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Does Grout need any additives(ie. perlite/hydrostone/sand) added to it?

ants_dakota ants grout nest additives formicariums

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#1 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted May 13 2020 - 2:38 PM

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The title says it all.


Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

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#2 Offline AntsDakota - Posted May 13 2020 - 2:40 PM

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You know, you could use Hydrostone instead of grout. It may just be cheaper.


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"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#3 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted May 13 2020 - 2:43 PM

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let me check it out.


what does everyone else think?


Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

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#4 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 13 2020 - 3:53 PM

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Grout is cheaper than hydrostone and needs no additives. The downside is that it absorbs water slower than other materials. Read the tutorials Crystals made about how to make formicariums with it.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
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#5 Offline steelplant - Posted May 15 2020 - 12:56 AM

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Hey Ants Dakota. Grout is basically just cement, water and really fine sand. If you want to increase its ability to hold water, you can add eg vermiculite, perlite, coconut fibre etc. Then it's probably going to be cheaper to go with cement rather than grout.

 

I've been making my own firebricks out of cement, water and vermiculite. Ratio I'm using if anyone's interested is 1.5  :  1 :  2   water: cement: vermiculite by volume. It's very easy to carve. I'm at the early stages of experimenting with this and wondered whether anyone else had made their own firebricks.

 

Edit: Actually thinking about it, Crystal is effectively making vermcrete by adding vermiculite to grout. 


Edited by steelplant, May 15 2020 - 4:37 AM.

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#6 Offline Temperateants - Posted May 15 2020 - 5:19 AM

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I made some attempts to make my own AAC with shaving foam, concrete, and water. My most successful attempt was when I made a block that was pretty porous. There was a film of powder on it, that would be no doubt toxic to the ants, so I scrapped it. Another mistake was that I used concrete, not cement, so there were rocks and gravel in it that weakened the whole thing. Of course, the homemade AAC isn't as good as the real stuff made from lime, cement, and aluminum for porousness. There is a whole community for homemade AAC that uses a foam generator with dish soap instead of shaving cream. 


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#7 Offline steelplant - Posted May 16 2020 - 12:45 AM

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Thanks Temperateants. Interesting to hear your experience. Making foamcrete looks like a blast, and a great material if non toxic. Didn't realise this stuff's used for sound insulation, so maybe it makes things quieter for the ants as well. I'm new to making these so going 0-60 as fast as I can to get things cured and tested before the summer flights.


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#8 Offline Temperateants - Posted May 16 2020 - 5:26 AM

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Thanks Temperateants. Interesting to hear your experience. Making foamcrete looks like a blast, and a great material if non toxic. Didn't realise this stuff's used for sound insulation, so maybe it makes things quieter for the ants as well. I'm new to making these so going 0-60 as fast as I can to get things cured and tested before the summer flights.

I'm not sure if there is any residue of powder or soap that would be extremely toxic. If you have a really large colony you could make a small prototype and move some of the brood and workers in (obviously not the queen) and then test it. For it to fully cure I think you would need to soak it, to also get all those chemicals out. 


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#9 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted May 16 2020 - 4:57 PM

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Grout is cheaper than hydrostone and needs no additives. The downside is that it absorbs water slower than other materials. Read the tutorials Crystals made about how to make formicariums with it.

I did do that, and it was really helpful.


Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

My Journals

General Journal

Camponotus novaeboracensis Journal

My Shop Here

Attention Ant-Keepers in South Dakota! Join the SoDak(Society Of Dakotan Ant Keepers)

Learn about our website AntsDakota, and help us develop and publish it

Join ouDiscord, where you can discuss your anting ideas in peace, and learn more about AntsDakota.com


#10 Offline steelplant - Posted May 17 2020 - 10:57 AM

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Thanks Temperateants. Interesting to hear your experience. Making foamcrete looks like a blast, and a great material if non toxic. Didn't realise this stuff's used for sound insulation, so maybe it makes things quieter for the ants as well. I'm new to making these so going 0-60 as fast as I can to get things cured and tested before the summer flights.

I'm not sure if there is any residue of powder or soap that would be extremely toxic. If you have a really large colony you could make a small prototype and move some of the brood and workers in (obviously not the queen) and then test it. For it to fully cure I think you would need to soak it, to also get all those chemicals out. 

 

Hey Temperateants, thanks for your reply. I'm just misting the curing nests with water (vermcrete and coircrete) several times a day. Do I need to actually submerge them in water to cure please?



#11 Offline Temperateants - Posted May 17 2020 - 11:16 AM

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Thanks Temperateants. Interesting to hear your experience. Making foamcrete looks like a blast, and a great material if non toxic. Didn't realise this stuff's used for sound insulation, so maybe it makes things quieter for the ants as well. I'm new to making these so going 0-60 as fast as I can to get things cured and tested before the summer flights.

I'm not sure if there is any residue of powder or soap that would be extremely toxic. If you have a really large colony you could make a small prototype and move some of the brood and workers in (obviously not the queen) and then test it. For it to fully cure I think you would need to soak it, to also get all those chemicals out. 

 

Hey Temperateants, thanks for your reply. I'm just misting the curing nests with water (vermcrete and coircrete) several times a day. Do I need to actually submerge them in water to cure please?

 

I've heard you can do that if certain chemical reactions haven't neutralized.


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#12 Offline steelplant - Posted May 18 2020 - 12:05 AM

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Thanks Temperateants. Interesting to hear your experience. Making foamcrete looks like a blast, and a great material if non toxic. Didn't realise this stuff's used for sound insulation, so maybe it makes things quieter for the ants as well. I'm new to making these so going 0-60 as fast as I can to get things cured and tested before the summer flights.

I'm not sure if there is any residue of powder or soap that would be extremely toxic. If you have a really large colony you could make a small prototype and move some of the brood and workers in (obviously not the queen) and then test it. For it to fully cure I think you would need to soak it, to also get all those chemicals out. 

 

Hey Temperateants, thanks for your reply. I'm just misting the curing nests with water (vermcrete and coircrete) several times a day. Do I need to actually submerge them in water to cure please?

 

I've heard you can do that if certain chemical reactions haven't neutralized.

 

Cheers mate - thanks for your help.



#13 Offline SuperFrank - Posted May 20 2020 - 10:56 AM

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Mix Portland cement and water together until you have a very thin watery mixture, thinner than pancake batter. Then add perlite until the mixture is a thick paste the same consistency as like normal concrete.





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