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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all, had these since 10th of October. 2 queens with some workers. Fungus was size of walnut broke up in little bits.


Set up initially below-have had to put a canopy on it as the evaporation produced some mould spots on corner of room :whistling2: I wasn't overly surprised to be honest.


Canopy-which I have since tightened up round the top.


Eating orchid leave




Since putting canopy on tank the humidity levels in the tank obviously increased, I don't need to spray the soil barely at all now.
Its changed humidity for the ant chambers also as they had a big dig out in the following days.
How it now looks


I've had them 2 months now and the fungus has went from just under a golf ball to at least a quarter of the tank, and that's going from the two interconnected gardens that are visible.
I've already got ideas about increasing nests, first will be putting a second cube in tank.




Brood can be seen, pictures are not the best

Taking cauliflower leaf and blueberry.

will post better pics soon.
thank
 

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That set up looks just about perfect. Really well done on the health of the colony. The growth rate is superb. Well over the danger time for losses etc. Congratulations, these ants require dedication and attention to detail to get them to thrive like this. :no1:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
video

Taking some cauliflower back, they only come out in number at dark at the minute unless I catch them unaware. Im assuming this is because they don't need to travel far for substrate. This will change though when they get new foraging area eventually :)
Im going to get some better videos and pictures with my good camera this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Ants

That set up looks just about perfect. Really well done on the health of the colony. The growth rate is superb. Well over the danger time for losses etc. Congratulations, these ants require dedication and attention to detail to get them to thrive like this. :no1:
Thanks! Is great when you get things to go well, the glass set up you made for me was spot on thou and made life easier to start on a good footing. Also helps that's your available to get advice from.

My biggest issue has been evaporation-as you can't put a lid on it as it drips on the nest, what folk can't see is I have a pitched top on the tank under the canopy which catches a lot of the water and returns it to the tank via running down the sides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
photos

A few new photos. Thought the difference in colour was quite striking in these photos



Close up with visible brood.



They have started what could be a new garden or possibly a dumping site though they usually put there waste in the water.



this colony is growing really fast which is great but will be separating queens when a new set up is eventually required and will move one colony on, will be fun lol :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Colony

How big is that set up?
Looks pretty compact, i always thought they had to have massively too big enclosures, would be great if i could fit on in, nice colony :)
Not sure exact size but the cubes are 8inch cubes.
A single Acromyrmex colony could get to 50000 individuals so pretty big. I've been told that this tank filled in with soil should be adequate, you can always carry out a little population control too.
Different storey with Atta as they get into the millions lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
new set up

Thought I'd post a few pics of my up and coming Acromyrmex set up.
The tank is a discus breeding cube that I was going to use for my discus fish. I've put 2 heat mats on either side of the tank and then used radiator insulation on all the sides to keep the heat in, on the front I'm going to have 2 Velcro strips running vertically on the side's so I can have a insulated detachable front for viewing. The substrate is a thin layer of sand followed by a 60/40 clay ball and coco mix.



I've drilled two holes in the rear of pane of glass for a foraging tank and expansion if required, I was initially not going to attach the foraging tank but am now thinking it may be better to do so as removing the lid of the main tank may not be great for the ants as they would be losing the humidity every day when feeding. Easier as well to do so when there are no ants ha ha.
I've also attached a thermostat which I'm going to change to a pulse stat or digital stat.



Any opinions or suggestions welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
fungus growth



Just thought I'd post this picture of one of the fungus gardens as I think there's been significant growth in what is 4 weeks.

Seen one of the queens also but couldn't get a good picture, seems like each queen has their own garden in the cube but they're both interconnected via a tunnel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
exo

New exo foraging tank acquired yesterday. Still to get pvc tube and fittings, was going to use acrylic tube but will keep that for later use to make it a feature when I want to put some more distance between the fungus and foraging tanks.

The fungus tank should fit quite nicely underneath. Hopefully can do a nice twisting design with the acrylic tube, maybe round one of the legs, not sure yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
pics

Few new pics of the army, defo growing quick. I do find the acromyrmex more skittish than the atta but im not sure if that's because the acro's are more established I there set up.


this is what there doing to 2 stalks of privet and a cherry (cherry is cored, just don't see in pic ;)) over night


Looking to move them into new set up possibly in next 2 weeks, how I go about digging them out?? should be fun.
Can anyone tell me if leave cutter will go through silicone?
 

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mega jealous!

i've always wanted to keep leaf cutters. fascinating little things

looking forward to updates:2thumb:
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
new set up

Move went ok I'm glad to report, no bites at all :)

I wanted to try and locate the queens and straight away when I lifted the feeding tile I found a queen along with a 3rd fungus garden that I hadn't seen before which was nice. I thought I'd put the queen in a small tub for safe keeping till the end but 5 minutes later I checked on her and she looked like she was in a death curl!! I touched her and she moved about so don't know what that was all about but I put her straight into the new set up and hoped she would be ok. No sign of the second queen.
Feeding tank on top, heated fungus tank below.



You can see how the tanks are connected, included is the trash bottle that they will hopefully use.


Unit feet made water tight than will fill the tubs with oil as a final escape protection should the worst happen, which it wont.


Picture of the queen in the new set up that I found straight away-still alive.


Picture of the second queen who must have been hidden in the fungus-was very pleased to see her later marching around.


The fungus in new set up


I've a few clips of when I first lifted the tile etc that ill post tomorrow, need better internet connection to upload.

Any opinions welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Problems

Hi folks,
Had a few issues since ants where transferred to there new set up so thought I’d update you.

Unforeseen problems are:
*With 3 pulse stat controlled heat mats positioned on front, left and right side of the tank with little air movement the heat entering is rising to the top of the cube.
*The temperature range is huge- 29 degrees at the top of tank but the ground/ coco fibre only just reaching 23 degrees.
*Humidity not greater than 82% RH
*Fungus gardens deteriorating
*Ants not foraging

I knew I had to try something quick-
*I thought about adding more coco fibre but didn’t think this would really help.
*Obtain and fit some kind of small fan to gently move the heated air about, I’m not the best electrically minded and need something now.
*Do the no no and fit a heat mat under the cube.

I decided to try a heat mat but first I placed a digital thermometer in my atta soil to see what the temperature was in that set up and was surprised to find it at 27 degrees, so the acromyrmex have went from 27 degs to 23 degs
I raised the tank an inch on small bits of tile. I this placed the mat under and packed under the mat with cardboard so the full tank weight is not on the mat rather I’ve loosely packed the mat up to the height of the tank.
I then checked the digital thermometer I had positioned on the soil over the next 5 hours and the temp rose from 23 degrees to 26 degrees which it settled at.
The humidity also rose to 90% with no dripping condensation.

So far its looking good and the fungus already looks healthier I think and the ants have started to forage again after 3 days of not doing so. Will post some new pics soon.

Learning curve for me, hopefully out of the woods now :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Pics

Few pics, thought this was quite cool. This ant would have thought I was destroying the colony but he still tried to save this new guy :)

They have dismantled some of the gardens and have focused on 3 at the moment.

Some pupae can be seen here.

Moving fungus


Will give it a while before updating again :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
update video-leaf cutters

Hi folk, just thought I'd post a few updated fungus pictures. I apologise for the quality-best I can get through the glass.
There has been significant fungus growth as you can see and now there are some foragers out during the day which there never used to be.
There also not as quick to retreat as they used to be. I've recently tried feeding the almond nuts which they seem to love, almond flakes seem the best and easiest for them.
Haven't seen the queens for ages but there working hard as many pupa can be seen.
Tank maintaining an even 26-27 degrees with 94% humidity.
 
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