Keeping ants?

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
594
I know that its probably impossible. But I really really like ants. I would love to know if you can keep them indoors? Like a glass aquarium.
I got a few question:

-I know they hate light getting in their nests so would I have to cover the tank where they nest?
-Is it actually possible to keep th em? including with queens?(Iam thinking about the little black ants since they are not very aggressive and somewhat active)
-If you can actually keep them in a tank... How do you prevent them from getting out? Is there a safe way to keep them uninterested from climbing out?(ants can climb glass)
you know without killing them?
-What would you feed them?(asides from sugar and water droplets) Can you feed them meat(ham, pork, etc?) Can you feed them other insects(live crickets, worms)?

-Is it even reasonable to keep them?(like if its a stupid thing to do)



If you guys can answer these questions and help me out thatd be great. Iam trying to figure this out. Because I just ran accross a site th at says you can keep them(including queen) but Iam trying to figure out the reality of this.

Ps. Can they eat away the thing that holds the tank together--glue?

I just like ants because of this:
a) they work in the perfect unision(better than society of humans).
b)They are c onstantly active(as half of them sleep the other are awake)
c)They like to constantly work on their colony.
d)So far ants may not be highly intelligent. But they are more evolved than we are in some ways. Like the fact they have "super" strength. They are the highest form of society. They even build like a town(sorta) nest kind of thing. They have food chambers(in our society it would be fast food). Egg chambers(nurseries). The coridors are like passageways.

In some ant hills they keep fungus(purposely) to keep the thing warm?
they can identify who is part of their colony and who isnt.

where I live ants are hard to find(anthills and queens) so where can I acquire a queen? Please and thank you.

Ps. I may have more questions later but I decided to keep it this short for now.
 

guitarkyle

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 1, 2010
Messages
32
I'm sorry I can't answer really any of those questions but maybe you should consider an ant farm rather than the do-it-yourself approach. It would be pretty hard to simulate nature in a glass aquarium. And you might not even get to see the tunnels they build =/
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
594
I'm sorry I can't answer really any of those questions but maybe you should consider an ant farm rather than the do-it-yourself approach. It would be pretty hard to simulate nature in a glass aquarium. And you might not even get to see the tunnels they build =/
I could have gotten some cloth and covered the outside of the nest. So light doesnt get in and I can see em. I wanted them because they interest me in their foraging behaviour. But I didnt want to use those thin formicariums. I wanted to make it as naturalistic as possible. I know its possible. I may just have to get like mesh or something. Like small small very small mesh and put like three layers of it as a cover. I hear that cologne drives them away. So I was thinking I could dab some on the corners? I was thinking I could make a mote so they couldnt get out. Like I could have glued something that would work as a mote. I dont know. I really wanted an ant hill formicarium. I also thought that I could put something on a glass lid so it has no opennings or holes and its like a jar. So the ants literary cant get out or chew out. I was thinking I could drill some holes Put a pvc pipe on the side withsomething to prevent them from getting out. So itd have air supply.
 

PhobeToPhile

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
Messages
210
You're really jumping around all over the place aren't you? In any case, I would seriously advise against keeping both ants and tarantulas. Ants tend to like to EAT tarantulas when they get the chance. Unless you can be 100% positive they are purely herbivorous, I wouldn't risk it. But if you can be 100% sure, then go for it. The potential for creating a problem in thouse does remain, however.
 
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SandDeku

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
594
You're really jumping around all over the place aren't you? In any case, I would seriously advise against keeping both ants and tarantulas. Ants tend to like to EAT tarantulas when they get the chance. Unless you can be 100% positive they are purely herbivorous, I wouldn't risk it. But if you can be 100% sure, then go for it. The potential for creating a problem in thouse does remain, however.
Nah I just "have" to keep my options open. In case my parents pull some bs card on me. Like "Tarantulas are evil and dangerous" or something like that(they did it with the snake). But at the same time I do want to know if its possible to keep them. I'ved been curious for quite a while. I wouldnt keep anything aggressive though. To someday wake up and have a swarm of ants bitting me? No way jose. I like ants but Iam still cautious. Anywho sorry I just trying to seek knowledge about everything. I figured I might as well know about-everything. I can or atleast basics of everything since I want to work with animals eventually and dont know where itll lead me.
Edit: I also figured I may have just learnt all of this before I truelly buy something and end up regretting it later. You know? I just want to be a 100% sure of what Iam getting myself into. I figured itd be more responsible of me that way.
 
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Violet

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 18, 2009
Messages
125
In any case, I would seriously advise against keeping both ants and tarantulas. Ants tend to like to EAT tarantulas when they get the chance. Unless you can be 100% positive they are purely herbivorous, I wouldn't risk it. But if you can be 100% sure, then go for it. The potential for creating a problem in thouse does remain, however.
I would disagree with this. Aslong as you can keep the ants in the Formicarium you should have no problems.

SandDeku I have a little more time to answer some of your questions today.

-I know they hate light getting in their nests so would I have to cover the tank where they nest?

Yes and no, for most species if you start your colony with light, they will be accustomed to it and act normally. However they will always prefer to make their nest in a dark area so unless your enclosure is quite barren then chances are the nest will be well hidden. Covering the sides of the formicarium with red cellophane will greatly increse your chances of them making tunnels against the glass.

-Is it actually possible to keep them? including with queens

Of course it’s possible to keep them, keeping ants is actually quite a popular hobby. You must have a queen in your colony, worker ants are short lived and will not do much without her.

-If you can actually keep them in a tank... How do you prevent them from getting out? Is there a safe way to keep them uninterested from climbing out?(ants can climb glass)

There are many different types of formicarium, but if you want to keep them in a tank then there are several methods for keeping ants in, the easiest way would be to have a tight fitting lid with very small or no air holes. Another way is to spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly or olive oil around the top on the inside of the enclosure, personally I would not use this method as it does seem a little risky (not to mention messy).

-What would you feed them?(asides from sugar and water droplets) Can you feed them meat(ham, pork, etc?) Can you feed them other insects(live crickets, worms)?

Diets differ from species to species, some are seed eaters, others carnivores. It would be worth observing the species you want in the wild first to find out what they are eating.

-Is it even reasonable to keep them?(like if its a stupid thing to do)

As I stated before, they ant hobby is quite popular and with time, patience and research it can be very rewarding.

where I live ants are hard to find(anthills and queens) so where can I acquire a queen?


The best way to start your colony is by catching a queen during her nuptial flight, this is usually in spring or summer, often the first clear day after several days of rain. Try looking in areas of clear ground during the day or around outdoor lights at night. Queens are usually larger then workers and males.




Feel free to ask any more questions.
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
594
I would disagree with this. Aslong as you can keep the ants in the Formicarium you should have no problems.

SandDeku I have a little more time to answer some of your questions today.

-I know they hate light getting in their nests so would I have to cover the tank where they nest?

Yes and no, for most species if you start your colony with light, they will be accustomed to it and act normally. However they will always prefer to make their nest in a dark area so unless your enclosure is quite barren then chances are the nest will be well hidden. Covering the sides of the formicarium with red cellophane will greatly increse your chances of them making tunnels against the glass.

-Is it actually possible to keep them? including with queens

Of course it’s possible to keep them, keeping ants is actually quite a popular hobby. You must have a queen in your colony, worker ants are short lived and will not do much without her.

-If you can actually keep them in a tank... How do you prevent them from getting out? Is there a safe way to keep them uninterested from climbing out?(ants can climb glass)

There are many different types of formicarium, but if you want to keep them in a tank then there are several methods for keeping ants in, the easiest way would be to have a tight fitting lid with very small or no air holes. Another way is to spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly or olive oil around the top on the inside of the enclosure, personally I would not use this method as it does seem a little risky (not to mention messy).

-What would you feed them?(asides from sugar and water droplets) Can you feed them meat(ham, pork, etc?) Can you feed them other insects(live crickets, worms)?

Diets differ from species to species, some are seed eaters, others carnivores. It would be worth observing the species you want in the wild first to find out what they are eating.

-Is it even reasonable to keep them?(like if its a stupid thing to do)

As I stated before, they ant hobby is quite popular and with time, patience and research it can be very rewarding.

where I live ants are hard to find(anthills and queens) so where can I acquire a queen?


The best way to start your colony is by catching a queen during her nuptial flight, this is usually in spring or summer, often the first clear day after several days of rain. Try looking in areas of clear ground during the day or around outdoor lights at night. Queens are usually larger then workers and males.




Feel free to ask any more questions.
Is there a way I can acquire some now? I mean its almost going to be fall soon(its august already).. How can I make a tight fitting lid? How small do the holes have to be so theres air inside? If I cant make tiny holes. How often should I open the lid for the ants to intake air? Another method where they can get a constant supply of air? Iam going back to puertorico soon. I ussually see those flying ants(queens) around. Could I catch some and possibly bring them on the plane with me?

What if I cant find any queen ants?(I never do in the states i even look) Is there another way to get a queen ant?

Could I use a 40breeder? Or is that too big? Or too small?
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
594
I remember this online site(its from the uk though) its called the antstore or something. They sell pretty much any species of ants and all the needs and such. But Iam wondering isnt there a law that permits ants from being shipped?
 

Violet

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 18, 2009
Messages
125
Is there a way I can acquire some now? I mean its almost going to be fall soon(its august already).. How can I make a tight fitting lid? How small do the holes have to be so theres air inside? If I cant make tiny holes. How often should I open the lid for the ants to intake air? Another method where they can get a constant supply of air? Iam going back to puertorico soon. I ussually see those flying ants(queens) around. Could I catch some and possibly bring them on the plane with me?

What if I cant find any queen ants?(I never do in the states i even look) Is there another way to get a queen ant?

Could I use a 40breeder? Or is that too big? Or too small?
Is there a way I can acquire some now?

Another method for starting a colony is to dig up a nest, locate the queen and take her, along with several workers, larve and pupae. (I have never tried this method)

How can I make a tight fitting lid?

I’m not sure how to make a tight fitting lid for an aquarium, perhaps other board members have tips on this.

How small do the holes have to be so theres air inside?


Depends on the size on the ants, for small ants you could probably use a sewing needle, heated on the stove to puncture holes through plastic.

Another method where they can get a constant supply of air?


Not that I can think of sorry. Live plants? :?

Iam going back to puertorico soon. I ussually see those flying ants(queens) around. Could I catch some and possibly bring them on the plane with me?


Absolutely not.

What if I cant find any queen ants?(I never do in the states i even look) Is there another way to get a queen ant?

Moving ants across state borders is illegal in the US, other members should be able to fill you in on laws regarding this, perhaps start another thread?

Could I use a 40breeder? Or is that too big? Or too small?

A 40 breeder is way too big, when you first find your queen put her in a test tube, set up like this...



Once she has around 20 workers then you can transfer her and the colony to the main formicararium. You may want to look into making something like this...



Sorry for the short answers, In abit of a rush.



Edit: Those pictures are not mine, just from google.
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
594
Okay thank you. Didnt know much about the law. I saw this store called the antstore and wanted to try buying ants from there(queen and 11workers)


As for digging them up. Where would I be able to find an ant hill? Scratch that. In my backyard under a large stone there is an ant hill. And so there is one in my friends yard. how do I get them out without being stung? The ants are red. Actually id prefer a younger queen. But ID take it that this ant hill is not TOO old maybe at most two years old? Cause the tiles we put in were put in like 2-3 years ago? Theres a ton of ants under it though. When I come back from puertorico can I still do this? itll be autumn I think(one week from this thursday)

Actually I like that idea of the terrarium. Kinda nifty. But is it possible to use more space of it? Cause I wanted to have a full functional working colony. If not I could just get a 10g or a 20long.

I heard about messor ants. Gosh I really wish they were legal then. D:

I could try selling my 18x18x18 terrarium and buy a used 40breeder? Maybe? I like that set up you found on google though. Id probably make the nest a little wider atleast 3-5inches wider. And id use different ornaments(lighter though).

Thanks though you are being very helpful. I think ants would be a good route for me.

Actually as for finding ants. They may not be that hard to find. I think I know a couple of nests.

Also Ived seen lascious niger and the other species I saw where I THINK brown/black or red with a white abdomen. They were under some flat rocks near the wood lands of my friends backyard. I think the nest in my yard is likely to be 1-3years old. The one in my friends yard Idrk. I dont even know if my mom would let me dig up all those ants in my yard. My friend I dont think would mind though.
Is it possible to get two queens and try getting them to make another queen and a king so the new queen is impregnated?

Edit: I forgot to add. I know what a queen looks like when they are int he nuptia l flight. But how can I till which is a queen when Iam digging up a nest? Anything I can wear to protect me against ants?
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
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Messages
594
I forgot to add....


Is there a way to get the ants to come out of the hole(including queen) without harming them? I used to see these big fat ants in puertorico that were I think like the little black ants. In fact they didnt even attack each other. But they were out in the cement walking around. This would happen every so often.

Also is there a way I can go catch some and keep the queen somewhere else until the actuall formicarium is built? It wouldnt take too long though. maybe a week or two.

Edit: I read up on another thread from here someone saying you can buy one but it has to be from the same state. Is this true? O rmaybe I misunderstood?
Id like to get one from nj.
 
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myrmecophile

Arachnolord
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Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
624
Your best bet and only legal option is to collect your own. It is absolutely illegal to import them from out of the country and in most cases even illegal to transport live ants across state and often even county lines.
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
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