Vermiculite - Brood substrate for the incubation of reptile eggs
Vermiculite (often also written vermiculite) is the brood substrate for reptile eggs par excellence. No other incubation substrate is used anywhere near as frequently and successfully for the safe incubation of reptile eggs. This is due to the special properties of vermiculite (vermiculite), which make it perfect for reptile breeding. Vermiculite is able to store a lot of water. Vermiculite (vermiculite) can quickly absorb excess moisture from the air and release it again if necessary. This property is important to regulate the water balance of reptile eggs during hatching. In addition, vermiculite is very soft and lightweight and has excellent insulating properties, which benefits the eggs in the incubator. Vermiculite is of course not sterile, but even in extreme wetness and temperatures in the incubator it does not form mould or a breeding ground for other germs and thus protects the eggs of reptiles.
How to use vermiculite correctly?
Reptile eggs absorb large amounts of moisture during incubation, even from desert animals such as bearded dragons. The eggs of reptiles therefore need a very high humidity during the breeding phase and a substrate from which they can absorb water. Vermiculite is perfect for that. The principle is as follows: The eggs are bedded in moist vermiculite in a separate box and placed in the incubator. Our cricket boxes, for example, are ideal. The eggs can now absorb the required amount of water from the vermiculite. At the same time vermiculite regulates the humidity in the incubator. But be careful! Vermiculite can also pump or dry suck too much water into the reptile eggs. So the be-all and end-all for vermiculite as a breeding substrate is the right moistening. How do you moisten vermiculite properly?
There are several recipes where you have to mix a certain amount of water to a certain amount of vermiculite. However, these recipes all have a serious mistake: no terrarium keeper knows the amount of water that is already present in the supposedly dry vermiculite. Vermiculite is highly hygroscopic (absorbs water) and therefore always absorbs moisture from the air. So before using vermiculite as an incubation substrate you would have to dry it out - in the oven, for example. However, this is exactly what is not usually taken into account in these recipes. An old terrarium trick is simpler: add plenty of water to the vermiculite. Stir occasionally and let everything go through well. Then take a handful of moist vermiculite and squeeze the water out with all your might. Until there's not a drop left! Then the vermiculite has exactly the right moisture for almost all reptile species. And what exactly is vermiculite?
Vermiculite is a mineral that belongs to the so-called silicates and occurs very rarely. It is being mined above all in South Africa. Vermiculite is not only used as a substrate for newspapers in the incubation of reptile eggs, but is also frequently found in plant breeding for soil improvement and is used as a sound, heat and fire insulation material. But every terrarium enthusiast knows one application: Heat Packs! They also contain vermiculite together with other substances. It helps the heat packs to distribute the heat evenly.
Our vermiculite is available in two different grain sizes. The fine one with approx. 0-4 mm is perfect for very small reptile eggs. The coarse vermiculite with 3-6 mm grain size is ideal for larger eggs of pythons, iguanas, monitors or other lizards. Due to the coarser grain size, it also improves the ventilation of the eggs, which is very important for breeding success. Many reptile breeders therefore mix coarse and fine vermiculite in a ratio of 1:1.
4 litre capacity