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Messor barbarus colony and sand

ants messorbarbarus

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#1 Offline CatLord - Posted April 14 2018 - 3:19 AM


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So i got a new ant colony yesterday and i put them into small outerword with their test tube i filled it with sand and they started digging in it like every messor barbarus colony would do my question is is it ok for them to nest in the sand or is it dangerous and might collapse on them?

#2 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted April 15 2018 - 8:23 PM


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I would try to avoid sand only flooring, put some grout on the bottom and coat it with a thin layer of sand for aesthetics. Sime of the issued that may arise include: live food can burrow, and you will not be able to see your colony and on top of that, tunnel collapses may occur if the clay content of the substrate is low. You might think your colony is dead too, before realizing they are just not eating much, and it can cause enormous confusion. If you really want then to dig, make an antfarm setup or buy a dirt box from drew, they work very well. Although, this doesn't seem to be needed for this species.

#3 Offline Rattus - Posted April 19 2018 - 7:10 AM


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Just don't touch the sand, where your colony lives under, moisten frequently(but don't overdo) with some kind of spray bottle, try introducing some natural earth and live moss.

Ants dig and fill their tunnels when they don't intend to use them. I use quartz sand in one container with some stones and bird sand on top, in the other I use bird sand mixed with quartz sand and earth with moss on top, as well as some root aphids.

Would you mind providing some pictures of your setup?

Edited by Rattus, April 19 2018 - 7:29 AM.

#4 Offline Barristan - Posted April 19 2018 - 7:19 AM


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I wouldn't worry too much about collapsing. In nature chambers also often collapse and if you don't put a heavy decoration on top of the sand (like stones) ants won't die if the sand collapses. Other ants will start digging them out (they make special noises so nest mates find the buried ones more easily).


But it is best to mix sand with some clay to make it more stable.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ants, messorbarbarus

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