Discussion on artificial ants nests including Test Tubes, Soil Nests, Foraging Areas and Ytong Nests
User avatar
By Hogy-Bear
#20151
Hello, I'm trying to decide what I want house my ants in I have multiple colonies all with 50 workers or less so are in test tubes.

I don't want to buy acrylic:
-expensive in the long run.
-will take up too much space eventually

So I am looking for other ways to house them.
I looked around and most people seems to just use grout as a homemade option. But then my little brother asked could I buy him one of those plastic ones that you Chuck a few wild workers in and they dig. This got me thinking.

I decided that the most space effecient and viewable nest would be a sand one like the ones they sell to kids in toy shops. Soon I found that antstore seems to have Alot of these, but it's too expensive. I think I could copy their design and do it myself.

As of now I am coming up with the best way I can make a modular vertical and horizontal sand nest. I had designs but forgot that the sand needs to be hydrated to ensure the tunnels don't fall.

I will keep posting as I continue to work on this idea. Post my sketch up design tomorrow so you can get a better idea of what I'm trying to do.
User avatar
By Cursico
#20153
You can pick up deep base picture frames from Hobby craft- drill some holes in for tubing (as well as a blocked hole to add moisture)- fill with sand or soil and then seal the back with hot glue.
I did this when Anthouse.es (who also sell sand formicariums, by and by) gave me two ant colonies instead of one, and the Queen is absolutely fine and laying just as normal.

Another option is to pick up one of those gel ones (there is one with an additional foraging box)- chuck the gel out and just fill that with sand, too!

Edit: Something like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1 (I imagine you can just scoop that gel out and give it a wash before replacing the substrate)
User avatar
By Hogy-Bear
#20156
all my colonies will dig if given the chance.
User avatar
By Hogy-Bear
#20284
So prototype 1 is finished.
The craftsmanship leaves a lot to be desired but it doesn't have to look good yet, just needs to test the design.

I found lots of acrylic and came up with a plan.
IMG_20170219_121359.jpg
Found some acrylic to work on.


I cut out these 30*10cm segments and place markings on one which I could translate to another.
IMG_20170219_165912.jpg
made a template to follow


As im using a jigsaw to cut and need a way to cut it out I just used a drill to cut some holes.
IMG_20170219_171017.jpg
holes to help cutting with the jigsaw.


I made 4 of these.
IMG_20170219_174206.jpg
I made five of these.


I drilled holes and used nuts and bolts to get them together.
IMG_20170219_212331.jpg
fin.
User avatar
By Hogy-Bear
#20297
Here is what I plan on making next.
Attachments
sketch up v2 pic 2.png
sketch up v2 pic 1.png
User avatar
By Hogy-Bear
#20510
So, I now have two nests!
Unfortunately, the acrylic has glue all over it and I can't get rid of it.
The glue is the glue from the plastic covering... not just glue I spilt on it.
If anyone knows how to get glue off acrylic please tell me.
User avatar
By Ricbritain
#22666
I made a vertical nest a while ago. I've had no luck with Lasius Niger in it though. I put a mix of sand and soil but it seemed to dry. How wet should it be? Could I put wet sand in it? I spent hours making the nest and would love to see it work.
User avatar
By number6
#22669
i use wormworlds to save space see pics and i use kiln dried sand instead of dirt as its easy for me to check damp and dry areas and reduces risk of adding mites ect to the colony
Attachments
DSC_0019.JPG
DSC_0018.JPG
jeoff82 liked this
User avatar
By milant
#22672
Lasius niger seem to enjoy a rather dry environment. Mine used to live inside an empty test tube and I saw a population boom. You just want it to be damp enough that the tunnels don't collapse
User avatar
By Hogy-Bear
#22673
number6 wrote:i use wormworlds to save space see pics and i use kiln dried sand instead of dirt as its easy for me to check damp and dry areas and reduces risk of adding mites ect to the colony

Wow, interesting setup. I gave up on making my own vertical nests for the time being. I did toy around with the idea of using the ant/worm world however I noticed Pheidole would keep escaping and that was the species I was using to test the viability of the nests. How do you find keeping colonies in them?

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk
User avatar
By number6
#22675
@Hogy-Bear i have made nests with jars wood plastic ect but i find it cheaper just to buy from my local toy shop at £8 each its a space and time saver. i have PHEIDOLE PALLIDULA in one setup i glued the lid to prevent escape artists :) i use wormworlds ant worlds even ant pods i find all ant colonies take to worm and antworlds but antpods or ant o sphere as there sold are only any good to harvester ants as they do really well in these from queen to colony
Attachments
DSC_0023.JPG
DSC_0022.JPG
DSC_0021.JPG
User avatar
By number6
#22676
@Hogy-Bear added a video here as well

I have heard that you need 20-50 workers and a lar[…]

Hello fellow Ant keepers

Looking forward to keeping up with your colony! My[…]