Eggs laid just today, now what?

The Bearded Derek

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My leopard geckos just laid eggs (recently she laid 2 infertile eggs before this) and I would like to know some tips and advice to make them live.

She just laid them today, about 7 hours ago. I candled one of the eggs and it had its little red "bullseye" on it. I didn't get to candle the other because I was in a hurry, but the other egg felt just as hard as the other one (Not like infertile eggs where they feel like water balloons) so I assumed it was fertile too. Before I left, I put the eggs in my DIY incubator inside a little deli box with wet perlite (The perlite was completely soaked in water and I removed the excess water by pouring it out) I put them in and covered them about half way, left the other half exposed (I'll post a pic).

My female is pretty skinny now and apparently shes not really in the mood for eating. Anything I could use to get her enticed to eat? Horn worms, maybe? She usually eats superworms (Crickets sometimes, or waxworms) Her tail is also fairly skinny (Not super skinny that she'd be sick or something, but it is skinny)

I would like to know about how long it would take for them to hatch (They're being incubated at 82-84 degrees)

Do I need to open the container every few days for them to get air? If so, how many times?

My DIY Incubator is made out of a styrofoam cooler. The bottom has heat tape to heat it up, on top of the heat tape is 4 water bottles to evenly distribute the heat, and on top of those bottles is where the deli box is. My concern is the thermostat it has. The thermostat allows the incubator to heat the box until the desired temperature (In my case, 84.5), but once that temperature has been reached, it stops heating until it reaches 2 degrees below it. I'm wondering if the constant change of that temperature would harm it (I've read before that it's not really the temperature change that matters, but rather the speed in which it changes that matters) from those 2 degrees down, it usually takes about 15-25 minutes to heat back up, and about 30-50 minutes to come back down. Is that too quick that I should worry about it?

Which type of incubator should I get in specific? I've been told Hovabator is a great one, but I'm not sure specifically what model is best suited for it.

Back when I had more eggs (They were fertile but died for some reason, not sure why exactly) about a year ago, the eggs grew this soft, cottony type of fungus. Is that normal? Would it kill the eggs? When I saw that it had it, I got a cotton swab and carefully removed it.

Sorry if all these questions have been answered before, I just hope someone answers quick all in one page instead of just googling all this myself.
 

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acpart

Geck-cessories
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Congrats on your good eggs. I would think that a gradual 2 degree change should be OK. Be aware that some eggs that look fertile at laying time just don't develop. It happens. I keep my eggs in a sealed container and try to open it once a week. If I miss, it doesn't seem to make any difference. For moldy eggs --it's not the mold that's killing the eggs, it's the mold that's signaling that the eggs are already dead. My eggs that are incubating at about 82 are hatching this year in 8 weeks or so.

Aliza
 

The Bearded Derek

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Almost forgot to ask, would too much humidity kill the eggs? The guy at a reptile store told me to put them in perlite and soak the perlite. Once it's completely soaked, just pour out the excess water. Would that be too much water or is that good? What are some things that could kill them in a situation like this?

Thanks for the quick reply and help by the way.
 

acpart

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It's not a humidity issue, it's whether or not the embryo drowns in too much water. The generally accepted method using perlite if you're burying the eggs in the perlite (as opposed to using the SIM which suspends the eggs over the substrate) can be found here: Albey's How To Incubate Leopard Gecko Eggs.

Aliza
 

The Bearded Derek

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Should I remove some of the perlite and pour some dry perlite? I mean I poured out just about all the possible excess water. Just afraid if I take them out it may drop the temps somewhat quickly.

Just weighed it, the weight of it in total is about 173 grams. The little deli container I have for them has a lot of perlite in it, (More than 2/3, I'd say maybe about 3/4 full, possibly a tiny bit less then that) so I'm not sure if its fine. My container isn't that big either though, it's about 8 inches wide, 4 inches long, and 3 inches tall.

I think I'm a little paranoid about this lol :worried:

Another question, I was wondering how would they look after a couple days, would it look the same? Like, would it be mostly red or would it still be a little "Bullseye" mark? How long would it take for them to get to mostly red? Don't wanna candle it too much either, I've been told it can be bad for the eggs.

Just took out about 11 grams of wet perlite out and replaced it with dry perlite. Weighs 162 grams now. Should be good now right? I put the dry perlite on top and some of it accidentally covered the eggs for a couple seconds. Is that bad? (I brushed it off softly with my finger)

EDIT: Ok, I finally removed that perlite and replaced it with almost exactly .8 parts of water. I had put 2 extra grams of water because I felt it was a tiny bit dry (even though I had mixed it around evenly). I think I'm done doing all the fixes, now I guess I just gotta open the box once a week for them to get air and hopefully they hatch :D

By the way, when I open the eggs for their air, how long should I keep it open for and how much of the lid should I open? Should I open the lid completely or just a tiny opening?
 
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The Bearded Derek

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Also wanted to ask, what should I expect in the future for them? I know they can sweat but how long will it take for them to sweat? Is it normal if they do? Can't really find anything on what to expect from them.

Just took a quick peak inside the deli box to see if the perlite was still humid and I noticed the thermostat's probe was touching the egg, is that bad?
 
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acpart

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For air exchange I just open it for a few seconds, but if it's longer that's OK. The probe touching the egg shouldn't be a problem. Here's the really hard part: try to stop obsessing about what's going to happen with the eggs. I've had eggs that looked great end up with nothing in them, eggs that looked horrible hatch out healthy geckos. I just had a pair of gargoyle geckos hatch after 103 days when my longest incubation was 100 days in the past. I redirect my obsession by taking copious notes (I record each week how many weeks and days each clutch is and list them on a weekly planner). If you use iHerp (iHerp : Online Reptile Software, Husbandry, Community, Tracking, Breeding, Snakes, and More!, I think) you can obsess over that as well. Then you don't have to worry about the eggs so much.

Aliza
 

The Bearded Derek

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My female has been refusing to eat lately and her tail is getting pretty skinny. Anything I should do to get her eating again? A horn worm usually entices her enough, but only one. After she ate one, shes done. it's been like 8 days since she ate.

Ok she just ate a superworm today, but she struggled eating it, for some reason. She just stayed chewing it for a while eating it up, spitting it out little by little (Didn't drop it on the floor, it was still in her mouth). She's always been the type that doesn't eat all that much, but it's starting to worry me a bit, even more so that her tail is fairly skinny.
 
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The Bearded Derek

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My female is about to lay eggs again in about a day or 3 and she still hasn't eaten (She ate 2 very small hornworms 4 days ago) and now I'm starting to get highly worried for her, should I force feed her now or after she lays the eggs?
 

DrCarrotTail

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I absolutely would not force feed. She knows what she needs. If you're worried I would remove the male and keep her alone in the tank she's in now. Make sure she has access to food and water and a proper lay bin. She will start eating again when she's ready. You don't want to stress her with too much handling and forcing her to eat when she doesn't want to.

As for your eggs - Aliza gave you lots of good advice. I would measure the water to perlite ratio. Your substrate looks a bit damp IMO but it could just be the picture. I use 20g of dry organic (not miracle grow) perlite or vermiculite in a sandwich container (no holes!) and use a spray bottle to add 16g of water. The perlite feels almost dry with this amount of water but it's worked for me for several seasons with cresteds, leos and AFTs.

Best of luck with yours!
 

The Bearded Derek

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Thanks for the advice, I won't force feed her then. I was just worried that if I did, I would've accidentally hurt her and kill the eggs.

The perlite in the picture was pretty soaked, (I was told to completely soak the perlite and release the excess water that wasn't absorbed into the perlite) I read it was way too wet and did the whole ratio thing. I forgot how much perlite there is in total but I added about 20 grams of water (It was supposed to be less but I felt it was a bit too dry, so I added about 3 grams of extra water) it felt pretty much dry but damp enough to be shaped and hold its shape. The container only has 1 small hole and its for the thermostat's probe.

I did a quick candling while I opened them for their weekly air. Looks like they're developing well (They're pretty red on the inside, not entirely though)
 

The Bearded Derek

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Well, she finally laid her eggs today and which they also looked fertile (had the little red bullseye but not as big as when I saw them on the first eggs) I put them in the incubator right now. A random drop in temperature shouldn't do anything right? When I put the eggs in the container it went from 83.1 to 80.9, not sure if it really did drop that quick or simply moving the thermostat probe changed it.

I'll see if tonight I can finally get the female to eat.

EDIT: Well, she just ate a superworm. Good start so far.
 
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DrCarrotTail

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Had to tell. I see some pink so they should be okay. If they start to grow mold then they're not okay...haha. I'd just leave them be for another 4-6 weeks and keep your fingers crossed!
 

The Bearded Derek

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How does the mold look like, it's been a while since I seen a moldy egg. One of the eggs had like a white dusty patch on it, looks like it was the perlite that gave it that color though.
 

DrCarrotTail

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I wouldn't be able to see mold in dark pics with the flashlight. I wasn't saying I could see any just that if its there the eggs may not be good. It would be white and fluffy like cotton or red and nasty or yellow slime. The eggs would also probably start to look a tad deflated and smell. Your eggs look okay from what I can see so I don't think you have need to worry.
 

The Bearded Derek

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Alrighty, that's good. They're definitely not deflated, in fact they look big and almost swollen (Especially when I put the new eggs with them in comparison) and there doesn't seem to be any mold then, it had some white stuff on it that looked kinda like a dusty mat, but nothing cottony. I'm starting to think these eggs will actually hatch.
 

Neon Aurora

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I think it's worth mentioning my experience from my first season (last season). I had some issues with moisture content in the beginning. First I had too little and then too much (I was using Hatchrite and just had problems with it). This killed most of my eggs, but one egg still looked nice and full even though it didn't seem to be developing. I incubated this egg at 85 degrees, so I expected it to hatch somewhere around day 45 or 55. When the egg didn't hatch after day 60, I gave up on it and just forgot about it. The egg actually ended up hatching on day 75. 75 days is a really long time for an egg incubated at 85 degrees. I think that the incorrect conditions I had in the beginning could have slowed the development of the egg.

So what I mean to say is, as long as the eggs look good and is not molding or smelling, just incubate them and see what happens. If they look healthy, there is always a chance they might hatch. Try not to stress too much, leave them be, and just wait it out. =)
 
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