• Ant Farm
    224 replies, posted
I'm preparing to make a wall mounted ant farm. Here's the plan. I've ordered 2 sheets of plastic from here. One is 80mm thick, transparent. One is 40mm thick, bright green. Both around 1200mm by 600mm. The plan is to buy some lengths of wood, at least 60mmx60mm, route out 2 trenches in it with about 100mm between them. Then mitre the wood up into a frame. Then insert the plastic sheets, fill with dirt and buy a queen ant. I'll update the thread with progress shots. [B]UPDATE [/B] I got 3 lengths of wood. I only need two, which is good because one has a big chunk knocked out of it. [img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6PkwSviUeUY/TrF1_F1941I/AAAAAAAAj8w/fyXdx_7etEU/s1024/IMG_3216.JPG[/img] Got them clamped in my utility room [img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ognT9yvhy1Y/TrF2AxDb9vI/AAAAAAAAj84/tNhC1UeBSCs/s1024/IMG_3218.JPG[/img] Never routed before, so a bit of a test. Successful. [img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-FUWFLXSDDas/TrF2BlMN8eI/AAAAAAAAj88/h7gFU-3INRc/s1024/IMG_3219.JPG[/img] Here's the router bit [img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-SMBvjLLGNZE/TrF2D2W_QZI/AAAAAAAAj9I/QhR95Ja-GF8/s1024/IMG_3222.JPG[/img] I'm using a Dremel Trio [img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-iFGNft88uSA/TrF2EiKMItI/AAAAAAAAj9M/EW9vd8G53Rw/s1024/IMG_3223.JPG[/img] The guide works like this [img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-2OFC5EJbF2w/TrF2GtFRZpI/AAAAAAAAj9Y/XwVVqFKKGSk/s1024/IMG_3226.JPG[/img] This is thick enough for the back panel, but I'll have to do 2 runs for the front sheet. [img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tqzOZOtLp5Q/TrF2HbxIolI/AAAAAAAAj9c/KuZSo4f9vg0/s1024/IMG_3227.JPG[/img] [img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5Lq_NgAG5mU/TrF2IMjFkhI/AAAAAAAAj9g/A3MQpwigK5s/s1024/IMG_3228.JPG[/img] I'm leaving around a centimeter inside between the sheets for the dirt and ants. I'm leaving a space in the back incase I want to add some lighting in future. Not likely because the ants won't like that, but it's there if I decide to tease them. [img]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-GlQ-ratsEv0/TrF2NjYKCgI/AAAAAAAAj98/tU8_86X4twg/s1024/IMG_3235.JPG[/img] I'm only sanding down the front channel. This is the only one that's going to be visible. [img]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-gYYcZ363PHQ/TrF2PB-8_sI/AAAAAAAAj-E/Aq0eF3H3ktM/s1024/IMG_3237.JPG[/img] Mess [img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jF-AwN_ydVs/TrF2QkVbt9I/AAAAAAAAj-M/wBtctqYNyQk/s720/IMG_3239.JPG[/img] I'm spraypainting the frame black. I'm going to give it a few coats. But I ran out of paint so I'll have to go fetch some when I fetch the soil tomorrow. [img]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-nlGSwLG94J4/TrF2RRmXjiI/AAAAAAAAj-Q/oMtTW40eAw4/s1024/IMG_3240.JPG[/img] Meanwhile the plastic arrived! [img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-niWX0lOwiQ0/TrF2I8WybKI/AAAAAAAAj9k/A9gEzIDr1kc/s1024/IMG_3229.JPG[/img] [img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-J0xHoN3ay6M/TrF2J_YKpzI/AAAAAAAAj9o/1oKlNHUJAxs/s1024/IMG_3230.JPG[/img] Looks good! Going to leave the protected sheets on for now though, don't want to risk scratching the hell out of the transparent one! [img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3QxkIPeK6c4/TrF2Ko_TzqI/AAAAAAAAj9s/GaapYkXyM20/s1024/IMG_3231.JPG[/img] [img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-H07auI6lvQA/TrF2LZ-IhuI/AAAAAAAAj9w/kxJ0DGLgIzw/s720/IMG_3232.JPG[/img] [B]UPDATE[/B] So I cut the frame and screwed it together. I originally planned on using glue, but decided that screws would be better. I had planned to have the top of the frame too - but at the last minute decided to cut the top off straight and come up with another solution. I want the wood at the top to be lighter so I can take it off and on easier. I might leave it open for a bit to see whether the ants would escape anyway. [img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-vB1N9z8aI2U/TrUeaCVOA3I/AAAAAAAAkBA/9VhtWnu0LXI/s1152/IMG_3243.JPG[/img] I filled and sanded the frame, and gave it another spray. It's good enough for me right now. [img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-gFpfKUxtoX8/TrUel5NCZvI/AAAAAAAAkB4/OQQtj-pHIBI/s1152/IMG_3247.JPG[/img] Because there's only 3 walls the sides pull away from the center, so I'll need to glue the panels in to keep it all together. Maybe. Because it'll be fixed to the wall anyway - so maybe I won't. [img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Bxu92qs4fN0/TrUenszkspI/AAAAAAAAkCA/mMcJPOVUNUk/s1152/IMG_3249.JPG[/img] [img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6obZXLEo7jw/TrUeocJ89mI/AAAAAAAAkCE/7DOehhzRKOA/s1152/IMG_3250.JPG[/img] The bottom corners are perfect though, so it's all good. [img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-1OICRKXfnrI/TrUep8KUmWI/AAAAAAAAkCM/Z1hinpxPE_k/s1152/IMG_3252.JPG[/img] [B]UpDATE[/B] I got it all glued together [img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-diTNlesYiBE/Tra_kIoBoiI/AAAAAAAAkCc/Zjw-qliTlvU/s1024/IMG_3253.JPG[/img] Oh oh! [img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-27JYpw1LwZs/Tra_mm-kBcI/AAAAAAAAkCo/4d5fVYAf7KM/s1024/IMG_3256.JPG[/img] All fits together nicely! [img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-5DG-IrkN_Tc/Tra_oP0e-xI/AAAAAAAAkCw/LyXeRHSOElI/s1024/IMG_3258.JPG[/img] Made a bit of a mess with the glue [img]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Yrnyo4QRwps/Tra_nWuqFRI/AAAAAAAAkCs/Rv5oyh7zlpk/s1024/IMG_3257.JPG[/img] I screwed it to the wall [img]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-_0orF_1cCbs/Tra_sPA_zVI/AAAAAAAAkDI/rhZovRoh3rg/s1024/IMG_3264.JPG[/img] To do this I drilled a big hole half way through, then put the screw inside that and screwed through the remaining half of the frame. I'm going to get some bungs for these holes. [img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-DfhPu8-bZqI/Tra_tyhf9UI/AAAAAAAAkDU/C-sOGlokyfk/s1024/IMG_3267.JPG[/img] From the other direction [img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ZaPw1lKxwpE/Tra_yIn0ceI/AAAAAAAAkDs/Ireyg6Y1pjQ/s1024/IMG_3273.JPG[/img] Lights on [img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TFcqXoj7zzo/Tra_zkzCRqI/AAAAAAAAkD0/f2q9S4Yrggk/s1024/IMG_3275.JPG[/img] Arty Shots [img]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-cordt06dK4U/Tra_5MKbEBI/AAAAAAAAkEU/FgpctNClGYk/s1024/IMG_3283.JPG[/img] [img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-dySP0hVkIbA/Tra_5mOoxAI/AAAAAAAAkEY/HpKZJAnzDsg/s1024/IMG_3284.JPG[/img] [img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ZMx7aphfogk/Tra_64iL3iI/AAAAAAAAkEg/Xk6kflepSTk/s720/IMG_3286.JPG[/img] Built the lid! [img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-SKD66KwGFJY/TrlbwZI1fdI/AAAAAAAAkLY/8SBLlYrWIXA/s1024/IMG_3293.JPG[/img] [img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-SqiERT7Cu2E/Trlb54NErqI/AAAAAAAAkNs/QqXqB-VVCD8/s1024/IMG_3304.JPG[/img]
Ant farm gel would be a better substituent for soil if you are planning to display it on the wall. It can come with variety of clear colors, light can pass through it therefore you can clearly see the frameworks developed by the ants, and they have no problem surviving in it. Looks great in any room and you can also install some LEDs to illuminate/accompany the color of the gel.
Oh god I remember these from when I was 6... I wanted to keep my ants in sight 24/7 so I sneaked the ant farm into my bedroom and hid it in my dresser. Oh god, what a mistake. Ants everywhere. [url=http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51kGw9PlghL._AA300_.jpg]Similar picture of the one I had[/url] Good luck Garry! [editline]1st November 2011[/editline] Forgot to post my main point... :v: Make sure the thing is VERY well sealed. Be overly paranoid if you don't want ants everywhere.
[QUOTE=B!N4RY;33064646]Ant farm gel would be a better substituent for soil if you are planning to display it on the wall. It can come with variety of clear colors, light can pass through it therefore you can clearly see the frameworks developed by the ants, and they have no problem surviving in it. Looks great in any room and you can also install some LEDs to illuminate/accompany the color of the gel.[/QUOTE] No, it isn't good for long-term keeping. I have kept ants for over a year- the gel feeds the workers but not the queen and larvae, who require protein in their diet and other specific nutrients. The gel is also likely to kill them within a few weeks. Stick to soil or no soil. This is one of my black ant queen from this year: [img]http://www.1337upload.net/files/QueenAlpha.png[/img] She has about twenty workers. This species is a very productive egg layer and can be expected to start laying eggs within days of catching. Lasius flavus, yellow ant: [img]http://www.1337upload.net/files/Flavus2.png[/img] L.flavus is much like the black ant, L.niger, but they are nocturnal and very shy. And yes, I am keeping three queens together. They can be polygynous if needed, meaning more than one queen. This colony has about 20 workers. Messor barbarus, harvester from Spain: [img]http://www.1337upload.net/files/Messor3.png[/img] These live in dry conditions and collect seeds with which they make a paste to eat, called 'ant bread'. Queens are very large, and they have a soldier caste capable of drawing blood in human skin. About 20 workers in this one as well, because the queen took a long time to start up. Pheidole pallidula, mini army ant: [img]http://i894.photobucket.com/albums/ac143/Timenova/Omicron-1.png[/img] Very tiny, but very strong and aggressive. Queens are very productive. This species has a genuine soldier caste with a hugely disproportionate head. My colony has about 100 workers with one soldier. Good site to get ants, German based company but fast delivery: [url]http://www.ants-kalytta.com/home.php[/url] Just remember that its best to start with the common black ant. Queens of any species take roughly two months to raise their first workers, and they shouldn't be checked on more than once a week during the process. Its quite interesting to watch. If you need any help with the actual keeping of them or just advice, don't hesitate to ask. :wink:
[QUOTE=B!N4RY;33064646]Ant farm gel would be a better substituent for soil if you are planning to display it on the wall. It can come with variety of clear colors, light can pass through it therefore you can clearly see the frameworks developed by the ants, and they have no problem surviving in it. Looks great in any room and you can also install some LEDs to illuminate/accompany the color of the gel.[/QUOTE] The black ants I'm getting aren't suitable for the gel. I kind of prefer the soil anyway I think, it gives you bolder lines - that's kind of what I'm looking for.
Plastic is being delivered today!
Please post your experiences with setting it all up/keeping the ants when you're done garry! :)
Got another bit of advice- ants cannot see red light, so covering the setup with a sheet of a suitable red filter will let you see them and they'll still find it dark.
Updated! I could have made my life a lot easier by buying the frames and then buying 6 lengths of strip wood to go either side of the panels, instead of cutting channels out. Live and learn.
Garry you got a pretty pimpin vaccum cleaner there. This looks pretty sweet though. Can't wait until it's finished.
Are you liking the Dremel Trio?
Are the ants good with the spraypaint garry? Sometimes it's toxic for them.
That's a good point! I wouldn't have thought it would be too bad being dry, but I guess covering it up on the inside wouldn't hurt.
hows that dremel trio? I've been looking at getting one
Ah man this is awesome. You've inspired me to try and get one of my own in the spring.
How many ants do you plan on getting? I can only imagine an "accident." Much similar to Black Mesa, but with Ants.
[QUOTE=KnightVista;33130642]How many ants do you plan on getting? I can only imagine an "accident." Much similar to Black Mesa, but with Ants.[/QUOTE] "...Prepare for unforeseen con...- OH GOD ANTS EVERYWHERE!" also, this is a pretty cool idea. i'd love to do something like this but with some other insect since i have a huge problem with myrmecophobia. where are you going to have it?
Updated! The dremel trio is pretty good. I get the feeling that a real router would have made things easier because it'd have been more powerful - but for smaller jobs it's great.
I've always wanted one of those, looking good!
just make sure that when you've got ants in there, you keep a flamethrower in reach at all times just in case the plastic breaks somehow
Suddenly I'm fascinated with ants again.
Looking awesome, just hope they don't manage to escape, are you planning to put a see-lent around the joints? Plus where's it going to live? Hopefully out of sunlight so you don't cook your ants ^.^ I know its harsh but it has to be said, "Where did I put that magnifying glass".
Updated OP Things I've got left to do • Top blocker - gonna build this out of strip wood so it's lighter. • Get Soil • Get Ants
When will the ants arrive?
That looks incredibly clean. nice job
Can't wait for the ants and lighting!
It's a nice looking setup. I guess you plan on feeding them through the top?
Build the lid for it out of glued together strip wood, spraypainted it and popped it on. Updated the OP.
Nice room man! Nice everything, but as the guy above said, check ALL the seals.
Can't wait to see this finished. Also your house is sexy as fuck, I love it's style.
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