Turtles are starting to become a popular pet choice and you’ve got lots of options when it comes to choosing one as a pet. There are 356 species of turtles living in both salt- and fresh water, and if you keep one of these species, a turtle basking lamp should be key on your shopping list to do turtles need a heat lamp

Why Do Your Turtles Need Special Care?

basking lamp

You can’t assume that because turtles aren’t social pets and they will be easy to keep. Yes, they are quiet, unobtrusive pets but they still need proper housing, a turtle basking lamp, an adequate diet, and sufficient lighting. 

You can’t look at a turtle as a low-maintenance pet, because they do need a certain amount of special care. You can’t just buy a turtle and keep it in a bucket. At some or other times they have to come out of the water.

Do Turtles Need A Heat Lamp?

They need the right lighting and temperatures for which you may do turtles need a heat lamp to invest in a turtle basking lamp. So many turtles die cruelly because parents buy their children baby turtles that are cute to look at but which become a source of disinterest and boredom as the novelty wears off. 

If a turtle is looked after properly, however, and they are given top accessories such as a turtle basking lamp, they can make good pets and they can live for a long time too – a lifetime responsibility. Are you prepared to commit to your turtle pet? 

A Turtle Basking Lamp – A Top Turtle-Tank Accessory

turtle tank

Shelled critters such as the turtle live essentially in water so they’re going to need a fairly largish aquarium. Of course, they need sunlight too, but if you can’t provide them with a pond outdoors.

You’ll need to provide your turtle with a dry area and turtle basking lamp where he can come out of the water for a while to bask in the ‘sunlight’ or heat. Without natural sunlight, your turtle will need a source of UV light – a turtle basking lamp.

Easy and amicable through your turtle may be, without the right kind of environment and turtle basking lamp your shelled friend can succumb to a host of health problems.

1. Incandescent Light Bulb

Turtles in the wild rely on sunlight for heat and for ultraviolet rays that provide them with the right vitamins. You want to be sure to provide him with the right environment to ensure his health and happiness. 

Proper lighting do turtles need a heat lamp and turtle basking lamp can be a matter of life and death for your captive turtle, so you have to ensure that you use the right kind of light- and heat bulbs. 

Why Different Kinds Of Light Are Important For Your Turtle?

Your turtle needs different kinds of light – light which is equal to regular sunlight, UVA or Ultraviolet A light as well as UVB or Ultraviolet Blight.

The warmth from the incandescent light bulbs of a turtle basking lamp will ensure the turtle is able to raise its body temperature. A turtle basking lamp will ensure the active breeding of turtles. 

The UVB light is important for Vitamin D3 production. These light bulbs ensure the turtle’s circadian rhythm is undisturbed and that they experience regular day and night cycles.

There are the perfect turtle basking lamps available for your aquatic pet that provide UVB light and heat all in one lamp. 

2. Turtle Light 

Turtles need UVB light for warmth, for their general wellbeing, metabolism, breeding, and for the production of vitamin D3. It is why the right turtle basking lamp is so critical for a turtle, or it could become ill and even die. Your turtle has to bask – it is part of being a turtle. 

They love to climb out onto a rock or old tree trunk and simply soak up the sun, drying out the shell and skin. Each species is different but they all spend a good deal of their lives under a turtle basking lamp when in captivity.

When looking for a turtle basking lamp you’ll need to look at special lights made just for reptiles and which produce both UVB and UVA. 

3. Turtle Tank Setup 

Setting up a turtle tank requires it having both land- and water areas in a nice-sized, sturdy glass tank of approximately 20 to 50 gallons of water. It’s always a good idea to look at a tank with a good heat-proof tank cover because the cover protects your turtle from dangers such as a bulb exploding.

The cover also keeps larger turtles in. Make sure to choose a cover that doesn’t filter out much-needed UVB rays.  

Why Is A Tank Good For Turtles?

As already suggested, you will need a turtle basking lamp that provides light and warmth to the tank. Make sure to look at turtle basking lamps that can run on a timer so as to simulate natural light cycles.

You’ll want a good filter for the removal of turtle waste too. Even with a good filter, however, the water in the turtle tank will still need to be changed each week. 

You’ll also need a thermometer to monitor conditions in the tank, substrate for the bottom of the tank, and general tank accessories. 

4. Turtle UVB Light

Use Different Lights for Mini Dioramas

As already mentioned, a UVB Light for turtles is massively important for the turtle’s health. When it comes to a turtle basking lamp, you can take your pick between compact- and tube bulbs. Compact bulbs take up little room, they’re easy to install and they’re often cheaper than the tube UVBs.

The tube UVB bulbs are somewhat more expensive. Turtle experts will say they’re the better choice as they don’t have the risk of exposing your turtle to eye issues. Whichever UVB light you choose, align it near the turtle’s basking area. 

5. UVA & UVB Light For Turtles 

Lighting and heating issues for turtles are avoided with the right choices, particularly with the all-important turtle basking lamp. Reptiles need UVB and UVA light to be healthy and happy. The UV spectrum is divided into 3 parts – UVA, UVB, and UVC – all found in natural sunlight.

It’s UVA light that helps to regulate the very behavior of the turtle such as feeding, mating, and diurnal movement. 

6. Do Turtles Need Light At Night? 

No, they don’t. Some people only invest in a nightlight because they want to observe the turtle at night, but it’s not a requirement for the turtle. 

7. Aquatic Turtle UVB & Heat Lighting Kit 

Beginner turtle keepers don’t want anything complicated and they like to look at easy-to-use turtle basking lamps and other accessories that will keep the turtles in their terrarium happy. When you invest in an aquatic turtle UVB and heating lighting kit, it makes setting the turtle enclosure up that much easier.

Leading brands such as Zoo Med bring this product out which includes 2 different bulbs – a Daylight Blue Reptile Bulb and a fluorescent UVB bulb, both with an on-and-off switch for safe control. 

8. Turtle Heat Lamp Wattage

Start Getting Creative with Your Diorama Lighting

Most turtle basking lamps have a wattage of 50, 75, 100, and 150 watts. The right wattage depends a lot on the size of the enclosure.

As a guide, a 50 watt light will need to be about 9 inches from the basking area and a 100 watt light will need to be about 10 to 12 inches away. Always read the directions on the packaging of a turtle basking lamp to be absolutely sure. 

9. Do Turtles Need A Heat Lamp At Night? 

Yes, perhaps a turtle basking lamp is required more at night when temperatures drop. They’re cold-blooded creatures requiring heat to regulate their body temperature, so a heat lamp is required day and night. 

Some people have the heat lamp only on one side of the tank, giving the turtle a choice. 

10. How Long Should A Turtle Basking Light Be On? 

You want life in the Turtle cage to be as natural as possible so you should try to let your lights be on much the same as how the sun works. A good time period would be about 10 and 14 hours. 

11. How To Keep A Turtle Warm Without A Heat Lamp?

If you’re able to keep the room where your turtle’s cage is at a temperature above 75°F then you won’t necessarily need a turtle basking lamp.

Some people even wrap a blanket around the tank. But if the temperature falls below that, then you’re going to need a heat source. 

12. UVB Lamp For Turtles Walmart 

You can keep your turtle happy and healthy with a UVB lamp for turtles from Walmart. These items for a turtle can be purchased at a land-based store or online for convenience and where the product is delivered to your door.

You’ll get a package with a 50W halogen bulb that is like the sun. You’ll find a ReptiSun 5.0 UVB 13W mini fluorescent that keeps your pet in tip-top condition. The combo deep dome fixture has an on/off switch and is made of polished aluminum for ideal light and heat. 

13. Turtle UVB Light Bulb 

There are excellent UVB light bulbs for turtles from different brands. These bulbs with different wattages suit small and large tanks and are calibrated to work perfectly for the tank size you have if you are still asking “do turtles need a heat lamp”.

14. Can I Use A Regular Light Bulb For My Turtle? 

Yes, you can because all light bulbs emit heat but the best light and heat comes from an incandescent bulb.

When you bring a turtle home on the spur of the moment, any lamp is better than none, more so over their basking spot so do turtles need a heat lamp that they can thermoregulate. However, you need to know that a baby turtle will grow slower without UVB and be more prone to disease. 

15. How Long Should Turtles Bask In The Sun? 

Turtles should be able to bask with their turtle basking lamp as they need. Certainly, every turtle will want to bask at least 2 hours in the sun each day.

If you can’t do turtles need a heat lamp that for your turtle, get your reptile a turtle basking lamp. 

16. Tortoise Heat Lamp Wattage 

Every Tortoise needs a heating lamp, of which there are many. The one you need will depend on the tortoise you have.

They come with different wattages – 50 watts, 75 watts, and 100 watts. Usually, 50 watts suit one tortoise of roughly 6 inches in length, and 75 or 100 watts would suit 2 tortoises or a bigger tortoise. 

17. Turtle Lights For Sale

There are lots of different turtle lights for sale but some do just a few things for your turtle while others do a lot more. The best turtle lights are those ones that provide UVA, UVB, and UVC light and heat.

You need to be careful when choosing turtle basking lamps as a turtle simply can’t be put in a tank and taken out into the sunshine for a short time each day.

Removing a turtle from its natural habitat and not providing properly for it will ensure a sad, sick, depressed turtle. At least, the turtle basking lamp must provide UVA, B, and C light and offer adequate warmth. 

18. How Long Can Turtles Live Without A Heat Lamp? 

A turtle won’t die in a few hours without a turtle basking lamp and it’s not likely to die in a few days either, but it’s immune system is getting weaker by the day.

Without a turtle basking lamp installed soon, your turtle will die. They become lethargic, miserable, and sick without the warmth they crave. 

19. Do Red Eared Sliders Need Light At Night? 

No, these turtles don’t require light for the night. Some people choose a pale night light but it isn’t a requirement for the turtle’s health. 

20. Turtle Basking Temperature 

Turtles are cold-blooded and the warmth they require from a turtle basking lamp should be about 90-95°F. They’re able to do turtles need a heat lamp thermoregulation to boost their health.

For turtles kept indoors, using an incandescent bulb or a ceramic bulb, for instance, will provide adequate warmth. The basking area should be about 10° F warmer than the water temperature. 


Turtles make excellent pets and companions, but as do turtles need a heat lamp, you can use them at night to see that to keep one, a top priority is to get the heating and lighting sorted.

Do turtles need a heat lamp? Yes. There are quite a few turtle basking available and the best ones will ensure health and contentment for your turtle and the chance to reach a ripe old age. 

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