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Dspdrew's Formicarium 06 Research and Design (Updated 11-14-2021)

formicarium container out world enclosure how-to diy design nest dspdrew tutorial

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173 replies to this topic

#161 Offline dspdrew - Posted July 17 2020 - 3:35 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Hopefully all those white dots on the wood are sand grains and not grain mites.

 

Haha, not mites. I check for those constantly.



#162 Offline B_rad0806 - Posted July 17 2020 - 5:16 PM

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wow! that looks neat


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#163 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 19 2020 - 4:06 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

I had something very strange happen with one of my formicariums. I don't know what the deal was with whatever was in this liquid feeder, but it appears to have caused some sort of reaction with the resin. I honestly have no idea what happened.

 

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This is what it looked like about a month later.

 

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#164 Offline TechAnt - Posted September 20 2020 - 10:44 AM

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I had something very strange happen with one of my formicariums. I don't know what the deal was with whatever was in this liquid feeder, but it appears to have caused some sort of reaction with the resin. I honestly have no idea what happened.

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This is what it looked like about a month later.

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Woah..That’s quite a lot of damage. Do you think it will endanger the ants safety?

Edited by TechAnt, September 20 2020 - 10:44 AM.

My Ants:
(x1) Campontous semitstaceus ~20 workers, 1 Queen
(x1) Camponotus vicinus ~10 workers, 1 Queen (all black variety)
(x1) Tetramorium immigrans ~100 workers, 1 Queen
(x1) Myrmercocystus mexicanus -1 Queen
(x2) Mymercocystus mimcus -1 Queen
(x1) Mymercocystus testaceus ~45 workers, 1 Queen

#165 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 20 2020 - 10:45 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

It didn't seem to. I have since scraped all the loose part out.



#166 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 20 2020 - 11:24 AM

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Looks like the fungus in the old Super Mario Bros movie.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#167 Offline Boog - Posted November 7 2020 - 1:47 AM

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Trying something out.

 

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So how is this working out so far? Looks sharp! I wonder how the wood handles moisture over time.


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#168 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 7 2020 - 11:25 PM

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It's ok, but I never do well with this species.



#169 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted November 9 2020 - 5:57 PM

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Hey how did that wooden nest chamber go that you posted about in July? 


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#170 Offline aznphenom - Posted January 14 2021 - 12:32 PM

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What bits do you use to drill such perfect holes? and is that a custom printed plug for those holes?



#171 Offline Chickalo - Posted January 14 2021 - 12:57 PM

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I've started experimenting with a very small formicarium that can be used for colony founding. This will also be compatible with the larger formicarium so that it can easily fit together to allow the colony to move out of the smaller one and into the larger one when the time is right. The top portion will fit on top of the larger formicarium in place of the out world with a hole in the same spot, leading down into the larger nest. Once they've moved in, you can then replace this with the regular out world for that formicarium.
 
So far this is pretty similar to the typical petri dish setup, only I am trying to find a way to keep it hydrated for a long period of time, as I will always do with all my formicariums.
 
The bottom container will hold water that will be wicked up into the inner chamber in the top container only, leaving the out world dry.
 
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I used a layer of Hydrostone on the bottom of the inner chamber that's connected through three round holes to another layer of Hydrostone on the bottom. The sponge soaks up water and transfers it to the Hydrostone layer on the bottom, and up into the layer of Hydrostone inside the inner chamber. This is working so far, but the 1/4 inch hole in the inner chamber is letting a little too much of the humidity out and into the out world portion. I haven't decided if I want to make this adjustable yet, and if I don't, it will have to be 1/4 inch to make sure most of the largest queens can still fit through it. Never mind the extra layers of plastic and Hydrostone under the inner chamber, because I'll be cutting the bottom off those little containers, eliminating some of them.
 
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I decided I'm going to put a thin layer of Hydrostone in the bottoms of all my out worlds to allow absorption of any excess liquids, and better grip for the ants. This layer of Hydrostone does not connect in any way with layers of Hydrostone on the bottom of the inner chamber and on the underside of the top container, or the ports between them, therefor it should stay dry.
 
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The inner chamber will also have a removable lid to allow for microscope observing, and easy cleaning.
 
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#172 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 14 2021 - 12:43 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Hey how did that wooden nest chamber go that you posted about in July? 

 

It was alright, but the colony eventually died off. C. laevissimus always seem to die off on me eventually.



#173 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 14 2021 - 12:52 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

What bits do you use to drill such perfect holes? and is that a custom printed plug for those holes?

 

Stepper bits, and yes I 3D print the plastic plugs.



#174 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 14 2021 - 2:59 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

So in the past I have had trouble with grain mites spreading through every colony in whatever cabinet I had them in. Fortunately, they're harmless and really just a nuisance, but I have heard of some people having parasitic mites spread through all of their colonies, which would be a real disaster. The main problem is by the time you notice the mites, they have probably already spread to every other colony around them.

 

I decided to find the best way to make sure that if there ever was an outbreak, it would remain confined to that one colony and no others.

 

So here is what I came up with, designed specifically for my laboratory-style formicariums. It should keep the formicarium and water tank completely isolated from the cabinet they are in.

 

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This is the formicarium and water tank on top of it.

 

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You can either put soap water or oil in them, both of which should stop the mites. The lid should keep the evaporation to a minimum if you are using soap water. It also keeps it from spilling when moving it around. It's actually almost impossible to get anything to splash out of a hole in the lid like that, short of violently shaking it.

 

I have oil in this one here.

 

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I'm sure there is always a chance the mite could fall off and end up loose in the cabinet, but it would certainly never make it into another colony, and probably wouldn't live long.

 

I guess if I wanted to, I could design them with a little more space between them and the formicarium to also keep your colony from being attacked by other small pest ants like Argentine ants.


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