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A Few ?s About Wine Cooler Hibernation


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#1 Offline PaxxMantid - Posted October 9 2018 - 7:15 AM

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Hi everyone - 

 

I am getting ready for first hibernation ,and I'm trying to decide how to do it. I have a basement but it's just not that cold - around 50 degrees in the coldest, darkest spot at the dead of winter. So, I'm thinking to get a mini-fridge or wine cooler. It would need to be really quiet to be in my office, fairly small, and cheap. 

 

This would be a winner for me because I'm also breeding flies and other insects for preying mantises. So I'm hoping to find something for $100 or less if possible. 

 

Many of the wine coolers I see aren't very specific about how cold they'll get. I am reading that minimum temp of a thermoelectric unit can be affected by the ambient temperature, and that wine coolers just don't go as cold a a regular fridge. This would also mean that the temperature would be less stable as ambient temps vary.  Some of the cheaper ones say they won't go below 50 degrees F. 

 

It also occurred to be that these things are somewhat sealed, so is there any concern that the ants won't get fresh air during their hibernation?

 

Can anyone give me some examples of the wine coolers they use? I'm trying to get a feel for this and it's a bit confusing. 

 

thanks!



#2 Offline Joehostile85 - Posted October 9 2018 - 8:51 AM

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Ants really don’t need “Fresh” air at all, you don’t have to worry about that. I’ve seen ants survive in a tiny testube with a plastic stopper inside a sealed ziplock baggy which was inside a sealed envelope for 6 weeks. The ants inside were thriving the entire time. I also hibernate in wine coolers and fresh air has never been a problem.

As far as cheap wine coolers go I bought one last year from Amazon for around $125. Pretty much any of the cheap ones them will go down to 10C, which is a little on the warm side, but acceptable for hibernating ants. I did notice however that my tetramorium colony was still somewhat active at 10C and they did forage for food 1 time during the 5 month hibernation. None of my other colonies were as active or took any food the entire time.

This year I bought a better, bigger one and I plan on setting the thermostat at 8C instead of 10C.

You really don’t need to worry about ambient temperature in the winter unless you're planning on putting the wine cooler in front of a window so the sun will be beating down on it. That would be more of a concern if it’s summer and 30C in your office and you’re trying to keep your wine at 10C. Your office at room temperature won’t effect the inside temperature of the fridge.

#3 Offline PaxxMantid - Posted October 9 2018 - 11:21 AM

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I am looking at a fairly cheap one that says it can go down to 46 Fahrenheit which is about 8C. So, it sounds like that should be enough, sounds like!



#4 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted October 10 2018 - 3:49 PM

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50F is plently low enough for Hibernation.
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#5 Offline dspdrew - Posted October 10 2018 - 6:28 PM

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I bought a used one for $70 I use for hibernation. It gets down to 45 F at its absolute coldest spot. Most of it is more like 55 F, which is perfect for hibernation.


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#6 Offline PaxxMantid - Posted October 10 2018 - 7:08 PM

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Just bought one of these: http://a.co/d/0A8i19T



#7 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted October 11 2018 - 5:44 AM

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I bought a used one for $70 I use for hibernation. It gets down to 45 F at its absolute coldest spot. Most of it is more like 55 F, which is perfect for hibernation.


How many bottles can it hold? I'm wondering if with the number of colonies I have whether or not it will hold all of them if I buy a 6 bottle one.

#8 Offline PaxxMantid - Posted October 11 2018 - 2:25 PM

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Ok, it arrived already so here's a little info about that model, for anyone else looking for one. 

 

The thing is SUPER quiet which is really nice since it's in my office. It looks pretty good, and the shelves are removable. It ha s thermostat which I turned all the way down to 45 right away.  

 

I put a trusty sensor into the center of the middle shelf, to monitor the true temp.

 

It's been holding a very steady temp, fluctuating between 47.4f and 47.6f - which is pretty impressive. But, it's been all day and it hasn't managed to get down to 45 as advertised. 

 

From what /i can tell that's cold enough, but I would love it to get down to where they say it will! Maybe if the room is a bit cooler it will. 






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