As a kid, I grew up on a farm, in a rural village surrounded by orchards, vineyards and forest.
Our parents kicked us kids out all day, and we had to entertain ourselves in the great outdoors, until dark, when we had to be back home.
So I have fond memories of building wooden shelters in the forests from sticks and branches, and of course we also collected all kinds of interesting rocks and mosses and tree fruit like acorns.
I remember that I was intrigued by the acorns with the tiny holes in them.
What could possibly live in there?
When I found out I think I was shocked and dropped the acorn, because suddenly, all these tiny golden ants came out.
And the species we have here in this region of Germany is Temnothorax nylanderi.
I have a bit more space right next to my cherry shrimp tank, so I thought I put a small outworld there for a colony of these tiny but pretty golden ants.
I did some research about their nutrition and habits and had a look how other people catered for these ants.
Then I hopped online and ordered a colony from the Antstore. I decided on getting a larger colony of 100 workers. The girls should arrive tomorrow or the day after.
Besides the outworld that I already got, I also saw that Foranto, who do these amazing wooden nests, had a sale and I bought their smallest wooden nest for them, too (I hope that will arrive next week).
This nest can be connected to the outworld. I have seen that Temnothorax likes to occupy several nests simultaneously, so then they can decide where they want to reside.
So here is what I came up with:
(I am using paraffin oil as escape prevention, as I do for my Messor barbarus).
As a water source, I am using a filled glass tube in the outworld;
I used the shells of an organic walnut from our orchard and glued them to the sides; I used children-safe wood-glue; so the white of the glue will dry out to become transparent;
The shells have small openings at the front, around 3-5 millimetres in diameter.
And then I added some red-foil to cover the view to the insides of the walnuts; They are just fixed with sticky tape, so I can sneak a peek anytime.
This will be a real test of my abilities to care for really tiny animals and I hope my escape proofing is up to scratch- otherwise I will be learning by doing.