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

formicarium out world ant nest how-to tutorial dspdrew

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#61 Offline BrittonLS - Posted August 3 2015 - 1:28 PM

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This might give you an idea of the consistency. 



#62 Online dspdrew - Posted August 3 2015 - 1:50 PM

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Yes I know the size of the pores or voids definitely plays a role in capillary action as well. That and the amount of surface tension of the liquid together affect it. Thanks. Sorptivity is the word I was looking for.



#63 Offline BrittonLS - Posted August 3 2015 - 2:12 PM

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Also related:

 

https://en.wikipedia...iki/Jurin's_law

 

I don't know how you might do this for something made of particles though. It may be that because it's based on the angle of the surface and capillary that you can treat the collection of voids theoretically as a simple tube that would have the radius of the space between closely packed particles. Also noted if you decide to use this formula, that porous materials will not reach the theoretical height because of evaporation.

 

Heh, like with Drew testing out that hydrostone that just kept rising up with water :P I think I saw somewhere while I've been looking into this that damp in gypsum plaster rises 15 ft based on this law :P



#64 Online dspdrew - Posted August 3 2015 - 3:09 PM

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Yeah, if you look a little ways back, I actually did a little experiment to see how high water would soak up some clay dirt, and I knew evaporation was obviously a factor. That is really the only way I can get a moisture gradient out of such a small nest. Shining a hot light on the surface will make a nice moisture gradient.



#65 Offline PTAntFan - Posted August 3 2015 - 5:30 PM

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Wow you guys are WAAAAAY over my head in this current topic, but I thought I'd just share some anecdotal obervations here at home.  I've used Zoo Med Excavator successfully in two different designs now.  I originally used it in my Drewcarium design based off one of Drew's models and I am testing it with a new concept in a tower design I had made years ago and have resurrected.  I had the idea for harvesters that like to dig so deeply.

Power Tower V1
 
Now, if you put water in the top of the tower, you'd have a drowned and crushed colony because this material definitely turns to slush.  However, because it's so absorbent, it also sucks moisture up like BOSS!  Last week I went to Seattle for business and had my son feeding my ants.  But I completely forgot to tell him to check the hydration levels of my nests.  When I returned the tower was almost completely dry.  I replaced the water in the dish it sits in and within 30m the tower was hydrated top to bottom.
 
At the bottom of the tower are four micro holes stuffed with cotton that make contact with the water in the dish on the outside and the substrate on the inside.  There also appears to be a gradient as the substrate at the top is dryer to the eye than the bottom. 
 
In the Drewcarium I sifted the substrate before adding it to the nest.  That worked very well and lead to a high visibility.  In the tower I was unable to sift much because i was near the end of the bag and there simply wasn't much larger material left.  As you can see in the picture, there's still decent visibility, which a full colony might make even better over time; this is just the work of one queen.  I was astonished how deep she dug as it was; she basically went all the way to the bottom. 
 
When this material dries it dries HARD.  So hard at one point I though my queen had sealed herself in for doom, but she was too smart for that.  Never-the-less, I am not at all concerned about collapse at this time.

PTAntFan

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Formica Francoeuri

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


#66 Online dspdrew - Posted August 4 2015 - 5:40 AM

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Very nice. That looks sort of like the "dirt box" that I ultimately plan to make. I'm planning on using these two foot tall vases, and putting a sealed tank of water in them for hydration that lasts a long time. Is that acrylic tubing you used there? That stuff is extremely expensive in large sizes.



#67 Offline Foogoo - Posted August 4 2015 - 6:59 AM

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I remember you mentioning that stuff before, I think I have to give it a try. It sounds like coconut coir - super absorbent. Except coconut does not try hard at all and the ants I tried it with don't seem interested in it.

 

BTW, Drewcarium never gets old.  :lol:


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Camponotus vicinus, Crematogaster 1, Crematogaster 2, Formica francoeuri, *, *, Myrmecocystus testaceus, Novomessor cockerelli, Pheidole hyatti, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, Solenopsis invicta


#68 Offline Foogoo - Posted August 7 2015 - 8:23 PM

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I have started 3D printing the inner chamber of these now.

Did you get a 3D printer or did you have someone do it?


Camponotus vicinus, Crematogaster 1, Crematogaster 2, Formica francoeuri, *, *, Myrmecocystus testaceus, Novomessor cockerelli, Pheidole hyatti, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, Solenopsis invicta


#69 Online dspdrew - Posted August 7 2015 - 8:33 PM

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Bigb got one.



#70 Offline BrittonLS - Posted August 8 2015 - 8:19 AM

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If anyone needs a 3D printer for something you can always search for a 'Maker Space' that has public 3D printer and sometimes even computers with software to make something.
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#71 Online dspdrew - Posted August 8 2015 - 9:19 AM

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So if you read about this a while back in this journal, you would have known how it was covered in green mold soon after I made it.

 

med_gallery_2_295_150469.jpg

 

med_gallery_2_295_91823.jpg

 

 

Well, I got tired of seeing it sitting around, and I have more Liometopum occidentale colonies than I know what to do with, so I figured what the hell, I'll just put them in it and see what happens. First I dumped tons of springtails into it, which are now all over between the wood and the plastic. Hopefully these will eat up a lot of the mold. While looking at it under a microscope, I also noticed there's a good amount of book lice in it too since it's been kept completely dry for months. In addition to them, there are compost mites, and white worms I observed as well.

 

We'll see how it goes.



#72 Offline Foogoo - Posted August 8 2015 - 12:29 PM

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If anyone needs a 3D printer for something you can always search for a 'Maker Space' that has public 3D printer and sometimes even computers with software to make something.

There are also a few services that will do it for you, which might be more economical if you just want to duplicate something and have the files for. 


Camponotus vicinus, Crematogaster 1, Crematogaster 2, Formica francoeuri, *, *, Myrmecocystus testaceus, Novomessor cockerelli, Pheidole hyatti, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, Solenopsis invicta


#73 Online dspdrew - Posted October 5 2015 - 6:47 PM

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I decided a while back to add mesh to the lids of these smaller boxes.

 

med_gallery_2_295_187318.jpg

 

 

To do this in a way that didn't look too horrible, I bought a nylon spacer the exact size of the round mesh cutouts I bought, and glued it to a washer, also the same size. I stuck a piece of masking tape to it so it can be held in place while I add the plastic solvent.

 

med_gallery_2_295_179075.jpg

 

 

#100 mesh circles 1/8 of an inch larger in diameter than the holes.

 

med_gallery_2_295_767334.jpg

 

 

I lined them up and held them in place while I stuck the nylon spacer to them with the masking tape, sandwiching the mesh between the spacer and the lid.

 

med_gallery_2_295_210476.jpg

 

med_gallery_2_295_98179.jpg

 

med_gallery_2_295_210271.jpg

 

 

The spacer will ensure that the solvent only spreads to the edge of the mesh.

 

med_gallery_2_295_530315.jpg

 

 

Once the solvent has been spread over the entire edge of the mesh, I clamp it very tightly with some soft rubber clamps.

 

med_gallery_2_295_199334.jpg

 

 

Once it has cured I have a lid with the mesh pushed into the plastic, and it doesn't look too bad. B)

 

med_gallery_2_295_654734.jpg

 

med_gallery_2_295_289283.jpg



#74 Offline Crystals - Posted October 5 2015 - 6:55 PM

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Show off.  :D

 

Mine never look that neat and tidy.


"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens

 

List of Handy Links   (pinned in the General section)

My Colonies


#75 Offline NightsWebs - Posted October 5 2015 - 8:19 PM

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OK Drew got to give it to you that looks awesome.  However, I thought you wanted a larger mesh area for the boxes.  I assumed you wanted about 75-90% of the total lid area to be mesh to allow greater air circulation and allow for more varied naturally occurring moisture gradient between the surface and the actual hydro-stone bottoms.   


Current Colonies;

Acromyrmex Versicolor

Dorymyrmex Bicolor

Pogonomyrmex Californicus
Pogonomyrmex Rugosus

Pogonomyrmex Tenuispinus
Novomessor Cockerelli
Myrmecocystus Mexicanus

 

Last Update: 08 Jul 2016

 

 


#76 Online dspdrew - Posted October 5 2015 - 9:10 PM

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Yeah, I'm thinking about actually 3D printing lids for them made the way I want them. I just did this for now, because I had tons of ant colonies that were going to start getting loose if I didn't do something soon.


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#77 Offline klawfran3 - Posted October 6 2015 - 8:39 AM

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How's the wooden ant nest going? It looks like a really interesting idea.


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#78 Online dspdrew - Posted October 6 2015 - 3:24 PM

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It's working great now that I put springtails in it. Every single bit of the green mold is gone. It took about a month for them to eat it all.



#79 Offline PTAntFan - Posted October 7 2015 - 6:08 AM

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Very nice. That looks sort of like the "dirt box" that I ultimately plan to make. I'm planning on using these two foot tall vases, and putting a sealed tank of water in them for hydration that lasts a long time. Is that acrylic tubing you used there? That stuff is extremely expensive in large sizes.


Just realized I never answered you. I went to a local plastics shop and had it made. I wanna say it was about $30-$40. It needs some refinement and a foraging area. The colony is actually doing ok. I think she has 5-7 workers now. I added some of the book lice to work the mold. Might need some of your springtails.

PTAntFan

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Formica Francoeuri

*****************************

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


#80 Offline NightsWebs - Posted October 8 2015 - 6:41 AM

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I am seriously considering modification of my Talus lids to include a much larger mesh screen area for that very reason.  I might contact Mack and see if he will do some lids for me because it goes with my lazy (not really just lack of time) nature. :)


Current Colonies;

Acromyrmex Versicolor

Dorymyrmex Bicolor

Pogonomyrmex Californicus
Pogonomyrmex Rugosus

Pogonomyrmex Tenuispinus
Novomessor Cockerelli
Myrmecocystus Mexicanus

 

Last Update: 08 Jul 2016

 

 






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