What should I do with my ants right now?

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CreeperUniverse
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What should I do with my ants right now?

Post: # 15704Post CreeperUniverse
Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:53 pm

Ok, I have a colony of what I think it Formica Subsericea. I took my ants out of hibernation about 2 weeks ago. Until now, 3 of them out of 9 have died. They drowned or got stuck somehow, but that is not my worry as they aren't super important. (Still a bummer :cry: ) I switched their test tube to a cleaner one, and gave them organic honey which they enjoyed. I have sadly not seen any eggs yet, but am getting them a formicarium which I'm praying will come in a few days. This seems crazy but I need it because whenever I try to help them for some reason because of a danger or food etc., they get very stressed out and almost escape. I've put a bit of boiled sand and ripped up tissue in their test tube just in case they will like it. This is mainly because one of the dead ants drowned at the bottom with a tiny drop of leaked water *facepalm*. So what I'm asking is, what should I do before the formicarium arrives? Should I completely leave them alone and hope they'll be fine, or maybe offer them like a dubia roach leg etc.? For now I'll try getting a tad more sand in and try a dubia leg. P.S. My test tube is kinda awkwardly shaped and large, so to get them in the formicarium ill just use strong electric tape and tape it to one of the holes in the side. I then use a heating cable and they normally move since mine is way too hot with thin 10 minutes. Please help me if you have time, thank you! Here is an image of them before the ones died, around right after hibernation, and also when I kept them in their outworld, which I'm not using now as it caused problems, sorry for the bad quality photo: Image
Once again, as clarification, this photo is from around a week ago, and their tube is different.
Arman, proud owner of A LOT animals. Some are reptiles. Some are mammals. Some are even insects. :geek: :D
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmcakL3NCiQYMLm-6mifzPQ

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shaky33
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Re: What should I do with my ants right now?

Post: # 15705Post shaky33
Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:16 pm

CreeperUniverse wrote:Ok, I have a colony of what I think it Formica Subsericea. I took my ants out of hibernation about 2 weeks ago. Until now, 3 of them out of 9 have died. They drowned or got stuck somehow, but that is not my worry as they aren't super important. (Still a bummer :cry: ) I switched their test tube to a cleaner one, and gave them organic honey which they enjoyed. I have sadly not seen any eggs yet, but am getting them a formicarium which I'm praying will come in a few days. This seems crazy but I need it because whenever I try to help them for some reason because of a danger or food etc., they get very stressed out and almost escape. I've put a bit of boiled sand and ripped up tissue in their test tube just in case they will like it. This is mainly because one of the dead ants drowned at the bottom with a tiny drop of leaked water *facepalm*. So what I'm asking is, what should I do before the formicarium arrives? Should I completely leave them alone and hope they'll be fine, or maybe offer them like a dubia roach leg etc.? For now I'll try getting a tad more sand in and try a dubia leg. P.S. My test tube is kinda awkwardly shaped and large, so to get them in the formicarium ill just use strong electric tape and tape it to one of the holes in the side. I then use a heating cable and they normally move since mine is way too hot with thin 10 minutes. Please help me if you have time, thank you! Here is an image of them before the ones died, around right after hibernation, and also when I kept them in their outworld, which I'm not using now as it caused problems, sorry for the bad quality photo: Image
Once again, as clarification, this photo is from around a week ago, and their tube is different.
I'd recommend maybe leaving them until the nest arrives. Put some honey or sugar water in there. Is that a whole roach you are feeding them?

What formicarium are you buying?
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Batspiderfish
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Re: What should I do with my ants right now?

Post: # 15710Post Batspiderfish
Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:41 am

I don't know why you did any of that. Your ants shouldn't be out of hibernation yet, they shouldn't be fed inside their test tube at 9 workers (all of the workers are important, by the way, especially at this critical stage.) WHEN they are done with hibernation, they need to have a foraging arena -- a container lined with talcum mixture will do. You don't try to move your ants into a formicarium until they have at least 20 workers (that means when the colony is stable.)

If you are worried that the test tube is unsuitable for them, you need to provide another one. Leave it in the foraging arena with the colony and let them decide when to move.
Links:
Rules & Requirements for Identification:
http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=292

How to take pictures for identification:
http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=2167

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CreeperUniverse
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Re: What should I do with my ants right now?

Post: # 15717Post CreeperUniverse
Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:03 pm

I'm so sorry I didn't know. The outworld didn't work because talcum powder got everywhere and it was way too messy. For now as an outworld, I will give them the outworld of the formicarium when it comes, and leave the actual nest open for if they choose to move on their own. I caught the queen in late July. She was in a forest in Long Island NYC. With the hibernation, my ants for some reason weren't hibernating almost at all, just not eating. They were in the fridge for a few months by now. I still don't know the reason to this because I made sure the temperature was at the right range. I sadly can't get good photos because you'll see in this photo that they moved to the opening cotton ball...or at least the queen because 4-5 of them always follow around her. I also can't get good photos through the tube and even when I can open the tube they normally dart to the front in alert. The first pic I got was a lucky one when they were very calm. I know this is all kinda a mess right now but I'm hoping that once I get that formicarium and outworld I can fix things up and give them time to relax. Here is the photo I took a few minutes ago: Image Also the reason I wasn't too worried about the hibernation was because they were sleeping at least in the beginning and they lasted the months with only a small drop of honey I left them for just in case. The weird orangey stuff is sand that they liked and the white puff is ripped up tissue paper which they also enjoyed climbing around.
Arman, proud owner of A LOT animals. Some are reptiles. Some are mammals. Some are even insects. :geek: :D
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmcakL3NCiQYMLm-6mifzPQ

Keeper of: Nylanderia sp.
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CreeperUniverse
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Re: What should I do with my ants right now?

Post: # 15718Post CreeperUniverse
Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:15 pm

Also thank you shaky33. I will probably try that. That is actually a cricket I gave them in that picture. I couldn't afford a formicarium from AntsCanada, so I decided Tar Heel Ants would be the second best. I am planning on buying a Fortress that is customized to fit Formica a bit better. Here is the link to the page of the Fortress and a YouTube vid about it :D https://tarheelants.com/collections/type-ii-formicaria/products/fortress One funny thing is this might be completely wrong but one of the pics of the Fortress kinda looks like how I wanted him to make mine like and he just added that :P lol. Ok this is the video about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJ0vJ0HdrMY&t=69s
Arman, proud owner of A LOT animals. Some are reptiles. Some are mammals. Some are even insects. :geek: :D
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmcakL3NCiQYMLm-6mifzPQ

Keeper of: Nylanderia sp.
Founding: Odontomachus sp. (For some time)

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Batspiderfish
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Re: What should I do with my ants right now?

Post: # 15720Post Batspiderfish
Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:24 pm

Not knowing isn't a crime, but there are a lot of resources here explaining hibernation. You at least have been providing food on a tray, which is the only practical way of feeding ants inside the tube.

So, a misconception I see often is that an ant is only hibernating when it curls up like a little bear. In fairness, some ants do hibernate this way, usually the queens.

Hibernation is, in fact, just the ants living at low temperatures. They don't need to "sleep", and in fact many ants will be standing up, able to walk around and perform VERY basic nest maintenence and brood care for the entire period. It is best to put ants in hibernation, after egg-laying ceases, after brood slows in development, OR after wild ants stop foraging. They may be taken out of hibernation when spring returns (which is recommended). Particularly impatient hobbyists say that the hibernation period must be at least four months, but it is not entirely conclusive whether this is good for the ants. I let hibernation periods match the activity of my wild ants.

If you can get a good, well-lit photo of the queen's gaster (showing the shininess of each gastral tergite) and the front of her head, I can probably tell you which species of black Formica this is.
Links:
Rules & Requirements for Identification:
http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=292

How to take pictures for identification:
http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=2167

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Batspiderfish
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Re: What should I do with my ants right now?

Post: # 15721Post Batspiderfish
Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:32 pm

Also, I try to make sure that my colonies can forage freely as soon as a several workers have eclosed. It's ok to seal them in a tube for hibernation, but they should not be given insects. Sugar may be offered, but make sure it is on a tray and soaked into cotton or coffee filter to prevent workers from falling in and drowning. They do not require food while they hibernate, which is more or less a fasting period.

Leaving the test tube open in a foraging arena also helps prevent the tube from becoming too wet.
Links:
Rules & Requirements for Identification:
http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=292

How to take pictures for identification:
http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=2167

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CreeperUniverse
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Re: What should I do with my ants right now?

Post: # 15724Post CreeperUniverse
Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:57 pm

Batspiderfish wrote:Not knowing isn't a crime, but there are a lot of resources here explaining hibernation. You at least have been providing food on a tray, which is the only practical way of feeding ants inside the tube.

So, a misconception I see often is that an ant is only hibernating when it curls up like a little bear. In fairness, some ants do hibernate this way, usually the queens.

Hibernation is, in fact, just the ants living at low temperatures. They don't need to "sleep", and in fact many ants will be standing up, able to walk around and perform VERY basic nest maintenence and brood care for the entire period. It is best to put ants in hibernation, after egg-laying ceases, after brood slows in development, OR after wild ants stop foraging. They may be taken out of hibernation when spring returns (which is recommended). Particularly impatient hobbyists say that the hibernation period must be at least four months, but it is not entirely conclusive whether this is good for the ants. I let hibernation periods match the activity of my wild ants.

If you can get a good, well-lit photo of the queen's gaster (showing the shininess of each gastral tergite) and the front of her head, I can probably tell you which species of black Formica this is.
Oh I wasn't saying that like they were curled up or something. They were legitimately sitting down and walking around and just doing their normal thing, even though they were slowing down and not foraging and brood was slowing around when I put them in. I'll take your stuff in mind next winter, but I don't wanna put them in again and accidentally spook them.
Arman, proud owner of A LOT animals. Some are reptiles. Some are mammals. Some are even insects. :geek: :D
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmcakL3NCiQYMLm-6mifzPQ

Keeper of: Nylanderia sp.
Founding: Odontomachus sp. (For some time)

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CreeperUniverse
Posts: 147
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Re: What should I do with my ants right now?

Post: # 15725Post CreeperUniverse
Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:58 pm

Batspiderfish wrote:Also, I try to make sure that my colonies can forage freely as soon as a several workers have eclosed. It's ok to seal them in a tube for hibernation, but they should not be given insects. Sugar may be offered, but make sure it is on a tray and soaked into cotton or coffee filter to prevent workers from falling in and drowning. They do not require food while they hibernate, which is more or less a fasting period.

Leaving the test tube open in a foraging arena also helps prevent the tube from becoming too wet.
Ok, I only gave them a drop of honey in the beginning of hibernation. When is a good time to give them protein? Like, how many workers?
Arman, proud owner of A LOT animals. Some are reptiles. Some are mammals. Some are even insects. :geek: :D
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmcakL3NCiQYMLm-6mifzPQ

Keeper of: Nylanderia sp.
Founding: Odontomachus sp. (For some time)

User avatar
Batspiderfish
Posts: 1892
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:47 pm
Location: Maine

Re: What should I do with my ants right now?

Post: # 15726Post Batspiderfish
Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:25 pm

CreeperUniverse wrote:Oh I wasn't saying that like they were curled up or something. They were legitimately sitting down and walking around and just doing their normal thing, even though they were slowing down and not foraging and brood was slowing around when I put them in. I'll take your stuff in mind next winter, but I don't wanna put them in again and accidentally spook them.
Exactly. As long as it was cold, they were hibernating. If they didn't get four months in, they probably still ought to hibernate. They might need a dryer tube, though.

They need insect protein and sugar when they are ready to come out of hibernation (provided to them in an outworld/foraging arena).
Links:
Rules & Requirements for Identification:
http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=292

How to take pictures for identification:
http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=2167

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