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Dspdrew's Formicarium 09 Research and Design (Updated 10-29-2017)

formicarium out world ant nest how-to tutorial dspdrew

323 replies to this topic

#21 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 14 2015 - 11:37 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

This thing grew quite a bit of green mold between the wood and the sides of the container before I ever put anything in it. This makes me wonder why sometimes I have rotted logs that never seem to grow mold no matter what, and other times I've finished sterilizing them and had them covered in mold the next day. Also, most of them in the wild don't have any mold on them at all.  :thinking: I have ideas as to why, but I decided to just try a little experiment to see how different conditions affect mold growth on rotted wood and to what degree. Even though some things seem obvious, some times I'm surprised.

 

I cut a rotted log into pieces and put them all in different combinations of conditions--aerobic, anaerobic (for the most part), cold, hot, sterilized, not sterilized, with springtails, and without springtails.

 

med_gallery_2_295_147365.jpg

 

med_gallery_2_295_567488.jpg


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#22 Offline Ants4fun - Posted May 15 2015 - 5:28 AM

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It might be all the micro-organisms that are normally present in the wild.

#23 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 15 2015 - 6:37 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

That's what a few people have suggested, and is part of the reason I'm trying this. Unfortunately this log was really dry, so I'm wondering if a lot of those microorganisms might have already been dead.



#24 Offline PTAntFan - Posted May 21 2015 - 10:04 AM

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Are you going to keep all of them in these setups? Nice! I like natural nests.

 

No. Only four right now.

 

 

Very nice looking formicariums. All of your work always comes out so clean and even looking. 

 

Have you experimented with substrate at all? You might be able to get a cleaner look into the nests if you use a coarser sand mixed with a very small amount of peat or potting soil. 

 

Thanks. "clean and even looking" is exactly what I want. I'm not quite sure what you mean by cleaner in regards to the substrate. I actually purposely mix sand and clay to make substrate closer to what they nest in, while also something that drys hard.

 

It's the clay dirt, right?  It's such a fine grain that it's mucking up the view.  Is there a larger grain material you could use?


PTAntFan

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I use the $3 Tower I made up.  See it here.


#25 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 21 2015 - 10:15 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

I can use sieves and get rid of any sized particles I want, but the problem is this:

 

Smaller particle size: more bonding strength, poor visibility

Larger particle size: less bonding strength, better visibility.



#26 Offline PTAntFan - Posted May 21 2015 - 1:56 PM

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Yeah, that's the rub isn't it.


PTAntFan

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Formica Francoeuri

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I use the $3 Tower I made up.  See it here.


#27 Offline Lamarr - Posted May 22 2015 - 4:45 PM

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Where do you find these acrylic/plastic containers from, dspdrew? I've been looking for them in local stores but with little success.



#28 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 22 2015 - 7:00 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Where do you find these acrylic/plastic containers from, dspdrew? I've been looking for them in local stores but with little success.

 

http://www.container...0032168&N=80804



#29 Offline Lamarr - Posted May 22 2015 - 7:46 PM

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Where do you find these acrylic/plastic containers from, dspdrew? I've been looking for them in local stores but with little success.

 

http://www.container...0032168&N=80804

 

 

Thanks for the link! Do the individual boxes come with the lid or would you have to buy 2 of them and use one as the lid?



#30 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 22 2015 - 7:53 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Yes they have a lid. The lids are basically the same as the boxes, only much shorter.



#31 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 22 2015 - 7:56 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Oh, you know what? I'm sorry, I gave you a link to the wrong containers. I didn't realize which thread this was, and the other containers are asked about allllllllll the time. The ones used in this thread were actually linked in the thread already.



#32 Offline Lamarr - Posted May 22 2015 - 8:25 PM

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Oh, you know what? I'm sorry, I gave you a link to the wrong containers. I didn't realize which thread this was, and the other containers are asked about allllllllll the time. The ones used in this thread were actually linked in the thread already.

 

Oh, that's fine. More information about the containers! Can I also get a link to the steel mesh you used if ya don't mind?  :D



#33 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 22 2015 - 8:31 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

I don't have a link for that. I found it on Ebay I think. I will tell you it's100 mesh though.



#34 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 6 2015 - 3:12 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

That last experiment was useless. I couldn't any of them to grow mold haha.


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#35 Offline dspdrew - Posted July 16 2015 - 10:44 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Aside from 3D printing the inner tank now, I decided to put a hole and plug on the surface as well as the bottom.

 

med_gallery_2_295_43325.jpg

 

med_gallery_2_295_443883.jpg

 

 

This can help if you need to move a queen in that already has brood. You can tape a very small test tube onto it i hopes that she keeps her brood inside it until she has her nest dug. This would keep her from burying her brood. I'm trying this now with one of my Myrmecocystus mexicanus queens, but so far she has just decided to make the tube her nest. I would imagine it won't be humid enough, and she would eventually move, but knowing Honeypot ants, I wouldn't be surprised if she just sits there until the eggs all dry out.

 

med_gallery_2_295_574354.jpg



#36 Offline LC3 - Posted July 17 2015 - 12:04 AM

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What about the dirt? She needs somewhere to put the dirt she dug and might not have enough room in the tube for it.

Colonies

Spoiler

 

 


#37 Offline dspdrew - Posted July 17 2015 - 5:25 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

She doesn't put the dirt in the tube.



#38 Offline Miles - Posted July 17 2015 - 5:29 AM

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I sure like those silicone plugs that you use. It's a shame they're so expensive!


Hi, I'm Miles! I study ants, environmental science, political science, and science communication at Montana State University in Bozeman. I've been keeping ants for nearly a decade and I'm passionate about conservation and public service.

 

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#39 Offline dspdrew - Posted July 17 2015 - 6:34 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

I sure like those silicone plugs that you use. It's a shame they're so expensive!

 

Oh no, it was the original black rubber plug that cost so much. These silicone ones I am making myself for next to nothing--only my time. If anybody wants some, I'm sure I could sell them some.



#40 Offline PTAntFan - Posted July 17 2015 - 6:51 AM

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What's needed is a semi-flexible coupling that fits a standard size test tube. Can you make those? 😁
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PTAntFan

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Formica Francoeuri

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I use the $3 Tower I made up.  See it here.






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