Hey there! I just wanted to know what different incubation methods everyone uses. I’ve heard of a few so far, all with success, so I’d love to know what everyone else does. TIA!
Methods I’ve heard of, but please still comment if you use one:
Tubs, press n seal, light fixture grates, enough that the eggs arent touching the water, an inch or two of water.
Tubs, press n seal, light fixture grates, hatching substrate
Tubs, press n seal, hatching substrate
The first 2 years of ball python eggs, I used a home brew cooler with thermostat, heat tape, water bottles for a heat sink and the 2nd option. Tubs, press and seal, light diffusers with hatching substrate.
Press and seal will keep the tubs from drying out…
Hatching substrate and diffuser is the safest option
Without a light diffuser, you can actually rot out the underside of the eggs if the substrate is too wet… Or dry them out if trying to avoid rotting.
Without the substrate and just water… You have the risk of the hatchlings getting UNDER the diffusers and possibly drowning before you safely move them.
For the last 5 or so years I’ve been using 6-8 select-a-size sheets of paper towel, wet the paper towels until they’re heavily saturated (but no standing water), a piece of light diffuser, and press n seal. Ran out of vermiculite once and used paper towels, haven’t had a reason to go back to the way I used to do it.
I use a cooler with about 4 inches of water, heated by 2 aquarium heaters on a thermostat, so humidity is never an issue, I just use a shoebox with a few holes in it, and a light diffuser, so far I have a 100% hatch rate.
I use a converted wine cooler. No press n seal, I just use a shoebox with a more airtight latching lid. I use pearlite and bury the eggs about halfway in the substrate, and my incubator runs right around 87 degrees. No issues with humidity either. I have a wifi thermometer in there and my first eggs from this season are on day 41, still 99% humidity with no press n seal.
the press and seal definitely helps if you’re not using a more airtight box.
A good trick to know if you’ll need press and seal would be to pour some water in the box, lid it and turn it upside down and on it’s side. if it leaks, the eggs can potentially dry out if your incubator doesn’t allow for the humidity in the overall space like the cooler or aquarium with water
I use Shoebox + Easy Hatch tray in perlite + Press n’ Seal in a nature’s spirit incubator.
I load up on the water to ensure there’s no chance of it potentially drying out if things aren’t perfectly sealed. I dont put any holes in the tubs.
Dragon Hatch trays are a newer design and probably a little better. Wilbanks incubators or CSerpents are also top grade options. I only use the nature’s spirit incubator because I got a great deal on it used as a bundle with many other items.
I like those sim containers except for how big they are. They take up significantly more space than standard shoebox tubs. On the other hand I do see many big breeders using larger tubs these days for whatever reason so there might be something to that.
Maybe the bigger tubs allow enough air to survive the sealed tub? A friend lost a clutch late term first time he tried the press and seal method.
I’m still using the old school vermiculite just wet enough to clump in a shoebox without an airtight lid and even a few small air holes. It’s the same shoebox I use for hatchlings. I do fill close to half full of vermiculite so there is a fair amount of water in there. Even in my dry climate seems to be enough for 60 days.
I have even tried maternal incubation with sphagnum moss in the mom’s rack tub and did feel like I needed to add humidity by regularly spraying the corners with warm water.
I’d be surprised if this had anything to do with the press n seal. Kobylka uses it with his many hundreds of clutches per year and doesn’t open them up until after they’ve pipped.
Makes sense. I run a sensorpush in my egg box and definitely see an increase in temperature towards the end of incubation. Limited space with my smallish incubator though so I haven’t tried larger egg boxes yet, especially since I’ve had no issues with the smaller boxes.
I really like the idea of having no medium. Your idea of just using paper towels is interesting, might have to give that a try.