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Venom's Formicariums

formicariums digfix vertical nest wood plexiglass

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8 replies to this topic

#1 Offline VenomousBeast - Posted January 15 2023 - 4:42 PM

VenomousBeast

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Hello to all!

I'd been recently checking out some of the European formicariums and came across a nest "design" that I really admired and enjoyed the idea of. I decided to try and recreate it but with different materials.

As I'm sure some of you have seen, the AntCube shop has a substrate for their vertical nests called Digfix. I was very fascinated by this idea because the ants could create their own tunnels and chambers with the only limit being future space. I searched very profoundly for what it was made of with no success. The only lead I had was that it was a "moss foam" of some sort and while that did not help me, I concluded that I should just make mine out of different substrate. I looked into wood as it is made of fibers of cellulose which can be piled on top of each other to create a strong structure while allowing the ants to naturally dig. Since a lot of ant species that nest in soil will also nest in rotten logs or Subterranean wood pieces, it seemed like a very suitable idea. The next day, I went out and collected some soft rotting pine wood from my nearby forest and boiled it to prevent any microorganismal decay to the wood. I made a prototype plexiglass vertical nest (please note that the prototype is smaller than what I intend to sell). I added plaster at the bottom to allow humidity distribution and filled it with the wood, pressing it tightly to create a low density fiberboard. As of now, my prototype has a colony of Aphaenogaster fulva to see if it has success and can keep a colony long term. I will add more modifications based on this test, but I suspect that within the next few months, I will be starting to create these formicariums to sell to anyone across the world. I'm hoping that the more natural design and idea will please most ant keepers since it's a plausible natural setup with rather good viewing of the insides of the nest.
Let me know your thoughts on them
20230115_190634.jpg

Please also note that it will look a lot cleaner and well made in the final products. The prototype is only to see if it's functional and it was quickly put together with hot glue and spare plexiglass.

Edited by VenomousBeast, January 15 2023 - 4:44 PM.

  • ANTdrew, UtahAnts, antsinvirgina and 1 other like this

Keeps:

1:Pogonomymex occidentalis

4: Tetramorium immigrans

2 Reticulitermes flavipes


#2 Offline antsriondel - Posted January 15 2023 - 5:10 PM

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Nice!



#3 Offline UtahAnts - Posted January 15 2023 - 7:09 PM

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I love the idea, especially for wood dwelling species! If the wood doesn't mold over time you may be on to something. How well does the fiber mix re-hydrate?


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#4 Offline Flu1d - Posted January 15 2023 - 7:44 PM

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I think that this is a really cool idea if you do have what UtahAnts up above mentioned, mold free and easy hydration! Would also love to ask if you will also be making any non-wood/non-natural setups and accessories as well?

Edited by Flu1d, January 15 2023 - 7:45 PM.


#5 Offline VenomousBeast - Posted January 15 2023 - 8:14 PM

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I love the idea, especially for wood dwelling species! If the wood doesn't mold over time you may be on to something. How well does the fiber mix re-hydrate?


As far as I know, the boiling takes care of all the mold. And in terms of rehydration, with the plaster at the bottom, the slow release of water really helps soak all of the wood, though in larger scale it would probably moisten up to 3/4ths of the nest, which allows a very well gradient and helps the ants choose where they want to be. On top of that, with moisture loving ants, it gives them a need to dig more, which just makes the whole nest more impressive.
  • UtahAnts likes this

Keeps:

1:Pogonomymex occidentalis

4: Tetramorium immigrans

2 Reticulitermes flavipes


#6 Offline VenomousBeast - Posted January 15 2023 - 8:17 PM

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I think that this is a really cool idea if you do have what UtahAnts up above mentioned, mold free and easy hydration! Would also love to ask if you will also be making any non-wood/non-natural setups and accessories as well?


Absolutely! I can make plaster nests and cork nests. I can also make them all plexiglass or completely empty if you just want to add your own medium. I'm also working on a soil derived nest type that's made from dirt instead of wood,as well as a hardened sand substrate.
  • antsriondel likes this

Keeps:

1:Pogonomymex occidentalis

4: Tetramorium immigrans

2 Reticulitermes flavipes


#7 Offline Flu1d - Posted January 16 2023 - 3:34 PM

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I think that this is a really cool idea if you do have what UtahAnts up above mentioned, mold free and easy hydration! Would also love to ask if you will also be making any non-wood/non-natural setups and accessories as well?

Absolutely! I can make plaster nests and cork nests. I can also make them all plexiglass or completely empty if you just want to add your own medium. I'm also working on a soil derived nest type that's made from dirt instead of wood,as well as a hardened sand substrate.

Interesting, I will keep an eye on your company. Thank you for the reply.

#8 Offline FinWins - Posted January 17 2023 - 9:08 AM

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Seems cool!


I keep: C. modoc, C. sansabeanus  :D, C. maritimus, Formica argentea, M. mexicanus  :D, Odontomachus brunneus :D, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, 

 


#9 Offline ExponentMars - Posted February 6 2023 - 10:39 PM

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Would probably be great for termites too 


  • VenomousBeast likes this
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Currently Keeping: 
Crematogaster sp., Camponotus Ca02, Tetramorium Immigrans
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Acromyrmex, novos, Pogonomyrmex, Formica, and Lasius





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: formicariums, digfix, vertical, nest, wood, plexiglass

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