Oh, thanks! Sometimes I worry I update TOO much, but I really do have fun updating this, and it makes me happy that people can enjoy reading it, especially since I'm so new to all of this (or maybe that's part of the charm? XD ). I can only imagine what it'll be like once I actually have workers. I'll probably end up trying videos at some point. I have gotten so fond of Maya at this point, it's ridiculous, lol. Not surprising though, she's my first queen ever.xTNxANTMANx wrote: ↑Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:12 amFirst off I'd like to say I really like how detailed you are with your Journal. I think I keep up with yours more than any LOL. I need to stop slacking and get mine up to date. As far as your new formicaria I too had seen the post about making those and thought about trying. Now seeing yours I think this weekend is going to be DIY formicaria weekend as well LOL. I can get a stack of three at my local Walmart for $3 I think and I've already got the grout I need from a construction job I did months ago laying tile. As far as your hydration goes though what kind of Wick are you using? Or is it just cotton? I've seen people put cotton in the finger of a cotton glove and tie the finger off after cutting it off the glove of course and using that as a wick per se.
Anyways, about the formicaria. The wick is indeed a cotton glove finger cut off and stuffed with cotton, and I used polyester thread to tie it off at the bottom (less likely to degrade in the water). The post I linked to has the main instructions on making these, my build just added a few things. Some tips I can also give you, based on my experience with these:
- Make sure when you are putting things together, you mark where you want things on the outside while the stack is screwed together, especially if you want the holes in the sides or the side paths to line up. I used a sharpie on the outside and washed it off at the end with rubbing alcohol. Also helps if you're making multiples at one to mark the sections. I did 1-1, 1-2, etc., 2-1, 2-2, etc. to keep everything organized, otherwise things won't go back together how you planned.
- If you need a 1/2 sized holes like I did, I've had better luck making clean holes by drilling a starter hole, then using a pair of scissors (I suppose a knife could also work) to twist and scrape the plastic til the hole is big enough. Drill bits melt this plastic, and if you're not careful, you can crack it. I've heard step bits make things easier, but I didn't have them.
- The plastic also doesn't hold the grout well, so take something to the plastic to roughen it up anywhere you plan to put it (I used a rotary tool bit, but rough sandpaper should suffice) . I added sand to my grout, but only because I couldn't find pure perlite (with no additives) to crush up and use instead. I wish I could have found a finer grain sand. Settled for aquarium sand. The sand or perlite mixed in will help the moisture spread. Should at least be used on the bottom layer. (2 parts grout/1 part sand or perlite). Keep it a paste-like consistency and use a brush to dab it in place, and it should adhere to even the walls no problem til it dries.
- I had issues with aquarium silicone adhering to my particular containers...it didn't cure right. I used hot glue instead (it's non-toxic). You may or may not have that problem, but be aware it's a possibility. If you don't want to use either, you could also try that 2-part epoxy stuff. It's ant safe once it fully cures.
- I could use wider metal mesh for my Camponotus, but I'd probably order something finer for smaller species. My mesh came from those grease splash guards for pans. I found them at Dollar Tree.
I think those are all the things that gave me trouble. If you have any other questions, I'll do my best to answer them.