Mold in test tubes

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AustinAntMom
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 8:31 am
Location: Austin, Texas

Mold in test tubes

Post: # 37021Post AustinAntMom
Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:20 pm

Hello all!
My son, a 6 year old who is speech delayed loves ants. He has been catching tons of queen ants since its been raining here in Texas.

He caught these queen fire ants about 3 weeks ago. MAY 22nd now they have some yellow and black mold growing pretty bad.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/7MIdKacc34iwYCeI3
https://photos.app.goo.gl/4zW7CaVCVUNJoJrP2

Im not thrilled about fire ants, but for him these are his babies. He is so proud and they really get him talking.

How bad is this Mold? Should I try to retube them?

SomeRandomAnt
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:41 am
Location: Italy

Re: Mold in test tubes

Post: # 37031Post SomeRandomAnt
Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:54 pm

From what i know, mold is totally normal. But if you make it grow too much dangerous bacteria could multiply and harm your ants. The easiest solution is making her change test tube. If she doesn’t have eggs, it will be pretty easy. If she has eggs, then you should stick your queen’s test tube and another test tube setup together.
After that, put the new test tube in dark and the new in light. In some day the queen will move in the new test tube setup. By the way, i’m not an expert. So maybe some experienced ant keepers will find a better solution for your problem. :D

Cerbenix
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:06 pm
Location: Latvia

Re: Mold in test tubes

Post: # 37056Post Cerbenix
Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:39 am

I wouldn't worry too much, the amount of mold in that test tubes is not a lot, but if you really want to take care of your queens and have the highest success rate then I would move the queen to a clean test tube, just like SomeRandomAnt said. Also if possible use bottled water so there's a smaller chance of mold growth and clean the test tubes to minimize mold spores.

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Batspiderfish
Posts: 2814
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:47 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Mold in test tubes

Post: # 37079Post Batspiderfish
Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:35 pm

Test tubes are not sterile environments, but they don't have to be. Cotton is made up of cellulose, which is a source of carbohydrates to the many organisms that can break it down. The relative lack of nitrogen/sulfur/phosphorus keeps mold from getting out of hand. As long as you don't feed your "fully" claustral queens before they have workers and it is time to open up the test tubes, you probably have nothing to worry about (particularly with organisms which change the color of the cotton/water or the black mildew which often forms in the living space.)
If you enjoy my expertise and identifications, please do not put wild populations at risk of disease by releasing pet colonies. We are responsible to give our pets the best care we can manage for the rest of their lives.

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