Discuss keeping ants in here. Including what to feed them, hydration, development, disease and everything in between.
New members should post your questions in here.
User avatar
By andavane
#17790
I tried these once. I think they are very nutritious. Only thing is once the blood worm cube (or part thereof) is thawed, make sure it can soak into a tissue, or piece of cotton wool or similar. Otherwise the ants may drown in it.
scarletAsh liked this
User avatar
By Serafine
#17794
Cyrus01 wrote:What is the minimum colony size for the acrylic nest size 04?

I have a Antkit starter kit 04 and Lasius Niger Queen and workers arriving this week and I'm now worried it may be too big.
I may just put the test tube in the Outworld without the nest connected for now.

You should not move your ants into a formicarium AT ALL before they have 20-50 workers. Putting the test tube into the outworld is the best thing you can do. Once they have 20+ workers you can attach the nest and they will move when they feel ready (which may take a while). If the test tube gets moldy offer them a new one (there should be one with water anyway, so if the original tube gets moldy they will most likely just move into that).

Better start with a small formicarium and (size 1 or 2) and keep the size 4 nest stored until they really filled out the smaller one. The size 4 isn't wasted, they will DEFINITELY need it at some point but that's maybe in a year or two (or a half if they grow as fast as for example Solenopsis RIFA/RTFA like to do). If the ants live in a nest that's too big they can't properly control air flow, humidity and temperature and might suffer. Don't forget to add some sand to the outworld so the ants can build their own walls for nest climate control.

scarletAsh wrote:Does anyone have any experience feeding blood worms to ants? The ones you typically buy frozen from an aquarium shop to feed to fish. Always have been curious but not even sure if they're safe. I'm sure they would be but I suppose an ant and midge fly larvae really ever come into contact.

I'd say just try it. Camponotus and Tetramorium (and to a lesser extend the more generalistic Lasius subspecies) are known for eating pretty much everything, some people are sharing burgers, sandwiches, cooked chicken or boiled eggs with them. If they don't like the worms they just won't touch them, easy as that.
User avatar
By scarletAsh
#17796
Serafine wrote:I'd say just try it. Camponotus and Tetramorium (and to a lesser extend the more generalistic Lasius subspecies) are known for eating pretty much everything, some people are sharing burgers, sandwiches, cooked chicken or boiled eggs with them. If they don't like the worms they just won't touch them, easy as that.


I've just purchased some. Got 12 pack of frozen cubes for £1.50 which are currently defrosting in the antkit feeding bowl. Once they're defrosted and at room temperature will seperate them and see if my colonies like them.
User avatar
By scarletAsh
#17798
In response to my comment above. The ants don't seem particularly interest. They've gone up and had a couple of nibbles but other than that very little response. The cricket pieces I have given have garnered all the attention.
User avatar
By scarletAsh
#17803
Yeah well they certainly haven't been too popular. a single habereri and sordidula have pecked at them for a few minutes. 2 niger workers have taken to it pretty alright. The habereri and sordidula don't hibernate and remain at constant temperatures so the time of year shouldn't affect them. The pseudolendus can't be bothered with them but then they don't show much interest in any protein I offer them. The flavus also no interest but they're half way through winding down for hibernation. The sordidula only arrived a few days ago as well and have gorged like crazy on cricket and mealworm so perhaps they're just full at this point. One thing to just mention as well - Blood worms are really messy and leave blood like stains over everything.

I should say though that my habereri are for the most part nocturnal with most activity happening during the night. Will see what it is like in a few hours.
User avatar
By andavane
#17815
To stop the bloodworms' messiness i'd put a piece of frozen b/worm cube on a dampened piece of cotton wool. That way the cotton will soak it up & when they're finished with it the entire thing can be discarded.
Jackb3794 liked this
User avatar
By Benjiwuf
#17822
I've seen a lot of discussion here about defrosting food before feeding. I can't help but wonder is this of real importance? Not poking, just wondering. I personally just put the frozen food in the foraging area in a small dish so I'm curious as to why others do it differently.
ManicaLuca liked this
User avatar
By ManicaLuca
#17823
This thread seems to have gone a little wild.

Please try to keep the questions and answers short and use separate threads for more involved discussions.
User avatar
By Serafine
#17828
Benjiwuf wrote:I've seen a lot of discussion here about defrosting food before feeding. I can't help but wonder is this of real importance? Not poking, just wondering. I personally just put the frozen food in the foraging area in a small dish so I'm curious as to why others do it differently.

I don't think so. AntsCanada has a video where they feed fruit right from the fridge to Tetramorium. The ants look a bit like they get brainfreeze when they lick at the still frosty fruit but it doesn't harm them.

The main issue with frozen food is that it can create massive watered areas where smaller ants can drown in (not an issue at all with big ants like Camponotus) but a bit of tissue paper or cotton should solve that problem. Also ants can survive for a VERY long time under water - in the newest AC video you can see several black crazy ants drowning in drops of sugar water, but they just went into some hibernation state and when the sugar water drop was gone they came back to life. The other ants even helped them to get off the sugar coat.

And of course you need to remove the food rests relatively quickly because large watered areas are a perfect breeding ground for any sort of bacteria that might harm your ants (that is if your ants don't lick up all of it quickly).
User avatar
By MoonAnts
#17836
Hi, it's me again with another "Problem". :oops:
I recently ordered one colony of Camponotus Barbaricus. Well, I got two colonies in the mail (which happened to me before with Messor Barbarus). The result is that I have two colonies (Messor Barbarus & Camponotus Barbaricus) I'd like to sell but I'm not really comfortable with shipping them because
1. I don't know the laws for Germany
2. I don't know how to ship ants without them getting hurt

Maybe there's someone who can help me out. Telling me how and where to sell? And how to ship? Anyone from Germany here who knows the laws? Every bit of help is appreciated. :-)

Greetings
User avatar
By Serafine
#17843
- How large are these colonies?
- Where in Germany are you located?
- How much would one cost?
- Shouldn't they hibernate right now?


2. I don't know how to ship ants without them getting hurt

Put them into a plastic test tube setup of a proper size (plugged with cotton), do the tube in a package stuffed out with cotton and bubblewrap, put a sticker "Dringend!/Vorsicht! - Lebende Fracht! Nicht unter 10° lagern!" on the package and send them with quick/premium delivery (so they arrive quickly). Since in Germany even stuff like dry ice is forbidden from regular delivery there's little risk of something bad happening to them (except maybe cold during the winter but if you stick them into a lot of cotton they should remain warm for at least a day).
Oh and give them a bit of honey/sugar before, they're probably hungry after their trip to you and should be well-fed before sent away (but don't leave any food in their tube when sending them away).

Best of course is if someone could collect them personally.

Edit - Found something:
https://www.ameisenforum.de/verpacken-u ... 36337.html
User avatar
By MoonAnts
#17849
Thanks @Serafine
You're really helping me out here! :-)


1. The Messor Barbarus colony is 20+ workers and the Camponotus Barbaricus 5 workers strong.
2. I'm located near Kiel.
3. Not sure yet. I have to see how much they normally cost and how much the delivery would be. I don't wanna overprice them.
4. I'm in the process of hibernation. Had a bit of a problem with my Incubator but everything's fine now. I think I'll give them away after hibernation. Especially the Camponotus because they arrived a week ago and I don't wanna stress them too much. :)
User avatar
By Serafine
#17852
MoonAnts wrote:Thanks @Serafine
You're really helping me out here! :-)

=)

MoonAnts wrote:1. The Messor Barbarus colony is 20+ workers and the Camponotus Barbaricus 5 workers strong.

I'd be interested in the Camponotus barbaricus with 5 workers.

MoonAnts wrote:2. I'm located near Kiel.

That's a bit too far for me to collect them personally (live near Stuttgart).

MoonAnts wrote:3. Not sure yet. I have to see how much they normally cost and how much the delivery would be. I don't wanna overprice them.

Antdealer sells Camponotus barbaricus queen with 5 workers for 5,95€:
http://www.antdealer.com/Ameisenkolonie ... ricus.html
and Messor barbarus with 10-20 workers for 10€:
http://www.antdealer.com/Ameisenkolonie ... barus.html

MoonAnts wrote:4. I'm in the process of hibernation. Had a bit of a problem with my Incubator but everything's fine now. I think I'll give them away after hibernation. Especially the Camponotus because they arrived a week ago and I don't wanna stress them too much. :)

I'm interested in the Camponotus, either now or later (I think it's not the worst to ship them while they're hibernating - they're cold-resistent during that time anyway and they most likely don't really notice what's going on either).
User avatar
By Cyrus01
#18143
Just doing research before I get my next colony in the new year. Is it correct that Messor Barbarus don't require honey or sugar water?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
User avatar
By Leafcutter
#18450
There's no "correct" way. I just put a teaspoon of sugar in a glass and pour hot water in to dissolve the sugar, that's it. As long as you aren't concentrating the sugar water so it becomes gloopy, you'll be fine.
Serafine liked this
User avatar
By Serafine
#18511
Can sugar water (50/50) become so bad after a few days in a bottle that the ants won't take it?*
Or is this more the "we're so full we can't take anymore for a few days" syndrom of a very small 5 ants strong colony?


*It didn't smell and I didn't see anything growing inside the brown bottle. The honey water was clearly bad after like 3 days (starting to turn into Met) but I thought sugar water cannot really get bad.
User avatar
By scarletAsh
#18524
Serafine wrote:Can sugar water (50/50) become so bad after a few days in a bottle that the ants won't take it?*
Or is this more the "we're so full we can't take anymore for a few days" syndrom of a very small 5 ants strong colony?

*It didn't smell and I didn't see anything growing inside the brown bottle. The honey water was clearly bad after like 3 days (starting to turn into Met) but I thought sugar water cannot really get bad.


I find when I have the sugar content too high in my sugar water that it very quickly turns into a syrup and eventually starts to give off a pungent smell. When in a test tube I cannot smell it however until after I've pulled out the cotton bung. At this point I throw it out as it definitely seems "off" and also struggles to get through the bung anyway. I would also say though that a small colony will not need to regularly visit daily as they'll fill up their social stomach and this will serve fit for a little while.
User avatar
By Cyrus01
#18678
Can any one recommend a good place to get a few test tubes?
I'm looking to replace my lasius niger test tube before they go in to hibernation.
ebay is just expensive compared to antkits prices. :-(
User avatar
By 1000101010
#18679
i saw 100 plastic test tubes on ebay for £15 but then my mum got me 5 glass boiling tubes for ten pounds of which only two remain . but if you want quality antkit is probably your best bet or if your wallet's feeling heavy ant's canada has test tubes for sale.
User avatar
By Cyrus01
#18682
I guess ebay isn't to bad, just found 5 x glass 100mm test tubes at a good price. But i was just looking to see if anyone knew of a good 'ant' related company to use for glass test tubes.
User avatar
By antybob
#18953
I have received my test tube with lasius niger (queen + 10 workers). Saving them for Xmas present, but the water is getting low! How should I top up the water at the bottom of the test tube??

Once I have given them, I intend advising leaving the test tube in a small container (have PTFE etc) but can that same test tube be used? Or put a new one in as well? Again put water at the end?

Thanks
User avatar
By HazeAnt
#18954
you can do another water test-tube setup and place tape around it with both open make the other dark and the current one they live in lighter then a little time they should move in or place the ants in a tub with another clean test-tube setup with foil or something to make it dark and keep the other a little lighter to encourage them to move hope this helped! :D good luck with your lasius niger! :D
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