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.
By Geo
#5839
Hello all, for quite a long time, I have wanted to start an ant colony, been reading up on them etc, on what ants would suit me, I live in the UK so Lasius nigers would be the one to go for, as in most common, and easy to care for, but I just dislike the whole hibernating part, I have read that some people do not hibernate them and is doing fine, others say it makes them not last as long, etc, I do understand why they hibernate, but just not for me. ... as for months they will be doing nothing and would be quite boring to wait ):, anyway my question is... if hibernating is %100 must for these species, can anyone suggest any other easy to care for ant species that do not require hibernation at all? sorry for the dumb question... also this is the nest I was thinking of buying


http://www.antkit.uk/product/ytong-vert ... na-size-m/ seems to have all that I need to start...


so please help me out guys,, thank you (:
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By nortorn
#5841
Well, you can keep them without hibernation for 2 years or so.
After that the new workers start to become smaller and the colony starts making pauses more often.
In the end it's doing more harm than you get from it.
I can't suggest a species without hibernation, I don't keep any.
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By Daubz1977
#5843
pretty sure camponotus singularis dont need hibernating, but there not cheap there around £80 for a queen and a few workers and there not as easy to keep as your lasius probably not for the beginner, maybe someone else can give you some advice on them, but they are an amazing looking ant.http://www.antkit.uk/product/camponotus-singularis/
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By jonthefish
#5845
Hi Geo, Lasius niger, would be a great first ant to keep. I would not worry about hibernating them the first year. If you are looking for something with a bit more colour and in my option just as easy go with http://www.antkit.uk/product/camponotus-nicobarensis/ They grow pretty fast and have lovely markings on the abdomen.
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By Leafcutter
#5846
Hi there Geo,

As Jon says, Camponotus nicobarensis are a very good looking species, I would also recommend them as a beginners species as they are very easy to look after.
By boscott
#5851
My Nicobarensis had their fourth worker hatch out over night, she's light brown and getting fussed over by the others, she'll no doubt be black by the time I return from work! Lovely species to keep! X


By Geo
#5852
Hi guys, thanks for the input, do nicobarensis, grow bigger and is the queen bigger then the Lasius Niger?, although it's a but pricey, and scared I'd kill them by doing something stupid, but do I need a heat mat for a temperature with those ants? or can they stay at room temperature like the Lasius Niger, reason I ask is, they do not hibernate, what is what I am looking for.. and for food wise, can they eat stuff like protein jelly etc, what food should i give them... I guess stuff like protein jelly, sugar stuff, honey is suitable? can they eat mostly anything? like fruits etc? let me know, also was planning to buy this nest, is this suitable for that species..


http://www.antkit.uk/product/ytong-vert ... na-size-m/ or should I go with something else..


thank you all!.
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By Leafcutter
#5854
Yes the Camponotus nicobarensis Queen is a lot bigger than Lasius niger and the workers are a bigger too. They can be kept at room temperature but a little extra warmth to 25 C I'll be very beneficial.

Food wise they'll take most protein sources such as Dubia cockroaches, crickets, flies etc... In my experience they do like sugar and honey water too, as supplements.
By Geo
#5855
Leafcutter wrote:Yes the Camponotus nicobarensis Queen is a lot bigger than Lasius niger and the workers are a bigger too. They can be kept at room temperature but a little extra warmth to 25 C I'll be very beneficial.

Food wise they'll take most protein sources such as Dubia cockroaches, crickets, flies etc... In my experience they do like sugar and honey water too, as supplements.



I see I see, and for the antkit nest http://www.antkit.uk/product/ytong-vert ... na-size-m/ is this suitable, like its not to small for them, for fitting into the holes to the underground? also what would I mainly feed them? also not sure how easy it will be to keep at 25C, or something due to winter and it gets quite cold in this house specially due to winter coming up, as you said its beneficial, I can try (:.
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By Leafcutter
#5856
That nest would be fine for them. When you get a new colony, you should open up the test tube into the foraging area. That way the ants can forage and then move into the nest when they are ready.

I feed my Camponotus nicobarensis Dubia cockroaches most of the time and sugar water too.
By Geo
#5857
Leafcutter wrote:That nest would be fine for them. When you get a new colony, you should open up the test tube into the foraging area. That way the ants can forage and then move into the nest when they are ready.

I feed my Camponotus nicobarensis Dubia cockroaches most of the time and sugar water too.



where do you buy your food from like the cock roaches etc, if you don't mind me asking. so you just put the cockroaches in a feeding bowl or laying out? do you cut them up or leave them whole... also with that nest it has starter kit, what you get some extra stuff like feeding bowl and water block, but they also supply jelly, would they eat the jelly and be happy with it? just to use it up.
By Geo
#5859
jonthefish wrote:http://www.antkeepingforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=259



they look amazing, I have decided to go ahead and order them, with my stuff, just trying to find some sort of main food source I can feed them with (: but I am going ahead with it ;D
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By jonthefish
#5860
These ants have had no heating so far as they are kept in a warm room. Maybe worth using a thermometer if you go ahead with it. Also possibly checking the room temperature first in the room you plan on placing your ants.
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By jonthefish
#5861
Brown crickets are ready available, when you get the crickets, 'gut load them', meaning feed the crickets of any veg or fruit, then freeze the crickets and use them as necessary.
By Geo
#5862
jonthefish wrote:These ants have had no heating so far as they are kept in a warm room. Maybe worth using a thermometer if you go ahead with it. Also possibly checking the room temperature first in the room you plan on placing your ants.



thanks, don't; have a thermometer though );.. but if I had to guess I say its less then 25, if anything is most likely around 20 ish, maybe, I could get a heatmat, just to maintain the same heat, and get a thermometer to maintain the temperature, can you suggest a thermometer and where to obtain ? heatmats just came back instock on antkit, as they where out of stock last night lol, also would be a great help if you can suggest a main food source, and where to buy.
By Geo
#5863
jonthefish wrote:Brown crickets are ready available, when you get the crickets, 'gut load them', meaning feed the crickets of any veg or fruit, then freeze the crickets and use them as necessary.



Oh, I know what gut loading is (: surprised, my sister has geckos, so I know that term pretty well... sounds easy enough.
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By AKF
#5866
Thermometer (called a thermohygrometer), variable heat mat etc are available at AntKit. To be honest though, you are probably fine keeping them at room temperature. See how you get on and if you find they are not very active then think about increasing the temperature slightly. Just make sure the night time temperature doesn't drop too low.

Camponotus LOVE the protein jelly. A lot of people use it as their only food source and their ants thrive but I alway recommend adding insect protein into their diet. There are LOADS of craneflies around at the moment. Catch as many as you can, put them in a box and freeze them, I found all my ants love them and you can probably grab a year's worth for free around this time of year. Of course you could just get a box of brown crickets from your nearest pet store then freeze and serve :)
By Geo
#5867
Antsy wrote:Thermometer (called a thermohygrometer), variable heat mat etc are available at AntKit. To be honest though, you are probably fine keeping them at room temperature. See how you get on and if you find they are not very active then think about increasing the temperature slightly. Just make sure the night time temperature doesn't drop too low.

Camponotus LOVE the protein jelly. A lot of people use it as their only food source and their ants thrive but I alway recommend adding insect protein into their diet. There are LOADS of craneflies around at the moment. Catch as many as you can, put them in a box and freeze them, I found all my ants love them and you can probably grab a year's worth for free around this time of year. Of course you could just get a box of brown crickets from your nearest pet store then freeze and serve :)




I have one question the Kit, it says you can select a kit, with seeds or jelly, does that also come with the feeding bowl and water block? it just seems like they showed me an option that isn't there or does the jelly option come with everything showed?.. or should I just buy the water feeder, instead of using the water block or doesn't matter? or let me know thanks for the help... and you mean this


http://www.antkit.uk/product/thermohygrometer/
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By AKF
#5868
The starter kit with jelly comes with feeding bowl, water feeder, jelly, pipette and cotton wool.
By Geo
#5869
Antsy wrote:The starter kit with jelly comes with feeding bowl, water feeder, jelly, pipette and cotton wool.


ok thank you.. think I have everything Haha, and for the incects was just going to buy something like

http://www.reptilecentre.com/medium-sma ... hjmGflVhBd would these be suitable ? also as for the Thermohygrometer on the antkit website it states, it's a replacement for something? would this still be useable in the all in one nest? ill be getting. thanks this is helping me a bunch! also as for the built in reservoir, seen a video say it recommends RO water, does it
matter that much?


p.s SORRY FOR all the stupid questions.


I seen this video yesterday



I believe he uses the water feeder, but in the picture its different and is called a water block, I guess it doesn't matter all that much, all the same thing?
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By AKF
#5870
The water blocks are being replaced with the new water feeder.

RO water is advised so that the minerals do not start to build up on the Ytong and also prevents corrosion of the fine mesh over the reservoir. I personally use normal tap water though.

Those crickets are fine.
By Geo
#5872
Thank you think I am good now, I am going to order the following


Reservoir Filler / Feeder Bottle ( not needed but useful for refilling etc)
Camponotus cf. nicobarensis
Ytong Vertical Nest with Arena (Size: M)
Thermohygrometer ( not sure if that is is the right one on antkit as it doesn't appear to have a stand? and looks like it fits into something (may be wrong)
and the crickets

think that is everything.
By Geo
#5877
jonthefish wrote:If you cant get hold of RO water, bottled water maybe be better, if your tap water is hard and alkaline.


unsure, about the water though, not sure what mine is like, many people seem to use tap water, but shouldn't be a big issue at least also can Camponotus Nicobarensis bite? , I don't care if they do, and most likely will never happen haha, I have been bitten by geckos before, but just curious.
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By jonthefish
#5878
Havent been bitten yet, had quite a few on my hands, they tend to actually stay away. Mind you I am a bit of a wuss and really try not to get bitten or stung.
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By Leafcutter
#5880
jonthefish wrote:Havent been bitten yet, had quite a few on my hands, they tend to actually stay away. Mind you I am a bit of a wuss and really try not to get bitten or stung.


Same Jon, although I've had formic acid in my eye once!
By Geo
#5881
jonthefish wrote:Havent been bitten yet, had quite a few on my hands, they tend to actually stay away. Mind you I am a bit of a wuss and really try not to get bitten or stung.




Bite most likely doesn't hurt that much, been bitten by sharper things, haha, anyway thanks all! I have now placed all my orders!!!!!!!!!! also still confused about this http://www.antkit.uk/product/thermohygrometer/
does it stand up on its own so I CAN use it to tell the room tempture, as by the picture it appears to be something that fits into slot in a nest I may be wrong, but ordered it anyway hopefully its right!
User avatar
By Leafcutter
#5882
No it's fine standing up on its own. I have a black version of that one in my Camponotus fulvopilosus set up.
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