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Brachymyrmex plaster nest ideas


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Offline SpawnQueenoftheBroms - Posted December 3 2018 - 9:15 AM

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hello ant keepers! looking for DIY ideas for my brachymyrmex colony, they are 20 workers strong with tons of brood. i currently have them in a test tube that is less than ideal and would like to move them into a small founding nest. first of all i just can't find info on how large of colonies this species attains, and have no idea how much room they need. I'm looking at either making a plaster nest in a petri dish with a jewelry container outworld or a 32oz deli cup vertical plaster nest with the outworld being the surface as well. not looking for suggestions on where to buy nests just DIY thanks :)


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#2 Offline Major - Posted December 3 2018 - 12:39 PM

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DON'T use plaster. It molds far too easily. Use grout. Much better, and doesn't mold.
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#3 Offline ANTdrew - Posted December 3 2018 - 2:06 PM

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Honestly, though, it’s hard to improve on test tube set up. If they’re out of room, give the gals another one. I never entered this hobby hoping to just fill up test tubes, but I’ve realized it’s the best way for many species.
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#4 Offline Rstheant - Posted December 5 2018 - 3:56 PM

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DON'T use plaster. It molds far too easily. Use grout. Much better, and doesn't mold.


You can use hydrostone. It is MUCH better than plaster of Paris and is a lot more absorbent.

#5 Offline ponerinecat - Posted December 6 2018 - 7:06 PM

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I find wild nests consist of a huge central chamber with branching tunnels leading to the side chambers. Could just be my area, though.


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#6 Offline DaveJay - Posted December 7 2018 - 2:11 AM

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Honestly, though, it’s hard to improve on test tube set up. If they’re out of room, give the gals another one. I never entered this hobby hoping to just fill up test tubes, but I’ve realized it’s the best way for many species.

What I've found is that given two darkened test tubes and sand barely the depth of their bodies the ants will move out into the sand almost every time, so far 5 to 1. It might be the easiest way but to me it's holding the hobby back, people are accepting a queen death rate of about 60%, there must be a better way. 



#7 Offline Wa.Va - Posted December 7 2018 - 4:29 AM

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Honestly, though, it’s hard to improve on test tube set up. If they’re out of room, give the gals another one. I never entered this hobby hoping to just fill up test tubes, but I’ve realized it’s the best way for many species.

What I've found is that given two darkened test tubes and sand barely the depth of their bodies the ants will move out into the sand almost every time, so far 5 to 1. It might be the easiest way but to me it's holding the hobby back, people are accepting a queen death rate of about 60%, there must be a better way.


I think it is weird to see all these discontinued journals. Because the queen died. Even when she has already a colony.

Here I only lost infertile queens(only 2 in total). But never lost a healthy colonie. I don't really understand why there is such e high death rate here.

Even if there is mold or something in the test tube, ants don't really care about it.
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#8 Offline ANTdrew - Posted December 7 2018 - 6:18 AM

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You guys bring up a great point! I'm troubled by reading all the abrupt ends to journals as well. I feel European ant keeping is somehow more relaxed and naturalistic, yet more successful at the same time. Sometimes I feel that too much stress is placed on the colonies I read about. Keeping them constantly exposed to light, documenting every single egg with high powered cameras, constantly dumping them from one nest to another, unnaturally combining queens - all this stuff must cause low-grade stress to the ants.

Stress is one of the causes leading to CCD in honey bees - so maybe that's something to think about.


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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25





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