Ant Setup Idea/Need Help

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DarkRaven
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:46 pm
Location: Florida

Ant Setup Idea/Need Help

Post: # 68979Post DarkRaven
Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:01 pm

So looking to setup a wall mounted formicarium with sand to allow the ants to dig and make their own nest. something like this:

Image

And then have it lead to a outworld via clear tubing. Like this but larger:

Image

I really would like to see them dig and progress the size of their nest over time. If this is not recommend or a bad idea please let me know!

I have a solenopsis invicta (fire ants) queen in a test tube that have started to lay eggs.

My issues I have:

Controlling Humidity: I should be able just to add water from the top to one side and allow it to seep into the sand and when it drys add to the other side. repeat as necessary.

Ventilation: how to properly vent.... would just having the top open with a fine wire mesh/screen to allow venting be sufficient....or some more elaborate system be needed...

Should leave space at top or fill it in and allow them just to carry the sand to the outworld and then just remove excess sand as needed.

Construction: Plexiglas/acrylic vs glass Leaning more towards glass but would love your guys opinion for or against.

Longevity: Over time will the nest just get nastier and nastier due to the fact once in place will have no access to clean it out or move them to other nest easily making this an over all bad idea..... will the sand start to grow mold or other unforeseeable things happen with this over time.

So any advice or ideas or just not a good idea / should work good luck.... would be greatly appreciated!!

TL;DR
Is this setup feasible? if not why?

Again thank you for any info/help at all!!!!

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CabboAntsGuy
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Location: Wisconsin, U.S.

Re: Ant Setup Idea/Need Help

Post: # 68983Post CabboAntsGuy
Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:42 pm

I think it's over all harder on the ants seeing as they are always exposed to light. But as far as vertical nest go i think most of those ideas for venting water and other things are pretty well, but longevity is something that is going to happen, no real way around it except through adding things like mites and spring tales. So over all, you can do it if you want to see more of them, but there are other solutions that are easier on the ants.
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DarkRaven
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Location: Florida

Re: Ant Setup Idea/Need Help

Post: # 68985Post DarkRaven
Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:54 pm

Ok, I probably add something to cover it to make it dark but removable to allow viewing!! Thanks CabboAntsGuy!

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CabboAntsGuy
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Re: Ant Setup Idea/Need Help

Post: # 68989Post CabboAntsGuy
Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:30 pm

If you found some kind of red see through tape you could get the best of both worlds. You might want some other opinions than just mine, I think other people would know more than me.
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Check out my Journal https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=17764
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DarkRaven
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Location: Florida

Re: Ant Setup Idea/Need Help

Post: # 68992Post DarkRaven
Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:47 pm

Ok thanks for the help CabboAntsGuy!!!

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drshan
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Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Ant Setup Idea/Need Help

Post: # 68994Post drshan
Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:01 pm

Dream set up right here. My though was to have a YTONG (AAC) nest in an acrylic enclosure mounted to the wall with a glass window and a red tint sheet over it to keep them comfy. The foraging area was my undoing.. I wanted that mounted as well to clear desk space, but it wouldn't be viable reaching over the monitors to get to it. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO my though was to have a long skinny tub or tank on the desk under the monitors and connected with tubes.

Hydration : test tubes in the side of the nest with a spenge/cotton defuser so I can swap them out without the ants making a run for it.
Cleanup : The Ytong wouldn't require much cleaning as there wouldn't be any unnecessary sand.

HOWEVER, after seeing this UN%20of%20ants I decided I would like sand so they can do it them selves. From the art project you can see that nests are full of sand and the ants move the sand around as they please. I would probably not hydrate a sand based nest.. In my experience sand is prone to growing mould when its wet. Maybe best suited for a species that does not require much moisture.
Good luck! :)
2 x Rhytidoponera metallica 5 - 9 workers.
1 x Iridomyrmex bicknelli 40+ workers
1 x Camponotus Sp 8 workers
Founding : 12+

4 x Selenotypus Sp
2 x Rose Hair Plumpies
1 x PHLOGIUS SP.
1 x Desert Scorpion
23 x Rainforest Scorpion

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DarkRaven
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:46 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Ant Setup Idea/Need Help

Post: # 68996Post DarkRaven
Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:50 pm

Thanks drshan! That flag ant farm setups looks pretty cool and I like the modular part of it! I don't know what solenopsis invicta moisture requirements are so I was going to try a gradient and I am concerned about mold. Thought if I alternate sides allowing the other side to completely dry out I should be able to avoid mold.... theoretically!

I also thought if i kept them in the dark and the nest did get mold in it. I could setup up another and hopefully with bright lights that it would force them to move but with them having to dig a completely new nest would make it really hard to effectively move them.

Also that Ytong setup was my first idea but I'm not sure if aerated concrete is carried at home depot or lowes in my area. When I search it all that comes up is cinder blocks.... I'm going to go there tomorrow but its a pain because of the Corona restriction in place. Again thanks for your input!!

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drshan
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Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Ant Setup Idea/Need Help

Post: # 69009Post drshan
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:58 pm

Someone with alot more experience than I mentioned to me that the mould might not bother most ants too much! And in the wild they would deal with it themselves. Which makes sense when you think about it.
The other thing is, the sand dosent necessarily need to be wet / moist. I was looking at the hybrid nest set ups and the water under the nest, hydrating through evaporation! Which Is always an option. Having a small tray under the sand separated by a mesh and clay ball layer. Some thing like a false bottom set up that the ants can still get moisture from. That way they will build down to the moisture if needed and away from it as they please.. 🤔
2 x Rhytidoponera metallica 5 - 9 workers.
1 x Iridomyrmex bicknelli 40+ workers
1 x Camponotus Sp 8 workers
Founding : 12+

4 x Selenotypus Sp
2 x Rose Hair Plumpies
1 x PHLOGIUS SP.
1 x Desert Scorpion
23 x Rainforest Scorpion

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