Preparing for first colony (advice needed)

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Dreslin
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:30 am
Location: Tennessee

Preparing for first colony (advice needed)

Post: # 15900Post Dreslin
Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:34 am

Hello AC members,

After watching nearly all of AntsCanada's YouTube videos I began to fall in love with the idea of having my own ant colony. In my area (Tennessee, USA) there are thousands of queens that have their nuptial flight and end up outside my window and on the sides of my building. I suspect finding my first queen this coming up season will be easy. However, I have a few questions that I haven't been able to answer via the YouTube videos and research; so hopefully you guys can help me out!

So, I understand that the ant colony needs their domestic environment to shares the same temperature as their natural environment, or at least accurate enough to where the queen will lay, and the workers wont be too cold or hot. My apartment is typically running with the AC on.The temperature remains around 21-22 degrees Celsius (70-72F for us 'Mericans). In order to avoid major fluctuations and possibly unwelcome temperatures, should I purchase a heating source? What type would be best when having the OmniNest in mind?

Lastly, I understand there's an area on this forum where AC members can request Queen IDs. I suspect I'll be using the OmniNest, however, I'd like to have a formicarium as well. Is there anyway the more experienced members here could inform me of the best thing to do when you're not certain of species, but need the equipment? Perhaps I'll just have to wait and find out what species it is.

Thank you for reading through my post, I hope everyone has a great year with their colonies!

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Cale3459
Posts: 199
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:59 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Preparing for first colony (advice needed)

Post: # 15904Post Cale3459
Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:57 am

Since you are catching a queen after her nuptial flight you should start her off in a test tube and then have her indetified. Order the foricarium after that and it should arrive long before you need it. I placed my order at the end of August and received it by the beginning of October. Remember that your Queen will need to build up 15-20 workers before she should move out of the tube (numbers could vary depending on species, semi vs fully claustral, etc.)
Keeper of:
Camponotus pennsylvanicus
(http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=2686)

Dreslin
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:30 am
Location: Tennessee

Re: Preparing for first colony (advice needed)

Post: # 15906Post Dreslin
Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:12 am

In preperation for my queen hunt, I've already purchased a set of test tubes from the AntsCanada store. Since the shipment of the formicarium is optimal for the situation, I'll do as you suggested and simply wait until I've identified the species of queen that I'll hopefully capture. Perhaps more than one type will be caught - that would be exciting.

Thank you for the information. You've been very helpful!

(Anyone who knows the heating question's answer, I look forward to reading your message. :D )

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Batspiderfish
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:47 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Preparing for first colony (advice needed)

Post: # 15907Post Batspiderfish
Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:13 am

Most ants are not sensitive to natural fluctuations in temperature.
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

Dreslin
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:30 am
Location: Tennessee

Re: Preparing for first colony (advice needed)

Post: # 15908Post Dreslin
Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:21 am

Thank you for replying, Batspiderfish.

Since that's the case, do you feel having a heating mat is necessary in my position? I suspect having a small one for the nesting area is important, but not for the entire set-up. 20 degrees isn't optimal for laying eggs, so I hear, for the species in my area. Please correct me if I'm wrong though. :)

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Batspiderfish
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:47 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Preparing for first colony (advice needed)

Post: # 15910Post Batspiderfish
Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:27 am

Heating is not necessary. Most people use it to make their colonies grow faster, but it can be risky. Just as long as they aren't kept in an air-conditioned room, they should be fine.
Last edited by Batspiderfish on Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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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Cale3459
Posts: 199
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:59 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Preparing for first colony (advice needed)

Post: # 15911Post Cale3459
Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:29 am

Personally I have a heating cable running through the cable port on my hybrid nest (not right now since they are hibernating) but that lets them pick if they want a warmer side or a cooler side. Normally they are one chamber away from the cable. I liked the AntsCanada tube holders that have the cable hole running through them so you could give your test tubes some warmth too. That's my next purchase. I have zero firsthand experience with heating mats but I have seen some individuals state that it got their nests too hot and the ants moved out.
Keeper of:
Camponotus pennsylvanicus
(http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=2686)

Dreslin
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:30 am
Location: Tennessee

Re: Preparing for first colony (advice needed)

Post: # 15912Post Dreslin
Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:47 am

Thank you all for replying so quickly to my questions.

Cale3459, I'll look into purchasing a heating cable for my set-up. If you don't mind, what heating cable do you use? I'd like to purchase one that's tested. :)

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Cale3459
Posts: 199
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:59 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Preparing for first colony (advice needed)

Post: # 15918Post Cale3459
Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:41 am

I have the shortest of the Zoo Med cables. They offer them in longer lengths as well as your colony grows and you want to run in through multiple nests.

Zoo Med Reptile Heat Cable 15 Watts, 11.5-Feet https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001LQUZAM/re ... CybJFPGQG8
Keeper of:
Camponotus pennsylvanicus
(http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=2686)

Dreslin
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:30 am
Location: Tennessee

Re: Preparing for first colony (advice needed)

Post: # 15920Post Dreslin
Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:10 pm

Excellent, thank you for providing a link as well. You've all been extremely helpful.

I'm overjoyed with the idea of having my own colony. I look forward to experiencing this unique hobby. I'm also, strangely enough, looking forward to my Dubia Roach farm. It seems like it'll be fun nurturing my ant's food - even though they're roaches...

I'll let everyone know how things turn out by posting some images of the queen in the ID forum, along with some set-up images here.

Thank you everyone! :D

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