Is UVB lighting really necessary for pet turtles?

Yes, pet turtles need UVB lighting. All turtles that do not have access to direct sunlight will require UVB lighting. This applies to all pet turtles kept indoors.

Direct sunlight means that the light does not go through (filter through) other materials before it reaches the turtles. This is an important factor because UVB can not pass through glass or plastic. Or even through tight screens or mesh.

This means that turtles kept outdoors do not need UVB lighting, as they will receive UVB through direct sunlight. However, pet turtles that get sunlight through a glass window or curtains will still need UVB light.

Turtles need UVB light to metabolize calcium for bone, shell, and egg production.

UVB lights are available in many forms, including incandescent bulbs, mercury vapor bulbs, compact fluorescents, and tube fluorescents.

Shop for UVB lighting at


  1. I agree turtles need UVB inless there are nocturnal like common and alligator snapping turtle. But red eared sliders,painted turtles and more still need UVB or else they could die. UVB gives calcium for the bone and helps with egg podution. I had the experience with my turtle because when I gave him UVB he was very active and when I did not give him UVB he was little active. My ex friend Kevin rice did not give his turtles UVB and they died. So that also helped me find out turtles need UVB. Well if u want to write about turtles on my wiki- all about reptiles wiki go write a head. Bye.

  2. Out of the few types of UVB lights you’ve listed, which one do you recommend? Which one are you using with your turtles?

    1. I use tube fluorescents, they are efficient and do not produce a significant amount of heat. I prefer and recommend to separate basking heat source from UVB light source, that way heat can be controlled without changing the amount of light out put.

      i.e. if basking area is hot and the heat needs to be turned off (as happens often in the summer), my UVB light can remain on.

      See how my turtle tank is set up.