Hello to all the new members.

Meet and Greet for New Members

Moderator: ooper01

Dingleboycan
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:09 am
Location: Kerry

Re: Hello to all the new members.

Post: # 57102Post Dingleboycan
Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:15 am

Hi I am late to do this I have been on this site for 1 week I own a lasius niger colony and a carpenter ant which imported but shouldn't have because they are not native here. It's great to not be alone

Ant love forever
I can’t seem to find a site that lets me see the native and invasive ant species plz help

Hawkeye
Posts: 881
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Hello to all the new members.

Post: # 59789Post Hawkeye
Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:33 pm

Why hi there! And thank you very much!

I am completely new to keeping ants, but I am eager to start. I have designed a paladerium (?) (a terrarium inside an aquarium) with a separate refugem, inspired by all the youtube videos I saw posted by AntsCanada... Now I am Dutch and I haven't got all the lingo down yet so bare with me...

I live in the Netherlands and would like my setup to house a colony of Camponotus Vagus. A species of carpenter ants which are more common in the rest of Europe (especially in the southern part) but they do exist in our country as well. As I understand it, they prefer wooded areas, like to burrow into (rotting) wood to make their nests, or instead settle under stones. Their big size makes them easy to spot and admire and should increase the overall sense of satisfaction just looking at them.

Now since I am new to all this, I could really do with some feedback. I was wondering though if there is some way I can upload a copy of my design for you guys to look at. I have attached picture, but that doesn't really do it justice.

I have tried to maximize the space for the ants, 68cm wide, 44 cm deep, and 40cm of earth/sand/leaves/etc to dig into, which gives them roughly 103l / 27 gallons of digging space. Seeing as they like wood, I can supply them with some extra height and traversable surface by adding pieces of driftwood for them to explore, which hopefully will keep the surface interesting to them...

However, as the ants will grow up to 1,5cm in length, I am wondering if this is big enough for them. The width of the enclosure should be about 45 times their body size. I assume these ants normally travel considerable distances across the forest to gather food, which probably means that eventually, they will outgrow the tank. I reccon since this type of antcolony should take quite a while to gain large numbers I can at least enjoy them for about 3-4 years, but you guys probably know better than me.

As to the aquarium part of the tank, I'd like to fill the 318l / 84 gallons with Asian species of fish, shrimp and snails, which should work in tandem to keep the waters clear and take care of any straying ants, or disposed leftovers/bodies. I know this would be mixing a European biotope with an Asian one, but somehow I always ended up with a selection of Asian creatures which complement eachother e.g. eating algae, eating musquito larvae (and hopefully ants too), bottomfeeders, swimming at differents heights, not being aggressive to other species etc. Besides they are more interesting to look at as well...

The refugem will have a quadruple function, besides increasing the water volume with another 106l / 27 gallons of course.
- First I plan to fill half of it with a descent amount of porous rock, providing a nesting place for beneficial bacteria, mosses etc.
- Second I want to add fresh water muscles to it, which will be a natural filter for the water.
- Third, I'd like to use it as a reproduction tank for shrimp and water fleas, which should then provide me with a natural source of sustenance for my omnivorous fish.
- And finally it allows me to install a heater out of sight, to keep the water temperature steady

Wow that post turned out a lot longer than I expected. Have fun all you antkeepers and again, any feedback is appreciated!

Frankyrod2007
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:59 pm
Location: El Paso TX

Re: Hello to all the new members.

Post: # 59869Post Frankyrod2007
Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:21 pm

Hello me and my 10yr old son are new to the ant keeping world hes is a big fan of AntsCanada and Ants Australia we live in El Paso TX where it seams there no ants lol we have been looking for our a couple weeks now with no luck

Hawkeye
Posts: 881
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Hello to all the new members.

Post: # 59912Post Hawkeye
Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:40 pm

Hi there! How cool that your son is already into ants at his age! Not sure what to tell you on finding ants in Texas as I live in the Netherlands. Maybe go for a walk in a Forrest and keep an eye on the ground? Anyway you could always see if there are any suppliers near you?

XenorangersQueen
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:21 pm
Location: Minnesota

Brand new to ants!

Post: # 60201Post XenorangersQueen
Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:32 pm

So, i have been binge watching on youtube and want to start a colony, but i have 4 small kids, so i figured i would wait. Then this afternoon i found a huge queen carpenter ant strolling across my sidewalk. No wings. I am in central Minnesota btw. So i decided, what the heck and have her in a small plastic container with a damp cotton ball hidden in a back cupboard. Do i need to worry about AC temps? Should i hide her somewhere not airconditioned? Any tips?

Hawkeye
Posts: 881
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Hello to all the new members.

Post: # 60202Post Hawkeye
Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:32 pm

Looks like it was meant to be? :D Ants generally do better at higher temperatures, so it probably depends on the settings of your ac. If you have an unconditioned shed or something like that, I'd think that would be preferable.

By the damp cotton, do you mean she has acces to a good water source? Or is it literally just a damp ball of cotton?

The queen should be fully claustral, so maybe the best course of action is to just leave her be for about 2 weeks, and resist the temptation to check on her. (If she has a source of water that is)

You can always move her to a more suitable location once she has produced her first brood, but even then I'd probably wait until that brood has developed into ants (could take up to 10 weeks) that would prevent her from eating the brood out of stress...

If she has a couple of ants, that would probably be a better time to move her and her offspring. And it is at that time that you can start offering food.

My colony of carpenter ants will arrive tomorrow or the day after. It would be cool to exchange notes.

XenorangersQueen
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:21 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Hello to all the new members.

Post: # 60205Post XenorangersQueen
Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:10 pm

Hawkeye wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:32 pm

By the damp cotton, do you mean she has acces to a good water source? Or is it literally just a damp ball of cotton?
Is a wet cotton ball not enough? As long as i make sure it stays wet?

Also, house is set at 74.

Hawkeye
Posts: 881
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Hello to all the new members.

Post: # 60208Post Hawkeye
Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:57 pm

I am from the Netherlands, so Fahrenheit doesn't really mean anything to me sorry. I assume it means room temperature and therefore is roughly 20-21 degrees Celsius ? I think Camponotus fare best between 20 -25 degrees Celsius, but that might depend on the exact species. Sorry I can't be more specific.

Ideally you want a cotton ball that keeps saturated with clean water (hence the test tube setup including water)

If you just use a moist ball of cotton, you will need to check on it, remove an rehydrate it etc. And while doing so, you disturb the queen... which at the early stages is inadviceable.

Seeing as the queen is biologically set up to survive on her own, in a chamber all by herself, until the first workers hatch to nourish her, you should be fine. You should have ample time to come up with a more permanent sollution or buy/order test tubes.

Hawkeye
Posts: 881
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Hello to all the new members.

Post: # 60209Post Hawkeye
Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:02 pm

Btw are you sure it is in fact a queen? Not sure how quickly new queens shed their wings after nuptual flights, but I figured most queens won't do that until they found themselves a suitable place to hatch eggs...

XenorangersQueen
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:21 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Hello to all the new members.

Post: # 60222Post XenorangersQueen
Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:44 am

Hawkeye wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:02 pm
Btw are you sure it is in fact a queen? Not sure how quickly new queens shed their wings after nuptual flights, but I figured most queens won't do that until they found themselves a suitable place to hatch eggs...
Pretty sure it's a queen. First, she is huge, roughly double the size of others. Second, she has very obvious scars on her middle (thorax?) Where her wings once were.

I am ordering a test tube set up and some other things. I am also looking for other queens.

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