Pre-hibernation test tube hydration issues

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danglyearrings
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:32 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Pre-hibernation test tube hydration issues

Post: # 51330Post danglyearrings
Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:21 am

Hello AC Forum,

I was hoping to get some experienced thoughts on the following issues for my Camponotus P. setup.

Background: Initially started with a Camponotus P. queen in May (Western PA). Initial test-tube setup yielded 9 nanitics. After a few months the cotton blacked and I was concerned that it was packed too tight because no air bubble ever started forming on the other side of the test tube (that is, I'm not sure moisture from the test tube reservoir was reaching the chamber.) After doing some reading here, I set up a new test-tube through an AC portal with the idea that if the new test tube was preferable, the ants would move on their own. Since no move was ever made, I'm thinking that the ants are drinking from the new tube and returning to the dry claustral chamber.

Over the summer, there have been a few eggs clutches that the queen laid and then must have eaten. 3 nanitics have died, cause unknown. Currently, as shown in the photos below:

PHOTO 1:First is the setup with cloth over the chamber to block light. Note the bubble has formed in the extra tube - I assume from evaporation with properly packed cotton.

PHOTO 2: There is a larvae group, currently 1.5 months old. They are growing very slowly. Note that the water reservoir shows no bubble due to moisture loss, AND this is the original cotton.

Image
Image

The questions are:

(1) Since no bubble every formed in the original tube, is it correct to assume that the cotton is too tight and the ants are getting hydration only from food, sugar water, and the other tube?
(2) Now that its getting close to hibernation time, if I cap the claustral tube as is, I'm thinking they will have no access to water. Decent assumption given the state of original cotton?
(3) If I refrigerated without capping and left on the portal, would nanitics still visit the wet tube transfer water over to queen? I would think the inactivity prevents this.
(4) Given the currently larvae clutch, should I keep heating at 80 to have them mature before hibernation or hibernate in larvae state?
(5) Does the slow state of larval growth indicate that they will not grow further until post-hibernation anyways?
(5) Does the situation warrant a transfer to a fresh properly packed tube before hibernation? I'd hate to stress this queen and have her eat these current larvae but I'm not sure the blacked cotton will provide sufficient hydration during the hibernation.

Anyhow, thanks for any input you all may have!

Best,

-DE

JoeHostile1
Posts: 149
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:51 am
Location: Canada
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Re: Pre-hibernation test tube hydration issues

Post: # 51339Post JoeHostile1
Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:46 am

You're saying that the cotton is packed so tight that the end of it is not wet? I’m not sure that’s even possible. I know that can happen with sugar water testubes, but I think that’s because the sugar water is causing the cotton to turn rock hard. When that happens to my sugar water testubes I just push the cotton a tiny little bit with a Skewer until I see that the end of it is wet again. You could try that. Don’t push it too much though or you will cause the test tube to flood. Your ants and queen will freak out when they see that skewer coming though so it’s up to you if you want to do that. Or just transfer them to a new test tube.
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSfFtn6RegZ3F1NdS1g08NA

danglyearrings
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:32 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: Pre-hibernation test tube hydration issues

Post: # 51343Post danglyearrings
Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:03 am

Thanks for your input Joe,

I know this sounds stupid, but it's really difficult to tell. It seems that the moisture comes right up to the interior of the cotton, but I just can't seem to explain how in over 3.5 months at 85 degrees there would be no visible loss of water on the reservoir side. In other tubes I have, an air bubble seems to form (and grow) within a week or two.

I've had so many clutch losses over the summer, I worried about going into hibernation with 6 old nanitics and additionally nervous to mess with anything for fear of losing these current larvae.

-DE

PwnerPie
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:59 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Pre-hibernation test tube hydration issues

Post: # 51598Post PwnerPie
Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:19 am

First off, how full did you fill the test tube with water? i have had some where no air gets in the, but the cotton is getting sucked toward the end as the water is drank. So the water resivoir gets smaller but no air is in there. This has happened to quite a few of my setups.
As far as the slowly growing eggs, how are you heating them and what are you feeding them?
Keeper of:
2x Formica Sp
2x Camponotus Sp

Founding:
3x Lasius Sp
2x Formica Sp
1x Myrmica Sp
1x Tetramorium Sp

GAN Farmer: 3 Colonies sold
Goal: Supply school science classes with colonies for learning.

AntsDakota
Posts: 1153
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:22 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Pre-hibernation test tube hydration issues

Post: # 52005Post AntsDakota
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:14 pm

danglyearrings wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:21 am
Hello AC Forum,

I was hoping to get some experienced thoughts on the following issues for my Camponotus P. setup.

Background: Initially started with a Camponotus P. queen in May (Western PA). Initial test-tube setup yielded 9 nanitics. After a few months the cotton blacked and I was concerned that it was packed too tight because no air bubble ever started forming on the other side of the test tube (that is, I'm not sure moisture from the test tube reservoir was reaching the chamber.) After doing some reading here, I set up a new test-tube through an AC portal with the idea that if the new test tube was preferable, the ants would move on their own. Since no move was ever made, I'm thinking that the ants are drinking from the new tube and returning to the dry claustral chamber.

Over the summer, there have been a few eggs clutches that the queen laid and then must have eaten. 3 nanitics have died, cause unknown. Currently, as shown in the photos below:

PHOTO 1:First is the setup with cloth over the chamber to block light. Note the bubble has formed in the extra tube - I assume from evaporation with properly packed cotton.

PHOTO 2: There is a larvae group, currently 1.5 months old. They are growing very slowly. Note that the water reservoir shows no bubble due to moisture loss, AND this is the original cotton.

Image
Image

The questions are:

(1) Since no bubble every formed in the original tube, is it correct to assume that the cotton is too tight and the ants are getting hydration only from food, sugar water, and the other tube?
(2) Now that its getting close to hibernation time, if I cap the claustral tube as is, I'm thinking they will have no access to water. Decent assumption given the state of original cotton?
(3) If I refrigerated without capping and left on the portal, would nanitics still visit the wet tube transfer water over to queen? I would think the inactivity prevents this.
(4) Given the currently larvae clutch, should I keep heating at 80 to have them mature before hibernation or hibernate in larvae state?
(5) Does the slow state of larval growth indicate that they will not grow further until post-hibernation anyways?
(5) Does the situation warrant a transfer to a fresh properly packed tube before hibernation? I'd hate to stress this queen and have her eat these current larvae but I'm not sure the blacked cotton will provide sufficient hydration during the hibernation.

Anyhow, thanks for any input you all may have!

Best,

-DE
Just to let you know, a scientific name is abbreviated by the genus, and the species name is left alone. So it would be C. pennsylvanicus.
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

TheRealAntMan
Posts: 568
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:59 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: Pre-hibernation test tube hydration issues

Post: # 52042Post TheRealAntMan
Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:08 pm

Generally nest hydration is not need during hibernation. It's best to wait after hibernation to give them a new test tube.
An ants' strength can be rivaled by few animals compared to relative body size.

Ant108
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:55 pm

Re: Pre-hibernation test tube hydration issues

Post: # 52787Post Ant108
Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:06 pm

I had cotton in a test tube turn black with a queen and it seemed to kill her. Be careful of black cotton. Don't know for sure why she suddenly died but my feeling was the black cotton.

JoeHostile1
Posts: 149
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:51 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Pre-hibernation test tube hydration issues

Post: # 52798Post JoeHostile1
Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:19 am

TheRealAntMan wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:08 pm
Generally nest hydration is not need during hibernation. It's best to wait after hibernation to give them a new test tube.
Ants need a certain humidity level to survive. If he hibernates ants in a dry test tube I’m sure they will die. I would argue that nest hydration is the only thing that’s needed during hibernation. And by hrdration I’m not talking about making the nest wet, I’m talking about keeping the humidity levels high enough for the ants to survive. Now some nests due to the materials and other factors may be able to hold enough humidity during hibernation that they don’t require hydration, but others may very well need to be hydrated.

I lost all my Lasius workers and brood during the last month of hibernation when the nest completely dried out (queen survived).
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSfFtn6RegZ3F1NdS1g08NA

AntsDakota
Posts: 1153
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:22 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Pre-hibernation test tube hydration issues

Post: # 52804Post AntsDakota
Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:33 pm

Ant108 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:06 pm
I had cotton in a test tube turn black with a queen and it seemed to kill her. Be careful of black cotton. Don't know for sure why she suddenly died but my feeling was the black cotton.
A lot of mold is black.
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

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