Hey guys, how goes your ant keeping?
Have you started hibernating your ants yet? If not you're a shitlord.
How was your season? For those with tropical ants, how is it going so far?
Here is my Camponotus Pennsylvanicus colony I have had since the spring. Caught the queen in my back yard. This picture is from a while ago, and I have more.
So far she is up to 50-60 workers, and about 30 larvae in diapause. Just put them in the basement this weekend. Will probably take them out towards the end of February.
Bumping for plebs who don't use catalog
This is the nest they are curretly in, bought this in July I think.
Moar! Pics of whole setup, burrowing media, feeding, hibernation and lack of same, and comparison with Uncle Milton.
This is the outworld I purchased with the nest, i think it's 4x4x8 if i remember correctly. It's a neat little set up. All these pics are before August this year, haven't taken any new ones yet, unfortunately.
At first I would feed them honey and insects I found around the yard. Mostly grass spiders and daddy long legs(which they seemed to absolutely love). After I bought fruit flies which worked until they all died off. Then I purchased Repti-worms, which is annoying to cut in half. Will probably try crickets or super worms this next spring.
This is the set up as a whole. The nest itself is 3x6 ytong block. I probably moved the colony a bit prematurely, as you'll see in the next pic, but I got a little excited when the formicarium arrived.
I can't really compare it to Uncle Miltons since I haven't had one of those old things since I was a kid, but I don't think it could stack up to a set up like this. I buy all my stuff from Tar Heel Ants, a bit pricier than Ants Canada, but I love how this stuff comes out. It looks great.
Also bought the museum anti-glare glass, definitely worth it. The acrylic in my last set up was a bit of a pain in the ass when trying to use a light. For hibernation i put the whole set up down stairs with some honey and a water feeder. I covered the vents on the outworld with water bottle caps to keep it hydrated longer. Seems to be working pretty well.
Correct. I used 3/8 inch vinyl tubing to connect the outworld to the nest. Other times the nest can be inside the outworld if it's large enough or if the nest is small enough. For example the first pic is my first formicarium, which has a 3 inch diameter nest inside a 6 inch diameter acrylic outworld. I try to clean out all the big stuff once it's taken out of the nest. Otherwise I don't clean the whole thing until they need to be moved, or if it's been a year or two.
Search for Ants Canada on youtube, they'll have all the information you'll need. It's really easy. Tar Heel Ants also has some really cool videos as well but doesn't usually upload as often.
Well with the ytong nests that are premade, I'd rather just order a larger set up. That way I can try something new as far as themes and set ups go, and don't have to modify anything. but yes, otherwise you can connect other nests as needed.
Those all wound up dying. I let them dry out too much :(
Each colony has their own personality. It sounds batshit crazy, but some colonies manage their waste better, some are better foragers, etc.
I've had 6 C. Penn. queens going at once, and they all acted differently.
About as much as an aloof cat. You need to feed and water them regularly. They also need to be left alone most of the time or theyll get stressed.
Ants basically take care of themselves, once in a while you will need to clean the formicarium as well though. If it gets too dirty, mold will form and wipe out the whole colony if not taken care of.
I haven't reached this point yet, but I would assume the worst part is having to farm your feeder insects if you have a lot different colonies to maintain. A little time consuming, but I think it won't even be that bad if it actually is the worst part of all of it.
No clue, found it outside my old apartment in mid Missouri. Let her go after I snapped a few pics.
Its always hit and miss.
Here's some 3 way trophallaxis
I used to keep jars of ants as a kid. They usually died in a couple weeks. I've always assumed they cant live without a connection to the queen. Is this true or was I just a shitty Ant slave owner as a child?
Their lifespan isnt that long, they just die and new workers take their place. The fact that you kept them alive for a week+ means you did pretty okay. Best scenario, they would have last a month or so.
I'm not sure it's that well regimented. Most of what I can find is warm weather after a rain will usually have some flights.
I don't have any ants though, I'm only reading up on things in possible interest of trying to start in spring.
Yes I know they fly under these conditions, but I was hoping to find a guide for WHEN different species fly.
For example, I know Prenolepis Imparis fly the earliest, around march I believe. It'd raise my chances of finding a certain species if I knew which species were flying in a certain time frame as opposed to just going outside and hoping for the best.
You're never going to map on a calendar "Ah yes! Today is Prenolepis Imparis day!"
You go out, do some looking, maybe find a queen or two if you're lucky, and be glad you found what you found.
This is most likely a test tube set up. You fill half with water and use cotton to seal it, but it also soaks it for the ants to drink from it. You plug the open end with more cotton so the ants can't get out. It's supposed to mimic a claustral chamber. The queen is just tearing at the cotton in the test tube.
I'll try to snap some more pictures of my Campos in hibernation this weekend if the thread is still up, as well as the new founding formicaria I ordered yesterday.
I ordered 3 nests that act as a claustral chamber, got them from tarheelants.com. Pretty excited to use them this Spring, Mack does outstanding work.
In the mean time, here are some fruit fly feeders from this summer that UPS delivered dead because they screwed up my address.
FYI PetSmart sells those exact fruit fly cultures.
I recently found out that my local pet store sells really well maintained cultures of both D. Melanogaster and D. Hydei.
Take some pics of those nests, I'm interested to see what they look like. I recently just poured a new grout based nest into a walmart tupperware. Dunno if I'll ever get around to using it, but it'll keep me busy.
At almost 30 dollars a culture, it just isn't worth it. The website I bought from sells in bulk, and I payed $29.99 for two cultures, and it's always free overnight shipping for them. They sell whole culture kits, good for 10k flies, for $45 as well. I e-mailed them about UPS screwing up, so they sent me two new cultures for free. Won't be buying fruit flies again though.
I'll be trying out meal worms or super worms this spring, at least until I have enough ant colonies/ at least one mature colony to warrant a dubia feeder colony. Hoping to try to keep it extremely small though, since my dad probably won't be too excited about keeping roaches in the house (#collegelife).
I'm hoping the nests make it here tomorrow by chance, but they're scheduled for delivery this Monday. I'll try to snap some pictures of my Camponotus nest in a bit though.
Grabbed a couple shots of the set up in "hibernation," they're still moving around quite a bit since it's been so warm here in New Hampshire. They've been occupying just two spaces since I put them down stairs a few weeks ago.
Also grabbed some full shots of my previous formicarium and the container i used to keep the queen in for the claustral stage.
Here is the outworld again. Left some honey and water in case they wander out to find something to eat. Covered the vents to retain hydration, but I over hydrated the nest a bit before they went down stairs, so I don't think it is really necessary to keep them covered at this point.
This is my 3 inch inception nest I ordered back in July I believe. I let the colony grow to about 30 workers and about 60 or 70 eggs, larvae and pupae before moving them into their current setup. Probably could have made this last all the way into next[ Fall, but I like spending money, haha.
Probably the best thing about both nests is the removable glass, makes cleaning the nest very easy. Cleaned this one finally, it was sitting in my room on a shelf, buried under a pile of papers for a few months, forgot about it entirely.
And finally, an old container of bio-gro I had lying around. After going through 2 terrible jerry-rigged water bottle set ups, I decided to put the queen into this instead. Poked a few holes in the top, dropped in a wet cotton ball for hydration and honey/insects every once in a while once workers arrived. Covered it with a cloth to keep it dark, and it worked out pretty well. It's good to keep around in case I need it for a surprise sighting, but I won't be using it again otherwise.
anon-kun... boco no pantsu
Yeah, and for what you get it's exceptional. It can get pretty pricey with some of the set ups, but when you're trying to raise 5k+ ants, you'll be paying out either way.
>30 dollars a culture
Thirty fucking dollars a culture? Where do you live? That price is outrageous!
Tar heel ant's stuff looks solid. Might almost be worth the price.
Pictured is the grout cast I made earlier this week. I'll try and unmold this weekend, but if it's anything like >>2015043 I'll wind up breaking the tupperware and buying a new one after I carve and paint it.
Glad you're having luck hibernating them, I'm always hesitant to hibernate. I'm not that observant about temperature and would likely kill them. Especially with C. Penn!
I'm located in southern New Hampshire.
And yes, so far everything is great, although I haven't had mine for very long, others have had nests for years, re-using them for new queens and colonies. I am absolutely satisfied with my purchases, they're almost like a work of art. The prices haven't exactly burnt a hole through my pocket, even as a student, but eventually I will get there as I start needing larger set ups for different colonies. I should be almost out of school by that time though.
As far as hibernating, I've heard a basement or closed garage is absolutely fine, as long as it is not open to the outside. Even a wine cooler or refrigerator on the warmest setting will work. They can withstand near freezing temperatures in most cases. I think mine are having a bit of trouble hibernating currently, due to the weather in my area.
It's been abnormally warm. We're expecting 65f degrees this Christmas Eve.Haven't even seen snow this year, which is great! Halloween 2012 and 2013 we had a major snow storm, both causing power loss all over the state, for a few weeks in some places. What a nightmare.
All my C. Penn queens have died after months of keeping them. They don't do well in the test tube setup. Maybe I'll try a small plaster next spring...
I know i'm probably going to get shat on by the moral fags for asking this, but what would happen if you linked two different species of ants to the same outworld? If both nests were filled to maxed capacity, would they fight to the death to try take over the other nest?
Anyone know if it would work OK to start a colony in a larger premade formicarium that I filled most of the rooms up with sand? I've heard it's not good to give a small colony too much space or else they might use the deeper rooms as a trash dump instead of dragging it out to the outworld. But I don't want to have to buy a bunch of intermediate sizes, so maybe the ants would dig out extra room as they needed from a large model? Because that's kind of how they do it in the wild, right. Plus I'm kind of hoping they would make a cool ant hill at the other side. I'm sort of considering filling the different rooms up with different colored sand so you could see the progress better... but I don't know if colored craft sand dyes might be bad for ants.
>The ants will still leave a small layer to block out the light
Probably they will try, yeah. I'm planning on trying this with a horizontal style premade like the tarheel "inception nest", so maybe if I don't completely top off the rooms and use a fine (non-structural) sand for the interior, they will just have to pull it out instead of trying to make tunnels in it. I hope! I'm only just doing thought experiments and trying to make shopping lists over the winter, then hope to get started in the spring by catching a local queen, which seems like it may be the hardest part.
OP here. Realistically, it's going to be easier just to get an appropriately sized nest. They can last for quite some time in a single nest, depending on the genus/species, and how much you feed them. The nest currently holding my Camponotus will last all through this coming season, easily, maybe even through a good bit of the 2017 season as well if I want to push it.
The set up I first posted cost me $90 + $10 shipping, for everything you see in the photos. That's including $15 for the museum glass, which isn't a necessity, but I probably won't buy another nest with out it. Just the nest and out world alone, it was $65 (w/o museum glass).
OP here, received my order from THA, very excited to use this all in a few months.
These are just the water feeders. I ordered 3 but one was broken. They're sending me a new one though, so it's no big deal.
These are just collecting vials. They're large, should come in handy.
Here is one of the nests, also a feeding dish and the liquid feeders. The tubes on the nest also provide water and hydration, but I'll be using the liquid feeders once I place them in the outworlds. One side of the outworld has a half inch cut out to put the hydration tube through, but I'm going to tape it up along with one of the 2 holes in the nest.
Here is the nest inside the outworld. It's a snug fit, so I'll just have to take out the liquid feeder whenever I need to feed them. From the queen's capture to the birth of a few workers though, these should last at least 2 months I would guess. Longer depending on the genus and species.
Last one. The nests are 1 1/4 inch in diameter.
id like to hibernate mine (camponotus castaneus), but its been so warm, i caught my queen the last week of may, shes made seven so far along with some grubs that don't seem to be getting any bigger, cave cricket legs seem to be the only thing i can get them to eat along with some honey here and there, i'm certain i'm doing something wrong, like i said id like to hibernate them but they never slowed down like a lot of guides have said they would, along with such a mild winter idk....
You should still put them in your basement or garage pretty soon. December is really when they prepare for hibernation. If the brood is in diapause and the queen has stopped producing eggs, that means they're ready. Mine are still relatively active as well, but have remained inside the nest in just 2 chambers, only moving their antennae. The cold will be here soon.
it's ok bby
Of course. You just need to make sure you can hydrate it, and it doesn't grow mold too quickly. There are a ton of different ways to make your own. If I had to, personally, I'd probably do a plaster nest. Seems to be the easiest, as far as building it and maintaining it. Just google formicarium DIY or something. There's thousands of videos to give you ideas.
I remember when i was a kid I would fill up a jar of dirt and just stick as many ants inside as i could. Was interesting as fuck looking at all the networks of tunnels and rooms they'd dig.
Would ants eat cricket flour? Apparently it's just crickets, baked and ground up. I'd rather feed them this than hunt or farm my own live bugs, if they'd take it.
OP again. Just ordered some more stuff, got like 400 bucks cash this christmas, and since I'm a lonely 25 KV powerlifter(t-thanks /fit/) and in school, I have nothing better spend money on, really.
I'll report back or start a new thread when I receive everything.
Currently recovering from another back injury. Turns out lack of sleep, over training, shit diet, and working in a warehouse 30 hours a week isn't good for your body in general..
So nobody knows eh. I wouldn't mind doing the flightless fly farm in a cup thing for a colony, later on, but the tutorials I've read mention talk about how you have to deal with mites living in the cups too. I don't want mites in there because I don't want them in the formicarium.
So what do? freeze and defrost all feeder bugs to kill any parasites before giving them to the ants?
Hey all, making an interior design and it revolves around a living theme.
There's a wall made of thin shelving in 16x24 fashion. These shelves house glass cubes that have a slot on the top that has a lid.
Each cube is a different environment so to speak, there are terrariums, aquariums, and other small things. One of which I need more information on is the ant farm cube.
Could someone point me in the direction to where I could reference material before I make the ant portion of my project?
I'll gladly share with you the finished product in two weeks when the project is done. Hell, I'll set up a Google tour of it for you guys to look at when I'm done, I'm not ever this proud of myself. I'm just stuck on this ant part and in all honesty this project will be up for maybe 6 days before it gets all taken down so I'm going to either have to start caring for these ants myself (which is fine) or find out if they can just go back to being in nature without repercussions to their livelihood .
I'm ignorant, not heartless and I can just as easily make another glass environment to replace the ant one if it won't work out for them.
Correction, I think they came in Monday last week actually. Been pretty busy, haven't checked the thread since last set of pictures.