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My Ghetto styrofoam box incubator


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#1 Offline CoolColJ - Posted November 18 2018 - 3:58 PM

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Pics of my ghetto incubator, very effective :)

It's just a styrofoam box with lid I found at work, like a small esky or fruit box, no holes.
Then I made two slit holes on each end of the box down from the top, I thread the heat cable and my sensor leads into the holes on one side,
then run the heat cable down the wall across the floor and up to the other side, out the hole and onto my table, so the cable also heats my other test tubes sitting outside.
I then taped down the cable with black thick gaff tape. I put blu tack on one side of the box for the test tubes to rest on, and the open end of the test tubes sits on the heat cable

I put the thermostat sensor inside an empty test tube setup exactly the same as the ant ones.
Set to 28.5C degrees. The temps hit over 30 where the heat cable is.
Air inside the box hits around 28 degrees

click to enlarge



  • FSTP, Scrixx, AntsBC and 2 others like this
Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Camponotus nigriceps, Myrmecia fulvipes, Colobopsis macrocephala
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/

#2 Offline FSTP - Posted November 18 2018 - 4:52 PM

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I like it! Good idea about placing the sensor inside a simulated test tube.


There are videos of my ants here: https://www.youtube....bN5yYK2KWXA0vQ?


#3 Offline Kalidas - Posted November 18 2018 - 4:58 PM

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Woah pretty awesome. I need to get one of those thermostat sensors, good idea

#4 Offline CoolColJ - Posted November 19 2018 - 6:45 PM

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Here is my revised setup :)

Styrofoam is really noisey and any bump, rubbing and vibration inside is transmitted around inside freaking out the ants.
So instead of blu tacking the test tube down, which is a pain to put in and pull test tubes out, I now use an acoustic insulation foam tile, cut in half and then cut in half again to increase flexibility, but one half of the tile fits perfectly inside my box

This is the tile I use $7.90 AUD delivered for a single one, makes 22 slots!
And it's pretty stiff than when cut down to size makes a nice vibration free tray for ant test tubes.
https://www.selby.co...l-art300ch.html

The only bad thing now, is that the heat cable does not touch the test tubes directly so, no more thermal gradient :/

Added Ferrero Rocher container of water for humidity, 75+% RH against a room RH of 50%

Plenty of room for a small nest or another 5 rows of test tubes with the other half of the foam tile
Or even a second container of water :)


Current ants inside - Camponotus suffusus bendigesis - she laid a day after being put inside, large larvae already after 3.5 weeks!
Meat ant, Iridomyrmex purpureus. Just put in today with 24+ eggs, I expect nanitic in 3 weeks!

click to enlarge



Edited by CoolColJ, November 19 2018 - 8:12 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Camponotus nigriceps, Myrmecia fulvipes, Colobopsis macrocephala
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/

#5 Offline CoolColJ - Posted November 19 2018 - 7:00 PM

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I forget to add I also have a bit of red film over the test tubes, so when I open the box up the ants don't freak out instantly

So I can add and remove ants at will
  • kingz2015 likes this
Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Camponotus nigriceps, Myrmecia fulvipes, Colobopsis macrocephala
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/

#6 Offline CoolColJ - Posted January 8 2019 - 4:17 PM

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I find one of those cheap plastic heat mats from Ebay stuck on the lid, with gaff tape, on the edges, heats up even better.

They are pretty light, so a tiny bit of tape on the non heating edges does the job.

Get the largest one that will fit on the lid. Can easily hit 40C degrees on a 28 degree day, so winter will be no issue
 I have one of these in my larger incubator for my feeder roaches and crickets

 

For a heat cable in the incubator it's better to run a zig zag pattern on the lid than what I did in the pics, but it's more work to setup than a heat mat, and more thermal mass so the temp overshoots your thermostat target a bit more

 

What my small incubator looks like right now, with lid open :)

 

 


Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Camponotus nigriceps, Myrmecia fulvipes, Colobopsis macrocephala
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/

#7 Offline Rstheant - Posted January 8 2019 - 4:58 PM

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Nice. My set up is a cardboard box with a 60 watt heat bulb. Very effective.;)

#8 Offline CoolColJ - Posted January 8 2019 - 6:04 PM

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Nice. My set up is a cardboard box with a 60 watt heat bulb. Very effective. ;)

 

 

I assume you cover your ants up?


Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Camponotus nigriceps, Myrmecia fulvipes, Colobopsis macrocephala
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/

#9 Offline Rstheant - Posted January 9 2019 - 3:29 PM

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Yes, with the red screen, and also the box is very dark.

#10 Offline FSTP - Posted January 9 2019 - 3:53 PM

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I'm liking this!


There are videos of my ants here: https://www.youtube....bN5yYK2KWXA0vQ?


#11 Offline Rstheant - Posted January 9 2019 - 4:16 PM

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I'm liking this!


I know! Same here. My incubator, inspired by CCJ, has helped my novo, pump out eggs, during the winter!;)

#12 Offline Abadayos - Posted January 11 2019 - 3:22 AM

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I've just got a carboard box and a 5 watt heat pad I keep on in 1 corner and the colonies on the other side to ensure no overheating as the matt seems to settle at 36*C which is possibly too hot (it's for reptiles). Air temp inside is around mid 20's



#13 Offline CoolColJ - Posted January 11 2019 - 5:42 AM

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I've just got a carboard box and a 5 watt heat pad I keep on in 1 corner and the colonies on the other side to ensure no overheating as the matt seems to settle at 36*C which is possibly too hot (it's for reptiles). Air temp inside is around mid 20's


You need a thermostat to be safe
Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Camponotus nigriceps, Myrmecia fulvipes, Colobopsis macrocephala
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/

#14 Offline Abadayos - Posted January 11 2019 - 5:51 AM

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I've just got a carboard box and a 5 watt heat pad I keep on in 1 corner and the colonies on the other side to ensure no overheating as the matt seems to settle at 36*C which is possibly too hot (it's for reptiles). Air temp inside is around mid 20's


You need a thermostat to be safe

 

Yeah I'm picking one up tomorrow as I also don't like the uncertainty  once I tried it out. It's a McGyver and it's not worth the risk to the little fellas. Also going to replace the mat with one of the heat cords as I feel it would be a better option for the current setup, the mat may be better for other uses






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