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Bleeper's First Time At Ant Keeping - Camponotus CA02

camponotus ca02 mini hearth xl carpenter ants expo tarheelants heat cable tar heel ants beginner

95 replies to this topic

#21 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 22 2023 - 5:34 AM

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Your lid there is trapping too much humidity and rendering the fluon ineffective. Try cutting out a bigger ventilation hole. Fluon should have no trouble stopping big ants like Camponotus from climbing.
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#22 Offline BleepingBleepers - Posted July 22 2023 - 10:10 AM

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Your lid there is trapping too much humidity and rendering the fluon ineffective. Try cutting out a bigger ventilation hole. Fluon should have no trouble stopping big ants like Camponotus from climbing.

 

Yeah, I recall you did actually mention it on the first page, though I'm a bit nervous about leaving a completely uncovered hole at the top. I can't drill a bigger hole as that's my biggest drill bit lol.
I was modeling it after tar heel mini hearth. The vent hole at the top should be about the same in proportion to size as their outworld and the only humidity inside is a small test tube that is mostly closed off by the cotton.

 

My humidity in my room is about 50-55 as it's hotter and more humid in the summer, much of the colder season I'm sitting at around 40. Maybe that's more of the reason?

 

I do find it interesting that it's always ONE ant. I've never had more than one escape, I mean, not that I'm complaining either hahaha.

 

I guess one plus side of leaving it without the mesh is that the ant can crawl back in and not be blocked like what happened in the video.


JOURNAL: Camponotus CA02 - First Time At Ant Keeping CLICK HERE

JOURNAL: Ectomomyrmex cf. astutus - Ant Species #2 CLICK HERE


#23 Offline BleepingBleepers - Posted July 25 2023 - 2:31 PM

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Interesting morning I had.

 

So a couple of day ago while on facebook, I found out that UPS workers were planning on a massive strike on the 1st of August, which coincidentally landed right around the day in which my Tar Heel package was going to be shipped  :facepalm: . The UPS person that wrote it said "if it has a heartbeat, don't send it". I was getting formicariums and an ant from them so this worried me. This caused me to rush the package a bit before it happens because I'd expect massive delays. Even switching mail companies wouldn't work all that well because they'd be bogged down with UPS customers scrambling to get their package delivered which would also cause them huge delays due to the mass incoming delivery orders.

 

Anyhow, found out today that there's been some agreements made, vote to be cast on the 3rd of August so the strike has been postponed.

 

So either my package will be shipped this Thursday to hopefully arrive for early Saturday morning delivery OR next Monday for a Wednesday delivery. I did say since the strike has been postponed, if Thursday morning was the earliest, probably be safer for the ants that they be sent on Monday so they don't get stuck in a truck over Sunday. Anyhow, panicked a bit this morning....already waited a month and didn't wanna wait another few weeks.

 

 

 

 

Anyhow, picture time.

 

I'm happy to find out that my ants have really started to clean out their test tube area and moving the garbage out for me to collect. Even after moving them to that setup, they've only recently started to actively pull old trash that were months old and bringing it out.

I don't want to deal with molds or smells and so far, this colony is proving itself to be the capable group. I heard of people complaining that some of their colonies were messy, so I'm breathing a sigh of relief. I'm guessing the assignments are given by the queen ant or is tossing out the garbage something that workers simply do?

Anyhow, they did it and I hope they remain clean and tidy little ants even after I move them to the Hearth.

 

LW0N9Ao.jpg

 

 

Here's a picture of my index finger pointing at an ant.

I saw a video of one person placing his finger down among some large carpenter workers, one of which was a large major, seeing the size comparison but also seeing how they saw his finger and just scuttled away, wanting to be left alone, which I found to be quite adorable of a reaction from them. Hopefully, one day I'll have my own Majors for this colony and I can do some size comparison to the old pictures to see how much bigger the regular workers and majors are.

 

BWWPkdY.jpg

 

 

 

 

Here's hoping I get my Tar Heel package soon and it comes safe and sound as I've been waiting a month already and it's killing me with anticipation! :D


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JOURNAL: Camponotus CA02 - First Time At Ant Keeping CLICK HERE

JOURNAL: Ectomomyrmex cf. astutus - Ant Species #2 CLICK HERE


#24 Offline BleepingBleepers - Posted July 27 2023 - 7:43 PM

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Made a video today. Added some thoughts on the development speed of these ants and so forth.

Will continue to improve on the videos and add more pictures too.

 

 


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JOURNAL: Camponotus CA02 - First Time At Ant Keeping CLICK HERE

JOURNAL: Ectomomyrmex cf. astutus - Ant Species #2 CLICK HERE


#25 Offline 100lols - Posted July 28 2023 - 10:15 PM

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Made a video today. Added some thoughts on the development speed of these ants and so forth.
Will continue to improve on the videos and add more pictures too.



Cool video! It was fascinating to see the larvae in action and hear your thoughts.

This colony looks super similar in size to the one I’m keeping. My guess is they are similar in age :D

Interested to see how the fluon issue gets resolved…
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#26 Offline BleepingBleepers - Posted July 31 2023 - 4:32 PM

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Cool video! It was fascinating to see the larvae in action and hear your thoughts.

This colony looks super similar in size to the one I’m keeping. My guess is they are similar in age :D

Interested to see how the fluon issue gets resolved…

 

Thanks man, appreciate your comments too.

 

Do you keep CA02s too or ?

 

The issue with Fluon as in the escapees? I think for me, it's as ANTdrew mentioned, I'm thinking along with our diluting the fluon with water mixed with higher humidity in my room during some days (55-60%+, most of the time it's below 50% like in the low 40s even) combined with a lid with a vent hole that might not be large enough, it's caused the barrier to fail. Again, not sure why it's that ONE ant. I feel like enacting that one scene in Jurassic Park where he's like "Clever girl...." before getting wrecked  :D 

 

So my remedy for that is to move them to an escape proof formicarium so that even if they do get over the barrier, they're still stuck in there. I'm getting the feeling that these barriers are there more so that when you open the top to feed them or do maintenance, not all the ants can rush out and wreck havoc. I don't think it's meant to be the answer to preventing ants from escaping. To completely rely on that instead of a secure lid is a risky idea, a risk I can't take since I have centipedes and other small animals around.

 

Hope that's what you're referring to.


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JOURNAL: Camponotus CA02 - First Time At Ant Keeping CLICK HERE

JOURNAL: Ectomomyrmex cf. astutus - Ant Species #2 CLICK HERE


#27 Offline BleepingBleepers - Posted July 31 2023 - 4:51 PM

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Slight sad / bad news:  ***EDIT EDIT***

 

An unfortunate event transpired in the last few days and seems like I won't be getting my long awaited Honeypot ants like I wanted. Waited a whole month for them too ...... :*(

They were supposed to arrive with my Tar Heel formicariums but for reasons, I've decided to postpone getting them for the time being.

 

 

So because of that, I might plan to keep only CA02 as my one and only ant species. In a sense, I kind of thought keeping two ant colonies that can grow into the thousands be a bit too much for me to handle anyhow as my life has some foreseeable hurdles in the upcoming future.

Though it would've been super cool to have honeypots as well, they're definitely a really cool species that I wish I could've experienced.

 

The formicariums that are coming, most were meant for the honeypots. I also got a lot of equipment that might now be excessive. Anyhow, I've switched it up and now I plan to use all of the formicariums for these carpenters. I will switch them out if I need to clean one or add one in in case I want to give the ants an expansion.

 

Sad day.

 

All the back and forths and seeing pictures of them made me really attached to that specific Queen and colony....


Edited by BleepingBleepers, July 31 2023 - 6:12 PM.

JOURNAL: Camponotus CA02 - First Time At Ant Keeping CLICK HERE

JOURNAL: Ectomomyrmex cf. astutus - Ant Species #2 CLICK HERE


#28 Offline ANTdrew - Posted August 1 2023 - 2:33 AM

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There are thousands of other species out there that are cheaper, easier to get, hardier, and just as interesting. I highly recommend Myrmicines over Formicines.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#29 Offline Ernteameise - Posted August 1 2023 - 9:22 AM

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That decision might be for the best of you have some real-life issues coming up.

But hey, never say never and it might work out some day.

Until then, you can get more experienced with the ants you have got already!


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#30 Offline 100lols - Posted August 1 2023 - 1:48 PM

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Cool video! It was fascinating to see the larvae in action and hear your thoughts.

This colony looks super similar in size to the one I’m keeping. My guess is they are similar in age :D

Interested to see how the fluon issue gets resolved…

Thanks man, appreciate your comments too.

Do you keep CA02s too or ?

The issue with Fluon as in the escapees? I think for me, it's as ANTdrew mentioned, I'm thinking along with our diluting the fluon with water mixed with higher humidity in my room during some days (55-60%+, most of the time it's below 50% like in the low 40s even) combined with a lid with a vent hole that might not be large enough, it's caused the barrier to fail. Again, not sure why it's that ONE ant. I feel like enacting that one scene in Jurassic Park where he's like "Clever girl...." before getting wrecked :D

So my remedy for that is to move them to an escape proof formicarium so that even if they do get over the barrier, they're still stuck in there. I'm getting the feeling that these barriers are there more so that when you open the top to feed them or do maintenance, not all the ants can rush out and wreck havoc. I don't think it's meant to be the answer to preventing ants from escaping. To completely rely on that instead of a secure lid is a risky idea, a risk I can't take since I have centipedes and other small animals around.

Hope that's what you're referring to.

My mistake, yes! I am keeping a colony of C. ca02. They’re also off to a great start :)

Sounds like the new formicarium will solve any issues you’ve have with escapist- well an escapee lol. Great discussion though! My house sits at about the same humidity as yours, but I’ve been using talcum powder with no issues.

I respect your decision to be responsible and wait until the right time to purchase or collect a Myrmecocystus sp. I know that was a hard one. Looking forward to this journals continued success!
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#31 Offline BleepingBleepers - Posted August 1 2023 - 5:24 PM

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There are thousands of other species out there that are cheaper, easier to get, hardier, and just as interesting. I highly recommend Myrmicines over Formicines.

 

Unfortunately, I'm picky. What I find interesting are species that fit one or more of the following criteria: especially large, have interesting color patterns or color contrast, something unique about them (like having interesting looking worker ants), and be different to what I already have.

 

There's many ants that fit, however, most of them are not available where I live or are not up for sale anywhere.

 

The honeypots I was planning to get fulfilled all four of the criteria above: One of the largest, food color dyes for the pretty colors along with their natural colors, and ginormous repletes.

 

Thanks for the responses though, all of us new keepers really appreciate experienced ant keepers like yourself giving us some guidance and a push in the right direction. You're one of the few admins / mods I've seen on the site that's as active in forum posts.

 

That decision might be for the best of you have some real-life issues coming up.

But hey, never say never and it might work out some day.

Until then, you can get more experienced with the ants you have got already!

 

I suppose.

I was moping around for much of the day, that whole waiting around for a whole month with anticipation, it gradually sank in today. Think I'm better now.

It was like seeing that one puppy in the window and you kinda walk by it every day admiring it and still not being able to get it, except not as dramatic. A small part of me is  :*( about it though.

I hate being a pessimistic person and paranoid about stuff and then finding out I was right. I seem to like being right about the wrong kinda stuff, hahaha ;)

The other negative side of me is telling me there probably won't be a next time, the world is going right to the crappers and enjoy it while you can before it does.

 

But you're right, there's some benefits to easing my way into the hobby before getting a second ant species, but it would've been fun.

Thanks for the replies. I'll keep gaining experience as you say and one day, maybe.

 

 

My mistake, yes! I am keeping a colony of C. ca02. They’re also off to a great start :)


Sounds like the new formicarium will solve any issues you’ve have with escapist- well an escapee lol. Great discussion though! My house sits at about the same humidity as yours, but I’ve been using talcum powder with no issues.

I respect your decision to be responsible and wait until the right time to purchase or collect a Myrmecocystus sp. I know that was a hard one. Looking forward to this journals continued success!

 

Very nice! Hope you find some success and thanks for all your replies thus far as well.

 

Yeah, I hear each barrier type (olive oil, fluon, talcum powder, baby powder with alcohol etc) have their strengths and weaknesses and also some of them working better for certain ants. Talcum powder huh? I'll look into it. I do have some Fluon coming my way, but let me look into it.

 

I can't fully take the credit of that decision as, truthfully, it wasn't completely up to me. But I will take the opportunity to learn more about ants and one day hopefully apply that knowledge and experience to the hobby.

 

 

 

 

 

Alright, so today, my cocoon that I've been waiting on in order to complete my findings on how long it takes from egg to adult have finally finished eclosing. Have updated the info on the first page. I'm just so glad it's not 3 months LOL :D


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JOURNAL: Camponotus CA02 - First Time At Ant Keeping CLICK HERE

JOURNAL: Ectomomyrmex cf. astutus - Ant Species #2 CLICK HERE


#32 Offline ANTdrew - Posted August 2 2023 - 3:02 AM

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Judging from your criteria, I’d recommend getting some Pogonomyrmex. They’re large, a nice reddish color, and they have interesting seed gathering behaviors. Best of all, they’re Myrmicines.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#33 Offline BleepingBleepers - Posted August 2 2023 - 7:25 AM

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Judging from your criteria, I’d recommend getting some Pogonomyrmex. They’re large, a nice reddish color, and they have interesting seed gathering behaviors. Best of all, they’re Myrmicines.

 

Ah sorry, forgot to mention that I try to avoid ants that sting in case they escape. My family would absolutely hate my guts if a ton of venomous, stinging ants escaped somehow not to mention I have other small animals around like centipedes and tarantulas.

 

They require an additional item to be bought and stored at the house: Variety of seeds which our family doesn't eat. Not the biggest con, but still. Positive side would be they don't eat insects as much but I already have a huge colony of roaches for my centipedes so...

 

And CA02 also have a lot of reddish / orange colored workers already. Though ya I gotta admit I do like their different body shape etc and big heads. I almost got them at the expo.

 

With both honeypots and carpenters, sugar water is easily made as the ingredient is sugar which is found in every household anyways. We also give them sugar in form of fruits which we're already buying and eating. Honey is a nutritious treat that we also sometimes eat. And they seem to both be docile AND.....they can't sting, huge plus.

 

I do like that many Pogonomyrmex, based on a quick search, seem to have issues climbing glass. That's a plus.

 

I mean, they're not completely off the table in terms of choices, but for the time being, I think I'll just wait and see what next year brings. If it looks bad, I'll just stick with the CA02.

 

See, I told you I was picky.

I'm the dude standing in the cereal isle for 20 mins picking out cereal.

 

Other criteria I forgot to mention is that they must not smell or have a really low level of smell, so Attas or any fungus growing ants etc are not an option. Smells would be the biggest deal breaker if I can't remedy it.

No small ants (3-4mm or less) as they can fit through smaller holes and openings and escape, not to mention they're harder to physically see since they're smaller.


JOURNAL: Camponotus CA02 - First Time At Ant Keeping CLICK HERE

JOURNAL: Ectomomyrmex cf. astutus - Ant Species #2 CLICK HERE


#34 Offline gs5248 - Posted August 2 2023 - 4:54 PM

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I recommend applying Fluon in single horizontal strokes. You want to keep it as smooth as you can. Another big factor to consider with Fluon is humidity and ventilation. It actually works best with a fully open top design like this:
7-B158-DE4-9146-4-CA2-80-AC-2-D48-A37-BC

How do you cut a hole like that through plastic?



#35 Offline That_one_ant_guy - Posted August 2 2023 - 5:55 PM

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I recommend applying Fluon in single horizontal strokes. You want to keep it as smooth as you can. Another big factor to consider with Fluon is humidity and ventilation. It actually works best with a fully open top design like this:
7-B158-DE4-9146-4-CA2-80-AC-2-D48-A37-BC

How do you cut a hole like that through plastic?
it looks like it was melted

#36 Offline 100lols - Posted August 2 2023 - 7:55 PM

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I recommend applying Fluon in single horizontal strokes. You want to keep it as smooth as you can. Another big factor to consider with Fluon is humidity and ventilation. It actually works best with a fully open top design like this:
7-B158-DE4-9146-4-CA2-80-AC-2-D48-A37-BC

How do you cut a hole like that through plastic?
it looks like it was melted
Maybe, but I’d use my dremel with a rotary cutting disc to cut something like that.

Edited by 100lols, August 2 2023 - 7:56 PM.


#37 Offline ANTdrew - Posted August 3 2023 - 2:48 AM

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I used a wood burning tool to start the hole, then a hack saw to finish the cut. Honestly, you can just use the wood burning tool to melt it, which is what I’ve started doing.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#38 Offline gs5248 - Posted August 3 2023 - 9:56 PM

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I used a wood burning tool to start the hole, then a hack saw to finish the cut. Honestly, you can just use the wood burning tool to melt it, which is what I’ve started doing.

Could you use a soldering iron?



#39 Offline 100lols - Posted October 1 2023 - 6:26 AM

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How are the girls? Update? :)
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#40 Offline BleepingBleepers - Posted October 15 2023 - 7:43 PM

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How are the girls? Update? :)

 

Ha! Didn't know anyone was anticipating for one and didn't see your post until today.

 

Hope you're doing well, bud.


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JOURNAL: Camponotus CA02 - First Time At Ant Keeping CLICK HERE

JOURNAL: Ectomomyrmex cf. astutus - Ant Species #2 CLICK HERE






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: camponotus, ca02, mini hearth, xl, carpenter, ants, expo, tarheelants, heat cable, tar heel ants, beginner

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