Ultra-violet lamp for a turtle own hands
The turtle is an animal cold-blooded (ectothermic). All processes in her body entirely depend on changes in the temperature of the environment. Everyone knows that in nature she likes to bask in the sun. In the terrarium, its energy is replaced by an ultraviolet lamp. For a turtle is very important, just a vital source of light is vital. But how among the abundance of light bulbs to choose the option that does not hurt your reptile? And anyway, is it possible to create it yourself?
In the terrarium must be a small island of land on which it will bask 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 the norm at 28-30 ° C.
Illumination of the terrarium or aquarium is required without fail. Turtles for active life need a light day duration of about 8-12 hours. Its duration depends on the time of the year. For illumination, fluorescent lamps with a power of 15-40 W are used. It is necessary to provide the length of the lighting device in advance. At the same time, the dimensions of its plafond should correspond to the length of the wall of the aquaterarium.
Quality of light
The main characteristics of the lamp are 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 the visible light. Also important are such concepts as "cold" and "warm" light. The quality determines the color rendering index and the 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 a light day 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 the maintenance of reptiles:
- visible light (radiation in the visible part of the spectrum);
- infrared (thermal).
All described relationships of quantitative and qualitative characteristics of light should be taken into account when selecting an ultraviolet lamp for a turtle. With its hands it is created by a considerable number of fans of exotic animals. This is not difficult if you correctly understand the role of ultraviolet radiation, its sources in the life of reptiles, and take into account all the necessary parameters.
Ultraviolet is called a segment of the electromagnetic spectrum, which is distinguished by a large energy capacity. The greatest is usually only visible light.
By 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 essential.
- 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?
Ultraviolet lamp for a turtle is one of the main sources of a healthy and fulfilling life. Without it can not do. In the natural environment, these animals receive ultraviolet in sufficient quantities. Getting into untypical conditions, in bondage, turtles experience shortage of sunlight and often get sick. Especially severe deficit of ultraviolet light is transferred by pregnant females and young animals. Adults who lack access to ultraviolet light also suffer from osteopenia and have obvious 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 along with the food. The lack of ultraviolet and calcium provokes a lot of diseases, which often end in a fatal outcome.
Lamp operating time, location
Additional UV radiation helps to solve this problem completely. The following types of devices are used to manufacture this lighting source:
They perform not only the function of lighting for animals, but also provide them with the conditions for the necessary thermoregulation, maximally creating for them a natural habitat.
To exotic pets from warm countries did not experience stress, the turtle's ultraviolet lamp should be turned on throughout the day (up to 10 hours). At night, the appliance switches off.
UFO-lamp for turtles is often collected independently. For its creation, lamps are used that give not only the light of the visible spectrum, but also the radiation of ultraviolet light of different intensities. The device is built into the cover of the aquaterarium or fixed to it in specially designed grooves. If they do not exist, it is fixed on the wall of the aquaterarium with the help of a fluorescent lamp shade, which can be purchased at a pet store or at construction sites. It is desirable that the UFO-lamp for the turtle is located directly above its beloved part of the land. Considering that the material from which the terrarium is made can withstand ultraviolet rays (plexiglas partially, and polycarbonate and glass almost completely), it is better to fix the lamp over the ventilation grid.
When making such a device, do not forget about the height of its location above the bottom of the terrarium. It should on the average be 25-50 cm. Usually, the parameters of the required height are indicated on specialized lamps. At too small a distance, especially with a significant radiation intensity, there is a danger of corneal opacity in the turtle.
Types of ultraviolet lamps
Ultraviolet lamps differ in power, spectrum and length. They are also distinguished by their form. They are produced in a compact form as incandescent or in the form of a tube.
UVO-lamp for a turtle is often assembled from such types of lighting devices as fluorescent lamps in the form of a tube with ultraviolet spectrum, fluorescent compact lamps with a cartridge, metal vapor lamps.
The first of them have their working distance, on which the specified number of ultraviolet units is issued. More often it is 50 cm. Lamp power corresponds to its length. But such light only contributes to stimulation of natural behavior in reptiles, and ultraviolet does not participate in the synthesis of vitamin D.
Compact fluorescent lamps are divided by the number of units emitted by them UVB. By power they are from 15 to 80 W with spectral and color characteristics, imitating the natural light of a variety of shades.
Metal-vapor (mercury) lamps give a powerful light flux of quite a full spectrum and heat. They retain their ultraviolet properties for quite a long time.
Which ultraviolet lamp is better?
How to choose the right ultraviolet lamps for turtles? Photos of their varieties make it possible to understand some of the similarities and differences between these devices. Their choice and selection of the necessary parameters largely depends on the age and type of animal, the volume of the aquaterarium.
In pet stores, in the departments of aquarium, you can get advice about the most suitable lamp for your pet.
Thus, the most preferred ultraviolet lamps for red-bellied turtles are products of the famous brand Repti Glo 5.0. They are specially created for heating reptiles, they have an excellent influence on the biological processes of the animal. By installation, they are no different from ordinary fluorescent lights and can burn throughout the day without harming the animals.
If there is no way to select ultraviolet lamps for red-bellied 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 packaging does not indicate the percentage of UVB, it is better not to buy a lamp, since it can greatly damage the turtle or be completely useless for it.
Some of the best UV lamps for different kinds 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 tortoises. There are no significant differences between them. Land turtles only need more spacious terrariums more often. An extremely important condition for their maintenance is proper lighting, heating and temperature conditions. In captivity, these animals should be kept in the day at a temperature of up to +31 ° C, and at night - +16. +18 ° С.
To obtain a temperature gradient, it is possible to make a heating device with a conventional lamp up to 60 W. It must be installed in one of the corners of the terrarium, where the turtle usually eats and heats.
An ultraviolet lamp for land tortoises is also mandatory. To simulate the sun's rays, any of the special lamps for reptiles will do. Its spectrum should be about 30% UVA and 10% UVB (10.0).
It is important to remember that in winter, land tortoises need wintering, which lasts from November to March and passes under a temperature regime of up to +8 ° C.
In summer, it is recommended to use a natural source of ultraviolet radiation - to take out the terrarium in the sun.
Lifetime of lamps
The operational life of such devices is always indicated on the packaging and on average is 1 year. However, ultraviolet lamps for turtles, used in the aquatorarium, are recommended to be changed every six months. During operation, the composition of the fluorescent burns out, which leads to a change in the light spectrum. It moves into the red area. It's easy to see by turning on the old and then the new device.
Using a lamp for longer than the recommended period does not pose a danger to the turtles, it simply becomes ineffective.
The qualitative characteristics of lamps in terrariums should be given increased attention. They are especially important for devices with ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet lamp for a turtle is a biological stimulant. It recreates an environment similar to the natural habitat, and maintains the normal health of the animal.
Instruments are better to buy from well-known and proven manufacturers in the market, since today there are a lot of goods advertised as full-spectrum lamps, but in fact completely not corresponding to the characteristics specified in the description. It is more often ordinary fluorescent light sources and incandescent lamps that have a neodymium element in the glass. They can not serve as a biological stimulant for turtles.
When creating self-made sources of ultraviolet light, medical "solar" lamps are often used. 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 easiest and at the same time optimal (in terms of price-quality ratio) option is to purchase a reptile lamp Repty-Glo in pet stores. It is distinguished by good quality and the corresponding emission level of UVB.
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 completely unsuitable for turtles.