Latest verdict on the SIMS containers for incubation?

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E.Shell

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I am incubating new Ackie (Varanus acanthurus) eggs that are sitting in slight depressions in substrate in a plastic box that I have ventilated and left the lid slightly ajar.

The eggs are in a ReptiPro6000 incubator at 28oC and 80% humidity. The ReptiPro600 shelves are 8" deep x 10" wide (20 x 25cm) and the vertical spacing is somewhat adjustable.

The substrate they are on is what they were laid in, a damp blend of soil, coarse sand and coco fiber.

I had hurriedly bought vermiculite at a local garden shop, but when I got it home, I realized it was supplemented with 'Miracle-Grow' plant food, so I didn't use it. I have been unable to find pure vermiculite locally. Everyone around only seems to stock Miracle-Grow brand products, and even their peat moss already has their fertilizer in it, making it all quite useless for animals.

While I am thinking the eggs will be fine as long as I keep temperature and humidity correct, I do have ZERO experience with this and I'm a little bit concerned about keeping them on the soil-based substrate. I see everyone keeping reptile eggs on vermiculite, or, on plastic grids in SIMS containers.

I am considering one of several plans:
1) I could order clean vermiculite (shipping will eat me alive).
2) I could order small SIMS containers (the cost is rather high and their sizes (8" x 6.75" x 4.5" hi / 20 x 17 x 11cm) aren't especially compatible with the incubator spaces I have).
3) Making my own suspension containers (easy enough, but if there is no clear benefit, why bother?).

I could leave it all alone, maintain my temp/humidity and hope for the best.

I could replace the soil with vermiculite at relatively high cost and inconvenience, and the same could be said for buying real SIMS.

I could build my own suspension container if there is a consensus that they really ARE that beneficial.

Thank you in advance, any advice is welcome and appreciated!
 

Sdaji

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Perlite works better than vermiculite for monitor eggs, and in general is much easier to work with than vermiculite for reptile eggs. It's much more dummy proof. With perlite the amount of water you use is almost irrelevant as long as there's some, so there's no danger of going slightly too wet or dry, while vermiculite needs to be exactly right or you'll have problems.

Suspension gives fairly similar results to perlite and it's another quite dummy proof method. You can easily make your own dirt cheap and conveniently from tubs at your local $2 shop/Reject Shop/supermarket etc. No need to buy expensive ones for the sake of having a brand label. Making your own is more satisfying, cheaper, and when you design it yourself you can customise it and you learn more and have a better connection with what you're doing. The same is true when building enclosures, incubators, etc; you end up with a better product at a better price, and it's far more rewarding knowing you designed and built it rather than just paid someone else to design and supply it with no creative input of your own and no scope for improvement.
 

E.Shell

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I use fish egg plastic over fairly wet vermiculite for pythons, not sure if it’d work aswell for monitors

Bunnings has clean vermiculite :)
Thank you. Next time I get by Bunnings, I'll definitely have a look!
Perlite works better than vermiculite for monitor eggs, and in general is much easier to work with than vermiculite for reptile eggs. It's much more dummy proof. With perlite the amount of water you use is almost irrelevant as long as there's some, so there's no danger of going slightly too wet or dry, while vermiculite needs to be exactly right or you'll have problems.

Suspension gives fairly similar results to perlite and it's another quite dummy proof method. You can easily make your own dirt cheap and conveniently from tubs at your local $2 shop/Reject Shop/supermarket etc. No need to buy expensive ones for the sake of having a brand label. Making your own is more satisfying, cheaper, and when you design it yourself you can customise it and you learn more and have a better connection with what you're doing. The same is true when building enclosures, incubators, etc; you end up with a better product at a better price, and it's far more rewarding knowing you designed and built it rather than just paid someone else to design and supply it with no creative input of your own and no scope for improvement.
Thank you. 'Dummy proof' has a lot of appeal!

I'll be out today and will look at some of the plastic boxes at hobby shops and department stores to see what I can come up with for a basis for my own suspension container. I know what you mean about building your own gear and often do.
 

Sdaji

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Thank you. Next time I get by Bunnings, I'll definitely have a look!

Thank you. 'Dummy proof' has a lot of appeal!

I'll be out today and will look at some of the plastic boxes at hobby shops and department stores to see what I can come up with for a basis for my own suspension container. I know what you mean about building your own gear and often do.

Dummy proof isn't just good for dummies; even people fully capable of fine tuning everything and watching it dutifully and tirelessly can benefit from not having to do so. Perlite/suspension gives about 95% of the results of fine-tuned vemiculite, without the need to put in all the work or the potential for human error etc. I spent years getting vermiculite right, but haven't used it for about 10 years now and likely won't use it again other than for fun or novelty or something at some stage. Perlite also seems to be more mould/fungus resistant.
 

E.Shell

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