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Acutus' Camponotus castaneus Journal New Video update 7/12/19


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#1 Offline Acutus - Posted May 16 2019 - 8:10 PM

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Got a new Formicarium yesterday. Actually 2. they are from AntworldUSA. They looked pretty cool and I thought from a Nature Center perspective they'd be good for displaying.

You basically get a 3D printed insert in an Acrylic Outworld. You are then given grout and sand and stones and plastic plants to customize the look of your out world. One of the things I liked after talking to Dan was that the nest is dividable. You can keep it small until you need it larger then you can replace a tab and expand it!.

Think I'm gonna try this on my C. castaneus colony.

 

Here's how it turned out. :)

 

k5P3Xb9.jpg

 

6JrV4AG.jpg

 

This is the nest part. If you notice the angled channel 2/3rds of the way over from the left, that is where the divider tab will slide in keeping the ants at first on the right side of the nest. Once they need more room you can replace the divider and open all chambers. :) Looked pretty cool we'll give it a go. :D :D

 

9aIupqd.jpg

 

I'll post some other pics of the entire thing tomorrow. Right now I'm letting the grout cure. :D


Edited by Acutus, July 12 2019 - 2:34 PM.

Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#2 Offline FSTP - Posted May 16 2019 - 9:36 PM

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Cool, I was just wondering if any memebrs had these, as I just saw them on ebay the other day. An interesting idea. I'll be curious to follow your progress with it.


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


#3 Offline Acutus - Posted May 17 2019 - 11:09 AM

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There are a couple features I am not sure yet how I feel about them. One is the Humidity tube. The other is the watering system but overall I love this design! I like being able to control the size of the nesting area, I love that the Out World is part of the over all setup and that you get to design and decorate it the way you want!

The guy Dave that runs AntWorld USA is definitely up on the customer service end of things! He answered every email very promptly and described this "NEW" dividing system to me. I am one of the first to have one of his All In One Setups with this feature. For the record he also makes the more Classic Style and they are divisble too! :D

 

Maybe I should start a Review in this thread. Of course nothing is for sure until I get Ants in them and try it out! :D


Edited by Acutus, May 17 2019 - 12:51 PM.

Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#4 Offline Acutus - Posted May 17 2019 - 12:20 PM

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Ok So I'm gonna do a bit of a review. It'll have to be a work in progress cause I don't have Ants in it yet but we'll see how everything goes. :D

I purchased a Large All in One Ant Farm Formicarium Nest Habitat form Antworld USA. You can visit their site to see what it looked like when it arrived but upon purchase you are given a supply of Grout, some plastic plants, small stones, and sand to give your formicarium a custom look. :) Here's mine

 

Out World View

JZCtR8T.jpg

 

Side View

tpNBAAo.jpg

 

One of the coolest things about this setup is the Nest area is divisible. This allows a small colony to move in and grow and then later expand! the nesting area measures about 8"wide and 2.5 inches high over all. Notice in the picture the tab that is dividing so the ants will only be able to use the right side. Once the colony is larger it can be replaced with an "open" tab and ant's will have access to the entire area.

 

25XzExd.jpg

 

The acrylic top fits recessed into the rest of the tank and is very secure. In the Center of the lid is a large hole covered with a plug that also fits super snug. The plug allows ventilation to the Out World via a very fine wire mesh covering. The size of the hole allows tools to be inserted into the Out World for cleaning, feeding, and other maintenance. :)

 

nDiHKND.jpg

 

 

The next pic is of the 3 features located in Out World side of the setup. Bottom left is an expansion port. This can be used to connect tubing to another Out World or Nest and will accept 1/2 inch tubing. Or as I will do I will place my C. castaneus colonies test tube here and allow them (Hopefully) to move in. :D

 

KqYZlVc.jpg

 

The top white area is the Water system. It is basically a clip that hold a small piece of sponge or a cotton wad. This is kept moistened so the ants have access to water. Not real sure how much I like this but I can always use the expansion port for a water tube if necessary or an Ant Feeder type like with the byFormica Sunburst liquids.

 

puzPqfM.jpg

 

Now for Humidity Control: (Bottom Middle Port) The back of the Nesting Area is perforated with micro holes. Behind the actual Nest area is basically a large void. This gives the Out World its basic shape. Humidity is controlled from the Out World side by removing a Perforated tube stuffed with cotton media. The media is moistened and then inserted back into the void area. The moisture is then allowed into the nesting area through the micro pores. (I hope I explained that adequately enough)

 

RKvOXvv.jpg

 

 

Any of the Antworld USA setups are available in either Ivory (Like I have here) or in brown (seen below in a smaller formicarium I got cause I have these delusions that I'll get an Aphaenogaster tennesseensis colony one day. LOL  :lol: )

 

0IMOfVP.jpg

 

Can't wait to move the ants in!! :D

The best part so far of this whole thing was the Awesome customer service provided by Dave at AntWorld USA! I found him very responsive to all of my many questions.


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Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#5 Offline Acutus - Posted May 19 2019 - 6:54 PM

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MOVING DAY!!!!!!!!  :yahoo:  :yahoo:  :yahoo:

 

Actually wasn't too dramatic but here goes.

My C. castaneus colony was being keot in this Formicarium. Basically an Acrylic box with the covered test tube setup

 

rwIEQJr.jpg

 

So I took the Test Tube out of the box covered the end with my finger and connected to the AntWorld USA Formicarium via the built in expansion port using an Ant Canada adapter between Tube and port. I then took the cover off the Test Tube hoping that would help in prompting a move. Here you can see the Queen, Brood and about 2/3rds of the worker force. 

 

s0VgFHu.jpg

 

Here's a shot from the Out World side. The Rest of the workers were captured from the old Out World and placed into the New Out World.

 

qSwzaYQ.jpg

 

Like I said so far it's a little anti-climatic. Most of the Out World Workers clustered up in one corner and most of the Test Tube ants stayed in the Tube, I was only around like a 1/2 hour though so I don't know exactly what I was expecting. :D Here's a shot of the worker cluster in the Out World.

 

Db4PKJO.jpg

 

So I basically covered the nest area to make it dark and left the cover off the Test Tube. I'm hoping once they settle down and explore they'll find the new nest area and move in!  (y)

Here's another shot of My beautiful C. castaneus Queen and company. :)

 

TSEipP8.jpg


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Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#6 Offline Acutus - Posted May 20 2019 - 6:06 PM

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Ok so I'm kind of puzzled. The ants are not moving. they are for the most part exactly where they were in the pics above after 24 hrs? I've never moved a colony from one formicarium to another is this normal? Is something not right?


Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#7 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 21 2019 - 2:02 AM

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I’ve heard of C castaneus doing this before. Their level of inactivity is baffling!
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#8 Offline Acutus - Posted May 21 2019 - 1:02 PM

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Still no move!  :mad:  :mad:  Kinda frustrating I admit.  

 

Well I tried to boost the activity level a bit. I Added a mealworm last night and it looks untouched. :( However today I took very small wax worms from the crevices in my observation beehive and put them in and they seem to like them! I saw them carry the first to the Test tube so I added 3 more. In this pic they were working on the 3rd! :D :D

I also added some honey and they seemed to take that too. :)

 

3d5Ilv1.jpg

 

bCmMunI.jpg


Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#9 Online Ant_Dude2908 - Posted May 21 2019 - 1:08 PM

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They just feel safe in the test tube. I have seen this more times than I can count in Camponotus.

Edited by Ant_Dude2908, May 21 2019 - 1:09 PM.

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#10 Offline Acutus - Posted May 21 2019 - 1:11 PM

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So I should just wait it out you think? They don't all fit in the Test Tube anymore. If this is normal I'm very willing to wait I am just not experienced enough to know. :)


Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#11 Offline Zeiss - Posted May 21 2019 - 1:17 PM

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Yes, a move could take a while to complete.  You could also start making the tube the worst option to live in, if you haven't already.



#12 Offline AntsBC - Posted May 21 2019 - 1:41 PM

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Ants usually won't move into a new nest unless their current one is less then ideal. If they have no good reason to move, they generally won't. Because of this, it's usually helpful to introduce some incentives for them.

 

Since these are Camponotus, make their new nest nice and dry/warm; this will encourage them to move. In the meantime, position a light flashing upon their test tube. Additionally, I would suggest to tap your finger on their test tube, repeatedly, once every hour or so. Ants generally hate light and vibration in their nest, so usually the combination of the two will annoy them enough that they will look to find a new, peaceful nesting spot.

 

Moving your ants takes time, so even though it's hard, try to be patient. They will move when they're ready.

 

Additional information/tips on moving your ants can be found here.


Edited by AntsBC, May 21 2019 - 1:47 PM.

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#13 Offline Acutus - Posted May 21 2019 - 6:07 PM

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Yes, a move could take a while to complete.  You could also start making the tube the worst option to live in, if you haven't already.

 

 

Ants usually won't move into a new nest unless their current one is less then ideal. If they have no good reason to move, they generally won't. Because of this, it's usually helpful to introduce some incentives for them.

 

Since these are Camponotus, make their new nest nice and dry/warm; this will encourage them to move. In the meantime, position a light flashing upon their test tube. Additionally, I would suggest to tap your finger on their test tube, repeatedly, once every hour or so. Ants generally hate light and vibration in their nest, so usually the combination of the two will annoy them enough that they will look to find a new, peaceful nesting spot.

 

Moving your ants takes time, so even though it's hard, try to be patient. They will move when they're ready.

 

Additional information/tips on moving your ants can be found here.

 

Awesome! I feel much better now Thanks!! I have time I just wanted to be sure this was normal. I'll give them time for now. If they don't move in a few days I was thinking maybe an cold pack on the end of the test tube may make them want to leave. We'll see how it goes thanks Everyone!!! :D


Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#14 Offline Acutus - Posted May 22 2019 - 5:44 PM

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Ok so I went and got some termites and these guys went CRAZY on them! I wish I would've had the video running. One of the workers seemed to pick up the presence of the termites with his antennae from a distance. He approached the termites it seemed by using his antennae for guidance until he was very close then he visually went after it. Once that happen other workers picked up on what was happening and they started searching too. I only caught like 10 and they got them all gonna have to give'm more next time! :D


Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#15 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 22 2019 - 6:37 PM

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So cool! Did you feed them live or pre-killed? I think regular access to termites might be part of cracking the “castaneus code.” As luck would have it, my yard is full of dead wood and termites.

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


#16 Offline Acutus - Posted May 22 2019 - 7:23 PM

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So cool! Did you feed them live or pre-killed? I think regular access to termites might be part of cracking the “castaneus code.” As luck would have it, my yard is full of dead wood and termites.

 

I fed them live. My camp is pretty much 20 acres of woods so I can easily find termites everywhere and if I need to I'll start a colony. Been thinking of doing that anyway. :D

I hope you're right about the "Castaneus Code". :D


Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#17 Offline Acutus - Posted May 26 2019 - 3:08 PM

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Still no move.  :/  :/ but I'm going to be patient. I fed them a wax worm and a beetle grub today!

 

N4lxXLt.jpg

 

Here's the Queen! :D

 

fKGMZO0.jpg

 

Attacking a beetle larva

 

EoMACMk.jpg


Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#18 Offline Acutus - Posted May 30 2019 - 6:55 PM

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UPDATE

 

This patients stuff sucks!!! I'm trying but it ain't easy. I've been giving the colony Termites and wax worms to eat along with honey as needed and they seem to be doing ok but they aren't very active. (I'm not there at night)

 

Only other thing I did was messed with the entrance to the chambers they refuse to use. I kept looking at it and it appeared a little small. The reason is I think I narrowed it by accident when shaping the grout. I manually reamed the entrance to the size of the original mold.

 

Fingers crossed this may make a difference. :D


Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#19 Offline Acutus - Posted June 4 2019 - 7:22 PM

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This post has been a few things lately it started off as a new formicarium post, changed to a review of said formicariums, and now it's a journal of my C. castaneus! :D :D

 

I have the small colony featured in all the previous posts.

 

P1020265

 

 

I also captured 5 new Queens on May 28th

 

P1020290crop
 
I got them all setup!! :D
 
WUJmYsj
 
And today I noticed that Queen # 5 laid 6 eggs!! :D
 
Ccastaneus Eggs
 
So this will be the place I update everything on my C. castaneus 
 
Also this is just an observation. But look at the wings on Queen 5 and compare them to Queen 4 (the other Queens 1-3 all look like this too) It just seemd odd that the one Queen that has laid also has her wings held differently. I know they usually lose them anyways but was wondering if anyone had ever noticed this?
 
 

 

 


Edited by Acutus, June 4 2019 - 7:25 PM.

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Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#20 Offline TheRealAntMan - Posted June 4 2019 - 8:46 PM

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Also this is just an observation. But look at the wings on Queen 5 and compare them to Queen 4 (the other Queens 1-3 all look like this too) It just seemd odd that the one Queen that has laid also has her wings held differently. I know they usually lose them anyways but was wondering if anyone had ever noticed this?

 
 

 

 

 

It appears as if she's been trying to shed them as one pair is missing.


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An ants' strength can be rivaled by few animals compared to their relative body size
 

 





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