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Pictures of Formicariums and Outworlds

photo pictures formicarium outworld

385 replies to this topic

#381 Offline AntsCalifornia - Posted November 29 2018 - 3:59 PM


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I wouldn't do molding with sand, I think it would be too hard, just make a second batch of plaster or grout or whatever your using, paint the chambers with it, and coat it in sand.

#382 Offline Skwiggledork - Posted November 29 2018 - 4:14 PM


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^ did you paint the plaster nest in the second pic? :)

should be able to pull the other nest out when the time comes

I didn't paint it I just think I over hydrated it, while figuring out how the hydration works. lol

  • Ant_Dude2908 likes this

#383 Offline FSTP - Posted November 29 2018 - 6:03 PM


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Out of curiosity, would anyone know how to go about making a formicarium along the same principles as the "Mini Hearth" design that TarHeelAnts has? I love the design(s) but I've had bad experience when ordering from him. Not to mention when he messed up my order and a friends order, he had no intentions on making it right...id rather try and make them myself. I get the concept but the sand texture on the inside of them...how? Wet sand shaped instead of using clay for the chamber(s)? Fantastic design as said before but again, I'd love to make these myself...or something along the same principle.



I made some, heres a thread I made about it. http://www.formicult...ri-dish-update/

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

#384 Offline Guy_Fieri - Posted December 12 2018 - 7:58 PM



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I've made mine from plaster, pumice, and a small aquarium. It seems to dry out very quickly though.

Edited by Guy_Fieri, December 13 2018 - 6:38 AM.

#385 Offline Wedge - Posted January 10 2019 - 9:41 AM



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So here is a quick run through of how I started making plaster nests out of old card cases for some of my smaller ants and colonies.


I start by sculpting the design directly onto the bottom of the card case using clay. (I tried using playdough at first but the results were not very good as it actually seemed to bond a bit with the plaster and slid around as I was pouring.)


32815669818_aff012e42c_k.jpg20190109_200504 by William Rivera, on Flickr


I then used a paintbrush to coat the inside of the container with oil to help the plaster nest slide out of the mold. The pictures are from the attempt with playdough but the clay was the same.


32815668408_ddc2ecf6f9_k.jpg20190109_172142 by William Rivera, on Flickr


Once it is thoroughly coated make up your batch of plaster and pour it into the mold.  Because of the small size of the container it is difficult to remove the nest without some difficulty so I insert two screws into the plaster while it is setting to give me something to hold onto to help pry it out later.


46637902392_cec69be84e_k.jpg20190109_204135 by William Rivera, on Flickr


46637902882_b08f39ab49_k.jpg20190109_205410 by William Rivera, on Flickr


Once the cured nests are out, I remove the screws and invert them. Sometimes the clay sticks with the plaster and some times it stays stuck to the plastic but either way you can remove it to use again later or discard if it has become too messy.  The nests will later be slipped back into the card box so that the chambers and tunnels are facing upwards.


46637903132_262069e3fe_k.jpg20190109_205656 by William Rivera, on Flickr


But first, because the card box has the slightest taper to it you first have to sand down the edges a bit so it will slide in easier without cracking the box. It does not take much so be careful you don't over do it. I just run it a few times on each side over a piece of an old cinder block.


31749166477_1dea103982_k.jpg20190109_210904 by William Rivera, on Flickr


I also drill a channel into the nest at this point that will serve as a port to add water later.


31749168327_46c566fbea_k.jpg20190109_220151 by William Rivera, on Flickr


After this I soak the nests for about 30 minutes in hot water for two reasons.  First, to wash all the excess plaster dust off from sanding and drilling, and second, to help remove any residual oil in the nest that was absorbed into the plaster.  You can see oil sitting on the top of the water after this process.


31749167687_633db45852_k.jpg20190109_212820 by William Rivera, on Flickr


After about 30 minutes I take the plaster nests out of the water and dry them off before I put them into the plastic cases. On the bottom of the case I place four pieces of clay to help act as spacers for the water reservoir that will be on the bottom. This will also keep the top of the nest sticking out of the bottom portion of the container a bit.  This portion will then nicely fit into the lid and create the barrier to prevent ants from passing between chambers.


31749168947_346e9940ba_k.jpg20190109_222310 by William Rivera, on Flickr


31749169737_2f9421cc8f_k.jpg20190109_222619 by William Rivera, on Flickr


I then take it back out to the garage to add the final touches.  I drill a small hole on the side directly above the channel I made earlier as a port to add water with a syringe.


31749170417_8d236e98fe_k.jpg20190109_223152 by William Rivera, on Flickr


I then go ahead and drill starter hole for the nest entry port using the same drill bit. The bigger drill bit I have tends to want to slip on this plastic and it makes it easier to have a guide hole to help get it started. 


31749171017_2903821832_k.jpg20190109_223246 by William Rivera, on Flickr


It's real easy then to go back with a bigger drill bit and widen the hole for whatever size tubing you want.


31749171767_df22f5fd09_k.jpg20190109_224445 by William Rivera, on Flickr


You have to make sure the hole you drill in actually connects with chambers of the nest, but for the most part that is pretty much it.


31749172207_8065edae2c_k.jpg20190109_225522 by William Rivera, on Flickr


32816430748_da6208f78f_k.jpg20190110_122638 by William Rivera, on Flickr


32816432518_b0002d90ed_k.jpg20190110_122727 by William Rivera, on Flickr


Here are a few pictures of my Cardiocondyla emeryi moving in.


46638544492_0e20c741e4_k.jpg20190110_122946 by William Rivera, on Flickr


46638545302_0f32427bcf_k.jpg20190110_122825 by William Rivera, on Flickr



  • YsTheAnt and CoolColJ like this

Current Colonies:

Camponotus floridanus

Cardiocondyla emeryi

Cyphomyrmex minutus

Cyphomyrmex rimosus

Odontomachus bauri

Pheidole floridana

Pheidole metallescens

Pheidole moerens

Pseudomyrmex gracilis

Pseudomyrmex pallidus


#386 Offline ponerinecat - Posted January 10 2019 - 8:25 PM


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Some one should cast a small ant nest with some degradable material, put it in an oiled plastic box, fill it with acrylic, and remove and clean out to make a 3D ant nest. Visibility won't be the best, but it would be an interesting design.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: photo, pictures, formicarium, outworld

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