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Is it too early to consider another colony?

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15 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Pokee5954 - Posted December 1 2023 - 9:59 PM

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I've successfully maintained a colony for nearly a year, and they're thriving. I'm contemplating the idea of starting a second colony—do you think it might be too soon to look into a second colony?


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#2 Offline bmb1bee - Posted December 1 2023 - 11:06 PM

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Depends on what species you might want. Easy genera like Camponotus and Pogonomyrmex won't require much maintenance, so those would be fit for a colony if you don't have them already.


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#3 Offline ANTdrew - Posted December 2 2023 - 2:52 AM

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Two colonies isn’t that difficult. Space is the main limiting factor for me. Like bmb1bee said, it will all depend on what species you think about adding.
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#4 Offline Locness - Posted December 2 2023 - 1:35 PM

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[font='Söhne']I've successfully maintained a colony for nearly a year, and they're thriving. I'm contemplating the idea of starting a second colony—do you think it might be too soon to look into a second colony? [/font]


I only lasted 2 weeks before I bought another lol
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#5 Offline Serafine - Posted December 2 2023 - 5:25 PM

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I've successfully maintained a colony for nearly a year, and they're thriving. I'm contemplating the idea of starting a second colony—do you think it might be too soon to look into a second colony?

It depends on what colony you have, how fast their expected growth is and whether you can keep up with it.

If you have the space, money and resources (nests, outworld) to keep up, you can of course get a second colony.

Ants are quite easy to sustian, maintenance will be relatively low even for large colonies.

 

Just note that most ants start to really ramp up their growth in year 2 and 3, and as such will need quite some expansions to their setup.


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#6 Offline BleepingBleepers - Posted December 3 2023 - 12:00 AM

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I think I'm going to stop at 2 colonies. IMO, I want to say that the time, maintenance and care of ants can be deceptive because a lot of people go into it thinking "oh, it's a bunch of tiny ants, easy!" but some ant colonies, if kept right, can go into the thousands or tens of thousands.

 

My camponotus colony only has about a 100 workers and they're eating one (1-2 instar) dubia roach nymph every other day so it does make me worry what two colonies hitting a thousand each would eat and drink. And that's with just a thousand, what if there's more?

Just glad I'm raising them myself and not buying them at the local pet stores that are insanely overpriced.

 

And there is a smell to them that leaks out from their formicarium, not so bad now but again, my colonies are still on their first year. I'm pretty sensitive to smells and it kinda messes with my asthma that I developed from maintaining feeder roaches.

Add: And yeah, like mentioned by the others, it's also how much space they'll take up and the idea of going on a vacation for a month or more and finding someone to take care of them.

 

I kinda feel like the average person would have more than enough to do keeping just one ant species and raising them to their maximum potential, especially if it was a medium / large species. But people are bored with just one ant colony.


Edited by BleepingBleepers, December 3 2023 - 12:19 AM.

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#7 Offline michiganantsinmyyard - Posted December 3 2023 - 8:51 AM

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I think I'm going to stop at 2 colonies. IMO, I want to say that the time, maintenance and care of ants can be deceptive because a lot of people go into it thinking "oh, it's a bunch of tiny ants, easy!" but some ant colonies, if kept right, can go into the thousands or tens of thousands.

 

My camponotus colony only has about a 100 workers and they're eating one (1-2 instar) dubia roach nymph every other day so it does make me worry what two colonies hitting a thousand each would eat and drink. And that's with just a thousand, what if there's more?

Just glad I'm raising them myself and not buying them at the local pet stores that are insanely overpriced.

 

And there is a smell to them that leaks out from their formicarium, not so bad now but again, my colonies are still on their first year. I'm pretty sensitive to smells and it kinda messes with my asthma that I developed from maintaining feeder roaches.

Add: And yeah, like mentioned by the others, it's also how much space they'll take up and the idea of going on a vacation for a month or more and finding someone to take care of them.

 

I kinda feel like the average person would have more than enough to do keeping just one ant species and raising them to their maximum potential, especially if it was a medium / large species. But people are bored with just one ant colony.

To be fair, It doesn't take as much food to maintain an average colony, even in the thousands. It's just that if you want them to grow, you will have to really feed them. Because ants are scavengers, they try and get every opportunity to eat, so it looks like they really need all that food. It is good you are feeding them so much.


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#8 Offline BleepingBleepers - Posted December 3 2023 - 9:04 AM

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I think I'm going to stop at 2 colonies. IMO, I want to say that the time, maintenance and care of ants can be deceptive because a lot of people go into it thinking "oh, it's a bunch of tiny ants, easy!" but some ant colonies, if kept right, can go into the thousands or tens of thousands.

 

My camponotus colony only has about a 100 workers and they're eating one (1-2 instar) dubia roach nymph every other day so it does make me worry what two colonies hitting a thousand each would eat and drink. And that's with just a thousand, what if there's more?

Just glad I'm raising them myself and not buying them at the local pet stores that are insanely overpriced.

 

And there is a smell to them that leaks out from their formicarium, not so bad now but again, my colonies are still on their first year. I'm pretty sensitive to smells and it kinda messes with my asthma that I developed from maintaining feeder roaches.

Add: And yeah, like mentioned by the others, it's also how much space they'll take up and the idea of going on a vacation for a month or more and finding someone to take care of them.

 

I kinda feel like the average person would have more than enough to do keeping just one ant species and raising them to their maximum potential, especially if it was a medium / large species. But people are bored with just one ant colony.

To be fair, It doesn't take as much food to maintain an average colony, even in the thousands. It's just that if you want them to grow, you will have to really feed them. Because ants are scavengers, they try and get every opportunity to eat, so it looks like they really need all that food. It is good you are feeding them so much.

 

 

Oh yeah? Hmmm...

 

I honestly didn't think they'd begin to eat so much protein.

I'm also feeding them because I get this paranoid fear that they'll start eating their brood again (an issue that's been happening as of late). Like "wait, we haven't been fed for 2 hours.....time to start munching on some little sisters again! *NOM NOM NOM*"  :o BIOSHOCK the Ant Version.

I'll have to look into this some more.


Edited by BleepingBleepers, December 3 2023 - 9:33 AM.

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

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


#9 Offline Serafine - Posted December 3 2023 - 9:09 AM

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Brood-eating can also be caused by malnutrition, if it happens a lot broadening the diet might help more than just adding more of the same food.

Mice for example cannibalize their young when fed a lot of corn, because corn lacks certain nutrients.


Edited by Serafine, December 3 2023 - 9:10 AM.

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#10 Offline Manitobant - Posted December 6 2023 - 1:26 PM

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Lol i have like 30 colonies, all are very healthy and doing well
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#11 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted December 7 2023 - 7:04 AM

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I have a bad habit of collecting stuff so I've usually got over 20 colonies at any one time. I do have something of a loss rate every year though.

You do NOT have to feed ants until they are overstuffed and generating mountains of larvae. For example, I'm trying to keep my Veromessor in their Labyrinth. These ants are estimated to produce up to 650 new workers PER DAY in the wild. I am not going to do that. When they are heated properly in the summer they do need to produce several mountains of larvae to replenish, but there is no reason to give them so much food they produce 650 new workers a DAY. (P.S. the colony is several years old at this point.)


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, December 7 2023 - 7:05 AM.

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Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#12 Offline 100lols - Posted December 7 2023 - 10:20 PM

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Go for it! Grab a species that has different behavior patterns than your current colony to experience something different. Good luck :)

#13 Offline Mushu - Posted February 21 2024 - 7:27 AM

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Lol i have like 30 colonies, all are very healthy and doing well

 

I have a bad habit of collecting stuff so I've usually got over 20 colonies at any one time. I do have something of a loss rate every year though.

You do NOT have to feed ants until they are overstuffed and generating mountains of larvae. For example, I'm trying to keep my Veromessor in their Labyrinth. These ants are estimated to produce up to 650 new workers PER DAY in the wild. I am not going to do that. When they are heated properly in the summer they do need to produce several mountains of larvae to replenish, but there is no reason to give them so much food they produce 650 new workers a DAY. (P.S. the colony is several years old at this point.)

 

 

I think my buddy is going down this line. I'm fine with 2 maybe 3 and I prefer larger outworlds. He's at 9 already in half a year. He has somewhat of an addictive personality. We all do somewhat but he's 10x fold, when he likes something.


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#14 Offline Mushu - Posted February 21 2024 - 7:29 AM

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I have a bad habit of collecting stuff so I've usually got over 20 colonies at any one time. I do have something of a loss rate every year though.

You do NOT have to feed ants until they are overstuffed and generating mountains of larvae. For example, I'm trying to keep my Veromessor in their Labyrinth. These ants are estimated to produce up to 650 new workers PER DAY in the wild. I am not going to do that. When they are heated properly in the summer they do need to produce several mountains of larvae to replenish, but there is no reason to give them so much food they produce 650 new workers a DAY. (P.S. the colony is several years old at this point.)

Which does beg the question, how much protein would we need to feed them to generate 650 new workers per day  :D


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#15 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted February 21 2024 - 4:53 PM

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Totally, a new colony should be fine as long as they aren't ever-growing invasives like argentines or something (something i need to tell myself). I'd also avoid semi-claustrals as they may be a bit hectic to found, and most of them have a bit of a temper.


Edited by The_Gaming-gate, February 21 2024 - 4:54 PM.

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#16 Offline TacticalHandleGaming - Posted February 22 2024 - 6:15 AM

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It's not too bad as long as you have space and supplies really. I have 14 colonies and it doesn't feel like a chore or anything. I'd just shy away from any super fast growing ants like s. invicta.


Currently kept species

L. neoniger, P. occidentalis, C. modoc, C. novaeboracensis, C. vicinus, T. immigrans, A. occidentalis, S. molesta.

 

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T. rugatulus, B. depilis, P. imparis.

 

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Myrmecocystus kennedyi, Myrmecocystus pyramicus, Myrmecocystus semirufus, Myrmecocystus testaceus

Pheidole californica, Pheidole creightoni, Pheidole inquilina, Crematogaster coarctata, Crematogaster mutans

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