Hello everyone, need help starting out.

Questions from those who are just starting or considering getting into the ant keeping hobby. If you’re intimidated or confused by the in-depth posts of the other sections of this forum, feel free to post here, and we'll start from square one!

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Aroc8822
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:06 pm
Location: Regina

Hello everyone, need help starting out.

Post: # 67312Post Aroc8822
Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:07 am

Hello everyone,
My name is Aaron, and I've been a big fan of AntsCanada since I first discovered it about six years ago. Always been fascinated by ants, but more so my son... which is the reason I am now finally bringing myself into the community and wanting to become a keeper as well. I'm usually a fairly reserved person, but I'm here now to tell you my story.

My son loved ants, and I mean LOVED them. All summer everyday we would have to go find some ants, and walk through the bush or down the sidewalks looking untill we did. He would record videos to show mom and grandma and watch ant stuff on his tablet when we weren't out hunting. I swear for a five year old he knew more than I did lol. It was something we shared together. A fascination. Seeing real live brood for the first time, his face just glowed. It was the greatest thing of my life.. and in early December last year he was taken from us, and I'm sorry to get personal here but this is the reason I now need to immerse myself into this community. I don't ever want to let that part go. I need to share it with somebody. I need to keep him alive in me with this.

For me, right now buying a formicarium/outworld is more than I can afford. I haven't been working and am just struggling lately, so I think I can make my own. I'm worried about failure tho, I really can't feel like I failed here guys... I wanna get it right the first time. So please help.

I have an aquarium. About 6' long, 2' wide, and 3' high to use for making one, and I was thinking of two different styles.

One: of going satelite nest style, like I saw in an AntsCanada video on making your own formicarium. Having multiple test tube setups as nests, burying the tubes in dirt as part of the outworld (except for the opening of course) I like this idea because I feel I wouldn't need as much soil if I did it that way. I'm trying to stay as natural as possible without filling the aquarium halfway or more with dirt. But also lots of room to expand. My idea with this was I can always bury some more tubing/test tubes for more space? Or should I have one big centralized nest? How much dirt do I need?
THOUGHTS?

Two: of making my own molded formicarium with grout, and putting that in the aquarium and just designing the out world around it. I like this for the fact ill be able to see alot more into the best but it doesn't seem as natural. I'd like to have soil bugs too, like a mini ecosystem.
THOUGHTS?

I want to keep pavement ants i think if that helps with anything. After I get setup I'm probably going to buy a queen/small starter colony to get going as fast as possible. I'm going to sink myself into this hobby and do all I can to keep the fascination alive.

I really appreciate you reading this and I look forward to many posts/updates in the future.

AusAnts
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:09 am
Location: Darwin,Australia

Re: Hello everyone, need help starting out.

Post: # 67316Post AusAnts
Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:48 am

Aroc8822 wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:07 am
Hello everyone,
My name is Aaron, and I've been a big fan of AntsCanada since I first discovered it about six years ago. Always been fascinated by ants, but more so my son... which is the reason I am now finally bringing myself into the community and wanting to become a keeper as well. I'm usually a fairly reserved person, but I'm here now to tell you my story.

My son loved ants, and I mean LOVED them. All summer everyday we would have to go find some ants, and walk through the bush or down the sidewalks looking untill we did. He would record videos to show mom and grandma and watch ant stuff on his tablet when we weren't out hunting. I swear for a five year old he knew more than I did lol. It was something we shared together. A fascination. Seeing real live brood for the first time, his face just glowed. It was the greatest thing of my life.. and in early December last year he was taken from us, and I'm sorry to get personal here but this is the reason I now need to immerse myself into this community. I don't ever want to let that part go. I need to share it with somebody. I need to keep him alive in me with this.

For me, right now buying a formicarium/outworld is more than I can afford. I haven't been working and am just struggling lately, so I think I can make my own. I'm worried about failure tho, I really can't feel like I failed here guys... I wanna get it right the first time. So please help.

I have an aquarium. About 6' long, 2' wide, and 3' high to use for making one, and I was thinking of two different styles.

One: of going satelite nest style, like I saw in an AntsCanada video on making your own formicarium. Having multiple test tube setups as nests, burying the tubes in dirt as part of the outworld (except for the opening of course) I like this idea because I feel I wouldn't need as much soil if I did it that way. I'm trying to stay as natural as possible without filling the aquarium halfway or more with dirt. But also lots of room to expand. My idea with this was I can always bury some more tubing/test tubes for more space? Or should I have one big centralized nest? How much dirt do I need?
THOUGHTS?

Two: of making my own molded formicarium with grout, and putting that in the aquarium and just designing the out world around it. I like this for the fact ill be able to see alot more into the best but it doesn't seem as natural. I'd like to have soil bugs too, like a mini ecosystem.
THOUGHTS?

I want to keep pavement ants i think if that helps with anything. After I get setup I'm probably going to buy a queen/small starter colony to get going as fast as possible. I'm going to sink myself into this hobby and do all I can to keep the fascination alive.

I really appreciate you reading this and I look forward to many posts/updates in the future.
I would think the second would be better for observations. if you wanted to you could add a substrate in the nest which makes it a bit more natural. you could still add other bugs as well. I would recommend a grout or aac nest for that design.

If your willing to wait another 2-4 months, the nuptial flight should start in north america.
2 x iridomyrmex sp Queen:15+ workers
2 x iridomyrmex pallidus: 40+ workers
1 x pheidole megacephala:2 queen 300 workers.
1 x opisthopsis Queen: 14 workers

Aroc8822
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:06 pm
Location: Regina

Re: Hello everyone, need help starting out.

Post: # 67324Post Aroc8822
Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:48 am

Hey, appreciate the input, thanks for the reply!
I did read about the nuptual flights. Would the nuptual flight be delayed at all in colder regions? I live in Saskatchewan and it's uaualy freezing here till beginning of May. I thought about catching my own queen, would definitely be more rewarding.

There is also a local GAN farmer here in my city but AntsCanada site says they currently have no colonies. I know growing a colony is not for the impatient but I have just been having a real hard time lately and I think the quicker I got this going the better for me. What your guys' opinion on having ants delivered? Is it too stressful for them? Still not sure what I'll do there.

Also for the grout nest I have two questions...

One: Do I fix the formicarium to the side of the tank with silicone or should I leave it sitting freely?

Two: for maintaining proper humidity (30-40% what I read) How do I properly moisturize the nest with a grout formicarium? Just make a channel down one side and fill the channel with water? Or would the nest absorb too much?

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