Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

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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: # 23570Post Hikari
Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:51 pm

So, my Formica queen lost her last worker today. She's now on her own. Not really sure what to do at this point. I did make her a new set-up though, to see if I could get her comfortable enough to start laying eggs again.

Image

It's two of the smallest bead containers I had, and I shaped a small chamber and hydration hole in it. There's a cap that goes over the formicarium part too, of course. Luckily the dirt here has a lot of clay, so it stays put really easily. I actually had to add some sand, cause sometimes it gets TOO hard. At this point, I'm just going to treat her like a semi-claustral founding queen, and see if anything happens. Pity I don't know exactly what Formica species she is, or I might try finding her some brood (granted, I suck at IDing ants so I might not even get the right brood anyways).

Still drives me nuts that I managed to lose an entire colony though. *sighs*

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

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 23578Post xTNxANTMANx
Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:00 am

I know you may not want to hear this but seeing as she already had workers she has already lost the reserves she initially had upon founding her first workers so she will more than likely not make it. I know it's probably hard to take that in butt I would just prepare yourself for it because more than likely she's not going to have enough strength to go through the process of rearing another batch of workers single-handedly
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

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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: # 23604Post Hikari
Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:10 pm

xTNxANTMANx wrote:
Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:00 am
I know you may not want to hear this but seeing as she already had workers she has already lost the reserves she initially had upon founding her first workers so she will more than likely not make it. I know it's probably hard to take that in butt I would just prepare yourself for it because more than likely she's not going to have enough strength to go through the process of rearing another batch of workers single-handedly
Oh, I'm already well aware she's probably not going to make it at this point. Still, I rescued her from death's door once already, I figure it won't hurt to try again. I know it'll ride on my ability to entice her to eat anything I offer her though, to keep up her strength. If it works, cool, if not, well...I didn't have my hopes up anyways.

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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: # 23608Post Hikari
Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:47 pm

So, it seems every time I refill the reservoir in Maya's THA formicarium, the humidity spike causes condensation no matter what. An amusing side effect was watching her lick said condensation off of the acrylic roof. It was so cute. She lost her grip at one point and tumbled over, lol. Silly ant. It's not like she doesn't have a water tube (and I know it works).

JackPayne
Posts: 286
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:28 am
Location: Australia,NSW,Wollongong

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 23620Post JackPayne
Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:15 pm

Hikari wrote:
Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:47 pm
So, it seems every time I refill the reservoir in Maya's THA formicarium, the humidity spike causes condensation no matter what. An amusing side effect was watching her lick said condensation off of the acrylic roof. It was so cute. She lost her grip at one point and tumbled over, lol. Silly ant. It's not like she doesn't have a water tube (and I know it works).
Maybe try and fill it but by bit, instead of all in one go, so the humidity increase is gradual instead of instant.
Hi I'm Jack, How are you? TeamNativeAnts!

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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: # 23623Post Hikari
Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:05 pm

JackPayne wrote:
Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:15 pm
Hikari wrote:
Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:47 pm
So, it seems every time I refill the reservoir in Maya's THA formicarium, the humidity spike causes condensation no matter what. An amusing side effect was watching her lick said condensation off of the acrylic roof. It was so cute. She lost her grip at one point and tumbled over, lol. Silly ant. It's not like she doesn't have a water tube (and I know it works).
Maybe try and fill it but by bit, instead of all in one go, so the humidity increase is gradual instead of instant.
Well, the funny thing is, they aren't even completely empty when I refill them, and I didn't refill it the whole way last time either. It just happens regardless it seems. Might be something as simple as the water temperature difference from what's in the formicarium vs. what's being added may throw things out of whack. It's a minor problem though, and doesn't seem to bother Maya or her brood. Just makes seeing through the top a bit difficult for a short time (unless Maya licks it all, lol).

JackPayne
Posts: 286
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:28 am
Location: Australia,NSW,Wollongong

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 23624Post JackPayne
Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:15 pm

Fair enough :D
Hi I'm Jack, How are you? TeamNativeAnts!

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

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 23628Post xTNxANTMANx
Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:23 pm

I've had this problem once when I first got it but I use bottled water to refill mine and also to fill my test tubes and excetera but I also keep the bottle water close by so it stays the same temperature as pretty much everything else around my setups. Maybe that could help alleviate the problem. I've also been trying to make a spot on the side where I can tell how much water is in the reservoir as you already know we have no way of telling. I don't like risking overfilling and possibly flooding the formicarium. Especially since there are 30 + workers and the queen and a mountain of brewed inside mine. (I have it to my Camponotus subbarbatus colony XD)
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: # 23634Post Hikari
Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:05 am

xTNxANTMANx wrote:
Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:23 pm
I've had this problem once when I first got it but I use bottled water to refill mine and also to fill my test tubes and excetera but I also keep the bottle water close by so it stays the same temperature as pretty much everything else around my setups. Maybe that could help alleviate the problem. I've also been trying to make a spot on the side where I can tell how much water is in the reservoir as you already know we have no way of telling. I don't like risking overfilling and possibly flooding the formicarium. Especially since there are 30 + workers and the queen and a mountain of brewed inside mine. (I have it to my Camponotus subbarbatus colony XD)
That's...actually a really good idea! I probably should be keeping bottled water nearby anyways. I can't for the life of me tell where the water is in that THA formicarium, but I do at least know when the water is getting close to the top since I can see it reflecting right under the mesh if I look at it close enough. Managed to not overfill it this time thanks to that, and even when I did overfill it slightly, I didn't flood it, it just made the surroundings a bit damp for a while. I could see where you'd ant to be extra cautious though (and C. subbarbatus look so cool. Pity all Camponotus I seem to have around here are C.pennsylvanicus, lol. I'd love a bit more diversity).

-----------
Update time!

- (6-26-17) I put the finishing touches on my DIY formicaria. They're done! I have three so far. These were based of PTAntFan's post here: http://www.formiculture.com/topic/2657-3-tower/

Image

Image

The coolest thing is that you can add or remove layers. For just the founding queens, I reduced it to just two, and the top one is cottoned off til workers arrive, so it still feels like a claustral chamber.

Image

Unlike the original tutorial, I "painted" (literally) a 50/50 grout/sand mix on the bottom of each later, both for privacy and something to feel a bit more textured for the ants' feet. Also put a bit up the walls where the ants move between layers for traction. The hydration system also works perfectly, and the grout helps spread the moisture. The wicking medium also doubles as a drinking device, which is perfect. Each layer has a tubing port, just in case I need it. Otherwise, it at least helps for ventilation. I can refill the water chamber through a small hole near the top, just like my THA one.

Image

And the moment of truth!

Image

I moved Terra and Freya just like I did Maya. I know it's a bit jarring to have them disturbed, but Maya managed okay, and seems to have flourished in her formicarium, so I wanted to give the other queens the same opportunity. I moved them the same way...put the queen in a small container, moved the eggs from the test tube ever so carefully, then introduced the queen. Like Maya, they were all "OMGWTF???!!!" til they realized their brood was safe and sound. They've already rearranged them to their liking, placing them at the far back near the climbing wall (no surprise there, it's the darkest and warmest side), and are now pretty much just casually poking around their new homes, testing the cotton and the like. I think they'll enjoy them.

I have one more that's currently being unused that'll probably be home to whichever new queen I find next. If I need more, now that I have the initial costs for base materials taken care of, they'll be dirt cheap to make. Only downside is the visibility isn't the best, since the plastic in these isn't the best quality and the ants can look a bit distorted through it, but it does the job it needs to at an amazingly low cost. I think I spent maybe $40 on all the materials and equipment for the first run, and I got three formicaria out of it. I have PLENTY of grout and sand left, so I could make several more for a base price of $1.50-$3 per bead stack container depending on which coupons are running at the craft stores too. Time will tell how many I'll eventually need.

Oh, and on the Formica queen front, I have mixed up a sugar water/whey protein mix (banana flavored!) for her to eat, dispensing it via q-tip. Everything else is up to her now.

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

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 23639Post xTNxANTMANx
Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:12 am

First off I'd like to say I really like how detailed you are with your Journal. I think I keep up with yours more than any LOL. I need to stop slacking and get mine up to date. As far as your new formicaria I too had seen the post about making those and thought about trying. Now seeing yours I think this weekend is going to be DIY formicaria weekend as well LOL. I can get a stack of three at my local Walmart for $3 I think and I've already got the grout I need from a construction job I did months ago laying tile. As far as your hydration goes though what kind of Wick are you using? Or is it just cotton? I've seen people put cotton in the finger of a cotton glove and tie the finger off after cutting it off the glove of course and using that as a wick per se.
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

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