3 Best Heat Rocks for Turtles That Will Help Them Thrive

Alison Page

Alison Page


heat rock for turtle

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Turtles are cold-blooded creatures that can’t generate their own body heat. That means you’ll need to provide adequate heat sources for your turtles to remain healthy and thrive. 

Heat rocks can be an excellent way of helping to provide your pet with the crucial additional heat he needs and encouraging your turtle’s natural basking behavior.

This guide reviews the three best heat rocks available on the market, and more.

3 Best Heat Rocks For Turtles

In the first part of our guide, we review three of the best heat rocks for turtles currently on the market.

You can buy heat rocks at your local pet store or exotics specialist and online.

Fiada Heatwave Rock

Fiada Heatwave Rock
  • ?Practical design?Heat rock helps the reptiles carry out their daily activities, increasing their appetite and improving their metabolism; It can keep reptile warm without any harm to your pets and also won't disturb animals' sleep pattern
  • ?Size detail?The amphibian heating rock is 7.1 x 5.2 x 1.2 inch, 12W, 110V, 4.9 fts power cord; It is a nice heat and long-lasting for desert and tropical reptiles, amphibians and arachnids
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The 12-volt Fiada Heatwave Rock is designed to replicate a rock that’s heated by the sun. 

These rock heaters are made from non-toxic, food-grade resin and are molded to create a realistic-looking rock that your turtle will love to bask on. The rocks are designed to give excellent heat conductivity and are built to last. There’s no problem with hotspots, and the wholly encapsulated, full-coverage, nichrome heating element ensures that the heat is distributed evenly throughout the rock.

What we like:

  • Easy to use
  • Safe for your turtle
  • Even heat distribution

 Room for improvement:

  • Expensive when compared to similar products

Repticare Rock HeaterMini Size

Repticare Rock HeaterMini Size
  • Heats evenly no hot spots
  • Zoo Med rock heaters are cUL/CSA/T1/2V approved
  • 9 foot cord
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The Repticare Rock heater is produced by the well-known pet product manufacturer Zoo Meds. 

These heat rocks are created using hydrated rock material that’s much stronger than pumice or cement. That ensures excellent conductivity and superior product longevity. Thanks to the fully enclosed, full-coverage nichrome heating element, you don’t need to worry about hotspots, and you can be confident of full conductivity.

What we like:

  • Excellent coverage
  • Built to last
  • Even heat distribution

 Room for improvement:

  • Orange color is not to everyone’s taste

URS Radiating Rock

The URS Radiating Rock is a realistic-looking resin rock with a built-in heat regulator, ensuring that the device cannot overheat and harm your pet.

The large-sized rock packs 24 watts of heating power, is easy to clean, and looks great in a display tank. 

What we like:

  • 24 watts of heating power
  • Looks realistic
  • Built-in heat regulator

 Room for improvement:

  • Quite pricey

Why Do Turtles Need Heat Rocks?

Turtles need heat and light to survive.

Turtles are ectothermic. That means they are cold-blooded, relying on their immediate environment to regulate their body temperature. In the wild environment, turtles come out onto the land during the daytime to bask in natural sunlight and heat from overhead.

As a responsible pet owner, you must try to replicate the turtle’s natural living conditions. So, you need to set up your turtle’s tank with a basking area, swimming area, and the correct light and heat.

Why Do Turtles Bask?

Basking is necessary for your turtle to dry after swimming, warm up, regulate its metabolism, and absorb essential nutrients.

Although turtles are semi-aquatic, they need to dry out completely, too. If your turtle can’t get dry, it will become cold, encouraging algae and fungus to grow on the creature’s shell, ultimately leading to shell rot.

Basking also enables the turtle to absorb UVB and UVA rays from natural sunlight, which are essential for the animal’s health and development.

UVB light is essential for turtles. Turtles need calcium in their diet to keep the animal’s shell healthy and strong, maintain strong bones, and perform other functions. Turtles need Vitamin D3 to process and use calcium. When the animal absorbs UVB rays through its skin, its body converts the UVB to Vitamin D3. The turtle can then utilize any calcium that it ingests through its food. 

If the turtle doesn’t get sufficient UVB, serious health problems will develop, including death in extreme cases. The creature’s bones and the shell will weaken, leaving the animal vulnerable to damage, infection, and probably, death.

How To Keep Your Turtle Warm

So, how can you make sure that your turtle is warm enough?

Direct Sunlight

The most cost-effective way to keep your turtle warm and provide it with UVB is to put the turtle’s tank in direct sunlight. You can do that by placing the tank next to a window, where it will get lots of sunshine daily.

Exposure to sunshine throughout the day is an excellent external heat source that can also help give the turtle tank water a heat boost during the nighttime.

Heat Rocks

Heat rocks are becoming very popular with turtle owners. These heat conductors provide some effective natural decoration for the tank and keep your turtle warm by giving off gentle heat when it rests on the rock.

Site the rock in your pet’s tank, plug it into a power outlet, and your turtle can climb up onto the stone to bask whenever it wishes. Hot rocks can also provide a valuable additional heat source for your turtle tank. 

Incandescent Light Bulbs

In the absence of direct sunlight, you can use a heat lamp fitted with an incandescent light bulb at the top of the tank. 

These high-wattage bulbs emit plenty of heat that will provide your pet with additional warmth. Also, these bulbs give off a wide range of UV rays, helping your turtle process the calcium in his diet, which is excellent for your pet’s health. Since turtles can be prone to chewing on items within their tank, we recommend that you fit some kind of screen or guard around the light bulb.

We advise you not to buy cheap heat lamps, as these tend to be unreliable.

How Long Can A Turtle Live Without Heat?

If you live in a temperate or warm climate, your pet turtle can generally survive for one to two weeks without any heat. However, a lack of heat will leave your beloved pet susceptible to the following conditions:

  • Metabolic bone disease
  • Respiratory infections
  • Calcium deficiency
  • Digestive problems
  • Depression

Ideally, you should provide your turtle with a constant heat source to ensure its health and happiness.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Heat Rocks

Heating rocks lost popularity with turtle and reptile owners in the past, primarily due to health concerns. However, in recent years, manufacturers have listened to pet owners’ concerns and improved their products.

So, what are the pros and cons of using heat rocks for turtles, and are these basking options worth the expense?

The Pros Of Heat Rocks For Reptiles

There are plenty of advantages to using heat rocks in your turtle’s tank:

  • Heat rocks provide an excellent source of heat for a species that needs warmth to survive and thrive.
  • Basking on a heated rock helps your turtle digest his food and regulate metabolism levels.
  • Heat rocks can help boost the overall ambient temperature in a large enclosure.
  • Your turtle can choose when it rests on the heat source.

The Cons Of Heat Rocks For Turtle Tanks

There are a few downsides to using heat rocks in a turtle enclosure, including:

  • Small encloses can overheat. Although turtles need warmth, they also need areas where they can cool down to regulate their body temperature when necessary.
  • Heat rocks can make it tricky to maintain a constant temperature within the enclosure.
  • Some of the cheaper heat rocks can generate hotspots, harming your turtle.

Heat rocks are designed to be a warm basking spot for your turtle. These devices are not meant to provide a constant high heat source for your turtle tank. Also, heat rocks don’t replace lighting that provides UVA and UVB spectrum illumination in the tank.

UVA lighting is essential for the psychological health of the turtle. At the same time, the UVB light spectrum is vital for the animal’s metabolism, digestion, and absorption of essential minerals, vitamins, and nutrients.

As well as regulating the ambient heat in your turtle’s enclosure, you need to maintain regular night and daylight cycles, which are critical factors in your pet’s overall health.

In Conclusion

Turtles are cold-blooded animals that cannot self-regulate their body temperature. Turtles need to swim, but they also must be able to get dry, as a cold turtle can quickly become sick and might even die.

Heat rocks enable your turtle to bask on a warm surface, quickly reheating his body after a dip in his swimming area. A heated stone can also help keep the turtle’s enclosure warm, promote healthy digestion, and improve metabolism. So, a heat rock is an excellent addition to your pet turtle’s home.

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