Ants have been tunneling into the earth for about 100 million years. At some point in history, someone had the idea of capturing a group of ants and putting them in a small space where they could be observed to study their behavior, called an ant farm.
Raising and observing ants is a hobby with many followers, entomologists who want to study the different species, and children who wish to have a curious pet.
And would you like to try it? This article will show you all you need to know about how to create your first ant farm.
However, adult supervision is recommended when establishing and managing an ant farm. You need to know that some ants sting as a means of avoiding people touching or disturbing them.
You need to take note of some people who are allergic to insect stings so that such one should be more careful while with the ant's farm.
The initial step in creating your first ant farm is understanding its idiosyncrasies.
The technical term to designate them is formicarium or home anthill, a type of nursery with a closed structure to breed arthropods under direct observation.
In the case of anthills, the animal under study is the ant, the colonies they form, and how they behave.
The children commonly call these objects ant farms and are their primary recipients.
Few educational opportunities are as exciting as ant farms, as they teach us about the animal kingdom and introduce us to creatures that are present in our lives but about which we know very little.
By creating your first ant farm, you can witness how these little creatures carry out their daily task. It helps children understand how life works in society and that all living things have a purpose, whether leading millions of people as political leaders or building a path for other ants to travel along.
One of the lessons we can learn from ants farm is that whether you are big or small, rich or poor, there is always a purpose to your existence.
Best Ants For Ant Farm
The original ant farm, known as antariums, were seen in the late 1950s. Antariums presented a fantastic opportunity for scientific observation of how ants live, function, and thrive.
Everyone from the novice to the most seasoned entomologist was able to order an ant farm to study the complexities of ant colonies.
Today, most ant farms come with a blue gel, which is nutrient-rich and transparent, making it even easier for ants to dig deeper, more intricate colonies.
Then, there is the LED lighting, creating a more well-lit area for better viewing. But the ultimate question is:
Below are some good ants that you can have on your farm they are:
- Black garden ants
- Harvester ants (they are simple in nature to keep)
- wood ants ( these ants species are relatively fun to be with)
Choosing the Right Species will offer you the best fun and excitement you are craving for
Keeping an ant farm is a unique educational experience and a fun activity. But, it is also a great responsibility.
You see, when you keep an ant farm, the well-being of every single ant in your ant family falls squarely on your shoulders.
In such circumstances, it is best to evaluate your purpose of keeping an ant farm and how much you know about the upkeep of your ants.
There are more than 10,000 species of ants in the world. If you divide the population of insects into two, ants cover half.
And, while some ants are relatively easy to care for, some aren't meant for the beginner ant keeper. Let's go through some species that beginners can manage with relative ease.
- 1. Red Ants or Harvester Ants: This type of ant is usually seen in the desert, grassland, savannahs, and desert-related areas.
Red ants are not challenging to keep because they can take good care of themselves. The responsibility of reproduction is on the shoulder of the queen. The queen has the ability to produce thousands of eggs for reproduction purposes.
The female harvester ants take care of the food and the colony's orderliness.
Unlike some other ants, red ants can survive without sugar and dead wood; instead, they feed on dead insects, seeds, fruits, and water.
- Black Garden Ants: This is common in people's yards or farms.
No wonder another name for it is "common and." It can be found in Asia, North America, South America, Australia, and many European countries.
Black garden ants need little attention and care for survival, but the colony strives more when fed syrup, sugar, water, and other food. Their nests can be found in places like under tree roots, underground, or rotten wood.
- Wood Ants: The primary reason these ants are common is their color. The name "wood ants" shows that they love to burrow in wood,
They are very mild and not friendly, not stink or bite. Wood ants don't usually move far from their nest and work and play within it.
Wood ant doesn't select food, meaning they will eat whatever you give them. Nevertheless, giving them good food is good for your ants to be healthy. Food like dead bugs, sugar, wood, and fruit will do much good.
But they can and will eat anything you give them. However, it's best to provide a healthy diet for your ants.
Best Sand For Ant Farm
it is a natural inclination as humans to keep living in a friendly environment and ecosystem. Ants, too, have a social ecosystem that helps their growth and well-being.
You can buy natural Sand Ant Farm - Big 3D Starter Set 30x15x10 cm (Ants). The sand from it is a good ecosystem for the type of ant you order. You can get it from Amazon.com.
The Anthouse.Beginner 3D Kit BIG is a small plastic ant nest of the aquarium type with a plastic film on one side (sandwich ant nest) leaving a gap of 1.5 cm (where the ants will live with the queen), with a lid, also made of plastic.
The food is placed on the bottom of the ant's nest, which we can later decorate with extra sand and a small plant or pebbles.
This kit contains a colony of ants, usually Messor barbarus. But if you indicate your species, your preferred species will give to you. What is certain is that you will not get more than one species.
The assembly is simple, we'll add the brown sand inside the sandwich, but ATTENTION, don't forget to moisten it before letting the ants inside!
If they spread the sand in it, it will cover the connection hole, which has access to the feeding zone, and drain excess water. Once the ants discover it, they will dig it up and use it.
Warning: The manufacturer must not moisten all of the soil, just a piece; otherwise, we risk forming a swamp—5 to 10 ml of water.
For example (It is challenging to give a specific number because it depends very much on the current temperature, so decide by eye and logic), would be enough, depending on the season, because the higher the temperature, the higher the evaporation.
Once the ant nest has been set up, we can make a small hole with a toothpick to make it easier for the ants to build tunnels.
Later we introduce the ants manually; we dump, with extreme care, the contents of the transport tube onto the sand in the sandwich, as close as possible to the hole we created earlier so that if they fall into the sand, they have a place of refuge.
Remember to cover with cotton or rubber plugs (13/9 mm) the connection hole the ant nest has on one side to connect it to another ant nest or the feeding zone, via a flexible tube, for moves or expansions.
It is vital to get the food as close to the ants as possible. Therefore, do not hesitate to put it as close as possible to the opening or zone where the ants are.
Always avoid soiling the sand. One way to check that the ants are eating is to see if they have a swollen gaster (rump), as they store food in a social stomach as a reserve.
If the colony is tiny, there is a good chance that the ants will not use the feeder box since the small colonies do not naturally stray far from their ant nest.
The manufacturer uses a small and excellent piece of aluminum foil as a feeding dish and watering place, which they put in the sand so that it does not get dirty; also get as close to the ants as possible to give them easier access.
It is essential not to soil the sand under any circumstances, as the organic remains can rot and bring diseases.
What Do You Feed The Ant With
As you eat to live, likewise the ants. The ants do not eat solid food, only watery ones. Therefore, substances such as sugar, honey, or food pastes must always be mixed well with water before we give them to the ants.
Once you have given them the food, remove the leftovers the following day. Don't forget that ants need proteins to live, proteins found in insects, meat, animal products, or seed-eating ants in seeds.
I will encourage you not to forget that the maintenance of the ant's nest is your responsibility and the natural wear and tear depend on your maintenance culture.
Please do not clean their house with alcohol or other products that are not soapy water, as this may result in material breakage.
Where To Buy Ants For Ant Farm
Another question that may be disturbing you for a while is where to buy the ants' food, but I get you covered in this article.
There are now numerous online shops offering different types of ants. You will also find ant food, a formicarium, and other accessories for keeping ants.
Amazon.com is a site that can help you to get your ant for your farm, get you a farm(house) and also get your ants food.
How Much Do Ants Cost?
Buying ants is not expensive. The price of ants is not fixed; rather, it depends on the species of ants you want to buy.
When a young ant queen has been fertilized, she starts her ant colony with the workers who hatched first. Therefore, buying a queen with her first "children" makes sense.
Depending on the species, the prices for a reproductive queen ant and her first court vary between $5.00 and $1550.00.
If you want to buy your ants online, you can choose from up to 300 different types of ants. However, for reasons of species protection, you should only purchase European ants.
If certain exotic species of ants escape into the wild, they may displace native species.
These types of ants are prevalent when buying online:
- Lasius niger
- Messor barbarus
- leafcutter ants
- weaver ants
- Camponotus nicobarensis
How Long Do Ant Farm Last
The anthill itself (container) is prepared to last a long time, but everything will depend on the ant colony that lives inside it; for example, the maximum longevity of a queen ant is 30 years, but they usually live about 15 years.
While the worker ants have an expected lifespan of about 2-3 years, and male ants live only a few weeks, the colony disappears with the queen's death.
Are Ants Beneficial Or Harmful?
Ants benefit natural ecosystems, our gardens, and, therefore, us.
If they appear in our living areas, they quickly become a nuisance. In rare cases, they can also harm us in the event of a massive infestation of the supplies and certain types of ants – such as the pharaoh ants ( Monomorium pharaonis ).
Before the little master builders are ruthlessly driven out and fought against, you should always weigh carefully whether this is necessary on-site.
However, one should be uncompromising in the house and apartment to rule out the establishment of nests.
Keeping ants is educational and fun. The eager workers ensure that you always get something new to see. All you need is a suitable place for your formicarium, and you will have your ant farm in no time.
Beyond a reasonable doubt, this article has helped you know how to start your ant farm.