Jump to content

  • Ant Chat
  • General Chat
  •  
  •  



Welcome to Formiculture.com!

This is a website for anyone interested in Myrmecology and all aspects of finding, keeping, and studying ants. The site and forum are free to use, and contain no ads for members. Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation points to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!

Photo
- - - - -

German ant keeping!


  • Please log in to reply
81 replies to this topic

#61 Offline Colophonius - Posted January 14 2015 - 11:39 AM

Colophonius

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts

Since we decided to discuss the ant trade topic: 

I totally agree that there are problems arising in an fully unlimited ant trade. I wouldn't favour that myself. 

To repeat points that were often made:

1. Ant trade is not the main source for the problems connected with tramp species. International trade is a way bigger problem. You can often read, that people will find an ant colony in their exotic plants. Colonies are transported by cargo ships. 

I dare to say that at least 99,99% tramp species were introduced that way. Forbidding international trade will be a very hard task, though ;).

 

2. There were many discussions about endemic species, but the problem is the same as in point 1.

 

 

Limiting ant trade ( no "pest ants" / "tramp species", no endangered / protected species) would be a decent solution. Completly stopping ant trade is unreasonable and  will not help at all. 

 

 

Edit for clarification:
The "merkur debate" has nothing to do with his view on ant trade. 


Edited by Colophonius, January 14 2015 - 11:48 AM.


#62 Offline dermy - Posted January 14 2015 - 11:50 AM

dermy

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,392 posts
  • LocationCanada

Hey Colophonius those Acrylic nests seem to have sprouted up over night, I remember just a few years ago [max. 3 yrs] when I had heard nothing about keeping ants in Acrylic, mainly just Plaster, Ytong or good ol. Uncle Milton ant farms and Fish Tanks full of dirt [not very good for viewing!]. I have never used a Acrylic nest so I'm not too sure on how well they work, but  I've heard they keep the humidity up by using Sponges [on some of them] that wick up water and as it evaporates it increases the humidity that way [I think that's how it works] and I've heard some people using Substrate in them so they can moisten it and the ants can try to make a nest out of it that way [although I can just see ants blocking your view in most cases...]


  • Colophonius likes this

#63 Online drtrmiller - Posted January 14 2015 - 11:53 AM

drtrmiller

    Vendor

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,671 posts


I've heard [acrylic nests] keep the humidity up by using Sponges [on some of them] that wick up water and as it evaporates it increases the humidity that way [I think that's how it works] and I've heard some people using Substrate in them so they can moisten it and the ants can try to make a nest out of it that way [although I can just see ants blocking your view in most cases...]

 

haha Excellent memory, Dermy.  Sounds a lot like what I'm building ;~)


 
byFormica® is the manufacturer of the iconic nectar feeders and Sunburst Ant Nectar.
byFormica ant products always deliver consistent performance, convenience,
and reliability, making them among the most beloved ant foods and kit enjoyed by
ant keeping enthusiasts worldwide. For more information, visit www.byFormica.com.

#64 Offline Colophonius - Posted January 14 2015 - 12:04 PM

Colophonius

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts

How do you avoid that dirt in the chambers becomes disgusting mud over time? As far as I understand the concept, water will stay on the ground. 



#65 Offline dean_k - Posted January 14 2015 - 12:06 PM

dean_k

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 845 posts
  • LocationWaterown, Ontario, Canada

The thing about purchasing exotic ants is that both in US and Canada, importing or exporting ants (or any insect) out of country without a permit is illegal. In USA, shipping ants passing state line is also illegal. In Canada, there is no such laws.

 

So, the whole free ant trade market is kind of moot here because there isn't such a thing here.

 

Teleutotje's points are hard to argue but I feel the debate needs to be done on European communities where there are indeed free ant trades.



#66 Online drtrmiller - Posted January 14 2015 - 12:10 PM

drtrmiller

    Vendor

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,671 posts

Teleutotje's points are hard to argue but I feel the debate needs to be done on European communities where there are indeed free ant trades.

 

Indeed, it seems the Germans are the primary ones continuing the discussion, having already had it many times in their own forums, and being dissatisfied with the outcome.

 

 

How do you avoid that dirt in the chambers becomes disgusting mud over time? As far as I understand the concept, water will stay on the ground. 

 

Know thy dirt.

 

"Mud," as you say, consists of silt, which has a very fine particle size.  Simply acquire substrate and put it through sieves to achieve a uniform, desired particle size.

 

The coconut fiber I use now, for instance, isn't a mineral, but of cellulose plant origin.  I currently put it through a blender to grind the fibers so they become very fine, and it makes an excellent nesting material for small ants such as Lasius niger.


Edited by drtrmiller, January 14 2015 - 12:17 PM.

 
byFormica® is the manufacturer of the iconic nectar feeders and Sunburst Ant Nectar.
byFormica ant products always deliver consistent performance, convenience,
and reliability, making them among the most beloved ant foods and kit enjoyed by
ant keeping enthusiasts worldwide. For more information, visit www.byFormica.com.

#67 Offline dspdrew - Posted January 14 2015 - 1:06 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Teleutotje's points are hard to argue but I feel the debate needs to be done on European communities where there are indeed free ant trades.

This community isn't limited to the US, or California like it seems sometimes. :P I find it interesting to hear this debate in a language I understand. :) Also, I can assure you nothing will be censored here unless it breaks one of the rules.



#68 Offline dean_k - Posted January 14 2015 - 1:17 PM

dean_k

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 845 posts
  • LocationWaterown, Ontario, Canada

 

Teleutotje's points are hard to argue but I feel the debate needs to be done on European communities where there are indeed free ant trades.

This community isn't limited to the US, or California like it seems sometimes. :P I find it interesting to hear this debate in a language I understand. :)

 

 

It's easy for me to say purchasing exotic ants is wrong because I simply cannot purchase them.

 

But! If I resided in EU, I would probably have purchased a few. That's my brutally honest take on it. I would have purchased a Messor species, a Honey pot ant species as well as a Diacamma species.


Edited by dean_k, January 14 2015 - 1:19 PM.

  • Colophonius likes this

#69 Offline Barristan - Posted January 14 2015 - 1:21 PM

Barristan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 688 posts
  • LocationBindlach, Bavaria, Germany

I want to note that a few years ago some people who were (and are) against ant trading tried to convince German authorities to forbid ant trading.

 

For that purpose they sought for aid from NABU. NABU is one of the oldest and largest environment associations in Germany (http://www.nabu.de/en/nabu/). In their ranks are also scientists. NABU however thought that a prohibition would be to extreme so they did not support it.

 

So even some scientists and environment associations think that prohibition of and trading is too drastic measure.


Edited by Barristan, January 14 2015 - 1:22 PM.

  • Colophonius and Diffeomorphismus like this

#70 Offline Mercutia - Posted January 14 2015 - 2:34 PM

Mercutia

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 621 posts
  • LocationToronto, Canada

I would have to agree with prohibition being a bit like the alcohol prohibition for America. Even if you ban it, it's already too far gone to really stop it. Even in North America where the traffic and importation of ants is illegal, I know that there are plenty of ant keepers with colonies obtained through illegal or questionable methods. Even here where the majority opinion is that the exotic ant trade is bad and should not exist, it exists.

 

So far, I find that those that are strongly anti ant trade do not help their cause by what I often find is chastising and berating pro ant trade people and while I do not necessarily agree with the rampant unchecked trade of exotics, however, the way I often find the anti-trade arguments come off, is a bit elitist and condescending. No one likes to be yelled at or talked to like a child. You convince no one of your stance by doing so. If you were truly concerned about convincing people to keep local ants rather than investing money in exotics I would attempt another method.

 

There are obviously people who have made up their minds and it might be impossible to convince those that have to switch to keeping only locals. Why argue with those types who clearly cannot be convinced?

 

To those that still can be convinced, I hardly see how berating them like children can help convince them. It only makes you less credible in their eyes because you can't talk to them on an intellectual level as equals. No one likes being condescended too and no one respects or is convinced by condescension. It does not matter whether you are a doctor, an engineer, a waiter, a scientist. I can't even count how many times I've seen anti-trade people yelling and verbally abusing exotic ant keepers in many places (I'm not saying that's what is happening here, I'm speaking in general). I am all for convincing people to keep local ants. I just think sometimes anti-trade people need to learn how to convince people effectively.


  • dermy and Colophonius like this

#71 Offline Vendayn - Posted January 14 2015 - 2:54 PM

Vendayn

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,759 posts

Well, for one thing. Unless the country is serious about getting rid of invasive ants (Australia), its pretty useless to ban ants if the country (like United States) doesn't care or take invasive ants seriously. Heck, unlike in Australia...the government does nothing to get rid of the Pheidole megacephala. When they eventually do in the next years, it will already be too late.

 

Heck, I can go into a plant nursery and find a lot of exotic ants. That is sort of like buying exotic ants. Anyone who wants exotic ants, can drive to various nurseries and look for ants that were imported. I went into a large nursery and saw all kinds of exotic ants in the plant nursery (though mostly Solenopsis invicta, one Argentine ant colony, but I saw some others that I'm not sure of the species...definitely not native.)

 

So...there is that. Now if it was Australia, they take that really seriously. In US, they pretty much ignore it until 10 years later when it is too late.



#72 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted January 14 2015 - 6:25 PM

Gregory2455

    Advanced Member

  • Care Sheet Editors
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,286 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

I like how Vendayn thinks. I am going to go to a plant nursery, and see if I can get myself a colony of Odontomachus or Atta. 



#73 Offline Vendayn - Posted January 14 2015 - 9:57 PM

Vendayn

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,759 posts

I like how Vendayn thinks. I am going to go to a plant nursery, and see if I can get myself a colony of Odontomachus or Atta. 

Heh, well it isn't like it is 100% of the time though. I just went to one big outdoor one and they happened to have a bunch of exotic ants around. But, yeah...nurseries seem pretty lax on controlling invasive ants.
 Unless it happened to be that one, and the shipment of plants they got. In any case, I didn't see Atta...was just small ants (biggest were the S. invicta).

 

It may be like Christmas trees. Every 1 of 100 christmas trees have Drywood termites in them...and countless other insects.



#74 Offline dspdrew - Posted January 14 2015 - 10:47 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Every 1 of 100 christmas trees have Drywood termites in them...and countless other insects.

Well doesn't that just make a fantastic Christmas gift for a home owner.



#75 Offline Vendayn - Posted January 14 2015 - 11:03 PM

Vendayn

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,759 posts

 

Every 1 of 100 christmas trees have Drywood termites in them...and countless other insects.

Well doesn't that just make a fantastic Christmas gift for a home owner.

 

 

Yeah, my wife got a tree one year with termites (we didn't know each other at the time). And some years back, my mom ended up with termites flying all around her house when she was living with her parents.

 

Plus it isn't just termites, they sometimes have been reported to have wasps (often queen wasps) and all kinds of nasty things. I heard one person ended up with an infestation of cockroaches.

 

That is why I always buy fake trees :P Less messy too.



#76 Offline Mercutia - Posted January 15 2015 - 1:35 AM

Mercutia

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 621 posts
  • LocationToronto, Canada

It's funny because if you go to the zoo, sometimes if you go into the exotic animals/plants pavillions, you can find some exotic ant species there. I personally spotted this myself a few months ago and discussed it on Antfarm with Trager and also with you, Venadyn.

 

The thread is viewable here: http://antfarm.yuku....s-s-cold-winter

 

My exotic ant spotting happened in the South American Bird Enclosure. Needless to say, no avid ant hobbiest was the one who carried them over here and let them proliferate freely and wildly. So far though, I have yet to see this species outside of this warm and very humid enclosure so I hazard to say we are pretty safe from these particular tropical species.



#77 Offline Colophonius - Posted January 15 2015 - 3:43 AM

Colophonius

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts

Finding exotic (and often invasive) ants in  zoos and botanic gardens is quite easy. In my local zoo as well as in my local botanic garden, I found many ants that probably have been Technomyrmex (maybe albipes).

 

I think controlling every single plant that is arriving is a very difficult task and even if controls are regulated by law, I think many ants still will be overlooked. 

 

 

I don't exactly know American laws on ant trade and keeping, but trying to find exotic ants in a plant nursery seems to be quite a good idea to obtain exotic ants. It even got the positive effect that all ants that a keeper collects won't be distributed any further. 

 

 

Edit: 

@drtmiller:

Why would adding natural soil that can mold be a better solution that e.g. sand or even pebbles? Maybe "mud" was not the correct word, I meant a mixture of all dirt (pieces of insects etc.) that becomes nasty when mixed with water. 


Edited by Colophonius, January 15 2015 - 3:46 AM.


#78 Online drtrmiller - Posted January 15 2015 - 5:44 AM

drtrmiller

    Vendor

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,671 posts

Edit: 

@drtmiller:

Why would adding natural soil that can mold be a better solution that e.g. sand or even pebbles? Maybe "mud" was not the correct word, I meant a mixture of all dirt (pieces of insects etc.) that becomes nasty when mixed with water. 

 

I haven't actually considered adding substrates to the current modular formicarium designed for general antkeeping.  

 

I'll have more to share on this topic after the prototype is fabricated.


 
byFormica® is the manufacturer of the iconic nectar feeders and Sunburst Ant Nectar.
byFormica ant products always deliver consistent performance, convenience,
and reliability, making them among the most beloved ant foods and kit enjoyed by
ant keeping enthusiasts worldwide. For more information, visit www.byFormica.com.

#79 Offline Myrmicinae - Posted January 15 2015 - 8:17 AM

Myrmicinae

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 274 posts
  • LocationFort Collins, CO

Finding exotic (and often invasive) ants in  zoos and botanic gardens is quite easy. In my local zoo as well as in my local botanic garden, I found many ants that probably have been Technomyrmex (maybe albipes).

 

Agreed.  There is a thriving Tapinoma melanocephalum supercolony at the Denver Botanical Garden, probably imported with the plants or soil.  I have also seen (what I think are) Cardiocondyla workers there.  Fortunately, these species are tropical and subordinate during interspecies competition, so they pose no threat to the local ecosystems.  That said, I'm sure that temperate species are accidentally imported occasionally as well.


Edited by Myrmicinae, January 15 2015 - 8:41 AM.

Journals on Formiculture:
Pheidole ceres
Tapinoma sessile

Old YouTube Channel:
ColoradoAnts

#80 Offline Foogoo - Posted June 4 2015 - 7:27 AM

Foogoo

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,161 posts
  • LocationLos Angeles, CA

Hey if OP is still around, taking this thread back on topic, got any pictures of some of your or other German setups? How do most Germans hydrate their nests? Is Hydrostone popular or is that mostly an American thing? I think it's awesome to see some of the similarities/differences in the hobby across the world!


Camponotus vicinus, Crematogaster 1, Crematogaster 2, Formica francoeuri, *, *, Myrmecocystus testaceus, Novomessor cockerelli, Pheidole hyatti, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, Solenopsis invicta





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users