Low Cost Formicarium Evaluation Required (Camponotus )

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.

Moderator: ooper01

ZaGaGa
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:22 pm
Location: Portugal

Low Cost Formicarium Evaluation Required (Camponotus )

Post: # 42175Post ZaGaGa
Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:34 pm

OK I've made this low budged-compact-practical-transportable-formicarium:

Image

Is made from:
  • plastic bottle
  • cardboard disc + card board stripes
  • "bugalhos"
  • bottle caps
  • random tree leafs
baby powder+ alcohol barrier

"bugalhos" is that seed like bulb stuff you see outside the bottle (we find in oak trees - if you know the name in English plz tell me), I've dig out the interior of another and its was easily accepted as their nest.

The "ground floor" is the nest plus some cardboard stripes and some leafs
The second floor is the water/feeding area
The top conical plastic bottle part is removable but hermetical closes
Still I've a baby powder+ alcohol barrier for extra protection
The bottle cap is punctured (very small x shaped holes)

This is working very well for 3/4 weeks, ants seems healthy. Is this going to work?

I have a colony of 7-10 Camponotus (whose queen existence is still a mystery, i'm going to discuss it in another topic)
(https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=6443&p=38674#p38674)
Mapping ants (under development):
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1IipWE6XUijNf3inwhSfFxiMk6sEooNr8&usp=sharing

MorbidBugg
Posts: 285
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:11 pm
Location: Orangeville

Re: Low Cost Formicarium Evaluation Required (Camponotus )

Post: # 45531Post MorbidBugg
Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:09 pm

Neat.
Lemme go through what I like and dislike. As it would be unfair to you if I only did one. I'll start with dislikes as the likes will be more pleasant and always is nice to have!


Dislikes: it's very very prone to molding especially if moved much at all and any spilling of water makes its way to the cardboard. Estetically (how pretty it is) very basic(but a little land scaping will fix that right up). perhaps some tiny miniature fake plants may spruce up their out world. while the size is appropriate I find that if it 'stands' it may fall either by bumping the table or catching it on your clothes it tends to be less stable but it's size may make up for that.

Likes:
simple everyday materials plastics are 'food grade' as they come from pre used food containers. Again nice and small for a small colony. Plastic bottles have great transparency so viewing without blurriness is always a plus. Upgradable additional tunes could be added to extend into other out world scenarios

Overall. As a temporary and or emergency set up looks pretty good. But I would monitor the cardboard as it would be the weakest link to the setup. Good job!
Ants are life's most successful invaders. Understand and respect that power.

cheetawolf
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 11:21 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Low Cost Formicarium Evaluation Required (Camponotus )

Post: # 45532Post cheetawolf
Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:10 pm

i feel like its too small, especially for a camponatous colony, wont last long
yay for ants!

keeping
15x lasius niger/americanus

founding
1x tetramorium immigrans

searching for
c. pennsylvanicus

GAN farmer in richmond BC

ZaGaGa
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:22 pm
Location: Portugal

Re: Low Cost Formicarium Evaluation Required (Camponotus )

Post: # 45647Post ZaGaGa
Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:17 pm

Thank you for sharing your opinion with me.

I'm new in this but i have no illusion, keeping any kind of of animal is a responsibility, has some cost and takes time.

i found this colony by chance and i've kind of transformed it in an experience, if i find i cant keep it i'm going to find other ant keeper or set them free.

I'm in the middle of a moving home process and i cant have an ant colony inside the my apartment. I have to leave them in the garage and only bring them inside for maintenance and observation.

This means i needed something easily transportable and escape proof.

also can't invest money in this, decent stuff are expensive and i might simply find i cant have them. (and it will be easy to explain my family and friends LOL)

when i made my research i was surprised, the're several "Home made" solutions but i found them not practical.

Some other positive aspects i find:
really zero cost, all material are reused (and all plastics will be recycled in the end)
it was very fast to build, it took me more time posting the first post with the photo and all
no special tool required, or glue or wtv stuff i found people using.
I'm comfortable its escape proof since it has baby power barrier plus the seal system makes some hermetical force despite the breathing holes on the top
Its easy to move the colony from one bottle to another (this is like version 2)
Ants are still alive! and new ants just born.
After 3 weeks there were no mold...but...

...Not so positive aspects or actually things i'm thinking how to improve.
- unstable, I'm thinking about adding a small clean sand floor for extra stabilization.
- i need a safe water solution, probably a tube and something else, the bottle cap will spill some day as you said.
- i need a new flooring solution, the cardboard disk (fixed with an inner ring of plastic bottle material, not easy to see) needs to be replaced with something more resistant.
Mapping ants (under development):
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1IipWE6XUijNf3inwhSfFxiMk6sEooNr8&usp=sharing

MorbidBugg
Posts: 285
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:11 pm
Location: Orangeville

Re: Low Cost Formicarium Evaluation Required (Camponotus )

Post: # 45652Post MorbidBugg
Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:57 pm

Okay my first suggestion if money is tight perhaps a medium flat rock maybe 8 to 12 inches in diameter and glue the bottom of the bottle to the rock it will act like a stand (if you have access to tools perhaps a heavy piece of dense wood and carve out a hole for the bottle to sit in. For the water this is going to be your biggest challenge. I would suggest a tiny whole in the 'nest area' try and find some plastic tubes with a screw on cap. Cut a hole for the cap and make a hole in the cap and just screw on your water source this will allow for easy no spill switching.
Ants are life's most successful invaders. Understand and respect that power.

MorbidBugg
Posts: 285
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:11 pm
Location: Orangeville

Re: Low Cost Formicarium Evaluation Required (Camponotus )

Post: # 45654Post MorbidBugg
Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:00 pm

A few suggestions for 'plastic tubes' fortunately in canada they sell 4 sealable tubes for a buck which makes it exceptionally cheap to do diy projects but this may not be the case. Perhaps finding an old bubble wand tube wash sterilize wash and wash again would work in a pinch. I like the cap idea on the sealable tubes because it can be cut and modified just like the bottle cap itself.
Ants are life's most successful invaders. Understand and respect that power.

ZaGaGa
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:22 pm
Location: Portugal

Re: Low Cost Formicarium Evaluation Required (Camponotus )

Post: # 45709Post ZaGaGa
Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:15 pm

Thanks a lot for the suggestions i'm probably going to follow.

Yes that kind of tubes and test tubes is that kind off things that we cant find when we need it, i've probably visited a dozen of stores and asked several people LOL. But i have small shower gell bottles from hotels been tested outside the colony that probably will do the job.

That idea about bubble wand is nice, coincidentally i saw (or paid attention) to one for the 1st time this week in a "Chinese's store" but they were huge. Our "old" bubble flasks are opaque and large.

again thanks a lot.
Mapping ants (under development):
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1IipWE6XUijNf3inwhSfFxiMk6sEooNr8&usp=sharing

MorbidBugg
Posts: 285
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:11 pm
Location: Orangeville

Re: Low Cost Formicarium Evaluation Required (Camponotus )

Post: # 45725Post MorbidBugg
Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:19 pm

Hey no worries any way to help out in recycling reducing and reusing in a safe and mature manner is always worth helping out in. I had a crazy thought perhaps a reeeealy wide straw with one end sealed shut and a sponge or cotton to block off water ot maybe s a bendy straw might be able to fill it like a hamster water bottle. Just need to play with gravity vs weight ratios.
Ants are life's most successful invaders. Understand and respect that power.

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

Re: Low Cost Formicarium Evaluation Required (Camponotus )

Post: # 45728Post TheRealAntMan
Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:52 pm

ZaGaGa wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:34 pm
OK I've made this low budged-compact-practical-transportable-formicarium:

Image

Is made from:
  • plastic bottle
  • cardboard disc + card board stripes
  • "bugalhos"
  • bottle caps
  • random tree leafs
baby powder+ alcohol barrier

"bugalhos" is that seed like bulb stuff you see outside the bottle (we find in oak trees - if you know the name in English plz tell me), I've dig out the interior of another and its was easily accepted as their nest.

The "ground floor" is the nest plus some cardboard stripes and some leafs
The second floor is the water/feeding area
The top conical plastic bottle part is removable but hermetical closes
Still I've a baby powder+ alcohol barrier for extra protection
The bottle cap is punctured (very small x shaped holes)

This is working very well for 3/4 weeks, ants seems healthy. Is this going to work?

I have a colony of 7-10 Camponotus (whose queen existence is still a mystery, i'm going to discuss it in another topic)
(https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=6443&p=38674#p38674)
Not sure if this is the best setup for Camponotus. It looks like it would retain a lot of moisture and Camponotus like their nests 20-45% humidified. Maybe if the setup could allow air to escape easier then it could be great.
An ants' strength can be rivaled by few animals compared to relative body size.

User avatar
Batspiderfish
Posts: 3345
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:47 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Low Cost Formicarium Evaluation Required (Camponotus )

Post: # 45737Post Batspiderfish
Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:46 pm

Test tubes aren't very expensive and can be found online. I don't think anybody carries them in shops. I do not think this setup will work for keeping ants, although it is creative. In particular, I think this nest will be hard to maintain and that condensation/spills will stop the talcum barrier from working.

I think you should keep developing this idea, but it's better not to "reinvent the wheel" before gaining experience with the basics. Test tubes in a small terrarium is enough to keep ants for a few years or more.
If you enjoy my expertise and identifications, please do not put wild populations at risk of disease by releasing pet colonies. We are responsible to give our pets the best care we can manage for the rest of their lives.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest