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Questions about atta sexdens


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Arthur_Dent - Posted January 10 2022 - 3:10 AM

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Hi, everyone,

I am considering to acquire a colony of atta sexdens. I am concerned with a few questions:

1. Population control
I've read a lot about how the colonies can get very huge (several million workers). Although I have plenty of space, I wouldn't want the population to grow indefinitely. Is it possible to keep the population at a stable level without the animals displeasing ? I've heard that it would be possible to limit the food supply in the outside world, others say it doesn't work at all.

2. Feeding
As far as the leaf supply is concerned, the question of quantity arises. I can get plenty of fresh leaves (especially blackberries). The question that arises here is how often do you have to offer new food and what about the quantities?

3. Plants in the area
I plan to build a kind of plants / jungle corner around the colony, to which the animals should not have access. Do the Attas take it and then try to escape there?

4. Lighting conditions
I would keep the mushroom and the waste basin dark. Possibly illuminate the outside world. Does that fit and what should you watch out for in terms of lighting?

5. Substrate fungus
As a substrate for the mushroom, I thought of a mixture of sand and seramis to keep the moisture. I would do the irrigation via a hose that ends directly in the ground. Bottom thickness 1-2 cm?

 

 

Thanks Arthur


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#2 Offline Manitobant - Posted January 10 2022 - 8:55 AM

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I bet cheeto could chime in here, as he has a massive atta colony.
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#3 Offline NicholasP - Posted January 10 2022 - 11:37 AM

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I'll ask cheeto if he has a sec to help here.


Edited by NicholasP, January 10 2022 - 11:43 AM.

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#4 Offline Arthur_Dent - Posted January 10 2022 - 12:28 PM

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Thanks for your help, guys
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#5 Offline CheetoLord02 - Posted January 10 2022 - 1:42 PM

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Hi, everyone,

I am considering to acquire a colony of atta sexdens. I am concerned with a few questions:

1. Population control
I've read a lot about how the colonies can get very huge (several million workers). Although I have plenty of space, I wouldn't want the population to grow indefinitely. Is it possible to keep the population at a stable level without the animals displeasing ? I've heard that it would be possible to limit the food supply in the outside world, others say it doesn't work at all.

2. Feeding
As far as the leaf supply is concerned, the question of quantity arises. I can get plenty of fresh leaves (especially blackberries). The question that arises here is how often do you have to offer new food and what about the quantities?

3. Plants in the area
I plan to build a kind of plants / jungle corner around the colony, to which the animals should not have access. Do the Attas take it and then try to escape there?

4. Lighting conditions
I would keep the mushroom and the waste basin dark. Possibly illuminate the outside world. Does that fit and what should you watch out for in terms of lighting?

5. Substrate fungus
As a substrate for the mushroom, I thought of a mixture of sand and seramis to keep the moisture. I would do the irrigation via a hose that ends directly in the ground. Bottom thickness 1-2 cm?

 

 

Thanks Arthur

1: Just don't feed them as much. Atta are very easy to control via the amount you feed them. If you were to feed them a precise amount of plants consistently, the colony would only grow to be able to process that amount of food, and nothing more.

2: Daily feeding or even more frequently is ideal. Also, a variety is absolutely essential. You will notice the ants starting to refuse a certain type of plant if you offer it constantly, so varying the food you offer is very important.

3: As long as there's no direct method of escape, they won't be able to get out. However you will find that larger Atta colonies are very capable of escape in the most unexpected ways, so be prepared for your colony to escape, as I can guarantee it will happen multiple times.

4: Atta don't care about light. I keep my colony completely exposed and they couldn't care less.

5: I personally use plaster for the 'substrate' in the nesting chambers. Something such as Hydrostone or Ultracal 30 (my personal choice) will retain moisture for weeks or months at a time, and is very resistant to mold.

If you have any more questions, I would recommend reading through these two threads of mine:

https://www.formicul...afcutter-ants™/
https://www.formicul...-1024-one-year/


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#6 Offline Arthur_Dent - Posted January 10 2022 - 2:42 PM

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1: Just don't feed them as much. Atta are very easy to control via the amount you feed them. If you were to feed them a precise amount of plants consistently, the colony would only grow to be able to process that amount of food, and nothing more.

2: Daily feeding or even more frequently is ideal. Also, a variety is absolutely essential. You will notice the ants starting to refuse a certain type of plant if you offer it constantly, so varying the food you offer is very important.

3: As long as there's no direct method of escape, they won't be able to get out. However you will find that larger Atta colonies are very capable of escape in the most unexpected ways, so be prepared for your colony to escape, as I can guarantee it will happen multiple times.

4: Atta don't care about light. I keep my colony completely exposed and they couldn't care less.

5: I personally use plaster for the 'substrate' in the nesting chambers. Something such as Hydrostone or Ultracal 30 (my personal choice) will retain moisture for weeks or months at a time, and is very resistant to mold.

If you have any more questions, I would recommend reading through these two threads of mine:

https://www.formicul...afcutter-ants™/
https://www.formicul...-1024-one-year/

 

Thanks for taking the time to answer, it was really helpfull! I live in germany so I will have to use a diffrent brand of plaster, but I guess the brand does not really matter.


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#7 Offline mmcguffi - Posted January 13 2022 - 10:40 AM

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Thanks for taking the time to answer, it was really helpfull! I live in germany so I will have to use a diffrent brand of plaster, but I guess the brand does not really matter.

 

 

One note about plaster -- "plaster of paris" (pure gypsum plaster) is more prone to mold and can be quite soft. Use a plaster that has concrete added such as hydrostone or ultracal like Cheeto recommended. These can be bought online easily if you can't find a local supplier in Germany


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#8 Offline Arthur_Dent - Posted January 16 2022 - 9:27 AM

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Thanks for taking the time to answer, it was really helpfull! I live in germany so I will have to use a diffrent brand of plaster, but I guess the brand does not really matter.

 

 

One note about plaster -- "plaster of paris" (pure gypsum plaster) is more prone to mold and can be quite soft. Use a plaster that has concrete added such as hydrostone or ultracal like Cheeto recommended. These can be bought online easily if you can't find a local supplier in Germany

 

 

Thanks. I found plaster just like the one you recommended. My Attas arrived and seem to be well.






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