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How to Make a Sandy Terrarium?

terrarium vivarium sand formica formica subsericea

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#1 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted November 18 2017 - 4:21 AM

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So I have a fairly large tank that I'm planning on turning into a vivarium for my F. subsericea colony. I don't have the exact dimentions, but it's something like 1.5 feet by 1.5 feet by 3 feet. I was thinking of making it a sandy vivarium. In my opinion, this has a couple  advantages. One, it will be easier to see the darkly colored ants against the light ground. Two, I know that they like sand. I caught them at a beach of a small lake. There were two F. subsericea nests within 10 yards of each other. One of the days I visited, there happened to be a flight taking place. One of the nests only produced queen alates while the other only produced males. So I know that they like sand as a nesting medium.

 

But I was wondering how exactly to do this. All the results I get when I search for how to build a sandy terrarium were for desert terrariums. The one I want to make is more of a beach terrarium, since that's where I found the queen and the mother colony. Also, what other insects should I add? And what are some good plants that grow in sand (other than succulents and cacti)? This beach was small, only like 4 yards from the water to where it met forest. The nest was right on the edge of the forest, so maybe I could make a corner of the vivarium soil? Please help, and feel free to leave suggestions!



#2 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted November 18 2017 - 4:43 AM

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Sorry. Double post.  :facepalm:



#3 Offline Hunter - Posted November 18 2017 - 6:40 AM

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how do people double post, looks interesting


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#4 Offline Serafine - Posted November 18 2017 - 6:59 AM

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how do people double post, looks interesting

Sometimes Formiculture is slow (for me i is always slow) and doesn't update after pressing the post message button. When you then click the button another time it creates 2 posts (usually only happens with topics, rarely happens with posts within topics).
 
 

So I have a fairly large tank that I'm planning on turning into a vivarium for my F. subsericea colony. I don't have the exact dimentions, but it's something like 1.5 feet by 1.5 feet by 3 feet. I was thinking of making it a sandy vivarium. In my opinion, this has a couple  advantages. One, it will be easier to see the darkly colored ants against the light ground. Two, I know that they like sand. I caught them at a beach of a small lake. There were two F. subsericea nests within 10 yards of each other. One of the days I visited, there happened to be a flight taking place. One of the nests only produced queen alates while the other only produced males. So I know that they like sand as a nesting medium.
 
But I was wondering how exactly to do this. All the results I get when I search for how to build a sandy terrarium were for desert terrariums. The one I want to make is more of a beach terrarium, since that's where I found the queen and the mother colony. Also, what other insects should I add? And what are some good plants that grow in sand (other than succulents and cacti)? This beach was small, only like 4 yards from the water to where it met forest. The nest was right on the edge of the forest, so maybe I could make a corner of the vivarium soil? Please help, and feel free to leave suggestions!

 
I wouldn't really recommend raw sand. From my experience most ants can't walk that well on sand, especially on slopes. My Camponotus have issues with walking on sandy slopes (sometimes they just slide away) and even the Lasius niger prefer the much bigger "shrimp sand" pebbles.
Better apply a hard base substrate layer of sand-clay mix and put a bit of sand on it. Sand-clay mix has the advantage that if it becomes wet the ants can dig into it and it is most likely the substrate that comes closes to the lake beach (you could also do a mix of sand and fine soil).
 
Formica ants btw are usually polydomous and often create sattelite nests, it is possible that the two nests belonged to the same colony (or were different entrances of the same subterrain nest).

Edited by Serafine, November 18 2017 - 7:00 AM.

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#5 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted November 18 2017 - 9:26 AM

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Thanks!



#6 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted November 18 2017 - 1:03 PM

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I know Formica also like nesting in soil, as I've seen them there too, but my concern with that is visibility. Formica subsericea is very dark in color, and it might be hard to see them against dark colored soil.



#7 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted November 19 2017 - 4:24 AM

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Also, how would I put a terrarium into hibernation?







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: terrarium, vivarium, sand, formica, formica subsericea

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