With anticipation i couldn’t wait to see what had happened over night and i was very pleased to see that they had built up the fungus and not taken it into the tubes. At lunch time ( mine not there’s ) i opened up the feeding pod and offered them some Privet and Vinca major. I did see one ant later carrying a piece of leaf it had cut into the main pod so, i’m happy to know that they seem happy. Plenty of brood and i think iv’e spotted Queen Bernard in the pic at least. 🙂
So today, just after 9 am my Acromyrmex octospinosus arrived by special delivery and i had to wait all day to get them home after work and get them settled in.
Opening the box.
Well the box arrived in perfect condition and was well packed using bubble wrap and a heat pack that was still nice and warm. I was a bit anxious as to how to go about getting the ants into their new home so i put the pod in a small bowl of water and opened the containing tub. I was expecting a mass exodus but they all seemed pretty calm apart from one that was trying to chew my knuckle, but i’m ‘ard and it didn’t hurt 🙂 The fungus was just a pile of dust, well the postie was a women driver and must have had a rough trip so i just tipped it all into the pod. Only one was taking a swim, picked her up and placed with her sisters and closed the lid. Simple. I turned the light off, blocked off the two connecting tubes and left them to rebuild and settle in. Tomorrow i will reconnect the tubes as i have given them another option as to where they can settle. I just put a bit of soil in the waste pod, but it’s nice to have the choice.
Doh!!! forgot to take the tissue out…..
Finally the perspex arrived for the bottom section so tomorrow i will finish that off.
So i have raised the pods about four inches from the bottom heat mat which seems to have equalised the temps inside and outside the pod resulting in much less condensation. I have started the tubing down to the main feeding area which will be on a float or should i say an island surrounded by olive oil. Olive oil because i don’t think this will evaporate. I have also made another moat just half way down from the bottom of the tube to stop any ants climbing back up the outside of the tube ( thanks Jamie ) and escaping. This will need some fiddling with when i see it live. I have already decided to make the moat deeper when i find a suitable container. This will all be closed until the ants have hopefully settled in.
Next pic just demonstrating how the pods are suspended on the egg crate which allows heat to go through. It’s raised on four inch cut drain pipes.
Not quite finished still waiting for the perpex for the bottom section.
So i have been fannying around all week with my hygrometer struggling to get humidity past 95% and staying there, so today i tried another hygrometer and it shot up to 99% and stayed there easy. So which ones working. Must be the one showing 99% 🙂 The fan is redundant now as it just something that could break down and cause a problem. I will utilise it for cooling should i need it, tomorrow i will probably change my mind again. 🙄 I finished the tubing in the upper deck and raised the pods from the heat mat a couple more inches which seem to have calmed the condensation down some what.
The first over night test of temps and humidity using heating under the pod, and on the back wall brought condensation into the pod but not much. The humidity levels with my new Hygrometer which arrived Saturday, was reading 93 – 95% humidity and 25 c in the middle of the pod. I had found an old digital thermostat, the ones used for oil radiators and the temps are holding well. I’ve ordered a pulse thermostat which should be here tomorrow. This morning i turned of the bottom heat which in turn mostly cleared the condensation but the humidity levels dropped to 92 – 93 %. Ive blocked all the holes in the pod now so i will see tomorrow what happens. I think the small PC fan is working well distributing the heat and the insulation is also working well. I will probably raise the pods a bit too.
Tonight i have finished the window frame for the bottom shelf, and the perspex should arrive tomorrow, and i have also finished the insulation.
Next step is to attach pods and tubing and more testing.
Twas an expensive easter saturday shpping for some needed bits n peices but it was a good excuse to take her indoors out shopping,,,and for me not her
After dinner i started making a frame to go over the cabinet and cut out the Jabba insulation, think thats what its was called but i wanted the celutex but not at that price. The set up is on our landing so it’s not going to need the extra insulation. I then made another frame for the window and had some 10 mm acrylic spare and cut it to size making a rather nice window if i do say so myself. Swell reptiles let me down with the wrong heating cable and i just put in 2 heat mats, one one the back wall and one on the floor underneath some egg crate. The egg crate leaves about one cm space under Seans pods. I have also fitted a small pc fan to circulate the air within the ” incubator” hoping to keep the temps even through out.
So my Stats are at my mothers and didn’t want or need them just yet, i just want to see if the temps rise and they have got to 30 c so at least i know i can achieve 25 c very easily. I put in one of the pods with wet clay balls and put my temo/hygr in and humidity got up to 90 then all i got was HH High Humidity i presume which isn’t a lot of good. I should get two more next week arriving from Amazon.
I ve got some little LED lights installed and won’t ad to the heat
I should be able to get four pods in each. Rather then try and just make one heating unit to heat the entire cabinet i think ill make two separate to start with , hopefully this will eliminate hot at the top and cool at the bottom.
Whilst i’m trying to decide to invest in Atta’ or Acro’ ill start my building project.
First of all trying to decide which route to go down Aquarium or incubator ? For me space is a big issue but i could do this in my loft but it gets so damn cold and so damn hot it could be a night mare maintaining a steady climate for the Ants. Ive got quiet a few Dart frog tanks i could use but that would mean another table for it which i don’t have space for soooo, its going to be my trusty old book case thingy thats looked after all sorts of exotic pets over the years.
I’m going to try the incubator method pretty much based on Jamies Ant cupboard. Here it is when i was keeping true spiders
It has four compartments of about 80 x 30 x 40 cm and the top which can be used for the foraging area.
Its stands at the top of our stairs and is very dark and quite cool, the temps their now with my ants i have with just two heat mats and all open fronted is about 23 c so shouldn’t really require to much, overheating shouldn’t pose a problem either . I already have stats and cooler stats and fans which will be used.
Firstly i have to make a frame for the front as the cupboard design is a bit fancy so i need to level the front so i can fit on a door. I have a large sheet of 5 mm acrylic which i will use that should help to insulate the front.
I have ordered three pods from Sean and i plan to raise these on plastic egg crates ( used for dart frogs to make a false floor ) or i may partially submerge the pods in water. That’s something I’m going to have to experiment with first.
I plan to heat using heating cables, i ordered a 5m one but they sent the wrong size,,,good start grrrrr.