Jump to content

  • Chat
  •  
  •  



Welcome to Formiculture.com!

This is a website for anyone interested in Myrmecology and all aspects of finding, keeping, and studying ants. The site and forum are free to use, and contain no ads for members. Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation points to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!

Photo
* * * * * 3 votes

Dspdrew's Formicarium 05 Research and Design (Updated 9-21-2016)

formicarium container out world enclosure how-to diy design dspdrew nest tutorial

  • Please log in to reply
233 replies to this topic

#21 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 5 2014 - 8:31 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Again I didn't have much time to work on this last night, but I did finish up the tank. I welded a piece of acrylic on the front for the part with the holes so that the tank wont bump into the acrylic frame with the tapped screw holes that will go around the edge of the Ytong in the final version. I also sprayed the front part with Plasti Dip to give it a better seal when pushed up against the Ytong nest.
 
Here's some pictures.
 
gallery_2_131_10937.jpg
 
gallery_2_131_38725.jpg



#22 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 6 2014 - 12:57 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA
Tonight I managed to finish the basic prototype. I didn't realize how cramped the space in the base container would be, so I might just use nothing more than a piece of foam rubber to hold the water tank against the nest.
 
gallery_2_131_40387.jpg
 
gallery_2_131_9218.jpg
 
 
Here it is with the water tank installed, and so far the foam rubber seems to be holding it pretty tight.
 
gallery_2_131_21128.jpg
 
gallery_2_131_51160.jpg
 
gallery_2_131_131943.jpg
 
 
And here it is with the out world on it. Now to wait and see how long it takes for the nest to saturate. I sealed up all the holes in the base container just to get an idea of what it will be like with zero ventilation, I then can figure out exactly where to go from there. I put a humidity gauge inside also to see exactly what the humidity inside will be.
 
gallery_2_131_103407.jpg
 
 
About an hour has passed and I still see no sign of moisture in the nest, so it seems to be taking quite a while. Hopefully it will be wet by morning, I'd really like to get my Myrmecocystus in there tomorrow to test it out.

#23 Offline Crystals - Posted February 6 2014 - 7:07 AM

Crystals

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,030 posts
  • LocationAthabasca, AB (Canada)

If you run out of foam, sponges also work as good cheap substitutes.  :D


"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens

 

List of Handy Links   (pinned in the General section)

My Colonies


#24 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 6 2014 - 8:14 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

If you run out of foam, sponges also work as good cheap substitutes. :D

 

Yeah, I'm not sure they would have enough force though.



#25 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 6 2014 - 8:19 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Well this morning it looked like the nest was still not even wet. I'm not sure why on Earth the water wouldn't be transferring to the Ytong nest. I manually spilled a little bit of water out under the Ytong and let that soak up into it, then I put the water tank back in. Hopefully when I get home today it will be saturated as expected. I will of course still have to dry it out and try it over again to find out exactly why it wouldn't have started soaking in. There really are hardly any differences between this and the setup I was testing with. Hopefully I was just being impatient, but four hours seemed like plenty time to at least see some moisture in the Ytong looking in from the front.



#26 Offline Crystals - Posted February 6 2014 - 1:34 PM

Crystals

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,030 posts
  • LocationAthabasca, AB (Canada)

Could the holes in the black material be too deep?

 

I have noticed that when using internal pressure to hold water into containers, the thinner the material around the hole, the easier it escapes.

That material looks a bit thicker than what you were previously using.


"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens

 

List of Handy Links   (pinned in the General section)

My Colonies


#27 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 6 2014 - 3:51 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

yes, the further the relative distance is that the air bubbles coming into the tank have to travel horizontally, the harder it is for them to make it in, until they eventually just don't go anywhere, and no water ever comes out. As for the black Plastidip, it's so thin that it probably added maybe the thickness of a piece of scotch tape to it, so that can't be the problem.



#28 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 6 2014 - 5:56 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

When I got home today, the water had soaked up to about where it should in the amount of time it had. Either way, I drilled the holes slightly bigger for the second time now to increase the water flow a bit. I tested the tank out again on a plain piece of Ytong outside of the case, and it seems to be working the same as it always has; I was probably just not patient enough or something. I took the Ytong nest out of the case, dried it out, and put it back in again. I marked the level of the water on the tank so I can try to get an idea of how long the water will last. There still is no ventilation in either case at this point, so I can get a good reference point for the rate of evaporation.

 

I now put the colony of Myrmecocystus I had living in just the test tube with no foraging container into the formicarium, and they immediately started exploring. Right now they are mostly all back in their test tube, a little afraid to come out. I guess now I'll just wait and see how long it takes for them to decide to move in. :D

 

Next step will be starting my design on the computer now that I have a good idea of what works and what doesn't.



#29 Offline LAnt - Posted February 7 2014 - 8:38 PM

LAnt

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 211 posts
  • LocationLos Angeles

What are you going to be designing?



#30 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 7 2014 - 8:48 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

A formicarium very much like the one I just built in this thread. I just had to test everything out first so I'm not wasting my time and money, especially when I have the acrylic laser cut.



#31 Offline LAnt - Posted February 7 2014 - 8:57 PM

LAnt

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 211 posts
  • LocationLos Angeles

I could never do something this professional. :D Are you thinking of make it big?



#32 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 8 2014 - 6:40 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

I do plan to make some larger ones too eventually.



#33 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 8 2014 - 8:16 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA
Okay, so I decided to more forcefully move the Myrmecocystus into the nest. I dumped the whole colony out into the out world so they would move in right away. You can see all the pictures and video of them in my journal here (http://forum.formicu...2014/#entry1300). It's kind of funny watching them drag the queen into the nest.
 
gallery_2_43_23735.jpg

#34 Offline LAnt - Posted February 8 2014 - 9:20 PM

LAnt

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 211 posts
  • LocationLos Angeles

Are you going to decorate the outworld if you have time?
 



#35 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 8 2014 - 9:45 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Not on these because they aren't really meant for display, but more of a lab environment. I will eventually make some really cool, really huge formicariums that I plan to have on display. I even plan to make them vivariums if I can find a way to pull it off.



#36 Offline LAnt - Posted February 8 2014 - 10:02 PM

LAnt

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 211 posts
  • LocationLos Angeles

You must have a big apartment!

Too much off topic!


Edited by LAnt, February 8 2014 - 10:02 PM.


#37 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 8 2014 - 11:52 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Well it looks like the moisture gradient in this thing is just right, because the ants have now moved all their small larvae and eggs into the middle chambers, and the large larvae and pupae into the top chambers.



#38 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 11 2014 - 8:27 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

In an effort to find out exactly how much ventilation this formicarium will need, and exactly where, I left it with zero ventilation for a few days. Eventually, the very bottom chambers were completely covered in condensation to the point where the water was starting to bead up on the plastic. Also, the middle chambers had condensation about half way up them. Basically, wherever the Ytong was moist, there was condensation on the plastic. I removed the lid on the out world to see how much ventilation the nest would get just through the nest's entrance. The next morning the condensation in the middle chambers was already gone. I'll check the progress again when I get home later this evening.



#39 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 13 2014 - 11:37 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

So the condensation on the bottom chambers never went away, so I opened up the large hole in the back of the base container too. Unfortunately, this was still not enough ventilation to get that condensation to evaporate. Now the condensation has turned into some pretty large beads of water. I now have removed the out world, completely opening up the top of the base container to see if this allows that condensation to evaporate. This is about as much ventilation as I could possibly give it, so I certainly hope this is enough. I also noticed a slight puddle of water that has built up under the Ytong. If I can get the condensation to evaporate, hopefully the puddle will too.



#40 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 14 2014 - 6:30 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

It's been a day now, and the condensation thankfully is half way gone. The small puddle of water is still there, but at least it doesn't look like it will get any larger, or go anywhere due to the capillary action of the Ytong. The object is to find that perfect medium between enough ventilation to keep the condensation from forming, and not so much that the water in the tank goes down too quickly.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: formicarium, container, out world, enclosure, how-to, diy, design, dspdrew, nest, tutorial

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users