Help with feeding/housing D:

Discussions about the care and keeping of ants

Moderator: ooper01

Post Reply
warhawk373
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:10 pm

Help with feeding/housing D:

Post: # 41530Post warhawk373
Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:50 pm

I wasn't as prepared as I thought I was. Decided to check on my ants one day to find 6 workers running around the test tube. They were trying to escape, I assume to gather food, so I decided to feed them some store bought cricket legs with honey. They immediately ate it, but it was kind of difficult to feed them. As soon as I open the cotton they either try to escape or they think they are being invaded and they warn the queen, which just causes a mass panic in the test tube. I was able to get the food inside and close the test tube without them being too much of a problem but I feel like every time I open it I'm taking a risk.

So here's my questions:
1. Should I go ahead and put the test tube in an out-world?
2. Is there an easier way to feed them inside the test tube?
3. How often should I be giving them protein and sugar? Is the ratio 1:1 or should there be less protein and more sugar or vice versa?

Its either a camponotus pennsylvanicus colony or some sort of formica. They look so similar and I've been trying not to disturb them so I haven't examined them that close yet.

One last thing. I went on vacation for a week, so I fed them right before I left with the honey and cricket legs on a small piece of wax paper. When I got back they moved the wax paper and some waste near the opening of the test tube, but they also put some new eggs on the wax paper. It was my own fault because I didn't trust anyone else to be careful enough to remove the paper. The internet said they would only have like 5 workers in the first season but they are still hatching and laying new eggs and its not even august yet. If I give them a new test tube I'm afraid they will just use it as a second chamber. Should I just give them multiple test tubes until they are big enough to move into a larger formicarium?

Alex07
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:07 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Help with feeding/housing D:

Post: # 61340Post Alex07
Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:07 pm

I'm curious if you figured any of your own questions? I'm in a similar situation regarding dietary concerns.

Hawkeye
Posts: 883
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Help with feeding/housing D:

Post: # 61541Post Hawkeye
Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:19 am

warhawk373 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:50 pm
I wasn't as prepared as I thought I was. Decided to check on my ants one day to find 6 workers running around the test tube. They were trying to escape, I assume to gather food, so I decided to feed them some store bought cricket legs with honey. They immediately ate it, but it was kind of difficult to feed them. As soon as I open the cotton they either try to escape or they think they are being invaded and they warn the queen, which just causes a mass panic in the test tube. I was able to get the food inside and close the test tube without them being too much of a problem but I feel like every time I open it I'm taking a risk.

So here's my questions:
1. Should I go ahead and put the test tube in an out-world?
2. Is there an easier way to feed them inside the test tube?
3. How often should I be giving them protein and sugar? Is the ratio 1:1 or should there be less protein and more sugar or vice versa?

Its either a camponotus pennsylvanicus colony or some sort of formica. They look so similar and I've been trying not to disturb them so I haven't examined them that close yet.

One last thing. I went on vacation for a week, so I fed them right before I left with the honey and cricket legs on a small piece of wax paper. When I got back they moved the wax paper and some waste near the opening of the test tube, but they also put some new eggs on the wax paper. It was my own fault because I didn't trust anyone else to be careful enough to remove the paper. The internet said they would only have like 5 workers in the first season but they are still hatching and laying new eggs and its not even august yet. If I give them a new test tube I'm afraid they will just use it as a second chamber. Should I just give them multiple test tubes until they are big enough to move into a larger formicarium?
Ok I'll see if I can answer your questions. First of all, there is a noticeable difference in size between the Camponotus and Formica ants. So you might want to look into that.

About the ratio of sugar to protein, it kind of depends on how active your queen is producing brood. The ants won't eat more than they need, so you don't have to worry about overfeeding them. I guess it's up to you to find out how much they need. If they lose interest in any of the insect parts, they have had enough for the day.

How many workers eclose before hibernation might differ from one colony/species to the next. The queen will produce eggs before going into hibernation, so they will be ready to eclose after the hibernation is over.

I would hold off putting them into an outworld for the time being until she has about 10 - 20 workers... I have introduced my queen to an outworld (an ice cream container) and took out the outer wad of cotton to increase airflow in the tube, to combat fungal growth. It did not work out well I am afraid, as her 3 nanitics died and 2 more eclosed workers were dead in the tube when I discovered them.

About an easier way to feed them? You could try to soak cotton in a honey and spring water solution, and use that to replace the outer wad of cotton. The ants can then drink it from there!

Hope that helps

Alex07
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:07 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Help with feeding/housing D:

Post: # 61560Post Alex07
Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:18 pm

Hawkeye wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:19 am
warhawk373 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:50 pm
I wasn't as prepared as I thought I was. Decided to check on my ants one day to find 6 workers running around the test tube. They were trying to escape, I assume to gather food, so I decided to feed them some store bought cricket legs with honey. They immediately ate it, but it was kind of difficult to feed them. As soon as I open the cotton they either try to escape or they think they are being invaded and they warn the queen, which just causes a mass panic in the test tube. I was able to get the food inside and close the test tube without them being too much of a problem but I feel like every time I open it I'm taking a risk.

So here's my questions:
1. Should I go ahead and put the test tube in an out-world?
2. Is there an easier way to feed them inside the test tube?
3. How often should I be giving them protein and sugar? Is the ratio 1:1 or should there be less protein and more sugar or vice versa?

Its either a camponotus pennsylvanicus colony or some sort of formica. They look so similar and I've been trying not to disturb them so I haven't examined them that close yet.

One last thing. I went on vacation for a week, so I fed them right before I left with the honey and cricket legs on a small piece of wax paper. When I got back they moved the wax paper and some waste near the opening of the test tube, but they also put some new eggs on the wax paper. It was my own fault because I didn't trust anyone else to be careful enough to remove the paper. The internet said they would only have like 5 workers in the first season but they are still hatching and laying new eggs and its not even august yet. If I give them a new test tube I'm afraid they will just use it as a second chamber. Should I just give them multiple test tubes until they are big enough to move into a larger formicarium?
Ok I'll see if I can answer your questions. First of all, there is a noticeable difference in size between the Camponotus and Formica ants. So you might want to look into that.

About the ratio of sugar to protein, it kind of depends on how active your queen is producing brood. The ants won't eat more than they need, so you don't have to worry about overfeeding them. I guess it's up to you to find out how much they need. If they lose interest in any of the insect parts, they have had enough for the day.

How many workers eclose before hibernation might differ from one colony/species to the next. The queen will produce eggs before going into hibernation, so they will be ready to eclose after the hibernation is over.

I would hold off putting them into an outworld for the time being until she has about 10 - 20 workers... I have introduced my queen to an outworld (an ice cream container) and took out the outer wad of cotton to increase airflow in the tube, to combat fungal growth. It did not work out well I am afraid, as her 3 nanitics died and 2 more eclosed workers were dead in the tube when I discovered them.

About an easier way to feed them? You could try to soak cotton in a honey and spring water solution, and use that to replace the outer wad of cotton. The ants can then drink it from there!

Hope that helps
Maybe the brood died to loss of humidity (total guess)? Also I've come across many articles to never put food in test tube but to put in a micro sized outworld. I've begun to do this with new queens in test tubes and they drag the food they want into their tube. I guess this will help avoid stress, bacteria and stickiness. I will be trying the soaking of the cotton though! That's a good one.

Thanks for you're time!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests