I sold both colonies I had left in test tubes, leaving me with just the two large colonies in the ant farm boxes. Both of those colonies are doing great, and both have a very large amount of brood.
I'm in the process of moving one of the colonies into a two foot wide, inch and a half thick, 50 pound ant farm that was given to me by Retroman
in a trade.
I cleaned it all out, and put in new substrate. I had to do this in layers to keep it from pushing on the glass too much, wetting it down little by little as I went. As long as the dirt is wet (not liquid mud!), it holds itself up pretty well and doesn't push too much on the glass. I also used a c-clamp to hold it as well.
I made a few modifications to it. Instead of the black construction paper and velcro covers/shades he had on it, I made some out of black foam board, and attached it with magnets. I added a larger board to the very bottom of the base, to stable it even more in case of an earthquake or something. I would NOT want this thing to fall over; that would be really bad. I also drilled two 3/8 inch holes in one side. One hole is at the surface of the dirt, and the other is at the very bottom.
Gluing the magnets on.
Here it is all setup and ready for use.
With the cover/shade on.
With the cover/shade off.
I set it all up with the ant farm box attached via a 3/8 inch OD piece of vinyl tubing. I setup an 80 watt bulb shining on the surface of the ant farm, and a bright florescent light shining on the sides of the ant farm box. I also put a fan on top of it to create a little bit of air movement, and vibration to help convince the ants to move. Also, there is a heating pad underneath the ant farm box to help dry it out faster.
Within 10 minutes, they were already digging a new nest in the far back corner of the ant farm. I hope I catch them when they're moving all of their hundreds of brood and the queen into their new nest; it should be interesting to see.