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.
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By antybob
Thanks everyone. That's great.
And from a previous short answer I saw that I don't need to worry about the formicarium until I have about 20-50 workers! A while to go yet...
User avatar
By antybob
The little piece of kitchen towel in the test tube (providing the "nest") with my L. niger has got wet and soggy.
Does this matter? Should I take it out and just externally cover the test tube? Ideally with red acetate so that I can still keep an eye on things?
User avatar
By 1000101010
it took me a couple minutes to get my head around what you were doing but it shouldn't matter unless it goes mouldy.
User avatar
By antybob
Successsfully gave the l.niger as an Xmas present. Recipient very happy! There is a queen and about 10 workers. During the time I was keeping them for Xmas the queen has laid about 20 eggs.

However, I have question about hibernation. Have they missed this year's hibernation? Or finished it early? Should we give up on hibernation this year and then get back to normal next year? A minority of the workers are foraging but the queen and then rest of the workers are inactive. Should they go back into a cold room to hibernate?
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By Cyrus01
I currently only have one colony at the moment, with plans for a second soon. With multiple colonies do you have to be careful with cross contamination?
For example i use tweezers for adding and removing food, and general cleaning of the outworld.
Do i need to be careful about not using the same equipment for all colonies?
Does each colony need its own tweezers, food bowls & test tubes etc.?
By FinnM
I have just had my first ever ant queen arrive!
It's a messor barbarus queen with no eggs and its in quite a small test tube with not much water left. Should I upgrade it to a bigger one or not? I am guessing I should not connect it to its nest or formicariam yet. (I do know what I am doing!)
Any other info I should know about this species starting out?

P.S. I got it from antsuk as well as a starter set
User avatar
By Zoron
Lasius flavus (Yellow meadow ants)
How long does it take for a queen to start her colony?
User avatar
By nortorn
Usually about 1 month when she has just layed the first eggs.

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By Orcydog
Is it too early to take my ants in?
they be in Hibernation since late October

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User avatar
By nortorn
No, not really. Increase the temperature slowly and dont ramp it up too fast. Some antkeepers said increasing the temperature too fast killed the ants and others say it worked for them, the risk is there. I always advise to give a colony the full 5 to 6 month hibernation even though I shortened the period for many of my colonies too, but thats for a long term experiment i started last year.

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User avatar
By AntsTimeJans
Joe95nufc wrote:Does anyone else' colonies not accept protein jelly i currently have 5 different spicies of ant and not one colony seems to bother with it.

Mine do not like protein jelly either. Tried a few flavours but still no game.
User avatar
By Serafine
How many fruit flies (per day? per week?) should I feed my young Campo colony at minimum? How much food do they need?

The colony has 4 workers, 1-2 small larvae, a bunch of undefinable tiny white thingies (either eggs or very small larvae) and at least one egg (she just layed one, so there's probably more incoming).
User avatar
By nortorn
Yes, 5 per day is a good number. If 5 is too much, they will throw the rest out of the nest. Go down to 4 then the next day or up to 6 if they ate all of them. There's really no rule of thumb here, just trying and observing.

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By Serafine
Thanks a lot!

I gave them 4 fruit flies yesterday which were instantly obliterated (there's literally nothing left of them, the queen alone at 3) and 4 this morning (1 seems to be gone entirely, 1 is currently being eaten by the larvae and 2 are stored at the dry cotton end of the tube).
This evening they also got their first (small) cricket which was met with a lot of excitement. The two foragers sliced it up and once they were finished they also placed it at the dry cotton plug end (one forager is still working on it).

I'm gonna watch their supplies and continue to give them about 4 fruit flies per day (unless they really start to pile them up) and/or a small cricket (depending on how quickly they eat through the one the currently have).
By Zonetic

Last september I caught two queens of Lasius flavus during their nauptial flight. I put them in a testtube and they layed eggs sometimes in october. When december came I thought about hibernation, but the eggs didn´t hatch yet, so I was affraid that I might kill them if I lower the temperature. I postponed it and postponed it and now half of the winter is already over :/ . The eggs are getting slowly bigger, but I am not sure what to do now. Should I abandon the hibernating process entirely this year or get them hibernated as soon as possible? Both queens are still in the test tube alive. Please help.
By Guest
My "AntKit Starter Kit One" has arrived for my Lasius Niger (thanks guys), it comes with nest and arena -look great. However I can't see any instructions anywhere and the bottom of the arena looks to have slots in it. Even one or two pieces that come out? What's all that about? There are also small cut outs that can be inserted? Anyone used one of these? Anything on the web?
User avatar
By antybob
I am going to put my L. Niger into my new "AntKit Starter Kit One" at the weekend. Queen + 15 workers, new this winter so not hibernating this year.
The question is: how should I introduce them to their new home? They are happy in their test tube so should I put that in the arena? Or attach the tube at the side? I understand that I need to let them find their own way, but how to do that.
User avatar
By Serafine
Yes, just put the tube into the outworld, connect the nest and let them choose. They know what is best for them.
You might however have to some days (if not weeks), Lasius queens have a reputation of being very stubborn when it comes to moving the colony.
Also don't forget to give them some extra sugar water (if you don't have a sugar water tube placed in the outworld) as moving the entire colony is an exhausting task.
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