UV lamps for turtles: selection, instruction manual. Does a turtle need an ultraviolet lamp?
Many people keep pets. Some of them give birth to contact individuals, for example, cats or dogs, while others prefer to enjoy observing the life of mysterious species, which include reptiles. Back in the 90s of the last century, it was considered that such pets can be kept, at best, in an aquarium with water (if it is a waterfowl species) or, worst of all, on the floor (when the reptile is land). Today we will not talk about how to properly maintain a reptile at home, but rather about the main attribute, without which a comfortable living of a pet is simply impossible. On the agenda - UV lamps for turtles and everything connected with them: the best models, reputable manufacturers, acceptable indicators of solar radiation substitutes.
Watching the reptile is fun for the esthete
One of the hardy pets is red-eared turtle. This is a waterfowl reptile that spends most of its time in the liquid element. However, the pet also prefers to get out on dry land and bask in the rays of an improvised sun, which should be an ultraviolet lamp for turtles. On the modern market there is a wide range of terrarium aquariums with small islands, where, in fact, a pet can warm up. By the way, due to the relative simplicity of the content and entertainment of the process of vital activity, many novice amateurs buy for themselves the red-eared turtles.
Due to the small amount of knowledge about this reptile, people are the main cause of their diseases and even death. In order to prevent mistakes that can be fatal for a pet, you need to take into account the main conditions necessary for a comfortable stay of a waterfowl reptile in a human house. Further in the article we will try to give the most complete answer to the question: what kind of ultraviolet lamp is needed for a turtle? But, first, let's deal with the main dwelling of the pet.
A few words about the form
The aquatic red-eared turtle lives in nature in the southern regions of the United States of America. Its main and favorite haven is the Mississippi Coast with rather warm water and a small current. The average size of an adult reptile of this species is about 30 cm. In a terrarium, its lifespan can reach 40 years, because it is usually thought that in “greenhouse” conditions without stress and pursuers, the turtles really relax, thereby increasing the number of lived years. This factor should push the future owner to think about whether it is worthwhile to start a long-lived reptile in his house for a long period.
But, if a positive decision was made, it is necessary to create comfortable living conditions for it, as close as possible to natural habitats. To do this, you need to familiarize yourself with the minimum requirements for terrariums so that the reptile lives a happy and, most importantly, healthy life:
- The turtle tank should have a capacity of approximately 200 liters. This size is considered optimal for one, maximum two individuals.It must be filled with fresh water, the recommended temperature of which is about 26 ° C.
- The improvised land required by the eared turtle in a terrarium should be at least 20% of the total area of the dwelling. A 60 watt incandescent lamp must be used to heat it. The optimum temperature on a dry island is 32 ° C.
- A vital element above the island of land in a reptile aquarium is the presence of an ultraviolet lamp for turtles with a UVB of 10%. Many inexperienced or irresponsible owners believe that it is quite possible to do without it, but this is absolutely wrong. The reptile body is designed in such a way that without the presence of ultraviolet light, it is not able to produce calcium and B vitamins, which are so necessary for the formation of a strong turtle shell. Having deprived the red-eared tortoise of the sun, the owner, sooner or later, will face a huge number of health problems with his pet. There are very few experienced herpetologists, and the treatment is often expensive, so there is a great chance of not being able to help the sick reptile.
- It is imperative to maintain cleanliness in the terrarium. The turtle can tolerate salmonellosis.By the way, red-eared pets quickly pollute the water in the process of life. Therefore, the filter for water purification, too, will have its owner, just what we needed. To change the water (200 liters or more) every 2 days without filtration is unpleasant.
- A thermometer is needed to determine the water temperature, the mark on which should not fall below 23 ° C.
From all of the above, it becomes clear that it is quite troublesome to keep a reptile at home. But, having done everything right and spent, there is a great chance for a long time to enjoy watching the interesting life of red-eared turtles. All the necessary accessories can be purchased at specialized pet stores and on thematic sites on the Internet.
For different types of reptiles - excellent indicators of ultraviolet radiation
UV lamps for turtles are a necessary accessory for keeping a reptile at home, replacing the spectrum of sunlight in its natural habitat. But not all such lamps are capable of benefiting red-eared turtles. For the maintenance of aquatic reptiles, suitable lamps, issuing in its range of about 30% UVA, 5-12% UVB.It should be noted that on the shelves of stores you can find goods for both land reptiles and waterfowl. It is important not to make a mistake and choose an ultraviolet lamp for a water turtle, which should emit a spectrum of at least 5-8% UVB.
For the Central Asian land individuals or their closest counterparts, this figure should be more than 10-12% of UVB. It is important to strictly adhere to the instructions for each lamp, because there is indicated the distance between the device and the eyes of the turtle. Due to non-compliance with the manufacturer's instructions and due to his own negligence, you can leave the turtle for a lifetime blind. A UV lamp for an aquarium with a red-ear reptile must be protected from water.
The recommended lamp life is indicated on the package of the lamp purchased. Often it is 1 year, but may be less, depending on the manufacturer. After this period of time, the radiation of the ultraviolet lamp for red-eared turtles may no longer correspond to the characteristics specified in the instructions, and, accordingly, does not bring any benefit to the pet.Experienced tortoise scientists advise replacing lamps for a month or even two before the deadline, considering that by this time they are not able to cope with their tasks. All because the device works about 10-12 hours a day.
Reflectors for UV lamps - common causes of tortoises burn
Without the specified period of operation to buy the lamp should not be. It is worth choosing only proven brands. Many reptile owners use reflectors to increase ultraviolet radiation, however, this method should be treated very carefully. Too much radiation can cause burns. By the way, to replace the UV lamp for a turtle with something else will not work, and it is impossible. Is that in the summer to make your pet on the street under the "living" rays of the sun.
Proper installation of the ultraviolet spectrum in a reptile terrarium
It is necessary to approach responsibly to the choice of the place of installation of the lamp in the aquarium or turtle terrarium (depending on its type). The source of ultraviolet radiation is mounted above the turtle, and not to the side. When properly installed, he, like the sun, should cover the entire territory of the pet's habitat.The distance from the lamp to the dry improvised island should be at least 35 cm. By the way, if the tortoise is overland, then the lamp should be placed above the land of the terrarium also, focusing on the above indicator. It is necessary to consider the safety technique of the maintenance of your pet. After all, a reptile has considerable physical strength and, with poor-quality fixing of a lighting device, it can loosen and overturn it. Make sure that the electrical wires do not hang down and are not accessible to physical contact with the tortoise.
A list of recommended lamps (for turtles) that can replace the sun
On the territory of Russia, such brands of UV lamps for pets are represented: Arkadia, SERA, JBL, ZooMed, Comodo and others. All of them have successfully established themselves among those people who keep reptiles at home. But for a beginner, all the information about the characteristics of the product is important, among which also the main question arises: how much does the UV lamp for turtles cost? Most often, the cost of such a lamp depends on several factors: the manufacturer's brand, power consumption, the radius of illumination, to which it transmits the specified radiation spectrum 100%. Most often, the cost ranges from 700 to 1500 rubles.
For example, Chinese-made lamps work up to 6 months, while analogs made in Russia and the CIS last for 1 year. European brands are of higher quality and, accordingly, will cost much more. It is very important that during the entire period of the specified service life the technical parameters of the lamp do not deviate from those stated in the instructions. A clear opinion was formed among consumers that the best option for purchase, combining quality and cost, is the Arkadia lamp.
Diseases of reptiles without sun
Answering the question of whether a tortoise needs an ultraviolet lamp, any tortoise scholar will answer without hesitation that it is necessary. If there is no such in the terrarium, it will lead to poor calcium absorption. As a result, it will not be enough to develop bone tissue. This will affect the development of rickets in the tortoise and curvature of the shell. In the absence of UV radiation or, if it is not enough, the tortoise may develop softening of the shell, its curvature. The extremities will weaken, they will be subject to fractures. Outcomes most often for reptiles kept in the wrong conditions are pitiable.
Decision must be weighed
Before you get a home turtle, you need to seriously consider a few important aspects:
- Is it possible to care for a pet for a long time, because it is known that reptiles can live long enough.
- Is it possible to purchase the necessary equipment for arranging a comfortable place for a turtle to live in a human house: an aquarium, an incandescent lamp and a UV lamp, and also, if the type is floating, then filters and cleaners.
- Provide pet nutrition. For the red-eared - it is boiled meat, shrimp, dried gammarus, and for land species - fresh greens year-round.
Herpetologists claim that few people are able to truly love reptiles. She is not in contact and not created to be squeezed in her hands. It is rather a kind of pet, for which it is simply pleasant to watch, distracting from the turmoil of everyday life and relaxing at the end of the working day.