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Plaster formicarium in amac containers


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Offline CreeperUniverse - Posted June 29 2020 - 8:14 AM

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I've been looking for a cheap alternative to THA nests, since I don't want to be spending a lot of money, and I think making formicarium + outworld nests in amac containers would be good. However, I see one issue. Plaster of paris expands, which could break the containers, considering that they seem to be glued together. I've been told that Ultracal 30 expands way less, and wouldn't damage the containers because of that. What should I use? The nests would be made by filling up the containers with about 2 inches of the material, then letting them dry, taking them out, carving, and putting them back in. I need to make nests for 2 Camponotus colonies, and 1 Pheidole bicarinata colony.



#2 Online Antennal_Scrobe - Posted June 29 2020 - 8:38 AM

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I use Hydrostone plaster, but I assume Ultracal would work too. 


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Currently keeping:

 

Tetramorium immigrans, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis

Myrmica punctiventris, Formica sp.

Formica pallidefulva

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus nearcticus

Crematogaster cerasi

Temnothorax ambiguus

Prenolepis imparis


#3 Offline CreeperUniverse - Posted June 29 2020 - 9:10 AM

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I use Hydrostone plaster, but I assume Ultracal would work too. 

Would there be the risk of either of those breaking the containers, or do they not expand enough to do that?



#4 Online Antennal_Scrobe - Posted June 29 2020 - 9:16 AM

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I use Hydrostone plaster, but I assume Ultracal would work too. 

Would there be the risk of either of those breaking the containers, or do they not expand enough to do that?

 

I don't think there would be a risk.


Currently keeping:

 

Tetramorium immigrans, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis

Myrmica punctiventris, Formica sp.

Formica pallidefulva

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus nearcticus

Crematogaster cerasi

Temnothorax ambiguus

Prenolepis imparis


#5 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 29 2020 - 9:40 AM

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May be a good idea to get multiple containers to prevent the cracking and scratching the plastic when you remove it.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#6 Offline FSTP - Posted June 29 2020 - 10:08 AM

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THA formicariums really are not at all expensive when you consider you're getting a hand made boutique item. You're likely to spend just as much if not more making your own version. Its not as though you will be able to make a perfect version first time. You'll likely need to make several, refining your technique and learning along the way. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you're wanting to do this because you think it will be cheaper than just buying a THA  formicarium you may find this is not the case.

 

 

If you do end up making some then yes you're likely to get some small cracking or crazing in the amac container. This is why when making them you use a sacrificial mold container and then remove it. After it cures it will shrink back down and you can then place it in a brand new amac container of the same size and shape, without worry of it cracking or getting scratched. This is how I have made mine. For further detail you can reference my formicarium build journal.


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#7 Offline cewtsoul - Posted July 5 2020 - 7:55 AM

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Make your own if you can. I Iost 2 good colonies with THA nest. The small ants found a way into the water well. the hole on the side was not properly sealed....i had them special made for small ants.






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