An aquarium incubator with pics

Chickenfortress

Songster
11 Years
May 8, 2008
224
6
144
Another entry in the "make your own" category.

I started with a 20gal aquarium. I cut 1" styrofoam insulation board to cover the sides and bottom. An extra piece was cut to insulate part of the cover to reduce heat loss.
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Then a piece of plexiglas was cut to cover the top completely. It was cut into two pieces, I chose to put the hinge, and thus the cut, well to one side to make it easier to get in and reach the controls. The smaller, wall side was taped to the door side using duct tape. Remember to leave a small gap between the pieces to make the hinge work better. Then I taped the wall piece to the tank top. I mounted a small knob to the door for easier opening.

I cut an extra piece of plexi about 2 1/2" square, drilled a small hole in the center, and tightened a bolt through the hole. The bolt was chucked in a drill and the plexi spun against a belt sander until I had a circle. Drill a hole in the plexi top the same size as the one through the disk. I chose to put it in the wall section, but now i think the door would have been a better choice. If I had put it in the door then I would have more insulation in the wall area. Make sure you keep the disk well away from edges, but toward the bottom of the door. Placing the disks edge about where the insulation is is a good idea because the vents you drill in it will be right at the base of the incubator. Then bolt the disk to the plexi and drill a few 3/8 holes through the disk and the plexi. You can rotate the disk to adjust air flow. It is counter balanced will a few small holes drilled in the door to make the top vent.
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There needs to be a board to mount the electricals to. I cut a piece of 1/4" plywood to snugly fit the bottom of the tank, which will be the back when finished. I wrapped it in aluminum foil, not a necessary step, but it makes cleaning easier. I used a thermostat from menards, the same model as others on here have chosen. For the lamp holder I used the working parts of an old 2 lamp ceiling fixture. A tin can, with the bottom cut off and tabs cut in to mount it,was split and used to shield the thermostat from the direct light. The cord was passed into the tank through a hole drilled in the wall section of the plexi. Afterwards, I found my glass drill. Next time I will put the hole through the tank wall instead to keep it on the back of the incubator. I put a 40mm computer fan in supported on piano wire stuck in the foam to move the air. It's powered by a 12vdc phone charger transformer.
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The rest is all basic. A water wiggler made from a radioshack thermometer in an aloe filled egg. A 2 function thermo/humido meter that needs upgrading. I use a cup of water placed in the machine to provide humidity. It doesn't lose much humidity here because of its placement. We usually run a dehumidifier in the room its placed in to keep things below 70% anyway. I had the water in a small metal cup, but it was catching the heat and driving humidity so high there was condensation between the insulation and glass. Switching to a clear cup fixed that. Turn the whole thing on it's side and begin regulating.
 
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Sachasmom

Songster
10 Years
Mar 1, 2009
567
1
141
Upstate NY
I have a question about the cartons, if you don't mind?

We just did our homemade incubator (worm cooler) and put the eggs in last night.

I had read that the eggs should go on their sides, so thats what I did. They can go in egg cartons? Do you have to take them out of the cartons on day 18? Or will they hatch in the cartons.

I'm just thinking I could have fit more eggs in there if I had used cartons! I had 6 eggs left over I had no room for!
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Chickenfortress

Songster
11 Years
May 8, 2008
224
6
144
Just for the record, this is about the case only. The internals are from MissPrissy's design. I have 11 aquariums of various size, and they provide stability and structure you can't get from a foam box. I might as well put them to use. On the plus side, the foam liner is about as throwaway as the foam boxes are. There would be no difference in cost to rebuild if damaged between this and a cooler.
 

Chickenfortress

Songster
11 Years
May 8, 2008
224
6
144
Quote:
If you read enough in here and books and other sites you will find directly contradicting information on just about every point. I'd suggest that you find a couple of reputable folks that have had success and trust them. Remember that books, especially those by publishers of how-to's and such, are frequently written by people who gather information from many sources and digest it for publication instead of being written by those who are writing from their own experience. I have a friend who works for chinese companies writing instructions for their products. She doesn't know how the products work, and has to decipher chinese engineers notes that have been translated by someone else in order to write the manuals. She said she doesn't even get to see the product to help clarify.

I'll let you know how the egg cartons work, but the fact that this is the first run in this incubator, made by a novice, and my first attempt at incubating at all should make the data somewhat irrelevant to the use of egg cartons.

Anyone that see's an error in my technique here, give a yell. I'm here to learn.
 

Robotponys

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jul 9, 2011
77
0
29
10013
Nice! Does anyone know where to get styrofoam in Manhattan? It's impossible without paying literally $15 for the shipping!
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Colored Egg Farmer

Chicken overload
14 Years
Apr 30, 2008
2,187
70
326
North Eastern Pa... Near NY
try a vet as well or anywhere that buys cold meds. I know our vet was always giving away stryofoam boxes and the cooling packs. You can also try a grocery store some carry stryrofoam cooling boxes.


also how long does it take to get your incubator up to a stable temp?
 
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