Jump to content

  • Chat
  •  
  •  



Welcome to Formiculture.com!

This is a website for anyone interested in Myrmecology and all aspects of finding, keeping, and studying ants. The site and forum are free to use, and contain no ads for members. Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation points to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!

Photo
- - - - -

Can I do a working grout formicarium without perlite?

ants

  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Offline CamponotusLover - Posted September 8 2018 - 4:05 PM

CamponotusLover

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 220 posts
  • LocationNew Jersey, USA
Okay so, I know, dumb question. I never have perlite and always forget to purchase some, I currently have a bowl of grout and am genuinely curious if I can make a working formicarium without perlite. I have white sand, not sure if I can do anything with that though. Any chance I can still make this formicarium I want and still be able to hydrate it?

I have cared for:

Camponotus Nearcticus
Brachymyrmex Depilis
Brachymyrmex Patagonicus
Crematogaster Cerasi
Prenolepis Imparis

Check out my Youtube channel :) 
https://www.youtube....BxGjDiu8rEAefAg ds0AW13YBUIjZ091cfe-E3sRnyV3Rs8RnA4eIJTC


#2 Offline Trythis22 - Posted September 8 2018 - 7:55 PM

Trythis22

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 96 posts
  • LocationPortland, Oregon

Hi CamponotusLover, no such thing as a dumb question. You can go ahead with a 2:1 ratio of the grout and water. Is the grout you have the sanded or non-sanded version? The white sand you add will add strength to the final mix, but will unfortunately make it more or less impermeable to water. Grout is basically cement, so think about what concrete is: A mix of small pebbles, fine aggregates, water and a binding agent. You would have a tough time trying to push any water through that. 

 

However, a nest that passively absorbs water is not the only way to "hydrate" a nest. Think about pure acrylic nests - acrylic does not absorb water but works fine as nesting material. You can achieve your goal by finding other ways to increase relative humidity (RH%) inside your nest. Ants do not necessarily require a "water bowl", just a humid environment to take care of their brood. 

 

I have an idea for you. Take a piece of vinyl tubing, poke some holes with it and plug it up with cotton or tape a mesh around it. Incorporate this hydrating mechanism into your final design, making sure that the holes/cotton are exposed to the inside of the nest so the water can evaporate. Make sure the cotton is moist all the way through. Simply pour the grout around this tube. Refill the tube as needed, making sure to plug the other end so the water evaporates out the other side only. 

 

In short, yes you can certainly create a working grout formicarium without perlite. 


  • CamponotusLover likes this

#3 Offline CamponotusLover - Posted September 8 2018 - 9:29 PM

CamponotusLover

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 220 posts
  • LocationNew Jersey, USA

Hi CamponotusLover, no such thing as a dumb question. You can go ahead with a 2:1 ratio of the grout and water. Is the grout you have the sanded or non-sanded version? The white sand you add will add strength to the final mix, but will unfortunately make it more or less impermeable to water. Grout is basically cement, so think about what concrete is: A mix of small pebbles, fine aggregates, water and a binding agent. You would have a tough time trying to push any water through that. 
 
However, a nest that passively absorbs water is not the only way to "hydrate" a nest. Think about pure acrylic nests - acrylic does not absorb water but works fine as nesting material. You can achieve your goal by finding other ways to increase relative humidity (RH%) inside your nest. Ants do not necessarily require a "water bowl", just a humid environment to take care of their brood. 
 
I have an idea for you. Take a piece of vinyl tubing, poke some holes with it and plug it up with cotton or tape a mesh around it. Incorporate this hydrating mechanism into your final design, making sure that the holes/cotton are exposed to the inside of the nest so the water can evaporate. Make sure the cotton is moist all the way through. Simply pour the grout around this tube. Refill the tube as needed, making sure to plug the other end so the water evaporates out the other side only. 
 
In short, yes you can certainly create a working grout formicarium without perlite.


I.flippin.love.it. thank you! I will try this! Oh my goodness yes!!

I have cared for:

Camponotus Nearcticus
Brachymyrmex Depilis
Brachymyrmex Patagonicus
Crematogaster Cerasi
Prenolepis Imparis

Check out my Youtube channel :) 
https://www.youtube....BxGjDiu8rEAefAg ds0AW13YBUIjZ091cfe-E3sRnyV3Rs8RnA4eIJTC


#4 Offline nurbs - Posted September 8 2018 - 9:46 PM

nurbs

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,378 posts
  • LocationLos Angeles

Just a side note, avoid acrylic nests. They are an extremely poor nesting material. I've tried lots of them, many from China and even an AC Omni nest XL (it was for a make a wish child who insisted on buying it), and they simply don't work as good formicariums. You will get lots of worker deaths.

 

While some species may do OK in them, they will not thrive. I don't know why people keep selling them. To our eyes they look nice and shiny, but the ants don't do well in them. The reason they don't work is exactly your explanation - they don't absorb water. They don't "breathe" well like the natural earth or the wood of trees. Ants secrete all kinds of pheremones, CHCs, formic acid, etc - and if these scents do not have a way to naturally escape, it can be harmful to them.

 

Have any of you actually seen an acrylic nest with a large thriving colony of ants? Rarely, if ever. They are always sold with nice fancy pictures completely antless. 

 

 

 

 

However, a nest that passively absorbs water is not the only way to "hydrate" a nest. Think about pure acrylic nests - acrylic does not absorb water but works fine as nesting material. You can achieve your goal by finding other ways to increase relative humidity (RH%) inside your nest. Ants do not necessarily require a "water bowl", just a humid environment to take care of their brood. 

 

 


  • CamponotusLover likes this

Instagram:

nurbsants

 

YouTube

 

California Ants for Sale

 

Camponotus us-ca02

http://www.formicult...onotus-us-ca02/

 

Pencil Case and Test Tube Formicariums

http://www.formicult...m-and-outworld/

 

Bloodworm Soup

http://www.formicult...bloodworm-soup/


#5 Offline DaveJay - Posted September 8 2018 - 10:02 PM

DaveJay

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 497 posts
  • LocationSouth Australia
I'm using unsanded grout, I added sand to some mixes but the last two I just used it straight. I can tell by the colour changes that it is absorbing water to a certain extent. I believe both dpsdrew and crystals conducted experiments with various mixes in diy threads, a search should reveal them but if I remember it was the rate of absorption that differed, the straight grout absorbed water eventually.

#6 Offline CamponotusLover - Posted September 8 2018 - 11:00 PM

CamponotusLover

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 220 posts
  • LocationNew Jersey, USA

Just a side note, avoid acrylic nests. They are an extremely poor nesting material. I've tried lots of them, many from China and even an AC Omni nest XL (it was for a make a wish child who insisted on buying it), and they simply don't work as good formicariums. You will get lots of worker deaths.
 
While some species may do OK in them, they will not thrive. I don't know why people keep selling them. To our eyes they look nice and shiny, but the ants don't do well in them. The reason they don't work is exactly your explanation - they don't absorb water. They don't "breathe" well like the natural earth or the wood of trees. Ants secrete all kinds of pheremones, CHCs, formic acid, etc - and if these scents do not have a way to naturally escape, it can be harmful to them.
 
Have any of you actually seen an acrylic nest with a large thriving colony of ants? Rarely, if ever. They are always sold with nice fancy pictures completely antless. 
 
 
 

However, a nest that passively absorbs water is not the only way to "hydrate" a nest. Think about pure acrylic nests - acrylic does not absorb water but works fine as nesting material. You can achieve your goal by finding other ways to increase relative humidity (RH%) inside your nest. Ants do not necessarily require a "water bowl", just a humid environment to take care of their brood.

I'm using unsanded grout, I added sand to some mixes but the last two I just used it straight. I can tell by the colour changes that it is absorbing water to a certain extent. I believe both dpsdrew and crystals conducted experiments with various mixes in diy threads, a search should reveal them but if I remember it was the rate of absorption that differed, the straight grout absorbed water eventually.


I'll keep these things in mind, thank you!
  • DaveJay likes this

I have cared for:

Camponotus Nearcticus
Brachymyrmex Depilis
Brachymyrmex Patagonicus
Crematogaster Cerasi
Prenolepis Imparis

Check out my Youtube channel :) 
https://www.youtube....BxGjDiu8rEAefAg ds0AW13YBUIjZ091cfe-E3sRnyV3Rs8RnA4eIJTC






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ants

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users