Ant Interesting Facts And The Ant Farm Caring Tips - Education
The Substrate and Plants for Ant Farm
Soil – This is the most natural ant farm substrate, ants will find additional nutrients from the modified soil mixture and the add in foliage even make it a great ant house.
Sand – For DIY tunnels, make sure wet the sand first in order to make the tunnels hold up better.
Gel – This is an artificial substrate made specifically for ants to develop a nest in, which is also nutrient-rich and edible to enhance ant survival rate.
The plants that don’t’ mind consistently in the damp soil, no need to relocate them.
The low maintenance plants with little or no roots, example air plants and succulents.
Note: Ants care very little about decoration, they will hollow out and uproot the plants to use it as a building material for the nest.
Ant Farm Care 10 Tips
1. Cold Colony
Chill the ants out before introducing them by first placing them in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Put them into the fridge to lower their body temperature before transferring them, which will calm them down and move a lot slower till warm up.
2. Can You Dig It
Help ants start tunneling by probing two inches deep holes before adding the colony.
Ants might find their new environment confusing and stressful, and looking for an immediate place of shelter, if you pre-probed the holes, it will be all that is needed for ants to find their place.
3. Ant Diet
Ants required a well balanced diet of protein and carbohydrates in order to thrive.
Fruits and any type of sugar are good sources of carbohydrates, and the insects in dead or alive are a good source of protein. However, not to overfeed your ants, wasted uneaten food will bring unwanted mold and bacteria to the enclosure.
4. Obey The Thirst
Keep your ants hydrated at all times, keep a source of water nearby or the soil moist. Tips: If the water hole is in the activity area, make sure place the ant farm inside a big plastic bag prior to opening cover, the runaway ants can catch later and gently put back to its house.
For ants healthy diet, keeping a small tray full of water at all times would be ideal or alternative, use a dropper to keep the top layer of substrate moist.
5. Stalking Dead
Remove any signs of decomposition. Dead ants and old food can cause mold.
Ants are very neat and tidy animals, always keeping the nest clean. They bring all of their dead as well as uneaten food out to the landscape area to prevent mold build-up.
6. Keep It Cool
Ants will live longer if the colony is kept in a cool place and away from direct sunlight.
By cooling them down and slowed their movement, this also will slow their metabolism and actual life span. Finding an area in your house that’s about 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 24 degrees Celsius) will be perfect for the ant nest to thrive as a community. Keep it away from direct sunlight and don’t put it in an area too cold that might cause them to slip into hibernation.
7. Don’t Move
Moving the formicarium could cause tunnels to collapse.
Once your ants start building tunnels, moving the ant farm could potentially cause tunnels to collapse.
8. Civil War
Never mixes ant species in the same enclosure, they will fight to the death.
Most ants will not take well to foreign colonies. Ants will go to war with one another if you put two or more species together.
9. Native Ants
Keeping ants that are native to your area is safe and easier to take care.
If a particular ant species are invasive and break free, it could cause serious damage to the environment, causing other insects to go extinct.
10. Do Not Disturb
Cover up the ant farm with a black sheet when you aren’t watching the ants.
Ants like being in the dark, they feel safe and thrive when having a comfortable nest.
11. Ant House Cleaning
Different materials use different cleaning methods, example for acrylic materials, use a clean, damp Microfiber cloth with mild dishwashing soap and avoiding any strong detergent, chemical cleaners, window cleaners or other disinfectants that contain ammonia.
The Interesting Facts About Ants
1. Ants have superhuman strength
Due to their small size, ants’ muscles has a greater cross-sectional area relative to their body size compared to larger animals, this means they can produce more force.
2. Ants don’t have lungs
Ants breathe in oxygen through spiracles which are a series of holes located on the sides of their bodies. The spiracles are connected through a network of tubes which help distribute the oxygen to almost every cell in their body.
3. Ants don't have ears
Ants use vibrations to hear, using them when foraging for food or as an alarm signal. Ants use the vibrations in the ground to hear by picking them up in the subgenual organ which is located below the knee.
4. Ants have two stomachs
One of their stomachs is for holding food for their own consumption, and the second one is to hold food to be shared with other ants.
5. Some ant species are asexual
Some Amazonian ants have taken to reproduce via cloning, it is reported that the queen ants copy themselves to genetically produce daughters, resulting in a colony with no male ants.
6. Ants can swim
They hold their breath underwater for long periods of time, but they will also build lifeboats to survive floods.
7. Ants are slave-makers
Some species of ant, such as the Polyergus lucidus are known as slave-making ants. They invade neighboring ant colonies, capturing its inhabitants and forcing them to work for them. This process is known as ‘slave raiding’.
Slave-making ants are specialized to parasite a single species or a group of related species which are often close relatives to them. The captured ants will work as if they were in their own colony, while the slave-making workers will only concentrate on replenishing their labor force.
Ants Gathering Food.
8. Ants are as old as dinosaurs
Ants first arose during the Cretaceous period around 130 million years ago. They have survived the Cretaceous-Tertiary that killed the dinosaurs as well as the ice age.