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Shopping Guide

Are you fascinated by keeping ants but not yet sure how and what to start with?
Then you are exactly right here!


Choosing an ant colony:

First you should choose a species of ant, but which one?
As a recommendation, our species were given keeping levels (1, 2, 3). A beginner should always start with species in level 1. A beginner should also start with a small colony (choose a queen with at least one worker) where the workers can support the queen with care and food procurement. Starting with a single queen or very large colonies of several hundred animals is not recommended for beginners.

But there is also a large selection of different species for ant species in keeping level 1.
Here you have to make the following decisions:
- Large or small ants (narrow or wide nests)
- Large or small colonies (large or small demand of space)
- With or without winter rest (active partly or all year round)
- Which nest material (sand / clay, cork, wood, stone, forest floor etc.)
- From which habitat / climatic zone (technical equipment for climate regulation for forest, meadow, desert or rainforest).

You shouldn't keep different species of ants together. Certain species of ants live close together with other species of ants in nature, but this depends on many factors, e.g. the corresponding species, the individual size difference, the respective colony size, the nest area and the food preferences. Several colonies of the same species should not be kept together, as these would usually attack each other due to the different colony scents.

 

Choosing a formicarium

When choosing the formicarium (terrarium for ants), which consists of a nest area in which the ants nest and a arena in which the colony can get food and deposit their waste (leftover food, excrements or deceased animals), the following must be kept in mind:

You can choose between:
- a fully equipped Starter kit
- or you can put together your own components (farm, arena, soil or cork nest, etc.).

Usually you should start with a Starter kit, as the most important equipment for starting with ant keeping is already included here. Most of our formicariums are all modular and therefore have one or more expansion options. In this way, the system can later be expanded with other formicariums/nests/arenas as required. A small selection of possible expansions is added as a recommendation in the item details.

 

The following starter kit variants are available:

Starter kits Habitat
These starter kits have been specially put together for ants that need very specific habitats. (Forest, meadow, desert, rainforest)

Starter kits Digfix
These starter kits are put together with nests made of Digfix plates and are suitable for all species from dry or very humid regions and for species that live in wood.

Starter kits cork
These starter kits are specially composed with cork nests for species that live in wood.

Starter kits plaster
These starter kits are particularly suitable for species that live in or between stones.

Starter kits ants
These starter kits have been specially put together for certain spesies of ants or certain groups of ants.

Our starter kits are generally available in the following 3 sizes:
Starter kits - S
Starter kits - M
Starter kits - L

Plastic starter kits
Acrylic formicariums are usually best suited for very small species of ants, as the CNC technology can be used to work very finely and so there are hardly any gaps or breakouts.
They are available in the following widths:
- S
- M
- L
- XL

There is NO ant colony included in our starter kits!
These can optionally be ordered in addition to the kit.

 

If you want to expand a Starter kit or put together your own components, please note the following:

- Select the appropriate total formicarium size for the total colony size.
- Select the appropriate nest width
S, M, L, XL for the respective ant species.
- Select the appropriate connectors for the hoses and tubes.
- Select the appropriate escape protection for the respective ant species.
- Select the appropriate cover for the respective climate.
- Select the appropriate nest material for the respective ant species.
- Select the right soil according to the natural habitat.
- Select the right air conditioning units depending on the climate zone.
- Select the right feeding bowls and drinking troughs depending on the variety of food and colony size.
- Select the appropriate formicarium decorations for the respective ant species, the climate and the formicarium structure.
- Choose the right decoration for the respective ant species and the formicarium.


The right formicarium size:

The total formicarium size is not so important at the beginning, as the systems can be expanded as required later.
You can therefore add many small or not very large formicariums to one another as needed.

 

The right nest width:

The width of the nest is very important. We have sorted these for you in "clothing sizes" SMLXL.
If you choose a nest that is too narrow, a larger species of ant will not fit in. Conversely, a species of ant that is too small in a nest that is too wide would dig the chambers and tunnels in the middle and you would then not have a nice view into the nest.
In the detailed description of the respective ant species you will find the recommended formicarium size.

 

The right connectors:

fits into a 10mm hole:
- A rubber cymbal connector 10mm
- A tube 8 / 10mm (only loosely inserted)

fits into a 27mm hole:
- pool connector 3/4 "
- A hose 22 / 28mm (only inserted loosely)
- A plug 25/31 with a 6mm hole = for a hose 6/4mm
- A 25/31 plug with a 10mm hole = for a 10 / 8mm hose
- A plug 25/31 with a 14mm hole = for a hose 14 / 10mm
- A plug 25/31 with a 20mm hole = for a hose 20 / 16mm

fits to a 4 / 6mm socket S:
- a hose 4 / 2mm (into the socket)
- a hose 8-9 / 9mm (on the socket)

fits to an 8 / 10mm socket M:
- a hose 8-9 / 6mm (into the socket)
- a hose 14 / 19mm (on the socket)

fits to a 14 / 16mm socket L:
- a hose 14 / 10mm (into the socket)
- a hose 20 / 16mm (on the socket)

fits to a 32mm socket XL:
- a socket 32mm = for a pipe 32 / 28mm
In order to expand to a 40 / 36mm or 50 / 46mm tube, there are suitable adapters from 32mm to 40mm and from 40mm to 50mm.

In order to connect hoses of the same size, there are suitable hose connectors in the angular shapes: I, L, T, Y, X in the corresponding dimensions.
In order to connect tubes of the same size, there are matching tube connectors in the angle shapes I, L, Y, T in the appropriate dimensions.
With our T, I and L pipe connectors made of plastic, it should be noted that a further I piece is required to use all connections. This does not apply to our glass tube connectors.

If you still can't get the right size, you can overcome larger deviations by attaching different hose diameters. (e.g. 10/14 hose on a 10/8 mm hose).
Smaller deviations can be corrected by wrapping adhesive tape.

The right escape protection:


The right lid:

In addition to its function as a supplementary escape protection, the cover has an important role in climate regulation.

The rough climate classification:
- dry climate = only frame or cover with fan / ventilation grille
- temperate climate = cover with ventilation grille
- humid climate = cover closed with plug

Dry climate stands for ant species from desert regions, but also for native species from dry habitats.
Humid climate stands for ant species from tropical rainforests, but also for native species from wet meadows or forest habitats.
The most precise regulation is carried out by air conditioning units.

Covers function:
- Ant arena frame
Serves as pure escape protection and prevents the ants from escaping by applying an escape protection to the underside.

- Ant arena cover
Serves as a safe cover for an ant arena. Various grille inserts, plugs or air conditioning units can be mounted through the 50mm holes.

- Glass lid grille
A robust and non-slip cover with an aluminum frame with grille WITHOUT insertion options for grille inserts, plugs or air conditioning units.

 

The right nest material:

Different nest materials are used depending on the type of ant:
There is sand, clay, humus, peat, wood, cork, concrete block, gypsum, leaves, needles and moss.
The goal here is to offer the ants a species-appropriate and suitable nesting opportunity.
Many ants dig their nests in soil, which has different proportions of sand, clay and humus depending on the habitat.
Other species of ants need rotten wood as a nesting place. Alternatively, cork nests are also suitable here.
Still other species of ants need needles or leaves as building material or for nesting e.g. under moss.
For the exact information, please look in the detailed description of the respective ant species in our shop.
 

The right soil: