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Termite Setups

termite setup keeping

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#1 Offline Nare - Posted July 28 2018 - 5:55 AM

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I think it's about time we have a common repository of termite keeping setups. If you have any interesting designs or setups for keeping your termites, or even just ideas, please post below.


Test Tubes

Make a standard test tube setup like you might for a queen, but only fill the tube maybe half full of water. Fill the chamber with cardboard or whatever material suits you best, make sure that the material touches the wet cotton. Put a plug on the open end of your tube - in my experience, an airtight plug seems to be okay for up to a week, perhaps longer.

Pros: If you keep ants, and you have tubes, you can easily make this setup. It's also really easy to view the termites - they seem to dig into the cardboard a bit, but can also chill near the glass.

Cons: Termites may start tunneling through the wet cotton - mine have been working at it for about 3 weeks and made only a little bit of progress, but it could become a problem if they tunnel all the way through into the reservoir.

 

 

Jam Jars

Take a jam jar, and put some moist cellulose into it (cardboard, newspaper, wood, whatever). If you're keeping subterranean termites, you're going to want to put a thin layer of soil on the bottom of the jar. Make sure that no wood or cardboard are touching the lid, so that the termites can't climb out. You can put a sealed lid on, you'll probably want to air out the jar once in a while though.

Pros: A more naturalistic setup than the test tube, more space as well. By having no reservoir, there's no risk of the termites killing themselves. Also, it's pretty easy to make, even easier than the test tube setup, as jars are probably more common than test tubes.

Cons: More work than the test tube setup (still SUPER low maintenance), you have to air it out and ensure that it's not too moist. As well, you control how moist it is, if you overdo it, the termites may die. As well, some glass jars may be difficult to observe through, and termites may tunnel in the soil or hide under the wood.

 

If anyone has any suggestions for improving this setup, please tell me - I'm in need of a solution to the cotton problem.


Edited by Nare, July 31 2018 - 1:28 PM.

I keep termites - check them out!


#2 Offline sirjordanncurtis - Posted July 28 2018 - 7:13 AM

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Someone made a post about using the tips of gloves to cover cotton as a way of preventing mold occurring on the cotton. I think that would work for preventing tunneling and cotton pulling as well.


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#3 Offline Nare - Posted July 28 2018 - 12:08 PM

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Someone made a post about using the tips of gloves to cover cotton as a way of preventing mold occurring on the cotton. I think that would work for preventing tunneling and cotton pulling as well.

I chatted about this with some others, I think unfortunately the termites would just be able to chew right through the glove. On that note, I've been thinking about alternative materials that could be used, but I've had no luck yet.


I keep termites - check them out!


#4 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 31 2018 - 3:17 AM

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Aquarium filter wool is a lot tougher than cotton and won't mold, maybe try that

 

But it won't wick water, but will humidify


Edited by CoolColJ, July 31 2018 - 3:17 AM.

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Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
9mm queen red head/black body Phediole sp, 7mm queen all black Phediole, 2x Phediole sp. red head/black body 8mm queens
Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus

Journal = http://www.formicult...sp-furnace-ant/

Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean pet/feeder termite colony journal = http://www.formicult...ournal/?p=96808


#5 Offline Nare - Posted July 31 2018 - 12:43 PM

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Aquarium filter wool is a lot tougher than cotton and won't mold, maybe try that

 

But it won't wick water, but will humidify

Eh. I don't know if just humidity will do the trick. My setups rely on the cotton wicking moisture into the cardboard. But we won't know until we try, so I'll keep that in mind.


I keep termites - check them out!


#6 Offline Major - Posted July 31 2018 - 1:00 PM

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I don't know too much about termite keeping but I know a couple members on this forum keep their termites in large petri dishes with some sort of moist substrate. Wood, cardboard, paper, anything moist and not to tough that you can get your hands on. Put a moist cotton ball in the middle for water and humidity, but still continue to hydrate the substrate.
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Colonies:
1 Temnothorax Longispinosus
1 Camponotus Pennsylvanicus
1 Tapinoma Sessile

Founding:
1 Triple Queen Formica Subserica
1 Myrmica sp.

Check out my ants for sale!http://www.formicult...ns-in-new-york/

My Journal= http://www.formicult...’s-ant-journal/

Tips & Tricks For Finding Certain Species: http://www.formicult...pecies/?p=98140

#7 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 31 2018 - 4:29 PM

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This is mu current setup for my Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean termites

 

Corrugated cardboard cut to fit, and placed at bottom of a 55x15mm petri dish.

Wet cotton wool in the middle.

 

It allows them to run around and escape bad areas if needed.

But I made it far too wet, so leaving lid off for now.

Excessive humidity and mold killed them last time, but I have springtails I can add in now

 

Should I add soil under the cardboard?

 

click to enlarge


Edited by CoolColJ, July 31 2018 - 4:30 PM.

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Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
9mm queen red head/black body Phediole sp, 7mm queen all black Phediole, 2x Phediole sp. red head/black body 8mm queens
Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus

Journal = http://www.formicult...sp-furnace-ant/

Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean pet/feeder termite colony journal = http://www.formicult...ournal/?p=96808


#8 Offline Nare - Posted July 31 2018 - 6:28 PM

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This is mu current setup for my Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean termites

 

Corrugated cardboard cut to fit, and placed at bottom of a 55x15mm petri dish.

Wet cotton wool in the middle.

 

It allows them to run around and escape bad areas if needed.

But I made it far too wet, so leaving lid off for now.

Excessive humidity and mold killed them last time, but I have springtails I can add in now

 

Should I add soil under the cardboard?

 

click to enlarge

The subterranean termites that I'm keeping sort of need soil, I have some nesting purely in wood, others, just in the soil, but ultimately, soil is always provided. I have no idea if this is the case for Australian termites, but I don't think it'd hurt. Maybe I'd sterilize it first (I tried microwaving soil to sterilize it today, don't know how well it worked), or I'd add some springtails. Termites might eat mold, but I'm not certain.


I keep termites - check them out!


#9 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 31 2018 - 8:04 PM

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I have some of the dirt/substrate that their original nest was made of under the rock I collected them from sitting in a container.

It feels pretty dry. So I am most likely over hydrating them

 

In a way most of the ants we keep are subterranean yet they live just fine in test tubes and containers, so I figure termites are not that much different


Edited by CoolColJ, July 31 2018 - 8:04 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
9mm queen red head/black body Phediole sp, 7mm queen all black Phediole, 2x Phediole sp. red head/black body 8mm queens
Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus

Journal = http://www.formicult...sp-furnace-ant/

Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean pet/feeder termite colony journal = http://www.formicult...ournal/?p=96808






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