Turtles, just like all other pet reptiles and amphibians, require special care in order to stay healthy and live long lives. One of the most important elements of a pet turtle’s environment is a heat lamp.
The best cheap turtle heat lamp
In my opinion, the best cheap turtle heat lamp is the Buddypuppy Reptile Heat Lamp. It has a 360° Rotatable Hose which allows you to easily position it above your basking platform.
Best of all, the Buddypuppy provides both UVA and UVB light, both of which are important for maintaining a healthy turtle. This light also has switches that allow you to adjust both the light and heat settings.
There is also a timer setting that allows you to set the light on for 2, 4, and 8 hours. This is perfect because it allows you to set the timer up if you need to leave your home.
This light comes with two different high quality lightbulbs, one that is 25 watts, and another that is 50 watts. As you might expect, the 50 watt bulb provides stronger light and a higher temperature. This light can be used for other reptiles as well, so it is perfect for a multi-pet tank.
The lamp is supposed to last for 1000 hours, which should last for about 125 days if you leave it on for 8 hours per day.
One of the best value props about this light is its cheap price. At the time of this writing, you can buy it on amazon for $20. This is a very good deal, as most other turtle heat lamps cost over $30.
The clip at the base of the lamp can be attached to just about any edge on your turtle tank.
Why are heat lamps important for turtles?
Turtles need heat lamps for a few different reasons.
First, turtles need heat lamps to get UVA light and heat. This is because turtles do not have the ability to warm themselves up on their own. A heat lamp allows them to keep their bodies warm. To lean more, check out my article on what temperature should a turtle tank be?
Second, heat lamps help promote healthy digestion in turtles. They need the warmth in their stomachs to properly process the food that enters their stomach. This is why many turtles will head to their basking spot immediately after they eat.
Third, turtles need a heat lamp in order for their body to produce D3. In the wild, turtles usually get their UVB light from the sun which allows them to produce vitamin D3. Since your turtle tank might not have access to direct sunlight, it is important that you have a heat lamp. Vitamin D3 is essential to your turtle’s health, as it promotes the growth of bones and your turtle’s shell.
What happens if a turtle doesn’t have a heat lamp?
As mentioned earlier, turtles are cold blooded and are unable to regulate what their own internal temperature. Instead, they must rely on their environment to provide the appropriate temperature in order to survive. So for starters, if a turtle doesn’t have a heat lamp, it will likely be unable to reach an adequate temperature which is usually between 78 and 85 degrees fahrenheight.
If a turtles body becomes too cold, they will be more susceptible to disease or respiratory illness. A cold temperature might be the reason why your turtle is not moving.
Without the heat from the lamps, your turtle will likely have a harder time digesting their food. This can lead to gastronomical issues, and could cause your turtle to stop eating.
Lastly, your turtle will likely develop shell rot or metabolic bone disease if they don’t have access to a heat lamp. This is because your turtle will probably have a vitamin D3 deficiency without a heat lamp.
How long can a turtle go without a heat lamp?
This is a tricky question, because there are many factors that can affect how long a turtle can go without a heat lamp. That being said, most turtles can definitely survive a couple weeks without a heat lamp.
However, after a couple weeks or months without a heat lamp or any other UVB light source, your turtle will likely develop some sort of illness or disease.
If your turtle has to go a couple days without a heat lamp because you need to order a new bulb, there is no need to panic. If you want, you can always try to move your turtle tank near a window where your turtle will have access to natural sunlight.