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FSTP's Formicarium Build Journal **Petri-Form No. 2 update**


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#1 Offline FSTP - Posted December 15 2016 - 7:34 PM

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Hi, 

 

I'm working on a new founding style formicarium and a larger nest style formicarium and I thought it might be fun to document my progress on how it goes and what materials I'm using. 

 

 

So far For my smallest formicarium used for a founding queen it will be a molded hydro-stone. I'm taking a lot of its design from the THA mini-hearth style. Since I'm not selling them I don't see an issue with using  this design. 

 

 

So first I made the water reservoirs. I used a petri dish for the founding formicarium and a small box for the larger  nest formicarium that will be the second stage after the founding process. Then I cut an opening in the top for some 100 micron nylon mesh that is then installed in a two ply fashion. For filling the reservoirs I'm using some tubing that connects to a self sealing quick connect that can connect to any standard threaded style syringe. I think this will be a slight improvement over the THA method as it doesn't use a blunt needle into a open tube, the syringe just screws directly onto the hydration system and when you disconnect the syringe it then is sealed close once disconnected. No small open tube.

 

Heres a pic of the two.

 

foundingbuild2_zpsqr9n4lhx.jpg

 

this is how the syringe connects for filling the res up.

 

foundingbuild3_zpsbj6sgv9p.jpg

 

 

Then for the founding formicarium I'll be using magnets to hold on the front viewing pane. Instead of glass I'll be using the small case with the front cut of an use magnets to hold it on. I epoxied some paperclip wire on to the internal neodymium N52 magnets so that they imbed better into the hydro-stone. The magnets will be holding the viewing pane on the sides.

 

This kind of gives you an idea of how it looks before the clay chamber is placed and the hydro-stone poured.

 

foundingbuild1_zpszuanfclr.jpg

 

 

And this is the larger reservoir in what will be the larger nest formicarium. 

foundingbuild4_zpsc39sz3iv.jpg

 

 

I've poured the mold but I'm waiting for it to dry/cure. Once its done setting and I pop it out I'll post some pics of how it turned out.

 

So that's it so far. Keep in mind this is really my first somewhat serious try at making a formicarium. So its not going to be perfect. But non the less I thought I'd document the process here. 

 

Thanks!


Edited by FSTP, January 3 2019 - 12:44 PM.

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


#2 Offline FSTP - Posted December 16 2016 - 10:56 AM

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well the first one didn't come out that nice. I still have to finish the interior with sand and making it appear more natural, burnishing the edges it a bit more.  So here it is still naked.

 

foundingbuild5_zpshgnhvufu.jpg


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


#3 Offline FSTP - Posted December 16 2016 - 3:42 PM

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Ok heres the second one. Instead of the long tubing to the syringe connector I instead molded it into the formicarium a bit more. Its reenforced inside with wire so its not putting direct pressure on the hydrostone when in use. 

 

foundingbuild7_zpsbke2hakk.jpg

 

foundingbuild6_zpshn5aked3.jpg

 

 

with syringe attached

foundingbuild8_zps8nmvgrf2.jpg

 

 

Obviously its not 100% finished. Still need to drill entrance holes and such. 

 

but I think its a small improvement over the first one. What do you think?


Edited by FSTP, December 16 2016 - 3:56 PM.

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#4 Offline CallMeCraven - Posted December 16 2016 - 4:01 PM

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These luck great! I was also playing with designs for water reservoirs very similar to these, but I admit your is much better thought out! If you wouldn't mind, could you share where you got those self sealing valves for syringes? 


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#5 Offline FSTP - Posted December 16 2016 - 5:57 PM

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Thanks Craven! Yeah so far I like the little reservoirs I made but I'll see how much I actually like them once there are ants using it. 

 

As for the syringe valve I'm not sure where you could get them I have access to a lot of medical equipment so I had them just laying around. I'm sure if you searched for "needless luer lock Clave connector" you could find a place to buy them online.


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


#6 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted December 16 2016 - 5:59 PM

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That's one nice formicarium. I would buy it for a hundred dollars. :D


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#7 Offline FSTP - Posted December 18 2016 - 3:10 PM

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thanks. 

 

What I can't decide is what to do with the finishing. For the outside I can't decide if I wan't to leave it bare, or paint it. Also for the interior chamber I can't decide if I want to sand the interior chamber or leave it plain. I'm using the first one as kind of a test bed. I painted it and epoxied sand. However I think the sand I used might be to course.

 

 

EDIT:

 

SO I definitely need finer sand. And I think after this little test subject of a founding chamber I'm going to leave the exterior plain and just have the interior coated with sand but much finer sand. 

 

foundingsand_zps222krfgo.jpg


Edited by FSTP, December 18 2016 - 4:24 PM.

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#8 Offline FSTP - Posted December 20 2016 - 8:01 PM

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ok So I finished one how I think I like it. I have three others like this drying.

 

 

I like this fine desert style sand, kind of looks similar to the sand and dirt I see locally.

 

 

Overall I think this will work out nicely, just need to finish the outworld. Then I can move some ants into it.  ;)

 

foundigbuild9_zps0kdshsij.jpg

 

up close with light shinning through the bottom.

 

foundingbuild10_zpsyi9haf3n.jpg


Edited by FSTP, December 20 2016 - 8:03 PM.

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#9 Offline Okeedoke22 - Posted December 20 2016 - 8:09 PM

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I especially like that you put in some of the course Sand. Looks really nice. Great job!
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#10 Offline FSTP - Posted December 26 2016 - 6:28 PM

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Thanks Okeedoke22 :) I thought adding some variation would give it a more random look.

 

 

So Here the chamber is with an outworld I finished in a similar fashion. I still may add some bits of wood or tiny pebbles and stones. But this is it in its bare form with two byFormica feeders.

 

 

finishedfounding2_zpspwsoqkxv.jpg

 

 

 

finishedfounding1_zpsrf2e2amz.jpg

 

 

Now I just wish I had some ants to put in there....

 

Thanks,

Jess


Edited by FSTP, December 26 2016 - 9:06 PM.

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#11 Offline Shareallicu - Posted December 28 2016 - 7:54 PM

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Thanks Okeedoke22 :) I thought adding some variation would give it a more random look.

 

 

So Here the chamber is with an outworld I finished in a similar fashion. I still may add some bits of wood or tiny pebbles and stones. But this is it in its bare form with two byFormica feeders.

 

 

finishedfounding2_zpspwsoqkxv.jpg

 

 

 

finishedfounding1_zpsrf2e2amz.jpg

 

 

Now I just wish I had some ants to put in there....

 

Thanks,

Jess

Looks really nice!  Mine isn't pretty but it does the job hehe :)


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#12 Offline FSTP - Posted December 29 2016 - 6:11 PM

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Thank you! 

 

Yes sometimes function is the most important part. At least yours has ants in it. I'm still waiting for my ants to grow so I can put some it it. 


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


#13 Offline Canadian anter - Posted December 30 2016 - 12:55 PM

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those look excellent for Myrmecocystus!
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#14 Online T.C. - Posted December 30 2016 - 1:02 PM

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How did you make the water tower? I mean is that just a small circular container with wire mesh on the top with a tube leading to it? :)



#15 Offline FSTP - Posted December 30 2016 - 10:15 PM

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How did you make the water tower? I mean is that just a small circular container with wire mesh on the top with a tube leading to it? :)

 

Basically yes. 

 

Here are some pictures explaining it since I just happened to make some more today.

 

First I take a 30mm petri dish and cut out the lid:

waterres5_zpsxmwl1pko.jpg

 

Then take some 100 micron nylon mesh and double it then epoxy the petri dish closed:

waterres2_zpsgr8cssah.jpg

 

After it the epoxy dries and cures cut them out and drill small hole on the side corresponding with the size of tubing.

waterres4_zpsmalekwtr.jpg

 

waterres3_zpscds7jnlh.jpg

 

Then thread the clave onto the tubing and insert tubing into the water reservoir.

waterres1_zpsxagp03l9.jpg

 

 

Really simple.

 

Hope that explains it somewhat better.


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#16 Online drtrmiller - Posted December 30 2016 - 10:55 PM

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This is turning into a tutorial on "How to build a THA-style formicarium." Expect to get a C&D notification for exposing trade secrets in 3, 2, 1...

Just kidding. Very good read. I'm going to have to look into those syringe valves. Wonder how they'll hold up.

Keep up the good work.
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#17 Online T.C. - Posted December 30 2016 - 10:57 PM

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How did you make the water tower? I mean is that just a small circular container with wire mesh on the top with a tube leading to it? :)

 

Basically yes. 

 

Here are some pictures explaining it since I just happened to make some more today.

 

First I take a 30mm petri dish and cut out the lid:

waterres5_zpsxmwl1pko.jpg

 

Then take some 100 micron nylon mesh and double it then epoxy the petri dish closed:

waterres2_zpsgr8cssah.jpg

 

After it the epoxy dries and cures cut them out and drill small hole on the side corresponding with the size of tubing.

waterres4_zpsmalekwtr.jpg

 

waterres3_zpscds7jnlh.jpg

 

Then thread the clave onto the tubing and insert tubing into the water reservoir.

waterres1_zpsxagp03l9.jpg

 

 

Really simple.

 

Hope that explains it somewhat better.

 

Ok, thank you. Especially for taking the time to show me these pictures and telling me how you did it. :D



#18 Offline Solenoqueen - Posted December 30 2016 - 11:03 PM

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Looks strikingly well-built and similar to a THA Mini Hearth nest. Still, very good quality build, and I would like to know where i can get the water syringes and nylon mesh ;)

 

Very nice job!


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#19 Offline Leo - Posted December 31 2016 - 5:58 AM

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:D great job!!!!! mine usually fall apart



#20 Offline FSTP - Posted January 2 2017 - 10:35 PM

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So I made another one and changed one thing. I sunk the connecter deeper into the hydrostone so its not sticking out as high. Doing so does limit the ability to change out the connector if needed. However upon further thought given the usage intervals I'm confident the connector valve will last as long as formicarium itself will last.

 

This one I made to house Myrmecocystus (if I ever find one) so I made the chamber much more vaulted for the potential repletes to hang from.

 

honeypotfounding2_zpslexjg9ec.jpg

 

honeypotfounding4_zpszdypj0zb.jpg

 

Next to the smaller one for comparison.

 

honeypotfounding1_zpsro8ckqah.jpg

 

 

 

 

This is turning into a tutorial on "How to build a THA-style formicarium." Expect to get a C&D notification for exposing trade secrets in 3, 2, 1...

Just kidding. Very good read. I'm going to have to look into those syringe valves. Wonder how they'll hold up.

Keep up the good work.

Thank you I'm glad you found this thread somewhat interesting :)

 

I know they're pretty much copies of THA. However, that's because I see most of the THA products as a good example of what a hobbyist that doesn't have a 3d printing setup can make with basic materials given the effort. 

 

I have access to ​a lot of different medical supplies and equipment that may be useful in ant keeping. The needless connectors I'm using are made by CareFusion and are the most durable type of needless connecter I've tested thus far, and I have tested many different styles and types and brands over the years. If you wan't to look for them they are the MaxPlus Clear model reference number MP1000-C.

 

Looks strikingly well-built and similar to a THA Mini Hearth nest. Still, very good quality build, and I would like to know where i can get the water syringes and nylon mesh ;)

 

Very nice job!

 

Thanks I'm trying to continue to refine it as I make more.

Everything I've used is available online from various places.


Edited by FSTP, January 3 2017 - 1:21 AM.

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