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Best formicaria for Camponotus?


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Tanks - Posted October 15 2022 - 10:10 AM

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What would be the best kind of formicarium for Camponotus?



#2 Online United-Ants - Posted October 15 2022 - 10:24 AM

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#3 Offline Serafine - Posted October 15 2022 - 10:37 AM

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Doesn't really matter that much. Most Camponotus (unless you have a tropical one) can live in pretty much any setup as long as it's not absolutely dry.

I have mine in 3D-printed nests with attached water tubes, they moved into them (well, the first one) after being in a tube for almost 12 months.

 

 

 

 

Most of them (except for the rare super fast growing species) spend their entire first year in a tube anyway though, so you want an outworld first.

 

I've had mine in a big glass tub (test tubes are in the corner) and that glass tub is still part of their setup, still in the same place as it was 6 years ago.

Small "starter" outworlds (anything below 20x20cm) will become useless at some point, large outworlds are useful forever.

 

 

It's still there:


Edited by Serafine, October 16 2022 - 1:38 AM.

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#4 Offline MrPurpleB - Posted October 15 2022 - 5:38 PM

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6 years of Camponotus? How large are they currently?



#5 Offline Serafine - Posted October 16 2022 - 1:41 AM

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I have no idea, probably somewhere between 15 and 20.000 - after a certain point it became impossible to count them because they have over a dozen smaller and some bigger outworlds and tons of places to hide.


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#6 Offline Tanks - Posted October 16 2022 - 9:26 AM

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Doesn't really matter that much. Most Camponotus (unless you have a tropical one) can live in pretty much any setup as long as it's not absolutely dry.
I have mine in 3D-printed nests with attached water tubes, they moved into them (well, the first one) after being in a tube for almost 12 months.





Most of them (except for the rare super fast growing species) spend their entire first year in a tube anyway though, so you want an outworld first.

I've had mine in a big glass tub (test tubes are in the corner) and that glass tub is still part of their setup, still in the same place as it was 6 years ago.
Small "starter" outworlds (anything below 20x20cm) will become useless at some point, large outworlds are useful forever.



It's still there:



#7 Offline Tanks - Posted October 16 2022 - 9:27 AM

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Could I connect multiple small outworlds?

#8 Offline LowQualityAnts - Posted October 16 2022 - 11:03 AM

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Yeah, depending on colony size they might only use 1 of them.
What species do you have?

Edited by LowQualityAnts, October 16 2022 - 11:06 AM.


#9 Offline Serafine - Posted October 16 2022 - 12:33 PM

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Could I connect multiple small outworlds?

Yes, of course.

You should have at least 1 outworld of around 20x15cm or larger as a feeding ground though.

Smaller outworlds are a pain to clean without accidentally picking up ants or the ants instantly trashing them after one larger feeding session.


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#10 Offline MrPurpleB - Posted October 16 2022 - 1:08 PM

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I have no idea, probably somewhere between 15 and 20.000 - after a certain point it became impossible to count them because they have over a dozen smaller and some bigger outworlds and tons of places to hide.

Fair enough, that is probably a good range for an estimate. I have only owned small colonies, so surprised how compact ants can get in a fairly small amount of space.



#11 Offline nofuel11 - Posted October 17 2022 - 12:43 PM

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It's still there:

 

What the??! All those containers are for one 6 year old Camponotus colony?? To achieve 6 years, have you ever done any of the more obscure camponotus theories* floating out there on the internet that claim to extend their life in captivity? 

 

I just got into the hobby 5 months ago and now have three Camponotus Pennsylvanicus colonies (10-20 workers per colony) and am hooked!

 

*theories: for example, the thing about them obtaining uric acid from eating bird droppings in the wild and to replicate that in captivity, or how Camponotus's eat tree sap in the wild for anti-bacterial reasons and to replicate that in captivity, etc.



#12 Offline AntsCali098 - Posted October 17 2022 - 12:59 PM

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What would be the best kind of formicarium for Camponotus?


It really depends on the species, but usually camponotus can live in a variety of different nests. If the nest is good, then Camponotus will do well in it generally.

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#13 Offline Serafine - Posted October 17 2022 - 1:51 PM

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What the??! All those containers are for one 6 year old Camponotus colony?? To achieve 6 years, have you ever done any of the more obscure camponotus theories* floating out there on the internet that claim to extend their life in captivity?

 

They're a mediterranean species, those grow a lot faster than the northern ones. Also yes, i've tried A LOT, some things worked others didn't. The best thing seems to be a broad diet with a lot of roaches in it.

They've actually slowed down a lot in recent years. During year 2 and 3 they exploded, then came a period of stagnation/decline (probably extended diapause) and since the start of this year they're increasing in numbers again.

 

I'm sure they could be more but they have been very picky with food lately and only accept live/prekilled food (no cat food, no jelly, etc.). They even refuse honey or honey mixed into their regular sugar water.


Edited by Serafine, October 17 2022 - 1:54 PM.

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#14 Offline MrPurpleB - Posted October 17 2022 - 2:38 PM

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What the??! All those containers are for one 6 year old Camponotus colony?? To achieve 6 years, have you ever done any of the more obscure camponotus theories* floating out there on the internet that claim to extend their life in captivity?

 
They're a mediterranean species, those grow a lot faster than the northern ones. Also yes, i've tried A LOT, some things worked others didn't. The best thing seems to be a broad diet with a lot of roaches in it.
They've actually slowed down a lot in recent years. During year 2 and 3 they exploded, then came a period of stagnation/decline (probably extended diapause) and since the start of this year they're increasing in numbers again.
 
I'm sure they could be more but they have been very picky with food lately and only accept live/prekilled food (no cat food, no jelly, etc.). They even refuse honey or honey mixed into their regular sugar water.
Any particular reason why to feed them a ton of roaches? Are roaches varied with nutrients or is their higher protein content?

I have been thinking of getting a roach feeder farm since at the moment I have only been giving my ants mealworms. Not sure if my ants eat it or not.

#15 Offline Serafine - Posted October 17 2022 - 10:37 PM

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Roaches can store a lot of nitrogen in the form of uric acid, and a high nitrogen diet seems to be particular important for Camponotus ants. Also i think roaches are just a very good allround package of nutrients.

They should still be kept at a low protein diet (mostly veggies plus the occasional piece of meat or food leftovers) because apparently even for ants there is a too much.


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#16 Offline MrPurpleB - Posted October 18 2022 - 9:47 AM

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Roaches can store a lot of nitrogen in the form of uric acid, and a high nitrogen diet seems to be particular important for Camponotus ants. Also i think roaches are just a very good allround package of nutrients.

They should still be kept at a low protein diet (mostly veggies plus the occasional piece of meat or food leftovers) because apparently even for ants there is a too much.

Thanks, I was unaware camponotus do better at a low protein diet. Before I was worried about not feeding enough mealworms (but this worry was more for all my ants).

Any particular reason for the vegetables, is that supposed to be a more favorable carb option? At the moment, my camponotus have been exclusively feeding on sugar water.

 

Apologies for hijacking the the thread.



#17 Online ANTdrew - Posted October 18 2022 - 4:05 PM

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He means low protein diet for the feeder roaches, I believe.
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#18 Offline Serafine - Posted October 19 2022 - 2:01 AM

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Thanks, I was unaware camponotus do better at a low protein diet. Before I was worried about not feeding enough mealworms (but this worry was more for all my ants).
Any particular reason for the vegetables, is that supposed to be a more favorable carb option? At the moment, my camponotus have been exclusively feeding on sugar water.

I wasn't talking about the ants there, i was referring to the roaches.

Roaches can store absurd amounts of nitrogen as uric acid and if they're fed a protein-heavy diet it may become too much even for ants.
Unlike with reptiles (which can develop gout and die) it probably won't kill ants but it's likely not exatcly healthy as there's still a chance it may screw over their internal pH balance.
When i fed my roaches with meat leftovers for a while i could see a significant increase in "wobblyness" in my ants (Camponotus appear to wobble a bit naturally but it became kinda excessive in some workers) - not sure what caused it but i guess something like pH imbalance might have played a role.
They also seem to like roaches kept on a low protein/mostly vegetarian diet more.

Edited by Serafine, October 19 2022 - 2:03 AM.

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#19 Offline MrPurpleB - Posted October 19 2022 - 7:20 AM

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Ouh, thanks for the clarification. I misinterpreted your words, haha. Interesting to see a wobbly effect. I recall seeing a Camponotus worker shake their legs before not sure if that's related.

#20 Offline Tanks - Posted October 21 2022 - 4:14 PM

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Yeah, depending on colony size they might only use 1 of them.
What species do you have?

I have Camponotus modoc and Camponotus hyatti






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