Substitute for Ytong in the US?

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AngeredFlame850
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Substitute for Ytong in the US?

Post: # 34234Post AngeredFlame850
Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:51 pm

Can't find Ytong (AAC) anywhere so I am trying to find a good substitute for it to build a formicarium. :) Any suggestions? Please quote ur responses! Thanks!
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MadVampy
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Re: Substitute for Ytong in the US?

Post: # 34236Post MadVampy
Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:10 pm

AngeredFlame850 wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:51 pm
Can't find Ytong (AAC) anywhere so I am trying to find a good substitute for it to build a formicarium. :) Any suggestions? Please quote ur responses! Thanks!
I have found that standard grout can be used. You can cast it into the blocks and use a grinder or rotary grinding tool (like a Dremel) to cut passages and rooms into. Also to make it easier you can build your square form box and then use modeling clay to make the passages and rooms on the bottom and then mix and pour the grout over it and let it dry and then simply clean the clay out to revile the passages and rooms.

You can also do a search for Hebel or AAC suppliers in the USA and you will find some. Big thing is that most of them are companies that form, pour, and supply large building blocks for construction of buildings and I'm not sure if they sell small pieces but it doesn't hurt to shoot them an email explaining what your doing and the size you need, heck they may have some cast waste pieces they would be willing to sell you.
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AngeredFlame850
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Re: Substitute for Ytong in the US?

Post: # 34239Post AngeredFlame850
Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:21 pm

MadVampy wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:10 pm
AngeredFlame850 wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:51 pm
Can't find Ytong (AAC) anywhere so I am trying to find a good substitute for it to build a formicarium. :) Any suggestions? Please quote ur responses! Thanks!
I have found that standard grout can be used. You can cast it into the blocks and use a grinder or rotary grinding tool (like a Dremel) to cut passages and rooms into. Also to make it easier you can build your square form box and then use modeling clay to make the passages and rooms on the bottom and then mix and pour the grout over it and let it dry and then simply clean the clay out to revile the passages and rooms.

You can also do a search for Hebel or AAC suppliers in the USA and you will find some. Big thing is that most of them are companies that form, pour, and supply large building blocks for construction of buildings and I'm not sure if they sell small pieces but it doesn't hurt to shoot them an email explaining what your doing and the size you need, heck they may have some cast waste pieces they would be willing to sell you.
Thx so much! I've heard that firebrick can be used too. Is that true?
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Re: Substitute for Ytong in the US?

Post: # 34242Post MadVampy
Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:24 pm

The problem with firebrick is that it isn't very absorbent and that's one of it's traits that make it good for use in fireplaces, ovens, and BBQ's. You want the material to be semi absorbent that way it holds moisture in the nest for the ants and that allows the nest to stay moist longer.
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Re: Substitute for Ytong in the US?

Post: # 34243Post AngeredFlame850
Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:27 pm

MadVampy wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:24 pm
The problem with firebrick is that it isn't very absorbent and that's one of it's traits that make it good for use in fireplaces, ovens, and BBQ's. You want the material to be semi absorbent that way it holds moisture in the nest for the ants and that allows the nest to stay moist longer.
Ok thx :D
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Re: Substitute for Ytong in the US?

Post: # 34245Post MadVampy
Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:39 pm

Here is a YT video on how to do what I was talking about with grout. Also even though you'll see people talking about and or doing it, avoid using Plaster! Plaster with moisture breaks down faster and it molds quicker, you for sure wouldn't want to use a plaster with mold inhibitors in it (same goes for the grout), thats just another chemical that might harm your ants.

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YSTheAnt
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Re: Substitute for Ytong in the US?

Post: # 34247Post YSTheAnt
Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:04 pm

Firebrick is actually quite absorbent, much more than grout. I have used it multiple times.
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Re: Substitute for Ytong in the US?

Post: # 34248Post MadVampy
Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:27 pm

YSTheAnt wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:04 pm
Firebrick is actually quite absorbent, much more than grout. I have used it multiple times.
I didn't say it wasn't absorbent at all, it all depends on how they manufacturer the brick. Also Firebrick on the average isn't cheap (the bigger the firebrick the most costly it can be depending on the supplier). With grout you can mix in perlite to add absorbency to it. I'm not saying firebrick is out of the question as far as use for a nest, I have just looked at the pro's and con's, the availability of it and the cost for it (you can get a pack of 6 from Home Depot for $31 and they measure 4-1/2 in. x 9 in. x 1-1/4 in, you'll have to stack them and make sure you either create a passage at the joints or make sure they are sealed between them). I found grout works better for when I'm building a nest and the few I have made had no issues at all.

Here is a Wiki explaining the Pro's and Con's of many types of building materials for a nest, give it a read and decide what best works for you. https://www.antkeeping.wiki/Pros_and_Cons_of_Formicarium_Building_Materials

As I always say "Too each their own" on ways of doing stuff.
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AngeredFlame850
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Re: Substitute for Ytong in the US?

Post: # 34257Post AngeredFlame850
Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:18 pm

MadVampy wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:39 pm
Here is a YT video on how to do what I was talking about with grout. Also even though you'll see people talking about and or doing it, avoid using Plaster! Plaster with moisture breaks down faster and it molds quicker, you for sure wouldn't want to use a plaster with mold inhibitors in it (same goes for the grout), thats just another chemical that might harm your ants.

thx
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YSTheAnt
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Re: Substitute for Ytong in the US?

Post: # 34285Post YSTheAnt
Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:32 pm

You need to get k23 refractory brick, not all firebrick will work. Then, it is easier than grout. Check pottery or kiln stores. Otherwise, if it's not available, grout is the way to go. K23 is very similar to ytong. Five bucks for a six by four by two (approximately) block, not at all that expensive.
Check out my blog: bayareaants.blogspot.com
Keeper of:
Camponotus Modoc(6 workers)
Pheidole Spp (2 queens, about 10 workers)
Possibly parasitic Formica (further ID required)
Novomessor Cockerelli (10+ workers)

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