Here’s a guided tour of my turtle tank. It looks a lot different than it did when I first showcased it over a year ago in my 150 gallon pet turtle tank as first set-up

The tank is a 150 gallon glass tank. I fill it halfway, so I have about 75 gallons of water in there. I know It’d be better to fill it up all the way, but I live in an old building and the structural capability of the floor to hold all the weight is in question.




I want to keep the pet turtle tank as clean and natural looking as possible. I don’t have gravel, because they get dirty very fast and they accumulate the dirt. All the basking areas are wooden and I use a lot of fake plastic plants (plastic so my pet turtles don’t eat them). Fake plastic plants hang all over the rear of the tank just above the water, they hang from the top of the tank divider, and there’s a few more on the bottom of the tank divider. The tank background is also a naturalistic picture of a river scene.

The white eggcrate divider is an eyesore, but I haven’t found anything that works as well and is big enough (I’ll need one that is 30″ by 24″). I could get plexi glass with drilled holes in them, but they won’t let the water flow through quite as well and all the future turtle scratch marks will make it look quite dirty.

Pictures of the outside of the tank:

On the front of the turtle tank, on the middle is a strip calendar. We use this to keep track of our turtle feeding. Since they’re not fed everyday, it’s easy to forget when they were last fed. This calendar and the conveniently attached hanging pen to mark it off is a great help.

The feeding calendar:

The turtle tank is divided in the middle by an eggcrate / light diffuser. I have a water aerator (bubbles!) in the center under the divider. I got it to help oxygenate the water for the many fish I used to keep with the turtles, before they all eventually got eaten. I don’t really need it anymore, but I keep it going because I feel like that area is a water movement dead zone.

Here’s a picture of the tank divider, the flexible bubble wand and fake plastic plants:
eggcrate tank divider with fake plastic plants and flexible bubble wand

The turtles basking areas are made of corkbark. They are attached thru zip ties to the turtle tank divider by holes which I drilled near their corners. The basking areas do sink a little under the turtle’s weight, so I know I’ll have to brace it a little when they get bigger and heavier.

This is Cinderella’s basking area, on the right side of the tank:
turtle basking area made with corkbark

Here’s a close up of how her basking area is attached to the eggcrate divider:
corkbark turtle basking area attached to tank divider

This is Rex’s basking area:
RES turtle basking area made with corkbark

Here’s a close up to show how it’s attached to the tank divider:
corkbark turtle basking area attached to eggcrate tank divider

The lamps directly above the basking area are simply heat lamps, with ceramic heat emitters – they produce no light, only heat. They generate a constant heat and is controlled by a proportional thermostat, which I’ll show later.

Above the basking areas and forward of the heat lamps (not directly above them) is a two-foot long UVB florescent bulb. It’s positioned forward of the heat lamps so that my pet turtles get their UVB when they bask – the basking areas are not in the shadow of the heat lamps. Here’s a view of the UVB light from inside the aquarium:
turtle UVB and heat lamp basking lights and fixtures

My pet turtles also have wooden underwater basking platforms, which I detail how I made here DIY underwater pet turtle basking platform.

This is Cinderella’s on the right side of the tank:
underwater turtle basking platform in aquarium

This is Rex’s underwater basking platform, on the left side of the turtle tank:
underwater basking platform in aquarium with red ear slider turtle

Moving on to the top of the tank. Besides the UVB florescent lamp, I also have a proportional thermostat to control the temperature of the basking area. I set it to have the basking area at 89.5 F. No matter what the temperature in the apartment, whether it be 85, 60, or 50, it will automatically adjust the output of the heatlamps to get to 89.5 (or whatever I set it to). I love the separate UVB and heat controls – it will never overheat or underheat the basking area, I don’t have to keep monitoring the pet turtle’s basking area temperatures and fiddle with the distance of the lamps from the basking areas in attempts to control the heat – their UVB and basking heat don’t compromise each other.

Here’s the thermostat I use:
herpstat proportional thermostat used with basking pet turtles

The top of the tank has a mini refugium which I also made myself, filled with the output of one of my filters, to help clean up some of the excess nutrients from the tank water. I have a small amount of plants in there including java fern, anubias, and Christmas tree moss. Anacharis has not survived successfully in there, due to either the lack of dedicated lighting or the high water turbulence. I hope to upgrade the refugium to a bigger size, add more plants, and possibly add some filter shrimp, like the Asian Filter Shrimp (aka the bamboo or wood shrimp).

DIY Refugium pictures:

Lastly, the top of the turtle tank opens up for full access.
turtle tank screen top

Comments

  1. hi there

    i got these “slider turtles” out of china town in l.a. for 5 dollars and a small tank. which is a dime a dozen down there. Now i hear they are small and water bowl must be changed every two days cuz they genearate salmanilla ? i know a tank with filters the best..but this bowl is HUGE. And…they are so very very small. I have small fake plants, rocks, leverages…i was told to make sure they are in the sun 30min a day…they seem to hate it and swim and crawl speratically…can you give me any advice about them? Especially “heat lamp’ or ‘sun part’? they seem to not like it. they are eating well.-=c

  2. Hi Chris,

    Congratulations on being a new turtle owner and wanting to take care of them properly! I think they don’t appear to like the sun because either the sun warms up their water too much or there’s no shade for them to go to if they want.

    Yes, you should change their water as often as possible – their waste goes into the water and it contains salmonella. Also, they live in and drink the same water, so keep it clean.

    The bowl may seem big, but the best guideline is to have 10 gallons of water for every inch of turtle shell. Assuming you have two 1″ turtles, that would mean you have two inches of shell – ideally you should have 20 gallons of water.

    The slider turtles should have a full days access to direct sunlight – not through glass or a screen so they can get UVB light. There should be a shaded area so they can go in and out of the light as they please. Take care that the light doesn’t overheat the water, which is ideal at 75F.

    In lieu of the giving them direct sunlight, you can also buy special UVB lamps made for turtles and reptiles. The heat lamps I have is to heat up their dry basking (land) area to 90F.

    Lastly, if you turtles are eating well and taken care of properly they’ll grow in soon and you’ll need to upgrade to a larger aquarium.

    Please let me know if you have more questions!

  3. The UV bulb is pretty far away from the basking area. Considering they are only beneficial within 5 – 12″ of where they lie. Especially if its a lower 5% bulb. Also i agree with what your saying in regards to size of tanks… but to say that you are going to need 10 gal for 1″ shell size. You would end up with a monster tank at the end which is not really needed. Yes its best to have the most room you can give them. But you would end up with a 240+ gal tank for 2 sliders. Thats a tank in the region of 8 foot by 3 by 3. Which is overkill. Keep up the good work though.

    1. my UV lamps are acually 11″ inches from my pet turtles basking spots.

      The general rule of thumb is 10 gallons of water for every inch of turtle shell and half that for every additional turtle after. It isn’t a hard rule, and it does seem like overkill, but aquatic turtles really do need a lot of water given how much waste they produce. A smaller tank can certainly do, but it would mean more water changes to keep the water quality good and is also less space for the turtles.

  4. Nice tank quick question. My basking area is getting extremely dirty from the lamp. Its the only area in the tank that is getting dirty…. What do you recommend, I have a 30-40 gallon tank with about 6 inches of water and a basking area etc? It’s come to a point where I don’t even turn the light on anymore because it get really dirty in that area.

    1. Hi Angela, I recommend that you don’t turn the lamp off. Your turtles need to receive UVB light to remain healthy – so it is better to clean the tank every week or so from dirt. How big are your turtles? It’s possible the dirt is turtle waste and not actually lamp byproduct…

  5. i hav 2 red eared sliders and i am seeming to notice they are not active and they refuse to eat veggies. i am positive they are healthy. they are shy, and i have had them for 2 years. they fight over the heat lamp,too. they dont like square tanks but they are getting too big for their tiny round tank. can u help me?

    1. I don’t have enough info. Have you tried feeding your pet turtles something else? Also, if you know they are getting too big, please consider getting a larger turtle tank.

      1. i have put them in a larger tank- its square- they seeem to be acting alright and im feeding them reptomin so i dont think thats the problem…. i REALLY want to make them happier…. do you have any advice for that? thanks.

        1. how big is your larger turtle tank? A large tank with lots of water to swim in (at least 10 gallons per inch of turtle shell), a proper setup with a completely dry basking area with heat & UVB, a water heater, strong filtration, and regular water changes are all essential to caring for red ear slider turtles and keeping them happy.

          I would also try to give them a varied diet with occasional (1x/2x a month) treats such as live fish/shrimp/insects.

  6. it is a 15 gallon tank. i do have a basking light and area, and filtration. he keeps going under the basking spot,too.thank-you for the idea of the live animals,too.ive found some other sites ,too with info. i think i might have everything now…THANKS:D he’ll love it.

  7. So I (my 6 year old son) just got a turtle from a fair. I have no clue what kind it is but it’s only about 1 maybe 1 1/2 inch big. It seems like he’s not eating either(wardley Reptile sticks). I did get em a 1 gallon Corner aquarium but I only put about 2 inches of water in it with some rocks on the side. I NEED HELP! I have no clue what to do with this new pet in my life!

    1. the first thing you should do is to properly identify what species or kind of pet turtle it is that you have. Then read up on all the care sheets for that turtle that you can. Either way, a 1 gallon turtle tank is way too small

  8. hello,so happy i found this site 🙂 i saved this tiny map turtle from a horrible enviroment a few months ago. the person taking care of him left him out to die basically 🙁 i moved him to a 10 gallon at first with everything needed, deep water, filter, basking area (rocks above water), and used the light that came with the tank for his heating source. he seemed very happy, always active, eating, swimming, relaxing, fighting the filter’s current (so cute), always active and used to swim up to me everytime he saw me. he’s only about an inch. i noticed that because of the set up of the light sometmes it would heat up his water to much and anytime that happend he became sort of frantic and uneasy. so i bought him this sort of basking dome for turtles where it has little steps that lead from the water to the area and vice versa. this way i could make the light shine only in that area and not heat up his water. the tank was too small so i bought a larger 20gl tank to fit it but now he doesnt seem happy anymore :'( he’s not active at all, he rarely moves (still eats). he doesnt swim around he doesnt even walk really, just sleeps and rest and yawns alot. he wont even swim to me anymore, its gotten to the point where i freak out and instantly remove him from the tank to check if he’s alive. i think its because of the new light maybe, the bulb isnt made for turtles its an energy saving bulb and he hardly even goes to get light from it, i think its more annoying then helpful, just painfully bright but emits no heat so he just stays away. i jus ordered this R Zilla Halogen Bulb, a 50 Watt, Black Night. do you think that’s a good light for turtles?? and do you have any tips about his envorment for better care?? what happens if he doesnt get enough light?? do you think he’s sick? and im sorry one more, he eats dried shrimp (i also bought him calcium to spray on his food every so offten because when i first saved him his shell was way to soft)should he have a larger vareity of food, what kind if so?? i am terribly sorry for this long message i thought it would be necesarry to explain the beginning to understand what im worried about. you seem to be very helpful and knowledgeable about turtles so i would greatly appreciate your help, i dont want my turtle to be miserable or die 🙁
    thank you for your time and agiain im sorry for the long message.

    1. I would concentrate more on fixing your pet map turtle’s environment first moreso than the type of food he eats (aquatic turtle food pellets are more than enough). Turtles need the right environment to be happy and healthy:) Almost always, fixing up your pet turtle tank will “cure” your pet turtle..

      About temperature. It’s difficult to tell if it’s too hot or too cold. You need thermometers (one for the water another for the basking area) to monitor and tell accurately. Usually the water should be kept at around 75F and the basking area at around 90F.

      About lights. All pet turtles need UVB light. The black light does not emit UVB, so it isn’t really good for pet turtles.

      Basking area. So long as your pet map turtle can get completely dry and the basking area is hot enough (around 90F), then you are good.

      As far as more specifics, please see the pet turtle care sheets here for your specific type of map turtle.

      Let me know how it goes……Best!

      1. Thank you sooooo very much!! 😀
        i will go out and get the necesarry equipment for a happier enviroment. the care sheet was helpful as well 🙂 although i didnt find a direct match, my map turtle almost looks like a mixed breed haha.
        i feel alot better about helping him now 🙂 my friend who also helps with taking care of the turtle said thank you as well. i will update you soon, thank you again! 😀

        1. you’re very welcome…looking forward to finding out how your pet map turtle does.

          If you’d like to share a photo of your little guy, I’d appreciate it. Share your picture here.

    2. Hi,
      I got my baby little(1 inch)turtle [Doy] this may.
      I have put him in a tub with a few rocks and an inclined surface on which he can climb and get to his basking area.There is a bulb above the basking area.
      I have a lot of questions for Doy.

      – Sometimes i see him and he on the inclined surface and as soon as he sees me he just jumps into the water and starts hiding. Even normally,whenever he sees me he starts hiding.Does he hate me ?
      – I am planning to get an aquarium for him soon! Can i keep fishes along?if so, which ones? Should the aquarium be a glass one or opaque as someone told me they feel sad when they see that there is place outside and they are in a closed thing. What should be the size(kindly specify the length, breadth and height)?
      – Is plantation inside the tank a good idea? Do turtles like some plants as snacks?
      – The place where I am going to keep the aquarium would receive sunlight, is there still a need to put UVB lamp?

      I know i have asked a lot of questions.sry, please find some time and reply.

      1. no, your turtle doesn’t hate you. Slider turtles are very shy. Look up why they were named “sliders”

        You can keep fish. They will eventually get eaten. I would avoid goldfish. The most important thing is that you must be ok with them being eaten. If they are much bigger than your turtle, they will likely hurt/pick on the turt.

        Get a glass tank. Clear is great for water turtles. You will need UVB, it does not pass thru glass. Direct sunlight will overheat your tank, don’t put it in direct sunlight.

        Get the biggest glass tank you can afford.

  9. my turtle died today she was a rescue we found her while fishing she was a redeared slider I want to clean out her tank so that I can put our smaller turtle into it we bought him aout 14 years ago and we take very good care of them they get cleaned every weekend but I would like to know how to clean it and get it ready for my other turtle just in case she was sick could you tell me what to use so I don’t get him sick thank you,Helene

  10. Hello, your habitat is beautiful for them!
    I have i think what’s a 55 gallon tank, it’s very big, haha. and i have a four inch painted turtle, and as your situation is kinda with only filling it halfway my dad will only let me fill mine halfway, which I’m okay with, but my problem is the heat lamp, how do i get it low enough?! it’s kinda like i think your male’s lamp, with the silver dome outside thingy, and i was wondering how you securely lowered it..?

  11. Thanks Kate!

    The heat lamp is held in place by the wire screen – I made some of the holes bigger and the lamp’s power cord runs through it. Then the cord itself is “pinched” in by the filter tubing – and is pinched enough that the lamp doesn’t slip.

    If you look closely at some of my pictures – I have cotton string attached to the lamps via a binder clip. That’s just for safety in case the cord “pinching” ever comes loose so that it doesn’t land on my pet turtles. The strings are tied directly to the mesh.

  12. hi there my names yvette and i have a small eastern long neck turtle about half the size of my palm, i have all the correct set up and stuff for my little guy just a few worries.
    first up iv herd alot of vairiations for what the water temp should be ranging from 20-30 degrees c. i have mine set at 24 is this a good temp? and second the little guy seems to love hiding under his floating basking dock the only time he seems to come out from the cover of the dock is when i have duck weed covering the top of the tank he seems to love this and becomes very active when i have it in there but when i dont he seems to just stay under the dock im fine with that and happy to keep supplying him with the duck weed i was just wondering if this was harmful as im not sure if the uvb rays will get through the duckweed?? onee more thing iv never seen him bask he seems perfectly healthy and i have everything set up correctly and he can get onto the dock fine iv just never seen him do it ?
    cheers yvette

    1. Going by the World Chelonian Trust page for eastern long neck turtles, I would go for 16-20*C. It’s possible that the warmer water is preventing your little guy from wanting to get warmth from the basking area.

      UVB is needed and will not go thru duckweed, so making him want to warm up in the basking area is critical.

      Many turtles are shy about basking, give him time. And spy on him very carefully…

  13. Hi there.. i have to tell u that u are simply so dedicated wth the turtles and i really appreciate that. i have a 50 gallon tank with 2 red eared sliders 3 inch in size each, am using an internal filter from dolphin plus also an external canister filter eheim 2215. i also have 2 UVA/UVB tubes on the top of my aquarium along with a seperate basking light with ceramic holders and also have a sera submersible heater for the water temperature.One of my turtle seems very active and is feeding well. however the other one seems to bask most of the time and when fed, it does not eat.It seems to be swimming well in water when i nudge her, and she seems to be doing it all well. my concern is that she aint eating much and is not very active compared to my other one. i am currently feeding them with the turle foods from sera , they are shrimps available commercially. its just been about a week since i got my lil babies. pls advise if i should do anythin more?

    1. sounds like you have a nice turtle setup there! Make sure you have your basking and water temps right.

      Regarding food, not all turtles behave the same way or eat the same way, it sounds like one turtle may be eating all the food before the other knows it’s there. I would try feeding them separately – remove one turtle while feeding the other one, either in another tank or in your main one – just to be sure that both your pet turtles are eating.

  14. hello there, beautiful set up you have! 🙂 i have a question about filters and the best way to keep water clean along with the regular water changes. how often should the water be changed actually? and what products would you recommend to help along with keeping the water clean? what would be the best kind of filter in your opinion to use? the one i have doesn’t do such a great job at all 🙁 and even with a great filter and cleaning products i now know that you still have to change the water regularly 🙂 i didnt know that before and my little turtle received and eye infection, and i think its because of a dirty tank 🙁 🙁 i bought him eye drops and his eyes are improving but not open yet, its been about a week. should i take him to a turtle vet?
    Thanks so much for your time and for this site! 😀 you help so many people. (and sorry for the long message lol)

    1. aww, thank you!

      I recommend taking your pet turtle to a qualified vet.

      I don’t know what your tank setup is – do your best to follow the guidelines in the many pet turtle care sheets available online. The eye infection may be a symptom of an improper setup, such as not having a proper basking area or not enough water volume.

      The best filter I would recommend is the xp3 filter. You need to do a variety of water testing to find out when to do a water change. Buy those test strips and measure your water. When nitrate levels reach 40ppm or more change the water. For a small tank, more frequent changes are needed – bigger turtle tanks allow for more time between water changes.

      1. Thank you so much!! i didnt even know those strips were out there, you learn something new all the time 🙂 i will happily buy those and look at those care sheets. and thanks for the advice, i have a smaller tank as of now. His eyes are looking better since then!! he opened them but closed them back up 🙁 i’ve made an appointment for the vet. Thanks for all the great advice and help!

        1. you’re very welcome! glad there’s been some improvement. Keep us updated on your little turtle!

  15. hi again.i have a small question, i had got a new half circle floating log made of cork from petco stores. i have kept em immersed in a bucket of water now for over a week for all the brownish stains to be gone so that when i place em in my aquarium,my tank wud water wudnt stain.. is there any other thing i shud do with that floating log to make sure that those brownish discloration wud not occur at all.. is boiling it in water recommended for completely makin it clear? pls suggest.. thanks again.

    1. you can boil them in water, but sometimes it’s not enough. If you add some chemical filtration (activated carbon) to your turtle filter. It will remove the coloration.

  16. Hi there! As many people have said, your tank is amazing and your I’m sure your turtles are very happy & glad to have you as their owner.

    3 days ago my fiance and I were at a chinese restaurant eating. when we went to pay, their was a 20 gallon tank with so many turtles in it, a few were standing on eachother. and their wasn’t enough room for them to be happy. I decided to get 2 and try to give them a better/happy life. I got them home, and imediately started researching. unfortunately at the chinese place, their was no light on them at all. I’ve gotten a light for them, but not a heating lamp. I’ve asked some people and they said they can be fine without one, is that so? I have my 2 red eared sliders a 10 gallon tank for now, getting a bigger one as soon as I can. I got some rocks but took them out when i descovered it sometimes hurts them and irritates them. I got rocks on the side and theirs about 3 inches of water for the 1 inch in height turtles. Is that enough? They dont seem to want to get on their rock and bask but for maybe 20 min a day, is that bad? do they need more to be “happy” also, they seemed to like it better in that crowded tank than mine. Is everything okay with them? sorry this is so long and has a lot of questions, Im just wanting them to be happy & healthy

    1. To have happy turtles you need to provide them everything they need including room, UVB light, heat, lots of water. Please read this Red Ear Slider Turtle Care Sheet or the many other pet turtle caresheets you can find online for guidance. I’m sure you can make them happy and healthy!!

  17. Hi, I have so many questions about turtles!I have 2 red eared sliders(Snickers & Ariel) and they fight and bite each other a lot! I tried to make a divider for the tank but i couldn’t. Any non-expensive ideas or suggestions? Also i was wondering what type of plants to give my turtles.P.S-Do they have to have a basking platform? If so do u have Any non-expensive ideas or suggestions?
    -Thanks a bunch!

    1. plastic light diffusers (aka egg crates) are what I use…they’re less than $5 from Home Depot. They are cheap, sturdy, and turtle proof!!

      A red ear slider turtle will eat or destroy just about any plant. With my turtles, the only plant that ever survived was moss. Unless you can separate the plants from your pet turtles, I wouldn’t give them chance of surviving.

      Yes, they absolutely must have a basking platform. It is essential for their long-term health and happiness! The cheapest/long-term solution is to make your own from plastic materials which won’t deteriorate in water over time. Short term, you can buy a zoo-med dock. Get the largest one, but they will eventually outgrow that.

      How big is your tank?

  18. Hi! Thank you so much for all the information. So many good ideas. I’ve been struggling with finding a good filter, but I see your recommendation. What exactly is a refugium? And are they simple to set up? Thanks! From Suzzy’s Friend.=D

  19. hi. are you from the Philippines? can i ask where did you get your reptile supplies (egg crates, driftwood, heat lamp and UV lamp)? i can’t find any of those in the pet shops here in QC. also, can i ask the prices? thank you. i have a 9 mo.-old RES and i want to provide him the best care.

    1. No, not in the Philippines. Egg crate can be purchased from a hardware store, they’re alse called light diffusers. As for the rest, buying them online would be your best bet. Best for your pet turtle

  20. Hi Forlogos! =D Just came upon your site looking for the amount of food in which to feed my turtle. (Which I still am not exactly sure the correct amount) however, I do feed Freddie Mae Who Who ..him/her(?) every other or 3rd day, quite a bit. Also ..should I continue giving Freddie the dried worms for treats? Freddie also gets gold fish & eats them all! If he can catch them all (I normally get 10 & he eats 1/2 straight away, taking a few more days to catch them rest). Freddie Who Who is a year & 1/2 old, approx about 3 or 4 inches around in a 55 gallon tank with two filtering systems. He is not shy at all as I have had him since a newborn and he is one of the family. If Freddie even sees you walk into the room, he flies off the floating dock to meet & greet you=) I admit I did hand feed him as an infant. Just wanted to make a couple of comments regarding your site and a couple posts from other random people=) First and foremost.. I love your site!!! I think it’s awesome=) You explain yourself thoroughly and have pictures that help tons for those that have no clue just by trying to tell them. You certainly make it easy to get your points across=) secondly, pls know I am no turtle expert but I try to accommodate my daughters turtle as best as I can for his needs. I saw your suggestion on the floating dock link you provided and that is the same dock I use. He likes it fine. When he was a baby he would tuck up behind it, brace his feet on the frame when he slept with just his nose out of the water;)~ (I too worried he would get stuck but he never did) He’s getting a bit heavy for it lately.. so I need to up size. Now he sleeps on top of it with his back legs stretched out completely behind him. He is quite the character! Only thing I can complain about it (the floating dock) the green stuff that grows on it over time, but hey.. be it a turtle, dog or cat, there is always chores to do if one owns a pet and takes care of it properly. I will also now incorporate another dock on the other side of the tank out from under the light (as you have done) so he can have two, one under the light and one not. I never thought of that=) Oh!! I have been wondering.. sometimes the green also gets on his back over time. I have been washing him (no soap) and “it” off of him same as I do with his tank walls.. Should I continue to do this?! He doesn’t seem to mind at all.. I do it in the sink with warm water and a soft brush=) I do greatly appreciate your time and all your advice! =D Sincerely & Respectfully, Felicia~

    1. thank you very much for your kind words Felicia!!

      You don’t have to keep scrubbing the algae off your pet turtles shell…turtles living in the wild have their shells all covered up in the green and they are fine. Also, algae helps to clean up the water….

      deciding to keep doing it is more of an aesthetic choice.

  21. I didn’t clarify that I do not feed him goldfish every 2 or 3 days! I feed Freddie Who Who turtle sticks 94% of the time. Little spinach, little carrot, a bit of broccoli, lots of turtle sticks, dried worms & little dried shrimp=) The goldfish are only every 40 or 60 days~ =)

  22. Hi, we juat had the proverbial Florida beach vacation and came home w/ a baby yellow belly slider. We are in LOVE w/ him. I have reduced the internet mass to 2 really good slider care sheets.
    My problem is no one has stated exactly how far the basking lamp should be. We have a 20 gallon about 60% full w/ a floating ledge about 4″ from top of tank. Unfortunately no one in my little town’s pet stores seem to know about the lamp. I have a 50w Turtle Tuff Halogen bulb in a ceramic lamp on top of grate of tank.Our baby is currently at 1.5″size. I have a submersible water heater keeping water avg 81 degrees. also, how do you check basking light temp? is the lamp too close to top of tank?

    1. sounds like a great vacation!

      With any heat lamp, it is too near if your pet slider can hurt/burn himself by physically touching it. It is too far when the heat doesn’t warm up the basking area like it should.

      Unless you use a thermostat (such us a ReptiTemp), the only way you can “control” the basking area temperature is to experiment mounting your heat lamp at different distances.

      So there’s no “exact” position a heat lamp should be in, it’s subjective to your specific equipment, setup, room temperature and every other variable that affects the temperature of your tank setup.

      Check with a thermometer. Sensor should be near where your pet turtle would actually bask.

      Also, if your basking light doesn’t provide UVB, you should get one that does.

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