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3D printed formicarium with hydrostone or grout for hydration?

3d printing grout hydrostone

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#1 Offline noebl1 - Posted November 20 2016 - 2:05 PM

noebl1

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I'm currently working on designing some formicariums to print for my ants (currently Tetramorium and Lasius), and originally was thinking of trying the Ants Canada route where a portion of the bottom (percentage depending on the species) would be covered in mesh with water underneath to increase/decrease hydration.  However after looking at a lot of @dspdrew's designs, I like the hydrostone bottom of the BoxBox containers for hydration so rethinking things a bit.  I ordered a few BoxBox containers to see about using them for hydration, and was thinking of designing the 3D printed formicarium to sit on top of the BoxBox container.  The BoxBox would be filled with water, and a sponge in it pushing against part of the bottom of the formicarium.  The formicarium instead of using the mesh with water underneath, would use unsanded grout or hydrostone where the gap in the image below is:

Formicariun TOP

 

Any thoughts on this?  I'm thinking the mesh would lead to a moldy sponge and foul water from their droppings etc, and the hydrostone or grout would be able to pass the moisture thru, but keep a lot of the ant mess out of the water supply.   If this sounds viable, also wondering if I should increase the hydrostone/grout amount to cover the entire formicarium base vs only the small amount (maybe 30% of the bottom) that there is now.  I could instead use the size of the sponge pressing underneath to adjust the level of moisture depending on variety of ants (also reducing amount of filament needed.)

 

Thanks!



#2 Offline noebl1 - Posted November 21 2016 - 7:43 AM

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Not many comments... However after reading a bit more of dspdrew's build logs, I think I have an idea in mind.  I'm going to break the bottom into three or more sections, each separated by a barrier of printed plastic.  Each area of hydrostone would be separated so I could add/remove sponges underneath based on species of any and humidity requirements.  I don't think the pH of my water is bad enough to deteriorate as bad as his was (hence he switched to tile).







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