Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

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xTNxANTMANx
Posts: 392
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:03 am
Location: Western Tennessee

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 23180Post xTNxANTMANx
Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:25 pm

Hikari wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:04 am
xTNxANTMANx wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:08 pm
Okay so I contacted the guy from TarHeelAnts and was telling him about your problem with not having an overhang and that I would really like that feature in mine. He emailed me back and said that that feature is no longer in the Atom C because it was for "honey pot" ants which were only like .01% of his orders apparently so he took out the overhang. Then went to tell me that it states that in the description. So I went back to his page and read the description from top to bottom again then copy and pasted exactly what the description says and emailed him back basically saying that the overhang feature is supposed to be in the design for all species. Because it helps keep them calm and less stressed out due to light. It does not say anywhere that it was just for honey pot ants. So that is why you did not have an overhang and apparently mine is already made without an overhang as well. I'm waiting to see what he emails me back and I will update you when he does. I told him that I am disappointed because that was one of the main reasons I ordered it. I also told him he needed to go back and change the description before he has any more unsatisfied customers. I just had an email pop up from him so I'm going to check that and I will message what he says.


So he emailed me back and the only thing he said was that he will change the description. That he missed it. I'm kind of upset that he's not offering to make it right or anything and debating on whether or not to email him back and tell him that I'm upset. Had I known the overhang wasn't going to be in it I would not have ordered it. Just being honest is all.
Sorry I missed this, I was wanting to know what ended up happening. So, basically, we were screwed over and he had no plans on making it right. Guess that settles it for me, I'm not ordering from THA again. I literally ordered that formicarium for that feature, and they couldn't be bothered to make sure their product page was up-to-date? Then they don't even offer anything to compensate? So unprofessional. Pity that AntsCanada's formicarium start at the $50 range. I would love something from them, but I just don't have that kind of money right now. I'm not too worried about the other Camponotus queens, they don't seem to mind the test tubes, but I am wanting something else for my Formica ants. Half tempted just to give them a jar of dirt and call it a day...

Image
Yea, I won't order from them again either. Apparently, from some ppl I talked to, the guy that does it, Mack, is pretty much a dick unless you buy a ton from him. Like, I even told him that's the only reason I ordered it and still no remorse. Such a crappy businessman. And just so ya know, mine looks bout identical to yours. I haven't even put it to use yet...i have 3 AC hybrid nests (Formica, Tetramorium, and Pogonomermyx) and they are to big still for my biggest colony. I have made a friend though in my state that has a 3d printer and we are working on making small nests for smaller colonies/species. And beautiful Formica btw...id love to have Formica as well :-)
Keeping:
Camponotus subbarbatus
Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
Crematogaster ashmeadi
Crematogaster missouriensis
Formica pallidefulva x2
Formica subsericea x2
Lasius sp x2 (founding)
Pheidole sp. x4
Tetramorium caspitum x2

User avatar
Hikari
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 23185Post Hikari
Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:55 pm

xTNxANTMANx wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:08 pm
Yea, I won't order from them again either. Apparently, from some ppl I talked to, the guy that does it, Mack, is pretty much a dick unless you buy a ton from him. Like, I even told him that's the only reason I ordered it and still no remorse. Such a crappy businessman. And just so ya know, mine looks bout identical to yours. I haven't even put it to use yet...i have 3 AC hybrid nests (Formica, Tetramorium, and Pogonomermyx) and they are to big still for my biggest colony. I have made a friend though in my state that has a 3d printer and we are working on making small nests for smaller colonies/species. And beautiful Formica btw...id love to have Formica as well :-)
Well, there's always Ant-Topia too, but their website has been under maintenance for a few days. I know they had some good options for smaller colonies.

And thanks! I was super lucky to find my little Formica colony, but they should start flying soon enough, so hopefully you can manage to snag a queen! They're a lot of fun to watch. A bit naughty though...they spent last night shoving sand in their sugar waterer... :lol:

xTNxANTMANx
Posts: 392
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:03 am
Location: Western Tennessee

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 23186Post xTNxANTMANx
Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:59 pm

Formica seem to be...more active than Camponotus. I originally thought I had a lot of Camponotus pennsylvanicus around my house but upon closer inspection they are mostly Formica lol. They remind me of a small dog...think they are such lil monsters lol. I need to check when Formica fly...

Also, Ants Australia...check out their stuff.
Keeping:
Camponotus subbarbatus
Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
Crematogaster ashmeadi
Crematogaster missouriensis
Formica pallidefulva x2
Formica subsericea x2
Lasius sp x2 (founding)
Pheidole sp. x4
Tetramorium caspitum x2

User avatar
Hikari
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 23224Post Hikari
Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:34 am

xTNxANTMANx wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:59 pm
Formica seem to be...more active than Camponotus. I originally thought I had a lot of Camponotus pennsylvanicus around my house but upon closer inspection they are mostly Formica lol. They remind me of a small dog...think they are such lil monsters lol. I need to check when Formica fly...

Also, Ants Australia...check out their stuff.
According to the AntsCanada video, Formica fly mostly around July. I would imagine they could fly sooner or later depending on where you live though, I would guess July is just the "peak" month, so to speak.

My Formica are super skittish. Like, it doesn't take much to send them into "OMG PANIC" mode...which is why I was looking for a formicarium for them in the first place. When the lights are out though, I know they're getting up to things though, cause I see the aftermath in the morning, lol. Funny enough, I'd heard they were supposed to be more active during the day, but what I see in their outworld would say otherwise. They really don't seem to like light. That's why I'm becoming more adverse to a natural set-up for them...I'm afraid I'd never actually see them! Although their outworld IS rather bare...maybe I should add a fake plant and some rocks or something, might make them want to come out more.

I've been checking out Ants Australia and Antkit (the latter of which has great prices). Problem is that they're overseas and the shipping is really expensive. On Antkit, it's appox. $16USD for a small formicarium and a bottle of fluon, great deal if the shipping wasn't just as much. Maybe if I was ordering a lot at once, it'd be worth it, but I just need one for now.

I suppose there's also always those Chinese copy-cat formicarium on ebay, but I really didn't want to go that route unless I absolutely had to...but the prices are so much cheaper. It's so tempting.

I probably won't be buying anything for the immediate future though, and as much as it kills me to shove a wild colony into a test tube, they seem to be adapting well enough. Lord knows there's been lots of new eggs laid since I found them, and larvae have hatched from the ones I collected. I guess as long as I keep them fed, they'll be happy enough. One odd thing I notice is occasionally the queen gets dragged around by the mandibles by a worker...not sure what that's all about. Last night, she was lead closer to the exit of the test tube for a while before she was dragged to the back. Poor girl just wants to sit on her cotton, lol.

Also, they have entirely rimmed their suger waterer in sand, and have burrowed a small tunnel under it. So much for them not being able to dig. :lol: Oh well, if it makes them happy. As long as they don't move the brood into the outworld, it's cool. Glad the sand adds some bit of enrichment for them.

xTNxANTMANx
Posts: 392
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:03 am
Location: Western Tennessee

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 23225Post xTNxANTMANx
Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:56 am

Lol, they do sound like a lively bunch. I'm going to bed atm but at least wanted to shed some light on my Camponotus subbarbatus colony...i got my first MAJOR...S. Yea, 2 majors. I was so thrilled. They both have to be new because they weren't there this morning. I check on them like once every other day or 2 but tonight was feeding night. I'm going to try and get some pictures of them tomorrow for my journal. Anyway, I'm off to bed. I'll get in touch tomorrow sometime.
Keeping:
Camponotus subbarbatus
Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
Crematogaster ashmeadi
Crematogaster missouriensis
Formica pallidefulva x2
Formica subsericea x2
Lasius sp x2 (founding)
Pheidole sp. x4
Tetramorium caspitum x2

User avatar
Hikari
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 23264Post Hikari
Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:51 pm

- (6-18-17) Bad news on the Formica front. Not sure what happened, but I checked on the ants this morning, and almost all of them were dead. It's weird, they seemed to be doing so well. I have no idea what happened. The queen is still alive, but barely. It's not looking good. I have the queen and three surviving workers in a pill bottle on some damp paper towel to see if that can help, but I'm not getting my hopes up. She's just twitching and can't really stand. Man, this sucks... :cry:

I suppose there's always the possibility of snagging a founding queen during flights, but I haven't had much luck while deliberately queen hunting. Been keeping an eye out for Tetramorium too, with no luck. So far, all the queens I've found were by accident. Guess there's nothing left to do but try though. I do still have my Camponotus though, and I know they'll be keeping me busy in about a month or so once workers start to arrive. I know if anything happens to Maya (my first queen) in particular, I'll be heartbroken. I plan on keeping her out of the lot if all goes well.

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Hikari
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 23292Post Hikari
Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:43 am

Quick update: Formica queen is still hanging in there. Her legs still twitch, but she's currently able to stand and walk on her own again if she needs to. Right now, she's resting. I currently have her in what I've dubbed the "hospital tube". A new, clean test tube with lots of wet cotton for humidity along the bottom as well as the water plug, so she can rest horizontally and get fresh water with minimal effort. I have a clear red cover over it to not spook her, but I can still monitor her. Her remaining workers have been attending her. Speaking of which, shortly after I moved her to the new tube, I realized three more of them were hiding in the exit tubing of the outworld. I'm surprised they didn't try and make a break for it when the old tube got disconnected! I added them in with the others, so she's got six workers alongside her now. I do worry about how long they'll last though...and I lost the brood as well when I cleaned out the old tube. I'm still trying not to get my hopes up, but I am rooting for her. I've done all I can to make her and the workers comfortable, so all I can do now is watch and wait. Still, I do wonder what the heck it was that caused the problem in the first place?

I did stumble across a potential solution to my formicarium problem at least. I plan on making a formicarium based off a tutorial I found here: http://www.formiculture.com/topic/2657-3-tower/
It's cheap, easy, and effective. I can make multiples of them for very little money. It's perfect. If the Formica pull through, they'll get the first one. Either way, I plan on making enough for the Camponotus queens too, for when their workers arrive.

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Hikari
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 23333Post Hikari
Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:27 pm

- (6-19-17) So, by some miracle, it seems the Formica queen may actually pull through. She's looking back to normal, and I saw that she doesn't seem to have any problems moving around, and her legs have stopped twitching. The workers are all still healthy-looking as well, if not a bit timid in wanting to leave their tube. They're re-connected to their outworld, after I gave it a good scrub and emptied it of all but enough sand to make a ramp to their tube, and have fresh sugar water in their feeder, so hopefully I've gotten rid of whatever it was that caused the problem in the first place. I'm not counting them out of the woods yet until I see new brood though.

Meanwhile, Maya is doing well. She has her first pupa!

Image

My heart melts every time I see her look up at me like that and wiggle her antennae. I didn't know it was possible to be so fond of an ant, but she's adorable when she does that. She also wasn't too mad at me when I accidentally filled her water reservoir a liiittle too high, and the floors and walls of the formicarium got a bit wet. Actually, she might have enjoyed it, I saw her go over to hang out where the water was leaking from...might have been drinking it, lol. Either way, the extra water has dried up, and her brood were never in any danger since they were higher along the wall. Still, I really do need to be more careful filling that thing. One thing I hate is how hard it is to judge how full it is. I won't have that problem when I make my own.

Now, I am a little concerned for the other queens. A lot of Onyxia's eggs are turning brown. I'm not sure why. They're scattered all over the tube as well. I also don't know what happened to the larva I saw in there earlier. Freya's eggs weren't looking too great either. I pulled them back from the heat a bit, and loosened the cotton plugs a little to make sure it wasn't getting too warm, and that they were getting enough air circulation. I can see water making it to the other side of their water plugs, so I don't think lack of hydration's the problem. I think once I get their new formicaria finished, I'll hook their test tubes up to them, and let them decide if they want to move in early or not. Luckily, Terra's looking okay, but her eggs are younger, so they'll hopefully be spared any issues.

I plan on going ant hunting tomorrow. It's been storming/raining on and off for two days, and tomorrow's supposed to be sunny and relatively warm in the morning/afternoon, so I'd think something may be flying. I figure if I go out around 11am-noonish, I might be able to find something. Still probably early for Formica to be flying, but maybe I'll be able to snag a Tetramorium. Tomorrow evening will be the start of formicarium-making!

User avatar
Hikari
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 23496Post Hikari
Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:10 am

- (6-23-17) So, quick update. On the Camponotus front, Maya is still doing well. Three pupa now.

I'm debating on letting Onyxia go. She's such a hot mess right now, and I'm still not even sure if she'll be capable of raising brood. As it is, her test tube was such a mess and covered in dead eggs and mold that I moved her into a clean one. If a fresh start doesn't help, then I think she's probably a lost cause. Now that I have Freya and Terra, and with Maya doing so well, I'm not really as desperate for Camponotus queens.

Formica are down to three workers. One died in a drop of honey, and two were just found dead. Two others are acting funny. I decided to chuck the outworld I'd made, since the workers were fine til they went into it to forage. Though I don't know if that's the cause, I'm playing it safe. Anyways, if I lose those two, that'll leave just the queen and a single worker. Queen hasn't laid any new eggs either. If the last worker dies, I'll still keep the queen, but not sure if she'll survive on her own. Guess time will tell what happens.

I got a bit behind on the homemade formicaria front. The grout I'd put in the bead containers fell out and cracked...ooops. Welp, lesson learned. I think I'm just gonna hot glue aquarium sand to the bottom instead. That sticks quite well to plastics. It doesn't have to be a very thick layer either, just enough to cover the bottom of each "floor". At least the drilling is all done. Making holes big enough for Camponotus in such a small container was a bit tricky. I work all weekend, but I'm hoping I can manage to put the finishing touches on the formicaria by Sunday night.

User avatar
Hikari
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 23525Post Hikari
Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:47 am

The two Formica workers died, so now I'm down to the one and the queen. Not sure how useful the last worker will be either, as on inspection, she has a gaster injury. *sighs* I also wonder if the queen will lay anymore eggs, or if she's just given up at this point. Hard to say. The DIY formicaria that I'm making hit a little bit of a hiccup, so I'm behind schedule on making those. It's been a learning experience. Waiting for more grout to dry, then depending on if that is ant-worthy, they'll just need some finishing touches. Then I can put the Formica queen in one to see if that helps anything, and Freya and Terra will get the other two. If Onyxia starts doing better, I'll make one for her later.

It's been so wet and rainy lately that I don't think I'll have a chance to catch any ant flights for a while. I just hope things improve for July, when the Formica queens are supposed to fly. I really want to raise some, and with my current queen in questionable condition, it wouldn't be a bad idea to try to catch a founding queen. I know we have Formica species in our yard too...might see abut acquiring a cheap blacklight to try and attract them when the weather seems favorable. Or, at the very least, maybe a small kiddie pool since they seem to like landing in pools, lol.

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