Don’t Overthink Your Egg Boxes

Of all of the exotic species I’ve worked with (reptile and otherwise) ball pythons are one of the easiest to reproduce. I think those of us that have been doing this for a long time, can sometimes make things out to be more difficult than they are. We excessively nerd out on every little detail and that can make things that are actually extremely simple seem pretty tough.

Here is how I’ve been doing my egg boxes for the last 5-6 years.

I typically use 6qt shoe box tubs and they work fine but if your incubator has room I suggest using 15-16qt tubs to make life easier.

6x half sheet paper towels
6qt hatch tub
Dragon hatch trays or light diffuser
Press n seal

  1. Fold the paper towels up and put them in the bottom of the tub.

  2. Get the paper towels fairly wet but make sure you don’t have water sloshing around they can’t absorb

  3. Put the eggs in on top of the hatch tray/light diffuser, make sure they aren’t touching the tub walls or lid at all.

  4. Put Press N Seal over the egg tub. DON’T put any holes in the tub. The eggs don’t need any ventilation until day 50 or so!

  5. Pull the Press N Seal off on day 50 and wait for pips.

It really is that simple.


But to expand the concept - if one uses something like- Dragon hatch trays or light diffuse to keep the eggs off the wet surface of (paper towels/sponge/ perlite/vermiculite or whatever) Then too much water in the the substrate and a more ventilation shouldnt matter.

But the best advice is if ‘isnt broken dont fix it’. So if your system works, if it works for you and doesnt need fixing.

I like your system. its made me think the substance for holding water is irrelevant as long as it is sterile.


If the water is not absorbed in the substrate, it can slosh on the eggs when you’re moving the tub around. In a water suspension tub designed with that intent there is a healthy distance between the surface of the water and the surface the eggs are sitting on. This is not so with light diffuser or ez hatch trays.

Ventilation within the egg box, especially for a beginner, is not your friend. It’s adding an unnecessary variable that often allows for the introduction of contaminants or passageways for phorid flies. Ventilation also leads to evaporation of the water in the tub. In an area with low ambient humidity this means you have to constantly disturb the tub to add more water as it evaporates. Desiccation is one of the leading causes of egg loss for beginners. I lost several clutches to it when I was learning because I live in California and our ambient humidity is 15-30% most of the time. That was back before anyone had widely shared the press n seal/ zero ventilation method.