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

#41 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 17 2014 - 10:26 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Finally all the condensation is gone. Now I just have to slowly decrease the ventilation until that condensation starts to appear again, then I'll know exactly how much it will need.

 

I'm starting with this, and will wait a few days to see how much condensation starts to show up again, if any. I noticed that the Ytong does appear to be quite dry again.

 

gallery_2_131_163694.jpg



#42 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 18 2014 - 8:16 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Today I got home, and could see things are actually still getting drier, which means I could go with even less ventilation than it has with the tape covering it, so I put the out world back on it. When the out world was on it the first time, the large hole in the back was covered by tape, so maybe now this will be the perfect amount of ventilation. Another thing I noticed, is that puddle of water under the Ytong has evaporated too.



#43 Offline dspdrew - Posted March 19 2014 - 4:53 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

This thing has been working great. The moisture gradient has remained perfect all this time. I have had a warm light shining on the front of it, which has kept all condensation from forming. It has been a month and a half since I filled the hydration tank, and it's still more than half full! At this rate it looks like I may be getting three months of hydration out of each filling of the water tank. It will need more ventilation holes in the base container obviously, because there is quite a bit of condensation on the inside, causing about an 1/8 of an inch of water to puddle on the bottom. Once add more ventilation it will probably cause the water tank to empty slightly faster, so we will have to see how long it lasts after that. Even if it only lasts half as long, that's still more than my goal.



#44 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 13 2014 - 3:27 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

A little update on the prototype testing: Today I checked the water level and it looked like it was about a week or two away from being all the way down. That means the water in this thing lasted for about three and a half months! It has also been extremely dry this Spring; if it wasn't for that, it probably would have been more like four months. There were no signs of mold or algae in the water or on the Ytong either. The Myrmecocystus colony living in the formicarium is still alive, but has not produced much. It's certainly not doing as well as the other colony that's still in the test tube, kept in a dark cabinet. I don't know if this has anything to do with the formicarium specifically, since it's only one colony I'm testing it with. Also, I have had a bright light shining right on them 24/7 so you can observe them on the webcam, which could certainly be contributing to the problem.



#45 Offline LAnt - Posted May 13 2014 - 4:49 PM

LAnt

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 211 posts
  • LocationLos Angeles

webcam?



#46 Offline Mercutia - Posted May 13 2014 - 7:35 PM

Mercutia

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 516 posts

Dude. Epic. Nuff said.



#47 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 13 2014 - 9:50 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

webcam?

 

Yeah, it was linked in my Myrmecocystus mexicanus journal.

 

http://antcam.gyg.cc:8081/

 

I usually have it off between 5:00 pm and midnight because it slows my computer down too much.



#48 Offline Kansant86 - Posted June 11 2014 - 9:06 PM

Kansant86

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts

Wow very creative Drew!  Where did you find that outworld box?  I have been searching online for something similar for weeks with hardly any luck. 


Edited by Kansant86, June 11 2014 - 9:08 PM.


#49 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 11 2014 - 10:33 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

The plastic containers are a brand called Box Box made by a company in Thailand. The Container Store carries them.



#50 Offline Kansant86 - Posted June 11 2014 - 10:53 PM

Kansant86

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts

Oh cool, I searched their website for hours!  I'll have to see if they have a search feature.



#51 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 11 2014 - 11:08 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Honestly, I don't think I was ever able to find them on their website, no matter how I tried to do it. It really is a terrible website.

 

Edit: Finally found them here (http://www.container...0032168&N=80804).

 

Here's the manufacturer's hard-to-find website (http://www.weareboxb...ndexboxbox.html). They have all different sizes, and they fit together very nicely. What I love is the lid is actually designed the same as the box, essentially making it just an extremely short box itself. This makes the boxes and lids totally stackable in any order you want.

 

This (http://www.weareboxb...om/BB01031.html) is the exact box I am using as the out world in this formicarium.



#52 Offline Kansant86 - Posted June 11 2014 - 11:12 PM

Kansant86

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts

search in the shoe boxes...



#53 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 21 2014 - 4:42 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Okay, last week I moved the Myrmecocystus mexicanus colony out of the formicarium, and moved my largest Pogonomyrmex subnitidus colony into it, refilling the water tank in the process. So far they seem to like it. They also fill it up pretty good too. I put all the dirt and seeds from their foraging container into the out world of this, so of course they stuck a lot of it all over the plastic and made a bit of a mess already.

 

gallery_2_72_31185.jpg


  • Kansant86 likes this

#54 Offline Chad W - Posted June 28 2014 - 12:10 PM

Chad W

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts
  • LocationCarlsbad, CA

I don't know if it was already covered, but would a 1-2in. extension from inside to the outworld be viable? 

also, i don't want to over complicate the design but heres some ideas;

-holes in outworld into watertank to allow roots to grow through to the water
-a 2in extension of the inworld--->outworld tunnel to allow for a;
     ~inch of pebbles
     ~inch of soil

this would allow proper drainage/watering for plants, while the pebbles prevented the ants from burrowing past the soil into the watering tub.

 



#55 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 29 2014 - 2:57 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Hey what's up. Those are good ideas, except I am really only making these specific formicariums mainly to be used to store colonies, and not to put on display. Like I was telling you, they're going to be kind of a lab type setup. I will try all of those kind of things when I build a really large formicarium that I plan to have on display.



#56 Offline LAnt - Posted June 30 2014 - 8:58 PM

LAnt

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 211 posts
  • LocationLos Angeles

I'm assuming those are screws but how are they secured with the two top corners?



#57 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 30 2014 - 10:46 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

They go all the way through, even though the way I cut out the Ytong clearly wasn't planned out and has them going right through the corners of the chambers like that. None of my final design will be anything like that.



#58 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 21 2014 - 11:06 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Just yesterday I had to refill the water tank, so it looks like it lasted right around three months this time. It probably evaporated slightly faster this time because I've had a hot halogen light shining on the formicarium, keeping it much warmer than before.



#59 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted September 21 2014 - 11:20 AM

Gregory2455

    Advanced Member

  • Care Sheet Editors
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,286 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

I would be scared to use it for Pogonomyrmex, mold would probably grow on their seeds... But great idea for honeypots and other hygienic ants of that sort! May be good for the Acromyrmex versicolor because they need super high moisture for their fungus. Haven't read this thread yet...  :thinking:



#60 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 21 2014 - 11:58 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

You would be surprised. You should see the wet seed sludge they keep in the bottom chambers, and there never has been one speck of mold. I have no idea how on Earth that mess isn't absolutely covered in mold, but it isn't. Maybe it's the few springtails I put in there a while back, or maybe it's the ants themselves keeping the fungus away... I have no idea.







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