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keeping ants through a month vacation

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#1 Offline neoponera - Posted June 1 2019 - 9:39 AM


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i am going through a month vacation and i currently have 13 tropical and very demanding colonies, my house will be empty, nobody of my family wants to even see my ants, they are all currently in testube setups. but some have 50 - 100 workers, i have no formicariums.


what do i do?

#2 Online Zeiss - Posted June 1 2019 - 10:07 AM


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What species are they all? 


You could probably fill some feeders up with water and sugar water and that could sustain the colonies for a bit (sugar water to sugar-loving ants).  If they require seeds in their diet, just make a seed pile as well as water.  If they require a protein-heavy diet, there's little you can do except put a few dead insects for them to eat. 


A month vacation will could likely kill a good portion of your ants, so be prepared for that.


Another thing to do is make sure there is no way they can escape while you are gone!

#3 Offline T.C. - Posted June 1 2019 - 10:14 AM


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All I want to know is how a person affords a month vacation.
  • Martialis, Ant_Dude2908 and Somethinghmm like this

#4 Offline Acutus - Posted June 1 2019 - 10:28 AM


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I'd say at a minimum you're going to have to go to some Test tube and outworld setups. that's the only way I see you being able to put a reserve of food, both sugar and protein to allow the ants enough reserves. Ants are pretty resilient and water is definitely the most important. Feed them really well until you leave as well!


Good luck!

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Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

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Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva

#5 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 2 2019 - 9:06 AM


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I would hire somebody to stop by a few times while you’re gone, or pay someone to take the ants. If they were a temperate species, you could do a mini-hibernation.

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

#6 Offline DJoseph98 - Posted June 2 2019 - 10:56 AM


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I've never done this before; in fact, I had to get rid of my colony when I spent a summer in Brazil (3 months) so I don't have direct experience. I had thought on this a lot though when I still thought I could manage to keep them alive.


If they are general scavengers, I would use dry dog food and water tubes with sugar in them, maybe some crushed lollipop (basically whatever will last without molding). Put them in plastic tubs to provide an outworld where you can leave plenty of resources and make sure that any air holes you make will allow good airflow but no escape opportunities. Top priority would be escape prevention, and second would be limiting mold growth. Make sure that wherever you keep them that the temperature is relatively steady so no condensation appears which would lead to mold growth.


Also mice could be an issue as well as "wild ants" (a pile of food tends to attract other scavengers). It will take some work and preparation, and some experimentation on your part since not all colonies will behave the same. If you do this, don't expect them to thrive but as long as there is enough food and water (and air) that they can use, they should be okay. 


Honestly there should be a topic on this. Sometimes arrangements don't pan out.

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