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Anthill Formicarium Mark 1 (instructions)

anthill formicarium container beginner

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7 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted January 29 2017 - 6:00 PM

Connectimyrmex

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Hi! I've made a type of formicarium that seems to suit ants pretty well. After a request, I've decided to create a topic for the instructions.

This formicarium is good for those of you who want a natural looking formicarium or for those people who like the nice sand/dirt nest setups.

This nest is great for semi-claustral and claustral queens, full colonies, founding colonies, and even subterranean termites.

 

See bottom for twig nesting species instructions.

 

Step 1: Preparation

First, get a container of some sort, but make sure that it can fit up to two test tubes in them. Make sure you ant proof it by making a barrier or providing a lid with stainless steel mesh. This part is definitely the most expensive of all the other steps. You can also use an ant-proofed aquarium or critter keeper.

Step 2: Laying the Foundations

Now, layer tissues, toilet paper (any type of soft tissue) or cotton on the bottom for about half an inch. This will be the base of your ant farm. Now dampen the tissue and flatten it completely.

Step 3: Providing some water

As a good amount of you know, humidity is incredibly important for ants. Place a test tube/glitter mixing tube full of water and plugged with cotton in the container. Make sure the cotton plug lines up with the middle of your formicarium. You don't have to add the tube if you have a dry-nest species. The humidity from the tissues added will be good enough.

 

Step 4: More Foundations

Add some more tissues/cotton over/around the test tube, and place them as much as you want. Leave some space over/around the entrance and cotton of the test tube. Note: When you dampen and compress the tissues/cotton, the volume occupied by cotton is much less. Make sure you add some more than you want at the moment.

 

IMPORTANT! Get chopsticks, pencils, or some other tool to leave some empty space between the other tissues you add over the test tube. Make sure that the hole is AT LEAST four inches by four inches, and it should go down to the foundation from step 2. Also, make sure the damp cotton from the test tube is exposed.

 

Step 5: Adding Some Dirt

Now add some damp dirt. The dirt can be seedling potting soil (no fertilizer or anything like that) or just some soft  soil from outside. Pour that dirt in the hole that you left until the dirt is level with the cotton/tissues. Try not to let dirt spill anywhere other than the hole because some say it looks better like that.

 

Step 6: Preparing the setup

Now get some tissues and place them over the dirt. Make a hole that your ants can fit through in the thin tissue layer. Try to make the hole up against the container to allow easy ant visibility.

Now, using a tool that is roughly the diameter of your ants, make a hole (maybe diagonal for weak climbers) in the dirt to give your ants somewhere to start digging.

 

Step 7: Decorating

For those of you who want to enhance the looks of your finished ant farm, you can add a thin layer of different colored dirt/moss around the hole. That way you can easily see the anthill that your ants might make in the future (some ants don't really make anthills). You can also add a plant in the damp tissues (possibly with aphids). Rocks can be added also, but your ants might burrow under the rocks and make visibility difficult.

 

For Twig Nesting Ants

 

Step 1 is the same

 

Step 2: Adding some dirt

Add the same dirt as mentioned above. The dirt is just decoration, so make it as thick as you want it to be.

Step 3: Adding a stick

Now add a hollow branch, You can use a stick of bamboo or just a random stick hollowed out by wood borers. Make sure that the stick isn't from a poisonous plant. You can either prop the stick up on the side or wedge the end of it in the dirt and cotton.

 

Step 4: Decoration

See Step 7 above



Questions? Comments? Pictures? Clarifications? Let me know in the comments and I can help.

Thanks for reading this! :)

 

Part of me feels like I forgot something...


  • Martialis and Mettcollsuss like this
Hawaiiant (Ben)

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Tetramorium Bicarinatum
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Technomyrmex Difficilis
Pheidole Megacephala
Aholehole fish
Cowrie snail
Sea Fan Worm
100+ sea squirts
Tree seedlings
Ghost Crab
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Small Fat Centipede
Endemic Lacewing larva
Vernal Pool shrimps

#2 Offline Alabama Anter - Posted January 29 2017 - 7:43 PM

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Hmmm.... I will totally use the Twig Ants thingy when I manage to catch a Psedonumyx or Cephalotes queen/colony.


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Keeper of...

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#3 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted January 29 2017 - 7:54 PM

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i would like to see some pictures if you have them :)


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#4 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted January 29 2017 - 10:08 PM

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I'll take a few pics. The one that I will show you guys is a slightly older version. The newest ones have some founding colonies that are easily aggravated by movement and light so I'm not going to photograph those.


Hmmm.... I will totally use the Twig Ants thingy when I manage to catch a Psedonumyx or Cephalotes queen/colony.

Glad you found it helpful! :D


Hawaiiant (Ben)

Keeper of
Miniature Labradoodle
Baby Wolf Spider
Mud Dauber wasp larvae
Ochetellus Glaber
Solenopsis Geminata
Brachymyrmex Obscurior
Cardiocondyla Emeryi
Tetramorium Bicarinatum
Plagiolepis Alluaudi
Anoplolepis Gracilipes
Technomyrmex Difficilis
Pheidole Megacephala
Aholehole fish
Cowrie snail
Sea Fan Worm
100+ sea squirts
Tree seedlings
Ghost Crab
Day Gecko
Small Fat Centipede
Endemic Lacewing larva
Vernal Pool shrimps

#5 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted January 30 2017 - 6:55 PM

Connectimyrmex

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I just figured out (from experimenting) that you can also just put a test tube (normal ant set up) vertically and pour dirt in it rather than leaving space to pour dirt in. It saves some effort and time, but just make sure that the tube is short.


Hawaiiant (Ben)

Keeper of
Miniature Labradoodle
Baby Wolf Spider
Mud Dauber wasp larvae
Ochetellus Glaber
Solenopsis Geminata
Brachymyrmex Obscurior
Cardiocondyla Emeryi
Tetramorium Bicarinatum
Plagiolepis Alluaudi
Anoplolepis Gracilipes
Technomyrmex Difficilis
Pheidole Megacephala
Aholehole fish
Cowrie snail
Sea Fan Worm
100+ sea squirts
Tree seedlings
Ghost Crab
Day Gecko
Small Fat Centipede
Endemic Lacewing larva
Vernal Pool shrimps

#6 Offline Martialis - Posted January 30 2017 - 6:57 PM

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I just figured out (from experimenting) that you can also just put a test tube (normal ant set up) vertically and pour dirt in it rather than leaving space to pour dirt in. It saves some effort and time, but just make sure that the tube is short.

 

Can we have pictures?


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#7 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted January 30 2017 - 7:02 PM

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Yes. My imgur isn't working for some reason so I will probably get some pics in an hour or so


  • Martialis likes this
Hawaiiant (Ben)

Keeper of
Miniature Labradoodle
Baby Wolf Spider
Mud Dauber wasp larvae
Ochetellus Glaber
Solenopsis Geminata
Brachymyrmex Obscurior
Cardiocondyla Emeryi
Tetramorium Bicarinatum
Plagiolepis Alluaudi
Anoplolepis Gracilipes
Technomyrmex Difficilis
Pheidole Megacephala
Aholehole fish
Cowrie snail
Sea Fan Worm
100+ sea squirts
Tree seedlings
Ghost Crab
Day Gecko
Small Fat Centipede
Endemic Lacewing larva
Vernal Pool shrimps

#8 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted July 30 2017 - 12:32 PM

Connectimyrmex

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Update: I forgot to update this thing forever. This formicarium design did not work for Aphaenogaster Picea. I don't know why. I put the colony back in a tube.


Hawaiiant (Ben)

Keeper of
Miniature Labradoodle
Baby Wolf Spider
Mud Dauber wasp larvae
Ochetellus Glaber
Solenopsis Geminata
Brachymyrmex Obscurior
Cardiocondyla Emeryi
Tetramorium Bicarinatum
Plagiolepis Alluaudi
Anoplolepis Gracilipes
Technomyrmex Difficilis
Pheidole Megacephala
Aholehole fish
Cowrie snail
Sea Fan Worm
100+ sea squirts
Tree seedlings
Ghost Crab
Day Gecko
Small Fat Centipede
Endemic Lacewing larva
Vernal Pool shrimps





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