Discussion on artificial ants nests including Test Tubes, Soil Nests, Foraging Areas and Ytong Nests
User avatar
By andavane
#22930
Over my first year of ant keeping I've come to realise the importance of keeping the colony in the tube for as long as they want to be there.
So what to do when the water supply in the tube dries up much more quickly than it ought to?
Ants can be extremely stubborn.
Oh, and for ppl who keep trays of ants in tubes, such as shops, what are they all fed with and how long would it typically take to get them all fed?
Not to mention the need to remove the same food about a day later?
User avatar
By Hogy-Bear
#22948
I've never had a colony use up all the water faster than they were able to be moved into a setup (probably because I use huge tubes). But when a tube becomes to dirty I just connect a new one and leave for a couple of days until they move out, I imagine the same process would work for tubes that are drying out.

For the second question. I am not a shop but I kept a 'tray' of 15 Myrica Rubra a couple of months ago with 8 bigger colonies in Chinese tubs. The feeding process was horrible! It took me a good 45 minutes to do it. I initially made the mistake of feeding way too much food to each colony which meant I needed to go back and remove it. After a while I was able to estimate how much ham they would eat without leaving any after a couple of days which meant I didn't have to go back and clean up after them. The bigger colonies were easier because I used ptfe on the containers so it was quick to just lift the lid, clean and replace food without any escapes. The ones in tubes always had a couple of escapes anytime took off the cotton. One bonus, if you can call it that, is that I'm basically resistant to Myrmica stings now which I'm sure will help when I decide to move my personal Myrmica colony of 1000+ into a new setup.



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User avatar
By andavane
#22950
That's a good idea but I'd need a kind of U-Tube straw because my limited hand reach means space is at a premium.
Also, in the picture you post, I see plenty of gap along the straw where some species could easily sneak through!
User avatar
By Serafine
#22951
That's a 10mm diameter straw for Camponotus (queens), it would be way too big for smaller species anyway (as well as the 30x200mm tubes).

You can use smaller straws for smaller ants, the regular straws also usually have this flexible part at the top end.
Image

I have a Lasius niger queen that's gonna go into a smaller outworld where I have the same issue - they are gonna get a flexible straw because the outworld is only about 5cm longer than their test tube and I don't want them to exit right into a wall :-) .
Last edited by Serafine on Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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User avatar
By milant
#22953
Ants will move when they need to. Don't ever force them out. I always just place the dry test tube inside an ice cream tub with a ptfe barrier then a new test tube inside too then once they move and block up the exit again
User avatar
By andavane
#22959
Serafine wrote:That's a 10mm diameter straw for Camponotus (queens), it would be way too big for smaller species anyway (as well as the 30x200mm tubes).

You can use smaller straws for smaller, the regular straws also usually have this flexible part at the top end.
Image

I have a Lasius niger queen that's gonna go into a smaller outworld where I have the same issue - they are gonna get a flexible straw because the outworld is only about 5cm longer than their test tube and I don't want them to exit right into a wall :-) .

Well flexible straws seem brilliant! :-D
My colony

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