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UV lamp for land and water turtles

An important element of a terrarium for turtles is an ultraviolet lamp. Without it, they simply can not exist normally, because with the help of its light they form bones and shell. It is especially important to use such a lamp when caring for young and pregnant reptiles.

Without ultraviolet, the turtle shell is deformed, and the animal will start rickets, due to which the bones will become very brittle.

Under the action of an ultraviolet lamp in a tortoise grow bones and shell

Due to the effect of ultraviolet in the turtle’s body, vitamin D3 is produced, contributing to the absorption of calcium. Without this element, rickets develop in animals, as a result of which, at the slightest fall, they can break their limb or armor.

This entails a long period of treatment, and sometimes even the death of a pet.

In nature, land turtles receive D3 only from one source – sunlight. Giving this vitamin as part of fertilizing is useless, because it is not absorbed.

The lamp for the land tortoise is the only chance for a healthy life.

Aquatic turtles can get D3 from food, or more precisely, from the viscera of animals eaten by them. This means that using ultraviolet for them is optional, but recommended.

For example, for a red-eared turtle, an ultraviolet lamp is needed in the winter time, because the sun is high and it is more difficult to get vitamin from it.

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If you do not set the right light right away, then in two weeks, land tortoises will begin to have health problems. The lamp must be turned on for the whole day (10-12 hours), and switched off for the night.

It is recommended to place it at a distance of 20−40 cm from the ground or 20 cm from the shore of the aquarium. A more accurate distance depends on the power of the lamp and the percentage of UVB.

Believed to be optimal ultraviolet frequency – from 290 to 310 nm, peak – 294. Light below 290 nm becomes harmful, and the one above 310 nm does not produce, but destroys D3.

So that the desired light reaches the pet, it is necessary to hang the illuminator above the ventilation grid or even over the turtle itself so that the glass of the aquarium is not between the reptile and ultraviolet rays. This is due to the fact that window glass and polycarbonate completely retain UV light, and plexiglas partially.

There should be no glass between the lamp and the turtle.

Compact ultraviolet lamps are screwed into the usual base E27, and tubes T5 or T8 – in special slots for the ceiling, which is in the terrarium. If the grooves are not, then you need to buy a ceiling for fluorescent lamps in a pet shop or building materials store.

To enhance power, you can use reflectors that can make radiation 2 times stronger. They have the appearance of curved aluminum plates.

Without reflectors the power is not increased, but if necessary, you can lower the cover, but not less than 15 cm from the turtle.

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Change the lighting device before it burns out. This is due to the fact that over time, the filling, which shifts the emission spectrum in ultraviolet, burns out.

It goes into the red area. Such lighting does not harm the animal, but it will be absolutely useless.

The service life of the device is indicated on the package, but it is not always possible to trust the written. The easiest way to understand that it is time to change the lamp, if you turn on a new one next to it.

Usually the difference in light between an old and recently purchased device can be seen with the naked eye.

At the outgoing compact bulb at the junction of the flask with the plastic part, yellowed spots appear, similar to scum. Also inside the flask itself you can see dark spots that indicate that it is time to replace it.

There are lights that shine with a similar light, but they have a different impact and are completely useless for reptiles. These include lamps:

  • medical;
  • for plants and fish;
  • with a UVB spectrum of less than 5% or without specifying UVB;
  • quartz;
  • fluorescent;
  • blue, including those used for treatment;
  • for drying nails;
  • UV for money.

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