How long do turtles bask? This question may seem so insignificant at first until you learn what excessive basking means. Basking is very important to turtles. They should bask at least every day. Basking is so essential to turtles such that they do get ill without basking. Basking can be described as the act of ‘turtles’ drying themselves and absorbing as much UV radiation as possible. They start by finding a spot where the sun hits them directly so that they are entirely exposed. They will stay there for hours if they are not disturbed. They will get out of there when their temperatures are high. I will explain this in-depth below. Let’s find out how you know if your turtle basks excessively and how long they should bask.
So, how long do turtles bask?
Well, the time the turtles bask every day is different. They will some times bask for 2 or 3 hours and bask for 9 to 10 hours at other times. It is difficult for us to know how long they will bask. The good thing is that the turtles do know when they have had enough of the basking and when they want to bask. But sometimes you may notice a change in behavior like basking excessively or not basking at all. This is the time when you need to take some action.
Turtles are peaceful creatures, and you would not want to see him suffering. Most of the time, when he basks excessively, something may be wrong with him. He will need your attention and care. Get a vet to do some diagnostics and figure out what the issue could be. That is the only time you can be sure of what to do. I will discuss this more below. Let us now look at why turtles bask.
Why Do Turtles Bask?
You should know that turtles care about nothing apart from their survival. Part of their survival needs is basking. They will ensure they bask at least each. Basking is very important to turtles. The reason that turtles should get at least a few hours of sunshine is that they need heat, UVA, and UVB. This is part of their survival. Since the turtles are cold-blooded animals, they require the environment for the heat. They will bask to absorb heat from the environment. They will also bask to absorb UVA and UVB light, which is essential for healthy living.
UVB light helps the turtle in the processing of calcium which is required for strong bones, keeping the shell healthy and other vital uses in the body. This mineral can only be processed in the presence of vitamin D3. Vitamin D3, on the other hand, comes from Vitamin D which is converted to vitamin D3 by the body. UVA light is not as important as UVB but it is useful in mood regulation, metabolism, and breeding. Apart from these, basking also helps in killing parasites like leeches and algae that grow on the shell. The sun will dry the shell and keep these parasites away.
How Long Should A Turtle Basking Light Be On?
Since you never know when the turtle needs to bask, and when he has had enough, you should try and replicate the wild as much as possible. The sun is always up for about 12 hours, and you should leave the lights on for about 10 to 12 hours every day. In his tank, there should be an are set out for basking so that your turtle will bask when he feels like it and stop when he has had enough. They do bask for about 10 hours at most.
Can A Turtle Bask Too Much?
Well, yeah, turtles can bask too much. You may find them basking for 2 hours while other times for 9 hours. This normal. Sometimes, they may just be enjoying the heat. If the heat goes beyond 105 degrees, they will get in the water and come out after they have cooled. However, if it goes beyond the 9 hours, there might be a problem. Something may be wrong with the water, probably toxic or the pH value has gone up. This can irritate. You should ensure that the water is always clean and check the pH regularly. It might also be a disease. Check on a veterinary to know more.
Why Is My Turtle Not Basking? How Long Can A Turtle Go Without Basking?
Different reasons can make your turtle avoid basking. They can go for many days without basking, which is fatal as it shortens their lifespan. You should get concerned if you notice that your turtle has gone a few days without basking. Some of the reasons to keep your turtle from basking could be if you just got a new basking area. It might take the turtle a few days to get used to the change. It could also be that the water temperature is too low which makes them sluggish. The water temperature may also be warmer than usual and the environment may be cooler. These are not ideal conditions for basking.
How Do I Encourage My Turtle To Bask?
If you find that he does not bask anymore, you should encourage him as basking is very important to him. To promote your turtle to bask, you should make the basking conditions ideal. This will lure your turtle into basking. What are the ideal conditions? The first thing you should do is to get a proper basking area that exposes him directly to the UV radiation. You also need to create a temperature difference. The water temperature should be about 23 to 28 degrees Celsius and the basking area should be around 32 to 35 degrees Celsius. This change in temperature will excite him to bask. Make sure the basking area is easily accessible and position the UV light correctly.
Why Is My Turtle Always Basking?
Most of the time, the major cause of turtles basking all the time is respiratory problems. If the water temperature is too cold or too warm, the turtle will avoid it. He will prefer basking. Other causes may be water quality. Check on the cleanliness of the water and the pH levels. Bullying and parasites may be other reasons. The turtles may also be ill or pregnant. If you think the problem is an illness, don’t hesitate. Take him to a vet.
Turtle Basking Platforms
Here are some turtle basking platforms that are easily accessible by your turtle.
The Penn Plax Reptology Large Turtle Pier for Use in and Out of Water Basking Platform for Small Reptiles– This is the right choice as it floats just above the water to provide a dry area for basking and feeding. It is also useful as it allows for proper viewing of your turtle. Check this Amazon Bestseller here.
The Penn Plax Turtle Basking Platform– The design of this platform is very simple, but it serves the purpose. You use suction cups to keep the platform in place. It provides a high area good for basking. Check the price.
LaBrinx Designs Hanging Turtle Ramp Platform Shelf (Hanging) – another great solution for your turtle. Quick and easy installation is a great advantage of this solution. Check the price.
As a turtle owner, you should understand that basking is very important to turtles. This is among their survival requirements. If you notice some random behaviors with you turtle like the turtle, not basking or basking for too long, get to the top of the cause. Ensure that your turtle is always healthy.
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