Incubation accessories and hatching eggs

After having dealt extensively with incubator and incubation types as well as suitable breeding containers in another article, here is the second part on the subject of offspring reptiles: We mainly deal with incubation accessories such as substrates appropriate, the annoying mold problem and the operation of the incubator until the animals hatch.

Most important incubation accessories: suitable substrate

Since then the marriage (is used as a synonym for incubation and describes the time until hatching) some demands are made on the substrate you should here not for the normal substrate grab. Instead, you should get special egg making substrates see which ones are ideal for use in the incubator. These substrates must not only be able to absorb moisture well, but also not too muddy Or stick to eggs. It is also particularly important that they have as neutral a pH value as possible, which is close to that of water (pH 7).


The most commonly used reptile breeding substrate is vermiculitea clay mineral that sterile does not rot and has a high moisture retention capacity. These properties make it the ideal breeding substrate for reptile eggs that have a high need for moisture. However, a problem with vermiculite can arise if you wet it too much or if you choose too fine a grain size: in this case, it sags and “muds”. As a result, the eggs absorb too much moisture, the embryo dies. It can also happen that the necessary oxygen exchange can no longer take place due to the substrate sticking to the egg; the eggs rot from lack of oxygen. Do you have this difficulty? correct humidity dosage however, under control, vermiculite makes an excellent breeding medium. One principle is that the medium should only be damp, not wet: if you crush it between your fingers, no water should flow out.

Acadamia clay soil

Another substrate that is becoming increasingly popular is Japan Acadamia clay soil. This natural substrate comes from bonsai care and, compared to conventional, heavy bonsai soil, has the advantage of not being too muddy when watered: an ideal property for a breeding substrate.

Like vermiculite, it is available in different grades and granulations, as well as raw or fired. It is especially recommended burnt version, because it is very dimensionally stable and (kept dry) very durable. The pH value of around 6.7 also contributes to the incubability, as does the good air exchange in the substrate. The only criticism is that there is a higher rewetting rate than other substrates. A combination of vermiculite and silt is therefore ideal, as moisture can be retained better with this mixture.

Also there is peat-sand mixtures, which are used as breeding substrate; less often we find earth, various mosses or peat.

Prevent mold in the canvas

During spawning, the eggs come into contact with the soil substrate, which attaches to the shell. Under certain circumstances, it may happen that this substrate become moldy starts and at danger of death for the embryo become. You can counter this problem if you Mix the incubation substrate with activated carbon. This substance originally comes from the aquarium hobby, where it is used to purify and filter water. However, you have to dose it very carefully, because activated carbon reliably removes moisture first from the substrate, then from the eggs: the more activated carbon is mixed into the substrate, the faster the incubator dries.

Basically, eggs infested with mold should be removed quickly separated from the rest of the nestso that it does not spread. However, you should wait to get rid of them, as healthy young animals can also hatch from moldy eggs; So quarantine the egg as a precaution and wait to see if anything really happens inside over time. It is not always possible to infer the result of maturation from the appearance of eggs.

Maturation in the incubator

When preparing the incubator and “transferring” the eggs from the terrarium to the incubator, you need to be careful and above all hygienic take steps to prevent infections and parasites from occurring in the first stage. The incubator should be protected from direct sunlight and the effects of heaters.

After the female has finished laying her eggs and the incubator is ready, you should carefully remove the eggs from the pen and place them in the brood container – either in the substrate or on a suitable rack. Since the eggs continue to grow during maturation, you should fairly large distances choose. It is important when converting that the eggs 24 hours after deposit are no longer allowed to spin: the germinal disc from which the embryo develops migrates to the cover of the egg and attaches itself there, the yolk sac sinks to the ground: if you spin the egg now, the embryo will be crushed by its own yolk sac. Although there are counter-studies and tests where spinning did no harm, but Prevention is better than cure.

For the incubation to go well, you need to keep the eggs Regularly check for pests such as mold, fungus and pests and also keep an eye on the temperature and humidity. If the humidity is too low, the substrate should be moistened with a small syringe; however, the water should never come into direct contact with the eggs. In the meantime, you can also open the incubator lid for a few seconds to ensure sufficient fresh air supply.


The time has finally come, the little ones are ready to hatch. You can tell a few days in advance that small pearls of liquid form on the eggshells, the shell becomes glassy and sinks slightly: nothing to worry about.

In order to break the shell, hatchlings have an egg tooth on the upper jaw, with which the shell is opened. Once the head is free, they stay in this position to gain strength. In this period of rest switched to pulmonary respiration and the yolk sac introduced into the body cavity, from which the animal feeds for a few days. Even though the whole hatching process many hours hard, you have to do not intervene, because it endangers the survival of the little one. You should only transfer it to the breeding terrarium when it can stand on its own, has completely absorbed the yolk sac into its body cavity, and is moving around the incubator.

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