluorescent lamps.

The average UV lamp is 1 to 2 thousand rubles.

IMPORTANT! These brands have a line of lamps for turtles, and for the Central Asian turtle.

The nuances of choice

Most ready-made terrariums with built-in lamps. In order to save put 2 incandescent bulbs exclusively responsible for heating reptiles, so future owners have to buy the ultraviolet source. To choose quality and safe UV light for turtle, keep in mind the following characteristics:

  1. Power. It should be in the range from 10 to 40W.
  2. Length. To find a lamp for turtles, suitable to the size of the unpopular lamp – heavy task. Long searches can be avoided by buying a unit with a size in 45, 60, 90 and 120cm.
  3. The emission spectrum. Proceed from species of reptiles. Remember that the packaging always indicates the value of UVA and UBA. If the indicator is lost, then do not purchase. Otherwise, the turtle runs the risk of a burn or remain without the necessary dose of ultraviolet radiation.
  4. Form. Choose a tubular shape, protected from power surges, or the more expensive metallotorgovuju design.
  5. Brand. Don't try to save China. Because of the low service life of the lamp will have to change no less than every six months. It is better to choose a better model from America or Europe with service life up to 1 year.

Placement rules

In order to properly place the purchased lamp, consider the following points:

  1. The type of lamp. The tubular types are installed in a special ceiling in the lid of the aquarium and terrarium, compact – base table lamps and metallotorgovye only work with a special starter.
  2. Minimum distance between lamp and soil. The distance should be from 30 to 40cm and focus on the power and importance of UVB.
  3. The form of a turtle. Water turtles use the land for heating, so there is an allowed maximum temperature. For land a balance is important, so the lamp should be directed to one of the parts of the terrarium to provide reptiles a choice between the temperature regimes.
  4. Temperature difference. Take measurements on the desired temperature at the level of the dorsal shield of the carapace. On the ground level is lower so the pet can get burned.
  5. The volume of the highlighted areas. Under the rays should get all the body of a turtle.

IMPORTANT! The optimal position for placement over the head of a turtle. With the side mount light irritates and annoys the animal, while the upper – successfully simulates the sun.

Guide to using

The heating lamp should illuminate for 10-12 hours, creating a simulation of daylight. At night it should be shut down so the turtles could sleep. If room temperature is not enough – use a heat lamp, not a light source, but it supports the desired temperature.

The operating time of the UV lamp depends on age of the reptiles:

  1. Up to 2 years. Young animals need a lot of ultraviolet light, so UV lamp must work along with the heating. Follow the rays hit directly on the bug is not necessary, because the body itself will take the necessary dose of radiation.
  2. After 2 years. With age, the animal loses sensitivity to UV rays, but not experiencing an acute need for them as a child. Reduce the operating time of the lamp up to 3 hours, but make sure that the pet spends under it not less than 1 hour.

IMPORTANT! Time ultraviolet radiation should be greater in debilitated reptiles. In winter, the duration of the procedures, enhance due to the small amount of sunlight coming through the Windows in the room. If work schedule does not allow to strictly observe the turtle mode, use bulb with auto. Thanks to a special timer, programmed for a certain time, don't have to turn on the lamp by yourself.

Permissible and prohibited alternatives

Homemade turtle can not live without the UV lamp. To obtain the necessary amount of sunlight only in summertime, but even in this case, the animal can catch a cold from the change of scenery while out on the street. Temporarily the UV lamp can be replaced by erythema, used for tanning. Because of the powerful doses allocated maximum ultraviolet radiation this device must not be more than 10 minutes a day.

IMPORTANT! Upon irradiation with light tan, avoid contact with eyes. Such a light can injure the cornea of the reptile.

Please note that not all sources of blue light can replace the UV lamp. The risk to turtles are:

  • quartz lamp;
  • medical ultraviolet irradiator;
  • UV lamp for drying nails;
  • energy saving lamp with cold light;
  • the detector of banknotes;
  • lights for aquarium plants and fish.

Manual collection homemade design

In order to save the UV lamp can be done by hand. Before starting work make sure there:

  • the old building from under machinery or other basis for fasteners;
  • driver, power supply and connector from the junk of the lamp;
  • screwdrivers, fasteners and soldering;
  • fluorescent lamp;
  • self-adhesive foil;
  • the wires from the old appliance.

Execute the following statement:

  1. Glue the body (the basis for the fasteners) foil, increasing the illumination area, and place inside the lamp.
  2. Connect the driver power supply connector and the wires with the polarity.
  3. Make sure of reliability of fastening of all components.
  4. Check all connections and connect the lamp to the network.
  5. Secure the lamp above the terrarium.

IMPORTANT! Do not try to save without proper experience. Improper Assembly threatens to fire or injury to reptiles, therefore, rely on manufacturers.


For a comfortable life turtles need 3 types of radiation:

  • ultraviolet light, responsible for the proper functioning of the body;
  • infrared lightmaintains the desired temperature;
  • visible light isresponsible for the maintenance of the diurnal cycle.

Remember that as you use UV bulbs lose their power and need to be replaced at least 1 time per year. If the casing is damaged, remove the pieces and poured the powder into a separate container and make sure ventilation.

IMPORTANT! Due to the low mercury content of the pair belong to low-hazard, but can cause serious harm to the environment if not properly disposed of. A broken appliance can be taken to the employees of SES or MES, in a special collection points, the management company MKD or private company that collects hazardous waste for a nominal fee.

Video: the necessary lamps for tortoises and their location

Video: need lights for the water (pond slider) turtles and their location

How to choose and use a UV light for turtles or tortoises
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