How, exactly, do you setup a heating cable?

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PaxxMantid
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:39 pm
Location: Colorado

How, exactly, do you setup a heating cable?

Post: # 53398Post PaxxMantid
Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:48 pm

Hi all -

I'm a new antkeeper with 2 test tube colonies and 2 in mini-hearths. I I would like to offer some more heat to the ants, but because of the room I'm in I can't use a ceramic or other heat lamp. I do have a couple of heating cables that I use for other insects /reptiles.

But, how, exactly do people use the heating cable? It seems like even if a glass test tube was just laying the cable, it would heat the thing up too much and there would be condensation, mold, and very hot ants. The mini hearth is different, I suppose I could fasten the cable to the side.

But, I'm wondering: how do all/any of you use heating cables? Especially with test tubes?? Pics appreciated :)

thanks!!

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

Re: How, exactly, do you setup a heating cable?

Post: # 53399Post TheRealAntMan
Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:21 pm

I wouldn't recommend using heating cable for test tubes setups. Instead, use a heating mat. All you have to do is place the mat under the side that has water. But you shouldn't be worrying about this since your ants are preparing for hibernation (if not already).
An ants' strength can be rivaled by few animals compared to relative body size.

PaxxMantid
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:39 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: How, exactly, do you setup a heating cable?

Post: # 53402Post PaxxMantid
Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:42 pm

TheRealAntMan wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:21 pm
I wouldn't recommend using heating cable for test tubes setups. Instead, use a heating mat. All you have to do is place the mat under the side that has water. But you shouldn't be worrying about this since your ants are preparing for hibernation (if not already).
Yea I know it's getting too late for it to make sense adding heat, but I am still trying to learn as much as I can. I plan to try my hand at queen hunting next year and I am hoping to be very successful :)

I have a heat mat, and I tried putting the water end of the test tubes on the mat. Even with just a bit of overlap, there was a ton of condensation inside the test tube, which concerned me. I am also not sure what target temp gradient I'm going for.

JoeHostile1
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:51 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: How, exactly, do you setup a heating cable?

Post: # 53424Post JoeHostile1
Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:21 am

I wouldn’t even risk heating a test tube. It’s too small to offer a heating gradient. I could see putting the heating cable on the water side of the test tube causing condensation which your ants can drown from. The other risk of course is you cook your ants. I just don’t believe the risk reward is there for it to be worth it.

The only way I would use a heat source on test tubes is by attaching a 3” long piece of plastic tubing on the end of the test tube. Then just heat the plastic tube not the test tube. If the ants want to bring their larvae there to get warm, they can. Then if it’s too hot they can bring them back into the test tube.

I’d be worried about heating the mini hearth too because it’s also to small to have a heat gradient. Unless you somehow did the same thing. Attach a tube to the mini hearth and heat the tube. The ants will bring larvae into the tube if they want them warmer.

If the ants don’t ever bring larvae into the heated tubes than that means it’s too hot for them.
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

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

Lorcan
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:15 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: How, exactly, do you setup a heating cable?

Post: # 54436Post Lorcan
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:48 am

JoeHostile1 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:21 am
I wouldn’t even risk heating a test tube. It’s too small to offer a heating gradient. I could see putting the heating cable on the water side of the test tube causing condensation which your ants can drown from. The other risk of course is you cook your ants. I just don’t believe the risk reward is there for it to be worth it.

The only way I would use a heat source on test tubes is by attaching a 3” long piece of plastic tubing on the end of the test tube. Then just heat the plastic tube not the test tube. If the ants want to bring their larvae there to get warm, they can. Then if it’s too hot they can bring them back into the test tube.

I’d be worried about heating the mini hearth too because it’s also to small to have a heat gradient. Unless you somehow did the same thing. Attach a tube to the mini hearth and heat the tube. The ants will bring larvae into the tube if they want them warmer.

If the ants don’t ever bring larvae into the heated tubes than that means it’s too hot for them.
Hi you seem like you know a lot and I was wondering what kind of heating cable to get for my hybrid nest 2.0. I'm keeping messor aciculatus in it which I have been told don't require hibernation and I was wondering what heating cable is the right size for the hole in the nest, thanks!

JoeHostile1
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:51 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: How, exactly, do you setup a heating cable?

Post: # 54438Post JoeHostile1
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:26 pm

Lorcan wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:48 am
JoeHostile1 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:21 am
I wouldn’t even risk heating a test tube. It’s too small to offer a heating gradient. I could see putting the heating cable on the water side of the test tube causing condensation which your ants can drown from. The other risk of course is you cook your ants. I just don’t believe the risk reward is there for it to be worth it.

The only way I would use a heat source on test tubes is by attaching a 3” long piece of plastic tubing on the end of the test tube. Then just heat the plastic tube not the test tube. If the ants want to bring their larvae there to get warm, they can. Then if it’s too hot they can bring them back into the test tube.

I’d be worried about heating the mini hearth too because it’s also to small to have a heat gradient. Unless you somehow did the same thing. Attach a tube to the mini hearth and heat the tube. The ants will bring larvae into the tube if they want them warmer.

If the ants don’t ever bring larvae into the heated tubes than that means it’s too hot for them.
Hi you seem like you know a lot and I was wondering what kind of heating cable to get for my hybrid nest 2.0. I'm keeping messor aciculatus in it which I have been told don't require hibernation and I was wondering what heating cable is the right size for the hole in the nest, thanks!
Hey interesting you quoted me and asked about acciculatus because I also thought that they didn’t need hibernation. And last winter I didn’t hibernate them and they did horribly all winter long. They basically laid no eggs, barely moved much and I had a net loss of workers over the winter because workers were dying of old age and no new workers were being produced.

I couldn’t figure out what was wrong until I read up where they live. Asia - China, ect. The temperature in Beijing China right now is -8C, that’s colder than where I live in Canada right now. So this species certainly does hibernate. And from my experience performs extremely poorly when not hibernated.

Once summer came along they started growing properly again. And grew about 250 workers during the summer. That are currently placed into hibernation at 8-10C.

As far as your heating cable question, I’m sorry, I don’t use heating cables nor AntsCanada nests so I am unable to help you with that.
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

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

Lorcan
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:15 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: How, exactly, do you setup a heating cable?

Post: # 54450Post Lorcan
Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:18 am

JoeHostile1 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:26 pm
Lorcan wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:48 am
JoeHostile1 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:21 am
I wouldn’t even risk heating a test tube. It’s too small to offer a heating gradient. I could see putting the heating cable on the water side of the test tube causing condensation which your ants can drown from. The other risk of course is you cook your ants. I just don’t believe the risk reward is there for it to be worth it.

The only way I would use a heat source on test tubes is by attaching a 3” long piece of plastic tubing on the end of the test tube. Then just heat the plastic tube not the test tube. If the ants want to bring their larvae there to get warm, they can. Then if it’s too hot they can bring them back into the test tube.

I’d be worried about heating the mini hearth too because it’s also to small to have a heat gradient. Unless you somehow did the same thing. Attach a tube to the mini hearth and heat the tube. The ants will bring larvae into the tube if they want them warmer.

If the ants don’t ever bring larvae into the heated tubes than that means it’s too hot for them.
Hi you seem like you know a lot and I was wondering what kind of heating cable to get for my hybrid nest 2.0. I'm keeping messor aciculatus in it which I have been told don't require hibernation and I was wondering what heating cable is the right size for the hole in the nest, thanks!
Hey interesting you quoted me and asked about acciculatus because I also thought that they didn’t need hibernation. And last winter I didn’t hibernate them and they did horribly all winter long. They basically laid no eggs, barely moved much and I had a net loss of workers over the winter because workers were dying of old age and no new workers were being produced.

I couldn’t figure out what was wrong until I read up where they live. Asia - China, ect. The temperature in Beijing China right now is -8C, that’s colder than where I live in Canada right now. So this species certainly does hibernate. And from my experience performs extremely poorly when not hibernated.

Once summer came along they started growing properly again. And grew about 250 workers during the summer. That are currently placed into hibernation at 8-10C.

As far as your heating cable question, I’m sorry, I don’t use heating cables nor AntsCanada nests so I am unable to help you with that.
thanks for the speedy reply! I was wondering about that as it said different things online. What time do you stop hibernating them as I might get my colony then after winter.

JoeHostile1
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:51 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: How, exactly, do you setup a heating cable?

Post: # 54462Post JoeHostile1
Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:22 am

I hibernate my ants from November to the end of March. I looked up when spring starts in China and their spring starts in March. However there is no Guarantee that the ant supplier is even bothering to hibernate them at all.
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

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

Lorcan
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:15 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: How, exactly, do you setup a heating cable?

Post: # 54463Post Lorcan
Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:24 am

Thanks for the help anyway!

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