New to turtles, heat lamp?

Post any questions you have about a turtle indoor setup here. Or if you have a link to your indoor setup picture we would love to see it.
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scratcheee
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I have baby res, 2 inches large. got 20 gal 30 inch long tank. a good filter. uv light, the flourescent reptile one thats suppose to be very good. rocks, large small,moss, plants, turtle vitamins for water. What kind of heating or basking light do I need...?? is the reptile flourescent light left on for 12 hours a day good....?? water is stable at 78 degrees..
mariza
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The reptile light is a Reptisun or equivalent? If so, that`s good. Water temp. is OK. You can heat the basking area with either a regular lightbulb or a basking light if you want to spend the money. Basking area should be 85-90 degrees F. Mimic the daylight and seasons--12 hours a day on average, longer (up to 14 hours) in the summer when days are longer and shorter (but no less than 10 hours) in the winter when days are shorter.
scratcheee
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Thanks! the florescent lamp is a special reptile one. Do I keep the basking light on for 12-14 hours too? I know I keep the florescent one for that much time.
do they have an all in one light? I need to keep tank covered due large amounts of cats in house... 5... Thanks for being there...
mariza
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I keep my UVB light and basking light on for roughly the same length of time. Thinking about it, though, the basking light comes on (their both on timers) maybe 30 minutes after the the UVB light and goes off about 30 minutes before. That`s just me though--I`m trying to mimic day, first light then it gets warmer with the basking light and then towards sleep time the basking light goes off so it gets cooler and then the UVB light goes out.

If your UVB light is covered with a plastic cover to protect it or if it`s over a screen that that has holes that are less than one-eighth of an inch, the UVB rays are being screened out and your turtle is not benefiting from them. Two companies do make combination mercury vapor UVA/UVB lights that eliminate the need for two lights. You can read about them at http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/lighting.html You need to do an on-line search to find out where you can get them for the best price, as they are more expensive.
scratcheee
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so this gets more and more complicated....
My reptile florescent light is on top of a glass hood... will the needed uv lights for penetrate the glass?? Thanks.
mariza
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Glass (plexiglass, screens as noted previously, any barrier) filters out virtually all UVB rays. You need to remove it. What brand is the light?
scratcheee
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Thanks for helping.. He is such a cute little guy and really deserves the best.

Repti Glo 8.0 Desert terrium lamp...
I need to put something over tank, 5 indoor cats and two of those are rambuctious one year old...
scratcheee
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Hey if I just pop out the plexiglass on the closed unit will that work????

And would this lamp work for basking too???
mariza
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I`m not sure what you mean by popping out the plexiglass--I thought you said you have a glass cover over the tank and the light was on that.

Flourescent UVB lights don`t really give off heat, so you need a light for a heat source as well over the basking area. I use a UVB coil light that screws into a clamp lamp over the basking area. I also have a regular light bulb clamped over the basking area to provide heat and UVA rays. Your turtle needs the heat both for proper digestion and so he can make use of the UVB rays to make Vit. D3. As was said before, combination mercury vapor lights elminate the need for two lights as they provide both the UVB rays and heat.

I really recommend that you read the information on lighting systems at that link I gave you. It explains things better then I can, and explains about mercury vapor lights. It also comments on UVB lights that have 8% UVB output (which I think yours does) and the question of eye damage.
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