Help please setting up an incubator.

Anyfoot

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Hi all

I've just got an incubator just in case that day comes. I've gone for a reptibator, got a 2nd hand one for £70. Its only been used once for breeding royal python snakes.
So I've filled the base up with water and set it to 30deg. Its been on for 24hrs now.
With a probe I've actually got 27deg at the bottom on the sponge, Also humidity is only at 61%.
I have not put anything in the incubator at all so I'm guessing the air mass is at its hardest to control an ambient temp.
Does it matter what surface the incubator is sat on?
Will I end up adding an extra bowl with water in it to raise humidity?
Will the humidity naturally raise if I put a bowl of damp vermiculite in?
Should i put a shelf in it to raise everything off the bottom?
When/If I do incubate eggs surely I have to keep the water topped up for humidity. To do this I have to remove the lid, Wont this effect the eggs with regards to temp and humidity?

Any tips and advice on your methods would be gratefully appreciated.

Thanks

Craig
 

tortadise

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I have some of those and use 6.5" deli cups for the eggs. Depending on species is what justifies the substrate I use. Redfoots, leopards, sulcatas I use vermiculite. If your using this for the hingebacks I'd use peat moss mixed with vermiculite and then cradle the eggs in sphagnum moss. You can get the 6.5" clear deli cups with holes drilled in them. Opening the lid won't matter no egg ever stays the exact temperature and doesn't need too. Especially homeana. They need a fluctuation especially in the beginning. Night drop in temps are best too. For sphumidity just a cup of water in the incubator is just fine.
 

Tom

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I use shoe boxes with the lids on. I drill two tiny holes on opposing sides of the shoe boxes. For leopards and sulcatas I use vermiculite at a 1 : 1 ratio with water by WEIGHT. So 300 grams of water to 300 grams of vermiculite, for example. I add water throughout the incubation period only as needed. Usually only need a couple of tablespoons of water two or three times during incubation. Only wet the media, not the eggs. At the first pip, I add some more water to help keep things humid during the hatching process.

To check your incubator temps, I would set up a box like this, or one like Kelly's deli cups and put your temperature probe inside the incubator box where the eggs will sit. I had a Reptibator and the temps on the readout were not the same as what I got inside, so I simply adjusted accordingly.
 
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