Infrared Quartz Tubes As a Heating Source
Types and Size
- The base of a quartz infrared heater is a hollow tube containing an element. This tube can be solitary or it can be combined with other tubes to form a panel. A single-tube heater is set within a rectangular frame that shields three sides of the tube, leaving an end open for heat direction. A multiple-tube heater is made by adding tubes parallel to the first. The voltage of a heating unit can vary from 100 to over 3,000 watts. The length of a unit ranges from 10 to over 60 inches. As the length of the tube can vary, there is the option of a spot or zone heater, which only regulates a certain area.
- A quartz infrared heater contains a shell or casing of quartz; an inner coil, called the element; and a reflector. The quartz can be either clear or translucent, thus giving the tube a clear or translucent appearance. The element, positioned within the tubing, is wound into either a single or double pattern. The double pattern is achieved by braiding two coils together. The reflector, located within the quartz casing and positioned to one side of the coil, can be made of either a ceramic or metallic substance.
- GTC Kinetics states that a quartz infrared heater is used for fast response applications. This means that the heat-up time, the number of seconds or minutes it takes a heater to go from zero to advertised heat range, is minimal. A fast response time for a heater translates to less electricity being used by the device and the swift delivery of an optimal environment to your reptile. Additionally, a quartz infrared heater does not emit light when on, and so can be turned on during the night and not provide a disturbance to the reptile, if it prefers low light, or to you.
- A quartz infrared tube can be manufactured to many specifications. The tubing can be made to a diameter of less than half an inch, or even larger than an inch. The tube length also varies, from less than 10 inches to greater than 100. What this means, when considering the tube-panel design, is that an area of a certain size can be easily targeted with heat. In a reptile aquarium with a length over 2 feet, a panel-tube design 10 inches in length can be combined with a single tube running the aquarium length. This design would would work especially well in a cold weather climate: you can heat the entire aquarium with the single tube, maintaining a base temperature, while providing a warmer spot on one side.
- Clear quartz tubing transmits more energy than translucent, and thus has a faster response time. Yet, the translucent tube does not show the inner coil. A single-wound element, which takes 10 to 20 seconds to heat up, has a longer life than a double-wound element, which heats up in half that time. The heater may come with a shield that requires fastening along the width of the aquarium, so be sure to know the tank's full dimensions before purchasing.