Limestone for formicarium?

Show us your formicariums and ant setup, ask formicarium-related questions, or share your experiences with building an ant home. Here you will also find formicarium requirements for specific ant species.

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Limestone for formicarium?

Post: # 74557Post Willput
Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:53 pm

HI there

I am 12 and setting up my first formicarium. I have access to Oamaru stone, which is:

bryozoan limestone with a uniform granular creamy white consistency and colour. Predominantly (90%) calcium carbonate, trace chemicals within it include alumina (1.5%), iron oxide (0.5%) and silica (0.5%). Its chemistry makes it similar to the Ketton stone oolite of southern England and France's Caen stone, though it is considerably lighter in weight.

The stone is porous making it susceptible to weathering in damp conditions, but sturdy in a moderate to dry climate. It is soft when first quarried, hardening on exposure to air. This, along with its uniform texture, makes it excellent for sculptural and ornamental purposes. (Wikipedia)

Do you think it would be Ok to use? It would be good to carve into chambers.
Thank you

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Re: Limestone for formicarium?

Post: # 74736Post Alaydia
Wed Dec 09, 2020 1:43 pm

Not familiar with that stone, but something to consider. An ant nest needs to be hydrated. While you could probably carve out a lovely nest from that, is it porous enough that it can offer water to ants? In other words, if you poured water on one part of it, would the water sink in and spread to the rest of the nest?
Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditiones habes

Main interest is C. Pennsylvanicus, interested in most native ants to my area.

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Re: Limestone for formicarium?

Post: # 74956Post AtomAnt
Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:29 pm

While I am sure you have probably moved forward with your project, something to consider is the amount of overall "rust"(iron oxide) in that limestone you said you have close access to. While this is an uneducated assumption on my part.. to much of it is inside the stone itself it may cause problems for the brood if water is seeping through it.

Other than that I don't see much of a problem with the limestone factor. Just know when wet for long periods of time it becomes very soft/brittle.

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