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The Devil's Brigade Journal (First Colony) (UPDATED-04-25-2020

journal black brigade first colony newbie beginner

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#1 Offline ADHTCIAD - Posted April 20 2020 - 2:53 AM

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So this is my first post about my first colony. They are tetramorium species from North America. I have decided to dub them. "The Devils Brigade" after one of my favorite books/stories ever.

 

My setup (pictures to come) is a 40 gallon aquarium I had lying around. My formicarium (Hybrid Nest) is going to be at one end of the tank with a couple of open passages leading to the outworld, which is of course the rest of the tank) The substrate for the outworld is reptile sand and I have decided to keep the deco to a minimal. The desert theme won, (it was a family vote) so there's a hollow pyramid with some vines coming out of it, and a couple of other fake plants and "rocky outcrops" as Mikey Bustos calls them. Oh and I can't forget the little Spongebob my daughter wanted in there, he belongs in the desert don't ya know lol. Only other thing I might add is if I can score a nice piece of driftwood (or want to change theme)

 

I was worrying the big outworld might be too daunting for my starting colony too so I also created a little feeding dish to put close to the entrance. It's a small container with a door cut in each side. I hope I've thought of everything so that they thrive and do well! My two other worries are if they are going to have a hard time dragging food/walking through the dry sand, not sure if I should wet it either. Don't want them to start digging in the outworld!

 

When the formicarium is in and ready I will post pics. Look forward to tips/comments.


Edited by ADHTCIAD, April 25 2020 - 10:50 AM.

  • FeedTheAnts and TennesseeAnts like this

What do you get if you cross some ants with some ticks...?

All sorts of antics!! ... :lol:

 

Okay, I'll leave. That's the ant-ire joke anyways.


#2 Offline Boog - Posted April 20 2020 - 4:38 AM

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What's your colony size? Sounds like the outworld might be too large for a starting colony but I haven't kept tetramorium myself so it could be fine.

Everyone loves pictures here, so the more the merrier but you'll need to learn how to share them so they're in your post.


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#3 Offline ADHTCIAD - Posted April 20 2020 - 10:53 AM

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Figured I may as well post what I have so far so everyone has a better understanding of what I'm explaining and can give better insight. My formicarium isn't here yet but it will go on the left side where the empty space is, eventually i want two nests in there. I plan on making a background for it to cover the black, and maybe some piece of driftwood or something taller just to make it look a little nicer. Also i have yet to put up the barrier. (I will be using Vaseline as from what I've read Tetramoriums are not that hard to contain)
 
I know its big for a starting colony, and I didn't get the small size hybrid nest either. But I just can't bring myself to buy two complete setups, or a bigger one down the road. I'm a plan ahead kind of guy lol. My colony is around 30 or so workers so I don't think the formicarium size should be a problem and I also have a little feeding dish I can put close the entrance of the hybrid nest. I am hoping this solves the problem of the outworld being too large for a small colony. Then as they get bigger and forage more I can get rid of the dish or just move it around to keep the sand clean.
 
I understand Tetramoriums are not a desert species but that's the theme I went with lol. And the Spongebob was the kids touch! He also needed some water too apparently. (the wet sand) Don't worry though it will have a lid once everything is in, and it was bottled water.
 
One concern i have is about the sand, and if they will have a hard time with prey/walking. The wet sand seems to have packed nicely of course but I'm also worried if I wet the sand, they may choose to shack up in the outworld. Anyways, enough ramblings, and go easy lol I'm not done yet.
 
FRONT:
Start of setup "The Devils Brigade"
 
INSIDE:

Start of setup "The Devils Brigade" 2


  • Karma, TennesseeAnts and AntsDakota like this

What do you get if you cross some ants with some ticks...?

All sorts of antics!! ... :lol:

 

Okay, I'll leave. That's the ant-ire joke anyways.


#4 Offline ADHTCIAD - Posted April 22 2020 - 5:59 PM

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Colony is here, they survived the journey, two days in transit. They were in a regular test tube setup; full with water, there was no leaks tho thankfully. Just was in a small little box wrapped in bubble wrap, with the rest of the empty space filled with bubble wrap. Everyone was really slow, a couple died getting themselves wedged in the cotton but other than that all was good.

 

I covered the test tube setup in a small tupperware container for now, and opened it up. I feel they need more numbers before moving to my formicarium. There's about 20-25 now. I cut up some bits of strawberry and they came rushing out to feed. So I then gave them a cricket leg/small body part, they ignored it at first and went for the sugar, but eventually they hollowed out and dragged the cricket parts into the tube. I still seen them foraging so I cut up a small meal-worm and they have been munching on that too. Ferocious appetite for such a tiny little thing!

 

(Didn't get a snap of the queen yet and don't want to uncover her so this is the pic y'all get)

 

Devil's Brigade Is here

Edited by ADHTCIAD, April 22 2020 - 6:56 PM.

  • TennesseeAnts likes this

What do you get if you cross some ants with some ticks...?

All sorts of antics!! ... :lol:

 

Okay, I'll leave. That's the ant-ire joke anyways.


#5 Offline AntsExodus - Posted April 22 2020 - 7:13 PM

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Hey I'm sorry but the formicarium size does matter. Its not good to keep them in a large formicarium with just only 30 workers and a big outworld like that is too much for them. That outworld is even big for a 1000 worker colony. If I where you I would wait around until they have 100 or so workers and then move them into the hybrid nest and give them a outworld a little smaller then that one.


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#6 Offline Karma - Posted April 22 2020 - 8:44 PM

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Hey I'm sorry but the formicarium size does matter. Its not good to keep them in a large formicarium with just only 30 workers and a big outworld like that is too much for them. That outworld is even big for a 1000 worker colony. If I where you I would wait around until they have 100 or so workers and then move them into the hybrid nest and give them a outworld a little smaller then that one.

The not having a large formicarium/living space for a small colony I agree with, but for outworld I don't think it really matters as long as you make sure you place the food/water close to their nest so they don't have to venture too far as a small colony. Small colonies in nature have access to a huge outworld so I don't see why it would be detrimental (outside of the placing food too far away).


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#7 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 23 2020 - 7:05 AM

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Yeah, you can't really have a out world that's too big. Consider the size of a wild colony's "out world." The only down side with a huge out world is that you won't really have room for any other species. Just put the food close to the nest while the foraging worker numbers are small, so they can find it before it dries out.


"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#8 Offline ADHTCIAD - Posted April 23 2020 - 8:24 AM

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I know the formicarium is big for now, that's why I opted to keep them in the test tube in small shallow container. They aren't in the big outworld I have yet.

 

I've been putting the food right by the entrance, the cricket parts and meal-worm parts they took in yesterday were out in a garbage pile this morning, so they're eating lots and they are a lot more active.

 

If I absolutely have to I'll make them a small chamber or something; or another test tube setup in with where they are now, until their numbers go up. I was thinking 100 workers or so until I tried moving them also. I'm in no rush to move them in.


What do you get if you cross some ants with some ticks...?

All sorts of antics!! ... :lol:

 

Okay, I'll leave. That's the ant-ire joke anyways.


#9 Offline ADHTCIAD - Posted April 23 2020 - 8:25 AM

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Yeah, you can't really have a out world that's too big. Consider the size of a wild colony's "out world." The only down side with a huge out world is that you won't really have room for any other species. Just put the food close to the nest while the foraging worker numbers are small, so they can find it before it dries out.

Yea no doubt lol, with my tank size I think I'm stuck with one species for awhile. :lol:


What do you get if you cross some ants with some ticks...?

All sorts of antics!! ... :lol:

 

Okay, I'll leave. That's the ant-ire joke anyways.


#10 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 23 2020 - 10:16 AM

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Sticking with one species is like having one beer or one potato chip.
  • Canadant, AntsDakota, Da_NewAntOnTheBlock and 1 other like this

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#11 Offline ADHTCIAD - Posted April 23 2020 - 1:13 PM

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Sticking with one species is like having one beer or one potato chip.

If I can take this first colony to larger stages, believe me, my house will quickly fill with ants lol. It used to be reptiles but my collection is slowly dwindling, and my power bill thanks me. :lol:


Edited by ADHTCIAD, April 23 2020 - 1:13 PM.

What do you get if you cross some ants with some ticks...?

All sorts of antics!! ... :lol:

 

Okay, I'll leave. That's the ant-ire joke anyways.


#12 Offline ADHTCIAD - Posted April 25 2020 - 10:49 AM

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So after their initial feast, they stockpiled some meal-worm and some sunflower seeds (man, they really do love those things!) in their test tube setup and outside activity stopped for a day or so. This point I decided to move them into my big outworld. I half buried their tube in the sand on a bit of an angle, and I put a tube of sugar water by their entrance for them to find. I did add a little more food too but I haven't seen any activity besides them coming out to have a quick look after I first moved them. I would assume it's because they're nice and fat already, and busy setting up the nest?

 

I WANT to peek again and see, but I'm not gunna pull an AC as I did peek when I moved them. I replaced their tube cover with something different. Queen was fine, probably 30+ workers. I didn't see any brood piles or anything but I have terrible eyesight and those little gaffers are small lol.

 

Next time I check on her I will have to take a close up so you all can see it better than I can :lol: I know everyone likes pics.

 

I also bought a x-small, x-thin 4W heating pad. (exo-terra) but I'm wondering if I even need it for now. Not sure about condensation in the test tube if i add heat... The room they are in is kept around 70-75 ambient temp.


  • AnthonyP163 likes this

What do you get if you cross some ants with some ticks...?

All sorts of antics!! ... :lol:

 

Okay, I'll leave. That's the ant-ire joke anyways.


#13 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 25 2020 - 12:21 PM

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Tetramorium should definitely be kept above 75. Low to mid 80s would be ideal.
Try giving them shelled hemp seeds or crushed pine nuts. Mine go crazy for those.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.






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