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KB's Lazy Water Station

lazy water station liquid feeder

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18 replies to this topic

#1 Offline KBant - Posted June 15 2019 - 4:15 PM

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I was cleaning out my novomessor cockerelli outworld and realized that the colony is getting way too big. I absolutely hate opening the lid, grabbing my byformica liquid feeders, refilling them and then replacing them without having any escapes. The liquid would be out in less than a week and that was cumbersome.

So I wanted to find a way to refill the water without making it a hassle every time. I tried to replicate what I got with Tar Heel Ants but with 30 mL plastic bead container and a 40ml snap cap container where there is a hole at the side towards the bottom, covered by stainless steel mesh. I used a glue gun to keep the stainless steel mesh covering down. BUT I had leaking issues. I tried changing the size of the hole 3 times but nothing helped. There was always a trickle.

Last I tried to replicate what Drew made. Similar to his pyramid feeder I used string, but the string i used is not kevlar string like his, just simple sewing string but I quadrupled the amount so its thicker. The way this works is the water gets wicked up by adhesion and cohesion and is able to climb to the top of the container. I tied a loop under the cap so the ants can't pull on the string too much. I next drilled a hole into the top of the snap cap container, and a same size hole at the top of the outworld lid. I put some tubing into the holes of the outworld and into the snap cap container. I also dropped a couple magnets into the container to weight it down and also so i can manipulate the container from outside with another magnet if need be. I put some water with food coloring so i can visualize the water better. This way it would be easier to see if the water was getting wicked up, and I can better visualize the container go empty. The container can hold just under 40 mL of fluid.

here are some pics. questions? comments?

Un1wF5x.jpg

vHPEpc1.jpg

ohXSEco.jpg

siJsEeH.jpg

Edited by KBant, June 15 2019 - 4:43 PM.

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#2 Offline Acutus - Posted June 15 2019 - 5:19 PM

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Looks like the ant approve!! :D


Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva

Formica subsericea


#3 Offline dominatus - Posted June 15 2019 - 5:39 PM

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That is kewl. I might steal this idea...



#4 Offline KBant - Posted June 16 2019 - 12:14 PM

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Yup, so far it’s working well! There are always a few ants drinking water. So far, they are not pulling on the thread.

#5 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 16 2019 - 1:06 PM

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Yeah, you can only do this with that type of feeder. Without a perfectly sealed container, the gravity fed feeders will leak until all the liquid is gone. I've been planning to eventually make a feeder that I can fill without opening the formicarium.


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#6 Offline KBant - Posted June 16 2019 - 1:59 PM

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Yeah, you can only do this with that type of feeder. Without a perfectly sealed container, the gravity fed feeders will leak until all the liquid is gone. I've been planning to eventually make a feeder that I can fill without opening the formicarium.


The stopper on top would allow a gravity feeder to stay sealed but even without the tubing it was still leaky so I didn’t go with that design.

#7 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 16 2019 - 2:09 PM

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Yes it's very difficult to make something air tight, and even when it is, unless the flow rate is extremely slow, it will just leak all over while trying to fill it.


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#8 Offline dominatus - Posted June 16 2019 - 3:44 PM

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Yeah, you can only do this with that type of feeder. Without a perfectly sealed container, the gravity fed feeders will leak until all the liquid is gone. I've been planning to eventually make a feeder that I can fill without opening the formicarium.

 

Gravity fed as in like a gerbil water bottle? Would a gerbil water bottle work for ants now that I've thought of that? I've never had such a pet so I don't know how those bottles work or if they continuously drip...



#9 Offline KBant - Posted June 16 2019 - 3:47 PM

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Yeah, you can only do this with that type of feeder. Without a perfectly sealed container, the gravity fed feeders will leak until all the liquid is gone. I've been planning to eventually make a feeder that I can fill without opening the formicarium.

 

Gravity fed as in like a gerbil water bottle? Would a gerbil water bottle work for ants now that I've thought of that? I've never had such a pet so I don't know how those bottles work or if they continuously drip...

 

 

I don't think that would work because i believe a gerbil bottle uses a ball as a barrier to keep the water from leaking just like a ball point pen does with ink. The ants are not strong enough to move the ball up or in any direction and therefore can't use it a s source of water.



#10 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 16 2019 - 9:30 PM

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The vacuum in the tank (air pressure) is what mainly holds the liquid in. No matter how the feeder is specifically designed, air must make its way in the dispenser in order for liquid to come out.


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#11 Offline KBant - Posted June 19 2019 - 6:28 PM

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I can confirm they are drinking from this container and this method works very well. They've finished maybe a 10th of the water so far and the string looks the same and intact. 



#12 Offline KBant - Posted July 17 2019 - 8:51 AM

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Update: i was gone for 3 weeks and when I returned I saw that the novomessor cockerelli destroyed the thread.

I will order Kevlar thread and try again.

#13 Offline Boog - Posted July 17 2019 - 7:47 PM

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I love the Byformica feeders, they've been great. I do wonder what's going to happen when there's more ants in the out world though and am starting to deal with this also. I devised a simple solution for now, I use 10 inch steel reptile feeding tongs I got from the pet store which I use to clean out their out world and attached small foam pads at the end with small rubber bands when I need to pick up the feeders. Easy to take off when I need the tongs and put back on for gripping area and padding to hold the feeders without sticking my whole hand into their arena. Just gotta mind the hanger-ons when lifting out though!


Keeping-
Camponotus pennsylvanicus
Tapinoma sessile

#14 Offline drtrmiller - Posted July 17 2019 - 7:52 PM

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I love the Byformica feeders, they've been great. I do wonder what's going to happen when there's more ants in the out world though and am starting to deal with this also. I devised a simple solution for now, I use 10 inch steel reptile feeding tongs I got from the pet store which I use to clean out their out world and attached small foam pads at the end with small rubber bands when I need to pick up the feeders. Easy to take off when I need the tongs and put back on for gripping area and padding to hold the feeders without sticking my whole hand into their arena. Just gotta mind the hanger-ons when lifting out though!

 

I have never been too concerned about murdering a few ants if the foraging area is so crowded they're swarming a feeder that needed to be changed.

 

But maybe you could put some Fluon or something on the glass vial to prevent them from crawling up it?



#15 Offline Boog - Posted July 17 2019 - 8:01 PM

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Here's a pic of the padding I can quickly affix to my tongs to help pick up feeders. I tap around them to get most of them off the feeders then I lift it out.

 

gallery_4140_1594_8482.jpg


Edited by Boog, July 17 2019 - 8:05 PM.

Keeping-
Camponotus pennsylvanicus
Tapinoma sessile

#16 Offline Boog - Posted July 17 2019 - 8:08 PM

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I love the Byformica feeders, they've been great. I do wonder what's going to happen when there's more ants in the out world though and am starting to deal with this also. I devised a simple solution for now, I use 10 inch steel reptile feeding tongs I got from the pet store which I use to clean out their out world and attached small foam pads at the end with small rubber bands when I need to pick up the feeders. Easy to take off when I need the tongs and put back on for gripping area and padding to hold the feeders without sticking my whole hand into their arena. Just gotta mind the hanger-ons when lifting out though!

 

I have never been too concerned about murdering a few ants if the foraging area is so crowded they're swarming a feeder that needed to be changed.

 

But maybe you could put some Fluon or something on the glass vial to prevent them from crawling up it?

 

 

I don't have them swarming around the feeders quite yet, I just tap around them if there's any there and they generally run off long enough for me to take out. If it becomes too much in the future then maybe fluon on the glass feeder itself wouldn't be a bad idea. Love the design, btw!


Keeping-
Camponotus pennsylvanicus
Tapinoma sessile

#17 Offline KBant - Posted July 19 2019 - 6:43 PM

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FIXED IT! hopefully...

 

i got kevlar thread and used 3 loops to pull up water. I tied knots under the lid to prevent the ants from pulling the thread out, same as i did before. This thread is really strong and pulls up water well so I'm hoping the ants don't tear it apart. I also put one of the strings between magnets to weigh it down to the bottom of the tube. 

 

this is the kevlar thread. https://www.amazon.c...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 

 

i got the 250lbs 100 ft one. it was the cheapest haha

 

here are some pics of the updated design.

 

OrDcto4.jpg

 

IDLCO7Y.jpg

 

ae24KSJ.jpg

 

mygmJux.jpg

 

n8po13j.jpg


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#18 Offline KBant - Posted August 22 2019 - 9:57 PM

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over 1 month later its still working and I've only refilled it once when it was at halfway empty.


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#19 Offline dominatus - Posted August 23 2019 - 3:34 PM

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over 1 month later its still working and I've only refilled it once when it was at halfway empty.

pretty cool

 

thx for the update







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