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Announcements & discussion on upcoming ant products. We also would like to hear your product suggestions.

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AqdasHassaan
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Re: $

Post: # 29141Post AqdasHassaan
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:49 pm

AntsOnTheCoast wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:45 pm
Honestly, all formicariums online are overpriced anyways. You can be creative, buy materials yourself and let your creativity flow for way less. There are many being sold on eBay, etc and the things that they're selling for $150 can be made for about $30 and day, with leftover materials.
agreed.
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AntsOntario
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Re: $

Post: # 29144Post AntsOntario
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:49 pm

ooper01 wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:40 pm
Serafine wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:19 pm
AntsOntario wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:10 pm
I was wondering why shipping was so high. The default cost is an additional 100$ on top of your already 100$ purchase. The cheapest one is around 40, but how do I know my package will arrive in one piece. AntsAustralia uses ytong & paints their nests for way cheaper than AC. + Shipping isn't crazy. So I am led to wonder, how are prices at AC so costly for 3D printed nests, when AA has cheaper prices for higher quality?
AntsAustralia is using Ytong which is easier to work with. In Europe, where Ytong blocks can be bought for 5-10 bucks (they're used for housebuilding here), a lot of hobbyist use them for homemade formicaria.
However the AntsAustralia formicaria have their own set of issues and humidity is a massive one. The Size 1-3 Ytong nest dry out almost instantly and are impossible to keep moist unless you place them in a moat which is probably the reason why none of the Eurpoean ant shops that have been working with Ytong for decades are produces any formicaria that are even close to that small.
The minimum size for a Ytong nest is usually something around 60x20cm, everything below that just doesn't work.
I didn't realize Ytong nests had trouble with hydration/humidity (I've never used one). This is good to know and to consider when purchasing a formicarium as hydration is a major factor in having a successful ant keeping experience.
So when are the next hybrids coming out? I heard they'll be cheaper.
Owner of;
QUEENS IN FOUNDING //
- (13 Queens) Solonopsis Molesta
COLONIES //
- (3 Queens) Prenelopis Imparis

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ooper01
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Re: $

Post: # 29146Post ooper01
Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:08 pm

AntsOnTheCoast wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:45 pm
Honestly, all formicariums online are overpriced anyways. You can be creative, buy materials yourself and let your creativity flow for way less. There are many being sold on eBay, etc and the things that they're selling for $150 can be made for about $30 and day, with leftover materials.
Yes this is true. It is also true for many, possibly most, things that can be purchased online or at a store. I can buy a hamburger, fries and a shake for $5 or I can buy the raw materials and make it myself. I can buy a picture to hang on my wall, or paint one and build a frame for it myself. I can buy a formicarium or build one myself. Of course, doing it yourself takes time to find and purchase the materials and to manufacture whatever it is you want. For some people, this is part of the enjoyment. For others, not. Also with lots of things there are little pitfalls or gotchas along the way. Perhaps one material is better than another for some reason. Perhaps one hydration method is better than another. Perhaps glass is better than acrylic. Many times these issues have been worked out already by someone who has been manufacturing and testing things for awhile. But then again, figuring these things out along the way is enjoyable for some, and for others not.

So I guess it boils down to personal preference. Some like to build things on their own and through trial and error they have an enjoyable time. Others just like to get something that has already been tried and tested. Some have the spare time to dedicate to doing things on their own. Others don't. We're here to help out those who want something already tried and tested. We're here to help out those who don't have the spare time. And we're actually here to help out the people that do want to do it on there own as well. Many such people duplicate for personal use some of our ideas ;)
~ ooper

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Re: $

Post: # 29147Post ooper01
Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:11 pm

AntsOntario wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:49 pm
So when are the next hybrids coming out? I heard they'll be cheaper.
The Formica Hybrid will be available within a month or so -- others to follow. We are hoping the others will be available for Christmas, but we aren't making any promises on that just yet. We are hoping to be able to drop the price on Hybrids. At a minimum, the Hybrids will be quite a bit larger, so there will be more product for the same price. We will have to see how it all works out.
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AntsOntario
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Re: $

Post: # 29149Post AntsOntario
Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:09 pm

ooper01 wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:11 pm
AntsOntario wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:49 pm
So when are the next hybrids coming out? I heard they'll be cheaper.
The Formica Hybrid will be available within a month or so -- others to follow. We are hoping the others will be available for Christmas, but we aren't making any promises on that just yet. We are hoping to be able to drop the price on Hybrids. At a minimum, the Hybrids will be quite a bit larger, so there will be more product for the same price. We will have to see how it all works out.
Are you aloud to release the changes yet? I just want to do some comparisons because I a about to purchase a formicarium. :D
Owner of;
QUEENS IN FOUNDING //
- (13 Queens) Solonopsis Molesta
COLONIES //
- (3 Queens) Prenelopis Imparis

AntsOnTheCoast
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Re: $

Post: # 29150Post AntsOnTheCoast
Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:33 pm

ooper01 wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:08 pm
AntsOnTheCoast wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:45 pm
Honestly, all formicariums online are overpriced anyways. You can be creative, buy materials yourself and let your creativity flow for way less. There are many being sold on eBay, etc and the things that they're selling for $150 can be made for about $30 and day, with leftover materials.
Yes this is true. It is also true for many, possibly most, things that can be purchased online or at a store. I can buy a hamburger, fries and a shake for $5 or I can buy the raw materials and make it myself. I can buy a picture to hang on my wall, or paint one and build a frame for it myself. I can buy a formicarium or build one myself. Of course, doing it yourself takes time to find and purchase the materials and to manufacture whatever it is you want. For some people, this is part of the enjoyment. For others, not. Also with lots of things there are little pitfalls or gotchas along the way. Perhaps one material is better than another for some reason. Perhaps one hydration method is better than another. Perhaps glass is better than acrylic. Many times these issues have been worked out already by someone who has been manufacturing and testing things for awhile. But then again, figuring these things out along the way is enjoyable for some, and for others not.

So I guess it boils down to personal preference. Some like to build things on their own and through trial and error they have an enjoyable time. Others just like to get something that has already been tried and tested. Some have the spare time to dedicate to doing things on their own. Others don't. We're here to help out those who want something already tried and tested. We're here to help out those who don't have the spare time. And we're actually here to help out the people that do want to do it on there own as well. Many such people duplicate for personal use some of our ideas ;)
This really sums it up.

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Re: $

Post: # 29165Post ooper01
Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:11 am

AntsOntario wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:09 pm
ooper01 wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:11 pm
AntsOntario wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:49 pm
So when are the next hybrids coming out? I heard they'll be cheaper.
The Formica Hybrid will be available within a month or so -- others to follow. We are hoping the others will be available for Christmas, but we aren't making any promises on that just yet. We are hoping to be able to drop the price on Hybrids. At a minimum, the Hybrids will be quite a bit larger, so there will be more product for the same price. We will have to see how it all works out.
Are you aloud to release the changes yet? I just want to do some comparisons because I a about to purchase a formicarium. :D
The main thing is that rather than a 4x4 inch nesting space, it is now 8x8 -- 64 sq. inches compared to 16 sq inches. The connection points (entrance/exit holes) are now designed to be a perfect fit for our new test tube connectors. Our new manufacturing process also gives it a much more polished look. The vinyl mesh on the bottom has been replaced with micro holes, like we have in the lid of the Test Tube Portal. We will make them in a lighter tan color so that it is easier to see the ants.
~ ooper

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Re: $

Post: # 29166Post ooper01
Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:12 am

AntsOntario wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:09 pm
ooper01 wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:11 pm
AntsOntario wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:49 pm
So when are the next hybrids coming out? I heard they'll be cheaper.
The Formica Hybrid will be available within a month or so -- others to follow. We are hoping the others will be available for Christmas, but we aren't making any promises on that just yet. We are hoping to be able to drop the price on Hybrids. At a minimum, the Hybrids will be quite a bit larger, so there will be more product for the same price. We will have to see how it all works out.
Are you aloud to release the changes yet? I just want to do some comparisons because I a about to purchase a formicarium. :D
The main thing is that rather than a 4x4 inch nesting space, it is now 8x8 -- 64 sq. inches compared to 16 sq inches. The connection points (entrance/exit holes) are now designed to be a perfect fit for our new test tube connectors. Our new manufacturing process also gives it a much more polished look. The vinyl mesh on the bottom has been replaced with micro holes, like we have in the lid of the Test Tube Portal. We will make them in a lighter tan color so that it is easier to see the ants.
~ ooper

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Serafine
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Re: $

Post: # 29172Post Serafine
Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:14 am

You should add a small bag of sand-clay-mix or some other substrate to every nest. Not only does it improve the way humidity spreads throughout the nest it also makes it easier to take pictures (because if you try to take a picture of ants in a very light colored nest - or even worse a white one - usually all you get it a bright blob). A very small bag is sufficient, you don't need much even for an 8x8" nest.
Image
It's also good for species that spin cocoons as they sometimes have problems spinning their cocoons in glass, acrylic or printed nests - not to much of an issue for Lasius, Formica and Camponotus which just make naked pupae but I've heard from several people that some species when they fail to spin cocoons will just stay larvae forever.


Also it would be great if the nests could be plugged together seamlessly. You can do that with nests from SimAnts (you just need a small piece of tubing) but what I'm missing on those are some sort of clamps or a frame the actually keep the nests together - you can just pull them apart which makes it very risky unless you mount them on some sort of bottom plate. A small accessory piece mounted with some screws (or glued into place) at the edges could fix this.
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Re: $

Post: # 29177Post ooper01
Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:54 am

Serafine wrote:
Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:14 am
You should add a small bag of sand-clay-mix or some other substrate to every nest. Not only does it improve the way humidity spreads throughout the nest it also makes it easier to take pictures (because if you try to take a picture of ants in a very light colored nest - or even worse a white one - usually all you get it a bright blob). A very small bag is sufficient, you don't need much even for an 8x8" nest.

It's also good for species that spin cocoons as they sometimes have problems spinning their cocoons in glass, acrylic or printed nests - not to much of an issue for Lasius, Formica and Camponotus which just make naked pupae but I've heard from several people that some species when they fail to spin cocoons will just stay larvae forever.


Also it would be great if the nests could be plugged together seamlessly. You can do that with nests from SimAnts (you just need a small piece of tubing) but what I'm missing on those are some sort of clamps or a frame the actually keep the nests together - you can just pull them apart which makes it very risky unless you mount them on some sort of bottom plate. A small accessory piece mounted with some screws (or glued into place) at the edges could fix this.
Both great ideas! Including substrate can definitely be done. Might be too late for the clamped/locked connection of multiple nests during this iteration, but could make it into the next revision. I'm thinking the best solution for this idea would be some sort of frame that the hydration base fits into. The frame would then snap/lock onto another frame.
~ ooper

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