Zero Maintenance Incubator

Nan's Nook : Archives : Jars : Incubation : Jar Incubators
Posted by: Iggy Feb 23 03, 11:32 PM GMT
I built this for around $35 and the only work I did was drill a hole the the jar lid and seal it with glue (weldit) and duct tape. I don't have to add water now and again as the jar with the heater in it is sealed. The fish tank heater was about $20 of the total cost but the main thing with it was it had an adjustable temp. wink.gif The jar was one of those jumbo size pickel jars you get in the supersize isle at wal-mart. I tossed the pickels as they tasted like crap bleah.gif but what do you expect for under $3? The cooler was a 48qt? Maybe it's a 40qt, can't remember. But I didn't do any work to it as the power cord doesnt interfear with the lid closing at all biggrin.gif Thanks for the idea mal, just wanted to share what I did with the heat jar to make it maintenance free. wub.gif

Posted by: Iggy Feb 23 03, 11:33 PM GMT
Thanks again Mal wub.gif


Posted by: Malformed Feb 23 03, 11:51 PM GMT
very well done.
48 quart it is.

i still have my jar lid with a hold in it. i "could" epoxy the heater to it to seal it.
or get some of that putty at the automotive store.
it is like grey playdough, and hardens like a rock.
and is good to like 1500 degrees or something lol

how well does it hold water for you?

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left = old Styrofoam cooler --- right = new improved.

Posted by: Samsara Feb 23 03, 11:55 PM GMT
I plan on building one of those babies next week. Thanks for the ideas! wink.gif

Posted by: Iggy Feb 24 03, 12:14 AM GMT
how well does it hold water?

Well in 2 weeks of service the water level has not dropped at all. It maintains a temp of 89F (I like to keep it as close to 90 as possible without going over) I think I may add some Iodine to the water in my heat jar to prevent any growth in there. I sealed it mainly to prevent condensation from making pools of stale water in the bottom of the cooler, that would make a great home for the nasties bleah.gif and we sure don't want that! I would have to say that this is the most efficient, well insulated, and easiest prodject for your buck biggrin.gif

Also that cooler of your Mal, unsure.gif it looks very familiar? laugh.gif

Posted by: Malformed Feb 24 03, 12:17 AM GMT
yea. i can see what you mean.

i tossed a plastic grate in the bottom of mine to keep the jars off the bottom.
also helps evenly distribute the heat. wink.gif

i will seal my jar as well i think.

Posted by: Malformed Feb 24 03, 03:32 AM GMT
i noticed the blue rubber type cap on my tank heater was loose, i pulled and it came off.
(it doesnt serve much purpose anyway)

all the damn thing was... is a test tube , heating element, control knob thingy, and a rubber stopper with 2 holes, one for the control and one for the cord.

they realy are simple biggrin.gif

so, i tossed some tub and tile caulk in the cap and put it back on.
nice and securely sealed now.


Posted by: Malformed Feb 24 03, 09:34 AM GMT
ok, the epoxy (jb weld) has pretty much dried.
i made sure to cover all rough metal. and glued both sides of the lid.

this is from a planters peanut jar, so the threads turn seperate from the metal.
(ALOT like a 2 piece metal canning jar lid)
even down to the rubber seal.
i allready mentioned i caulked the actual cover for the heater.

Posted by: Malformed Feb 24 03, 09:34 AM GMT

Posted by: Iggy Feb 24 03, 06:33 PM GMT
Very nice, I think you will like this better than a open jar. Now all you have to do is set it and forget it!

Posted by: Voodoo Feb 24 03, 08:00 PM GMT
I tried basically the same setup and ended up ditching it. My heat was different in the middle than on the outside. Did you figure out a way to keep it consistant? I ended up using two bins, one inside the other with a little bit of water and the heater under the one the jars are in.

Posted by: magician26 Feb 24 03, 11:05 PM GMT
i have a similar set up and i use a small computer fan to circulate the air around the incubator and keep the temp even..

Posted by: Malformed Feb 24 03, 11:20 PM GMT
yea, i was thinking about doing that also.
even a small fan would help big time, keeping the heating even. biggrin.gif

Posted by: Iggy Feb 27 03, 09:25 PM GMT
cool.gif Things to do........add small fan *~Thanks~* wub.gif

Ok here is a pic of how I sealed my lid. The main thing here is to find a heater that says "submersible". Otherwise this could make for a shocking learning experience laugh.gif

Posted by: Malformed Feb 28 03, 07:59 AM GMT
i have a heater just like that also.
its in my styrofoam incubator.

by the way, the one i sealed is working out great.

when i took the jars and shit out to clean, i ended up finding grey, black, and green shit growing on the bottom of the blue cooler ohmy.gif

so i lysoled it a few times and washed my plastic grate.

it doesnt get as warm as it used to, about 4 degrees less. but the lack of humidity is great, keeps the tub clean, and i dont have to constantly drain the water out.

Posted by: steveoi812 Feb 28 03, 09:05 AM GMT
Very nice you guys. Yea mal I think to much humidity can fuck things up for sure. I noticed that I had a lot of extra condensation in my jars the last time around. With my newly designed incubator I get humidity levels of about 80% and the condensation in the jars isnt as bad...I dont get any pooling inside either, I used to though. How often should I be cleaning my incubator, you guys? Once every month? Every week? Thanks

Posted by: Iggy Feb 28 03, 09:25 AM GMT
I generally try to wipe mine down with 91% isopropyl once a week. Bleach water or lysol works great too wink.gif Perhaps one could do a monthly cleaning but I say it is best to over kill your cleaning schedual than to under do it. I also do a wipedown anytime I find a contamned jar bleah.gif
Glad to hear things are working good for you mal wub.gif

Posted by: HapplyDeranged Feb 28 03, 02:41 PM GMT
i prefer the 2 rubbermades nesting togeter with the 100watt-200watt fully submersable fish tank like a charm...only kicker is you must keep the H20 clean because you can get some nasty contams from your incubator.... biggrin.gif

Posted by: Fungusmaximus Mar 02 03, 08:41 AM GMT
Hey mal, the delicate part of those heaters is the heating element. One wrong move and its trash. They break real easy. You can take the tiny thermostat off and rewire to a non water type heater or one that has more heat. wink.gif easy too. Dont throw those old heaters out until you take out the thermostat, (very useful) as is the test tube, hehe tongue.gif

Posted by: Fungusmaximus Mar 02 03, 08:48 AM GMT
check it Mal,

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Posted by: Samsara Mar 02 03, 02:13 PM GMT
Thats pretty neat Fungus.............. smile.gif

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