Best UVB for Aquatic Turtle (Yellow Belly Slider)

Cheech77

New Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2022
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
South Park Township
Just wondering what you all think is the best UVB for a Yellow Belly Slider? I'd love to find a combo bulb to ensure that she's getting both heat and UVB in the same spot. Her shell looks really healthy and she sheds, so I think she is absorbing some of her current UVB, but I'm not sure if she's absorbing enough. It's time to replace the UVB, so before I buy a new one, I'm wondering if I should invest in something of a higher quality.

This is her current lighting set up:

  • Repti Tuff Splashproof Halogen Lamp (50 w)
  • ReptiSun 5.0 Mini Compact Fluorescent (13 w)
I also have a cat that is pretty obsessed with her turtle sister, so I can only use lighting that involves a cover for the tank. She currently has a screen cover.

Also, does anyone know if it's possible to crimp some screen directly around the lamp to protect my cat that likes to go under the lights. I just want to make sure that it's safe. For instance, these lamps have a cover on them. Any thoughts on their safety?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Messages
58,736
Location (City and/or State)
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Just wondering what you all think is the best UVB for a Yellow Belly Slider? I'd love to find a combo bulb to ensure that she's getting both heat and UVB in the same spot. Her shell looks really healthy and she sheds, so I think she is absorbing some of her current UVB, but I'm not sure if she's absorbing enough. It's time to replace the UVB, so before I buy a new one, I'm wondering if I should invest in something of a higher quality.

This is her current lighting set up:

  • Repti Tuff Splashproof Halogen Lamp (50 w)
  • ReptiSun 5.0 Mini Compact Fluorescent (13 w)
I also have a cat that is pretty obsessed with her turtle sister, so I can only use lighting that involves a cover for the tank. She currently has a screen cover.

Also, does anyone know if it's possible to crimp some screen directly around the lamp to protect my cat that likes to go under the lights. I just want to make sure that it's safe. For instance, these lamps have a cover on them. Any thoughts on their safety?
There is no combo bulb that works, and cfl type bulbs are ineffective and potentially harmful.

There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
 

Cheech77

New Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2022
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
South Park Township
There is no combo bulb that works, and cfl type bulbs are ineffective and potentially harmful.

There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
The advice above is for a tortoise, not an aquatic turtle. Suggestions for a UVB for an aquatic turtle?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
58,736
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
The advice above is for a tortoise, not an aquatic turtle. Suggestions for a UVB for an aquatic turtle?
Exactly the same.

Turtles bask and need brightly lit ambient just like tortoises. Same basking bulb set the same way, and the HO tubes make the best UV of anything out there right now. LED UV bulbs for reptiles are in their infancy, and I'm testing a few types of those right now, but the Arcadia tubes are currently far superior for most applications.

For ambient heat, you might simply heat the water with an aquarium heater, and not worry about the ambient air temp. The turtle can be in its warm water or under its warm basking lamp and UV tube.
 
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