View Full Version : Incubation Medium
03-03-2005, 07:43 PM
Could you all give me your "recipes" to the perfect incubation medium for Rhac eggs? I have been having problems with humidity with my hovabator, and would like to get things settled and hatch some eggs. I would be incubating 2-4 eggs at a time, nothing huge. I figured it woulda been easier for me than it has been :D . Leopard eggs never gave me this much trouble :p .
03-03-2005, 07:54 PM
I use perlite at a 2:1 ratio to of perlite to water by weight. I mix the two, put them in the container, add the eggs, and weigh the whole thing.
I then check the container weight once a week and add back any water to get to my original weight (replacing any evaporation)
This is necessary because I prefer a mixture that is on the dry side, and have less margin for error than say a 1:1 ratio. I have better hatch rates at the drier ratio.
use a big container.... like a half gallon size if possible, and fill it to within an inch of the top with the mixture to give yourself as much media as possible so that evaporation has a smaller percentage of an effect Just a few small holes, a mm or so in size is all you need for venting.
If you are incubating Rhac eggs, throw the hovobator in the trash. Put the eggs in a high shelf at room temps between 65-75 and you will be much better off.....
03-04-2005, 09:07 PM
Thank you sooo much for the tips Allen...its an honor to get tips from you.
03-04-2005, 09:21 PM
Excuse my ignorance, but what's wrong with using a hovabator to incubate the eggs?
03-04-2005, 09:29 PM
Im pretty sure that a hovabator is just a peice of junk that costs you tons of money and doesnt have as efficient hatch rates as what Allen said. Allen has major facilities and pretty much to me is the father of Crested Geckos. I havent seen anyone as interested in geckos as Allen is. SO listen to him trust me it will pay off. Thanks for listening, Josh
03-05-2005, 05:19 AM
Well it is quite cold in NYC, 20-30 degrees F, and i dont think I can get the proper flucuations in a closet.
03-05-2005, 08:08 AM
You should get a heat lamp or something then. If you are incubating make sure its the right temperature so that your CG babies dont die. Hmm i dont know just an idea though. - Josh
03-07-2005, 08:17 PM
Hovabators are $40...not expensive.
Allen was just getting at the point that crested gecko eggs don't have to be incubated at a higher temperature than what the room already is.
You also don't need to have a fluctuation in temperature...it's just that most peoples' reptile room/facility will naturally get cooler at night.
A heat lamp isn't necessary, provided you keep the eggs at a reasonable room temperature.
03-08-2005, 01:15 PM
Really i read up on them that if you kept the heat at a certain temp then they would not only hatch faster but they would also be healthier cresteds. Honestly though room temp is fine? I know i have heard that more than once. I beleive you though. Thanks, Josh
03-08-2005, 02:25 PM
The only thing that i'm a bit unsure of is, how much and how often should water be added to keep the vermiculate moist?
I don't have any electronic scales (am considering one, recommended by Anthony) to measure out exact qualities.
10-21-2005, 10:02 AM
I have just recieved a female who looks ready to lay her first clutch, so I'm trying to get up to speed- pronto.
I tried to get something set up this morning before work really quickly- I've read that it needs time to disperse the heat and water and all before you add eggs.
First I'll say that after reading this post, I've think I've already made an error in using a container that is too small. I'll have to change that when I get home.
Here is the question- What should the Perlite feel like? Mine feels very much on the dry side- just barely, barely damp. I'm worried it's too dry. It doesn't feel like it could keep anything wet or moist. I weighed the container, 00 the scale. Added the Perlite, 00 the scale. Added 1/2 the weight of the Perlite in water. Mixed. I used strait Perlite. When the eggs come I'll add those and weight the entire container again.
Does it sound like I messed it up? I know it's hard to describe, but how wet is wet enough?
Also, I've thrown together a laying box with coconut fiber, but I've read some negative things about using it. The coconut fiber is MUCH wetter than the Perlite even though I sqeezed it out. If I check the box 2x a day, would the extra moisture hurt the eggs? Any other suggestions to replace the coconut fiber?
10-21-2005, 04:23 PM
My reptile room stays at a pretty constant 80 to 82 degrees. From what I've read, that's too warm, correct?
The geckos don't stay in the reptile room due to the heat, just the snakes. The cresties are out where temps range from 65 to 75 for the most part. This will work ok for crested gecko egg incubation?
I use vermiculite for my snake eggs, probably much drier than most people use it, and add water as necessary. Any problems with vermic instead of perlite in rhacs?
10-24-2005, 07:13 AM
Any feedback on the moisture level of the Perlite?
The BEST alternative to coconut fiber for laying box?- or is this really fine to use?
10-26-2005, 11:07 PM
i use perlite in my incubation boxes, which are rubbermaid shoeboxes. it feels pretty dry, just barely damp (this freaked me out at first but drier is actually better). you don't want it to be wet or your eggs will mold. i mix 2 parts perlite to 1 part (or just very slightly more) water by weight. it sounds like you mixed yours correctly teresa. once it sits at room temp (78 or so for me) for a day or so there is just a little bit of condensation around a few spots on the inside of the rubbermaid. i also drilled 4 very tiny holes in the rubbermaid (one on each side) to allow for a slight bit of airflow, and i make sure to open the box at least once a week and fan a little air in.
i'm not sure about the coconut fiber for the egg laying box. i use damp sphagnum moss and mist it every day just enough so that it stays damp but not wet enough that you could wring water out of it. i used peat moss for a short while but i didn't like it as much because it just made the cages all messy. the girls can get a little excited with their digging/flinging of substrate. :)
10-27-2005, 09:50 AM
Thank you SO much Mlededee for some feedback. No eggs yet but I'll keep looking. The laying box has dried out quite a bit since I put it together. I just mist it once a day- it's barely moist now too, I'll try to change it to the moss over the weekend. I guess I mixed the incubation box OK then. It's sitting, waiting too.
10-27-2005, 02:06 PM
I've been using ceramic soil for almost 6 years now. It's Aquatic Plant Soil from Profile Products LLC http://www.turface.com/lawn/lawn_3.html
If you can find Turface (a soil additive) in bulk, it's the same product, but less than half the price. Unfortunately, I have to settle for the pond soil, can't find Turface. You can sterilize it to reuse next breeding season, so one bag can last a long time.
The particles allow for great air exchange all around the eggs even if they're buried completely. What I really like is that the ceramic doesn't mold like organic products. The particles have microscopic pores which hold only so much water so you won't likely have it too wet like peat or vermiculite. There's no weighing needed either to see if you need to add water. The clay changes colour slowly as it dries, one glance and you can tell if it's time to moisten it again. It can also be sterilized and re-used until the cows come home :)
You can see what it looks like in this picture:
10-27-2005, 04:47 PM
Thanks so much Silly-atus. Sounds like a good product. I'll see what I can do about ordering some.
11-05-2005, 12:58 PM
when not using a scale, i usually make kind of a "snowball" out of the perlite. you should be able to squeeze some, and it will stay in a ball, but not a lot of water will squeeze out. the reason vermiculite and perlite work so well is because it absorbs the moisture.if you can look in and see standing moisture there is too much. dig down some, if there is standing water, there is too much. i agree that a drier mix is better. for me it is easier to tell if an egg needs more moisture than it is to tell if it is getting too much.
I have to agree with silly on this one.I used to use a product called seramus that was brought back from germany,I reluctantly switched to turface because it was just too hard to get it over here in big bulk.These products from profile are cheap(15.00)for a huge bag.I switched to clay for my soft shelled eggs so long ago I cant remember.I will not switch back.I do however throw mine away when I am done because for 15 bucks a bag it isnt worth the risk to me.
11-28-2005, 08:21 PM
I actually use the Hovabator, worked great for me...and I used a mixture of vermiculite and perlite together with a great hatch rate...
Thats just my 2 cents, but with this...13 out of 18 amyae eggs hatched out. And 3 were infertile, and 2 just didn't pip the egg good enough and were fully grown when I opened them. I am sure they would have survived if I knew to cut the egg open as soon as the egg indented and their heads weren't out.
02-02-2006, 06:19 PM
I used the perlite in a gladwear container and the moisture level must have been OK. Egg laid 11/7/05 and hatched last night 2/1/06. Stunning little guy. I use a space heater in the room set at 73deg and a room humidifier.
I can't believe it really came out of that little egg!!
No pre-signs of hatching with the egg, no sweating or cracks or anything.
I was very surprised and VERY happy!:D
02-02-2006, 06:37 PM
cool, glad you got your first hatchling. after the first one it sort of calms down. the excitement is still there each time when one hatches out, but there's less wondering if it will ever hatch, when it will hatch, and the age old question of whether or not you should open it ( no you shouldn't!)
as allen says it, every morning is like christmas, he runs downstairs to check all of the egg containers to see what kind of new surprises have hatched out. good luck with it
02-06-2006, 01:33 PM
congratulations on the first hatchling im hoping for mine soon within the next 2 to 3 months
02-06-2006, 05:05 PM
Thanks, it's been fun. I didn't expect it to hatch yet, didn't see much going on with the egg like I thought I would, but the hatchling is great looking and it's a lot of fun to watch it explore.
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