Ant farm help!!!

l.MetalHead.l

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
19
So, i caught a queen and it layed a few eggs. One of the eggs has now turned into an ant. I now have 1 queen and 1 ant :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D. Now, i don't know what to do...Should i put in sugar water? How should i administer feeding, or should i yet. The ants are in one of those "ant works" containers but the gell was scraped out and replaced with coconut fiber, the queen and the ant are sealed in a chamber about half way down. Thanks for your time
 

Malhavoc's

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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Jul 12, 2003
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2,828
before I realeased my queens, I kept them in critter keepers ( the small ones) with nothing but a flat paper towel on the bottum and a soda cap filled with sugar, drop some wateri n now and then, maybe a prekilled fly once a week, and they did just fine, got them up to 15 workers prior to release, and it seems to be the best option, many cell colonies open boxes, with tubes going from one to the other, this keeps them busy and roaming and they can pick the spot they like- the ant works are good for maybe the first little while until the colony gets bigger, then the ants just dig so much it begins to collapse down on itself harming your ants.
 

l.MetalHead.l

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
19
Herm, thats really interesting. So your saying the ants actually don't need to burrow? If i took tweezers and excavated her chamber and put them on a paper towel in critter keeper from your experiance you don't think that it would mess up their behavior and stop producing eggs? I really don't want the chambers/tunnels to collapse.
 

Malhavoc's

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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I started them simply enough, before placing them in said critter keeper, I used a test tube, with a moist paper towel in it ( or peitry dish) waited for the first worker or two to appear, then allowed them to relocate to the larger enclosure, the ants I used where your standard black ants or carpenter ants, so they actualy enjoyed the paper towel for a medium to chew on.

when introduced to the paper towel base, the queen and workers set off to one corner, in this place they set up the brooding chamber, that you would find on an underground chamber, the tore at the paper towel to make a bowl shap bottum and the queen and the eggs promptly chilled, aswell as most of the other workers. they often did this at the furthest corner from the sugar (due to cleany reasons I suppose) they then would set up a trash pile, a pupae pile, and a general relax spot. mimicking all the behaviors without burrowing.

I did not see any change in behavior from them in comparison to queens I allowed burrow, however in any situation where I could actualy see into the borrows below ground "ant farms etc" the ants dug so much it invetably began to collapse on them. or they simply moved ALL of the dirt out, and just used one giant space.

there are several documentries like "ants the secret world" etc that show the style of keeping that most entomologists seem to use, like myhself, which is the cell method. if you are worried with stress of find your queen a touch more sensitive you can place paper towel or black construction paper around her cell to give her blackness.

in my situation the queens laid in equal amounts to a burrowing queen which began at the same time, and the young matured faster ( due to higher temps I believe) and it is something to watch her lay eggs.

after thought:

you may be able to experiment with different soil types to get a more resiliant burrowing substance for your ants and still be able to view them, but I think in the long run it is alot of hassle. another good way to do it is to use styrofoam balls- cut them in half hollow them, put a hole on one side, use aquirium tubing to link them all together, place them to a side of a container. then place a soil substraite along the sides to mimic a burrowed home. leave some open to the dirt, and you would be able to have a semi visable ant colony with mild worry of collapse. however, ants do enjoy utter darkness, so your queen and larvae wouldm ost likely be kept to the darkest chamber, and you'd only see the drones moving about.
 

l.MetalHead.l

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
19
Thank you for this reply, it was extremely helpful, Im going to get a kritter keeper with a moist paper towel on the bottom asap. Ill post my progress on here. Have a good day.
 

Malhavoc's

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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Jul 12, 2003
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I was just about to post, yes they can and they are very very good escape artists, I found tinfoil placed over the top beneath the lid to bew a great deterant, then just pock a hole in the middle to drop food in, worked well enough for me, though, I used a toothpick to poke the hole and I think I did find one or two drones getting out when the colony got larger while I was putting food in but I never saw them get through the tinfoil on their own, and the hole I made the queen couldnt get through-meaning all the drones eventualy come home.
 

Obelisk

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 15, 2009
Messages
338
Would a line of petroleum jelly near the top keep them from going over? People recommend this all the time for roach species that climb.
 

myrmecophile

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
611
If your any colony manages to grow to the point where you can no longer keep it or you get tired of it. Please do not release it. It should be destroyed rather than released.
 

l.MetalHead.l

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
19
I must ask, why? I got the queen from my backyard... It's not like these ants are not native to my area. :?
 

Malhavoc's

Arachnoking
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I believe the arguement being madei s that by releasing something kept in captivity you are exposing it to pathogens parasites and such not normaly encountered in your local biosphere, for instance something from the feeder crickets may end up contaminating your home, generaly it is a bad idea to release anything you keep in capitivity.

Usualy when I take something from the wild and keep it for any time for observation or whatever it is fed only wild caught items from its area it minimilizes this risk, but does not eliminate it

as far as patrolium jelly, I feel that ants explore more then roaches, so your line of jelly would get smeared all over the tank much faster, but it is worth a shot.
 

myrmecophile

Arachnolord
Old Timer
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Dec 22, 2006
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Yes, my big concern is the possible spread of pathogens. I know of an ant keeper recently that had several colonies wiped over a matter of days apparently by some unknown disease. Had he been the common irresponsible human being, the dead and dying ants would have been dumped in the yard allowing the possible spread of this into the environment. The introduction of non native species is also a concern although in your case it is apparently a non issue.
 

l.MetalHead.l

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
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Im so confused. I don't understand how i would be putting a stress on the environment by releasing something native back. Isn't it the same consept as raising tadpoles into frogs and releasing them where you got the tadpoles?
 

Malhavoc's

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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yes and no.

It is not the fact that they are native, but more of what you feed them.

for example

I catch a wolf spider, and go to my local pet store and pick up some of its crickets.

these crickets are decendents from the house cricket shipped from europe and have within them an immunity to Pathogen X, Pathogen X is an invertabrate disease common to europe, However. These crickets while immune to it, also serve as Carriers.

so I have now given the wolf spider a cricket with Pathogen X in effect it is now infected with this pathogen, I then decide to release it, thus introducing a european disease into north america.

Case and point is the recent and absolute destruction of all feeder crickets due to an unkown cricket disease earlier this year.

Metalhead, in my opinion if the ants are local caught and raised, and you do intend to release the coloney at some point, feed it only sugar, and wild insects and food stamps you catch for it, this minimilizes the introduction of foreign pathogens immensly, but be sure to keep them away from your other invertabrates, because tarantulas for instance 1) fall prey to ants. and 2) would not have your local insects immune system, and be more vulnerable to something your local ants may have.
 

1Lord Of Ants1

Arachnobaron
Joined
Sep 9, 2010
Messages
312
Yes, my big concern is the possible spread of pathogens. I know of an ant keeper recently that had several colonies wiped over a matter of days apparently by some unknown disease. Had he been the common irresponsible human being, the dead and dying ants would have been dumped in the yard allowing the possible spread of this into the environment. The introduction of non native species is also a concern although in your case it is apparently a non issue.
Yes, I am he. I burned all the colonies affected a few days ago. But the disease is still lingering even after moving the remaining 2 colonies into a completely different room. After being left with 2 seemingly healthy colonies I lost one of them to the same symptoms the day before yesterday. I'm now left with one. So after witnessing this upsetting event, I believe everything myrmecophile is saying. DO NOT release captive colonies kept in enviorments where they are exposed with captive food items and other similier substances. BTW, since you know of me what's your user name on the antfarm forum? Doctor ant? Myrmecos2?
 

MerpMerp

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Messages
2
So, i caught a queen and it layed a few eggs. One of the eggs has now turned into an ant. I now have 1 queen and 1 ant :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D. Now, i don't know what to do...Should i put in sugar water? How should i administer feeding, or should i yet. The ants are in one of those "ant works" containers but the gell was scraped out and replaced with coconut fiber, the queen and the ant are sealed in a chamber about half way down. Thanks for your time
Woow this is such an old thread but I'll add my two cents anyway:
First, i love Carpenter ants.
Two, i found that coconut fiber is an acceptable nesting medium to start a colony. The queen takes to it well enough and raises her eggs just fine into larvae. With Carpenter ants, *humidity* is vital: the eggs fail to thrive without stable humidity. Soooo, any material, like coconut fiber, which provides stable humidity is good for a queen Carpenter. That's why they usually go for wood & earn their name, because wood is great for keeping things humid/moist. I'm keeping one in a plastic cosmetic bottle that you can get for like fifty cents at Target. They are half the size of a baby food jar and simulate the brood chamber a queen would naturally build in the wild. I placed one tiny pinhole air opening in the lid with a knife, and my queen seems happy. It's super convenient & allows for viewing the queen as she raises her first workers. I just keep her in the dark undisturbed most days.
 

TheInv4sion

Arachnobaron
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
420
Wher
Woow this is such an old thread but I'll add my two cents anyway:
First, i love Carpenter ants.
Two, i found that coconut fiber is an acceptable nesting medium to start a colony. The queen takes to it well enough and raises her eggs just fine into larvae. With Carpenter ants, *humidity* is vital: the eggs fail to thrive without stable humidity. Soooo, any material, like coconut fiber, which provides stable humidity is good for a queen Carpenter. That's why they usually go for wood & earn their name, because wood is great for keeping things humid/moist. I'm keeping one in a plastic cosmetic bottle that you can get for like fifty cents at Target. They are half the size of a baby food jar and simulate the brood chamber a queen would naturally build in the wild. I placed one tiny pinhole air opening in the lid with a knife, and my queen seems happy. It's super convenient & allows for viewing the queen as she raises her first workers. I just keep her in the dark undisturbed most days.
Where would one get a carpenter ant queen? Never really looked into keeping ants but they seem like they would be very interesting to observe
 

MerpMerp

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Messages
2
Oh gosh I'm not sure where to start helping you. Hopefully you can see two pics that I added to this post. I took these myself just this week. When hunting Carpenter Queens, the biggest issue is timing: these ants release new Queens to start colonies about twice a year, in early summer (May/June) and early fall (Aug/Sept). So now is the time to start looking if you're in North America. You want to find a certain type of "old log." Not just any old log: it must be soft wood that's not spoiled by fungus, and by soft i mean you can rip it apart with just your hands. The wood will typically look bright and Woody inside, not dark brown or gray which means it's been consumed by rot... You'll never find an ant in dark brownish gray rotted wood. These logs are also usually in shady areas, where it stays moist. Think of it like a queen: she needs a place where she can be left alone for two months that's going to stay humid inside for her eggs. So look for logs that fit those criteria.
Now, check out my pics. Queens will carve their own chambers in wood, so look for the obvious sawdust pile right outside the log.
Now in my second pic, I found a Queen (I'm raising *five* this year so I'm very good at finding them). Look at two things in my queen pic: the wood is bright and healthy looking, but still so soft that i was able to break off a whole section by hand with the queen and her chamber. That's the favorite kind of wood for beginning Queens. They want it to be easy so they can just get to work laying eggs. They rarely are found in tough, new logs.
At some point, after a queen starts a colony, the workers will move her and themselves to a more permanent nest that's impossible to get to. So just keep looking during their two mating seasons :)
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