DIY incubator troubles

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Hseru, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. Hseru

    Hseru Chirping

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    Jan 20, 2019
    Hi all!

    I've been using this forum as an information resource for a long time, but I need some help that I can't seem to find answers for so far.

    I'm in the process of trying to set up an incubator I made myself following various tutorials. Classic styrofoam cooler. 25 watt bulb, air vents but no fan, and several containers of water. Also, 1 bottle of water to try and help regulate temperature. My problem is that I have managed to get the temperature to settle around 100-101, but the humidity drops to 25-30 and nothing I seem to do will increase it. The picture I've linked shows from the top down into the incubator after I added a second container of water and another sponge, so the temperature is still coming back up.

    Am I doing something wrong? When the temp drops, the humidity rises, when the temp is at the right place the humidity is not even close, and I don't have space for any more water surface beyond just pouring it in the bottom of the cooler.

    20190120_223140.jpg

    The picture shows the multiple metal pans for water and the sponges for surface area, the 25 watt bulb and the water bottle. Any advice would help or questions for more info!
    Thanks!
     
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  2. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

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  3. Shamo Hybrid

    Shamo Hybrid Songster

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    Get like a 40 watt bulb and buy yourself a thermostat controller..... a reptile thermostat controller works. That way you don't have to keep trying to manage a stable temp if the incubator is around a house that is varying degrees throughout the day/night.
     
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  4. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    To start, have you tried letting it run for a few days at a constant temp and just seeing if the humidity stabilises on its own?

    Water has a very high heat capacity. If you're adding water, it'll absorb more heat until the temperature stabilises. I suspect that may be a large part of your problem. Another problem is that it's winter, and there's probably not a lot of baseline humidity to work with.

    If you can buy a temp controller, they're great. I have one I got for thirty bucks from Amazon. https://www.ebay.com/p/willhi-WH143...-Sous-Vid/15025481009?iid=271782572156&chn=ps Very useful, and very accurate, for more than just chick hatches. Plus, you have it forever.

    Honestly, 25-30 doesn't sound so bad. And adding more water won't help. What matters to humidity is surface area of the water, not the amount of water. So if you can dispense with your other containers and just pour water into the bottom of your incubator, that might just be the solution.

    Just a few suggestions, because honestly, I only ever had one incubator (homemade) and I only used it for a few years.
     
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  5. Hseru

    Hseru Chirping

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    Thanks for the input guys!

    I started with a 60 watt and worked down to 25, but I think I will go with a 40 watt and a thermostat. I didn't even know they came in a plug in form. I think I was trying to avoid having to wire anything because that just makes me nervous.

    I'll let you guys know how things go after I get in the new bits and pieces.
     
  6. Hseru

    Hseru Chirping

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    The thermostat is here a day early!

    And now more waiting, haha. I'll update when I have an idea of how close I can get to good temp and humidity.
     
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  7. Hseru

    Hseru Chirping

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    A little premature, but with the thermostat, all of the troubles have just, gone away. I'm going to leave it to run, but so far, steady temp cycling around 101 for a still air incubator, 55% humidity even with all of that extra water surface removed. Now there's just one dish. Amazing.
     
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  8. Hseru

    Hseru Chirping

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    Ok, through days and hours of letting things sit and adjusting and making changes, I've finally got humidity stable at 45-55%.

    Now the question of temperature. I've read different sources that for still air incubators I need to keep it at 100, 101, and 102. Currently, the average temp is hovering just over 101 with a fluctuation of about .5 - 1 degree. Is that fluctuation safe?

    I'm so excited!
     
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  9. Rose Quartz

    Rose Quartz Crossing the Road

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    Yeah that fluxuation is fine. If it ends up averaging colder they'll be a bit late. 102 is where i would run a still air so at a high of 101.5 that's perfectly fine. :D
     
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  10. Shamo Hybrid

    Shamo Hybrid Songster

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    I'd rather run it slightly on the lower side then the high side. Being lower in temp you can still get hatches, setting it high and having a fluctuation of 1 degree could cook your eggs if it happen to spike! So, I would suggest you run it slightly lower.
     

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