Turtle. cold-blooded animal (ectothermal). All processes in her body are completely dependent on changes in ambient temperature. Everyone knows that in nature she likes to bask in the sun. In a terrarium, its energy is replaced by an ultraviolet lamp. For a turtle it is very important, just the right light source is vital. But how to choose the option that does not harm your reptile among the abundance of light bulbs? And in general, is it possible to create it with your own hands?
In the terrarium, there must be a small islet of land on which it will bask and relax. Above it and it is desirable to install an incandescent lamp. The distance from it to land should be such that it heats the air to a norm of 28-30 ° C.
Quality of light
The main characteristics of the lamp. its intensity and quality of light. The latter is determined by the color temperature, measured in degrees on the Kelvin scale and determining the color of visible light. Also important are such concepts as “cold” and “warm” light. Quality determines the color rendering index and wave intensity distribution.
Since light is vital for terrarium animals, attention should be paid to its quantitative characteristics. Its high intensity is important so that the length of daylight corresponds to the photoperiod of the animal in its natural habitat. The light from the lamp should simulate a new circadian period (cyclical fluctuations in the intensity of biological processes) of the turtle, changing throughout the year.
Three aspects of radiation are important for keeping reptiles:
- visible light (radiation in the visible part of the spectrum);
- infrared (thermal).
All the described ratios of quantitative and qualitative characteristics of light should be taken into account when choosing an ultraviolet lamp for a turtle. With her own hands, she is created by a considerable number of lovers of exotic animals. This is not difficult if we correctly understand the role of ultraviolet radiation, its sources in the life of reptiles, and also take into account all the necessary parameters.
Ultraviolet is a segment of the electromagnetic spectrum, which is distinguished by high energy power. Usually only visible light has a larger one.
According to the wavelength, the ultraviolet spectrum is divided into three groups:
- UVA is the longest wave A with a range of 320-400 nm. Its significance for reptiles is significant.
- UVB medium wave In the range of 290-320 nm. It is she who is vital for reptiles.
- UVC. short wave With a range of 180-290 nm. These are dangerous rays for all living organisms.
What is ultraviolet for?
UV lamp for a turtle. one of the main sources of a healthy and fulfilling life. You can’t do without it. In the natural environment, these animals receive ultraviolet in sufficient quantities. Getting into atypical conditions, in captivity, turtles lack sunlight and often get sick. Especially severely deficient in ultraviolet radiation are pregnant women and young animals. Adults without access to ultraviolet radiation also suffer from osteopenia and have clear signs of vitamin D deficiency.
The UV lamp for turtles perfectly imitates the sun’s rays and promotes the absorption of calcium, which reptiles receive with food. The lack of ultraviolet and calcium provokes many diseases that often end in death.
Lamp hours, location
Additional UV radiation helps to completely solve this problem. For the manufacture of this lighting source, the following types of devices are used:
- lamp for reptiles;
- ultraviolet lamp for turtles;
- UV lamp for the aquarium.
They perform not only the lighting function for animals, but also provide them with the conditions for the necessary thermoregulation, creating the maximum natural environment for them.
To ensure that exotic pets from warm countries do not experience stress, the UV lamp for the turtle should be turned on during the whole daylight hours (up to 10 hours). At night, the device turns off.
When making such a device, do not forget about the height of its location above the bottom of the terrarium. It should average 25-50 cm. Usually, the parameters of the required height are indicated on specialized lamps. If the distance is too small, especially with significant radiation intensity, there is a danger of clouding of the cornea in a turtle.
Types of UV Lamps
UV lamps vary in power, spectrum and length. They are also distinguished by form. They are available in compact form as incandescent lamps or in the form of a tube.
The UV lamp for a turtle is often assembled from such types of lighting devices as tube-shaped fluorescent lamps with an ultraviolet spectrum, compact fluorescent lamps with a cartridge, metal-vapor lamps.
The first of them have their own working distance at which the specified number of units of ultraviolet radiation is issued. More often it is 50 cm. The lamp power corresponds to its length. But such light only contributes to the stimulation of natural behavior in reptiles, and ultraviolet is not involved in the synthesis of vitamin D.
Compact fluorescent lamps are divided by the number of units emitted by them UVB. In terms of power, they come in from 15 to 80 watts with spectral and color characteristics that mimic the natural light of various shades.
Metal-vapor (mercury) lamps give a powerful luminous flux of a sufficiently full spectrum and heat. They retain their ultraviolet properties for a sufficiently long period.
Which ultraviolet lamp is better?
How to choose the right UV lamps for turtles? Photos of their varieties allow us to understand some similarities and differences of these devices. Their selection and selection of the necessary parameters largely depends on the age and type of animal, the volume of the aquaterrarium.
So, the most preferred ultraviolet lamps for red-eared turtles. products of the well-known brand Repti Glo 5.0. They are specially created for heating reptiles, excellently affect the biological processes of the animal. By installation, they are no different from ordinary fluorescent lamps and can burn throughout the day without harming animals.
If it is not possible to choose ultraviolet lamps for the red-eared turtles of this brand, you can use any other reptile devices that have about 5% UVB and 30% UVA in their spectrum. If the percentage of UVB is not indicated on the package, it is better not to buy the lamp, as it can seriously harm the turtle or be completely useless for it.
One of the best ultraviolet lamps for different types of turtles are ones like JBL. Solar Reptil Sun, Lucky reptile, Namiba Terra – Replux, Sylvania. Reptistar MiniLynx, NARVA Special, ExoTerra, Hagen, Arcadia. D3 Reptile Lamp, ZooMed. Reptisun 5.0, 10.0, sera. T8 Terra UV-special and others.
Most of these lamps are used for both freshwater and land turtles. There are no special differences between them. Land turtles only more often need more spacious terrariums. An extremely important condition for their maintenance is proper lighting, heating and temperature conditions. In captivity, these animals must be kept during the day at temperatures up to 31 ° C, and at night. 16. 18 ° C.
To obtain a temperature gradient, you can make a heating device with a conventional lamp with a power of up to 60 watts. It must be installed in one of the corners of the terrarium, where the turtle usually eats and warms.
An ultraviolet lamp for land turtles is also a must. To simulate sunlight, any of the special reptile lamps is suitable. Its spectrum should be about 30% UVA and 10% UVB (10.0).
It is important to remember that in winter, land turtles need wintering, which lasts from November to March and takes place at temperatures up to 8 ° C.
In the summer, it is recommended to use a natural source of ultraviolet radiation. take out the terrarium in the sun.
The operational life of such devices is always indicated on the packaging and averages 1 year. However, the ultraviolet lamps for turtles used in the aquaterrarium are recommended to be changed every six months. During operation, the composition of the fluorescence burns out, which leads to a change in the spectrum of light. It shifts to the red region. This is easy to see by turning on the old and then the new appliance.
Using a lamp longer than the recommended period does not pose a danger to turtles, it just becomes ineffective.
The quality characteristics of lamps in terrariums should be given increased attention. They are especially important for devices with ultraviolet radiation. The UV lamp for the turtle is a biological stimulant. It recreates an environment similar to the natural habitat, and maintains normal animal health.
The main thing. Do not try to use quartz, blue lamps, lamps for fish, plants, amphibians with a spectrum of less than 4% UVB. It should be borne in mind that they are completely unsuitable for turtles.