Temperature in the Incubator Itself vs Temperature in Individual Egg Tubs

Neon Aurora

New Member
Okay, I feel a little stupid. I didn't even think about this. I set up my incubator (which is just a Styrofoam box with heat tape in it regulated by a Herpstat 1 Basic) at the beginning of the season and just taped the Herpstat probe so that it was measuring the temperature of the incubator itself (IE, not in an egg tub). I figured the temperature in the egg tubs would be the same as the temperature of the incubator.

So what led me to wonder about this is that I noticed the average incubation time for the temperature I'm incubating at is around 55 days, sometimes less and sometimes a bit more. My oldest clutch is only on day 57, so I know it's not that late yet, but I'm getting a little neurotic about it and decided to measure the temperature inside the egg tubs. My temperature gun reads 80 degrees (Herpstat is set to 83) right on the substrate. I just stuck a thermometer with a probe in there (I can't speak for how accurate, it's just one of the ZooMed ones) and it measures 80.5 degrees. Now, I know this is probably still an acceptable temperature and they will just take longer to hatch, but I actually upped the temperature a bit recently. For most of the 57 days they have been incubating, the Herpstat was set at 82.2 degrees. I brought it up .5 degrees (so to 82.7) and let that sit for a few days before bumping it up to 83. So I don't know what the temperature was inside the tubs since I (maybe stupidly) measured them from the actual incubator.

Now I'm a little nervous. If I had to guess, they were incubating at around 79-80 for most of the 57 days.

So my question:
I would really like to incubate the rest of that at 82-83. I don't want to just move the probe into one of the tubs have it go from 80-83 in a short amount of time. I'm worried that will negatively affect the hatchlings. How can I remedy this so they incubate at the temperature I want but cause them no harm? Can I just go up slowly, like half a degree at a time every week or something? Or should I just leave them at this temperature and suck it up?

EDIT: Maybe I spoke too soon. Opening the lid to my egg container may have let a lot of the warmth out. Now that the ZooMed thermometer has been sitting in it for a while, it has gone up to 81.2 (so maybe most of the incubation was done at between 80 and 81). That's still low, though, and my question still stands.
 
Last edited:

acpart

Geck-cessories
Staff member
I would guess that very slow warming could be OK. I would caution you against putting the thermostat probe (as opposed to the thermometer) probe in the egg box. I tried that with my newest incubator and the temps went haywire. I asked my son, who's graduating from engineering school this month, why it happened and he wrote me enough info for it to be a Gecko Time article. Here it is:
Editor's Question Answered: Incubator Temperature Control - Gecko Time - Gecko Time

Aliza
 

Neon Aurora

New Member
I see. Thanks for that info. In that case, I will keep the probe where it is. I suppose the answer is to just have a separate thermometer probe in one of the egg boxes and tweek the temperature of the air in the incubator until you have what you want inside the egg box?

Does .5 degrees a week sound okay? Or should I go up like .1 degrees every other day or something until I get to where I want to be? Honestly, if you think trying to bring the temperature up will hurt the hatchlings, I will just leave it where it is and take the longer incubation time. It's not that important to me, I suppose.

I guess there is one upside to this oversight; I can probably be pretty sure they're all female incubating this low!
 
Last edited:

indyana

Well-Known Member
It's worth mentioning that most inexpensive digital probe thermometers are only accurate to ± 1 C (or ~ 2 F); anything with high accuracy is typically research-grade and expensive as heck. Cannot find an accuracy statement for Zoomed brand, but other models in that price range show about what you can expect. So, while the digital thermometer may read 81, it could actually be anywhere from 79 - 83.

The HerpStat has better temperature probe accuracy (± .9 °F), so if it's saying 83, it could be ~ 82-84.

Getting hung up on a few degrees isn't really going to be useful, as the equipment is only so accurate.
 

Neon Aurora

New Member
That's a good point. I think the temperature must be low, though. Just because it is day 58 with no hatches. Herpstats seems like they are generally accurate, since people using them seem to hatch out eggs at similar times at the same temperatures (IE, many people using a Herpstat to incubate at 82-83 hatch out eggs at day 49-53). By everything I've read, eggs incubated at 82-83 should have hatched by now.
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
Staff member
I'm incubating at about 82 and I just had a pair of eggs hatch after 65 days! This may be due to the fact that the incubator power was off for a few hours and the temp went down. I think in general at about the temps you're using, my hatch dates ran from about 50-63 days.

Aliza
 

Neon Aurora

New Member
I see! Maybe I'm just being silly then. =P I guess I just need to hold my horses and be more patient. A hard lesson to learn in this hobby! All of the waiting can just about drive you crazy. I'll try to be more patient in the future (and present).
 

OhioGecko

Mod Squad Member
I always keep a thermometer in a mock egg container as well as the incubator. As a guesstimate they temp varies +-2 degrees. I have seen near 3 degrees but that is rare.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Neon Aurora

New Member
It's staying at a 1.5 degree difference between what my Herpstat is set at and what the thermostat in the egg box reads. I was just being stupid and need to chill out. =P I'm going to start keeping the thermometer in a mock egg box and I'm just going to leave the temperature where it is. I want females in this incubator, so 81-82 is a fine temperature.
 

Neon Aurora

New Member
I guess I was just being silly! First hatch happened today! A normal het rainwater albino and eclipse. =) Exactly day 60. Still waiting on the clutchmate.
 

Visit our friends

Top