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Help on Myrmecocystus Formicarium

myrmecocystus formicarium natural setup

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#1 Offline Katla - Posted November 3 2022 - 9:02 AM

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Good Day ant lovers,

I am currently keeping 3 Myrmecocystus foundations;

One Mexicanus Queen with 6 workers and 10 pupae,

A second Mexicanus queen (Yellow) with one boosted worker with eggs and young larvae.
And finaly a Placodops Queen with larvae, 3 cocoons and 3 workers.

I live in North France, humid col temperate climate. I keep my colonie in a heated wooden terrarium to keep an ambient temperature arround 26 to 28 Celcius
i still have trouble on how to keep the temperature constant and even, Some parts of the terrarium are colder and form moisture on glass surfaces (if any suggestion on how to heat that wooden (reptile) terrariums I'm open to discussion and suggestions, for now the bigger Mexicanus colony is healthy and in a grouted test tube in a sand coated tub as foragign area, still very descret but running arround. I thought of giving them an Ultracal nest but since i was a child i loves keeping ants in natural setups. 12 years ago i had a work experience at Antstore and got a 12 Liter formicarium which i never used, i have arranged it in a semi arrid setting and i am testing on how to heat it.

20221103_153335.jpg

Here is the actual setup, with the heating lamp I'm able to heat the top area on about 26/30 Celcius, i already ordered and intend to add a heat map as long as the tank and 15 cm large on the back and top 1/3 of the tank.
Now is any of my Mexicanus colony ready to settle in, will they absolutely destroy it or and will i be able to observe them creatign chamber on top layer for pupae and replete stock on bottom with the pebble used as water filter ?

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#2 Offline United-Ants - Posted November 3 2022 - 9:23 AM

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what to move them till 25to30workers  i don't think they will destroy the tank 


Edited by United-Ants, November 3 2022 - 9:23 AM.

Sometimes, the only way to heal our wounds is to make peace with the demons who created them. 

Dr Serizawa godzilla

a True soldier doesn't fight because he hates what's in front of him, but because he loves what's behind him. some guy from yt

"You either die a hero or live long enough to become the villain."


#3 Offline Katla - Posted November 3 2022 - 9:38 AM

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I suppose i shouldn't over feed sugar, so that the repletes don't get handicaped ?



#4 Offline Katla - Posted November 3 2022 - 9:40 AM

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oh and where could i find information and documentation about natural myrmecocystus nest chamebrs setup, what levels the use what for and about what structure they intend to adopt ?



#5 Offline United-Ants - Posted November 3 2022 - 9:54 AM

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I suppose i shouldn't over feed sugar, so that the repletes don't get handicaped ?

fed them looks of sugars  not  feeding them a lot sugar will kill them in my experience 


Sometimes, the only way to heal our wounds is to make peace with the demons who created them. 

Dr Serizawa godzilla

a True soldier doesn't fight because he hates what's in front of him, but because he loves what's behind him. some guy from yt

"You either die a hero or live long enough to become the villain."


#6 Offline United-Ants - Posted November 3 2022 - 10:03 AM

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oh and where could i find information and documentation about natural myrmecocystus nest chamebrs setup, what levels the use what for and about what structure they intend to adopt ?

https://www.antwiki....i/Myrmecocystus

https://www.formicul...ated-5-24-2020/

that's all i can find at the moment but will try and find more 


Sometimes, the only way to heal our wounds is to make peace with the demons who created them. 

Dr Serizawa godzilla

a True soldier doesn't fight because he hates what's in front of him, but because he loves what's behind him. some guy from yt

"You either die a hero or live long enough to become the villain."


#7 Offline Katla - Posted November 3 2022 - 10:37 AM

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thank you I'm already looking arround on the internet but havent yet found anything but studies about their surfacestructure



#8 Offline T.C. - Posted November 3 2022 - 11:02 AM

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Have you considered an alternative setup other than natural. It looks great but I found it presents too many issues

Edited by T.C., November 3 2022 - 11:03 AM.

.


If you don't build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs.


#9 Offline Katla - Posted November 3 2022 - 12:59 PM

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i do have ordered couple of Tarheel nests, but I'm just a diggy diggy hole kinda antkeeper



#10 Offline Katla - Posted November 3 2022 - 6:55 PM

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I might start a new thread if this (project) interests anyone and i feel like keeping note,
but for now i did some measuring, let me just add that i entend to add a 15cm large heat mat on the back as long as the tank and on the top layer 10cm beneath overworld level

With only heat lamp i keep 29 Celcius on top foraging level

I'm at constant 27.9 Celcius at 5 cm deep and 25 Celcius at 12 cm deep
I suppose and hope the ants will use that heat source to keep rooms as high as possible and will tend to keep repelates in deeper cooler levels

and brood in the middle less hot but more moiste as i water the setup from a tube.


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#11 Offline T.C. - Posted November 3 2022 - 7:24 PM

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i do have ordered couple of Tarheel nests, but I'm just a diggy diggy hole kinda antkeeper

 

I get that. I do like the natural look of it.


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If you don't build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs.


#12 Offline Katla - Posted November 3 2022 - 7:38 PM

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but i also feel like that a good maintained substrate setup gives them the best enviroment for climate control, as we have a lot of species who better found in substrate founding setups.


Do myrmecocystus only build one nest entrance ?



#13 Offline T.C. - Posted November 3 2022 - 7:46 PM

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but i also feel like that a good maintained substrate setup gives them the best enviroment for climate control, as we have a lot of species who better found in substrate founding setups.


Do myrmecocystus only build one nest entrance ?

 

 

I do not doubt that colonies do better because it is more natural for them. But like you your experiencing, keeping the humidity and temperature right just sucks.  And as for that last question, when I was in California I only observed one nest entrance. But I only seen a few nests from the species so someone with more experience on the species would have to chime in. 


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If you don't build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs.


#14 Offline Katla - Posted November 5 2022 - 12:50 PM

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the Heat of the formicarium has attracted a new resident, looks like she's carying her offspring with her !
i intend to add a female earwig aswell to the setup.


IMG_20221105_103422_B003.jpg



#15 Offline UtahAnts - Posted November 5 2022 - 1:59 PM

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Very large Myrmecocystus colonies may have one or two alternate nest entrances. As for surface structure, most species use pebbles and other debris to make a flat mound around a central tunnel. However some honeypot species only have an entrance in the sand, sometimes supported by an overhanging rock, with no debris around the entrance. I think providing a mix of sand and small gravel/pebbles will work fine for the surface layer, just to give the ants a choice.

 

Here's a large Myrmecocystus mexicanus colony entrance.

 

IMG 6688

 

 


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#16 Offline Katla - Posted November 5 2022 - 3:56 PM

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i Will try to give them some Clay pebbles and find maybe a flat rock



#17 Offline NicholasP - Posted November 5 2022 - 4:21 PM

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i do have ordered couple of Tarheel nests, but I'm just a diggy diggy hole kinda antkeeper

I'd recommend trying Arthropod Antics nests.


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#18 Offline Katla - Posted November 7 2022 - 5:42 AM

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i do have ordered couple of Tarheel nests, but I'm just a diggy diggy hole kinda antkeeper

I'd recommend trying Arthropod Antics nests.

 

I would still have to pay the export to Europe, but i like his designs indeed.

‚ÄčToday i will receive the heat mat for the glass tank, once applied and temps controlled i want to start a journal. I will post first pictures here.







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