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Terrarium Keeper to Ant Keeper?

newbie camponotus carpenter beginner

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#1 Offline Waganga - Posted April 26 2018 - 12:06 PM

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Hi Everyone,

 

I didn't see a noob-specific forum, so I suppose this is the place? I've read through the beginner's stuff here, and I have also watched all the tutorial/intro videos done by AntsCanada. I have a few questions about getting started with ant keeping that don't seem clear to me from the documentation I've been able to find...

 

Do I have to start with a bare bones/plastic box setup?

One of the reasons I'm interested in starting this hobby is that I am already engaged in terrarium building as a hobby. However, with most terrariums, after they are built, you just kind of... set them there and see what happens. They don't really grow/evolve much after the plants and other contents get established. There isn't much activity. I see a lot of people starting their ant colonies in really bare bones set ups, essentially just plastic boxes, large test tubes, or small plastic formicariums. It seems plastic life is the life of the colony for the first 1-2 years. I'm not super interested in having a plastic box full of ants, and am more interested in incorporating my terrarium building skills into building a combo formicarium/outworld setup for an ant colony to grow in - probably using an old fishtank and native plants. 

 

If I placed a queen with a small brood from a test tube setup into a large, established natural setup, am I inviting trouble? Will the queen/colony be overwhelmed and die, or will they thrive more quickly in an environment more like their natural outdoor environment? 

 

 

How can I more easily learn about ant species in my area?

I've been researching my local species (Colorado) on both Antweb and Antwiki, but I'm generally not finding the kind of info I feel like I'd need to make informed decisions about how to become an antkeeper. How can I find out more about the life cycles/behavior of certain genera of ants other than these websites? I'd like to be able to find more detailed information about the way certain genera build nests, what they might need for temperature requirements, if they have special symbiotic relationships, what natural plants they usually live around, how they socialize, what they like to do/need for enrichment, etc. That leads to my next question...

 

 

If I provide a camponotus queen and small brood with rotten wood, will they build in it? Will all camponotus prefer wood?

I have an established carpenter ant colony living in a stump in my back yard, but I've noticed they do a combination of digging and living within the stump itself. I'm wondering, if I design a setup that contains both natural soil and rotten wood (some old/rotting pine, for example) can I encourage them to build a nest in the wood instead of primarily into the soil?

 

 

I think that's enough questions for now, other than "How can I lure the existing colony in my back yard into captivity?"  :D They have a great stump away from human traffic, though, so I doubt that's going to happen.

 

Thanks for reading!
Kayla


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#2 Offline CallMeCraven - Posted April 26 2018 - 1:39 PM

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Do I have to start with a bare bones/plastic box setup?

 

Most people recommend keeping a new colony in a test tube until they have more than 12 workers, then slowly expanding the size of their outworld with their growing populations. Terrariums the size that AntsCanada has don't necessarily need the thousands of ants per colony that he has, but the more ants in a terrarium that size, the more noticable and observable they will be. A good baseline is to have a few dozen workers before you put them in anything larger than 1-2 gallons.

 

 

 

 

How can I more easily learn about ant species in my area?

 

Outside of identifying what species may be around you via antweb/wiki, you best bet about learning about specific species behavior is via pages like this. You can search for journals other antkeepers have made in the past, and then if you still can not find anything, jump in the chat/post another thread asking about specific species.

 

 

 

 

If I provide a camponotus queen and small brood with rotten wood, will they build in it? Will all camponotus prefer wood?

 

This is very species dependent. There are lots of wood dwelling species, and probably just as many that prefer dirt habitats. The only way to tell is to get a proper ID on any queens you catch/buy. However, most species will utilize the wood, living under it or in it. You can try creating a cavern against the side of the tank that has a large below ground level chamber and a piece of wood/bark for the cover. Antscanada does this often times with rocks.

 

 

How can I lure the existing colony in my back yard into captivity?"  :D They have a great stump away from human traffic, though, so I doubt that's going to happen.

 

You are probably right. Short from chopping up the stump and doing your best to catch as many workers, and brood as you can, along with the queen, you probably won't be able to motivate them to move. I should also say I do not recommend chopping up the stump. Most of the time, trying to remove any existing ant colony from its nest results in the colony dieing. 


Current Colony:

 

4x Camponotus (hyatti?)

 

 

____________________________________________________

 

Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left.

-Aldo Leopold


#3 Offline StayLoki - Posted April 26 2018 - 2:23 PM

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When in doubt, just think an ant ๐Ÿœ
You have to think tinyyyy.
I'm not saying you can't be a terrarium enthusiast and keep ants, it's just that they found chambers and flourish(or fail) from there.
Although it seems strange keeping them in testubes..the point is to catch a fertile female and provide everything she needs to feel comfortable laying. In a terrarium she may still try to 'found', wasting her own time and energy to make something she finds suitable to keep her eggs in.
Terrariums may also invite mold, feeding, or cleaning problems.
Most ant keepers provide them with very little substrate at all, eliminating soil needed at all, and the problem then becomes providing food, water, humidity- at which your terrarium expertise would surely come in handy!!!

Edited by StayLoki, April 26 2018 - 2:33 PM.


#4 Offline StayLoki - Posted April 26 2018 - 2:38 PM

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In response to all the other questions....
You'd need to find which queens are in your area, how to find them, when their nuptial flights are, and then how to best keep them.
Eventually you can build them an 'outworld', which you would love ๐Ÿ’˜
Otherwise you can build them a terrarium and dump a bunch of ants into it
:facepalm:

Edited by StayLoki, April 26 2018 - 2:39 PM.


#5 Offline Waganga - Posted April 26 2018 - 7:08 PM

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CallMeCraven - Re: Will they actually nest in the wood? + Learning more about species - I'd like to build up a colony in a rotten wood nest, ideally, but when I go researching the specific camponotus species I see listed on AntWeb, I have a hard time finding any information more specific than "may nest in wood or in the ground!" Is it just that the scientific community doesn't know enough about which species prefer which nesting habitats, or is it that I'm looking in the wrong places?  :thinking: As such, I'm also having a hard time telling which other local non-camponotus species might be interested in wood or other interesting housing choices.

 

Digging up any stump, no matter how rotten, is a MONUMENTAL chore on it's own. Adding in trying to gently extract an ant queen is pretty much out of the question. I can only imagine they would move if I could place a nice potential home nearby, make their current home unlivable somehow (saturate the ground slowly? Idk!), and cross my fingers hoping they'd move to where I want them to. But, that sounds like it has a much lower chance of success as starting from scratch! 

 

 

StayLoki - The largest thing I would probably build in would be a 5 gallon aquarium tank, but what I have on hand is a ~2 gallon (SOFT MAYBE 3 gallon) glass beverage dispenser. A small rectangular tank would be easier to get into and clean/prune plants if needed, and it would be easier to press the flat side of a piece of wood up against the glass of an aquarium in hopes the camponotus would visibly build there. But, the beverage dispenser is more the correct size, has a port on the front where something like a formicarium could be connected with some ingenuity, doesn't have silicone sealed corners to climb, and has a lid which could help prevent escapees. 

 

Proper terrariums are totally sealed, and they do sometimes get taken over by mold or algae, or even out of control insect populations. Usually this would be because they're too moist inside, or the drainage layer (rocks/gravel) and filter layer (usually activated charcoal) isn't sufficient. Or in the case of insect take over, because the insects have enough food, but no predators. (An ant farm inside a terrarium is kind of like a terrarium with an ant infestation.  :lol:) If there's going to be a problem, it's likely to show up within the first few months of the terrarium's growth. I'd be building the habitat ahead of time, and giving the ecosystem inside some time to adjust/self regulate, before introducing the "wild card" of an ant population. OFC, since I'd need to be able to access the surface to provide food and also to clean up garbage piles, the terrarium-formicarium wouldn't stay sealed, so it's unlikely that mold or algae growth would be able to take over. I'd be more concerned about something like spiders getting in and setting up shop to take advantage of an easy, trapped food source.

 

That being said, camponotus tend to dig into decaying wood, and decaying wood requires mold/fungus colonies to be breaking down to begin with.  :unknown:  I would assume camponotus is made to live around some controlled amount of regulated moisture, mold/fungus, and other microorganisms. 



#6 Offline StayLoki - Posted April 26 2018 - 8:02 PM

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^good luck with that.
I'm trying to explain you don't just add ants to a terrarium, you build one around them.
You start extremely small and add as they need it.
Very few people start in reverse and add them to something they can't control variables in.
How are u going to water your terrarium? Spray water in to water your plants?
You could flood a whole chamber doing that- kill a queens whole hard work.
How are you going to feed your 'ant farm'?
Just drop it in and allow mold to grow and let them bring it back to a food storage area infecting the while nest?

You're not thinking small enough and thinking like an ant farmer... ๐Ÿšœ

#7 Offline dermy - Posted April 26 2018 - 9:33 PM

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I knew an older antkeeper who would use big fish tanks of soil and just place in a queen from the nuptial flights and wait for a few months and he'd get a small colony going. Treating the above ground level as the foraging space, his colony survived for a very long time before he eventually released them.

 

I would still recommend starting in a testtube setup till they get around 10-12 workers, then gently placing the test-tube inside the tank and allowing them to move out on their own terms.



#8 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted April 27 2018 - 3:44 PM

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^good luck with that.
I'm trying to explain you don't just add ants to a terrarium, you build one around them.
You start extremely small and add as they need it.
Very few people start in reverse and add them to something they can't control variables in.
How are u going to water your terrarium? Spray water in to water your plants?
You could flood a whole chamber doing that- kill a queens whole hard work.
How are you going to feed your 'ant farm'?
Just drop it in and allow mold to grow and let them bring it back to a food storage area infecting the while nest?
You're not thinking small enough and thinking like an ant farmer...

I don't think you know how a natural setup works. You have to start with the whole thing. It is next to impossible to grow it around them, very few people, if any do that. On the other hand, you can design the entire thing around the ants, add a hydration system, use clay rich soil, etc.. As for spraying water, there is a reason people use clay soil with some sand, it holds it's shape. Spraying water on the surface cannot collapse tunnels, and that's how it's done in the wild. Food doesn't mold in an ant nest for a reason, they seal it off and let it decompose, then open it up (something like that at least). Anyways, in the wild, the dirt is FILLED with fungus and mold spores, so ants can do their thing. There is no such thing as ants "infecting" their nest, they are great at controlling mold growth. It's what they have adapted to do. I would recommend putting only a small (or larger, just not a solo queen) colony though, as queens may be harder to keep track of. You do have to just add ants at some point, if you are going to make a terrarium you can't really grow around your colony. In fact, I can't think of a single person who has done that, but you claim that very few people start in reverse. If I am wrong, please correct me and tell me where I can see the person's terrarium.

Edited by YsTheAnt, April 27 2018 - 3:51 PM.

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#9 Offline 123LordOfAnts123 - Posted April 27 2018 - 4:01 PM

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I think people are missing the big picture here; the only reason most keep their ants in plastic, barebones setups is to facilitate viewing. Most donโ€™t want a glass box filled with plants and soil if they canโ€™t observe the inner workings of a colony. As long as youโ€™re not keeping Pogonomyrmex in a woodland vivarium, most ants will fare far better in a naturalized setup than what we keep them in. The mold, fungus, mites and bacteria that proliferate in many a terrarium are GOOD. Contrary to popularity belief, a sterilized environment only opens the gate to an outbreak of bad stuff with nothing to keep it in check as soon as opportunity arises.
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#10 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted April 27 2018 - 4:05 PM

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If you are putting them in a terrarium you will likely need other soil dwelling critters such as springtails and isopods. It would be interesting to put flowers in the terrarium as some ants will be able to get nectar from them. Ants, depending on species, can climb pretty well so make sure there is practically no way to escape, and if possible provide some sort of barrier such as fluon (insect-a-slip) along the top edge of the tank.


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#11 Offline 123LordOfAnts123 - Posted April 27 2018 - 4:18 PM

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To add to my original point - I have a colony of Nylanderia bourbonica in this 24x12x12 vivarium numbering at a few hundred; I threw in the original queen without a doubt that sheโ€™d thrive. She did sure enough, and her population feeds a trio of imitator dart frogs. There is of course, a thriving population of microorganisms consisting of isopods, springtails, mites, and gnats. The mistking goes off three times a day for a minute each. I regularly observe them hunting fruit flies, and occasionally see them nectaring at bromeliad flowers.

Build a healthy environment and most species that enjoy humid conditions will thrive. You of course, will see little of the brood and nothing of the queen(s).


Edited by 123LordOfAnts123, April 27 2018 - 4:20 PM.

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#12 Offline StayLoki - Posted April 28 2018 - 9:21 AM

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I agree with Y's and Lord above..
If your goal isn't to be able to peek inside an ant's world and be able to view them, then a terrain would work!
I'm just saying that usually people find a single queen and house them in a tt and provide everything she needs under very simple conditions(so she doesn't need to venture out or forage when she eventually needs protein for growing larvae). You could start her in something small but then would have to connect it to something bigger to eventually move them, if they out grow it- but I supposed u could just 'replant them' gently dumping them into a new terriarm. lol
I suggest maybe introducing an established colony into a terrarium would best then?
A queen with her workers to forage and some brood and then you'd be fine!

Terrariums don't really to come into play for me, until I need to build an outworld is all..
At which point I attach a mini-terrarium(and I'm using this term loosely here, as it can be anything from empty to sand and rocks and plants) for them to explore. This area is used to place food/hydration if needed, and allow them to empty trash out of their main nest for me to remove out of their world, if they don't want it.
That's not to say that bacteria, molds, and decomposition can't be great for them, I'm just saying I take out those chances as I don't know(or care to know) which are good or bad for ants. Unless you're keeping a species that absolutely needs this in their diet to live, then good'onya

A terrarium could totally work, I don't mean to sound discouraging! The ants would probably love it, but you would just see workers...well working..
I suppose some people like that, so why not ๐Ÿ‘

#13 Offline StayLoki - Posted April 28 2018 - 9:34 AM

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Please forgive me for asking,
but you do know an ant colony won't survive w/o a queen? ๐Ÿ‘‘
That's why keep we talking all this non-sense about tt's and soil content and feeding and watering... Either way, ant workers need a queen to look after. Ones ordered online are just harvester ant workers with no queen and die off after 4-6mons? Ants taken from the wild will do the same, unless located with their queen...and even then many say they don't "make it"
I also once caught a queen with all her workers I could manage, in order to have a larger colony, but she killed them all overnight, laid a new batch of eggs, and fed the old party to the new ones.
Just saying :lol:

In a terrarium that would be months of watching nothing...

Edited by StayLoki, April 28 2018 - 9:43 AM.


#14 Offline Chicken_eater100 - Posted April 28 2018 - 10:04 AM

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^good luck with that.
I'm trying to explain you don't just add ants to a terrarium, you build one around them.
You start extremely small and add as they need it.
Very few people start in reverse and add them to something they can't control variables in.
How are u going to water your terrarium? Spray water in to water your plants?
You could flood a whole chamber doing that- kill a queens whole hard work.
How are you going to feed your 'ant farm'?
Just drop it in and allow mold to grow and let them bring it back to a food storage area infecting the while nest?

You're not thinking small enough and thinking like an ant farmer...

i think you're thinking too small.  in dirt (assuming you give them ample room), they'll grow at their own pace and expand when they want to.  it's highly improbable to drown a queen by just spraying some plants, unless you're extremely stupid and pour a gallon of water into a ten gallon tank. 



#15 Offline iXvXi - Posted April 28 2018 - 1:26 PM

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I have a 75 gallon tank that hosts a large Camponotus colony (aprox 400 workers).

There is nothing but a log, moss, plants and dirt in the tank. When I moved them from my formicarium, I just opened up their nest and they moved in to the log where I drilled a few starting holes.

I mist the whole tank whenever it rains and try and keep it as close as outside temps, humidity, rain etc.

They been in this tank for over a year now and I can't say I've seen any negative effects from it as far as their health goes. They actually picked up in numbers once they got established.

BUT

There are a ton of downsides to keeping them this way and I wouldn't recommend it for someone's first colony.

It's almost impossible to keep most ants in these tanks because they can climb the corners, lips etc. They can chew through metal mesh and if you seal it you will have significant humidity problems. I was forced to use baby powder on the lips of the tanks as that was the only thing that would stop them from escaping. Naturally now there's baby powder all over my tank.

You need a large colony to reduce risks involved with making silly mistakes (it WILL happen)

If you don't have a quite large colony, you will almost NEVER see your colony. Therefore you also cannot know their state of health. Camponotus takes a while to grow, most colonies won't make it over 100 workers or even close in most cases. With the amount of workers I have, I still only see 20-30 ants at any given time in the outworld (unless they're deficient in something).

You almost have to go for a fully bio-active setup as it's not easy to clean either.

As much as I love my 75 gallon tank it was a nightmare and that was with 2 year prior experience with antkeeping. I've had hundreds of escapes (use to find 10 or 15 ants in my cricket cage every day).

The only effective solution was Byformica's ant tank lids. Unfortunately they are only for 10 gallon tanks (I own one and like it very much) but nothing yet for the 75 gallon tank I use, although one could probably make one if they wanted.

#edit:
If you do in fact have a full colony in a log and not just a satellite nest, you can probably get away with literally just putting the log in a tank.

Edited by iXvXi, April 28 2018 - 1:36 PM.

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#16 Offline NikolaBale - Posted April 28 2018 - 1:56 PM

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To see specific things like temperature moisture about most ants visit antstore and type a certain sp.Btw most ants if they are the same genus all living as native ants in your region will have a relatively the same needs and will need to kept the same way 



#17 Offline StayLoki - Posted April 28 2018 - 2:18 PM

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To add to my original point - I have a colony of Nylanderia bourbonica in this 24x12x12 vivarium numbering at a few hundred; I threw in the original queen without a doubt that sheโ€™d thrive. She did sure enough, and her population feeds a trio of imitator dart frogs. There is of course, a thriving population of microorganisms consisting of isopods, springtails, mites, and gnats. The mistking goes off three times a day for a minute each. I regularly observe them hunting fruit flies, and occasionally see them nectaring at bromeliad flowers.

Build a healthy environment and most species that enjoy humid conditions will thrive. You of course, will see little of the brood and nothing of the queen(s).


Beautiful ๐Ÿ’“
It must be like living in paradise for them.
It looks amazing! -are the plants just rooted in the cocofiber??
Still seems like very little soil, and that was what I was thinking of a terrarium as..so forgive me to any of you thinking outside of the box there lol

#18 Offline Waganga - Posted April 28 2018 - 7:41 PM

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Wow, seems like I started a bit of a debate here.
 
From what I can tell online, it seems like my idea of a terrarium nest would equate to what this community would call a "natural nest."

 

Size/Container: I'm not thinking anywhere NEAR a 75 gallon tank! Here are some pictures of the glass enclosure I'm planning to use...

 

https://photos.app.g...z7tmHrC76wykho9

 

The whole container is actually quite small, really only 2-3 gallons in size. It's got six sides, each side measures about 4" across. The bottom is 6" across corner to corner/side to side. The primary digging/nesting space would take up about 60 cubic inches, comprised of native soil, native mulch (probably pine) and untreated wood plank (4x1 cut into 4" lengths). I actually purchased the wood plank today - I'm going to soak it for about 24 hours, and then bury it under my compost pile sandwiched between some heavy cinderblocks. I'll leave it there for a while so it can begin to break down a little bit and help establish a healthy system of microorganisms inside the terrarium. I also think that softened/wood beginning to rot will be easier for the ants to begin digging into.

 

I know it will take time for the colony to grow into the space. When you're using plastic/AAC/plaster/etc formicariums, you'd certainly need to add as they need it, because they can't add on their own. I feel like, if I'm placing them in a natural nest, they'll add as they need it all by themselves. At least, until they've taken up the whole space, at which point I could build a larger, new natural nest terrarium, and dry out the old terrarium forcing them to move. The container does have a port on one side, which I will plug up. I could eventually connect some tubing here, and lead that to another tank/nest/formicarium. 

 

The container is entirely glass, no silicone or anything to it. I would probably put fluon/insect-a-slip around the inwardly sloped top area, and could also rubber band some window screen/fine mesh over the top for added protection. 

 

Watering: Terrariums have a drainage layer at the bottom, usually large rocks. I like to use mountain granite landscaping rock in mine. Water would collect there. Enclosed terrariums have a water cycle, where water condenses on the top/sides, falls and waters the ground, seeps to the bottom, and repeat. Since my natural nest would have an opened top, and be somewhat dry to begin with, I'd probably need to add water once a month or so, and not very much. Most of the moisture would be trapped in the drainage layer. I don't feel like drowning the nest would ever be a concern, but I could always route a tube to the drainage layer so I could add water directly into the drainage layer, bypassing the soil/substrate entirely.

 

Feeding: I've seen people place insects in on things like sticks/skewers, but I've also seen people placing food in on a small dish or piece of tin foil. I'd probably go the tin foil route, and make a little basket to lower down on a string with a paperclip. That would make it easy to remove if it seems they're not interested. I would expect the natural ecosystem of the terrarium to take care of breaking down their natural waste, at least until the colony got too large/the waste got to be too much.

 

Ants: Yes, I do know the colony needs a queen.  :( I promise I've been paying attention in class! There's a thriving camponotus colony in a stump in my back yard, as I stated in my initial post. I can usually see 25-35 workers (about 5-7 per entrance, with about 5-6 entrances built up) on the surface, so I'm sure there are MANY more underground! I have been keeping a very close eye on them, as it is their season for mating flights in my area. I captured a few workers last night to observe and measure, and went through the listings on AntWeb for my area. I'm pretty sure they're Camponotus Modoc from the pictures on AntWeb, and also from viewing videos of Camponotus Modoc on YouTube.

 

I've already ordered some test tubes on Amazon, because I DO definitely agree that getting the queen started with her first set of workers is vital before moving them into the space. Letting her get her stuff together also gives me time to build the terrarium, plant in it, and let it go through it's own cycles of growing and getting stable. So, I'm hoping to catch a few queens from the colony out back, and keep them in test tubes for the first year or so. I got BIG glass test tubes, because I read on a different forum that C. Modoc prefers glass and some extra space... Then, I'd follow the AntsAustralia method of laying their test tube down in the Terraricarum and letting them pick their new home.

 

Remaining Concerns:

 

Filter Layer - Usually I would add a "filter" layer of activated carbon between the rocks and soil in my terrariums. Construction normally goes: rocky drainage, screen, charcoal, soil, plants. BUT, I usually don't have something digging around in my terrariums! The carbon layer needs to stay in place, so water can drain down through it and absorb the toxins. You don't want it all mixed up with the soil. But, there's a chance the ants could mix it up with the soil, if they dig that far down. I'm thinking of using an additional layer or two of fiberglass window screen. I'm still wondering if that would be enough, or if curious workers might still feel driven to chew holes through the mesh and start moving the activated carbon around. Would it be best to order some kind of special meshing, and maybe make an activated carbon "pillow" to place between the rocky layer and the soil layer?  :thinking:

 

Temperature control - I should almost definitely add some kind of temperature control to this setup. Possibly a heat cable routed through some clear tubing? This might be a good use of the port on the front of the container. Or maybe I could velcro a small reptile heat mat to one of the sides? I've not quite worked this out yet, and I've not seen a lot of detailed information on temperature control for nests, although it seems like it's very important for getting the nest just right. 

 

Plant Choice - Whatever I choose to plant on the "upper level", it has to be limited to 4-6" in overall height, or I'm going to have to prune it constantly. I'm thinking rock cress, lobelia, violas, johnny jump ups or aubrieta. But, I'm open to suggestions! The "lower level" would have very (VERY) shallow, clay heavy substrate, and I would likely plant moss and maybe some clover on this level.

 

 

Okay, that's everything I can think of for now!



#19 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted April 28 2018 - 8:31 PM

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You have it very well thought out, kudos to you! Planning is key. If you go in with an idea of your end result, especially with the depth you have in your planning, it greatly reduces the margin of error. Planning is key, especially with a setup in which once you put the ants in, you don't control the variables much. As for your concerns:

-If you put the water reservoir/gravel/whatever you use for hydration at the bottom, then hot glue a steel mesh over it, camponotus won't be able to get through.
-Regarding heating, a 60 watt ceramic heat emmiter over one part of the wood they are nesting in, on a timer from ~7 am to 7 PM, will work great.

Good luck on your terrarium, and let us know how it goes!

Edited by YsTheAnt, April 28 2018 - 8:46 PM.

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#20 Offline Waganga - Posted April 29 2018 - 5:34 AM

Waganga

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YsTheAnt - Thanks for the tips! I saw on the AntsCanada forum that you have a bit of a journal going for your own C. Modoc colony. :)

 

How fine of a steel mesh should I use? Does it have to be steel? (Since it would be compressed underneath soil and wet, I don't want to use something that might rust and break down. Fiberglass is preferred.) I've been having trouble finding specifics on Modoc, do you have a good suggestion for somewhere to check with the best info, or someone to pester?

 

 

I've been keeping a close eye on the colony in my back yard, that I am pretty confident is Modoc. They have been busily building up the outside of the nest, and there is supposed to be 2 or 3 days of rain this coming week. I can see a big difference between how fat C. Modoc ants look in the videos/images I've seen on this forum, and how not-fat/underfed the wild ones look. I'm really hoping they're going to fly after the coming rainstorm... So, I offered them a bribe this morning, including raw honey, chunky peanut butter, small orange slices, some fish oil, and some cotton balls soaked in water and my cat's leftover catfood (shredded cooked chicken, pumpkin puree and rice). https://photos.app.g...xZhN7AB7mep7aeA

 

I'll try to take some pictures of them for the ant ID forum, just to be sure of the species.







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