New Keeper, Ant Vivarium Setup Questions

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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Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:21 pm
Location: Chicago/ Illinois

New Keeper, Ant Vivarium Setup Questions

Post: # 74623Post CapBackfire
Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:29 pm

Good evening, Ant Lovers!

New to the boards but old fan of the YT Channel.

So I just recently got my first two ant queens-one Camponatus Novaberensis (Sp?) and one Camponatus and... I can't remember the second part of her species name... She's very red.

Anyway, I'm building a terrarium for the Novas and had some questions on materials I can use. What I plan to do is to use a 29 gallon aquarium which should house them for a good long time. The back and two short sides of this tank will have wood against the glass, with tunnels and chambers pre-drilled into the wood. Entrances and whatnot will also be added. I plan to plug a few key tunnels to inhibit them having too much room, initially, in the tunnels and can dig out the sawdust plugs to expand themselves as they decide. This is going to be a collaborative art project and the tunnels will reflect that. I plan to use a woodburning tool to put a map of human civilization in the chambers-cave paintings, progressing languages all the way up to binary and probably Interlac (Star Wars language).

SO my question is... Would you seal this wood with some kind of safe stain or would you simply use Flex Seal, which is basically inert when it sets? Also, I plan to post pics and videos as this progresses... The outworld will consist of moss fields and gravel, with a drainage barrier and some moisture below. Springtails and isopods (I am currently raising a species that should be symbiotic with these guys) as well.

So... Flex Seal or some kind of safe wood stain?

Thanks in advance,


Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:23 pm
Location: PA

Re: New Keeper, Ant Vivarium Setup Questions

Post: # 74734Post Alaydia
Wed Dec 09, 2020 1:35 pm

I would hesitate in using any sort of stain, to be honest. C. Novae are probably the most common type of ant in my area, and they nest exclusively in untreated wood. If that's just because it's easier for them to dig out or if the stain is poisonous to them, I don't know, but they don't even touch the rotting wood in the porch I have to replace. Your set-up sounds awesome, but I wouldn't recommend anything treated in any way.
Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditiones habes

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

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