Starting a Garden in a Formicarium

Show us your formicariums and ant setup, ask formicarium-related questions, or share your experiences with building an ant home. Here you will also find formicarium requirements for specific ant species.

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Whitelotus
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Location: Central Valley California

Starting a Garden in a Formicarium

Post: # 49557Post Whitelotus
Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:10 pm

Hello. I am curious if anyone has done this already. I am interested in building a large formicarium for my ants but i would like try added plants from square one (starting from a seed and letting it grow from there). Has anyone ever attempted this? If so, what plants were they or what was not effective? This seems odd but I am curious as to how ants act with growing plant life.

Thank you for reading and have a good day.
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Bierschneeman
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Re: Starting a Garden in a Formicarium

Post: # 49585Post Bierschneeman
Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:00 am

one of the ant youtubers suggested that growing up from seed might require too much care, and watering to have an active colony already inside. (i think it was mikey bustos, not sure) he suggested starting with fully grown plants.

you could do what serpa design does for his vivariums he intends animaddls to inhabit. he quarantines the vivarium, letting it grow for months before introducing his animals.

this will also help prevent unexpected disasters like ant eating snakes. or other harmful passengers if you went with the plant route.
Founding:
3 Solenopsis I/X
5 Tapinoma sessile
1 Nylanderia terricola/vivulda

Colonies:
1 Brachymyrmex patagonicus
1 Pheidole soritis
1 Tapinoma sessile

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Hunter36o
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Re: Starting a Garden in a Formicarium

Post: # 49664Post Hunter36o
Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:29 am

My only concern would be the ants finding the seeds and deciding that it was ideal for food.

If you were to do that I would start by growing the plants first until they are just about poking out from beneath the surface because then you are sure it has began to root it's self then add the ants. With the seeds you can be sure you are less likely to have any intruders as mentioned above. In one of AntsCanada's videos an ant egg and larvae eating blind snake was brought in with one of the plants or soils he added so there are clearly pros and cons to doing both options really. But also as mentioned above. A lot of care has to go in to growing plants from seeds.
Officially caring for 4 Lasius colonies :D :D :D

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MorbidBugg
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Location: Orangeville

Re: Starting a Garden in a Formicarium

Post: # 49702Post MorbidBugg
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:21 am

I'm actually in the process of researching this exact thing. I have a 29 gallon aquarium that is not being used for anything. There are a few suggestions. But ultimately this depends on where you are if you want native or exotic. What kind of ants do you plan to observe? Aphid tenders? Above or below varieties exsist. Plants that secrete natural nectar that ants drink? Random plants that while not beneficial as a food source but more of a visual appeal? There's alot of work involved in this area and so far. Plants that have worked for others as presented to me are as following

The sensitive plant <actual non scientific name of plant

Dandelions(root aphids have been observed being farmed)

Peonies these get rather large and untamed quickly so not idea buy ants LOVE THEM.

I've heard milk weeds are also attributed to ants as well

I believe there's even a mushroom that ants will forage for but you'll have to forgive me for not promoting it as I'm not sure of the accuracy of the claim. And when it comes to fungi if you don't know what it is leave it alone is the best practice.
Ants are life's most successful invaders. Understand and respect that power.

MorbidBugg
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Location: Orangeville

Re: Starting a Garden in a Formicarium

Post: # 49704Post MorbidBugg
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:58 am

Oh I forgot a few gems.

Strawberries will spread out but not up. Both great for humans and ants. The bonus to this is you can start with a root ball or small plant as its soo much harder to start by seed and there's no fear they will eat the root.

Gensing this is another low growing plant that produces great berries and edible leaves. I have not noticed any negative affects surrounding growing gensing with ants... however with anything test and research everything you can for due diligence. The one known downside to genuine is it doesn't grow every year and will sometimes take a year or two to regrow the actual plant. Amd stays in dormancy

Tomatoes are a preference species of vegetable for aphids and are known as on of the biggest 'pests' to farmers again the damage to the plant can be total death right to the other side with no effects and beautiful tomatoes.

For a seed species of ant the best way to ensure they don't all get eaten plant extra seeds so that it would be impossible for them to get all of them up. But that being said only some ants even see seeds and grains as a viable food source. So checking the ants care sheet can help deduce the type of attack required in that endeavor.

Also tubers and bulbs are generally a safe bet for ants and not being eaten. Tulips dandelions carrots etc. Just make sure you choose plants and the right amount of soil to sustain that plant.
Ants are life's most successful invaders. Understand and respect that power.

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Whitelotus
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Location: Central Valley California

Re: Starting a Garden in a Formicarium

Post: # 49753Post Whitelotus
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:10 pm

Thank you for the suggestions. I will be trying a few of these plants later on. Do you know if any nectar producing plants that do well with ants?
I have been fascinated with ant and plant symbiosis and I would like to observe behaviors of ants with various plants.
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MorbidBugg
Posts: 285
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:11 pm
Location: Orangeville

Re: Starting a Garden in a Formicarium

Post: # 49754Post MorbidBugg
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:58 pm

So far this is what we were able to figure out https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=10525&hilit=Aphids

I just highlighted aphids to find my post easier.
Ants are life's most successful invaders. Understand and respect that power.

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