Managing humidity etc newbie colony

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Evilqueen79
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:09 am
Location: Glasgow

Managing humidity etc newbie colony

Post: # 63452Post Evilqueen79
Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:18 am

Dear collective brain of ant husbandry genius
Please advise
We want to set up a colony of local ants (my son is OBSESSED with the AntsCanada YouTube vids) but there are a million formicarium setups online and I’m not sure how it’s possible to get the right level of humidity in a sweaty acrylic closed unit. Have I got it wrong and the humidity is key? Some sell units with special humidity chambers (without actually alluding to what these chambers are or how they work). We want to get this right from the start so the ants aren’t stressed. We were thinking Lasius flavus, so I know they aren’t the wildly fond of foraging for miles down tubes.
Can anyone give us a little advice?
Much appreciated

Hawkeye
Posts: 1561
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Managing humidity etc newbie colony

Post: # 63454Post Hawkeye
Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:49 am

Hi there!

The level of humidity you need depends on the species, but in general you'll do well with a humidity gradient. So there are for instance more humid chambers at the bottom and dryer ones at the top. The ants will then designate chambers with specific roles (brood chamber, food storage, graveyard) at the right location for them.

In the humidity tray you can add a medium like cotton, moss or a spunge which will slowly release water over time, making managing the humidity easier.

You will want to add an outworld to your formicarium setup where the ants can forage for food, dump rubbish etc. Obviously this will cause a bit of a draft, so the humidity can escape from the nest, just like nest exits do in the wild. The only difference is that the ants will create exits as they see fit in the wild and you decide for them in this case. So you don't have to worry about a sweaty acrylic box as you put it.

Evilqueen79
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:09 am
Location: Glasgow

Re: Managing humidity etc newbie colony

Post: # 63463Post Evilqueen79
Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:41 am

Thanks 👍
So much to think about. Ant kingdoms are so complicated

Hawkeye
Posts: 1561
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Managing humidity etc newbie colony

Post: # 63469Post Hawkeye
Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:13 am

Well that's what makes them interesting to keep :D When you get a chance, introduce yourself and your colony with some pics in the Camponotus Crew thread. There's a bunch of experienced and new ant keepers who would be more than happy to answer any and all of your questions. Most people in there have multiple species, not just Camponotus.

Hawkeye
Posts: 1561
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Managing humidity etc newbie colony

Post: # 63470Post Hawkeye
Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:17 am

Evilqueen79 wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:41 am
Thanks 👍
So much to think about. Ant kingdoms are so complicated
Btw have you chosen a species yet? I would recommend you take a look at the AC store to at least get an idea of what makes a suitable formicarium for that particular species.
Camponotus are my favourite because of their size and they have majors & super majors. But they are a slow growing species.

Evilqueen79
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:09 am
Location: Glasgow

Re: Managing humidity etc newbie colony

Post: # 63498Post Evilqueen79
Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:01 pm

We haven’t chosen a sp. yet. I was thinking meadow ants but having watched one of the Carpenter ant vids that has changed my mind 🤗
Will be taking more time to think carefully about an ant home and will update 👋
Thanks 🙏❤️🙏

Hawkeye
Posts: 1561
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Managing humidity etc newbie colony

Post: # 63499Post Hawkeye
Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:04 pm

Evilqueen79 wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:01 pm
We haven’t chosen a sp. yet. I was thinking meadow ants but having watched one of the Carpenter ant vids that has changed my mind 🤗
Will be taking more time to think carefully about an ant home and will update 👋
Thanks 🙏❤️🙏
exciting! :D :D :D

User avatar
Whitelotus
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue May 29, 2018 5:50 pm
Location: San Joaquin County, California

Re: Managing humidity etc newbie colony

Post: # 63536Post Whitelotus
Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:48 pm

it would be best to look into what species your son is going to catch or will catch based on nuptial flight schedules as others have mentioned. A hybrid nest from the AntsCanada store will list a general humidity level that will be present in the nest once you have it set up. Some Ant genera will require dry conditions, while others will need a lot of humidity for the brood/young to develop nicely. If you are going to go for more of a homemade set up, there are hygrometers that can be bought at pet stores if you want an idea of what the humidity in your set up is like.

There is also a great video by AntsAustralia on building an ant farm in aquariums small and large that can provide some advice for you as well. You don't have to do everything mentioned in the video but it can help when starting out.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S8NGb1Kyu8&list=LLHMtlUsZPT7ZrdIe7HoDJSQ&index=61&t=494s

Welcome to the Ant Keeping community and good luck!

LasiusSapien
Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:37 pm
Location: Bristol

Re: Managing humidity etc newbie colony

Post: # 63546Post LasiusSapien
Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:56 am

Evilqueen79 wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:18 am
Dear collective brain of ant husbandry genius
Please advise
We want to set up a colony of local ants (my son is OBSESSED with the AntsCanada YouTube vids) but there are a million formicarium setups online and I’m not sure how it’s possible to get the right level of humidity in a sweaty acrylic closed unit. Have I got it wrong and the humidity is key? Some sell units with special humidity chambers (without actually alluding to what these chambers are or how they work). We want to get this right from the start so the ants aren’t stressed. We were thinking Lasius flavus, so I know they aren’t the wildly fond of foraging for miles down tubes.
Can anyone give us a little advice?
Much appreciated
hi there, as you in the uk like me i'd take a look at www.wakooshi.com uk based with a nice modular 3d printed nests i have my lasius niger in 1 of there set ups
1x Lasius Niger - early forging stage - 60-100 workers
1x Messor Barbarus - founding stage - <20 workers
1x Camponotus Turkestanus - claustral stage - 1 nanitic + brood
1x Odontoponera Transversa - semi-claustral stage - no eggs

Evilqueen79
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:09 am
Location: Glasgow

Re: Managing humidity etc newbie colony

Post: # 64331Post Evilqueen79
Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:50 am

Thank you all! The wakooshi website is awesome and has loads of good bits. I wish I had looked at that before we ordered the ants. But they are being posted from a local supplier on Monday - we went for yellow meadow, hoping that if they escaped it wouldn’t be eco-disaster lol
Got a cheap acrylic fish tank and will post a photo. I think this will be our out world, so will need to connect this to other ‘nest’ boxes etc. Have concerns about air and ventilation tho - how does that work without escape? :lol:

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