One of the most common questions when breeding snakes and expecting eggs is “How do I set up my egg box and substrate?”. Do I use Perlite or Vermiculite? How much water do I mix, weight, %? How do I know if it’s too wet, too dry? Do I need to add water and if so, how often? Are my eggs too wet, too dry? I have found this to be the most full and fool proof way to set up an egg box to never worry about anything being too wet or dry or any measurements or feel.
I start out with a basic 12qt Sterilite tub from Walmart for $2.50 and light diffuser from Home Depot or Lowes for $10.00 for a sheet that’s appx 18″ x 4ft. I cut the light diffuser with tin snips to fit the tubs.
You really do not even need a medium as I have just used water, but I prefer to use a form of medium as it helps regulate the heat quicker when I open the incubator and tubs for air exchange. I prefer Perlite just because I like the white background come time for pictures. I buy a large bag of Perlite at Home Depot for $15-$18.
I add appx 1-1.5″ of Perlite and there is no need to be exact or worry about weight or anything. Just add appx 1-1.5″ of perlite and then add luke warm water up to the equal level of Perlite again no need for measuring or weight or precision! Just add water to the same level as the Perlite appx 1-1.5″.
Next place the light diffuser over the Perlite/water mix.
Then place the eggs over the light diffuser! The eggs never come in direct contact to any water or substrate so there is no worry of anything!
Then simply place a lid on the tub. No need for any plastic wrap or seal or anything else! No need to worry about adding water at any time! No need to do anything but open the tub slightly for about 1-2 seconds every 2-3 days for air exchange!
Then place the tub into your incubator for 55-60 days which you should already have calibrated to 88-90F. The lower the temperature the slightly longer the time for incubation. Some prefer to incubate at 87-88F, others 88-89F, others 90F. I prefer to incubate at 88-89F as I simply prefer to air on the cooler side vs hotter side. As you can see my Tstat is set at 88F and all my temperature gauges from top to bottom of my incubator read 88F 24/7. At this temperature I usually cut on day 55 and usually see all the babies out of their eggs by day 58-60 and usually see first sheds about 10 days afterwards.
Hope this helps!