Idea for Camponotus formicarium -- will this work?

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WolfyGecko
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:16 pm
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Idea for Camponotus formicarium -- will this work?

Post: # 55078Post WolfyGecko
Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:07 am

I do not yet have a colony, but I am learning about different ways to set up formicariums and outworlds (as well as ant care) in preparation for next year when I will try to catch a Black Carpenter Ant queen.

I want to make my first formicarium by carving some firebrick, but I want it to last a while so I do not have to carve another one and try to get my colony to move for a little while.

Well, I read that carpenter ants can chew through cork board easily enough, and I was wondering if something like this would work:
(The chambers wont be in that exact layout, this is just something simple to give everyone an idea)
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So basically, I would cut the cork board to fit the chambers that the ants do not need to use yet (excess space) and then put the acrylic/glass/similar over the chambers to finish building the formicarium. If it works like I'm thinking, the ants would then chew out the chambers as they need more space.

There are a few things I'm unsure about, though.
1. Would the cork board mold because of nest humidity? Could this be prevented by placing the hydration chamber on the opposite side away from the cork board?

2. Would the ants dig into the board immediately and use the chambers they uncover for trash, dirtying their nest and potentially opening them up to sickness?

3. Would a better alternative be to put some type of soil or sand in the chambers instead and let them excavate as needed, rather than cork board? What soil/sand should I use, and will freezing the soil/sand before putting it with them help prevent the spread of any pathogens or parasites that might come in with the substance? If so, for how long?

So, is this a good idea? Would it be better to just make a smaller formicarium and build a larger one when the time comes?

Sorry for asking so many questions, I just really want to get it right the first time.

Thank you so much to anyone who gives feedback! It is highly appreciated :)

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CreeperUniverse
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:22 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Idea for Camponotus formicarium -- will this work?

Post: # 55093Post CreeperUniverse
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:28 pm

First of all, I don't think there's any need to think of formicarium ideas yet. Once you catch your queen, it will still take probably a year before they'll need a formicarium. The cork might not mold, but that's definitely a risk. The ants would probably just dig into it and make their own nest inside of the cork. Overall I think instead of filling it up you should just put some sort of plug in which you can pull out later. Or you can make multiple nests inside of one outworld and then open up the other nests once they need more space.
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