Incubator temperature fluctuations

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by deviljho, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. deviljho

    deviljho Chirping

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    So i recieved 4 fertile chicken eggs from my next door neighbor, but once i put the eggs in my previously calibrated incubator has been thrown off. Humidity is lower with the eggs in and temperature fluctuates from 100 to 98.6 f with an average at about 99.2. I'm trying to fix this, but is it normal?

    Edit: i have just stabilized the temperature and remedied the humidity with a warm water jar, but i still do need help.

    It's a home built incubator from a reptile 25 watt heat lamp in a styrofoam cooler, with a temp probe for heat control and a thermometer and hygrometer so i can watch that. There are 4 small (like 1/3" diameter) holes in the top of the incubator for ventage. I put them in 2 hours ago, average temperature is 99.35 highs of 99.7 lows of 98.8. Humidity is 57% at current where it appears to have leveled out, but i am unsure. This is hour 2 of incubation.

    The temp controller probe was also previously in a Leopard Gecko enclosure for the same purpose. I believe i cleaned it but wheter i did a good job or even did i cannot remember. I have god awful memory.

    Hope that info helps!
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
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  2. deviljho

    deviljho Chirping

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    20190812_184335.jpg 20190812_184334.jpg

    Sorry for the bump, here are some pictures of my rather sketchy DIY Incubator
     
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  3. deviljho

    deviljho Chirping

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    Another info bump, i am really sorry. I just noticed a 2.5 degree discrepency between the temperature controller and the thermometer. So trying to meet them both in the middle of good development temperature ranges is what i am doing an the moment (~102.5 on the controller and ~99.3 on the thermometer).
     
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  4. NAA60512

    NAA60512 Chirping

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    Okay. I keep coming back to your post and I would really like to help out but I am not sure where to begin.
    An average temperature of 99.2F is pretty darn good with your setup. The only way you are going to tighten that up, and I am not sure you need to, is to throw money at it. Before I retired the controller, I used to hatch a lot of eggs using the venerable STC-1000 electronic temperature controller and my temperature fluctuation was greater than yours.

    I am kind of assuming that your incubator is still-air, which means temperature probe placement within the enclosure has an impact. In a still-air incubator temperature may stratify. You could be dealing with a temperature gradient, higher temps at the top and lower temps at the bottom. Looks like a pretty small enclosure so I wouldn't expect too much of a gradient but it is a possibility.

    Placement of the heat lamp in relation to the temperature probe may also impact your temperature reading.
    Question about your vent holes- you have vent holes in the top of the incubator, do you have any vent holes in the bottom of the incubator? My old styrofoam incubator had holes in the bottom and the top, and I put vents in the top and bottom of my cabinet incubator for flow-through ventilation. You do not need a lot of ventilation but with vent holes only in the top where is fresh air coming in? If you haven't already, poke a couple small holes at the bottom/side of your enclosure. Fresh air entering at bottom, warm air escaping at top, may help "stir" the air in your enclosure which could help with temperature stratification.

    Did the Leopard Gecko enclosure have a solid top or was it open/screened?

    Have you calibrated your temperature controller?

    I think you have all of the elements of an incubator and with a little tweaking you should be okay. Your temperature is pretty good. Humidity control isn't generally significant this time of year unless you live in an extremely wet or extremely dry environment. Lots of people dry incubate & dry hatch.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  5. deviljho

    deviljho Chirping

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    Thank you so much for taking your time to help me out!

    My incubator does not have any holes down low, but i will add those in when i get home from school.

    The leopard gecko was/is kept in a Screen top enclosure. The probe doesn't have any method of calibration, and i don't see any calibration method on the thermometer/hygrometer. Both the thermometer/hygrometer and the controller are zoomed iirc.
     
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  6. Shamo Hybrid

    Shamo Hybrid Songster

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    Remember when you are unsure of actual temps, it's best to go with lower temp than take a risk with higher temp guesses! With lower temp you can still successfully hatch (albeit maybe a day or 2 late), with higher temps if you are off and/or there happens to be a temp spike....... well, you just made yourself breakfast.
     
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  7. NAA60512

    NAA60512 Chirping

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    Don't go overboard when you add ventilation holes on the bottom. Doesn't take much. I have a 6.6 cubic foot cabinet incubator with a single intake hole in the bottom and a single exhaust hole in the top.

    Far as checking your probe, what you can do is fill a glass with ice and water (lots of ice), submerge the probe and see what the temperature reads. Should be around 32 degrees F
     
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  8. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Free Ranging

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    :caf
     
  9. deviljho

    deviljho Chirping

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    I put two small vent holes on the bottom, both roughly the same size as the Top holes.
    I was thinking that, so thank you for proving me right!
    I see, well once these chicks hatch I can do so with the controller. I'll check my Thermometer when I have the can.
     
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