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Do Turtles Need A Heat Lamp? Heat LAMP OFF at night?

When choosing a pet that requires very little effort to care for, then I would recommend turtles as the best choice. This is because turtles generally need very little for survival. You just have to buy the essentials, and he will be alright. After getting the essentials, you will only have to worry about their food and the cleanliness of their tank.

What you should keep in mind is that turtles cannot thrive without their essential needs. One of their essential needs is the heat lamp, and this is what we will be talking about today. We will learn whether turtles can do without a heat lamp, the wattage required, and the different kinds of heat lamps that turtles require. So, stay tuned, so you don’t miss out.

Do turtles need a heat lamp?

The answer is Yes. Turtles cannot survive without a heat lamp. This is because they need external heat to moderate their temperature. This is what cold-blooded animals do. They rely on the external environment for their temperature. As we know, at night, there is no sun, and it could get really cold. This is not good for the turtles. This is the reason they cannot thrive without a heat lamp.

Now that we know that heat lamps are a must-have for all turtles, we will dive deep down and find out more about these heat lamps. Keep in mind that every turtle is different, and their requirements are different. Let us start by finding the proper wattage for the different turtles.

The Best Wattage For Turtle Tank Lamps

As a turtle owner, it is very important to understand the different wattage of the heat lamps and which is good for your turtle. The size and number of turtles you own will determine the number of watts required. You should also keep in mind the size of the tank. We are talking about a range of 50 to more than 100 watts. In between, we have 75 watts. The 100+ watts are not always required as these smaller watts get the job done, and they are also produced in low quantities, which makes them hard to find. So, let us now see how we use these bulbs.

If you own a small turtle of about 4 to 6 inches, a medium-sized aquarium is enough, and this will require at least 50 watts. If the number of turtles increases to two, the tank needs to be bigger, and so does the wattage of the heat lamp. A 75 watts heat lamp will do the job. Bigger turtles need a bigger aquarium of about 70 to 125 gallons. This will require a 100watts or more.

I forgot to mention that the distance from the lamp to the turtle also matters. Here is what I mean. A 50 watts heat lamp should be placed at a distance of 6 to 8 inches away from the turtle. For a 75watts, it should be around 7 to 9. A 100 watts lamp should be placed a distance of 9 to 11 inches while the 100+ should be away from the turtle by a distance of 11 to 14 inches.

What Temperature Do You Want For Your Turtle

Like I mentioned earlier, all turtles are different, which means they will be comfortable at different temperatures. Their temperature range is almost the same, and they can all survive at the same temperature. The range is from 80 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Let’s see the temperature requirement for the different turtle species.

A box turtle will require a temperature of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. This is on the warm side of the tank. On the cooler side, it should be around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. On the basking area, the temperature should be about 80 to 85 degrees.

For a painted turtle, the basking area should be around 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooler side of the tank should be 75 to 80, while the warmer side should be 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The yellow-bellied slider turtles should get a temperature of 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit on the basking area and a temperature gradient of between 72 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Red-eared sliders should have a temperature of 82 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit on the basking area, and the tank temperature should not drop below 75 degrees. It should range from 76 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do Turtles Need A Heat Lamp At Night?

If you live in an area where the temperatures are not very cold at night, you should consider turning the heat lamp off during the night. Try as much as possible to replicate their natural environment. Keep the lights on when the sun is up and switch it off when it is down.

Can Turtles Live Without A Heat Lamp? What Can Happen If You Don’t Have A Heating Lamp?

I started by saying that a turtle cannot thrive without their essential needs. A heat lamp is one of the essentials and is very important to the turtles. These lamps help the turtles regulate their body temperatures. Without them, the baby turtles would be at risk. A fully grown turtle can adjust his body to the new temperature, but the young turtles cannot. Lack of heat to the baby turtles can cause malnourishment since the heat helps in some of the body processes like food digestion. The turtle will also get respiratory infections. This is so serious that a baby turtle can only survive without heat for just a few weeks.

Does My Turtle Need A Heat Lamp 24/7?

It is not necessary to leave the heat lamp for a whole 24 hours. The heat lamp is there to provide the heat that the turtles would have gotten from the sun while they are in their tanks. The sun is up for just 12 hours, and that is the amount of time the heat lamp should be on. That is more than enough to regulate the body temperature of the turtle. You should just consider leaving the heat lamp on for a little longer when it is winter, and the temperature is very low.

What Kind Of Heat Lamp Do Turtles Need?

Since the heat lamps are very important to turtles, it is wise to be keen when choosing the lamps.  Some lamps provide more UVB radiations than heat, while others will provide more heat. In the basking area, an incandescent bulb works best at providing heat rather than UVB radiations. If there is no space, you can opt for the all in one package. The self-ballasted mercury vapor lamp. Find out the best lamp for your turtles here.

Are There Any Alternatives To A Heat Lamp?

As an alternative to heat lamps, you may consider these two options: a mercury vapor bulb and a heating pad. The mercury vapor lamp, as I mentioned earlier, produces heat as well as UVB radiations. It is an all in one package but more expensive than the other bulbs, and they do explode on some occasions. Heat pads, on the other hand, are worse. They produce heat that is insignificantly enough to turtles. I would not recommend heat pads to anyone.


How Much Water Should I Put In My Baby Turtle Tank?

A small turtle should have 20 to 30 gallons of water in his tank. For a hatchling, 20 gallons is enough. A 4 to 6 inches turtle should get 30 gallons. Try adding 10 gallons for every inch of the turtle.

Can Turtles Live In Tap Water?

Tap water is not recommended for turtle tank water because it contains fluorides and chlorine. This is bad as it will mess with the pH balance of the tank. Use filtered water or de-chlorinated water.

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