In this post we’re going to review the Zoo Med Reptibator Egg Incubator and give you a step-by-step guide on how to set up your new Zoo Med ReptiBator.
Zoo Med’s ReptiBator is a state-of-the-art incubator that can be used to hatch a variety of Reptiles and Amphibians. With its easy to program interface and self- gauging temperature controls, the ReptiBator is the perfect tool for both new and experienced breeders.
When you breed bearded dragons, incubation is naturally an important part of the process. We currently have 6 ReptiBators in use here with over 175 bearded dragon eggs. The most important function of an incubator is to provide heat in the incubation process. Without a proper temperature, the embryo of fertile eggs won’t develop and mature.
- Digital controller with LCD display and LED heat indicator light
- Pulse proportional thermostat for stable temperature regulation
- Temperature control range from 59°F to 104°F
- Humidity Display range from 10%-95% relative humidity
- Rigid 55 watt heating element
Now that we’ve gone over the importance of incubation, let’s prepare our ReptiBator. The ReptiBator consists of three main pieces:
The base has a molded reservoir that allows water to be added. This helps create a more humid environment inside the incubator. Zoo Med’s ReptiBator uses recycled Styrofoam made in the USA.
The Foam Sponge insert allows for greater water retention for cases where high humidity is needed, or if the incubator will be unattended for long periods of time.
The hood contains the main heating unit as well as the control panel for programming the temperature scale, temperature settings, and alarm settings. The clear, plastic design allows you to view the eggs without having to disturb the microclimate inside.
How to Setup Zoo Med ReptiBator Digital Egg Incubator
When setting up, it’s recommended to position the incubator in a cool area in your home where the temperature is fairly consistent.
Add water to the channels of the base’s reservoir. Make sure to fill only to the top of the channels to prevent spilling through the ventilation holes. This step may or may not be necessary depending on the needs of your eggs.
Place the foam insert inside the incubator with the flat side facing down. Now place the hood on top of the base with the control panel facing up.
Once you’ve plugged in the ReptiBator, the display on the control panel will activate. From here, first set whether you want the ReptiBator to display in Fahrenheit or Celsius. Do this by pressing and holding down the button labeled ‘Warmer’, then press the button labeled ‘Cooler’ to switch between the two.
Once you’ve set the display, press the ‘Warmer’ button to set the default temperature. The word ‘Heat’ should pop up on the display. From here adjust the temperature with the ‘Warmer’ and ‘Cooler’ buttons accordingly.
Once you’ve decided on the temperature, let the menu sit for five seconds for it to accept the input. The temperature on the ReptiBator can be set anywhere between 59° and 104° Fahrenheit. The red LED on the display will light up whenever the heating element is running. A flashing LED indicates the ReptiBator’s pulse proportional thermostat giving off pulses of heat to stabilize the incubator’s temperature.
Next we’ll set up the alarm function. With the alarm, the display will flash if the temperature drops outside the set levels. Press the ‘Cooler’ button to access these controls. A picture of two bells on the right-hand side of the display should pop up to indicate the correct menu. (As shown in the image below) Set the number of degrees you want for the alarm and allow the menu to sit for five seconds to accept the command.
Now that we’ve prepared the ReptiBator, let’s go over some tips on how to set up your eggs for incubation. First off, while the ReptiBator’s thermometer works fine for gauging and setting the overall temperature of the incubator, it’s always a good idea to have a secondary thermometer set up in close proximity to the eggs. This allows for a more accurate incubation temperature. Zoo Med’s Digital Thermometers are perfect for this task.
When it does come time, and your pet is displaying signs of nesting or egg-laying behavior, make sure to allow her to finish nesting before attempting to remove them. Doing so beforehand may cause unnecessary stress for your bearded dragon. When you have found the nest, carefully remove each egg without rotating it. Reptile eggs should not be turned over, so dig carefully when searching for eggs.
When using an incubation container in unison with the ReptiBator make sure to research the different varieties of incubation media and choose the one that will work best for your pets eggs.
If you’re using a secondary thermometer, placing it directly inside the incubation container will help produce the most accurate readings. Record keeping is a very important part of the incubation process. Here is Zoo Med, we label our containers with the name of the species that laid the egg, the date they were found, and the number of eggs that we found in the clutch.
It’s a good idea to check your ReptiBator at least a couple of times a week. We recommend checking the ReptiBators daily for new hatchlings and ensuring that the humidity levels are correct. Be sure to research the particular needs and care tips for the type of eggs you plan on incubating.