Please help me troubleshoot my incubator

FreeBirthMama

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 3, 2014
53
1
43
I've got a 10 gallon aquarium inside a 20 gallon aquarium with reflective foam insulation between the two. A blue reptile heat lamp suspended from the lid. I just can't get the temp to stay regular! I raise and lower the tray of eggs, I open or close the lid. The first night the eggs were in the temp was 101 when I went to bed, and 95 when I woke up. The next night, after wrapping a blanket around the tank, it was 101 in the pm and 105 in the am. I tried replacing the heat lamp with a regular bulb and it was 100 the third night, third morning 96. I replaced the bulb with the heat lamp again, and now its up to 101.3 with the lid partly open. Are my eggs dead already? Should I keep incubating them for another day or two to see? The eggs have been in there almost 72 hours. Should I scrap the aquarium idea? I was just trying to use what I had on hand.

 

Daedalus62

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 12, 2013
147
17
99
Portugal
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Do you have some kind of thermostat in there or just the heat lamp?... If you have, what kind and where's the sensor (or the thermostat itself) placed?...

If you don't have a thermostat, and you're hoping to keep a stable temperature just by opening or closing the lid, I would say that's a nearly impossible task without babysitting it 24/7...

Cheers
 

FreeBirthMama

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 3, 2014
53
1
43
No thermostat, just a thermometer. I guess I will have to buy something. Do you think the eggs might still be alright?
 

WVduckchick

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They could still be alright right now, but until you fix the issue, you will have to babysit them to keep them viable. In a few more days, you should be able to see veining starting, when you candle them. Good luck!
 

FreeBirthMama

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 3, 2014
53
1
43
I was too curious last night and I candled a few of the eggs. All viable! Veins and a dark little embryo! A few of the eggs are quite dark with spots and I couldn't see anything, but all the others I checked are fine! The temp stayed more regular last night. I'm hopeful now!
 

RubyNala97

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 9, 2015
4,627
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361
Hudson Valley, NY
I think that it's fluctuating as the temp in the room changes. I've been monitoring the temp in my house and it drops & then goes up throughout the day & night. I'm using a forced air, good quality incubator and overnight the temp drops to 99.5 but during the hot afternoon it's going to 100. So I would think with the setup you have it would be more drastic. It does sound like the only way to keep it regular would be to babysit 24/7. But I'm sure in the wild the temps do fluctuate & it seems they are developing. What's your humidity?
 

FreeBirthMama

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 3, 2014
53
1
43
We made it to day 19, and only lost one egg early on. The others are all still viable. We have been adjusting the lid to keep the temp in range, and now I've added more sponges to bump humidity. But I can't close the lid for lockdown or the temp skyrockets! I guess I just have to keep watch on the humidity too now? Its much harder to keep it up with the lid open part way. I read about dry humidity so I have been monitoring the air sack and in most of the eggs its just fine. Funny though how some have more air sack growth than others in the same conditions.

I read that its alright to drop the temp lower during lockdown, is that accurate? If so, I could replace the heat bulb with a regular bulb and close the lid.
 

WVduckchick

🐓🦆 For the Birds! 🦆🐓
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Feb 9, 2015
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We made it to day 19, and only lost one egg early on. The others are all still viable. We have been adjusting the lid to keep the temp in range, and now I've added more sponges to bump humidity. But I can't close the lid for lockdown or the temp skyrockets! I guess I just have to keep watch on the humidity too now? Its much harder to keep it up with the lid open part way. I read about dry humidity so I have been monitoring the air sack and in most of the eggs its just fine. Funny though how some have more air sack growth than others in the same conditions.

I read that its alright to drop the temp lower during lockdown, is that accurate? If so, I could replace the heat bulb with a regular bulb and close the lid.

Dropping the temp during lockdown is done by some folks, but its only lowered like one degree. How much lower does yours get with the regular bulb? You have to keep the humidity up! Could you maybe add something between the lid and the top that would allow the temp to stay steady, but keep the humidity in? Like plastic wrap?? Just thinking...
 

FreeBirthMama

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 3, 2014
53
1
43
I'll try the plastic wrap, but won't that restrict the oxygen too much? The regular bulb was keeping the temp at about 97-98 with the lid closed. I was keeping the temp between 101-102 with the heat bulb and adjusting the lid. The last few days here have been super hot and very humid, so the lid was open quite a bit. But of course now that I want the humidity raised the weather has gotten cold and not humid.

This process is too complicated, next time I'll wait for a broody hen!
 

WVduckchick

🐓🦆 For the Birds! 🦆🐓
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Feb 9, 2015
48,689
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West Virginia
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I'll try the plastic wrap, but won't that restrict the oxygen too much?  The regular bulb was keeping the temp at about 97-98 with the lid closed.  I was keeping the temp between 101-102 with the heat bulb and adjusting the lid.  The last few days here have been super hot and very humid, so the lid was open quite a bit.  But of course now that I want the humidity raised the weather has gotten cold and not humid.

This process is too complicated, next time I'll wait for a broody hen!


Oh but its so much fun!! Haha
Poke some holes in the plastic wrap with a toothpick? How is your ventilation controlled with the lid down?

I wish someone else would chime in about temps. 98 sounds low, and that would be several degrees drop, but I'm still thinking the humidity is most important at lockdown. 98 might not be too bad. How about a heater/heat lamp next to the tank outside of it to keep the general area warmer while using the lower bulb? Maybe that would bump it closer to 99-100?
 

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