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Questions about concrete and cement

formicarium ant nest

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6 replies to this topic

#1 Offline NightStar - Posted April 8 2021 - 9:41 PM

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In the information I obtained from my research and experiments. Cement is highly alkaline and can burn the feet of ants and inhibit the growth of egg larvae, when it absorbed by water can cause a efflorescence. Concrete made by combining cement with a large amount of sand and perlite can reduce the alkalinity a little but still has a high alkalinity (ph9-10). I want to find a recipe and way to reduce the alkalinity of concrete and efflorescence.



#2 Offline ZTYguy - Posted April 8 2021 - 10:33 PM

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I just use plaster. I don’t bother with concrete.


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#3 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 9 2021 - 2:06 AM

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

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#4 Offline jcisopodgang - Posted April 9 2021 - 2:07 AM

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I just use plaster. I don’t bother with concrete.

I agree, i really would not bother with concrete, hydrocal is cheap anyways and looks... much better


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#5 Offline Leo - Posted April 9 2021 - 3:48 AM

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wait, so how do ants outside live in the gaps of concrete walls?



#6 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 9 2021 - 3:56 AM

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wait, so how do ants outside live in the gaps of concrete walls?

Yeah, the whole alkalinity thing seems kind of overblown to me. But why buy a twenty pound sack of messy concrete, when you can make a much better product with grout, hydrostone, or plaster? Better yet, if you live anywhere outside of North America, get Ytong or AAC.


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

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#7 Offline steelplant - Posted April 9 2021 - 3:45 PM

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I make my nests with concrete made with vermiculite. Once the concrete has cured (about a week) I would have thought the pH would become more neutral. I'd better test it out.

Not saying concrete's better than the other options. It is a bit on the grey side but the vermiculite makes it shine like dwarven catacombs and it's a joy to carve. I haven't tried many other options though. I liked plaster as it hydrates so easily, but it's prone to moulding.





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