What is UV-B for?
Many vertebrates, including reptiles, need UV-B to synthesize vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is important for regulating calcium metabolism and preventing rickets. These diseases are manifested in softening of bones, curvature of the spine, bone fractures, and in turtles - in softening of the carapace (in particular, the abdominal shield). Vitamin D3 precursor (provitamin D3) is transported to the skin, where, under the influence of UV-B radiation, it is converted to previtamin D3, which finally becomes active vitamin D3. To ensure that animals are provided with vitamin D3 in a terrarium where there are no natural sources of illumination, animals require additional illumination along with the main one using UV-B radiation. Along with vitamin D3, the calcium-phosphorus balance plays an important role in the diet, which in reptiles should be 1.5: 1 or 2.1: 1. In order to guarantee calcium, it is recommended to regularly give calcium preparations to the inhabitants of the terrarium.
How important is UV-A radiation to reptiles?
UV-A radiation is of particular importance for daytime lizards and turtles that are able to see it. UV-A radiation stimulates the activity of animals and contributes to the formation of colors of the head and body. Thus, UV-A radiation plays a significant role in the social structure and behavior of reptiles and stimulates the willingness to reproduce.
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What are reptile lamps:
The maintenance of reptiles in an artificial environment requires additional knowledge, because reptiles are very sensitive to the quality of their habitat. In order for your lizard or chameleon to feel good, not to get sick, it is necessary not only to maintain a certain light level during the day, but also to change the light level depending on the time of day, as well as maintain a certain temperature.
Lighting and heating of the terrarium has a direct impact on the health of reptiles and in general forms the quality of their life. Under natural conditions, these amphibians spend most of their time in the open sun - they receive sun baths and warm themselves, supporting the immune and skeletal systems. The fact is that the skin of reptiles contains provitamin D3, which is converted to previtamin D3 only under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, and to get the final result - the production of vitamin D3, reptiles need a heat source.
In the framework of the terrarium, special fluorescent lamps with ultraviolet spectrum "B" help to achieve this effect. They provide reptiles and UV, and good illumination at the same time. Such an energy platform helps in the absorption of calcium and strengthening the skeletal system in reptiles, turtles and other representatives. Vitamin deficiency leads to dire consequences: poorly developed bones, curvature of the tail and the fragility of the shell. Poor illumination provokes the development of seizures and paralysis, and with an acute lack of light leads to death.
The cold air in the terrarium also leads to similar consequences, because without heat in reptiles the regime of natural hibernation is violated, and the production of vitamin D3 is greatly slowed down. The best option for heating is infrared lamps, the heat of which amphibians perceive as a natural source. The advantage of infrared lamps in spot heating: first of all, the animals themselves and the surrounding objects are warmed up, from which heat warms the air. Under the influence of a lamp, their physiological state improves and their activity increases and, most importantly, the development of stomatitis and kidney disease is prevented.