How to Setup the Lights for a Turtle Tank

How to Setup the Lights for a Turtle Tank

Turtle needs light, and it’s your duty to set up the right lights in the tank.  In a turtle tank, lighting is an important task of all. It helps the turtle grow healthy and happy.  You have to use uva uvb light for turtles in the tank. First, you have to finish the turtle tank setup perfectly and then pick the lights for a turtle tank. In this article, you will get the proper guide of how to set up the lights for a turtle tank.

How to Setup the Lights for a Turtle Tank

The ultimate process of turtle tank setup:

Taking care of a turtle gives you a relaxing experience, but you have to ensure a safe tank for the little one to grow up healthy.

Pick a large glass tank that can bear 10 to 15 gallons of water.

Know the measurement size of the turtle you picked that will reach in maturity.

The tank has to be deeper than the wide.

Set up a lamp in the basking area. Make sure the lamp comes with UVB and UVA bulbs. The UVA light stimulates the behavior and other activities. The UVB light helps to produce vitamin D3 to develop bone growth. Use natural light to help the turtle maintain the light cycle. Do not put the tank under the sun. It will kill the turtle.

Use a water heater in the tank. But make sure your turtle likes the warm temperature.

Attach a good filter in the tank as turtles produce waste than any fish. Use the canister filter in the tank. Though it is expensive but worth it.

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Cover the tank with a metal screen that is heatproof. This cover keeps your turtle safe from any unwanted incidents. Don’t use plexiglass or glasses as cover.

To check the water temperature, use a thermometer, and check the humidity of the water, get a hygrometer.

You can use substrate, fluorite, sand, and gravel per your preference on the tank bottom.

Place a land area in the tank as a turtle will use it as a basking area.

 Lights to set up the turtle tank

The right light helps to save the turtle life and let him grow healthy. It is not a tough job to light up your little pet’s life. You can go for different uva uvb lights for turtles or aquatic turtle aquatic turtle uvb & heat lighting kit or one lamp that provides all types of light that a turtle needs. This lamp is known as “Self-Ballasted Mercury Vapor Lamps” with this lamp, you can provide UVB, UVA, heat, and daylight for the turtle.

People also use basking lights for turtle and UVB light separately. Place the UVB light near the basking area. The turtle will spend most of the time in the basking area, so you have to place the UVB bulb there to provide UVB rays while basking. 

Then place the basking light on one side of the tank. For this placement, the turtle can change places when it needs to stay warm. This creates a comfortable environment in the tank.

Set a cool side lamp so that the turtle can have a cool environment after heat therapy in the basking area. This light is optional, but it will help to fix the day-night cycle of the turtle. You can use a regular bulb that doesn’t produce heat can be used as a cool side bulb.

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Bonus safety tips:

  • Fix the lights tight and securely.
  • Don’t look at the lights directly as they are harmful to your eyes.
  • Stay safe from the wires while working with lights.
  • Keep the basking area temperature between 90-95 degree Fahrenheit
  • Make sure to keep the water temperature in 78 Fahrenheit
  • Run the lights for 10-12 hours per day.


To keep the turtle healthy, you have to set up a proper light and heat system in the turtle tank. In nature, the turtle gets light for 10-14 hours, so you have to ensure the same amount of light in the turtle tank also. If you are new with a turtle, then go through this article as it shows how to set up the lights for a turtle tank and to create a comfortable habitat for the little turtle to grow healthy. 

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