My personal favorite lights is the UVA UVB combo light. I love this light because it is easy to adjust because it cat rotate 360 degrees. You can click on the picture below for more details.
If you have an indoor pet turtle or tortoise, it will absolutely, 100% need UV-B and UV-A light. Indoor pet turtles need light for primarily three reasons.
If your pet indoor turtle does not have all of them, there is a very good chance it will prematurely die or suffer from various health defects sooner or later. Lets talk about why your pet turtle first needs a source that approximates sunshine. Basking refers to when a turtle leaves the water and lays on a solid surface for an extended period of time.
One of the reasons that turtles need sunlight is to dry out their shell and their skin. Different species of turtle spend varying amounts of their lives in the water. And when a turtle is in water for prolonged periods of time it increases its risk of contracting dangerous bacteria, turtle diseases , and fungi on its shell and skin.
Staying in the water too long can also increase the chance of turtles contracting shell rot. The second way they combat those dangerous risks is by raising their internal body temperature. Because turtles and tortoises are cold-blooded, they need sunshine to effectively raise their body temperature.
Turtles need light to maintain their circadian rhythms. Now that we know that a turtle needs a light-source to provide warmth and allow it to dry out its shell (or a light source which mimics this ability), lets discuss why turtles need UV light. Turtles need varying amounts of UV-A light depending on what species they are.
Without adequate amounts of UV-A light, turtles may not be able to properly see and experience the world around them. Turtles need UVB light to maintain an optimal level of vitamin D3 production. Unfortunately, many beginner pet turtle owners arent aware of just how important UV-B and UV-A light is.
Then they are astounded that their turtles die premature deaths despite the fact that they were seemingly given everything they needed. One of the more frequent questions I get asked is How many hours of UV-B light do turtles need? To summarize, turtles need light for 3 primary reasons:
A light source to maintain their circadian rhythm and provide warmth. UV-A light to maintain healthy mood, metabolism, and breeding activity levels.
Do turtles need UVB light?
Turtles need UVA and UVB light to stay healthy. There are mixed views on the importance of UVA light. … Only once Vitamin D3 is present can a turtle begin to utilise the calcium they’ve taken in through food. Without absorbing UVB rays, turtles are unable produce Vitamin D3 and utilise calcium.
What UVB is best for turtles?
For the vast majority of turtles, 10.0 UVB bulbs are the best option. This is the best strength that will fulfill all of your turtle’s needs. 5.0 UVB bulbs can be used if your turtle tank is tight on space, but it’s best to use 10.0 UVB bulbs if you can.
Can a turtle get too much UVB?
Well, it is unlikely for tortoises to experience any complications from correct UV bulb light exposure. At the same time, too much exposure to UV light can be a little harmful in some situations – so, you should not overdo it.
Do turtles need 5.0 or 10.0 UVB?
The 5.0 bulbs are better suited for small enclosures with a low turtle population. For a larger enclosure with more turtles, the 10.0 is the best option as it has a higher penetration power and will cover a bigger area.
When it comes to keeping your turtle healthy and creating a cozy and stable environment, nothing helps more than a good UVB light. It can be a hassle getting to grips with the different shapes, types, and sockets for UVB lights.
However, due to their condensed format compact bulbs can sometimes create a very bright, hot spot in the tank. When choosing a shade or fitting for a compact bulb, try not to get one with a reflective inner surface as this can exacerbate the risk of eye problems.
Compact bulbs should be set up on the basking side of the tank, to simulate the natural position of the sun. Unlike compact bulbs, UVB tube lights carry little to no risk of causing damage to your turtles eyes. This can make mercury vapor bulbs a convenient option, especially if space or electrical outputs are an issue.
With mercury vapor bulbs, the UVB light is only focused on a small area right underneath the lamp. However, where mercury vapor bulbs truly shine is in their deployment of UVA light, which covers a much wider area. This is because they give off a lot of heat and in smaller spaces this could cause overheating, which is bad for your turtle.
The ReptiSun 10.0 boasts a 26-watt capacity and provides 10% UVB and 30% UVA to help keep your turtle healthy and happy. Like its larger sibling above, the ReptiSun 10.0 Compact UVB bulb comes from Zoo Med, one of the industrys most respected and reliable brands. While this particular ReptiSun bulb is small and compact at just 13 watts, its ideal for turtles who live in smaller tanks.
The Tekizoo Sun Lamp is an easy, neat solution to your turtles lighting and heating needs. This versatile bulb is one of the best UVB heat lamps for turtles from a brand that has a stellar reputation. As an example of Zoo Meds supreme quality, the PowerSun lamp utilizes nickel plating to help avoid corrosion.
This powerful lamp from Exo Terra, one of the most respected brands in the business, is a great choice if you have a turtle that hails from a tropical habitat. This lamp simulates the lower levels of UV radiation that tropical and sub-tropical turtles receive in the wild, whilst still catering to their specific needs. It can be installed via a regular screw fixture and features the versatility of being mounted either vertically or horizontally.
If you need to filter down the strength of the light, this bulb also works through screened enclosure setups to help protect your turtle. If your turtles enclosure suits a tube light better than a bulb, then Zoo Med has you covered with the T8 ReptiSun HO. With a 30 watt capacity, the T8 ReptiSun HO is perfect for larger turtle tanks or terrariums.
When it comes to UVB tube lights for your turtle, the Zilla Slimline is a great pick, especially if you own a tropical species. The disadvantage of using round bulbs is that sometimes they can cause intense bright, hot spots, which could damage your turtles eyesight. You can also use mercury vapor bulbs in larger enclosures to reduce the need for a separate heat lamp, but these will overheat smaller tanks and cause damage to your turtle.
The collective amount of heat generated by all the lights in your turtles basking area must be kept in mind to avoid overheating. The Tekizoo Sun Lamp and the Zoo Med PowerSun are good choices for mercury vapor bulbs. Check the recommended setup distance for the bulb to make sure you have adequate space in your turtle tank.
Turtles require very specific conditions in order to stay happy and healthy. One of the most important aspects is the amount of heat and lighting turtles have access to. Not maintaining the correct conditions can lead to illness and in severe cases death. To help you out, weve put together this turtle heat and lighting guide all about heat, UVA light and UVB light, and why its so important.
Turtles need to bask in order to dry, warm up, absorb essential nutrients and regulate their metabolism. Basking also allows turtles to absorb UVA and UVB rays, both of which are essential for healthy development.
Without absorbing UVB rays, turtles are unable produce Vitamin D3 and utilise calcium. UVA, UVB and heat can all be provided to your turtle through specialised and specific reptile lamps.
Best UVB Light For Turtles Comparison Table
If you are in a hurry, here is a comparison table of the different types of UVB/UVA of bulbs. If you have time, you should read on below to get the explanation of why turtles need UVB, the different types of bulbs available, and then individual reviews of each bulb on our list.
Why do turtles need UVB light?
Like most reptiles, turtles are cold-blooded creatures. This means that they need to use external heat sources to help regulate their body temperatures. In the wild, basking in the sunlight allows a turtle to absorb heat into its body. When it needs to cool down, the turtle will head to a shady area.In captivity, UVA and UVB bulbs can help replicate this process. Both types of light are the two most common parts of the ultraviolet spectrum. Most animals on Earth need some exposure to ultraviolet rays in some fashion.For turtles and other reptiles, UVA light helps them recognize what time of day it is. This regulates everyday needs such as food, breeding, and their metabolisms.Turtles need these nutrients to maintain healthy bone development and to avoid health problems such as Metabolic Bone Disease. Getting sufficient UVB light is also necessary to help turtles grow throughout their lives.When providing UV light for your turtle, aim to have the lights set to a 12-hour day/night cycle to help maintain a natural rhythm for your turtle. You should position the UVB light in your turtle’s basking area.
Types of UVB lights for Turtles
There are three main types of UVB lights for turtles available on the market. These are compact bulbs, tube bulbs, and mercury vapor bulbs.
Compact UVB bulbs
Compact UVB bulbs normally come in the form of standard-looking bulbs that screw into light fixtures. Compact UVB bulbs take up less space and are usually the cheaper option. A good example of a compact bulb is the ReptiSun 10.0 Compact.However, due to their condensed format compact bulbs can sometimes create a very bright, hot spot in the tank. This may have the adverse effect of damaging your turtle’s eyesight. This is fairly uncommon though.When choosing a shade or fitting for a compact bulb, try not to get one with a reflective inner surface as this can exacerbate the risk of eye problems.Compact bulbs should be set up on the basking side of the tank, to simulate the natural position of the sun. This helps maintain more of a temperature gradient throughout the turtle tank.
Tube UVB lights
UVB tube lights often come in the form of a fluorescent tube that stretches across the top of your turtle’s enclosure. They can be fitted into a hanging fixture, like a T5 or T8 bracket, above the tank. They can also be inserted into the terrarium hood if your enclosure has the appropriate fixture for that. An example of a tube UVB light is the Zoo Med T8 ReptiSun HO.Unlike compact bulbs, UVB tube lights carry little to no risk of causing damage to your turtle’s eyes. They also provide more of a balanced source of UVB light, especially for larger turtles. Tube UVB bulbs also have a longer usage span than compact bulbs.But tube UVB lights are also usually more expensive than their compact counterparts and can be a little more fiddly to install. They can also cause problems if your turtle tank features a basking lamp mounted above the tank.
Mercury Vapor bulbs
Mercury vapor bulbs like the Zoo Med PowerSun look similar to compact bulbs. However, mercury vapor bulbs have a specialist feature. They combine UVA and UVB lighting but also function as a UVB heat lamp for turtles, providing an all-in-one lamp for your reptile’s needs.This can make mercury vapor bulbs a convenient option, especially if space or electrical outputs are an issue. Mercury vapor bulbs deploy their UVA and UVB light differently from other bulbs. With mercury vapor bulbs, the UVB light is only focused on a small area right underneath the lamp.While this is fine if your turtle basks a lot, if your species isn’t a frequent basker and stays away from the basking spot, they may not receive the level of UVB that they need from a mercury vapor bulb.However, where mercury vapor bulbs truly shine is in their deployment of UVA light, which covers a much wider area. This means that your turtle will receive the right amount of UVA wherever they are in the tank. They will also last longer than most other types of lamps.But mercury vapor bulbs aren’t the best choice for small turtle tanks. This is because they give off a lot of heat and in smaller spaces this could cause overheating, which is bad for your turtle. This amount of heat also means that mercury vapor bulbs should only be house in ceramic fixtures.
Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 Compact UVB
Like its larger sibling above, the ReptiSun 10.0 Compact UVB bulb comes from Zoo Med, one of the industry’s most respected and reliable brands.While this particular ReptiSun bulb is small and compact at just 13 watts, it’s ideal for turtles who live in smaller tanks. This little bulb packs 30% UVA and 10% UVB light production, which is more than enough for most turtles.The ReptiSun 10.0 Compact is also suitable for desert-dwelling species, which shows off the versatility of this mighty little bulb. You can also buy them in packs to make your money go a little bit further!
Tekizoo UVA/UVB Sun Lamp
Tekizoo makes an entry on our list with this versatile bulb. The Tekizoo Sun Lamp combines UVA and UVB light with a heat lamp in one single bulb to meet all of your turtle’s needs. The bulb is available in different strengths from 80 watts to 125 watts and up to 160 watts.The power of this bulb necessitates the use of a vertically-mounted deep-dish fixture, but with the E26 fitting, this shouldn’t be a problem for most setups. This bulb helps to provide plenty of Vitamin D3 to help keep your turtle healthy. The Tekizoo Sun Lamp is an easy, neat solution to your turtle’s lighting and heating needs.
Exo Terra Repti-Glo Tropical UVB100 5.0
This powerful lamp from Exo Terra, one of the most respected brands in the business, is a great choice if you have a turtle that hails from a tropical habitat. This lamp simulates the lower levels of UV radiation that tropical and sub-tropical turtles receive in the wild, whilst still catering to their specific needs.Available in 13-watt and 26-watt strengths, the Repti-Glo Tropical UVB100 5.0 works well in small and medium-sized enclosures with a 12-inch range. It can be installed via a regular screw fixture and features the versatility of being mounted either vertically or horizontally. There’s a reason why Exo Terra is one of the top names in reptile care!
Zilla Slimline Tropical 25 UVB
When it comes to UVB tube lights for your turtle, the Zilla Slimline is a great pick, especially if you own a tropical species. The disadvantage of using round bulbs is that sometimes they can cause intense bright, hot spots, which could damage your turtle’s eyesight.But the Zilla Slimline Tropical is great because it creates the correct temperature all across your tank. The Zilla Slimline comes equipped with the correct light fixture so that you can use it right the bulb out the box. It has a 25-watt output and provides full-spectrum lighting for your turtle.
UVB Bulb for Turtles Buyers Guide
When it comes to selecting the right UVB lights for your turtle, there are a few factors to be aware of. In this concise buyers guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get the best UVB bulbs for your turtle.
Type of UVB bulb
As discussed above, there are three main types of UVB bulbs; compact bulbs, tube lights, and mercury vapor bulbs. Bear the specific needs of your turtle species in mind when choosing a type of bulb.For larger enclosures, tube lights will provide the most benefit. They also last longer than compact bulbs and can’t potentially damage the eyesight of your turtle like compact bulbs can. However, they aren’t as useful in smaller enclosures or ones with an external overhead basking light. This is where compact bulbs shine.You can also use mercury vapor bulbs in larger enclosures to reduce the need for a separate heat lamp, but these will overheat smaller tanks and cause damage to your turtle.The type of UVB bulb you choose will also dictate the type of fixture you need to use to house it. Compact and mercury vapor bulbs will usually require a dome fixture, while tube lights need a horizontal fixture like a T5 or T8.
Amount of UVB
You’ll also want to consider how powerful you need your turtle’s UVB light to be. There are two common strengths of UVB bulbs; 5.0, like the Repti-Glo Tropical 5.0 from Exo Terra, and 10.0 bulbs such as the Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0.For the vast majority of turtles, 10.0 UVB bulbs are the best option. This is the best strength that will fulfill all of your turtle’s needs. 5.0 UVB bulbs can be used if your turtle tank is tight on space, but it’s best to use 10.0 UVB bulbs if you can.
All UVB lights will produce some level of heat. This is determined by their wattage. The collective amount of heat generated by all the lights in your turtle’s basking area must be kept in mind to avoid overheating. Most turtles usually require a temperature around 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the basking spot.The wattage level that usually corresponds to this temperature ranges between 50 watts and 100 watts. If your UVB bulb produces a lot less than this, such as the Exo Terra Repti-Glo 10.0 Compact Desert Lamp, then you will need a heat lamp as well to achieve the correct basking temperature.Mercury vapor bulbs come into their own here, as they are designed to meet both the heat and UVB needs of your turtle. The Tekizoo Sun Lamp and the Zoo Med PowerSun are good choices for mercury vapor bulbs.
It’s also a good idea to check how long the UVB bulb is recommended to last. The strength of the UVB filament gradually lessens as time progresses, which means that you should change your UVB bulbs approximately once a year to ensure that your turtle gets enough UVB light.Some cheaper bulbs will last for less time than this, and compact bulbs normally don’t last as long as tube lights or mercury vapor bulbs.
The best UVB bulbs are ones that produce UVA light as well. This allows you to meet all of your turtle’s lighting needs with a single bulb. If your UVB bulb does not give out UVA light as well, then you will likely need a separate light source to meet this need.
To ensure the safety of your turtle, your UVB light should be able to reach them from a certain distance. The general rule of thumb is that the light should be positioned somewhere between 8 and 15 inches away from the basking spot.If your bulb is too close, your turtle could burn itself. Check the recommended setup distance for the bulb to make sure you have adequate space in your turtle tank.
Does my turtle need a UVB light?
All turtles require a UVB light to help regulate their body temperature as they are cold-blooded. This helps to keep them healthy by providing them with calcium and Vitamin D to help avoid debilitating health conditions such as Metabolic Bone Disease.
Do turtles need UVA or UVB light?
Turtles require both UVA and UVB light for different reasons. UVA light helps simulate the passage of a day and helps the turtle know when to feed and helps keep its metabolism up. UVB light is essential for the general health of a turtle, as it is their main source of calcium and Vitamin D. UVB light helps protect against illnesses such as Metabolic Bone Disease.
How much UVB does a turtle need?
The amount of UVB your turtle needs will depend on its natural habitat. Most turtles will require 10.0 (or 10%) UVB, especially turtles who live in desert conditions. However, aquatic turtles or turtle species that come from swampy areas need less UVB, around 5% or a 5.0 bulb.
Can turtles get too much UVB?
It can be possible for turtles to get too much UVB. Usually, the turtle will know when to move away from their UVB light to get somewhere cooler to regulate their body temperature. However, if your UVB light is positioned too close to where your turtle basks, it may cause damage to your turtle’s eyes. Always position your UVB lamp at least 8 inches away from your turtle’s basking spot.