Questions re. starting a colony in an Omni Nest

Discussion and information relating to the AntsCanada Omni Nest Series.

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KHandcock
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Questions re. starting a colony in an Omni Nest

Post: # 23262Post KHandcock
Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:29 pm

Hi all!

I think my first colony is going to go into an Omni Nest since I love the look of them and would be very excited to get to watch my ants at work regularly. So a couple of questions before I put in an order!

-What size Omni Nest do you suggest to start? I know you can block off sections if necessary but does it end up being problematic having to block off and then open up the different sections?

-Any opinions on horizontal versus vertical nests in terms of a founding colony?

-Any suggestions on encouraging a colony to move into an Omni Nest while also habituating them to the light level through the clear acrylic? Or is it better to cover it and encourage them to move in first, then get used to higher light levels?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Questions re. starting a colony in an Omni Nest

Post: # 23291Post ooper01
Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:25 am

What species of ant will you be keeping?
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KHandcock
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Location: Quispamsis, New Brunswick

Re: Questions re. starting a colony in an Omni Nest

Post: # 23299Post KHandcock
Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:23 am

Now that I've had some help from the folks in the species ID forum, I know for sure the first colony going in will be a Formica species - Batspiderfish thought probably podzolica.

I also have a Camponotus novaeboracensis queen but I think when she needs a formicarium I might get the hybrid nest for her. I was having trouble deciding between the two styles but with two colonies I won't have to choose :lol:

Thanks!

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Re: Questions re. starting a colony in an Omni Nest

Post: # 23311Post ooper01
Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:29 am

KHandcock wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:23 am
Now that I've had some help from the folks in the species ID forum, I know for sure the first colony going in will be a Formica species - Batspiderfish thought probably podzolica.

I also have a Camponotus novaeboracensis queen but I think when she needs a formicarium I might get the hybrid nest for her. I was having trouble deciding between the two styles but with two colonies I won't have to choose :lol:

Thanks!
Either of those species would do well in Omni or Hybrid. I'd probably go with the standard Omni rather than the vertical.
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Serafine
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Re: Questions re. starting a colony in an Omni Nest

Post: # 23419Post Serafine
Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:57 am

KHandcock wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:29 pm
-What size Omni Nest do you suggest to start? I know you can block off sections if necessary but does it end up being problematic having to block off and then open up the different sections?
Theoretically you can easily go for the XL if you fill up the chambers with cotton or sand. Since large Camponotus grow slowly during the first two years a regular one is probably enough though.
Also Camponotus colony should live for at least a year in test tubes. That's how long it takes them to get 30 workers.
KHandcock wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:29 pm
-Any opinions on horizontal versus vertical nests in terms of a founding colony?
The vertical nests dry out much faster which isn't an issue for Camponotus (they like it dry). I'd take a horizontal one anyway.
KHandcock wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:29 pm
-Any suggestions on encouraging a colony to move into an Omni Nest while also habituating them to the light level through the clear acrylic? Or is it better to cover it and encourage them to move in first, then get used to higher light levels?
You can heat parts of the omni nest (like about half of it) with a heat mat. Ants love heat (unless they're Prenolepis winter ants). Just don't force-move them, this can seriously stall they development and Camponotus develop slow already.

It's generally better to keep them in the dark and only watch the nest under low light intensity. Camponotus can get used to light but if you kept them in the dark so far it will take some time to adapt.
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