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 Post subject: Formicaria idea
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:46 pm 
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Larva

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:14 pm
Posts: 17
So I had this idea for my potential future ant colony (right now I only have one queen with fungus that is laying eggs so I'm starting out still). I see a lot of people go with sticking the colonies in large plastic boxes and either hydrate with plaster and heat with pads or go with the aquarium water bath trick(this one is new to me and pretty cool).

So my idea is something I kind of got from my research on how leaf cutter ants build their nests in nature. So my idea is to take some firebrick ( can't get AAC in Cali) and dig out most of the brick in the middle leaving a kind of hearth style formicarium (tar heel ants makes something like this) fill it with some kind of dirt and moss and allow the ants to dig it out as they need more space. Probably with the use of magnets I would cover the opening with removable glass. I then would use vinyl tubing through an entrance hole to connect multiples of these and even have a few lead to an out world. I even like the idea of placing these on platforms in a heated water filled aquarium.

I really like this idea because I think it closer replicates the ants natural nesting habits, still allows me to view their progress, the brick would probably hold on to moisture a lot better then a plastic container would, and well there is a level of aesthetics that go into it also.

I am just curious if you more experienced keepers think this could work or would be an utter failure. FYI the Queens I currently have are Acromyrmex Versicolor so they won't get to the crazy size nests Atta can achieve.


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 Post subject: Re: Formicaria idea
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:43 pm
Posts: 33
I think it depends on the kind of Setup you want? I personally like to see the fungus grow, and gauge the colour and how much material they're adding which calls for a open setup with minimal dirt.

Your Idea is pretty good but I'm not sure you would be able to see much even with the viewing glass, they'll just cover it in dirt. You have 3 queens, maybe try a couple of different setups and compare on how they grow? I think if you're gonna use soil then you should just use a huge box of soil and accept you won't see the fungus much.


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 Post subject: Re: Formicaria idea
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:34 pm 
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Larva

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:14 pm
Posts: 17
Thanks for the answer.

Well the soil wouldn't be there long I don't think, I imagine the ants would get rid of it pretty quickly. Plus I would most likely cover the viewing glass so light won't bother them so hopefully they don't cover it. But I appreciate the answer, I can understand the allure of wanting to see them totally from all sides.

Well only one has fungus, and sadly I can't make a bunch of set ups... Getting my GF to even let me house one ant colony was difficult let alone three!


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 Post subject: Re: Formicaria idea
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:07 pm 
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Larva

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:14 pm
Posts: 17
Another reply... Sorry lol

https://goo.gl/images/TUfd1i this is the Attached nest at the San Diego zoon I more or less got the idea from this and from my research on leaf cutters natural nesting habits. See each of those Chambers? Basically each one of those Chambers would dug out into brick and connected by the tubes.

Maybe it would be better to not add dirt at all? Or maybe just a small portion of it? Plus maybe I could cover the glass in red so that they don't see that as a place where light gets in and maybe they won't cover it?


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