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Best way to contain small ants like Tetramorium....


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted October 16 2020 - 3:42 PM

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Okay, so like today I had the fun of finding my Tetramorium escaped AGAIN. They have blown through Fluon multiple times. They are in a plastic box formicarium, but apparently the lid, even though it seems to be a tight fit, is just not quite tight enough.

 

Oh and you can check out the "Attack on Titan" photos in my Tetramorium journal, page 2. Includes photos of them trying to eat a dead honeypot queen last time they escaped, and now photos of Camponotus quercicola chomping on Tetramorium in their test tube.  (Link that will work until I change the journal title: https://www.formicul...cola-etc/page-2 )

 

Anyway, I'm about done with Fluon for them. I am having trouble cleaning it off enough to put on a fresh layer; every time I try, they go through it within days.

 

What do you use? Favorite formicaria for tiny ants? Best barrier short of Fluon? I don't think they have reached 1000 ants yet. I try not to encourage them to grow toooo numerous.

 

At this point I am thinking to try talc + alcohol (will it work over a layer of destroyed Fluon?) and if that fails, mineral oil.

 

Thank goodness they are the smallest ants I have. I am not getting anything smaller!

 

EDIT: Those of you who suggested plasticine, putty, or other non-toxic modeling clay: Can it be used ALL around an outworld lid? I'm worried that would introduce more potential for gaps than not using it. 


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, October 16 2020 - 3:56 PM.

Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#2 Offline TestSubjectOne - Posted October 16 2020 - 3:56 PM

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I've heard people have success with moats.


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Currently Keeping:

- Camponotus sansabeanus (1 queen, 1-10 workers)   Camponotus semitestaceous (1 queen)   Camponotus lavigatus (1 queen, 1 worker)

- Veromessor pergandei (1 queen, 10-20 workers)

- Novomessor cockerelli (1 queen, 1-10 workers), (2 queens)

- Myrmcocystus mexicanus - boosted - (1 queen, 5 workers), (1 queen)

- Brachymyrmex patagonicus (3 queens 20-30 workers), (1 queen), (1 queen)   Solenopsis cf. molesta (1 queen), Temnothorax sp. (1 queen)

- Crematogaster sp. (1 queen, 1-10 workers), (1 queen)

- Liometopum occidentale (1 queen, 30 workers)

- Incisitermes minor / Drywood Termite (tons)


#3 Offline ANTdrew - Posted October 16 2020 - 4:44 PM

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I’ve kept massive colonies of Tetramorium contained with fluon and no lids. My terrarium colony managed to escape only by excavating so much dirt that they literally built a ramp up past the barrier. I swear, to this day, they did it on purpose.
The foraging container must be too humid with the lid on, so I suggest something kind of counter-intuitive: renew the fluon again and go no lid. Tetramorium are really bad climbers, actually.
I also set my terrarium on a tray filled with vinegar and water as a back up. That only failed because a houseplant leaf was touching the side of the terrarium, making a bridge.
Edit: best formicarium for Tetramorium is a plastic box with a thin layer of sand, multiple test tubes, and a fluon barrier several inches thick- no lid.

Edited by ANTdrew, October 16 2020 - 4:48 PM.

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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25   I <3 tiny ants


#4 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted October 17 2020 - 10:56 AM

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I’ve kept massive colonies of Tetramorium contained with fluon and no lids. My terrarium colony managed to escape only by excavating so much dirt that they literally built a ramp up past the barrier. I swear, to this day, they did it on purpose.
The foraging container must be too humid with the lid on, so I suggest something kind of counter-intuitive: renew the fluon again and go no lid. Tetramorium are really bad climbers, actually.
I also set my terrarium on a tray filled with vinegar and water as a back up. That only failed because a houseplant leaf was touching the side of the terrarium, making a bridge.
Edit: best formicarium for Tetramorium is a plastic box with a thin layer of sand, multiple test tubes, and a fluon barrier several inches thick- no lid.

 

Maybe I just suck with Fluon. How often do you change the Fluon out? My Lio colony had been in an open container for some months, with Fluon, but recently they were able to blow through the Fluon (yes, I had escaped Lios everywhere) so I moved them to a mini-hearth.


Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#5 Offline drtrmiller - Posted October 17 2020 - 2:01 PM

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PTFE coatings rapidly and irreversibly fail in high-humidity conditions found in poorly-ventilated, lidded enclosures. If the enclosure is kept unlidded and an even coating of PTFE is applied to both the inside and outside, the barrier should perform as intended so long as the ambient environmental conditions are within the permissible range.
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#6 Offline ANTdrew - Posted October 17 2020 - 4:19 PM

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I’ve been renewing fluon every two months. What brand of fluon are you using?

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25   I <3 tiny ants


#7 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted October 17 2020 - 4:25 PM

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I’ve been renewing fluon every two months. What brand of fluon are you using?

 

Every two months? That would probably do it, but how do you get it off CLEANLY with ants still inside... oh wait, that mythical aspirator thingie I'm still needing?  :lol:

I've tried just rubbing it off with a wet paper towel, but without a really THOROUGH wash in the sink, it seems inadequate.

 

I uh ... just recently got some byFormica, so that's what I've been using nowadays.  :whistle:


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Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#8 Offline ANTdrew - Posted October 18 2020 - 3:10 AM

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I think you’ll find that byFormica fluon comes off much easier. I’ve had no issues rubbing it off with a damp paper towel. It comes with better applicators as well, so you can get a smoother coat.
Reapplying with a bustling colony can be a challenge. I, of course, work fast as I can with my feather and aspirator handy. I like leaving a tiny strip of the old fluon to slow them down while I apply a fresh band on top.
The other thing I wanted to bring up is that Tetramorium, unlike say Crematogaster, don’t really try to escape if they’re very well fed. Maybe placating them with tons of protein would help? You’ll end up with a monster colony quick that way, though.

Edited by ANTdrew, October 18 2020 - 3:11 AM.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25   I <3 tiny ants


#9 Offline Jefw1f - Posted October 19 2020 - 9:34 PM

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I've had the same issue with my tetramorium getting through baby powder and alcohol.
I switched to a 2" thick olive oil barrier. It has worked great on glass and plastic with no lid for 3 or 4 months at a time. Also they seem to eat it every time i reapply.

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#10 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted October 20 2020 - 5:29 AM

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tetramorium eating olive oil :o


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#11 Offline AntsDakota - Posted October 20 2020 - 7:30 AM

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tetramorium eating olive oil :o

In my experience Myrmicinae have strange diets compared to Formicinae. Seed-eaters, corn pickers, grease ants of all things, advanced species with no social stomachs.......


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#12 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted October 20 2020 - 7:41 AM

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tetramorium seem to eat like everything(did someone mention wet dog food?)


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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#13 Online KitsAntVa - Posted October 20 2020 - 8:27 AM

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monomorium love seeds (antdrew you should consider this since you are getting a Pogonomyrmex queen soon) they send around 15 workers and surprisingly are able to break open dandelion seeds.

my tetramorium were also able to eat olive oil 


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#14 Offline ANTdrew - Posted October 20 2020 - 8:34 AM

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I'll try giving my Monomorium some hemp seeds today. B)


"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25   I <3 tiny ants


#15 Offline Jefw1f - Posted October 20 2020 - 2:22 PM

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tetramorium eating olive oil :o

I thought it was the strangest thing. They were all over the boarder eating away like it was sugar water or something.
Now they place their dead in it or maybe they are attempted escapees?

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#16 Offline ANTdrew - Posted October 20 2020 - 2:42 PM

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They like sticking dead workers on sticky stuff.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25   I <3 tiny ants


#17 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted Yesterday, 2:01 PM

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So here's what the Tetramorium are doing now that I tried putting in some olive oil. Pretty much as said before, but I wasn't expecting this level of excitement....

 

IMG_2919-tetra-oil.jpg

Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#18 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted Yesterday, 2:39 PM

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Uh oh. They have eaten pretty much all the way to the top of the container. (See esp. the back wall.)

Attached File  IMG_2920.jpg   79.36KB   0 downloads

 


Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#19 Offline ANTdrew - Posted Yesterday, 3:12 PM

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Yeah, no way olive oil is better than fluon.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25   I <3 tiny ants


#20 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted Yesterday, 6:54 PM

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Yeah they've eaten it all and are back to being everywhere. And who knows if olive oil + traces of Fluon is a nutritious ant snack  :facepalm:

I'm a little concerned now about trying mineral oil....


Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.





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