Upright Sand Nest w/ Outworld

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AntsArizona
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:55 am
Location: Arizona

Upright Sand Nest w/ Outworld

Post: # 29219Post AntsArizona
Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:41 pm

Just wondering if anyone has made an upright Sand Nest. I've seen a youtube video somewhere where someone made one out of wood and plexiglass and allowed the ants to tunnel through soil. Basically a larger DIY Uncle Milton Farm and connected to an outworld.

I mainly want to know if Sand can be used versus soil. I was thinking the Sand would need to be coarse and mixed with something like Sphagnum Peat Moss for stronger structural integrity for the ants. Also, how would one hydrate such a setup? And heating??

kykel09
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:31 pm
Location: Maryland

Re: Upright Sand Nest w/ Outworld

Post: # 31049Post kykel09
Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:43 pm

So, I haven't built a standing ant nest but I have used sand in my test tubes, formicarium, and out worlds. Some issues that I think would definitely expect:

1) Sand doesn't hold water as well as soil. I have to hydrate the sand I use far more often than soil due to the higher evaporation rate of the moisture.

2) Sand collapses in water. When you hydrate the sand, you risk it causing the sand to soften and collapse the tunnels. This isn't an issue in test tube environments or as a substrate layer in formicariums but is definitely an issue in standing environments when the weight of the sand itself may cause it to collapse.

However, this may also be dependent on the type of sand. I use playground sand from Home Depot or Lowes. Some other sands act more like soil or clay but you'd have to do more research to find the better ones to use in this environment. I can at least vouch, don't use playground sand or you could have problems.

As for hydrating the sand, you can literally pour water right over the sand itself. Or run a tube to a certain point into the formicarium and disperse the water in that way. As far as heating, maybe attacking the reptile heat cable to one side of it? Keep in mind that the heat will make your sand dry out significantly faster.

AntsArizona
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:55 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Upright Sand Nest w/ Outworld

Post: # 31217Post AntsArizona
Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:58 pm

kykel09 wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:43 pm
So, I haven't built a standing ant nest but I have used sand in my test tubes, formicarium, and out worlds. Some issues that I think would definitely expect:

1) Sand doesn't hold water as well as soil. I have to hydrate the sand I use far more often than soil due to the higher evaporation rate of the moisture.

2) Sand collapses in water. When you hydrate the sand, you risk it causing the sand to soften and collapse the tunnels. This isn't an issue in test tube environments or as a substrate layer in formicariums but is definitely an issue in standing environments when the weight of the sand itself may cause it to collapse.

However, this may also be dependent on the type of sand. I use playground sand from Home Depot or Lowes. Some other sands act more like soil or clay but you'd have to do more research to find the better ones to use in this environment. I can at least vouch, don't use playground sand or you could have problems.

As for hydrating the sand, you can literally pour water right over the sand itself. Or run a tube to a certain point into the formicarium and disperse the water in that way. As far as heating, maybe attacking the reptile heat cable to one side of it? Keep in mind that the heat will make your sand dry out significantly faster.
Thanks for the info. I think I got what I needed from it!

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