By Simon
#6497
I'll try again! Thank you to AntKit for sending me a replacement medium nest with arena. Royal mail took better care of this one than Hermes did the previous and it arrived intact, the postie handed it over with care whilst gazing lovingly into my eyes. We parted with a glancing kiss, our moustaches briefly intertwined.

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New to ants and this is what I'm starting out with. My chosen ant species is Messor aciculatus. There has unfortunately been some sort of mix up, either that or some of the ants have developed powers of teleportation and miraculously left the test tube on route to myself. Antkit are sorting this out for me but in the meantime here's some pictures of the ants I received.

These were taken with my camera, I will probably look at getting a USB microscope if any of them work with windows 10 yet(?)

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By Simon
#6562
Due to the mix up with the Ants, Antkit kindly sent me a larger colony. I'll take Jon's word for it that there's 2 queens and approx 21 workers. Also appears to be some pupae :) The first colony has been posted back.

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To save confusion, the one on the left is a reflection.
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By Simon
#6569
Only one of the workers is out doing the recon. It's been in the nest a few times and currently appears to be checking every mm of the outworld/arena.
By Simon
#6591
Exciting stuff this morning. I just saw 3 workers out, one of them went back to the tube and now I can see 7 out. Is it acceptable to be this excited? lol
By Simon
#6684
Removed the test tube this morning. One worker remained and appeared to be caught on the cotton wool. I was able to extract it seemingly unharmed. Lots of workers in the foraging area right now and seeds on the move. Only a few days in but enjoying my first steps into ant keeping.
By Simon
#6765
I know they're supposed to be ok at room temperature but looking at the temperature range I decided to keep them a bit warmer. Plumped for 25C +/- 0.5C. Just at 7.5w heat mat wiht an STC-1000 controller. Already had the mat and the controller was just over a tenner. In the future I will replace it with an iSTAT Pulse+ and ideally look at incorporating it INSIDE their future expansion nest.

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By ManicaLuca
#6767
The STC controllers are pretty and use them myself that's a nice and simple but effective setup, I highly recommend them.

OT: In the new year we will be launching our own ant-specific controller with a hydration pump, nest resistivity sensor, and 2 thermometer and 2 hygrometers and with more profiles than you can shake a stick at.
By Simon
#6790
5C warmer than I was keeping them and they're much more active. 6 workers currently out gathering seeds. 2 of them are doing an impression of the chuckle brothers with one seed.... to me... to you... to me... to you...
By Simon
#6991
So a bit of change. I've read and been given so much mixed advice and it's confused me no end. As I'm sure we all do, I just want what's best for the ants. I've chosen to go down the route of moving them to a dirt nest. To this end I've spent a couple of days looking at my options and have decided to buy and modify an Interplay worm world.

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The vents will be meshed over with 40 count (0.4mm). I found that Messor aciculatus can get through 1mm! and I'll add some tank connectors.

I've ordered the 28 x 16 x 10 arena from Antkit to connect to it.

All this is going into the planted terrarium. I'm told I do not need to heat them but every guide I find has a much higher temperature range than the room they're in so I will keep heating them at 25C. Substrate in the nest will be John Innes No 2.
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By jonthefish
#6992
Simon I have 30 colonies of this species, some up to 5 queen colonies, all thriving with eggs, larvae etc and not one of them is being kept with dirt. I keep 11 different species of Messor, no dirt. I think your flapping too much with worry. If you keep the Messors in dirt your going to miss out of viewing alot of the interesting stuff of seeing the eggs, larvae... well not so much miss out, more a ball-ache of trying to view between the dirt, the condensation. I do not use heating on this species, I bet if you place a hot cup of tea next to the front of their tank they will move towards it with their eggs and larvae.... Good luck on root you take and the advice you get from Ant hill.

Jon
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By ManicaLuca
#7009
Would be a shame to see you go. The views of individual members do not represent the views of the community as a whole.

Everyone has their own opinion on which nest type is best, personally I think a worm world is a bit of a step backwards in terms of build quality (it's a toy after all) BUT it's still a viable nest to house your colony, especially on a budget.
By Geo
#7187
I know this is an old post, but its sad to see you go like that, course its up to you, what you do with your ants, no one can tell you what to do, but please listen to this, there're many ant keepers around the world on various ants, of course its logical to assume some of them will have different care methods.. and what is best for them, , now that's the key word there "Best", it doesn't mean what you currently have them in "the all in one nest" exact same ant nast as me, only difference is the ant species. doesn't mean its not suitable and wont do as well, as what ever solution some guy gave you to be better, I am sure there's a better set up for my ants, maybe keeping them in a hotter area that's always 25C for faster brood development... in my house its not really possible, as long as it doesn't drop below 18 C, my ants will survive... its not ideal, and not best for the ants of course, but they will live.

Now for the worm world nest, in my personal opinion, you're taken it to far, no need for it, it will be very hard to see the ants.. that is the beauty of the all and one nest, again, cannot force you into anything, and you have probably already done what you want to do, but good luck.

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