Feedback request: mini paludarium design

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LadyManga
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Feedback request: mini paludarium design

Post: # 61394Post LadyManga
Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:37 pm

Hey guys,

I've been inspired by Hawkeye! Based on the small space I have and the empty fishtank I have sitting around I started working on this idea. Could use some feedback on this initial design for a mini paludarium. At the moment it's still very much in the ideas stage, but if anyone can give any pointers, or can forsee any issues and has alternate suggestions, it would be highly appreciated.
It's 5am so I'll do a proper write-up of features that aren't necessarily depicted yet or included in the notes later in a comment.

Thank you <3

Image

Image
2 x Lasius niger queens
> Queen Antoinette - claustral stage - ~15 nanitics + brood
> Queen Antonia - claustral stage - ~10 nanitics + brood
1 x Tetramorium caespitum queen
> Queen Antigone - claustral stage - no eggs

Hawkeye
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Location: Almelo

Re: Feedback request: mini paludarium design

Post: # 61440Post Hawkeye
Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:26 am

LadyManga wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:37 pm
Hey guys,

I've been inspired by Hawkeye! Based on the small space I have and the empty fishtank I have sitting around I started working on this idea. Could use some feedback on this initial design for a mini paludarium.
Hey there! Glad you found my ideas inspiring and I certainly won't mind offering some feedback!
Ok first things first, this paludarium would be for one of your Lasius niger colonies, right?

Couple of questions:
  • Do you know if that species normally has satellite nests?
  • What are the dimensions of the containers inside your fish tank? (looks like 10x10x20cm & 25x20x10cm?)
  • Do you intend to heat the water? (effects the temperature of the soil inside the other containers)
  • Have you checked the preferences of the different fish species for Ph, temperature, the flow speed of the water, etc.?)
  • Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but could you be planning on having too many fish in there? A rule of thumb is 1l of water for every 1 cm of adult fish. So 6 adult danios (up to 6cm in length) would require 6x6= 36l of water.
  • Do you intend to surround the ants with water? It is hard to tell from the initial sketches
  • Have you thought about submerging the larger of the 3 containers and using it as an underwater landbridge to connect the 2 towers? It would require a lid and some diy of course, but that should allow you to fill up your tank with more water

Hawkeye
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Location: Almelo

Re: Feedback request: mini paludarium design

Post: # 61447Post Hawkeye
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:15 am

Image

Something like that, with connecting containers, would increase the volume they have available to dig their nest into if they aren't using satellite nests. (I haven't checked yet) You'd be limiting their outside world to basically 2 small islands, which you could, of course, connect with a piece of (drift-) wood. That should increase the visibility of the ants enormously. However, they might prefer a larger space to roam. In which case you could use the larger container placed on top of one of the towers (sideways) connecting to an erect tower. That should give them a larger surface area, and you could still utilize the driftwood. This would also provide you with more room for some plants, provided you want to use any of course.

Mind you this does, of course, depend on the measurements of the containers for it to work. (I pretty much took a hopefully educated guess looking at your sketch)

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LadyManga
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Location: London, UK

Re: Feedback request: mini paludarium design

Post: # 61448Post LadyManga
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:19 am

Hey Hawkeye,

Thank you for your feedback! Yes, this would be to house one of my Lasius niger colonies.
I'll go through your questions one by one:
Do you know if that species normally has satellite nests?
From the info I've gathered so far, I've seen nothing that states specifically that they do have satellite nests, but that they're very adaptable to their surroundings. I have the two tall nests partially for symmetry, partially to allow for expansion if and when they feel it's necessary, and partially because I wanted to include a bonsai tree that they could use to farm aphids, so one would have that in it.
https://www.antkeepers.com/keeping-ants/care-sheets-species/care-sheet-lasius-niger/
What are the dimensions of the containers inside your fish tank? (looks like 10x10x20cm & 25x20x10cm?)
The tall nests are 21.5x11x9cm and the outworld is 28x16x10cm.
Have you checked the preferences of the different fish species for Ph, temperature, the flow speed of the water, etc.?)
Yes, that's what the notes about Ideal Fish/ invertebrate Types was for in the second image.
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but could you be planning on having too many fish in there? A rule of thumb is 1l of water for every 1 cm of adult fish. So 6 adult danios (up to 6cm in length) would require 6x6= 36l of water.
Oh for sure. I'm aware that some of my options are going to be more or less suitable. The list is just a reference note of ones to narrow down from. I haven't finalised anything yet, don't worry :)
Do you intend to surround the ants with water? It is hard to tell from the initial sketches
Up to the level of the dirt in the farms, yes, I plan to have at least 15L of water in the tank.
Have you thought about submerging the larger of the 3 containers and using it as an underwater landbridge to connect the 2 towers? It would require a lid and some diy of course, but that should allow you to fill up your tank with more water
I wouldn't trust myself to not drown the ants with something like this so I think I'll keep the outworld above the water. But I do like the idea of running the connecting tubes into the water so the ants have more ranging space between the different sections.

I'm adding some more info and detail to the design, which should help clarify things somewhat, and I'll post it in another comment when I'm done. But please feel free to respond to everything I've said so far coz I'm sure there's a bunch more things I haven't thought of.
2 x Lasius niger queens
> Queen Antoinette - claustral stage - ~15 nanitics + brood
> Queen Antonia - claustral stage - ~10 nanitics + brood
1 x Tetramorium caespitum queen
> Queen Antigone - claustral stage - no eggs

Hawkeye
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Location: Almelo

Re: Feedback request: mini paludarium design

Post: # 61452Post Hawkeye
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:36 am

Well, how about this? Have you thought about making the entire fish tank a formicarium filled with soil, plants (like your bonsai), wood, stone etc. And placing that in a bigger tank? 15l of water isn't gonna hold much of anything, to be honest. And if the ants do decide to drown/dump their dead ants or waste in there, you're going to face ammonia spikes, which will kill your fish. An outside tank of 80cm x 40 cm x 21.5cm would give you: 43 liters to play around with. Now if you can DIY an overhead sump from a window sill flower pot, that would not only increase the water volume, but also increase the water quality much more than the little internal filter in your tank could...

LasiusSapien
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Location: Bristol

Re: Feedback request: mini paludarium design

Post: # 61453Post LasiusSapien
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:42 am

sorry i only quick read the tread but am i right in thinking you want 12+ 2" fish in 15 liters of water taking into consideration that fish do displace water as well 2-3 fish would be pushing it

also the less water you have the more you need to keep it clean and keep ammonia level spot on

quick question do you know how to cycle a fish tank?
1x Lasius Niger - early forging stage - 60-100 workers
1x Messor Barbarus - founding stage - <20 workers
1x Camponotus Turkestanus - claustral stage - 1 nanitic + brood
1x Odontoponera Transversa - semi-claustral stage - no eggs

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LadyManga
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Location: London, UK

Re: Feedback request: mini paludarium design

Post: # 61454Post LadyManga
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:48 am

Something like that
Holy shit! How did you throw that design together so quickly! and it's so good! What program are you using?
Well, how about this? Have you thought about making the entire fish tank a formicarium filled with soil, plants (like your bonsai), wood, stone etc. And placing that in a bigger tank? 15l of water isn't gonna hold much of anything, to be honest. And if the ants do decide to drown/dump their dead ants or waste in there, you're going to face ammonia spikes, which will kill your fish. An outside tank of 80cm x 40 cm x 21.5cm would give you: 43 liters to play around with. Now if you can DIY an overhead sump from a window sill flower pot, that would not only increase the water volume, but also increase the water quality much more than the little internal filter in your tank could...
Unfortunately, I don't have a whole bunch of room in my place to play around with so I was trying to keep it contained to just the tank I already have. I might just have to keep the ants and the fish separate and mebbe have them next to each other rather than together? Or mebbe just the outworld in the tank but still on a platform? That would still create a nice cave area, while increasing the volume by a lot.

Also, what's a sump??
2 x Lasius niger queens
> Queen Antoinette - claustral stage - ~15 nanitics + brood
> Queen Antonia - claustral stage - ~10 nanitics + brood
1 x Tetramorium caespitum queen
> Queen Antigone - claustral stage - no eggs

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LadyManga
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:58 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Feedback request: mini paludarium design

Post: # 61455Post LadyManga
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:55 am

LasiusSapien wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:42 am
sorry i only quick read the tread but am i right in thinking you want 12+ 2" fish in 15 liters of water taking into consideration that fish do displace water as well 2-3 fish would be pushing it

also the less water you have the more you need to keep it clean and keep ammonia level spot on

quick question do you know how to cycle a fish tank?
Gods no! The list of fish and invertebrates are options I could have. I'm not planning on putting everything I've looked into in either the tank or the formicarium. It's just research I've put together as to what ideal plants and critters would work together in the conditions I have.

By cycling, I assume you're referring to replacing 1/4 of the water once a week and cleaning the filter in the "dirty" water so you don't kill all the good bacteria? Otherwise, I guess not?
2 x Lasius niger queens
> Queen Antoinette - claustral stage - ~15 nanitics + brood
> Queen Antonia - claustral stage - ~10 nanitics + brood
1 x Tetramorium caespitum queen
> Queen Antigone - claustral stage - no eggs

LasiusSapien
Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:37 pm
Location: Bristol

Re: Feedback request: mini paludarium design

Post: # 61456Post LasiusSapien
Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:00 am

personal if i was you i'd go simple and just have a smaller tank inside of a large tank

silicone the smaller tank in the middle of the big one and go from there ants dont need much room on the other hand fish require a minimum of a liter per inch

also too little space can stunt fish growth which can lead to ther internal organs out growing the body resulting in death sorry to be grim but its the reason most gold fish dont last more than 3 years in a litlle 20l tank poor buggers :(
By cycling, I assume you're referring to replacing 1/4 of the water once a week and cleaning the filter in the "dirty" water so you don't kill all the good bacteria? Otherwise, I guess not?
no thats just a water change i mean the nitrogen cycle dont worry i'll get together some links to some really useful stuff that i used when i started keeping fish many moons ago
1x Lasius Niger - early forging stage - 60-100 workers
1x Messor Barbarus - founding stage - <20 workers
1x Camponotus Turkestanus - claustral stage - 1 nanitic + brood
1x Odontoponera Transversa - semi-claustral stage - no eggs

LasiusSapien
Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:37 pm
Location: Bristol

Re: Feedback request: mini paludarium design

Post: # 61457Post LasiusSapien
Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:05 am

take a look at this for a fish-less tank cycle this guy know's what he's talking about :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKd_cDUsdlk
1x Lasius Niger - early forging stage - 60-100 workers
1x Messor Barbarus - founding stage - <20 workers
1x Camponotus Turkestanus - claustral stage - 1 nanitic + brood
1x Odontoponera Transversa - semi-claustral stage - no eggs

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