UV lamp for turtle do it yourself
The turtle is an animal cold-blooded (ectothermic). All processes in her body are entirely dependent on changes in ambient temperature. Everyone knows that in nature she likes to bask in the sun. In the terrarium, his energy is replaced by an ultraviolet lamp. For a turtle is very important, just the right source of light is vital. But how among the abundance of light bulbs to choose the option that does not harm your reptile? And in general, is it possible to create it with your own hands?
In the terrarium must be a small island of land on which it will warm up and rest. Above it, and it is desirable to install an incandescent lamp. The distance from it to the land must be such that it heats the air to a norm of 28-30 ° C.
Lighting a terrarium or aquarium is required without fail. Turtles for active life need a daylight length of about 8-12 hours. Its duration depends on the time of year. For lighting fluorescent lamps are used, whose power is 15-40 watts. It is necessary to foresee the length of the lighting device. The dimensions of its ceiling should correspond to the length of the wall aquaterrarium.
The main characteristics of the lamp are its intensity and light quality. The latter is caused 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 day length 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 the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of light should be taken into account when choosing an ultraviolet lamp for the tortoise. The hands it creates a considerable number of lovers of exotic animals. It is not difficult if you 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 a large energy capacity. Only visible light usually has a large one.
The wavelength of the ultraviolet spectrum is divided into three groups:
- UVA is the longest wavelength A with a range of 320-400 nm. Its value for reptiles is significant.
- UVB - medium wave B in the range of 290-320 nm. That she is vital for reptiles.
- UVC - shortwave With a range of 180-290 nm. These are dangerous rays for all living organisms.
What is ultraviolet necessary for?
The UV lamp for the turtle is one of the main sources of healthy and fulfilling life. Without it, can not do. In the natural environment, these animals receive ultraviolet light in sufficient quantities. Getting into atypical conditions, in captivity, turtles lack sunlight and often get sick. Especially hard deficiency of ultraviolet bear pregnant females and young animals. Adult individuals lacking UV access also suffer from osteopenia and have obvious signs of vitamin D deficiency.
UV-lamp for turtles perfectly mimics the sun's rays and promotes the absorption of calcium, which reptiles get along with food. The lack of ultraviolet and calcium provokes a lot of diseases, which often end in death.
Lamp Hours, Location
Additional UV radiation helps to completely solve this problem. For the manufacture of this lighting source uses the following types of devices:
They perform not only the function of lighting for animals, but also provide them with the conditions for the necessary thermoregulation, creating the natural habitat for them as much as possible.
In order for exotic pets from warm countries not to experience stress, a tortoise UV lamp must be turned on during the whole daylight hours (up to 10 hours). At night, the device turns off.
UFO-lamp for turtles often assembled independently. Lamps are used for its creation, which give not only light of the visible spectrum, but also radiation of ultraviolet light of different intensity. The device is built into the cover of the aquaterrarium or attached to it in specially provided slots. If they are not, it is fixed on the wall of the aquaterrarium using the ceiling for fluorescent lamps, which can be purchased at a pet store or at construction sites. It is desirable that the UV-lamp for the turtle is located directly above its favorite part of the land. Given that the material from which the terrarium is made, can trap ultraviolet rays (plexiglas partially, and polycarbonate and glass almost completely), it is better to fix the lamp over the ventilation grid.
In the manufacture of such a device should not forget about the height of its location above the bottom of the terrarium. It should be on average 25-50 cm. Usually, the parameters of the required height are indicated on specialized lamps. If the distance is too short, especially when the intensity of radiation is significant, there is a danger of corneal clouding of the tortoise.
Types of UV lamps
Ultraviolet lamps vary in power, spectrum and length. They are also distinguished by form. They are issued in a compact form as incandescent lamps or in the form of a tube.
UV lamp-tortoise lamp is often assembled from such types of lighting devices as fluorescent lamps in the form of a tube with an ultraviolet spectrum, fluorescent compact lamps with a cartridge, metal-vapor lamps.
The first of them have their working distance at which the specified number of units of ultraviolet radiation is issued. More often it is 50 cm. Lamp power corresponds to its length. But such light only contributes to the stimulation of the natural behavior of 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 power, they are 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 fairly complete spectrum and heat. They retain their ultraviolet properties for quite a long time.
Which UV lamp is better?
How to choose the right UV lamps for turtles? Photos of their varieties allow us to understand some of the similarities and differences of these devices. Their selection and selection of the necessary parameters largely depends on the age and type of the animal, the volume of the aquaterrarium.
In pet stores, in departments of aquarium husbandry, you can get advice on the most suitable lamp for your pet.
Thus, the most preferred ultraviolet lamps for red-eared turtles are products of the famous brand Repti Glo 5.0. They are specially designed for heating reptiles, and have an excellent effect on the biological processes of the animal. On installation, they are no different from ordinary fluorescent lamps and can burn throughout the day without harming animals.
If it is not possible to pick up ultraviolet lamps for red-eared turtles of this brand, you can use any other devices for reptiles, in the spectrum of which there is about 5% UVB and 30% UVA. If the package does not indicate the percentage of UVB, it is better not to buy the lamp, since it can greatly harm the turtle or be completely useless to it.
One of the best UV lamps for different types of turtles are such as 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 particular differences between them. Tortoises only more often need more spacious terrariums. An extremely important condition for their maintenance is proper lighting, heating and temperature control. In captivity, these animals should be kept during the day at a temperature of 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 up to 60 watts. It must be installed in one of the corners of the terrarium, where the tortoise usually eats and heats.
A tortoise ultraviolet lamp is also required. To simulate the sun will suit any of the special lamps for reptiles. 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 - to make the terrarium in the sun.
The operational life of such devices is always indicated on the packaging and is on average 1 year. However, the UV lamps for turtles used in the aquaterrarium recommend changing every six months. During operation, the composition of the fluorescent burns out, which leads to a change in the spectrum of light. He moves to the red area. This is easy to see by turning on an old and then a new device.
Using the lamp longer than the recommended period does not pose a danger to turtles; it simply becomes ineffective.
The quality characteristics of lamps in terrariums should be given increased attention. They are especially important for devices with ultraviolet radiation. UV lamp for turtle - a biological stimulant. It recreates an environment similar to the natural habitat, and supports normal animal health.
It is better to buy devices from well-known and reputable manufacturers, since today there are quite a few products advertised as full-spectrum lamps, but in fact they are completely inconsistent with the characteristics indicated in the description. This is more often the usual fluorescent light sources and incandescent bulbs that have an element of neodymium in the glass. They cannot serve as a biological stimulator for turtles.
When creating self-made sources of ultraviolet often used medical "solar" lamps. They emit a high level of ultraviolet rays. You can also use mercury-ultraviolet and mercury-quartz, but subject to strict dosage of their use. But the simplest and at the same time optimal (in terms of price-quality ratio) option is to purchase a Repty-Glo lamp for reptiles in pet stores. It is distinguished by good quality and an appropriate level of UVB radiation.
The main thing is not to 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 absolutely not suitable for turtles.