antsite.eu presents: How to raise an ant colony? – part: 3/B If the colony grows out the test tube, and it gets dirty, we possibly keep them in an open test tube. This is a “velvety tree ant” colony with hundreds of workers. Normally it’s a bad idea to open this test tube, but i show you a technique which we can use this time. Temporarily we can use a simple container box for it, but the best will be the formicarium – i will tell you later why. As first step we should put on some escape-prevent oil to the top of the container. This will prevent the ants to run away. Oiling only a few, otherwise the oil will leak down, and the ants will stick in it. Put the colony into the container, and open the test tube carefully. Ants will flooding out immediately, but they can’t run out from the box. Much easy to feeding such a big colony in this box than in the test tube. Even the ants have more space, and they can react if someting goes wrong in the test tube. In a closed test tube the water can flooding the ants, but with this open test-tube keeping method the whole colony can escape out from the tube. Put tinfoil on a clean test tube setup. Put this into the box and the ants will moving into this one later from the old and dirty test tube. They do it because they feels the darker and cleaner test tube more safety and comfortable. We can hurry them if we tip them out from the test tube, but this species spray formic-acid during stress so we don’t want as many ants to be suicide. Carefully get out the wool-pieces. The ants find the honey immediately – they really need enough food now. Throw some cutted worms also to give them protein. You can see the workers not really successfull on the escap-prevent oil. They can’t walk on this oiled surface. Few days later the ants has moved to the new test tube, so we can get out the old one. But make sure to tip out all of the workers from it. If we check them closer, we can see they moved all the brood with eggs and larvae to the new test tube. So this is a really effective method for moving a colony. The ants did it themselves, we only has to give the ideal conditions for them. Now let’s see the detriments: The escape-prevent oil will disappear from the top of the container within a few weeks. It goes dry or the ants put some dust on it, or somehow fight themselves through. So time to time we should put some fresh oil on it, and could be a good idea to close the container with a cap. But now i have to say another problem! If the box hasn’t got enough ventilation the colony inside can be suicide during stress with their formic-acid, or can choke without enough fresh air. Better ventilation or some soil could help on this, but the best final solution if we keep the ants in a formicarium. In this the ventilation optimal for sure, and we can observe the nest much better than in a test tube. So if we have a bigger formicarium we can use the arena-part similarly like the container before. But first we have to close the nest-part to prevent the ants to move in too early. Then put the test tube in the arena-part. We can use test-tube holder to prevent the rolling. Now open the test tube and let the spotters out. We put the food in the arena not into the test tube anymore. Can feed in small bowls or just simply on the ground of the arena, because acrylic formicariums are easy to clean. We can put in different kind of foods, and we can learn the ants to find the food themselves everywhere in the arena. If the test tube gets dirty or goes dry we can put in a new, clean test tube near the old, and the ants can move themselves within some days. If they don’t want to move Just tip them out from the old test tube and let the new one inside the arena, so they have to move into the new one. But with this method we will loss some brood, because some of the eggs and larvae will stick into the test tube, so we have to put them back carefully with a brush. So better if the ants move themselves. Our colony number will raising because of the more space and more food. It could happen some weeks or some months later – depends of the species. When they have enough workers to find every food in the arena the ants are ready to move in the formicarium’s nest-part. Important to wait until they have enough workers, because if we let them in too early the colony could move in, but maybe they won’t have enough workers to go out searching for food. It could emerge a crisis in the colony because they don’t have enough food to grow workers, but even don’t have enough workers to find food. The recommend worker number to open the nest is different – depends of the species. It could around 30-50 workers with a smaller species, but with a bigger species maybe 20 can be enough. After we open the nest-part the spotters will scout their new territory. If they find it suitable the whole colony will move in. Sometimes needs days for the moving – it depends from the colony number. Bigger colonies has more workers so they find the new place faster and moves themselves faster. After that we only have to feed and drink the colony, so we can observe as they grow more and more workers, and our ant-society grows up slowly. Don’t forget to like and subscribe, and hit the bell 🔔 icon! Click for the next episode!