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Journey into Hebel/Ytong/AAC formicariums


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306 replies to this topic

#21 Offline antgenius123 - Posted January 15 2017 - 4:08 AM

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Very cool


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Currently own:
(1x) Camponotus Sp.
(1x) Pheidole aurivillii (?)
(1x) Monomorium Sp. (?)

Other

#22 Offline FSTP - Posted January 15 2017 - 4:11 AM

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WOW,

 

I so desperately knew where I could obtain hebel/aac/ytong in the states. I really would love to work with some.


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#23 Offline Kevin - Posted January 15 2017 - 5:28 AM

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I actually like the look of the reddish rim on the formicarium.


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#24 Offline CrazyLegs - Posted January 15 2017 - 1:42 PM

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Thanks guys.

 

The lid for now is going to be a simple piece of plexiglass that rests on the tanks lid holders.

It's cheap and easy to work with. A cork glued to the top should work as a handle.

Plexiglass Lid

I had it cut to within 1mm of the tanks dimensions. Then I used a diamond saw to carefully cut out where the tank lid holders were.

Cut notches
The tank was from a dollar store and the workmanship showed, with the lid holders not even close to level with each other.

My piece of acrylic had also seemed to sag a little with the heat wave we are currently experiencing in Australia but hey, its a lid.

Good enough for now
The whole thing cost me under $10.
I may have to put some more ventilation. Early in the morning there is some condensation on the sides but it quickly dissipates within an hour.
If anyone can explain to me why the out world should be dry it would be appreciated.
I assume its so the ants don't nest out there but there may be other reasons.

 

 

.


Edited by CrazyLegs, January 15 2017 - 3:11 PM.


#25 Offline Kevin - Posted January 15 2017 - 2:30 PM

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The outworld should be dry because it prevents trash and waste from molding in it.


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#26 Offline CrazyLegs - Posted January 16 2017 - 8:45 PM

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I will most likely be staying on top of trash removal so fingers crossed mold doesn't become an issue.

If your willing to spend a little more on a lid here's a timber one.

I used picture framing timber.

Picture framing
Made a frame to fit.
Frame

I used a bead of liquid nails and pressed the metal screen into the frame.

Metal screen
I cut some strips of foam rubber to make a seal between the lid and the glass tank. Even though they claim self adhesion I pressed them onto the liquid nails while it was still wet for extra insurance.
Foam rubber
Foam rubber strips
Rubber seal
You could certainly paint it black to match the tank but I like the natural look.
Complete Lid

 

 

 


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#27 Offline T.C. - Posted January 16 2017 - 9:23 PM

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And it still looks great. Congratulations on a great formicarium and I am going to give you some more kudos for more great work. :lol:


Edited by T.C., January 16 2017 - 9:23 PM.

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#28 Offline CrazyLegs - Posted January 17 2017 - 3:13 AM

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Hahaha, Thanks T.C.

 

It's almost there, Just need to make the cover for the back and side to provide some darkness in the nest.

For now I've put my test ant back in there.

This is my rock

I also added five of her sisters. I want to see how they go in there while I contemplate a nest excavation. :o 

I was surprised to see they recognized each other after she had been away for several days.

They claimed the nest as if it was their own.

This nest is claimed

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#29 Offline Alabama Anter - Posted January 17 2017 - 6:35 AM

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Oh my god! That is amazing! You should make an ant store! So jealous!
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Keeper of...

(2) Parakeets
(2) Peppered Corydoras
(4) Neon Tetras
(1) Hermit Crab
(100-300) Mealworms
(1) Tetramorium sp. E
(1) Dormymyrmex bicolor
(1) Dormymyrmex insanus
(1) Solenopsis invicta
(1) Formica fusca
(1) Lasius neoniger
(1) Crematogaster cerasi
(1) Myrmecocystus testacus

#30 Offline CrazyLegs - Posted January 17 2017 - 9:28 PM

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:lol: My mother in law saw it and said I should sell it on ebay.

I haven't weighed it but I think it would be over 4Kg.

I have no idea how much people would be willing to pay for the item, postage and labor, considering the hours put into carving and such.

Maybe I could make ten of them and open an ant stall at my local markets.  :D  I'm sure there would be no immediate competition.

But alas, I must get back to sticking tiles to walls to keep this roof over my head for the mean time.

 

Feeding is going to be as simple as placing drops of maple syrup in the forks of this fake plastic stick.

Maple syrup droplets
These ants are going to grow quite fond of this stick I think.
Minor workers
I made sure the extra ants I added were a little smaller than my initial test ant, so I could still tell her apart.
Exploring
 

 

 


Edited by CrazyLegs, March 25 2017 - 3:25 AM.


#31 Offline SamKeepsAnts - Posted January 18 2017 - 7:29 AM

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Does this sp have gamergates?


Owner of :

7 Founding Brachymyrmex Patagonicus queens


#32 Offline Leo - Posted January 18 2017 - 4:34 PM

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cooooooool love the ants in Australia!!!!!!    :)


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#33 Offline Martialis - Posted January 18 2017 - 7:49 PM

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Does this sp have gamergates?

 

They do.


Edited by Martialis, January 18 2017 - 7:49 PM.

Spoiler

#34 Offline CrazyLegs - Posted January 18 2017 - 9:06 PM

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I wonder sometimes if I were to put some flying males in there if one might take up the gamergate role, but I think I might be more likely to win the lottery.

On the other hand finding a new queen of this species is going to be just as improbable. I have a niggling feeling that they may have their nuptial flights in the dark. I will not be wandering into the bush here in the dark, I would more than likely stand on a taipan or an eastern brown.

I have even seen centipedes so big they rear up at you like a snake. :o

My other option is to attempt to excavate a small nest from the wild. It sounds difficult but probably would have the higher success rate of the three options.

 

Here is the original ant with one of her smaller sisters.

Reunited
I'm going to give these little neodymium magnets a try they seem great for moving little rocks off the glass and sweeping away condensation.
Neodymium
My prediction is that they will corrode over time but I can fish them out with a piece of wire if necessary and replace them.
These girls have great vision.
She sees Me
They are very hard to sneak up on.

 

 


Edited by CrazyLegs, January 18 2017 - 9:55 PM.

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#35 Offline CrazyLegs - Posted January 20 2017 - 8:49 PM

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Not much to explain here, just some laminated cardboard cut to size.

Laminate cardboard
Held in place with velcro.
Velcro
I have noticed I need to add a lot more water with the screen lid.
I just fill the moss to its holding capacity once a day.
It can hold 20 times its own weight in water. :)
 

 


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#36 Offline CrazyLegs - Posted January 20 2017 - 9:08 PM

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They are still in there.

Aliens Do walk among Us
They don't have a lot to do, they just hang out together in this first chamber for most of the day.
I offer them an insect every couple of nights which they always kill but never eat.

The maple syrup never goes uneaten.

Here is my original test ant out in the eve, having a drink, listening to some Donny Hathaway.

Late night snack And some tunes

I read somewhere your not supposed to release captive ants back into the wild.

Think of the stories she could tell to her sisters though. :D


Edited by CrazyLegs, January 31 2017 - 3:19 AM.


#37 Offline Leo - Posted January 20 2017 - 9:34 PM

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Ant one: welcome to my little world.

Ants 2 and 3: How do we get out?

Ant one: no idea.

Ant one: and here is my stick.

Ant 2 and 3: STICK!!!!!

 

 

:lol: My mother in law saw it and said I should sell it on ebay.

I haven't weighed it but I think it would be over 4Kg.

And being on the receiving end of some ordinary Australian postal service myself in the past, they would probably end up broken. :facepalm:

I have no idea how much people would be willing to pay for the item, postage and labor, considering the hours put into carving and such.

Maybe I could make ten of them and open an ant stall at my local markets.  :D  I'm sure there would be no immediate competition.

But alas, I must get back to sticking tiles to walls to keep this roof over my head for the mean time.

 

Feeding is going to be as simple as placing drops of maple syrup in the forks of this fake plastic stick.

 
These ants are going to grow quite fond of this stick I think.
 
I made sure the extra ants I added were a little smaller than my initial test ant, so I could still tell her apart.
 
 

 

 

 


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#38 Offline CrazyLegs - Posted January 21 2017 - 7:18 PM

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I got up this morning and unbeknown to me, my small group of brevinoda had made a plan to escape.

Having checked all other avenues they came to the conclusion that the key to freedom must be hidden beneath the mossy patch in the field.

A plan set In motion
It was all claws on deck as the moss was being gripped and pulled from its anchors, lichen being strewn across the floor, even the leaves on the plastic plant were no match for their vicious mandibles and determination to succeed.
Moss puller
Seems though that their plan was foiled and the moss held fast. Content with her work, this was the last worker to clean herself up and head back to the nest for the day to regroup.

Happy with Her work

Yeah, no worries guys. I'll clean this up. :facepalm:

Mess

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#39 Offline FSTP - Posted January 21 2017 - 7:30 PM

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I love this, amazing job. These are the style of formicaria that I think are the best. They have a naturalistic appearance, rather then a printed piece of plastic that looks like a happy meal toy.


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#40 Offline CrazyLegs - Posted January 21 2017 - 7:37 PM

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Thanks FSTP.

I'm still experimenting with water levels at the moment. It's hard to tell if the nest is moist enough with the hebel.

I'm worried that it may draw the moisture away from eggs and larvae that are in direct contact.






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