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UtahAnts' Formicariums and Outworlds

formicariums nest hobby lobby perfect cast wood plaster formicarium firebrick grout images diy

271 replies to this topic

#181 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted January 2 2023 - 6:48 PM

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Looking great! Always wanted to mess around with LEDs and ant nests

Edited by Ants_Dakota, January 2 2023 - 6:49 PM.

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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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#182 Offline UtahAnts - Posted January 31 2023 - 4:51 PM

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It's been a bit since this thread was updated. I wanted to try making a cavernous formicarium for my growing Myrmecocystus mexicanus colony who will likely outgrow their dome formicarium within the next few months. This one features a large double sided chamber, with sandstone from southern Utah jutting from the walls to provide hanging space. The top viewing section should illuminate the repletes hanging from the rocks and walls below. To make this nest I used the same technique found here, with a few obvious modifications.

 

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Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

DIY Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here

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#183 Offline UrbanOrganisms - Posted February 1 2023 - 8:37 AM

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Absolutely lovely design, I can't wait to see your colony in there. Do you have any pictures of the mexicanus colony in their current dome nest?



#184 Offline UtahAnts - Posted February 1 2023 - 8:19 PM

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They are featured in my main journal for now, found here. The plastic cloche dome of the nest, while offering 360 degree visibility, falls short when it comes to pictures. The plastic limits the clarity, something I hope to solve with this new design. Below are a few images of the repletes and the colony's pupae piles. 

 
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Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

DIY Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here

Honeypot Ant Journal --- Here

Photo Album --- Here

Videos --- Here


#185 Offline UtahAnts - Posted February 24 2023 - 10:02 AM

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2.0 version of the Olive wood nest is for a large Camponotus Colony. The twine creates the possibility for the formicarium to be displayed vertically from a wall. I tried to create a layered formicarium, inspiration from an image of a wild carpenter nest. 

 

 

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Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

DIY Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here

Honeypot Ant Journal --- Here

Photo Album --- Here

Videos --- Here


#186 Offline T.C. - Posted February 24 2023 - 9:26 PM

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Awesome, have you considered adding water towers in any of them?
“If I am killed for simply living, let death be kinder than man.” -Althea Davis

#187 Offline UtahAnts - Posted February 24 2023 - 9:44 PM

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I tried it a few years ago, but I just don't see the value of humidity systems inside wooden formicariums. Seeing as most wood dwelling species, especially large colonies, don't need an artificial sources of humidity in the nest coupled with the affect of the extra humidity on the wood leads me to keep these designs pretty simple. Never had problems with housing Camponotus colonies in these drywood formicariums given the colony has a drinking water source in the outworld.

 

However maybe if I was trying to house a species (something like Formica) which required high humidity in a wood formicarium I would consider water towers. Then again, cement-based nests may be better suited for high levels of humidity over a longer period.


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Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

DIY Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here

Honeypot Ant Journal --- Here

Photo Album --- Here

Videos --- Here


#188 Offline T.C. - Posted February 25 2023 - 4:11 PM

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I tried it a few years ago, but I just don't see the value of humidity systems inside wooden formicariums. Seeing as most wood dwelling species, especially large colonies, don't need an artificial sources of humidity in the nest coupled with the affect of the extra humidity on the wood leads me to keep these designs pretty simple. Never had problems with housing Camponotus colonies in these drywood formicariums given the colony has a drinking water source in the outworld.
 
However maybe if I was trying to house a species (something like Formica) which required high humidity in a wood formicarium I would consider water towers. Then again, cement-based nests may be better suited for high levels of humidity over a longer period.


I agree, but in the back of my mind I worry about hibernation and humidity in these nests.
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“If I am killed for simply living, let death be kinder than man.” -Althea Davis

#189 Offline Rrar - Posted March 20 2023 - 1:17 PM

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Nice nest I want some


canada = boring!!!!!

I want attaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!

also: Camponotus ca02 ( probably not possible though)


#190 Offline ben - Posted April 26 2023 - 3:43 PM

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Huge fan of the formicariums you’ve designed and built! I especially like your dome cloche ones, love the idea of a 360 degree view.

Will you be making any more domes in the future but with glass? If so, I’d love to see a video as it’s hard for me to picture and imagine how the layering works for that one!

#191 Offline UtahAnts - Posted April 26 2023 - 6:46 PM

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I might make another dome nest, and glass is a great idea, but I have yet to find a glass cloche dome with a plastic base. The dome nests are pretty labor intensive and a lot goes into them, especially with LEDs. I'll keep a video tutorial in mind if I make another one.


Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

DIY Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here

Honeypot Ant Journal --- Here

Photo Album --- Here

Videos --- Here


#192 Offline ben - Posted April 27 2023 - 6:57 AM

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Yeah I haven’t seen any glass with a plastic base yet either. Might have to resort to 3D printing to pair glass with plastic for those type of domes.

#193 Offline UtahAnts - Posted April 29 2023 - 1:51 PM

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Here's a 5 by 7 horizontal formicarium featuring two seperate sets of chambers. Each side could be connected via tubing or alternatively two separate colonies could be housed in the same setup.

 

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Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

DIY Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here

Honeypot Ant Journal --- Here

Photo Album --- Here

Videos --- Here


#194 Offline ben - Posted May 1 2023 - 1:44 PM

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Amazing nest as usual!

Btw, I am getting into 3d printing. So if you’re looking for a plastic base to use with a glass dome, let me know!
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#195 Offline BRock - Posted June 7 2023 - 5:55 PM

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Nest look awesome. Do you build the flat nest the same way as you tutorial for the multi layered nest? Are you using sand or clay as your molding material? I just built my first flat nest out of ultra cal and it came out ok but nothing close to yours. I poured mine upside down against the glass but I assume with your designs over the water towers your pouring them right side up then setting in the magnets?



#196 Offline UtahAnts - Posted June 8 2023 - 6:53 PM

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Hey there, welcome to the forum and congrats on your formicarium.

I usually do all the flat nests upside down in one pour, so they are not made the same way as the vertical leveled nests. However you could use multiple pours, it depends on what you want the final look to be. I use sand for most of the flat formicariums unless you are talking about the adobe lined (orange chamber) formicariums in which case I do use clay for the initial pour.

Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

DIY Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here

Honeypot Ant Journal --- Here

Photo Album --- Here

Videos --- Here


#197 Offline John7429 - Posted June 8 2023 - 7:40 PM

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are you back?



#198 Offline UtahAnts - Posted June 8 2023 - 11:06 PM

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I'll be back from Dubai tomorrow. I was finally able to connect to the forum with my hotel's wifi.


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Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

DIY Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here

Honeypot Ant Journal --- Here

Photo Album --- Here

Videos --- Here


#199 Offline UtahAnts - Posted June 16 2023 - 1:13 PM

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Here's some more dual view formicariums for a friend's Myrmecocystus queens. I used wood molds, perfect cast, fine beach sand and plexiglass coverings. 120 micron mesh over a tealight container serves as the water towers. I took some pictures of the casting process so I'll be putting together a short guide for these in the near future.

 

Four formicariums

 

Top view

 

Single top chamber designs

 

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Split top chamber

 


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Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

DIY Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here

Honeypot Ant Journal --- Here

Photo Album --- Here

Videos --- Here


#200 Offline liamsantics - Posted June 16 2023 - 1:23 PM

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wow those look AMAZING!


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