Help choosing gear pack please!

Posts about AC Gear Packs and Starter Kits

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CANant
Posts: 378
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:04 am
Location: Paris, Ontario

Re: Help choosing gear pack please!

Post: # 60291Post CANant
Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:28 pm

Maybe I’ll buy a small fridge and keep it on a low setting?
I actually meant higher (warmer) setting. Normal fridge temperature is between 2-8 degrees Celsius. I live in Ontario, Canada so it can get quite cold here, much colder than a refrigerator. I read somewhere that wine cooler (fridges) work best and are more reliable.
Keeper of:
Camponotus Pennsylvanicus

Temnothorax ambiguus/curvispinosus (Acorn ant)

Lasius Interjectus (Larger citronella ant) with host workers: L. Americanus

🐜❤️

CANant
Posts: 378
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:04 am
Location: Paris, Ontario

Re: Help choosing gear pack please!

Post: # 60292Post CANant
Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:38 pm

Hawkeye wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:17 pm

Carpenter Ants. Both queens arrived in test tubes stacked between layers of bubble wrap. The solitary queen has already laid brood in transit! She is very jumpy though, and very protective of her brood 😁 gave her a little drop of honey on a piece of aluminium foil. She bounced back as soon as her antlers touched it. I've put her back in the dark, to acclimate after the arduous journey.

The queen with 3 workers and a bunch of eggs, was very laid back. Her workers gorged on the honey as soon as they found it and went straight to the queen to feed her too. I also gave them a tiny spider, which they found really interesting. One of the workers started chewing down on it, but then decided the honey was far easier to reach. Obviously this small colony is now back in the dark as well, feasting on the nourishment.

The test tube they came in, already had some mold growing on the cotton holding back the water. So I'll give them the night to settle down, but I'll temporarily have to house them in a Tupperware box I think, to replace the cotton bud.
I haven't got any spare tubes.

I did order the large hybrid nest 2.0 for them, which comes with tubes, but it will take some time to get here as I live in the Netherlands. The nest will only be a temporary solution, until I can build the paludarium and the colony is large enough to enter it.
That’s exciting. Congratulations!
I wouldn’t worry too much about food for them at that stage but I’m no expert. Just what I’ve read and experienced. I’m sure they were a bit stressed with the shipping.
Maybe move them into a tubing temporarily until you can clean the test tube? Darken the area you want them to move to and shine a light on their old area to make them move out. Are you able to clean the current tube with a cotton swab without disturbing them?
You’ll have to take pictures and share them when they are settled.
Have you seen the video Mikey did on Camponotus?
Keeper of:
Camponotus Pennsylvanicus

Temnothorax ambiguus/curvispinosus (Acorn ant)

Lasius Interjectus (Larger citronella ant) with host workers: L. Americanus

🐜❤️

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

Re: Help choosing gear pack please!

Post: # 60293Post Hawkeye
Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:41 pm

CANant wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:38 pm
Hawkeye wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:17 pm

Carpenter Ants. Both queens arrived in test tubes stacked between layers of bubble wrap. The solitary queen has already laid brood in transit! She is very jumpy though, and very protective of her brood 😁 gave her a little drop of honey on a piece of aluminium foil. She bounced back as soon as her antlers touched it. I've put her back in the dark, to acclimate after the arduous journey.

The queen with 3 workers and a bunch of eggs, was very laid back. Her workers gorged on the honey as soon as they found it and went straight to the queen to feed her too. I also gave them a tiny spider, which they found really interesting. One of the workers started chewing down on it, but then decided the honey was far easier to reach. Obviously this small colony is now back in the dark as well, feasting on the nourishment.

The test tube they came in, already had some mold growing on the cotton holding back the water. So I'll give them the night to settle down, but I'll temporarily have to house them in a Tupperware box I think, to replace the cotton bud.
I haven't got any spare tubes.

I did order the large hybrid nest 2.0 for them, which comes with tubes, but it will take some time to get here as I live in the Netherlands. The nest will only be a temporary solution, until I can build the paludarium and the colony is large enough to enter it.
That’s exciting. Congratulations!
I wouldn’t worry too much about food for them at that stage but I’m no expert. Just what I’ve read and experienced. I’m sure they were a bit stressed with the shipping.
Maybe move them into a tubing temporarily until you can clean the test tube? Darken the area you want them to move to and shine a light on their old area to make them move out. Are you able to clean the current tube with a cotton swab without disturbing them?
You’ll have to take pictures and share them when they are settled.
Have you seen the video Mikey did on Camponotus?

Just wanted to offer a tiny amount of food, to help settle them down. The workers have actually completely finished the honey and are now digging in to the spider. They keep feeding the queen almost continuously, so they might have in fact been hungry.
I connected the tube, with a piece of waterhose, to an empty gin bottle. I punctured the hose loads of times with a pin, so they should have ample ventilation for just 4 ants.
Inside the rinsed out bottle (which was sterile due to the alcohol) I put some sand an a couple of leaves. And the whole thing is now hidden away in a dark closet. So the ants can decide if they like the bottle better on their own first. If not I'll use the light to chase them out.
I can't clean the tube they're in, as it is the cotton which keeps the water from running out that has the molds, it just needs to be replaced.
Of course I saw Mickeys video, I have been bingewatching them. I have actually posted some pics of my Ants at the post with the subject of feedback.
Oh and I meant antaenna of course, not antlers...

CANant
Posts: 378
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:04 am
Location: Paris, Ontario

Re: Help choosing gear pack please!

Post: # 60301Post CANant
Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:12 am

Haha I binge watched too.
Sounds like it was a good call on your part to give them a bit of food.
Oh ya I wasn’t thinking it would go:
cotton plug- queen/workers/eggs-cotton plug/water.
Sounds like you have it all under control. Love the gin bottle idea :idea:

I’ll have a look for your pictures! :mrgreen:
Keeper of:
Camponotus Pennsylvanicus

Temnothorax ambiguus/curvispinosus (Acorn ant)

Lasius Interjectus (Larger citronella ant) with host workers: L. Americanus

🐜❤️

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

Re: Help choosing gear pack please!

Post: # 60404Post Hawkeye
Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:56 pm

CANant wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:12 am
Haha I binge watched too.
Sounds like it was a good call on your part to give them a bit of food.
Oh ya I wasn’t thinking it would go:
cotton plug- queen/workers/eggs-cotton plug/water.
Sounds like you have it all under control. Love the gin bottle idea :idea:

I’ll have a look for your pictures! :mrgreen:
https://youtu.be/5SRjM9vNY5Y

CANant
Posts: 378
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:04 am
Location: Paris, Ontario

Re: Help choosing gear pack please!

Post: # 60581Post CANant
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:35 am

Hawkeye- your plans are very well researched and thought-out. Haha honestly the only thing I don’t like and it’s a personal preference is you can’t see into the nest but that’s just one part I personally couldn’t live without.
I do know a little about keeping fish so what you are talking about makes sense. You may already be planning to do this: I would suggest like with any aquarium you set it all up and let it run for quite awhile to establish and then you can see if your bio system is working as expected. Start pump with nothing then add just plants and then add fish and keep testing levels throughout and for a period after, all over a few weeks apart. Also run the cooling line and test the temperature of the soil to see if it will be at the temperature you desire for hibernation. I’m worried it may be too low but it will depend on your species. Anyway that’s my 2 cents worth. Can wait to see the progress and final product!
Keeper of:
Camponotus Pennsylvanicus

Temnothorax ambiguus/curvispinosus (Acorn ant)

Lasius Interjectus (Larger citronella ant) with host workers: L. Americanus

🐜❤️

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

Re: Help choosing gear pack please!

Post: # 60586Post Hawkeye
Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:08 pm

CANant wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:35 am
Hawkeye- your plans are very well researched and thought-out. Haha honestly the only thing I don’t like and it’s a personal preference is you can’t see into the nest but that’s just one part I personally couldn’t live without.
I do know a little about keeping fish so what you are talking about makes sense. You may already be planning to do this: I would suggest like with any aquarium you set it all up and let it run for quite awhile to establish and then you can see if your bio system is working as expected. Start pump with nothing then add just plants and then add fish and keep testing levels throughout and for a period after, all over a few weeks apart. Also run the cooling line and test the temperature of the soil to see if it will be at the temperature you desire for hibernation. I’m worried it may be too low but it will depend on your species. Anyway that’s my 2 cents worth. Can wait to see the progress and final product!
Thank you for the compliments! And your feedback is appreciated!

I kind of expect the ants to prefer the warmer outsides of the soil, so I am guessing I will still be able to see them dig and take care of their offspring, as they'll be right up to the plexiglass wall. They'll have a nest with an aquarium view!

I was planning on having the aquarium run and settle before even introducing any kind of species, but thank you for the tip. I will hower not just let in run like you suggested, as that won't cause the bacterial colonies to grow.

Instead I will install a layer of substrate and gravel, plant my water plants, fill it up and add a mixture of beneficial bacteria and then turn on the pump. The bacteria should then be able to settle down in suitable places. After a couple of days, I will have to introduce some ammonia to the system so the bacteria will have a source of 'food' and they can start multiplying. Obviously, this is where the different steps in the cycle can begin. I'll simply add some food pellets or flakes, or some cooked vegetables and leave them to decay which should slowly but steadily release the required ammonia into the water and get things started. The second stage bacteria won't actually start multiplying until they have a source of nitrite. The anoxic bacteria will need the nitrate, as well as a source of Carbon, which in my case will simply be sugar. After that I will just let it run for about 3-4 weeks and check water levels now and then.

I do indeed plan to check if my spiral idea works as I intended, because if not, I would have to come up with another sollution. I've read that the species prefers to hibernate at temperatures between 5-10 degrees. So I plan to have the cold water circulating at 6 degrees. That way it can never get any colder than 6 degrees, but the temperature difference with the soil should still be enough to exchange heat... The closer the ants get to the spiral the colder it will be, so the ants should be able to find their prefered spot temperaturewise.

Oh and while the aquarium is running, I will simultaneously add the springtails, isopods and earthworms to the soil, as well as the plants, driftwood, rocks etc. That way the terrarium should be nicely settled before the ants even know it excists.

Should you have any questions, or should you think of any other feedback, no matter how insignificant, please contact me! I am eager to improve where I can.

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

Re: Help choosing gear pack please!

Post: # 60593Post Hawkeye
Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:24 pm

CANant wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:35 am
Hawkeye- your plans are very well researched and thought-out. Haha honestly the only thing I don’t like and it’s a personal preference is you can’t see into the nest but that’s just one part I personally couldn’t live without.
I do know a little about keeping fish so what you are talking about makes sense. You may already be planning to do this: I would suggest like with any aquarium you set it all up and let it run for quite awhile to establish and then you can see if your bio system is working as expected. Start pump with nothing then add just plants and then add fish and keep testing levels throughout and for a period after, all over a few weeks apart. Also run the cooling line and test the temperature of the soil to see if it will be at the temperature you desire for hibernation. I’m worried it may be too low but it will depend on your species. Anyway that’s my 2 cents worth. Can wait to see the progress and final product!
Ooh and since you've kept fish, what do you think of my combination? Would you add others? Replace some? Or take some out?

CANant
Posts: 378
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:04 am
Location: Paris, Ontario

Re: Help choosing gear pack please!

Post: # 60629Post CANant
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:04 pm

Hawkeye- you might be interested in the “Big Al’s Mega Build series” YouTube videos. It’s a huge aquarium tank set up. Some of it might be irrelevant but it might give you some useful info regarding your aquarium part set up. One thing I meant to mention make sure the whole thing is perfectly level and wherever you are placing it can hold the weight. There are other big Al video I found very helpful. Especially the low tech or high tech planted tank series. How many fish depends greatly on the filter and how many gallons. Having too many will negatively effect your water conditions if your pump and filter can’t handle it. Sometimes less is more. You also need to be careful about mixing species because they will terrorize or could kill each other. Beta fish are bad for that and don’t typically mix well with others. I tried one with snails and catfish and it wouldn’t leave them alone. Tetras can be aggressive as well. Great idea about adding the springtails etc to the soil well in advance.
Love the “nest with an aquarium view” hehe
Keeper of:
Camponotus Pennsylvanicus

Temnothorax ambiguus/curvispinosus (Acorn ant)

Lasius Interjectus (Larger citronella ant) with host workers: L. Americanus

🐜❤️

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

Re: Help choosing gear pack please!

Post: # 60634Post Hawkeye
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:04 pm

CANant wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:04 pm
Hawkeye- you might be interested in the “Big Al’s Mega Build series” YouTube videos. It’s a huge aquarium tank set up. Some of it might be irrelevant but it might give you some useful info regarding your aquarium part set up. One thing I meant to mention make sure the whole thing is perfectly level and wherever you are placing it can hold the weight. There are other big Al video I found very helpful. Especially the low tech or high tech planted tank series. How many fish depends greatly on the filter and how many gallons. Having too many will negatively effect your water conditions if your pump and filter can’t handle it. Sometimes less is more. You also need to be careful about mixing species because they will terrorize or could kill each other. Beta fish are bad for that and don’t typically mix well with others. I tried one with snails and catfish and it wouldn’t leave them alone. Tetras can be aggressive as well. Great idea about adding the springtails etc to the soil well in advance.
Love the “nest with an aquarium view” hehe
Yeah I planned to have a couple of beta fish in there, but I was quickly warned that that would be unwise. On another forum they told me that the saigon algae eater might be difficult to keep as it is a shy species, and apparently the gouramis can be very shy too.

My aquarium + sumps will hold about 430 liters alltogether, with a pump that's able to pump 2000 l/h around in optimal conditions. Seeing as I will have a lot of natural filtration with the shrimps and muscles, I think the strain on the pump won't be that high actually.

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