Hey guys! I have been thinking about making my own formicariums in the future and wanted your opinions! I have checked out Crystal S' video tutorials and topics on this website, which were very helpful. My personal favorite idea so far is drilling a firebrick formicarium. Do you all have any advice? Also, have you seen castable firebrick used for formicariums? The only thing I don't like about it is the fact that once the glass is down, you cannot really remove it to clean the nest. (Though maybe I could just rubber band the glass down instead of siliconing?) Below I have outlined why I think firebrick will be the best for me to make.
Grout: From what I have seen, grout does not absorb water nearly as well as firebrick. To combat this problem, you need to add perlite, and all the mixing and using multiple ingredients (perlite, non-sanded grout, sanded grout, extra sand, etc) can become complicated.
Hydrostone: I'm definitely not a fan of that plain white color of hydrostone without any texture. Maybe this can be alleviated by allowing the ants to move sand into the nest, or adding sand to the top layer before pouring the hydrostone?
Plaster: Prone to mold, fragile...
Horizontal sand nest: So these are really cool, but siliconing the flat pieces and small strips of glass together seems cumbersome, and the finished products I have seen online look sloppy when complete. Definitely neat in theory, however, not sure I have the steady hand and expertise necessary to make a pretty, finished-looking product.
Acrylic: No clue how to put one of these together, and it seems that hydration can be an issue.