Formicarium for camponotus made of MDF Media

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Gamekiller77
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:24 pm
Location: San Jose, CA

Formicarium for camponotus made of MDF Media

Post: # 31119Post Gamekiller77
Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:53 pm

Hello all,

I am very new to this all. I am doing a lot of research right now and would love to house some camponotus from my local area. I plan to wait till the spring and find a Queen. I hoping they take a nice long time to grow so i can take my time and learn about them as they go.

I have access to a Laser cutter and at home i have a 3D printer and CNC router. I was planning to make most of my items from casted Acrylic. In my shop I have a nice stash of wood form random projects and for making jigs and the like. Well a couple years back my sewer line backed up and water came pouring out to my shop. Well some of my MDF got wet and the other day i walked by and was like this is very soft. Why could I not do a some basic tunnels with my CNC router and have a nice chamber for the new Queen in some MDF then sock it to make it soft.

So plan was to get some 1/8 or 1/4 MDF then use my CNC router to make some basic entrances and a Queens chamber very close to the top for her brooding of her first ant (Sorry i know they have a name). Then do some basic paths and no sub chambers. I would then soak the MDF in some pure water to expand it out then seal this all up with some acrylic and proper ventilation. My idea was to have like a picture frame then use some AC tube and a AC outworld to add to this. The ants could then do there natural thing and rip apart the fibers and make there own chamber and connecting tunnels.

I love to hear everyones thoughts. Now i did do some basic research on what MDF is made up of. So it made from 82% wood fibre, 9% urea-formaldehyde resin glue, 8% water and 1% paraffin wax << wikipedia. I was worried about the resin but from what I can tell it pretty safe for ants unless the ammonia really nasty but i am thinking not at the levels in the wood. Also soaking and then repeating makes me thing a lot of the resin would dissipate then letting it sun dry would make any ammonia crystals escape in the the atmosphere.

Thoughts?

Andy

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