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List of colorants/pigments for coloring the antnests.

colorant dye

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#1 Offline Nexus - Posted February 16 2015 - 11:17 AM

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Hi everyone,
This is a summary of all the natural pigments you can use to dye your ant nests. Indeed, formicarium without colors tend to be a bit...bland.

 I hope this will be useful !

1) Walnut stain
It's a brown/black liquid made from the skin around the walnutshell. Careful it's really stainy !
How to obtain it :
1 / Cut the shells into thin strips
2 / reduce over low heat  during 1 hour in 1 / 2L of water
3 / whizz up the preparation (optional)
4 / reduce again to 1/3 of the volume on low heat (careful not to burn it)
5 / Strain the juice with the dishcloth and wring the slats with it (to remove as much juice)
6 / Serve chilled white wine ( oh, that's another recipe grin.png...)

Note : You can use this technique with other natural products such as berries..etc.

2) Yellow ochre
This is a color of the resulting ochre spray, a wide spread clay. We can have colors ranging from bright yellow to pale orange.
How to obtain it :
1) crush the stone into a fine powder (hammer + cloth ...) and mix it with a little water.

3) Rust 
It gives a nice red, blood like color insane.png.
How to obtain it :
you just have to crush some old rusty iron and reduce it to powder using a file. Then you just have to add a little water !

4) Red brick
Nice red color. Positive point : it's easier to find than clay or rust
How to obtain it :
Use the same technique as for the clay except you do it with a brick. smiley.png

5) charcoal/ashes
Easy to find : you don't even have to go out to find some (you can get some in your fire place...)
How to obtain it :
Depending on the state of calcination, it can go from black to white ! You just have to add a little water and apply the mixture on the nest.

6) Black sepia
Sepia is squid ink, which is pure black, but deviates from black to blue when diluted.
How to obtain it :
What is practical is that you just have to go to the corner fishmonger to have some ! And you can directly apply it on your formicarium. 

7) Rainbow
The simplest non-toxic colorant you can get: food colouring!
How to obtain it :
Available in any supermarkets,you just have to  dilute it ! You can get blue, green, purple, yellow .....



That's all I've got. If you have any more ideas or tips, tell me, I will add it on the list.  ;)

 

  • Chromerust, Gregory2455, Jonathan21700 and 3 others like this

#2 Online drtrmiller - Posted February 16 2015 - 11:27 AM

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Which of these have you tried yourself?  Can you show pictures of the results?



#3 Offline Chromerust - Posted February 16 2015 - 11:51 AM

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Cool idea, I dabble a little in soap making and there is a assortment of natural colorants available from soap and cosmetic suppliers. They include natural ground powders, Mica's and Iron Oxides. Here are a couple of links:

 

http://www.essential...-colorants.html

 

http://www.bramblebe...rants-C181.aspx



#4 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted February 16 2015 - 1:17 PM

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Thank you for making this. :) I was going to ask about this anyway.

#5 Offline Nexus - Posted February 17 2015 - 9:49 AM

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drtmiller: I tried 1),4),5),6),7) ;) I'll post photos tomorrow.

chromerust : That's a good idea but you can't do it yourself (and for free ! ;) ) by grinding some berries from your garden. But thanks for the links ;).

Gregory2455  You are welcome :). It's really a good way of dying formicarium for free ! ;)



#6 Offline Jonathan21700 - Posted February 17 2015 - 11:46 AM

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I personally use brown or sandy soil diluted with water and then I paint the chambers inside. It gives a natural look and the ants like it. :)



#7 Offline Nexus - Posted February 18 2015 - 5:49 AM

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Jonathan21700 : How do you know they like it ? :)  It's true it gives a natural look.



#8 Offline Jonathan21700 - Posted February 18 2015 - 7:23 AM

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I have queen witch didn't lay eggs in a test tube and when I moved her in a nest with painted chambers she laid eggs in several days also ants move in faster. I think they like it because it is closer to what their nests are in the wild.



#9 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted February 18 2015 - 11:21 AM

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Ants love substrate. I think the setup Ray Mendez uses for honeypot ants is genius, even though easy. My M.testaceus queen moved in and settled fast, and is a lot less jumpy or easily frightened. This is the same for any setup that gives the ants a little substrate.

#10 Offline Chromerust - Posted February 18 2015 - 11:33 AM

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Ants love substrate. I think the setup Ray Mendez uses for honeypot ants is genius, even though easy. My M.testaceus queen moved in and settled fast, and is a lot less jumpy or easily frightened. This is the same for any setup that gives the ants a little substrate.


What honeypot setup Greg? I didn't know he made a how to tutorial.

#11 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted February 18 2015 - 1:49 PM

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He did not, but he explained it on video at the Ant of the Southwest course, and MrILoveTheAnts posted it. Just search the forum for his thread on "Ants of the Southwest Video Supplement."

#12 Offline dean_k - Posted February 18 2015 - 1:53 PM

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Someone posted a youtube link a while ago here.

 

And, yes, you don't need to give ants a whole dirt setup. Just a little substrate do seem to go a long way.



#13 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted February 18 2015 - 1:55 PM

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that's what is shown in the video. I will be posting pictures of my very happy M.testaceus shortly, but not on this thread obviously.

#14 Offline Jonathan21700 - Posted February 18 2015 - 1:58 PM

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I got my idea from this guy https://www.youtube....h?v=GLlPI-BR9Hs


Edited by Jonathan21700, February 18 2015 - 2:00 PM.


#15 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted February 18 2015 - 2:06 PM

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It s a good idea, but after using hydrostone, I suggest plaster to nobody.
The main reasons to that are the fact it is harder, more mold resistant, holds water better, and overall lives longer.

#16 Offline Jonathan21700 - Posted February 18 2015 - 2:23 PM

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Yes but I use it because there is no hydrostone here.


Edited by Jonathan21700, February 18 2015 - 2:24 PM.


#17 Offline Chromerust - Posted February 18 2015 - 2:38 PM

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It s a good idea, but after using hydrostone, I suggest plaster to nobody.The main reasons to that are the fact it is harder, more mold resistant, holds water better, and overall lives longer.


What is harder and more mold resistant?

#18 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted February 18 2015 - 2:44 PM

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Hydrostone.

It s a good idea, but after using hydrostone, I suggest plaster to nobody.The main reasons to that are the fact it is harder, more mold resistant, holds water better, and overall lives longer.


What is harder and more mold resistant?


#19 Offline Chromerust - Posted February 18 2015 - 2:47 PM

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I misunderstood I see now

#20 Online Crystals - Posted April 14 2015 - 11:47 AM

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I have seen tea used to stain various surfaces.  Had to be aired out for quite some time for the scent to fade though.

 

In some situations acrylic paint can be used.  It must dry thoroughly.

 

PS. I have also added this thread to the List of Handy Links.


"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens

 

List of Handy Links   (pinned in the General section)

My Colonies





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