What Tar Heel formicaria are best for black carpenters?

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CampoKing
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:20 pm
Location: Colorado

What Tar Heel formicaria are best for black carpenters?

Post: # 49058Post CampoKing
Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:47 pm

When I started keeping carpenter ants earlier this year, I forged on my own and created my own habitats out of very modest materials: wood, coconut fiber, and critter cages. I have ten colonies at this time. A typical setup looks like this:
Image

Also, I modified the lid of the critter cage by covering the inside with 200 steel mesh glued by nontoxic acrylic. It's remarkably escape proof, and looks like so:
Image

Now there's obvious difficulties with a wood setup, namely the risk of mold, fungi, and pathogens that may affect the colony health.
But another problem, that I realize after gaining some ant wisdom, is these habitats are HUGE for colonies that are mostly only this big:
Image

I built a ten story building when a single family home would have been adequate. So, on the one hand, my habitats are taking up too much space, and on the other, the ant keeping room is scented slightly like a woodsy Adirondack nature trail. My ants are doing well and seem happy in their very natural habitats, but things can change quickly if mold or another organism takes hold of the abundant moist wood inside.

So, skipping ahead to the main question, what formicaria are appropriate for small C. pennsylvanicus colonies? I'm personally fond of Tar Heel Ants, but I don't know much about ytong or plaster or Type I/II/III terminology....I've been too busy cutting soft wood chunks out of old logs :|
Keeper of:
C. pennsylvanicus & C. subbarbatus

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