Basking Areas

In order for turtles to maintain their beautiful shells, they need to bask.  Almost every turtle will bask.  (when you start getting into more advanced turtles, some do not).  The turtles must have an area in their tank that they can completely remove themselves from the water and get completely dried off.  A basking area should have two things: a UVB bulb and a heat lamp.  UVB, as you learned before, helps turtles maintain their shells.  The heat is necessary because without it, the turtles cannot process the UVB and D3. 
 

Also, in order to simulate the outdoors, the lamps should only be on about 12 hours a day.  A couple hours longer is ok, but I do not suggest any shorter.
 
Don't be too worried if your new turtle won't bask. Many turtles while they are still young are frightened and wonít bask when people are around.  Chances are it is basking and you just donít notice.  Also, check your water temperature and make sure that there is a big enough difference between the temperatures of the water and the basking area.

 

                                             

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