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The Age Old Question "Do Gel Ant Farms Kill Ants" (Tetramorium in a gel farm)


20 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Aquaexploder - Posted September 9 2017 - 1:59 PM

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Do gel ant farms kill ants? Well I decided today is the day I am going to answer that question. We have all heard that you should never use gel ant farms because the kill ants, however the guy on the instructional booklet of this Uncle Milton gel ant farm sure had a lot of charisma. He stated "The unique gel was originally developed NASA a space shuttle by for experiment to see how ants live and work in zero-gravi tis specially formulated to provide all the necessary nutrients and moisture for your ants. There is need to add water or food to the habitat." So I decided to give it a go. Now I am trying this with Tetramorium not harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) like it was designed for so the result may vary. Of course I am also trying to keep them alive so I will keep the Formicarium dark like a real one with a black towel (in the pictures).

Here a some pictures: https://imgur.com/a/9HQCv
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Founding:

Camponotus nearcticus (x1)

Tetramorium Sp E. (x3)

Prenolepis imparis (x3)

Myrmica (Unknown) (x1)

Temnothorax (x1)

#2 Online GeorgeK - Posted September 9 2017 - 2:12 PM

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The gel will start to mold



#3 Offline Aquaexploder - Posted September 9 2017 - 2:17 PM

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The gel will start to mold


Most likely, but let's see how they deal with this issue if the encounter it in the future.
Founding:

Camponotus nearcticus (x1)

Tetramorium Sp E. (x3)

Prenolepis imparis (x3)

Myrmica (Unknown) (x1)

Temnothorax (x1)

#4 Online T.C. - Posted September 9 2017 - 2:19 PM

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The gel will start to mold


Most likely, but let's see how they deal with this issue if the encounter it in the future.

That, and they need protein. I'll bet the gel doesn't offer that.
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#5 Offline Ant Broski - Posted September 9 2017 - 3:46 PM

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Do you have an out world?

#6 Offline Aquaexploder - Posted September 9 2017 - 5:22 PM

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Do you have an out world?


When/if the colony gets bigger I will add one.
Founding:

Camponotus nearcticus (x1)

Tetramorium Sp E. (x3)

Prenolepis imparis (x3)

Myrmica (Unknown) (x1)

Temnothorax (x1)

#7 Online GeorgeK - Posted September 10 2017 - 11:46 AM

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Any pictures of day1 digging?


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#8 Offline Aquaexploder - Posted September 11 2017 - 12:21 PM

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Any pictures of day1 digging?


I haven't updated this yet because nothing has changed. They have refused to leave their test tube even with a bright lamp next to them. Do you guys think I should move them manually while they are sedated in a fridge? Leave your votes down below.
Founding:

Camponotus nearcticus (x1)

Tetramorium Sp E. (x3)

Prenolepis imparis (x3)

Myrmica (Unknown) (x1)

Temnothorax (x1)

#9 Online GeorgeK - Posted September 11 2017 - 12:26 PM

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You can just "evict" them out of test tube, but fact that they don't want to move just proves they don't like gel, so maybe you should just leave them alone and remove them from gel farm?



#10 Offline lucas3431 - Posted September 11 2017 - 12:28 PM

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Any pictures of day1 digging?


I haven't updated this yet because nothing has changed. They have refused to leave their test tube even with a bright lamp next to them. Do you guys think I should move them manually while they are sedated in a fridge? Leave your votes down below.

 

Are you asking to put a colony into that gel? I think it will have negative effects on the brood such as bacteria, fungi.


Edited by lucas3431, September 11 2017 - 12:31 PM.


#11 Online GeorgeK - Posted September 11 2017 - 12:53 PM

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Wasnt your plan for colony to move inside said gel, with the brood and all?



#12 Offline StopSpazzing - Posted September 11 2017 - 12:57 PM

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Do gel ant farms kill ants? Well I decided today is the day I am going to answer that question. We have all heard that you should never use gel ant farms because the kill ants, however the guy on the instructional booklet of this Uncle Milton gel ant farm sure had a lot of charisma. He stated "The unique gel was originally developed NASA a space shuttle by for experiment to see how ants live and work in zero-gravi tis specially formulated to provide all the necessary nutrients and moisture for your ants. There is need to add water or food to the habitat." So I decided to give it a go. Now I am trying this with Tetramorium not harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) like it was designed for so the result may vary. Of course I am also trying to keep them alive so I will keep the Formicarium dark like a real one with a black towel (in the pictures).

Here a some pictures: https://imgur.com/a/9HQCv


Veterans in ant keeping have said not to do this for very specific reasons. All you will end up doing is proving them right and killing a colony. Why do people insist that people who have been in this field for a long time don't know what they are talking about? I hope you don't believe vaccines cause autism.


Edited by StopSpazzing, September 11 2017 - 1:01 PM.

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Don't Be A Spazz

 
Have you been to the Ant Keeping Wiki?
 
 
2017-09-11_11_45_22-Messenger.png

#13 Offline LC3 - Posted September 11 2017 - 5:08 PM

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Story time. About 7 years ago, once before I even knew ant keeping existed I put a Lasius queen into a gel ant farm I've received. Now this gel antform has seen a few workers in it here and there but once those things died (which for your information, one of the colony members turned on the others and killed them), they didn't mold, the gel also started smelling really weird, and the smell just got worse from that point on. Anyways her eggs never eclosed into larvae (she laid like 2 or 3 batches). She ended up crawling into a tunnel and suffocating. Years later (Like 4 years later, 3 years ago) I removed the gel (to replace with dirt for a Tetramorium queen), it smelled terrible but still more or less was the same consistency (slightly less watery), no mold whatsoever. You know that Lasius queen? Well she was preserved, flesh and whole, still could move her limbs a bit, and her exoskeleton practically melted (It was moldable and dented) That thing was practically solid formaldehyde.  It's partly the reason why, knowing ants for so long I chose not to keep any (A queen willing to lay 3 batches of eggs and still fail is quite discouraging).

 

I don't think your colonies would experience a mold outbreak or anything although it's probable, whatever that gel is made out of is certainly not meant for any living thing, at least long term. Not even Tetramorium. There is literally no benefit to keeping them in the gel nor are you proving anything to anyone. I would suggest you just take them out (along with the gel) and replace it with soil (after cleaning it very thoroughly of course).


Edited by LC3, September 11 2017 - 5:22 PM.

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Spoiler

 


#14 Offline Aquaexploder - Posted September 13 2017 - 3:18 AM

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Do gel ant farms kill ants? Well I decided today is the day I am going to answer that question. We have all heard that you should never use gel ant farms because the kill ants, however the guy on the instructional booklet of this Uncle Milton gel ant farm sure had a lot of charisma. He stated "The unique gel was originally developed NASA a space shuttle by for experiment to see how ants live and work in zero-gravi tis specially formulated to provide all the necessary nutrients and moisture for your ants. There is need to add water or food to the habitat." So I decided to give it a go. Now I am trying this with Tetramorium not harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) like it was designed for so the result may vary. Of course I am also trying to keep them alive so I will keep the Formicarium dark like a real one with a black towel (in the pictures).
Here a some pictures: https://imgur.com/a/9HQCv

Veterans in ant keeping have said not to do this for very specific reasons. All you will end up doing is proving them right and killing a colony. Why do people insist that people who have been in this field for a long time don't know what they are talking about? I hope you don't believe vaccines cause autism.

I just want to remind you that this is an experiment. I have also heard from many people that the gel will kill them for a a variety of reasons. However I've never seen actual proof on what happened. So this was an experiment is documented so other people can see proof rather than here something through word of mouth. If things start to get rough for them I will attempt to move them out into a proper formicarium. Also I've never heard of anything say that vaccines cause autism.
Founding:

Camponotus nearcticus (x1)

Tetramorium Sp E. (x3)

Prenolepis imparis (x3)

Myrmica (Unknown) (x1)

Temnothorax (x1)

#15 Offline Aquaexploder - Posted September 13 2017 - 3:22 AM

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Update: Their was an escapee this morning so I decided to reapply the baby powder barrier. Other from that nothing else has changed, however their water in their test tube is starting to run low so I feel like that will encourage them further to move out.
Founding:

Camponotus nearcticus (x1)

Tetramorium Sp E. (x3)

Prenolepis imparis (x3)

Myrmica (Unknown) (x1)

Temnothorax (x1)

#16 Offline Aquaexploder - Posted September 13 2017 - 3:28 AM

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So you guys really think I should move them back into a test tube setup. A simple yes or no in the comments will suffice.
Founding:

Camponotus nearcticus (x1)

Tetramorium Sp E. (x3)

Prenolepis imparis (x3)

Myrmica (Unknown) (x1)

Temnothorax (x1)

#17 Online TennesseeAnts - Posted September 13 2017 - 6:43 AM

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Yes


My journal: 

http://www.formicult...pdated-9182017/

 

Experimental Crematogaster smithi journal:

http://www.formicult...-smithi-colony/

 


#18 Offline lucas3431 - Posted September 13 2017 - 11:17 AM

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Story time. About 7 years ago, once before I even knew ant keeping existed I put a Lasius queen into a gel ant farm I've received. Now this gel antform has seen a few workers in it here and there but once those things died (which for your information, one of the colony members turned on the others and killed them), they didn't mold, the gel also started smelling really weird, and the smell just got worse from that point on. Anyways her eggs never eclosed into larvae (she laid like 2 or 3 batches). She ended up crawling into a tunnel and suffocating. Years later (Like 4 years later, 3 years ago) I removed the gel (to replace with dirt for a Tetramorium queen), it smelled terrible but still more or less was the same consistency (slightly less watery), no mold whatsoever. You know that Lasius queen? Well she was preserved, flesh and whole, still could move her limbs a bit, and her exoskeleton practically melted (It was moldable and dented) That thing was practically solid formaldehyde.  It's partly the reason why, knowing ants for so long I chose not to keep any (A queen willing to lay 3 batches of eggs and still fail is quite discouraging).

 

I don't think your colonies would experience a mold outbreak or anything although it's probable, whatever that gel is made out of is certainly not meant for any living thing, at least long term. Not even Tetramorium. There is literally no benefit to keeping them in the gel nor are you proving anything to anyone. I would suggest you just take them out (along with the gel) and replace it with soil (after cleaning it very thoroughly of course).

 

I just found information that an ingredient was added, I lost the article(too many tabs open) they added an antifungal.

 

 

So you guys really think I should move them back into a test tube setup. A simple yes or no in the comments will suffice.

 

This gel was only used for an experiment to see how Ants adapt to gravity not for a colony to live in it....so my answer is yes.


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#19 Online GeorgeK - Posted September 13 2017 - 11:24 AM

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Yep, it would be a shame to kill colony for nothing



#20 Offline Raptorofwar - Posted September 13 2017 - 7:20 PM

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Yes.




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