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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

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#41 Offline BleepingBleepers - Posted October 15 2023 - 8:03 PM

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Time to get this journal back on track and also update it.

 

Hey everyone, it's been a little while, been dealing with life and life's been...well....life's been life %)

I've been in my quiet, antisocial mode for quite awhile.

 

 

Here's a somewhat quick update, I'll be giving a more complete update later in the future as I've been meaning to.

 

So I got my Tarheel Mini Hearth XL and moved them in.

 

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8/17/2023

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I'll make a more complete update in the following days, but I just want to show you guys some differences and comparison pictures.

 

This is them in their new Mini Hearth XL formicarium a day after I got it.

Only 11 workers + the Queen + X number of brood . Queen is hiding at the top behind a stalactite, all workers can be seen in the picture.

 

nHZzAxu.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10/11/2023

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Now check them out!! See the difference? :D

Yep, less than 2 months!

Quite a bit of growth for a slow growing species, eh? I know their size is supposed to gradually increase but I think with us keeping them and me pushing protein as often as I do, it's definitely sped it up.

Any guess on how many there are without really counting?

 

9NStFdE.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

And check out the newest worker to my colony. I knew it was going to be a large worker based on the cocoon size that was almost twice the size of the average. I think that might be as big as they get in terms of regular workers [edit: nvm, think they get way more robust in later generations, can't wait!] . Check out that size difference!

 

TVZdLNh.jpg

 

 

 

 

Compare to the queen, for a regular worker, quite impressive!

 

jiRIaYh.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPCOMING UPDATES WILL INCLUDE

 

- Updates in foods that are disliked and favored

- In depth Review on Tarheel Mini Hearth XL including thoughts on overall design and how I set it up and little improvements I've made to it. And how would I improve the design (show rather than tell).

- My experiences and thoughts about ants after keeping these guys for awhile

- A more thorough time table of the growth of the colony, I've kept a small journal during my study of these guys.

- Some other updates to the original species info sheet on the first page.

- Plans for the future such as future nest upgrades.

- My current setup and equipment used.


Edited by BleepingBleepers, October 29 2023 - 6:34 AM.

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

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


#42 Offline 100lols - Posted October 15 2023 - 9:37 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.

I’m following close!! This is an epic journal and for a species that has become one of my favorites. You do a great job of documenting for others to learn from your experience. I need to be more like you…

Our colonies are neck and neck of each other in terms of age and size :) I’m well, thanks. I understand the antisocial thing. I tend to feel some seasonal blues this time of the year.

Your girls look gorgeous in the xl minihearth. I have my colony of the same size in their original test tube still. It’s amazing, the tube is clean and the water is full. Can’t wait to see them in their first formicarium like your girls.
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#43 Offline ANTdrew - Posted October 16 2023 - 1:55 AM

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Truly impressive growth. Welcome back!
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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.

#44 Offline ChenZ - Posted October 16 2023 - 4:10 PM

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Can't believe yours grows so fast! Mine's staying around 15 workers for a couple of months...


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#45 Offline BleepingBleepers - Posted October 16 2023 - 8:04 PM

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Kinda liked this picture for some reason.

As the colony size increased, I notice that the workers sent out for scavenger duty in the outworld has increased, expected but it's interesting to see. It use to be 2-3, now there's a constant 8 up to 10!

Most of the first nanitics are sent out there, older workers from what I've heard, end their lives scavenging for food. However, some still remain inside guarding some of the openings in the mini hearth XL from my intrusions :rolleyes:

 

7m9nUOY.jpg

 

 

 

 

So just when I thought things might slow down, I saw this today! (View picture)

I thought the Queen might be slowing down in the upcoming colder months (still debating on whether to give them a cooldown time around Nov to Feb for the first year) but seems like this Queen has other plans.

That's probably the biggest batch of eggs I've seen from her yet!

I'm guessing 50+, this Queen is insane! :o

While I'm happy, I'm somewhat worried. I like growth and I don't want to seem ungrateful, but hope I can manage!

 

BBn9gAp.jpg

 

 

I’m following close!! This is an epic journal and for a species that has become one of my favorites. You do a great job of documenting for others to learn from your experience. I need to be more like you…


Our colonies are neck and neck of each other in terms of age and size :) I’m well, thanks. I understand the antisocial thing. I tend to feel some seasonal blues this time of the year.

Your girls look gorgeous in the xl minihearth. I have my colony of the same size in their original test tube still. It’s amazing, the tube is clean and the water is full. Can’t wait to see them in their first formicarium like your girls.

 

 

Haha glad you like it ;)

Do you let your ants drink as much sugar water as they want to all the time?

What's your temperature range at for yours?

And thanks, glad to also hear that you're doing well too. Yeah I had to move mines out of the test tube, I have this OCD / obsession issue and noticed the Queen having a difficult time moving around in the glass test tube and had to move her out as it was nagging at me a lot. So far, I think these guys definitely appreciate the ability to hang off the walls of the formicarium. I think it's kinda like how we sleep in different positions to get comfortable. I notice the Queen, especially, loves to hang off the walls 80-90% of the time when given the choice. For the workers, it's a mix, they're 50-80% on the ground but do go on the wall and chill from time to time. My other guess is also that having a full abdomen and bigger size, it's a tad easier and more comfortable to hang off the wall, kinda like the honeypots. Not too many stay right on the ceiling though, only a few.

 

While I love seeing the colony grow big, fast (always nice to see the things you like/love explode with life and growth), I am somewhat concerned about how I'll manage it so my mindset of "I can't wait until I get a thousand workers!!" is dialed down. I keep my temperature on the lower side because of that. The food requirement has increased many times, even when they went from 8 to 16 workers, felt like their food requirement increased like 4x or more! And dealing with their waste too (as I can't handle bad smells).

My true goal, actually, is to get a huge Major! So I don't want a ton of workers, I just want some ginormous Majors :lol:

I've seen them in some pictures and videos and think they're super neato so I can't wait to have my own so I can see what contributions they add to the colony (I mean I have a hint but I wanna see it in action). So going to handle it too!! (I'm a handler as you can see from my profile picture with the centipede)

 

Truly impressive growth. Welcome back!

 

Thanks man, good to see you active and well still!

Thank you for your work on the forum.

 

Can't believe yours grows so fast! Mine's staying around 15 workers for a couple of months...

 

Yeah, a bit faster than I expected as well. I thought I'd be lucky to get 25 workers for the first year, but at this pace, especially with the big batch of eggs shown above, we'll have to see!

Think my Queen ant is doing okay, I honestly just want her stable and healthy and not rush it.

My goal is not colony size to be honest, I just want my first max size Major and I'll be happy. My goal is the handle a Major ant, I know it's a weird goal but I dunno what to say, I'm a handler (view my profile picture)

Do you also keep the same species, CA02?

Who knows, your Queen ant might be resting up for a really productive second year! I hear that's how some Queens operate. Be careful of what you wish for, she might give you more than you can deal with  (y)

If you think it has something to do with your setup like temperature, diet, nest or whatnot and are concerned, feel free to PM or ask in the General Ant Keeping section of the forum and we can always chit chat and see what's up and hopefully figure it out  :)

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the comments, everyone!


Edited by BleepingBleepers, October 16 2023 - 11:51 PM.

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

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


#46 Offline ANTdrew - Posted October 17 2023 - 2:09 AM

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You can totally manage one colony, believe me.
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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.

#47 Offline 100lols - Posted October 19 2023 - 11:17 AM

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Awesome pictures!!! I think you’re doing great and you’ll be able to handle these girls no problem with how prepared and well thought out you have things.

My girls sit at a range of 85-77F typically 81-83 degrees on average. Space constraints has them in my cabinet with desert species who take priority(honeypots). I connected the colony to a small diy sauce container outworld right away giving them access to a 24/7 sugar source(changed regularly) and different proteins every 2-3 days.

I know that ants thrive in small spaces due to their ability to better regulate temperature and humidity as a group. I read somewhere that Camponotus do very well in test tubes and decided that leaving them in until I HAVE to move them would be best. I think I’m at that point now though because they are camping in the outworld now.

Anyways, your journal is amazing. & keep up the good work!! Inspiring me to start my journal… eventually :P
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#48 Offline raydr - Posted October 29 2023 - 4:41 PM

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Besides shirmp/chicken/roaches/mealworms what other protein sources for camponotus ca02 should I give. Also when raising my camponotus ca02 since May, this journal helped me alot. Thanks, and keep going I can't wait to see more updates and how insane your queen is, she produced a huge batch of eggs in the last update. I wonder how many eggs the next update of the colony will have.


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#49 Offline BleepingBleepers - Posted October 31 2023 - 12:56 AM

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Besides shirmp/chicken/roaches/mealworms what other protein sources for camponotus ca02 should I give. Also when raising my camponotus ca02 since May, this journal helped me alot. Thanks, and keep going I can't wait to see more updates and how insane your queen is, she produced a huge batch of eggs in the last update. I wonder how many eggs the next update of the colony will have.

 

Glad you enjoy the journal, thanks for following along :)

I've been experimenting with quite a few food sources since then.

I'm currently in the middle of expanding the living areas of the ants and working on their outworld. Nothing fancy, I value simplicity and something easy to maintain, but maybe when you see my new setup for yourself, it might give us something to think and talk about as I'd love to hear what you think about it as well (y)

 

In the next few days, I'm hoping to release some videos and pictures and elaborate on the following, which includes your question on protein given:

 

UPCOMING UPDATES WILL INCLUDE

 

- Updates in foods that are disliked and favored

- In depth Review on Tarheel Mini Hearth XL including thoughts on overall design and how I set it up and little improvements I've made to it. And how would I improve the design (perhaps show rather than talk about it as I plan to get into DIY'ing my future nest).

- My most up to date setup, which should be completed tomorrow.

- My experiences and thoughts about ants after keeping these guys for awhile

- A more detailed time table of the growth of the colony, I've kept a small journal during my study of these guys.

- Some other updates to the original species info sheet on the first page (temperature, original thoughts on diapause / temperature cooldown, changes in the colony / worker's characteristic as it matures a bit more, etc)

- Plans for the future such as future nest upgrades.

- Other equipment used and why I like or not like them so much.

- Goofy, fun videos, including some attempts at live feeding (not so much recommended as it is fascinating and amusing to observe :lol: ).

 

 

 

 

 

Glad to have fellow ant keepers following along, it's nice to not feel alone in the hobby and have someone to share it with.


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

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


#50 Offline raydr - Posted November 1 2023 - 4:04 PM

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Oh thanks. I can't wait for next update(s). Ill follow along this journey with its new updates. Thanks!


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#51 Offline 100lols - Posted November 2 2023 - 9:33 PM

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The suspense! That’ll be a good present for the weekend :D
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#52 Offline raydr - Posted November 5 2023 - 9:35 AM

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I fed some unseasoned chicken and they took it in yesturday. They were taking little bites at it. Thanks for the lists of proteins


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#53 Offline BleepingBleepers - Posted November 14 2023 - 10:46 PM

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Feeling a bit better and going to do some mentioned updates tomorrow. Just REALLY out of it nowadays. Sorry if my few days are becoming significantly longer and thanks for bearing with me, hope to pull myself together.

 

Anyhow, one quick update today before I head to bed and hopefully a large post or two tomorrow including one extra, non - Camponotus post.

 

 

So here's the one I posted above, date stamped into the picture

10 / 11 / 2023

About 40~ Workers in this one

 

60udzSt.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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11 / 12 / 2023

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Fast forward just one month and they've doubled that number!  :D

80~ Workers now!

And well over 50+ eggs, 20+ larvae and 20+ cocoons.

Not too shabby for their first year with me, right?

The Queen is no longer shy and staying to the left side and workers are now all across the back wall AND ceiling!

I've also expanded their outworld massively, which I'll show you tomorrow.

 

s1G0hYs.jpg

 

 

 

 

See ya tomorrow.


Edited by BleepingBleepers, November 14 2023 - 11:57 PM.

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

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


#54 Offline Virginian_ants - Posted November 15 2023 - 5:36 AM

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They have grown a lot. This colony could hit the thousands is you want them to.
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#55 Offline rockaedward - Posted November 15 2023 - 1:18 PM

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This journal is amazing. I'm so hyped for more updates


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#56 Offline Hiromilovesmealworms - Posted November 15 2023 - 7:04 PM

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just keep posting.. just keep posting.. just keep posting... :yes:  :yes:  :lol:


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#57 Offline raydr - Posted November 20 2023 - 8:25 PM

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Nice colony, can't wait for more updates. I'm super excited for more updates


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#58 Offline 100lols - Posted November 21 2023 - 10:59 PM

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I really can’t get over how good they look in the minihearth… maybe I’ll grab another for my colony…
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#59 Offline ChenZ - Posted November 21 2023 - 11:37 PM

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This colony is definitely going strong! I've noticed the same thing in my colony, that they place all the brood away from the water tower; seems this is a dry loving species. 


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#60 Offline BleepingBleepers - Posted November 22 2023 - 9:50 AM

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I've updated the first page, will do some more today.


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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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