Project Nucleus: How I Create Mini Planets Within Glass

Project Nucleus: How I Create Mini Planets Within Glass


Before we begin today’s episode, I wanted
to let everyone know that AntsCanada.com is having its big AC annual holidays Promo: the
20-20-20 sale. That’s 20% off all Hybrid Series ant farms
and gear packs from now until January 2020, plus a free copy of our newly updated “Ultimate
Ant Keeping Handbook,” right now at AntsCanada.com. Click the link in the description to get your
AC ant farm today! And now enjoy today’s ant episode! After a long and successful day, I looked
down at the clippings and dead tree I had collected from our projects. Ordinarily, I would throw these away, but
suddenly an awesome idea came to me, an idea that I felt could completely change and affect
the lives of every creature and terrarium in the entire AC Antiverse! AC Family, it was time to embark on a new
and exciting biological engineering project! Last week, we had two major maintenance operations
for two of our beloved kingdoms in the AC Antiverse. First, the mystical double floating island
of Avista, home to the Big-Headed ants, you named the Bobbleheads, underwent a serious
makeover, receiving a new island to their open-air ant archipelago. The Red Banyon tree, the Great Tree of Wisdom,
also needed trimming, so I snipped around their sacred tree, which resulted in this
gorgeous well-manicured main island. We replaced a dead tree with a new one, and
gave them a superworm as house warming gift. East of Avista, stands the Canopy of Vortexia. Our tree-top forest home to our aggressive
Weaver Ant Colony, The Emerald Empire. The territories also needed maintenance as
one of the trees had seriously overgrown. It was a scary operation to snip away at the
overgrown leaves and perform general maintenance with weaver ants wanting to attack me the
whole time, but the biggest thing that came out of this was that I also took the opportunity,
to improve the biological profile of Vortexia’s soil life, through the addition of roaches,
superworms and other creatures, and then sealing the entire thing up! It resulted in a clean, healthy, and bioactive
environment, where creatures could eat decaying materials, reproduce on their own, and be
hunted, all inside the Canopy of Vortexia. It was the epic creation of an entire, contained
ecosystem, and the way I saw it, like the creation of a mini-planet within glass. And this gave me an idea. This week, our journey towards creating the
ultimate homes for our ants and other creatures continues, as we launch a super cool, biological
engineering project, I call Project Nucleus, and AC Family, I think you guys will totally
dig it, no pun intended! So sit back, relax and enjoy this week’s
info-packed episode, as I show you how life of a successful vivarium begins, and how I
plan to create mini-planets within glass. In the past few weeks, my recent projects
of making more bioactive terrariums have been undeniably successful, bioactive, basically
meaning throwing in a bunch of different organisms with different purposes into a single enclosed
environment, resulting in a healthier and more dynamic life for our ant colonies, as
well as the fellow tenants living with them. In the case of the Dark Knights a few weeks
back, for instance, a new life with bagworms, millipedes, jumping spider, springtails, isopods,
worms, and who knows what else came with the layer of leaf litter and plants I threw into
their new home, which by the way needs a new name so VOTE here, AC Council, meant that
the ants could truly live like they did in the wild, defending their territory, with prey at their disposal, and home bioactively cleaned by creatures
that would eat their poop and garbage, converting it to fertilizer for the plants
which would go on to produce oxygen for the system, and so on. The partnerships of these various creatures
made for a very self-sustaining, biodynamic world! I thoroughly loved this streak of successfully
creating these super-bioactive terrariums on steroids, which ultimately gave me the
idea to start Project Nucleus. So, what is Project Nucleus, you ask. Well, it goes like this. So you may or may not know, every time I start
building a new terrarium, I either recycle aged terrarium soil or collect leaf litter
from my neighborhood and add it to the soil. I do this because soil creatures, like springtails,
mites, worms, millipedes, and isopods are needed to help breakdown organic waste in
the terrarium. Wilted leaves from plants, exoskeletons and
other wastes from the prey, as well as ant excrement are all broken down by these soil-residing
organisms. Without them, the entire terrarium may rot,
fungus take over, and just lead to a gross terrarium mess. Plus these soil creatures are the missing
link between organic waste and plant life, because soil creature poop from organic waste
contains a tonne of amazing nutrients for plants. The problem with using new soil to create
new terrariums is that they contain only a few of these creatures. It would take some time for a new terrarium
to develop the populations of soil biota, so as a general rule, the older the soil,
the more lush and abundant the soil life is. Now to better understand what I’m talking
about, and appreciate how cool of an undertaking Project Nucleus is, let’s take a look at one
of the amazing ant kingdoms in the AC Antiverse, on which a lot of you have been patiently
waiting for an update. Welcome everyone to the home of the Golden
Empire. This colony of Yellow Crazy Ants, scientifically
known as Anoplolepis gracillipes is one of the OG ant colonies of this channel. They were once a massive glorious colony of
millions but were unexpectedly hit by a lethal plague of blood-sucking mites earlier this
year, which reduced them to several hundreds. I rescued a small population and put them
into quarantine where I treated their vampiric body mites with predatory Hypoapsis mites
harvested from rhino beetles, of all places. And lucky for me, I was able to recover at
least 5 of the 7 queens and rid the colony of the vampiric mites. To rehabilitate them, I transferred them,
into this Hybrid Nest + Ant Tower setup. We even documented the cured Golden Empire
workers, transferring their brood into their new home. What a trip and triumphant day that was! During the mass emmigration, we also noticed
that the Hypoaspis mites were still living with the Golden Empire, assumingly protecting
the colony from future bad mite attacks. You can watch all of this here, by the way. So it was clear that these relationships with
smaller organisms like the Hypoaspis mites were extremely important for the ants’ well-being. And AC Family, you’re about to see how much
these relationships have evolved since they moved in a few months ago, and how it has
helped the Golden Empire flourish! Look! I’m happy to announce that the Golden Empire
is doing great. Here are the queens, who prefer to hang out
in their Hybrid Nest, which has become the main mothernest of the colony. They’ve been laying lots of eggs. Look at those egg batches being carried around
by caring workers. I estimate the colony is well over a thousand
workers now and is about to get even bigger. But what’s more amazing is this, guys! Other creatures are also living in the Hybrid
Nest, in cooperation with the colony. Here are springtails, known in the Antiverse
as the Springcleaners, which help eat decaying material, ant poop, and mold. We also have beneficial mites eating up the
same stuff. But check this out! For the first time on the channel, we get
a glimpse at a species of symbiotic isopods that live with the ants! Isn’t that amazing? The ants don’t attack these isopods, which
are actually crustaceans, who thrive off the garbage left behind by the ants, mold that
might be growing around the premises, and possibly their poop. It’s possible these isopods were living with
the Golden Empire the whole time since the beginning, back when they were still residing
in the Hacienda Del Dorado, but we’ve only been able to see them now due to visual access
of the Hybrid Nest. And that’s not all, guys. I even discovered there are silverfish-type
insects, living with the ants! I don’t know what species these little turbo
guys are, but I am pretty sure, they also have a key role at eating up dead insects
leftovers, ant poop, and fungi. So, guys check out the beauty of how this
all works. The Golden Empire has a system. So like humans, the colony produces garbage,
and like humans, the ants keep the garbage in piles and bury it. They’ve chosen designated areas of the Hybrid
Nest as garbage rooms. They also delegate certain areas for bathrooms. It’s essential especially in an underground,
moist environment for the colony to be as clean and systematic with their waste management
as possible so all hell doesn’t break loose and the colony dies from unsanitation. So once these garbage and bathroom spots get
too soiled and littered, the colony then buries these areas up, and that’s when the clean-up
team of soil creatures take over and work their magic. They’re small enough to fit into the tight
spaces of the buried chambers where they proceed to eat up the garbage and ant poop, and keeping
dangerous fungus that grows on the garbage and poop under control. A lot of you ask how I clean my ant farms,
and well, now you know. I kinda don’t need to, because the ant farms
bioactively clean themselves. The lifeforms take care of the maintenance
like they would in the wild. I just add water and watch it all happen! There’s even a whole other decomposition process
happening at the microbial level. If we were to take a look at a sample of this
ant nest material under a microscope, we’d find a whole other world of bacteria and colonies
of unicellular organisms also busy eating and decomposing organic matter. So as you can see, there’s quite the system
happening here. It’s mutualistic symbiosis at its finest,
which basically means there’s a cooperation between all parties for the benefit of all. It’s amazing to be able to see all of this
in the Hybrid Nest, because you can’t really see it happening in a terrarium, but I assure
you, this is what’s going on underground in all our terrariums, perhaps with different
sets of soil creatures unique to each terrarium. And look, the creatures even migrate and travel
through the tubes to and from the colony’s neighbouring satellite nests. Speaking of which, let’s cover up their Hybrid
Nest and briefly take a look at the Golden Empire’s satellite nest in the large Ant Tower
shall we? As you can see, this is the popular hangout
for the Springcleaners! A tonne of Springtails for some reason love
this place, and seem to be quite busy at the moment working on a leftover superworm. Now wanna see something cool: see this little
contraption with a switch? I turn it on and a light beneath the Ant Tower
illuminates from inside. For those of you who are new to ants, ants
are naturally photophobic which means they don’t like light in their nests, but it is
said that ants cannot see red light, so keeping the ants under red film and lighting them
up with red light, causes the ants to feel like they are shrouded in darkness. And peeling off this red film reveals ants
congregating in one of their chambers. Check out all the tunnels they’ve created
down to the bottom of the Ant Tower! Springtails can be seen frequenting all areas. Now, AC Family, after seeing all of this,
it’s now time to talk about my idea, Project Nucleus! Rich bioactive ant homes like the Golden Empire’s
here don’t happen overnight. The creatures are few at first, usually coming
in with plants, rocks, and soil that you first place into the terrariums and it takes months
to create populations as rich as the one we see here in the Golden Empire, and a good
year for it to really be established. And as you know AC Family, we are always creating
new worlds and vivariums on this channel, and it would be very beneficial to have a
constant supply of soil creatures, to help speed up the bioactivation process in newly
created terrariums. And so, my idea. AC Family, I present to you Project Nucleus. In this glass enclosure, I plan on creating
what shall become the Nucleus of the AC Antiverse, the creational furnace from which shall be
born epic populations of soil biota for future terrariums we make from here on in. If we could create a place where we could
culture soil creatures, a place with aged soil and an established soil ecosystem, then
when creating a new terrarium or ant home, we could simply scoop up a bit of the medium
from the Nucleus, to place into our new terrarium, and thereby help populate the new terrarium’s
soil with its team of soil creatures. One scoop of medium from the Nucleus, would
be enough to bioactivate any terrarium much more quickly than if it were just created
from scratch. Plus the medium produced by the AC Nucleus
would be super rich in nutrients for plants. My plan was for the Nucleus to be a place
where I could take leaf clippings, decaying material or waste, or even dead creatures
from other kingdoms of our Antiverse, and have them feed our Nuclear soil creatures
to be processed back into the soil. Essentially, we’d be creating a composter,
just amped up with a tonne of soil creatures. And so to build this AC Nucleus, we will be
needing various materials. So here we go. First, we need this glass tank, our Nuclear
furnace of soil life culture. Through the glass we’ll be able to see the
activities as well as the progress of the Nuclear inhabitants in real-time. Next, I’ll be adding activated carbon, to
keep the growing medium purified from harmful metals and chemicals which could poison the
populations of creatures living in here. Now, let’s move on to my worst fear in life,
ahem… Worms! I had to face these vile-looking creatures
once more. I began to use my trowel to scoop up earth
from the bag and I was immediately repulsed by these squirming African Nightcrawlers seething
from within the soils. As a scoleciphobe, it was disgusting to see
the worms squirming, but I knew I had to do this because earthworms are good for composting. They breakdown organic wastes and turn them
into valuable compost or black soil, which are great for plants! Plus, populating a new terrarium with its
starting team of earthworms is always a good thing. I placed the soil into the glass enclosure. As time passed, I forced myself to really
look at the worms. Some worms fell and I had to pick them up. Ugh! I had to coach my mind that the worms were
friends and harmless. Mind over matter. Mind over matter. I filled up the tank and pressed the medium
down a bit as I went along. When I had filled it to as much as I could,
I decided to actually pick the worms up and hold them in my hand. Not so bad, huh? Next, I added leaf litter collected from outside. I knew it contained lots of different soil
creatures that would be the forefathers, foremothers, and forehamaphrodites to bring our AC Nucleus
to life. I immediately saw that I’d scooped up lots
of millipedes. I couldn’t touch them, as this species produces
cyanide, so bad for the eyes and enough to make a human sick, but they would be great
at eating up decaying material. And Oh! Look! These millipedes immediately began mating. Wasting no time, I see. Also, I had a handful of leaf clippings from
Selva de Fuego maintenance. I cut these up so they could break down much
more quickly and placed them into the Nucleus, as well. Then I placed filter foam to cover everything
up, to ensure no mischievous fly could enter and lay their eggs inside the tank. We wouldn’t want to repeat the maggot episode
hehe… right? The filter foam also helps keep all Nuclear
inhabitants inside, while allowing the entire system to breathe. After adding all of the components, our AC
Nucleus was complete. Two days later, the Nucleus was already a
happening place. Millipedes were still mating, and I suspect
we’re about to get a booming population of them soon. I was surprised to see another species of
millipede had dug a burrow into the soils. Also, earthworms were seen everywhere! They created a network of burrows. And Oh! I could see worm casts. I also saw that they had dragged pieces of
the leaves into the soils for further feeding. Good job, earthworms! Such hard-working creatures. Not scary or disgusting at all… Sorta. I could also see several awesome mites already
starting to populate the soils. Springtails frolicked their new territories,
as well. And look! A bagworm was crawling along the top with
its constructed home made of debris. I didn’t even know we put a bagworm in there! I’m not sure what else we’ll be finding in
this increasingly bioactive chamber we call the AC Nucleus, but I can’t wait to see how
this soil ecosystem evolves over time, and eventually use it to help speed up the bioactivation
process of the terrariums we make in the future. In fact, I’ve been thinking a lot about all
this focus lately on bioactive setups for the ants and other creatures of the Ant Room,
and I feel AC Family that the AC Antiverse is approaching a new age, where more focus
is placed on creating more hollistic setups for the lifeforms we care for. Before, I used to create homes that would
usually focus most on one creature, one star on a stage, whether it be an ant colony in
an ant farm, or a tarantula in an enclosure. But I’m realizing more and more, after all
these years of keeping ants, that this isn’t the best way to house these creatures nor
appreciate them to the fullest. In order to properly and naturalistically
house them and watch them at their fullest potential, you need to do more than just decorate
their home in a naturalistic way. The key here is remembering the context, in
which the creatures live in nature. The ant colonies we care for and love, are
actually part of an interconnected food web, a piece in a puzzle and to properly house
them and witness them in their truest and greatest form, you need to include all pieces
of the puzzle. This to me means then that there should be
a focus on developing the necessary associated animals like soil creatures in their soils,
as we saw with the Golden Empire, prey creatures living in the territories as we’ve established
with Vortexia, and allow the system to develop a collective biological profile of its own
in an enclosed space, like we did with the Dark Knight’s new vivarium. I caught some surviving darkling beetles,
superworm survivors, mating within Olympus this week. Usually, I’d fish these out and place them
in my superworm bin, but this time, I decided I’d keep them in there. Also, as you can probably imagine, I’m running
out of room in the AC Antiverse, and while our future giant two-story ant room in my
new house is currently being built, I feel this merging of creatures to share a space,
may be a great solution to my now overcrowded ant room. A few months ago, I tried placing one of our
vampire crabs into the Selva de Fuego. Now hold on, before you freak out, normally
I’d never consider this because, in my mind, the Fire Ants as we know are savages, but
I also knew the crab occupies an entirely different niche, and can get away by retreating
underwater, and turns out AC Family, after 8 weeks, the crab is still alive and happy
in the Selva de Fuego. The Fire ants surprisingly don’t bother it,
and the crab goes about its daily activities picking up garbage and dead ants the fire
ants dump into the river, sleeping within the shadowy wet caves behind
the falls, and picking off organic waste and algae off
the rocks. Pretty awesome right? I’ve gone ahead and placed a few crabs into
the Hacienda Del Dorado, as well, where it now resides with a few microfrogs, shrimp,
rasbora fish, and trap-jaw ants. So as you can see, this new era for our Antiverse
and philosophy are both exciting and much more beneficial to the creatures we care for. It means a more deliberate structuring of
their worlds, so that the worlds can feed and sustain themselves, thereby minimizing
my interaction with them for the most part anyway. I realized recently, that as an ant keeper,
caregiver of life forms, and your Creator of Worlds, I’m not keeping individual creatures
in inanimate setups, but rather I’m keeping biodynamic superorganisms. The Selva de Fuego, the Hacienda Del Dorado,
Vortexia, Avista, Olympus… These are all superorganisms, composed of
a multitude of living components that all depend on each other for survival… Little dynamic planets of life in our ever-expanding
AC Antiverse. AC Family, I’ve learned it’s the difference
between just keeping pets and creating planets within glass. Speaking of making new terrariums, it just
so happens, another beast has been waiting in the shadows for you all to meet her. Yes, we have a new addition to our ever growing
AC Antiverse, and she’s one of the most dangerous animals to ever reside in the Ant Room. AC Family, I can’t wait to show her to you. AC Family, did you enjoy today’s episode? What do you think of Project Nucleus? Let me know in the comments. Next week, we meet our newest addition to
the Antiverse, so you know what to do! Smash that SUBSCRIBE button and BELL ICON
for notifications now, so you don’t miss out on who our new dangerous but beautiful beast
is, and don’t forget to hit the LIKE button every single time, including now! It would really help a lot! If you’re new to the channel, and want to
catch up on all your AntsCanada Lore, feel free to binge watch this complete story line
playlist here, which traces the origins of all the ant colonies of the ant room, so you
can follow their stories and better appreciate how these ant kingdoms came to be, and why
we love them so much! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you’d like a clue as to who our newest beast is. Maybe you might be able to figure it out,
so go check it out! And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week we asked: Name one of the bioactive creatures found
in Vortexia. Congratulations to Tan Grace Lin who correctly
answered: Millipedes Congratulations, Tan Grace Lin, you just won
a free e-book handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What is mutualistic symbiosis? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free e-book handbook from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, and
SUBSCRIBE if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

Green Ants?!

Green Ants?!


How hard do you work to acquire the food you
eat? What goes into ensuring you have a meal on
your table every day? In this week’s epic ant video, we observe
how much our ants go through to acquire their food every day. Today we take a look at how the Hacienda Del
Dorado is actually one big lethal, death trap for outside insects! We will watch how insects trapped inside the
Hacienda Del Dorado manage to survive or faily to survive, and we will watch what the Golden
Empire, our yellow crazy ants, go through to hunt, subdue, and protect their daily food. And, what is this? Green-coloured ants? Find out why green worker ants have begun
to appear in our yellow crazy ant colony! You won’t want to miss all of this mind-blowing
ant-action and discovery ahead so keep on watching until the end, and just a hint…
the ending may shock you! AC Family, let’s join the Golden Empire on
their daily journey from hungry to full, as we witness the sheer power of predation, in
this week’s episode of the AntsCanada ant channel. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family! Bon appetite! Welcome to the Hacienda Del Dorado, our huge
estate belonging to the Golden Empire. For those of you who are new to the channel,
this home and ant colony has come a very long way, and has eveolved and changed so much
from from its beginings. The Hacienda Del Dorado is certainly a marvel,
full of living plants which provide the ant colony nest structure, landscape, and humidity. It is also home to various creatures like
the Springcleaners, a colony of Springtails which depend on the ants for their garbage
which they feed on. Recently introduced, were pitcher plants,
which have since formed a symbiotic relationship with the ants, providing the ants with sweet
fluids while the ants dump their leftover insect parts into the pitcher plants. But one thing that some of you may not know,
is that this terrarium and world of inter-connected organisms is very much so like a creature
of its own, an ominous beast, swallowing the unsuspecting that may fall prey to its jowls. You see, if you look just above the Hacienda
Del Dorado, you’ll see the windows I often keep open to the outside. The lighting system which I have installed
over the Hacienda Del Dorado inevitably end up luring nocturnal insects into the ant room
every single night. In fact, so many insects end up entering from
the outside that the house geckoes which discreetly frequent my condo have learned to commune
in my ant room every night to feed on the insects that are unlucky enough to land on
the walls and ceiling. Here is a baby, who is wondering why I’m around,
filming him when usually I am fast asleep in another room by this time. He dashes for the darkness of my bathroom. The outside nocturnal insects attracted by
the Hacienda Del Dorado lights, inevitably end up wandering into the Hacienda Del Dorado
where the glass ceiling ends up trapping them inside, where a hungry colony of yellow crazy
ants awaits to catch them. The Hacienda Del Droado is very much alive
and a complex predator. By morning, the sun comes streaming into the
Hacienda Del Dorado providing the plants with abundant energy to grow and photosynthesize. Small jars of honey lay available to the ants
to drink from and acquire their needed sugars. Ants have begun foraging and hunting well
before sunrise. Watch how they wave their antennae in the
air to smell for any traces of insects nearby. An ant’s best sense is their sense of smell,
and they can detect if prey lays nearby using their super sensitive antennae. The insects that were trapped overnight and
have managed to evade being captured, are at this time tiring and are most vulnerable
to falling prey. The Golden Empire is on the prowl every morning
to find these weakened insects hiding among them. One of such unfortunate insects hides, sitting
perfectly still lest a nearby ant would feel its vibrations or see its movement. Can you spot it here? Look carefully. Its colouration helps it camouflage perfectly
in the foliage. Keeping still for its life, a moth hangs from
a leaf, hoping to go unnoticed. It releases no pheromones, as it rests to
regain energy in hopes to find a way out of the Hacienda Del Dorado. Members of the Golden Empire march eerily
around it, but can’t seem to find it. This moth likely spent the whole night trying
to fly towards the lights expending the energy it needed to hopefully find a mate and breed
before it died in a few days. Its life now is numbered, and hopefully it
managed to pass on its genes before being trapped here. It does look like this moth, however is doing
a good job at not being found. So is this one. Sadly, some moths were not able to evade the
hungry Golden Empire. This moth landed in the wrong spot, and was
found immediately. It tries its best to struggle and free itself
from the clutches of the Golden Empire, but it’s no use. It’s too weak to successfully fly away and
the ants carry it back to the nest to consume and feed the young. Despite the amount of insects that end up
getting trapped within the Hacienda Del Dorado, the ants still require feeding. In the wild, an ant colony is collecting food
24 hrs, so in a captive setting, they require one time big time feedings on a daily basis
to meet the nutritional needs of the colony. So let’s feed the Golden Empire, some tasty,
gut-loaded roaches! Dropping our first roach here. Watch as the ants discover it and inform the
rest of the colony that food has dropped out of the sky. It isn’t long before a blanket of ants cover
the area. Ants around the cockroach release large amounts
of their “food signal” pheromone informing all nearby ants that food is present and to
spread the news by releasing more “food signal” pheromone. Let’s add another roach. Look at all those ants. It’s feeding time for the Golden Empire! And wait a sec, are those green worker ants
we see? Where did these green ants come from you ask? Well, I forgot to mention that for fun, I
dyed this honey blue, and well, yellow crazy ants plus blue honey equals green ants. Now check this out, AC Family! Watch how workers rush to excavate a pit beneath
the cockroaches so that they can better conceal their prey from other interloppers who might
steal the roaches. Their current plan is to build a soil dome
over the sunken roaches while the colony can get on with breaking down the roaches to consume
them. But, let’s see what happens if we decide to
cause some rucous here and act like another animal coming along to steal their food, like
a bird that came along and wanted to take advantage of the free meal. Let’s use this barbeque skewer! As I poke around the cockroaches, the Golden
Empire is immediately alarmed and mobilizes to defend their prey. Ants bravely race up the barbeque skewer spraying
formic acid. If this were a bird, it would be causing some
serious damage! Check out what the Golden Empire did to my
bird when it managed to break into the Hacienda Del Dorado in this video on my daily vlogging
channel. Oh and don’t forget to kindly subscribe to
that channel while you’re there! As the Golden Empire has in the past, these
ants have defeated this quote unquote bird that has tried to steal their bounty! It is important that the ants do all they
can to process these cockroaches as quickly as possible, and defend it at all costs, because
if they lose this meal it could mean death for the colony, because for all they know,
they may not find another meal in days. For the Golden Empire, every prey caught means
life, babies fed, and queens nourished enough for ample egg production. Food means colony success and losing food
means colony death. The Golden Empire has now changed their plans. The alarmed ant colony has decided that these
cockroaches are no longer safe in this location so they act quickly by pulling the cockroaches
to safer grounds. They have decided that these roaches are better
off in their nest for further processing, than out here in
the open. Ants are still working at removing dirt and
debris to help drag the cockroach easier. Wow! Look at these worker ants lifting this huge
wood chip which is many times their weight. Such an impressive feat of strength. Over the next few minutes the ants work hard
at dragging these roaches into their nest, which would be about the weight of an elephant
had the ants been human-sized. And perhaps the most impressive thing about
all of this AC Family, is you don’t see a single ant stopping to feed from the cockroaches
during this entire process. The main focus of each ant was to get this
food relocated to a place free of any disturbance. I couldn’t see ants feeding from the roaches
which could weigh the food prey down and possibly delay the process. Instead, every ant seems to be on the same
page, orchestrating a massive food transport. It seems the ants have an innate understanding
of the big picture. It was truly inspiring to witness. Just as I was about to sign out and leave
the ants at peace to deal with their food, a tiny glimmer of sunlight caught my eye. It was an ant carrying a wing, but not just
any wing. Upon closer inspection, I couldn’t believe
my eyes. It was the wing of a queen alate. To my surprise, this was evidence that the
Golden Empire was now officially producing alates, reproductives, and if my suspicions
were correct, these new young queens have been breeding! Oh boy! AC Family, something tells me things are about
to get interesting in the Hacienda Del Dorado. Alright, AC Family. What do you think? Man, I don’t know what I would do if this
colony started producing more egg-laying queens! Speaking of growing colonies, if you haven’t
caught last week’s episode, we’re taking your votes as to which colony should move into
a new terrarium that recently became vacant in my ant room. Watch that video and leave your vote, and
if you already voted, and this video changed your mind, go ahead and feel free to change
your vote! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would just like to watch some extended play footage of the Golden Empire
handling their roaches to the sounds of some relaxing music. And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week. Last week we asked: What amazing thing
did the Golden Empire do to the pitcher plants
in the Hacienda Del Dorado? Congratulations to Puppy Gamer who correctly
answered: The Golden Empire started
feeding the pitcher plants their leftovers. Congratulations Puppy Gamer you just won some
of our new 100% clear tube connectors from our shop. In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What creature other than the ants,
feeds on the insects that enter my ant room at night? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win a free ant t-shirt from our shop. Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
release a brand new ant video every single Saturday at 8AM EST. Remember to please Like, Comment, and Share
if you enjoyed this video! It’s ant love forever!

Which ANT COLONY Should Live in this NEW TERRARIUM? | NEED YOUR VOTE!

Which ANT COLONY Should Live in this NEW TERRARIUM? | NEED YOUR VOTE!


Greetings, AC Family! Welcome to another ant video. Many of you have been requesting for an update
video on the various ant colonies of this channel so this week, we will take a look
at our ant colonies, what they’ve been up to, and their progress. Some of the stuff will amaze you! It will also be a great opportunity for all
of you newcomer AC Family members to get up to speed on all the different ant colonies
we regularly feature on this channel. Also, AC Family, I will be needing your help. After an update on each colony, I will ask
you to VOTE for who will be inhabitting this new tank! Sadly, my bearded dragon passed away and so
instead of throwing his tank away, I wanted to use it for an ant colony, so I am taking
your VOTES as to who you feel should move into this new ant home. Don’t watch this video without voting! Lots of interesting ant discovery ahead, so
keep on watching until the end! AC Family, gather round and let’s peek into
the intriguing lives of all the ant colonies of this channel, on this episode of the AntsCanada
Ant Channel. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! Alright, so let’s start with the ant colonies
you guys haven’t from in awhile and have been asking about. First, the Dark Knights, our great colony
of black crazy ants, known scientifically as Paratrechina longicornis. Nothing much has changed with this colony
which is why I haven’t done an update in a long time. They are still holding their own, and I have
been controling their food provisions so I believe I have established a happy equilibrium
with this colony, that is neither growing too much nor decreasing in population. They have been the perfect ant colony! One thing that surprised me was that upon
peeking into their test tubes, I saw that there were several queens. The colony used to have only 2 queens, plus
one introduced one, but if you saw a previous video on ant reproduction you know that this
species is capable of double cloning which allows males and their sister queens to breed
without it being genetic incest. So now the colony has not two, not three,
but dozens and dozens of queens. In every water test tube I often catch queens
enjoying the moisture. As you may remember, the Dark Knights inhabit
a 2 storey ant setup with a tube which runs down to my first floor. They still travel back and forth, mostly at
night, and have even left some garbage in the tubes. I have no idea how I am going to clean the
tubes when the time comes. Any ideas, guys? I’d be happy to take some advice. Peeking into the Hybrid Nest down stairs,
you can see it is full of brood and action. This colony has been doing well, and I expect
them to continue to thrive over time. They’ve been easy to keep, easy to contain,
and easy to feed. Now moving on to the Trapjaw ant colony which
you guys have officially named the Jawbreakers. Like the Dark Knights, not much to report. The colony has grown to about 30 workers,
and they still reside in this plastic takeout container. They are feeding on a steady diet of lat cockroaches
and honey. Next, we have the Asian Marauder Ants, who
officially have a new name! AC Family, I’m excited to announce that these
Carebara diversa ants are officially called the Titans! For those of you who are new to the channel,
this is our newest ant colony. They are notoriously difficult ants to keep
in captivity but so far, after two months under our care, they seem to be doing well
in this simple network of condiment containers connected with tubing. They have concealed their large queen well,
somewhere in these cavernous chambers. I haven’t seen her since the move. This species has the most impressive majors
I have ever seen in an ant species and I cannot wait for the colony to continue growing in
size. Let’s hope they continue to do well. And now on to what arguably is the most famous
ant colony on this channel, the Fire Nation, our colony of red tropical fire ants, known
scientifically as Solenopsis geminata. They’re still as ravenous as ever in this
huge setup of AC Outworlds and rubbermaid bin. Peeking in from the top, you can see them
feasting on cockroaches from last night’s feeding plus bottles and containers which
held jams and honey. They pile dirt on these sweets to coneal them
while they work on consuming it all. Once a week I go in and remove these bottles
and containers, but not without a fight of course, so I wear gloves. Not much to report on the Fire Nation, as
well, other than the fact that they have begun to produce less alates. I believe their nuptial flight season has
passed now, and so the queen will be producing more alates in a couple months for the next
round of nuptial flights happening later this year. And now on to the Golden Empire living within
the ever-evolving Hacienda Del Dorado. A lot of videos have been about this colony
lately simply because of the constant changes that this colony and environment have been
undergoing these days. Two weeks ago we watched as the ants dealt
with the addition of carnivorous pitcher plants into their territories, a strategic move in
hopes to help naturally curb the ants’ growing population but surprisingly instead of the
plant devouring copious amounts of ants, they surprisingly formed a sort of symbiotic relationship
with the ants. They only ate a small amount and the ants
ended up enjoying the sweet secretions the plant provided the ants. The ants in turn began frequenting and nesting
around the plants offering the pitcher plants protection and soil movement! In fact, wanna hear something even more mind-blowing? AC Family, get this. Two days after the pitcher plants were added,
the ants began placing their left over dead insect parts into the pitcher plants! They began to actively feed the pitcher plants! Isn’t that crazy? I am not ready for this kind of intelligence
displayed by the Golden Empire! Talk about mutualism to the max! The plants fed the ants sweet goodies and
the ants fed the pitcher plants insect parts, which could possibly also mean less ants sacrificed! Unreal. So those are the latest on all our ant colonies. So now, on to this terrarium. Sadly, my bearded dragon which used to live
here died. My option was to either dispose of this tank
or use it as a new home for one of my ant colonies. The tank itself was a neat enclosure. Its substrate is a Zoomed product called Vita-sand,
a mixture of vitamins and beta carotene. It also had some attractive driftwood. A few of the bearded dragons last droppings
were also left behind. I wanted all of these elements to be incorporated
into the new ant envornment we were going to build. The vitamins and minerals, as well as the
organic matter in the feces would add some great initial nutrients to the soil, so I
didn’t want to clean out the substrate. Surprisingly, I did find some silverfish-looking
insects inside the terrarium. I wanted to keep them inside, as well. Perhaps they would prove beneficial to this
enclosed system. I removed the driftwood and began adding bags
of organic humus and fine sand and spread it upwards to form a slope towards the back,
to aid in visibility. I knew, though, based on our experience with
the Hacienda Del Dorado over time, that no matter how we designed this terrarium, it
was destined to change and take on its own shape over time. What I hoped for this terrarium if it was
to become an ant home was for it to be a community of interconnected organisms, much like the
Hacienda Del Dorado, but this time, instead of adding the ants before all the other organisms,
I wanted to add the ants last, just so we don’t run into the same problem we had when
we tried adding millipedes in the Hacienda Del Dorado. As an update regarding that, I haven’t seen
a millipede since, so I’m not sure if they are still alive or not. So, first to be added into this terrarium,
creatures which are super important to a terrestrial community – earthworms. Lumbricus terrestris, also known as night
crawlers. These were still young night crawlers but
there were enough of them to start living within this terrarium and hopefully start
breeding soon. And now, what we add next will be based on
your votes. AC Family, here’s where I need your help! Let’s decided which colony we should add to
this terrarium. Let’s review our options: Adding the Dark Knights is a possible option,
however, the ants are small enough to fit through the spaces of the mesh, so I will
have to be dilligent at regularly making sure a band of baby powder is kept thick and effective
along the top. One thing which may make the Dark Knights
a less fun option is that they don’t usually dig, but rather occupy cavities opportunistically,
however, as we saw with the Golden Empire, perhaps they may surprise us! Moving the Jawbreakers into this new tank
would also be a great choice, and in this case, the ants are too large to fit through
the mesh holes so we may not need to worry too much about a baby powder barrier until
the colony gets huge. One thing, though is that the colony is still
quite small for this huge terrarium, and it may take a long time for the ants to fill
it out, so we may not see much action inside the terrarium for a long time still. This is not a bad thing if you guys are patient,
but we won’t be seeing many videos about this new terrarium at first, if the Jawbreakers
are the lucky ones to move in. Moving the Titans is another option and they
are at a good size to start living in this terrarium, but my fear is that because the
tank has corners, we will have to deal with frequent escapes and I heard the majors can
chew through almost anything. I would hate for them to chew through the
mesh. If we choose the Titans for this tank, I will
really have to be dilligent at regularly ensuring the barrier of baby powder is strong and working. The tiny minors are also small enough to fit
through the mesh holes. Another option which I am sure a lot of you
have been thinking is the Fire Nation, our fire ants. These would be a good choice because we know
how well these ants do in soil, and I could easily attach a long tube from their current
setup to this terrarium, however the bad thing is that these ants are also escape artists
and they will easily also grip up the corners of the tank, making an escape very easy for
them. They are also small enough to fit through
the mesh spaces so the barrier would need to be regularly fortified. If I were to make the call, I would say no
to the Fire Nation moving into here. Finally, the Golden Empire, which has completely
taken over the Hacienda Del Dorado. I could easily attach a tube from their current
tank to this new terrarium, and I am sure they would do well in this new territory,
however care would also need to be taken to ensure the baby powder barrier is kept strong
and working. They are also large enough to not be able
to fit throught the mesh spaces. So, AC Family, please take a moment now to
click this icard poll here and vote for which ant colony you feel should move into this
terrarium. Thank you AC Council for your input! The plants, organisms, and decor we end up
adding to this setup will greatly depend on which ants we decide inhabits this terrarium. In an upcoming video, I will make the anouncement
of which ant colony you guys ultimately decide will move into this terrarium, and I will
make sure to design the terrarium accordingly. So stay tuned! AC Family, thank you so much for watching
another episode of the AntsCanada ant channel and for your valuable participation in this
ant video, I can’t wait for what lays ahead for all our ant colonies on this channel,
as well as this new ant terrarium! This is AntsCanada signing out! Alright, AC Family! Make sure you vote! Let’s turn this new terrarium into a cool
ant home shall we?! Which colony do you think should move in here? AC Inner Colony, I’ve placed a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would just like to watch extended play footage of our ant colonies
in their various homes all to some cool music. And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week. Two weeks ago, we asked: What is the technical name
given to the lip of a pitcher plant on which insects can
find sweet secretions? Congratulations to Banana Ba who correctly
answered: The “lip” is called the peristome. Congratulations Banana Ba, you just won a
free AC Test Tube Portal from our shop! And for this week’s AC Question of the Week,
we ask: What amazing thing did the
Golden Empire start doing to the pitcher plants in the
Hacienda Del Dorado? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win some free tubing joints from our shop, which by the way, are now all
clear so you can see everything! Hope you can susbcribe to the channel as we
release a brand new ant video every single Saturday at 8AM EST. Please also LIKE, COMMENT, and SHARE if you
enjoyed this video. It’s ant love forever!

YOU CONTROL THIS STORY: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN ANT (Interactive Video)

YOU CONTROL THIS STORY: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN ANT (Interactive Video)


Greetings, AC Family and welcome to another
ant video. Week after week, this channel gives you ant
lovers, a taste of how amazing the world of ants is, but this week, I wanted to try something
we’ve never before tried! Today, we are going to show you what it is
like to “be” an ant, and live a day in their claws, in this multi-video, choose your own
adventure-style ant story, or should we say Choose Your Own Ant-Venture! We love interactivity on this channel, as
you may know, so this video will be an interesting one, as you wander freely around the Hacienda
Del Dorado as a yellow crazy ant, and learn a thing or two about ant life along the way. There are a few interesting events ahead,
so make sure you wander to as many areas as possible! AC Family, welcome to this week’s totally
new and interactive ant video, here on the AntsCanada Ant Channel. Please subscribe to me channel, and hit that
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family! Enjoy! Alright, AC Family, so here’s how we’re going
to do this. You simply need to start with this video,
and then at the end of the video you will be given a choice of up to 4 options presented
as end cards. Simply click the end card of your choice and
it will take you to a hidden video, which will continue your story. One thing to remember though is that you will
need to watch from a mobile, laptop, or other device that allows end cards. It’s best to watch this on Youtube directly. But if you still do not see the clickable
end cards at the end of each video, no worries, as I have placed the video links of each option
in the description of each video. Also, if you prefer to just watch the entire
video which includes all options and all stories, simply click the playlist link I’ve entitled
WHOLE STORY which I will also place in the description box, which will be a playlist
of all the videos and you can simply watch each one from beginning to end. Also note, that at any time, you can choose
to hit the back button to back track. So let’s begin, AC Family. The sun rises on the Hacienda Del Dorado. You are this ant. A yellow crazy ant worker, scientific name
Anoplolepis gracilipes, and because you’re a worker it means you are a barren female. You’ve just emerged from one of your many
nest exists which is home to hundreds of thousands of ants, including the 8 queens you serve. You see, your species is polygynous, meaning
you guys tolerate multiple queens in your colony. In fact, this polygyny is one reason why your
species has done so well. Colonies can merge and create super colonies,
much like your colony which was a result of 3 colonies fused together. Emerging from the nest, you pick up several
pheromone signals in the area. As an ant, you do not communicate through
audible sounds, but rather through pheromones, biochemicals laid on the ground. One pheromone signal indicates there is some
delicious food nearby. Another pheromonal signal indicates that help
is needed with constructing something pretty major. Another pheromone signal indicates that there
is something sweet not too far away! Or you can choose to ignore these signals
and simply explore on your own. So, what will it be, ant? Delicious food? Helping with construction? Want to check out the sweets? Or explore on your own?

Turning My Youtube Gold Play Button Into an Ant Farm

Turning My Youtube Gold Play Button Into an Ant Farm


Man, there was once a time where I told myself
that if ever this channel were to receive this inconcievable milestone award, I would
treasure it, hang it on a wall and keep it forever in mint condition to admire as a trophy
piece. The Youtube Gold Play button awarded to Youtube
channels reaching 1 million subscribers finally arrived. But then, I told myself… Imagine if I were to turn my Gold Play Button
into an antfarm… No, that’s just crazy. I would never do that! Ever! Well, this week ‘never’ happened, and you
won’t believe what I did in the name of ant love! AC Family, I pulled the Golden stunt. Yes, today I hold my breath, and hand over
my Youtube Gold Play Button to the real stars of this channel, the ants. Find out which of our five colonies we move
in, how we customize it for them, and how they ultimately reacted to the inside of the
Gold Play Button, on this eye-opening, celebratory episode of the AntsCanada Ant Channel. Please subscribe to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Tired of nature channels not showing nature
shows? Just watch this channel. Enjoy. So last month I was happy to receive in the
mail our Youtube Gold Play Button for reaching over 1 million subscribers earlier this year. It was just so moving to unbox this amazing
award. By the way, whether you’re old or new AC Family,
please hit that like button if you enjoy our videos. Thank you so much. This channel and award is yours, and we all
earned this together, AC Family! So, opening the box, it included a note from
Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of Youtube encouraging us to continue making entertaining videos. Very cool. Lifting this piece of foam, wow! AC Family, here it is. The fabled Youtube Gold Play Button. It was just magical and huge! Now, back when reaching a million subscribers
was just a fantasy, I toyed with the idea of turning my Gold Play Button into an ant
farm for an ant colony. The idea of course was just crazy. I would have needed to customize it to make
it habitable for the ants, I needed to drill holes into it, I wouldn’t even know how to
open the thing, and overall I would have essentially needed to destroy the piece. But seeing the Gold Play Button now fresh
out of the box, I said no way would I ever destroy this thing. It was going up on a wall. But something interesting and a bit unbelievable
happened. A couple days after, I received another box
from Youtube. What? I opened it, and sure enough it was a second
Gold Play Button! They sent me two! How could this be? Do any of you guys know if other Youtubers
receive two Gold Play Buttons? Could this be some freak mistake? Perhaps Youtube telling me they want me to
make an ant farm? Whatever it was, I wasn’t going to give it
back. And so, AC Family! I wasn’t going to need two Gold Play Buttons! I had decided. I was going to turn this second Gold Play
Button into an ant farm. Here we go! The first step was to decide which of the
ant colonies would be moving in. Who was going to be getting this Gold Play
Button ant farm? To me, there were only 3 logical options: First, the Fire Nation. Our long time, ferocious fire ant colony who
in essence became the first super stars of the channel, when their video “My Ants Are
Planning an Escape” went completely viral, followed by another video “Cockroach Giving
Birth While Being Devoured by Fire Ants”, which have a combined viewership of 31 million
views on Youtube. I felt they surely deserved to be one of the
candidates to inhabit this Gold Play Button. Next, we have the Dark Knights, our black
crazy ant colony, also a senior colony of the channel, having started around the same
time as our Fire Nation. They’ve been a good colony, contrasting our
ravenous Fire Nation, always easy-to-care for, predictable, non-aggressive, and what
was super convenient about the Dark Knights was that if I were to move them into the Gold
Play Button, I could simply hang the Gold Play Button on the same wall as my other Silver
Play Buttons and easily connect the tubes of their two story setup which pass that area
of my place. And next, we have the Golden Empire, our yellow
crazy ant colony that came a bit after the Fire Nation and the Dark Knights, but garnered
a big fan base of ant lovers fast, as we helped them overcome their biggest survival challenge,
beating a plague of parasitic mites. They were a good candidate because with their
booming population and limited only to the Hacienda Del Dorado terrarium, they needed
the new space badly. In a previous video we also noticed that they
needed change in routine. Now, for those fans of our other ant colonies,
we couldn’t move in the Titans, our Marauder ant colony because they were in a sensitive
time at the moment, and we also couldn’t do the Tomb Raiders, our Pharaoh Ants, because
they were a new colony under quarantine, dealing with their own crisis at the moment. By the way, if you’re following that story
AC Family I promise to update you about their situation next week. So, I had to decide, and of course I went
to consult the AC Council, so on our brand new Youtube community tab which we just got
this week, I asked you which of the three colonies you wanted to see move in to this
Gold Play Button ant farm. You casted your votes, and AC Family, you
chose the Golden Empire based on over 35,000 votes. It seemed the general reasoning was “Golden
Empire for the Gold Play Button”. Made sense. So now that we knew who would be moving in,
it was time to customize the Gold Play Button to make it more habitable for the Golden Empire. After examining the structure of the framework,
I discovered that it was actually quite easy to open up from the back. I opened it up and went straight to work. Using an old aquarium background I had laying
around, as well as natural decor from our AC Biome Kits, I began to cut, glue, and arrange. It took a lot of careful planning and designing. I didn’t really know what I was doing, and
I was completely improvising along the way, but I was determined to make this new territory
beautiful and homey for our ants. And so AC Family, after hours of breaking
away at faux rock and arranging of decor, I am pleased to present to you “Golden Rock”,
the soon-to-be new stomping grounds of our Golden Empire. Do you like it? What do you guys think? Let me show you around. Golden Rock was inspired by the natural terrain
in which I have seen yellow crazy ants in the wild. It is a simulated volcanic rock escarpment
complete with lichens, mosses, tropical foliage, sticks, and crevices and presented at the center of Golden Rock’s
cliff face, the Youtube Gold Play Button, shining like a beautifully polished stone
adorning the territories. Now this setup was designed to be dry and
soiless and I didn’t want to add digging medium because the structure wasn’t designed to hold
moisture. You see the back is made of painted plywood,
which could rot if moist soil was added, and I didn’t want to paint the entire thing with
water sealant, in fear of toxic materials killing the ants. Also this setup would no longer be opened
after being sealed so dry meant cleaner interior and easier maintenance. So the question we needed to answer now was
“What would make Golden Rock interesting for our ants?” Why would the ants want to come here? If we just connected the colony to this Gold
Play Button as is, they might wander a bit but get bored and find it dead space for the
colony. So, AC Family, my solution? Four entrances drilled directly into the plastic
plated plywood framing, and polytubing inserted into them. One of these entrances would be the official
entrance to the territories, and the others, to accomodate test tubes with some goodies
for the ants to discover. On one side I attached a test tube of some
dry fish food and on the other, some blue-dyed honey. So now the Golden Empire had a reason to come
to Golden Rock. Golden Rock would from now on be a hub for
food collection. And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting
for. The moment of truth. It was time to move our Golden Empire, our
booming colony of yellow crazy ants into their new Youtube Gold Play Button territories we
call Golden Rock. Here we go, my plan was we needed a way to
safely connect the Hacienda Del Dorado to Golden Rock, but there way no way I was going
to drill a hole through this glass. It is certainly possible to drill holes throug
aquarium glass with special drill bits but, in all my experience working with glass and
creating ant farms, there are a million and one ways to screw it up and completely crack
and ruin the glass, and I wasn’t willing to take that risk today, lest the Golden Empire
is suddenly given the chance to move into my whole place! And so here is my hack for those who need
to connect their ant colonies in aquariums to another living area. First, I take a plastic water bottle and cut
it here, to create a sort of funnel. Then I take some baby powder and mix it with
rubbing alcohol until the mixture is uniform, then completely smother the inside of the
funnel, as well as the outside with this mixture. It dries in about 10 minutes and becomes super
slippery for the ants. The idea was to situate this funnel at the
top of terrarium using a barbeque skewer and then fasten the tube leading out of the terrarium
through this slippery funnel. This way the ants could travel through the
tube but not climb out of the terrarium by climbing the outside of the tube. So here we go, guys are you ready? It was time to see if our Golden Empire would
like these new lands we are introducing to them. 1 – 2 -3. I placed the tube into our slippery funnel
then stuffed all spaced between with cotton. I placed the tube into the ficus foliage for
the ants to discover. The other end of this tube was attached to
this entrance of Golden Rock. The ants instantly began to climb the tube,
but hadn’t yet thought of climbing through it. As planned the ants climbed the outside of
the tube but could not escape due to our special funnel. Suddenly, a few minutes later, one inquisitive
and brave ant decides to walk through the tube to explore. It moves up the tube, and out of the Hacienda
Del Dorado. This was the very first time any Golden Empire
worker has left the boundaries of the Hacienda Del Dorado in almost a year, and considering
the fact that ant workers live for only two months, it was certainly the very first time
this worker has ever left. She was going to be the official discoverer
of Golden Rock. She excitely rushed through the tube across
the great chasm and on to Fire Nation continent. She rushed into Golden Rock. With joy and jubilee, the ant immediately
began to explore this wide and open rockscape, running and mapping out these new territories. If you’ve never seen an excited and happy
ant, this is what it looks like! And look, here comes a second ant explorer. Her sister will officially be the second to
set tarsi on Golden Rock territories. Back at the Hacienda Del Dorado, it seems
most ants are preoccupied with trying to get out of the terrarium by climbing the tube,
which may seem pretty unintelligent on the ants’ part, but see this is the beauty of
ant intelligence. The very few who do happen to stumble their
way into the tube, end up communicating their discovery to the other ants. And look, here returns one of the ants from
Golden Rock to announce the news to the rest of the Empire. She’s got some joyous news to tell of a new
promised land beyond the borders of the Hacienda Del Dorado. It wasn’t long before more and more ants decide
to check out the hype and also return home to announce their findings to the rest of
the colony. With this continuing message of new property
becoming a trending topic witin the Golden Empire, I knew it wasn’t long before the ants
would start an impressive ant trail between the two lands, and the news was about to kick
up a notch. One ant has found our reservoir of blue honey. After having a sip, it is suddenly full of
excitement and lets other ants it comes in contact with know that “OMG, there’s a huge
pool of honey down there! Go see for yourself and get some!” This quick vibrating you see here is known
as stridulation. If we were to place a tiny microphone close
to them we would hear a chattering noise. By rubbing body parts together and causing
a big vibrational fuss, they literally communicate “the latest buzz”, pun completely intended,
and this excites other ants to go check out whatever it was that was causing excitement. It’s a more physical mode of ant communication,
unlike the usual pheromones which is more biochemical. When the message of sweet honey got back to
the colony, the trail was officially under way. Check it out! The ants had not discovered the fish food
yet. It was just amazing to see the ants excitely
exploring and mapping out our design. The honey was the newest talk of the town! Look at all those ants with full social stomachs. You can see the blue through their bodies. Later as the honey starts to dilute a bit
by mixing with the ants’ drinking water and inner fluids, the ants appear green, as we
saw in a previous video. With all this stored honey, they make their
way back to the nest to share it with the rest of the family. The way they do it is through an awesome process
called trophallaxis: I call it the kiss of life. Honey is regurgitated from their social stomachs
and passed by mouth to hungry ants. It looks like many ants have come back for
seconds! Wanna see something funny? Of course after all that sugary food, the
ants get food coma. Check out these ants that have stationed themselves
in one of the crevices in the rock. It seems they’ve designated it their place
to nap. According to a study, ants take hundreds of
power naps which last only a couple minutes, before waking up and continuing on with business
as usual. All night, the ants continued to explore Golden
Rock and hang out in cool spots within the multifaceted rock face. The next day, the ants are still working on
the honey! Check out their green bodies! It looks like our fish food wasn’t such a
hit. They’re just trying to dig into it at this
point. No worries, though. I want Golden Rock to be a place where we
can test new and different foods. I plan to constantly switch up the offerings
in these exits, perhaps offer a tube of water, or various insects, different sweets, and
sometimes I even just want to make exits dead ends. Essentially, the more we keep the ants guessing,
the less chances they have to fall into routine which became a concern in the Hacienda Del
Dorado. These past few days and nights, I’ve spent
a lot of time just sitting and watching the ants frolicking and congregating in places
around Golden Rock, and I realized something pretty neat. Yes, the ants on this channel will never really
know how many human beings from all around the globe watch them every week, following
their daily lives and quietly supporting them from afar, nor will they ever know how much
joy and inspiration they bring to us, just by being ants, but I feel, that at least by
giving them the chance to find a home within this custom-designed Gold Play button, now
called Golden Rock, they too can benefit in a way, and enjoy this milestone of 1 million
subscribers with us. To all those who have been gracious enough
to subscribe to this channel and are part of this epic ant journey, on behalf of the
ant colonies presently and those of the past on this channel, thank you. AC Family, you’ve each inspired me and showed
the world that ant love truly is forever. Alright! Thanks for watching, AC Family. We’re now on the road to the next milestone:
10M! Crazy to think about right?! Well, I used to think reaching 1 million subscribers
was unattainable especially for an ant channel! But you all proved me wrong, so until we hit
the next milestone, please LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, and SUBSCRIBE if you haven’t yet. If you enjoy nature, or even if you don’t,
hit that subscribe button and discover the dramatic and crazy world that insects live
on the micro level. It will blow your mind, right AC Family? AC Inner Colony I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would just like to watch extended play footage of the Golden Empire
moving into Golden Rock. Now, before we proceed to the AC Question
of the Week, I have an awesome announcement! In case you haven’t heard yet, our annual
Christmas Sale at AntsCanada.com is in full effect! This year we have a great sale on our brand
new Hybrid Nest 2.0 and our All You Need Formica Hybrid Nest Gear Pack! So if you’ve always wanted to get into ant
keeping, I have left links in the description box to these sale items so you can pick one
up for yourself or someone you love this Christmas. We ship worldwide, but just a reminder, you
must order before Dec 18th to get your order before Christmas so go get it asap! But if you’re not fussy about getting the
item before Christmas day, this Christmas sale as usual will continue until January
1st, 2018 and we also have gift cards in case you would like to get your special loved one
an ant setup but are not sure what they would want. Keep ants with me and discover how amazing
these creatures are in real life! Alright, and now it’s time for the AC Question
of the week! In last week’s video we asked: Name any one of the sites
in the Tomb Raider’s Setup. Congratulations to Mariam Hussain who correctly
answered: The Nubian Shelf We also accepted any of the other twelve locations
including Valley of the Kings, Garden of Anubis, and Field of Aaru. Congratulations Miriam, you just won a free
ant tshirt from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: Why did we choose to
make Golden Rock a dry setup? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win a free ant t-shirt from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE
if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

Ants vs. Praying Mantis

Ants vs. Praying Mantis


Warning: What you’re about to see in this
video will blow your mind! Keeping an ant colony is very much like caring
for a growing city. You starts small, with just a few pioneering
members, but over time, you find yourself managing a booming metropolis with a massive
population. But what do you do when the population of
ants reaches a point of unsustainability? Welcome to the Hacienda Del Dorado, home of
our mighty Golden Empire, our huge colony of Yellow Crazy Ants who are so close to outgrowing
their space, resources, and even food. If you’ve been following this channel for
awhile, you know that this ant empire has conquered some incredible past events that
have only strengthen them. These ants have survived a mite plague, they’ve
even survived carnivorous plants in their lands, so today I was about to try something
I never ever thought I’d attempt. The Golden Empire’s unchecked population absolutely
needed to be controlled somehow and fast, so I was left with no choice, but to resort
to the introducion of a very well-known predator to help curb their population. Today, we will be releasing into the Hacienda
Del Dorado, a praying mantis. But will the praying mantis survive against
our Golden hoarde. Who will end up eating who? You won’t want to miss a single action-packed
moment, as well as a surprise revelation of what else I found living inside the Hacienda
Del Dorado, so keep on watching until the end! AC Family, today we discover just how complex
the predator-prey relationship can be in the world of insects, in this episode of the AntsCanada
Ant Channel. Please subscribe to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy. Check out the Hacienda Del Dorado today. It is amazing to see how much this terrarium
has evolved and changed over time. It seems every month the terrain and relationships
between the living things inhabitting these lands evolve. What I find the most impressive is the vegetation
in this terrarium. These lands have developed into a magical
and wild rainforest! Check out these vines of the ficus that have
carpeted all areas of the terrarium. It is by far the main botanical monopolizer
of these territories. And what’s amazing is that it also has begun
to climb and attach itself to the glass. The roots are so effective at helping the
ficus’ vines climb that the ficus plant manages to cling onto microscopic ridges in the glass
surface. With all these plants that seemingly rule
this world, it doesn’t seem like we have an ant population problem at all. In fact, it even seems that there are less
ants seen than normal. But don’t be fooled, AC Family, for below
all the plant cover working silently but relentlessly are workers of the Golden Empire. All these towering plants everywhere have
interestingly created a variety of different niches and sections with their own microclimates
and unique spaces within the terrarium, which the Golden Empire is enjoying now more than
ever. With a closer look at these bare areas, you
will see that ant activity is still busy as usual. The Golden Empire still never sleeps and is
ready to get drastic at any moment. Their grossly huge population is most evident
at feeding time. Watch what happens, AC Family, when I place
a roach into here. Once a few members are made aware of the cockroach,
it isn’t long before a mass of ants come ravaging the cockroach. So as you can see, this colony which last
we checked had 8 queens, but may possibly have more is still growing and active as ever. They are actually running out of space, and
soon, their demands for food may be hard for me to keep up with. This colony is now up to 5 adult cockroaches
a night and a jar of small honey every 3-5 days. That’s a lot of food! So you see, I absolutely needed to cut down
their population but in a way that was natural and humane. Adding carnivorous plants didn’t seem to work
in the past. They only became insectivorous for a short
period of time, and the ants eventually started piling dead insect parts into the pitcher
plants rendering the pitcher plants ineffective when they were in insectivorous mode! I also found that the pitcher plants created
pitchers in seasons, and it was now an off season. No pitchers had grown from the stems. But I know what some of you might be thinking. Is adding a major predator into the territory
of the Golden Empire a wise choice? After all, a few months ago we attempted the
introduction of some giant millipedes into this terrarium to try to control the plant
life, but in the end they disappeared after that. We never saw them again, and it has been months
since that introduction, so it was safe to say the millipedes sadly had not survived
the Golden Empire. But hold on. Ready for the plot twist? As I filmed the Golden Empire feasting on
their roach, a tiny movement caught my eye. It was a little peach-coloured creature. It crawled inconspicuously on the surface
of the soil, unphased by the ants that clamoured about. My goodness, AC Family! I couldn’t believe my eyes. This was a baby millipede! The same species of the those that we added
several months ago. In fact, not only did I spot 1, but I spotted
several all around the terrarium! This was amazing! This meant that not only were the millipedes
that we introduced alive in here, but they also were breeding! The millipede introduction attempt was surprisingly
successful! In fact, the baby millipedes crawled under
and through the ants’ legs, and the ants didn’t seem to notice or care about the millipedes
being around. The two species were now living amicably together
and sharing living space! It was just an incredible thing to discover. OK, before we move on, please leave your suggestions
for names for the millipedes in this terrarium in the comments section and I will choose
my favourites for the AC Family to vote on in a future video. So you see, it certainly was possible for
some major creatures to live in here with the Golden Empire. The state of the land just needed to be right. I believed that with all this lush plant cover,
new niches, varied topography, and generally more places to hide and live apart from each
other, it made cohabitation and sharing of living space a much easier matter for all
the inhabitants of the Hacienda Del Dorado. This was why I strongly felt that if we were
to introduce a predator into these lands, now was a good time to do it, more so than
before. So AC Family, let’s meet her, shall we? Above the Hacienda Del Dorado, awaiting in
her own holding cell, was our predator of choice. Behold, Hierodula sp., an Asian Praying Mantis. Isn’t she just a beautiful specimen? Wow! Our asian praying mantis here is just a juvenile
measuring about an inch long. She is an awesome brown colour, but her species
also comes in a bright green variety. If her abdomen wasn’t showing signs of breathing,
I could have easily not seen her against a natural background, as she stood perfectly
still. As the name suggests, they are native to the
tropics of southeast Asia and are actually among the largest of mantises. In fact, as adults they can reach up to 10
centimetres or 3.9 inches in body length, excluding extended forelegs. Perhaps my favourite feature are her eyes! Just look at them! Her eye sight is absolutely on point, and
those big eyes see extremely well. Her head is capable of turning 360 degrees
allowing her to see all areas around her easily. They need good vision to hunt. Mantises like this young lady here are voracious
predators, and at this size, she is the perfect predator to feed on selected members of the
Golden Empire, and thereby be a living, natural population stabilizer. I chose her for a few reasons. First, I knew praying mantises were naturally
voracious eaters, as they are even cannibalistic in nature, often eating their own kind! This meant that she could eat many ants, as
this was greatly needed. Second, I also knew she had the skills and
capabilities to survive against the ravenous Golden Empire within this terrarium. Take her keen eye sight, for instance. Not only were those eyes and fully rotating
head adept for hunting, but they were also perfect for avoiding being hunted. I knew she would be able to spot any approaching
Golden Empire worker, giving her enough chance to escape to safety if needed. They are also extremely intelligent creatures,
and you can almost see her thinking behind that hypnotic gaze. I knew she had the brains to get away if she
needed to. This species of mantis is also extremely agile,
and inhabits shrubs and trees. She can jump around twice her body length,
especially at this age! It was for this reason that I installed a
network of refuge vines for her, which were not in contact with the ground, glass sides,
nor plants of the Hacienda Del Dorado, meaning she could retreat to it if she needed to,
but the ants who weren’t capable of jumping, would not have been able reach her there. Finally, I chose this species as a predator
for the Hacienda Del Dorado because of her evolved method of killing. Of course, we love all insects on this channel,
and even do our best to dispatch prey insects as quickly and humanely as possible. Those huge, razor sharp spines on the forelegs
of this mantis were specially designed to kill prey effectively and quickly. I knew that if she were to kill our ants,
the death blow would be fast and quick, no venom, no prolonged agonizing death. So AC Family, it was time to do this. It was time to introduce this asian praying
mantis, an evolutionary ant-eating machine to help us control the population of the Golden
Empire. Here we go. 1 – 2 – 3. I transported the mantis onto a vine branch. Without a fight, she accepted her new perch. I held my breath. Instantly, she spotted the ants moving all
around her. She was clearly awake and stimulated, but
she stayed perfectly still. Over the next hour, I watched as she examined
and seemed to study the Golden Empire, who were obviously not aware of her presence. All she did over the next few hours was watch
and study, but not move. Can you believe that for almost 4 hours she
stayed perfectly still in the same spot, at which I’d deposited her? And then finally, the mantis began to move. Like a stick blowing in the wind, she swayed
back and forth, moving bit by bit in such a gradual manner. I couldn’t believe how careful and patient
she was at moving in this way. It was important that mantises moved like
this, because most of their natural prey, like flies, bees, and butterflies all have
very good vision, so moving in this manner helped them remain unnoticed to their prey. Their colouration also worked well at concealing
their outline and shape in the entanglement of branches. All of this was also essential at keeping
them from becoming prey. The mantis eventually stopped movement and
remained still once again, simply watching the ants. I wonder if she was thinking and assessing
whether she was capable of picking off a worker ant. I almost felt like she knew that if she was
going to go in and feed on the ants, she definitely couldn’t rush it and absolutely needed to
take her time and plot out how she could snatch an ant without alarming the rest of the Golden
Empire. Like a calculating lioness, she studied the
ants below her, looking for a solo worker, perhaps one that showed signs of weakness
or unawareness. Again for another few hours, I sat and watched,
waiting for her to make another move, but it seemed she was going to really take her
time. This is something that the nature shows on
TV usually don’t show you: the amount of time and care that is invested in waiting for the
opportune moment, and the calculating that happens during these hunts. In the mantis world, patience was key. It was important that she chose the right
opportunity to strike, lest she alarm the rest of the colony and become a meal herself. She wasn’t stupid nor clumsy. Suddenly, when I thought she wasn’t going
to move all day, when I almost was not looking, like a cat she suddenly leaped right into
ant territory, at the exact moment I hit the record button. And there she was, now standing in a location
fully vulnerable and fully accessible to the Golden Empire, who still hadn’t yet noticed
her. She kept her composure, as our yellow crazy
ants moved about below her. My heart was racing watching this scene unfold. Suddenly, she began to move, again with her
stealthy swaying motion, down the stem of the pitcher plant she landed on, and in that
moment, in a flash she snatched a Golden Empire worker and began to feed. The worker ant seemed like a tiny meal in
her forearms, and indeed in less than two minutes, she had finished consuming the ant
and proceeded to clean herself. Now we knew, she had a taste for ants. She was indeed going to be an effective population
control for the Golden Empire, but I began to wonder if she would also compete with the
Golden Empire for food. Sometimes, I feed the Golden Empire baby cockroaches,
and so for observation purposes, I wanted to see how our praying mantis would react
to prekilled baby cockroaches. As soon as she saw them around her she moved
in but was careful not to get caught up in the clutches of the Golden Empire. One wrong move, and she would have become
prey to her own food! She watched and studied. And oh no, here comes a Golden Empire worker
right now. Smelling the air with her antennae reaching
out, it was evident that the ant had picked up the possible precence of a guest. The mantis reared back as the ant investigated
with her antennae. If this ant were to detect the mantis there,
she surely would have informed the rest of the colony and this mantis would have been
dead meat! But lucky for the mantis, the ant decided
there was nobody there. The mantis remained unnoticed. Suddenly, when the right time came, the mantis
spotted an unclaimed baby cockroach and went in for the kill. She snatched it with lightning speed. Like a monkey that had just snatched its bounty,
the mantis climbed to a safer area to proceed to eat the cockroach. As she ate, I watched as ants began to detect
the scent of the dying cockroach and came investigating around her, but she simply lifted
legs away, and at one point even flung an ant off her nonchallantly. I was not worried for her survival in the
Hacienda Del Dorado at all! I knew she could fend for herself in these
lands, and I was also taking notes. I was not to feed small prey insects to the
Golden Empire, lest she steal from them. So, my plans were to allow her to reside in
the Hacienda Del Dorado until she grew to a size where she was no longer interested
in feeding on ants, and release her back into the wild, perhaps replacing her with another
juvenile mantis. I will surely keep you all updated on her
progress and if she proves effective at controlling the population of the Golden Empire. So AC Family, go ahead! You know the drill! What shall we name this mantid empress and
new habitant of these territories? Leave your name suggestions in the comments
and I will choose my top favourites for the AC Family to vote on in a future video. Guys, if you enjoyed this video please give
it a thumbs up, let me know what you thought, and if you’re not part of the AC Family yet,
hit that subscribe button so you can join us every week, as we discover more and more
the epic lives of ants. It’s ant love forever! Alright, AC Family, before we continue on
to the AC Question of the Week, I’d like to thank Mr. JP Raguro, a mantid keeper friend
of mine who provided me with the gorgeous asian praying mantis featured in this video. Be sure to check out his channel in the link
in the description box. Also, I’m currently in an area of very slow
internet so AC Inner Colony check here for the hidden video, but if the icard doesn’t
pop up by the time you watch this video, please check back in a few days as it will surely
be up soon! And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week, we asked: List one of the common names
of the snake featured in this video? Congratulations to Kian Gecko who correctly
answered: Common Blind Snake Congratulations Kian Gecko you just won a
free ant t-shirt from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: List one reason why the
praying mantis was an ideal predator to control the
Golden Empire’s population. Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win a free ebook handbook from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE
if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

My Ants Are Learning

My Ants Are Learning


Oh man! My Yellow Crazy Ants are showing some alarming
signs of learning, and I’m not sure what to make of it! Behold the Hacienda Del Dorado, the massive
terrarium and home of our yellow crazy ants, a colony you have voted to be called the Golden
Empire. Initially, I knew ants were intelligent creatures,
but I didn’t think they were capable of learning and remembering to the extent you will see
in this video! If you’ve been following our Golden Empire
for awhile, you will surely be impressed with how they now deal with food placed into their
territories! Also, a lot of you have been asking for an
update on the praying mantis that we added a couple months ago into this terrarium in
attempts to control the ants’ population? Well, this week, we update you on that as
well as other inhabitants of the Hacienda Del Dorado, and even make a crazy discovery:
a cool, massive hideout the Golden Empire has been secretly working on without us knowing! Ant intelligence will astound you today, and
I promise you won’t want to miss any of it, so keep on watching until the end. Gather ’round, AC Family and let’s marvel
at how evolved the collective colony mind of our Golden Empire has become, as we take
a tour of the new Hacienda Del Dorado, in this episode of the AntsCanada Ant Channel. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Tired of nature cannels not showing nature
shows? Just watch this channel. Enjoy. Of all our creations on this channel, none
are as impressive as our Hacienda Del Dorado, a world which is home to our Golden Empire,
and a booming community of plants and animals. It’s amazing to think that this 75 gallon
terrarium which used to look like this, has grown and taken on a life of its own. If you look at a single spot, you will notice
that this place is in fact home to a variety of neat creatures. Let’s have a look. If we take a moment to stare here, we will
find not only ants, but baby millipedes, which were born from adults we introduced a few
months back to feed on and control our plants. By the way, AC Family, please take the time
to vote for an official name for this population of millipedes by voting on this ipoll here. These were my Top 5 name suggestions from
you the AC Family from a past video! We also see Springtails, a colony which you
have called the Springcleaners which live cooperatively with the ants as they feed on
the ants’ garbage, and hey, this is new! Check it out, AC Family. We also have woodlice in here! Woah! That is awesome. Woodlice are small crustaceans belonging to
the Order Isopoda, and they feed mostly on decaying plant matter. They would definitely be a helpful creature
in these territories because they eat and break down wilted leaves or fallen cuttings
from the plants I trim. I have no idea how woodlice ended up in the
Hacienda Del Dorado, but it is super cool to see that they have established themselves
here. Leave your suggested names for the woodlice
in the comments! We’ll vote on a name in a future video. But of course, the coolest animals to watch
in the Hacienda Del Dorado are our yellow crazy ants, the Golden Empire, whose workers
scramble about non-stop to and frow working around the clock, constructing and repairing
the nest, delivering messages, caring and transporting the young, and searching for
food. And how timely, as it’s now feeding time. This colony is amazing to watch eat, but this
time, they show some pretty amazing strategies at handling their large prey items. It seems the ants have learned from experience! Let’s watch what happens when I place a precrushed
cockroach into the terrarium here. Workers of the Golden Empire begin to swarm
the cockroach, but what’s amazing is the ants do not enter panic mode like they used to
at feeding time. In the past, the ants used to go into a sort
of feeding frenzy, biting and spraying formic acid on any prey falling into their clutches. But now, it seems the ants have learned from
past experience of previous feedings that these precrushed cockroaches are nothing to
panic too much over. Now the ants’ focus seems to be less on subduing
these precrused cockroaches and more on strategy. This is totally awesome that the ants have
matured in their understanding of prey management over time, and know now when to expend their
valuable energy. What you’re about to see next, AC Family will
truly blow your mind. Let’s watch what the Golden Empire does next
with this roach. Although the cockroach is pre-crushed and
split at the abdomen, it is still capable of movement due to the roach’s ganglia, or
brain centers being distributed down the center of its body. Since the ganglia are still in tact, the legs
and breathing functions in the roach are still operable. More ants in the immediate area are notified
of the presence of the roach, and more workers are called to the site for more help and ant
power. The cockroach kicks and moves as the ants
continue to swarm, but instead of becoming triggered and fighting back, the ants cleverly
use this kicking to their advantage. As if they’d done this many times before,
the workers carefully and swiftly begin to dig at the earth below the cocroach, to widen
the tunnels of their nest. Ants start to carry pieces of soil out from
beneath the kicking cockroach. Check out their amazing execution. Eventually, with a wider entrance, and the
ants guiding the kicking cockroach down a carefully calculated slope, the cockroach
slides right into one of the Golden Empire’s nest chambers, where the ants are then able
to further break down and feed on the cockroach without having to worry about other predators
stealing their bounty. Isn’t that just incredible? The way these ants dealt with this cockroach
is just utter genius. The collective intelligence of ants is truly
mind-blowing, but what’s interesting to me here is that the ants have seemed to have
learned to keep a cool head during this entire process! They don’t go crazy at feeding time anymore. Would you see this as evidence of ant learning? Now a lot of you have been asking about what
happened to the praying mantis we added a couple months ago as a population control
agent for the Golden Empire. Well, the last time I saw the mantis was a
few weeks ago. It seems to be really good at hiding within
the foliage of the terrarium. Let’s have a look around now. The
plant life in the Hacienda Del Dorado is just amazing and makes it hard to locate our mantis! I couldn’t see it, but did you? Time and time again, your eyes prove to be
better than mine so if you spotted her in this video let me know in the comments along
with a time stamp so we can all see! Among all the other plants, the ficus truly
is winning in the competition for survival. Sadly, though, it seems it has successfully
outcompeted other plants we placed in here. Take our carnivorous pitcher plants for instance
which we planted a few months back, also as an attempt to control our Golden Empire’s
population. Despite dilligently providing it with light
and distilled water, it seems both pitcher plants failed to survive. I don’t know if it was the ficus choking it
of essential light and water or if it was the ant colony constantly mining the soil
beneath it, but the carnivorous plants now exist as brown wilted dying plant sticks. As I looked around some more for evidence
of the mantis, I came across a space I never thought to check for the longest time. The west side of Hacienda Del Dorado, lay
shrouded in darkness beneath the dense climbing carpet of ficus. I was surprised to see this darkened area,
as initially when the ficus wasn’t so space monopolizing, this area was exposed to the
outside, but looking into this dark spot now, I was surprised to discover this. Wow! It was a large cavity, full of ant activity. Ants rushed around, excavating tunnels, building
ant hills, and even transporting food. This ant here is carrying a piece of quinoa! Yes, I feed my ants quinoa. It seems the growing of the ficus has resulted
in a neat change in the environment of areas like this, creating amazing microclimates. This huge secret cavity has a much more stable
humidity level than other exposed parts of the terrarium, because the overlaying plant
cover and wood, keeps all that awesome humidity inside this cavernous area. It is no surprise, the Golden Empire has taken
advantage of this huge climate-controled space, and I wouldn’t be surprised if our 8 queens
also lived here. Perhaps the ants have made this VIP territory. I wonder how many other secret chambers like
this exist within the Hacienda Del Dorado? For sure under all this ficus there are other
secret spaces laying hidden from our view. Speaking of being hidden from view, it seems
our mantis is nowhere to be found. So this could mean one of three things. First, the ants may have ultimately eaten
our mantis. I am surprised I haven’t seen remnants of
her exoskeleton anywhere, though. They usually pile that stuff in the colony’s
garbage sites. Two, our mantis could be still hiding here
somewhere and we just can’t spot her. Or three and this is probably the most likely,
our mantis might have taken advantage of periods when my house keeper was cleaning the terrarium
and the top was left open. Perhaps the nimble mantis jumped out and managed
to escape through my open windows. If I do manage to see her again, though, I
will surely let you guys know. Now meat and blood-thirstiness isn’t all I
associate our Golden Empire with. These Yellow Crazy ants also have quite the
sweet tooth, and it’s time to give them their bi-weekly supply of honey. Placing a small honey jar here. As was seen with their reaction to the cockroach,
it seems the ants have grown used to these regular honey jar offerings, and though they
used to go crazy with honey before, now they’re much more chill. It was clear that there was no need to rush. Perhaps they have learned to trust that every
4 days or so, there would be a new jar of honey placed here. Watch them gather rather calmly around to
feed on honey. Some ants get stuck in the honey but don’t
worry. This honey jar gets consumed in less than
24 hours and all trapped ants simply have to wait for the jar to be done in order to
be freed. It’s pretty funny. Imagine being an ant and getting stuck there
and thinking, Oh boy! Now I gotta wait. Hehe. Observing these every day happenings of the
Hacienda Del Dorado and watching how it amazingly evolves over time is the most rewarding thing
about owning a terrarium like this, and I love updating you guys on its progress. But the only concern I have now is this: do
you think these ants are growing too much in routine? I mean, ants in the wild are always contending
with different elements, dangers, and events, and I feel these ants have grown so used to
their regular feedings and happenings that the ants may soon become sedentary, for their
species anyway. Yellow Crazy ants are known to be savage,
conquerers of lands. Do you think the Golden Empire needs more
enrichment? Do you think they’re a bit too comfortable
now? Should we be keeping them more on their toes,
so to speak? What would you suggest we do to help enrich
them behaviourally? What should our next Hacienda Del Dorado event
be? Let me know in the comments section, AC Family,
and perhaps your suggestion might be chosen as the next life event for the Golden Empire. Thank you for watching, guys, and don’t forget
to give this video a thumbs up if you enjoyed it, leave me a comment with your thoughts,
and also of course subscribe and hit the bell icon to keep on watching these neat ant nature
videos! Until next week, AC Family, it’s ant love
forever! Alright, AC Family! Isn’t the Golden Empire such a cool ant colony? Did you enjoy this week’s episode? AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here if you would just like to watch some extended play footage of the Golden Empire’s
activities in the Hacienda Del Dorado. And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week. Last week we asked: How do live ant exhibits in museums and zoos
help ants, humans, and the environment? Congratulations to Marco De Santi who correctly
answered: A setup like this provides a rare opportunity
to observe and learn about a foreign ant colony, and at the same time learn about their
environment, and why conservation and protection of such species and their habitats is so vital
for the good of the planet. Congratulations Marco you just won a free
ant t-shirt from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What is the name of the order
to which woodlice belong? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win a free ebook handbook from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE
if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

My Giant Ant Terrarium  Evolved Life

My Giant Ant Terrarium Evolved Life


There’s something about ant keeping that really
feels like having a God’s eye perspective. An ant keeper has the unique opportunity to
watch and nurture a contained world from its humble beginnings, and grow that world into
something magnificent, fruitful, and abundant over time. This has been my experience as keeper of the
Hacienda Del Dorado, the home of our Golden Empire, our epic colony of Yellow Crazy Ants,
and my, has this world evolved! Today we take a look at what was once just
a terrarium for an ant colony and see how it has completely progressed into a crazy
new world of various creatures and vegetation, previously unseen, which have all become amazingly
interdependent on one another. You will be shocked to meet some of our new
inhabitants! We will also watch what happens when we create
a mini storm inside this world. How will they deal with this natural event? And finally, I have some exciting news about
the Golden Empire, so keep on watching until the end! AC Family, let’s revisit these lush Golden
Empire territories as we explore the Hacienda Del Dorado like we’ve never seen it before,
in this episode of the AntsCanada Ant Channel. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family! Enjoy! Remember what it looked like when we first
constructed the Hacienda Del Dorado, this 75 gallon terrarium designed to house our
Golden Empire? It was pristine, aesthetically pleasing to
the human eye, and orderly. Well, almost 2 and a half months later this
pristine ant estate, has developed quite interestingly into a lush, untamed world of thriving plants
and animals. Let’s take a look at the Hacienda Del Dorado
today. First, the plants that were planted have all
grown and changed. The Airplants are still in tact but have shifted
positions slightly. The bonzai trees have killed off some branches,
perhaps due to the growing aphid colonies that have seemed to spring out of nowhere. I plan on planting new bonzai trees if these
bonzai trees ever come close to completely dying out. The ants still don’t seem to be farming and
milking the aphids but as seen in a previous video, the ants have learned to lick the leaves
of the sweet honeydew the aphids excrete and leave behind. This makes the aphids and the ants allies,
as the aphids produce food for the ants, and the ants provide the aphids with protection
from their predators. What predators you ask? Well, take a look here. This ant is carrying the carcass of a lady
beetle. Surprisingly, every now and then I will find
lady beetles like this inside the Hacienda Del Dorado, which I assume try to grab some
of the Golden Empire’s livestock like prowling hungry wolves. I don’t know how they get in, but they are
no match for our Golden Empire who protect their livestock aggressively. And I was thinking: Shall we name this aphid
colony that the Golden Empire protect and cherish? Leave your name suggestions for these aphid
allies in the comments section! Our ficus plant has grown so much and has
completely taken over the back and center of the Hacienda Del Dorado, creating a dense
forest blanketing all driftwood, rocks and decorations in its vicinity. I love the colours of the leaves and the way
in which the vines crawl over everything! The ficus forest creates an awesome shelter
for the Golden Empire. But as far as plants go, I think the most
successful plant in the Hacienda Del Dorado is our blue fern. As mentioned in a previous video, ferns generally
are amazing terrarium plants because they easily thrive under a variety of conditions,
especially in terrariums. This blue fern has crept its fingers and tendrils
to unoccupied areas of the Hacienda Del Dorado, growing happily in soils which are unfavourable
for most other plants. But let’s meet our very first new comer! This mysterious plant here, an apro plant,
has sprouted seemingly out of nowhere. On the night of the Hacienda Del Dorado’s
creation, I originally tried to insert an apro plant but later decided the plant created
too much vegetation density in the setup, so I ended up removing it from the estate. In doing so, however, a few little twigs must
have fallen off, and these little twigs went on to grow into a forest of their own, which
now tower high along the back and eastern part of the Hacienda Del Dorado. And also, this thriving Apro forest is so
fast growing, I need to cut it back every 7 days to keep it from growing up past the
baby powder barrier, which poses an escape hazzard if the Golden Empire ever decides
to use it as a bridge out of the Haceinda Del Dorado. I feel it adds a cool dimension to the Hacienda
Del Dorado, and the Golden Empire seems to like it, so I welcome the Apro Forest’s sudden
appearance. Now AC Family, are you ready to see something
really cool? Let’s have a look at some other welcome and
interesting newcomers to these barbaric lands! If we take a look at the Golden Empire’s garbage
site, which as you can see is littered still with Fire Nation alates which still manage
to get trapped into the Hacienda Del Dorado, you will notice tiny little creatures. These creatures are called Springtails, organisms
belonging to the subclass Collembola, which are not considered insects but they are hexapods. But what is amazing is that these springtails
work together with the Golden Empire cooperatively. The Golden Empire provides the Springtails
with garbage which decays and provides food for the Springtails. Additionally, Various molds and fungi grow
on the Golden Empire’s garbage which the Springtails also love. In return, the Springtails act as the Golden
Empire’s clean up crews, eating up all the bad stuff that can endanger the ant colony. These springtails move freely above and below
the soil, eating all that decaying and molding material. I have no idea where these springtails came
from, but I am assuming their ancestors came with some of the soil or the decor that was
used for the Hacienda Del Dorado. I love that these Springtails are here! Shall we name them, too AC Family? Leave your suggestions in the comments section
for a name for this clean up crew! It is amazing what other creatures seem to
appear inside this contained community. I have also seen a spider and a miniature
forest cricket wandering these untamed lands, seemingly living among the Golden Empire. I wasn’t quick enough to grab my camera to
film them, but it is amazing to think that the Golden Empire is living among other animals. Again, I don’t know how these extra animals
got into the Hacienda Del Dorado in the first place, but I am assuming they either entered
with the decor, soil, or simply managed to get into my condo and enter through the terrarium
roof. For those of you wanting to try something
similar at home, I feel a great part of the success of our terrarium here is attributed
to the lighting. Aside from the artificial incadescent and
flourescent lighting, all the plants get full sunlight for a few hours every morning. So, if you are thinking of creating your own
thriving community of animals and plants, make sure your lighting is ample. If your plants thrive, the rest of your community
will also thrive. Before we continue, what other creatures do
you think we should add to this thriving community? I have created a poll here with some suggested
organisms that I think would benefit the Hacienda Del Dorado. AC Council, please take a few moments to click
and vote and I’ll try my best to find some to add to this community. So moving on to perhaps the most impressive
element of these worlds, our Golden Empire who is constantly changing the shape and landscape
of the Hacienda Del Dorado. Every few days they are redesigning their
underground castles, creating the most impressive ant hills, as they excavate their tunnels
grain by grain. Have a look at them working. They’re so busy all the time, around the clock. All is pristine and seemingly perfect, problem-free,
and partnerships working well. But now it’s time to shake things up a little,
AC Family. Whenever it rains here in the Philippines
where I live, I make sure to create a storm in the Hacienda Del Dorado, and tonight, the
Hacienda Del Dorado is due for their next tempest! Time to make it rain! Watch what happens. The falling water completely washes away the
surface work of the ants, tunnels and ant hills collapse. All the ants’ work washed away with the storm. The Golden Empire acts quickly, and instinctively
starts relocating the young to drier areas. Workers dash in various direction attempting
to coordinate the colony’s next moves. It looks like chaos has broken loose. If you’re watching this feeling bad for these
ants, don’t worry. The Golden Empire is perfectly adapted to
deal with rains, as ants have been dealing with rains for millions of years. In just a few short hours, the ants rebuild
their structures, and what’s surprising is due to the new moisture, the tunnels are stronger
and the ant hills can be built higher. The Golden Empire benefits from these regular
storms, because the young need that humidity underground. The water also forms droplets on the leaves
of the plants which the ants drink safely. All the native vegetation in the Hacienda
Del Dorado drink this water and thereby offer greater humidity within the terrarium due
to transpiration. The plants then grow on to create more shelter
for the colony, as well as feed the aphids which in turn feed the ants, and help feed
the molds and fungi which feed the springtails, which clean up after the ants. Without these regular storms, the entire Hacienda
Del Dorado would falter and become a wasteland. I notice that after these periodic storms,
the ants seem to have much more vigor in their day to day activities. Water brings life to the Hacienda Del Dorado
in so many ways. AC Family, and now I have some exciting news
to share with you. Let’s feed the Golden Empire a cockroach and
see if you notice anything. Dropping the cockroach here among the ferns. It isn’t long before some workers find it
and tell the rest of the colony. And before long, the cockroach is covered
in a blanket of Golden Empire ants. Now as they carry our cockroach offering away,
do you guys notice anything? Look closely. Well, in case you haven’t caught it yet, it
is with great joy that I announce that our Golden Empire is officially free of mites. For those who might be new to the channel,
it has been over 3 and a half months since our Golden Empire has been dealing with a
terrible mite infestation! We first spotted these body mites on January
1st of this year and learned from some mite experts that the mites weren’t blood-sucking
the ants, but were in a phoretic life stage where they were hitching rides on our ants
but were still posing a danger to the colony. We tried lemon therapy, moved them into this
more natural setup, and also added healthy members to their colony. I am not sure what it was that finally got
rid of the mites, but it seems the phoretic mites found the conditions favourable enough
to proceed to their next life stage and detach themselves from our ants to live their normal
lives eating the ants’ garbage! Isn’t that amazing news, AC Fam? I think so! So, although the Hacienda Del Dorado, our
ant terrarium here isn’t as nice-looking as it used to be, I actually don’t mind at all,
because the entire community has seemed to take on a cool life of its own. And it got me thinking, what is more important
in the end? A design that works naturally, organically,
and in perfect harmony between all members inhabiting a given land, or a design that
we humans see as fit, where our needs are the priority and not so much other life around
us? Which design do you think will stand the test
of geological time? AC Family, this is AntsCanada signing out. It’s ant love forever. Woah! Mind-blown yet, guys? Thanks for watching another ant video. It truly means a lot to me! For you AC Inner Colony members I have placed
a hidden cookie for you here, if you would just like to watch extended play footage of
the Hacienda Del Dorado today to some relaxing music and nature sounds. Enjoy the ant watching, guys! And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week we asked: What is the name of an ant’s waist segment? Congratulations to EVroolz 1 who correctly
answered the Petiole. Congratulations EVroolz 1 you just won a free
ant t-shirt from our shop! For this week’s AC Question of the week, we
ask: Explain how any two living things, either
plants or animals, benefit each other within the Hacienda Del Dorado. Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win, a free AC Test Tube portal from our shop! Perfect for those of you with starting ant
colonies for transferring your colonies to new test tubes, or providing your new colonies
with a mini outworld. Hope you can SUBSCRIBE to the channel and
join our awesome AC family, as we upload a new ant video every Saturday at 8AM EST. We marvel at the lives of ants every week,
learn cool things, and just enjoy ant keeping together! Please LIKE, COMMENT, and SHARE this video
if you enjoyed it. It’s ant love forever!

Ants vs. Kraken (Water Monster)

Ants vs. Kraken (Water Monster)


And so AC Family, I think you know what’s
next. Our next step was to introduce a great aquatic
creature into these waters, to feed on these fallen ants, swallowed by the pool, and AC
Family, I know you will absolutely love the creature I’ve chosen for the job! Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! At the advent of a new era, the Golden Empire,
our supercolony of yellow crazy ants, has settled nicely into their new lush territories,
this newly created rain forest paludarium called the Hacienda Del Dorado. And my do these ants love their new home we
created for them! But as we saw in last week’s video, the spring
pool to the east of the territories has, as planned, been effective at culling off the
weak and least nimble ants of the colony. Keep on watching until the end as I reveal
to you our brand new Kraken to patrol these deadly waters. I’ve been surveying these waters over the
past few days, and so far this trickling spring pool successfully claims the lives of about
5-10 ants every single day. The ants come to the water’s surface to drink,
as they would in the wild, but a few ants are unfortunate enough to fall in. Many of these fallen ants still manage to
swim around, a skill possessed by most tropical ant species until they reach an area of safety
as seen with this ant who luckily was able to reach some life-saving mossy shores. Ants swimming around actually have a critical
time limit to get to safety before they inevitably break the water’s surface tension and get
swallowed up by the water where they finally drown. Speaking of which, check out this incredible
ant pulling miraculous moves, as it runs atop the surface of the water, light enough to
not break the surface tension… but suddenly, it too falls victim to the spring pool, and
gets sucked into the water. This ant will soon become one of this pool’s
casualties. By the way, AC Family, please take a moment
to vote here for the official name for this floating spring pool, from my top picks of
name suggestions, from you the AC Family in last week’s video. Thank you AC Council for your input. So with all of these dead ants collecting
within our deadly spring pool here, there was definitely a need to add a creature into
these waters to feed on all these deceased ants, so AC Family, in last week’s hidden
video, I left you with a riddle to decode, with clues as to what the chosen water monster
would be, to inhabit the Golden Empire’s floating spring pool, to act as our biological servant,
feeding on all ants swallowed up by the pool. For those who missed it, here was the riddle: There is a creature,
From the land of flowers With some very neat features,
and some pretty neat powers, Like gills for aquatic breathing,
But it can also breath air, Four pairs for travel,
two eyes with a stare It changes its skin,
From time to time, eating it for nutrition,
like the stuff on which it dines… Inside our floating spring pool,
You’ll marvel at its colour, Can you guess what creature
will be living in this water? So AC Family, you guys considered all clues,
and submitted your very worthy guesses. Let’s take a look at the top, most popular
guesses to the riddle: Salamander, African Dwarf Frog, Newt, Underwater
Bell Spider, Crab, Octopus, Crayfish, Betta Fighting Fish, and Axolotl. Now let’s go over all the clues one by one,
and figure out who our new water creature of choice is, via process of elimination. Ok so the first line reads: “There is a creature,
from the land of flowers with some very neat features, and some pretty neat powers,” AC Family member M Aidil Adham correctly pointed
out that the land of flowers can apply to Netherlands, Holland, Florida, or North Ireland. So considering this right off the bat, eliminates
African Dwarf Frogs which are native to equatorial Africa. This option for water creature also wouldn’t
have made a good choice seeing as the chances of the frog leaping out of the water and being
eaten alive by the Golden Empire was very high. Betta Fighting fish, though a popular guess,
are native to Southeast Asia so they too are eliminated, based on this clue. The spring pool which is only about 8 gallons
of water is also quite small for a betta. Perhaps the top most popular guess was Axolotl,
an interesting amphibian creature which fits a few of the clues mentioned in the riddle. The only thing is, they are native to Mexico,
so they too do not fit the clue of this first stanza. Sorry, guys, no axolotl in this spring pool. Let’s move on to our next clue in the riddle:
“Like gills for aquatic breathing, but it can also breath air, four pairs for travel,
two eyes with a stare…” Let’s see who makes the cut! Salamander larvae respire with gills and as
adults can breath air. They do have two eyes, but four pairs for
travel? They have four legs and a tail which at most
makes 5 appendages, not 8. Goodbye, salamander! The same applies to newts, as well. Neither of these would make suitable choices
anyway because they are not greatly bound to water, and guaranteed these animals would
be eaten alive by the ants once they set foot on land. Underwater bell spiders, though super cool,
and fitting the 4 pairs for travel description, have more than two eyes and don’t breath via
gills. No aquatic spider for these waters. So moving on to our third clue: “It changes
its skin, from time to time, eating it for nutrition, like the stuff on which it dines…” Let’s take a look at an octopus. The clue changing its skin from time to time
could mean several things, but in the case of an octopus it surely can apply to its amazing
ability to change colours. They also do shed their suction cups. But the thing is, they usually don’t eat their
skin. So sadly, octopus is eliminated. Which leads us to our final clue: “Inside
our floating spring pool, you’ll marvel at its colour, can you guess what creature will
be living in this water?” There are several very colourful crabs as
well as crayfish, so both fit the final clue. But of the two, one key factor which makes
one option better than the other is primary habitat of choice. Most species of crabs require a little bit
of salt in their water, as they tend to inhabit brackish waters in the wild, meaning waters
where fresh water meets the ocean. This floating spring pool here is completely
fresh water, and adding salt to it may have a negative effect on our mosses. Also, having a land crab in here would be
disastrous, lest our Golden Empire live up to their infamous reputation of wiping land
crabs, as was highlighted by a popular BBC documentary where yellow crazy ants were seen
wiping out a population of endemic crabs on Christmas Island! Our Golden Empire would devour any crab that
set foot on land. And so AC Family, that leaves us with one
final candidate. Behold, meet our great water monster, our
Kraken! An electric blue crayfish native to the “Land
of Flowers”, a.k.a. Florida, USA. It possesses gills for aquatic breathing,
but is also capable of breathing air. It has four pairs of legs used for traveling,
and two black beady eyes capable of some pretty good vision. They also periodically shed then eat their
old exoskeletons. Isn’t she just awesome? This electric blue crayfish happens to be
a young female and is the perfect size for our spring pool. One of the reasons why this beauty made a
great choice was because they are omnivorous scavengers, eating both dead and any living
creatures it can get its claws on. I felt it could easily get to the ants that
sank to the bottom of the pool as well as those dead ants sucked into the filter’s intake. It also was greatly aquatic meaning it likely
would remain submerged in the waters and remain out of our Golden Empire’s lethal reach, and
check out that gorgeous colour though! These crustaceans also are denning creatures,
which was perfect because and our spring pool here actually hides an under water cave area
towards the back of the pool. My guess is this blue crayfish will deem it
her underwater lair! But one question I had before adding her to
our spring pool was, does she even like eating dead ants? It would be a shame if we added her to these
waters for the purpose of preying on drowned ants and she ends up not having a taste for
them. So, I went to Golden Rock and took a test
tube they’d designated as the colony graveyard to attempt a taste test. I wanted to see if this blue crayfish would
eat dead members of the Golden Empire, so I went ahead and placed a few dead yellow
crazy ants into the water. Let’s watch, AC Family. She walked around for a bit… and yes! She ate one! In fact, over time, she went on to eat several! The taste test was a success! It was time to add her into our Spring pool. AC Family, are you ready? Let’s do this! I carefully poured the crayfish along with
her originating water into our spring pool, and then she was in. My heart stopped! What a sight to see Golden Empire workers
racing about as our new water monster took a moment to realize she was in new surroundings,
before making her way towards the back and into the twilight of the hidden underwater
cave. The Golden Empire had no idea that the water
monster that had just been added to their waters would from now on be feeding on all
fallen, drowned members. I stayed to watch the pool over the next few
hours. In this time I learned that it seemed our
blue crayfish was quite reclusive. She preferred to remain hidden for now, but
I believe I did spot her very cautiously peeking out from time to time from within the dark
abyss of her cave, before retreating back into its comforting blackness. It was spine chilling to see her owning this
new watery domain. She would become the new empress of this spring
pool. And then suddenly, our clawed empress emerged
stepping into the light. My eyes widened and my heart raced as she
finally began to explore out in the open. I knew eventually she would be hungry, and
low and behold, as we intended our electric blue crayfish began to feed on the dead ants
along the floor bed of the spring pool. Wow! This was absolutely amazing! It seems we chose the perfect water monster
to keep our spring pool clean of dead ants. I watched her wander around
and she even eventually learned to routinely check the filter for sucked up dead ants. Crayfish are important decomposers in aquatic
ecosystems, as they seek out and help break down decaying plant and animal matter. I loved watching her. Behind those beady black eyes, I saw intelligence
and a sort of endearing tenderness, that I never thought I’d see in a scary looking water
monster like this electric blue crayfish. She possessed an air of elegance and grace
as she moved about, but don’t be fooled, as every now and then something would startle
her and pow… she could be gone in an instant with one powerful beat of her tail. Later that day I watched as she began to dig. I believe she felt living under this filter
was a suitable spot for her, perhaps because the filter’s intake guaranteed a constant
food source close by as dead ants continued to get sucked up. At least she wouldn’t have to travel too far
to get the goods. Check her out! It was amazing watching her dig. Eventually, though, she decided that the filter
was not as suitable a spot for her den and she made the final executive decision to make
the back cave of the pool her official den. I watched with fascination as she carried
claws full of soil and gravel out from inside the cave. It was amazing to watch her home building
as she would have in the wild. Looks like she had officially made this spring
pool her home. I began to wonder if she could see the ants
all around her, or if the ants could see her lurking beneath the water. The idea was spine-tingling. Their relationship was actually quite a delicate
balance of dependence and danger, because although this crayfish would feed on the ants
that fell into the water and thereby keep these waters from which the colony drinks
clean and fresh, if she ever tried to one day leave the water and crawl onto the land,
the tables would then turn, and the Golden Empire would undoubtedly devour her alive. But, I had a good feeling this biological
partnership would work out. AC Family, let’s give her a cool name! Leave your name suggestions in the comments
section and I will choose my favourites for us to vote on in a future video. This is the largest creature we’ve ever welcomed
to the channel, and I look forward to watching her grow and become a familiar resident of
the Hacienda Del Dorado. She will eventually outgrow these waters,
however, and when she does we may have to relocate her or increase the water space somehow,
but until then, for now it does seem she is completely happy in these waters. I truly love how the ant colonies of our ant
room are evolving and improving. The Golden Empire’s upgraded home just keeps
on getting better. The Golden Empire is like a whole new ant
colony now. And speaking of whole new colony, AC Family,
I’ve been keeping this news from you for weeks, and I am finally ready to make this amazing
announcement! This week, we welcomed a new creature to the
AC Family of critters, our new blue crayfish. But, I am thrilled to announce that we are
also welcoming a totally brand new ant colony to our huge roster of epic ant colonies. AC Family, this ant colony is one that I know
you will love. Behold, a new army of ants to our growing
antiverse, a species known as… Ahh, AC Family! I hate to do this to you guys every week,
but without them these ant videos would actually continue on and on and on without end, and
I love showing you guys what to be excited about next, but believe me when I say this,
the new ant colony we are welcoming to the channel is unlike any ants you’ve seen here
so far, and I just absolutely adore them for their uniqueness, so be sure to hit that SUBSCRIBE
button now so you don’t miss next week’s episode when I introduce them to you, and to keep
updated on all our epic ant stories. I have some major plans coming up for all
colonies! Also don’t forget to hit the LIKE button every
single time, including now. AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here if you would like to watch some incredible footage of our new electric blue
crayfish in her new spring pool! Alright, so a lot of you have been requesting
for two uploads a week on this channel, and so I need to address this. Are you one of those folks? Vote here and let me know if you would like
two videos a week. I have been considering this for almost a
year now since it seems week after week the requests for it become greater and greater. It is on my mind constantly, but there are
some things I wanted to address, so if you would like to hear my thoughts on the issue,
click here to watch my vlog from my new daily vlogging channel where I address exactly this
and where I stand on the idea. By the way, when you’re there please SUBSCRIBE
to my daily vlogging channel, too. Thank you for the support, AC Family! Alright and now it’s time for the AC Question
of the Week! Last week we asked: List any of the reasons why this new
Hacienda Del Dorado makes a better home for our Golden Empire? Congratulations to Faris Sugiyanto who correctly
answered: Because the water pool can
control the Golden Empire’s population in a natural way. Congratulations Faris, you just won a free
e-book handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What does brackish water mean? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free ebook handbook from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE
if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

A Massive Ant Terrarium “Hacienda Del Dorado”

A Massive Ant Terrarium “Hacienda Del Dorado”


[intro] Oh boy! AC family, I have some news. The Golden Empire, our yellow crazy ant colony, is still battling with mites! We’ve tried the lemon therapy, and after four weeks The mites are still around! and so, we are ready to enter our next phase To help our Golden Empire here win their war against the hungry parasites! Introducing… Hacienda Del Dorado The Golden Estate After we uploaded our video four weeks ago, I was able to get in touch with some experts on ant mite relationships These biologists, all said the population of mites is unatural and endangers the colony, so, the ants must be moved out of their set up ASAP so I instantly fled to Twitter and asked you guys what new home we should give our Golden Empire and by 40% margin You guys chose for them to move into a big planted terrarium. You won’t want to miss all this crazy ant action ahead, So keep watching until the end AC Family, let’s caravan together into these new lush territories As we continue forward in this golden empire saga with mites In this episode of the AntsCanada ant channel! *whisper* Please subscribe to my videos, And hit the bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! These four weeks have truly been an eye opener For those of you who mite be new no pun intended Our Golden empire here, our Yellow Crazy Ant colony has been struggling with a frightening mite infestation The mites swarm in their setup, they swarm in their garbage, and they cover the ant’s bodies. These foreign invaders appeared one day, and we had so many questions about if they were harmful, and where they came from. We tried using lemons to battle the mites but they have proved ineffective over four weeks. However, thankfully, I was able to get it touch with Dr. Kaitlin U. Campbell, from UNC, Pembroke, North Carolina, A mite biologist. Okay, so here’s the lowdown on these mites. These mites are Astigmatid mites, probably in the family Acaridae or Histiostomatidae. Turns out these Astigmatid mites have interesting life cycles. They are free living, and highly mobile as Larvae, Protomyphs, Tritonymphs and Adults but get this: They have a special life stage, between Protonymph and Tritonymph, called the deudonymph stage. The mites at this deudonymph stage, are phoretic on other Arthropods, which means they hitch rides on other insects and such and look highly compact and tear-drop shaped. These Deudonymphs are what we see on the bodies of our Golden Empire. Dr. Campbell said she doesn’t think these phoretic mites are directly harming our ants of the Golden Empire because these types of Astigmatid mites, as far as their records show, are Fungivores, Bacteriavores and Scavengers. Oh, what a relief, right guys? Additionally, get this: these deudonymph mites riding the ants don’t even have mouths or anuses at this life stage! They are specially designed , at this stage, to simply ride the ants, and disperse to a new area. So why did these mites, which normally eat ants garbage or stuff caused by our ants’ garbage decide to enter this deudonymph stage in the first place? (who knows?) and attach to the ants? Well, Dr. Campbell said the mites entered this, deudonymph dispersal stage, due to enviromental cues. *Pause* Either related to the host, our ants, or their hosts’ habitat our ant setup here. She said that often one sees unhealthy mite loads arise when the host is suffering already from other issues, or if the environment suddenly experiences drastic droughts, over-watering, or changes in food resources. Meaning either too much food, or too little. Wow, that made for a lot of possible circumstances. It means that the mites somehow entered our setup, and decided to enter this ant body attachment phase because either our ants were somehow weakened or sick, or because our setup was too dry, and note we do not water our AC out world, in order to keep the ants nesting in the hybrid nest, Or our setup was too moist. And note, our hybrid nest is moistened every few weeks. Or there was either too much, or too little food My goodness, all such great info but so many more questions. It would of be really hard to tell what really caused these mites to become ANT body mites These… deudonymphs.. But what this DID tell us.. was that the typical setup that works for most standard ants, (meaning the dry outworld/moist nest arrangement of most ant keepers) was NOT working out for our Golden Empire. Now I was also able to get in touch with Raymond Mendez, an EXPERT in keeping captive ant colonies, and designer of some of the world’s GREATEST museum ant displays he said that in the wild, many ants colonies just.. simply move when mites appear From harvester ants to tree ants, colonies move out when these natural cleanup crews show up. He pointed out that if one goes and
digs up abandoned ant nests, or cuts into wood of wood-boring species, one will often find midden piles full of mites
and other predators or parasites. This ability to move, however, is not available
to captive colonies. So ants kept in captivity just have to live with whatever conditions the ant-keeper provides for them and the mites. So what this meant, then, was that our Golden Empire and the mites can actually co-exist! But they require the space to be able to migrate accordingly. Our ants needed the ability to move away when the mites came to eat their garbage. And mites needed the opportunity to find their garbage, stay around it, but at the same time have conditions consistent enough, hydration- and food-wise, so that they don’t enter this bothersome deutonymph stage and attach themselves to our ants. So the next step was to offer our Golden Empire a setup which allowed this movement and migration behaviour away from the mite activity. On our Twitter page, we set up a poll and among all the choices, you guys chose for the ants to move into a huge planted terrarium. By the way, if you guys aren’t following us on Twitter, please do follow our official Twitter account so we can stay connected during times like this where I need real-time feedback between video uploads. So a huge planted terrarium it was. And it was going to be called
Hacienda Del Dorado: The Golden Estate. And an estate it certainly was going to be. I went out and bought a massive 75-gallon tank and, using a variety of different plants, soil media, rocks, and driftwood. I was able to create our new home for the Golden Empire. The construction process took about an hour. The new Hacienda del Dorado, with its new semi-tropical habitat, was now ready for our Golden Empire. AC family, let’s take a tour, shall we? Here you will see air plants, Tillandsias, which are great plants because they don’t require soil. They are called air plants because they absorb water from the moisture in the air, and they are epiphytic, which means they attach to branches of trees. Here you’ll see beautiful bonsai trees,
which give the ants a nice area to climb, and they’re actually blossoming! Perhaps the ants will enjoy some nectar. I have also included a small bush of the most beautiful blue fern. I love ferns for terrariums because they require low light levels and grow well in tanks. Same as this ficus plant, which is great for vining. Let’s take a look at my favourite part of our Hacienda del Dorado: the driftwood. We have three large ornate pieces of driftwood which add dimension to the territories. The one of utmost significance is this piece,
which I anticipate the Golden Empire
will choose to inhabit. I chose this driftwood piece because it offered an amazing cavity underneath it, as well as some good holes for entrances. Despite this, the Hacienda del Dorado offered many ideal locations where the ants could nest, including under rocks, around the plants, and inside or around the various driftwood pieces. With plants in the setup, the lighting needed to be good. We fixated two full-spectrum fluorescent tubes as well as four spot lamps for sunning spots over our plants. It made for a very attractive display of the new territories. Now here is why I really felt this Hacienda del Dorado was the best new home for the ants. First, the amount of space was perfect to allow for this “astigmati-regulation”. Let’s just invent that term for now. The ants could establish a nest somewhere in this terrarium, and then simply move to another area when the mites decide to swarm their garbage. Or the ants had much more space to create a garbage pile far away from their nest, and isolate the mite population in that area. Second, this setup also offered the ants with digging medium, which meant the Golden Empire now had the freedom to bury their garbage and further isolate the mites. Third, with digging medium and plants present, we didn’t have to worry about the environment being too dry or too wet. It could stay constant, and hopefully keep our astigmatid mites from becoming deutonymphs and attaching to our ants’ bodies. Theoretically, the deutonymphs attaching to our ants now will enter with the ants into the Hacienda del Dorado, be exposed to the new ideal environment, and develop into adult mites, thereby detaching themselves from our ants’ bodies.
Let’s hope this happens. So here we go, AC family. Here was the plan: First, I had to apply our ant barrier.
Luckily, this tank was created with an upside-down lip like our AC outworlds, which was perfect for applying our baby powder and rubbing alcohol mix. I was going to detach this tube here. Remember our control tube, which had no lemons in it? Well, it was the most infested part of the Golden Empire’s territory. So I intended it to be as far from our new portal into the Hacienda del Dorado as possible. I assumed the mobile non-deutonymph mites weren’t as quickly-moving as our ants. So with this tube being the furthest section from the Hacienda del Dorado, the least amount of mites would migrate into the new home. Now attaching to the nest would be this brand-new tube, which was also covered at a section with baby powder and rubbing alcohol, so the ants wouldn’t be able to climb up and out of the setup. I would then expose the nest by keeping the cover removed and shining a bright light into the nest. The light and warmth would force the colony out, down the new tube, and into the Hacienda del Dorado. So here we go, AC family. Let’s watch the Golden Empire move into their new brand-new territory: the Hacienda del Dorado, the most lavish and natural home we have ever provided for our ant colonies. Behold: the mass migration of the Golden Empire. Detaching the tube and placing cotton into the tube, and attaching our new tube to the opening of the nest. The ants wander out instantly. Here comes our very first brave explorer into the mighty Hacienda del Dorado. The entire colony instantly began travelling to their new lands. And as soon as I saw them carrying brood, I knew the migration of the colony was officially under way. And they’ve chosen our driftwood as the ideal new home base! What I didn’t know was if the Golden Empire’s three queens were indeed still alive. They were the most important members of the colony, as they were the primary egg-layers. Let’s watch for them. Yes! Here’s the first queen moving out! She travels through the tube, escorted by a cohort, and enters the Hacienda del Dorado cautiously. They escort her into the driftwood. Yes! Our second queen officially makes her exit from their old nest! She is escorted swiftly and secretly into a hole in the driftwood. Thankfully, the ants trying to climb up our tube could not get out of our setup due to the band of our baby powder. Now where was that third queen? I tried looking into the nest, but couldn’t seem to find her. For a good hour I scoured the entire nest looking for her. But she could not be found. She’s done this to us before. Could she truly be dead this time? Did our mites kill her somehow? No! Though the colony could survive on just two queens, or even one queen, it was sad to think that we had lost our third queen. But lo and behold, as she has done to us before, she was hiding. I found her nestled in the AC test tube portal. I shone a light into the test tube portal, and it wasn’t long before she too began to move out and head straight for the Hacienda del Dorado, which was now the new talk of the empire. With the three queens now inside, this new home we chose for them was officially Golden Empire territory. Long live the Golden Empire. The next morning, the ants had clearly been busy customizing their new space. They had constructed new anthills around the driftwood pieces. Initially, I thought these ants weren’t diggers, but turns out they’re quite crafty around soil. Our barrier from the new tube was still effective at keeping ants from escaping. One thing that caught my eye, though, was that the Golden Empire seemed to be subduing and preying on alates! Fire ant alates! Hey, these were Fire Nation alates! Apparently the Fire Nation with their new open Fire Palace seen in our last video was having nuptial flights last night in my room! And the lights were attracting the alates into the Hacienda del Dorado, where the Golden Empire awaited to catch them and bring them home to eat. Oh, man. The Hacienda del Dorado was actually an insect death trap! I wasn’t sure how to feel about this. But it meant I really needed to make a cover for the Fire Palace. There’s something for you guys asking me to put two of my ant colonies together. I also spotted the ants lugging around old garbage, bringing it into the Hacienda del Dorado. This, to me, meant that the ants truly had intentions to bury their garbage which further supports our theory that this new environment was good for the ants. I loved watching the ants explore the new territories we provided to them. After their first full day in the Hacienda del Dorado, as is AC tradition, I offered the colony a housewarming gift. A massive cockroach, bigger than they’ve ever had before. A species of roach native to the Philippines, which they relished con gusto. It was truly magnificent, watching the Golden Empire in these new lands. It really allowed me to appreciate the ants a lot more, seeing them in a natural setup like this. A setup which allowed them to showcase more natural behaviours. As the ants swarmed their new cockroach meal, I realized that even though the setup no longer allowed me to have a view of the colony’s internal nest, it was enough for me to know that the ants were probably happier in this kind of setup. And that the ants had a better chance of combating the mites. Perhaps even working with them amicably. Although our old setup was perfectly sufficient for most commonly kept species of ants, it seemed this formiscaped terrarium was much more ideal for this species. We will have to see if this proves to be the ultimate solution to our mite problem. I would like to thank our new friends, Dr. Brian Fisher from the California Academy of Sciences, who passed me along to Dr. Campbell and Raymond Mendez, who were a great help to us for the purposes of this video. I will continue to update you guys on the progress of the mites over time. Forever hoping to provide our ants with the best of captive care, AC family, I consider this day a triumphant advancement for our yellow crazy ants in this Golden Empire saga with mites. So, AC family, what did you think? Do you think this will help get rid of our mites from our ants’ bodies? For you Inner Colony members, I have placed a hidden cookie for you here if you would just like to watch the Golden Empire consuming their new housewarming gift, our huge native cockroach, and exploring their new territories. I also included a long video of the formiscaping construction process which we livestreamed on our official Facebook page. Hope you can also like our Facebook page for these periodic livestreams. All links in the description box. And of course, it’s time for the AC Question of the Week. Last week we asked: What does the term “eclosing” mean? Congratulations to ND Gaming, who correctly answered, Eclosing is the process where the ant comes forth from its pupal stage. Congratulations ND Gaming, you just won a free e-book handbook from our shop. And for this AC Question of the Week: Name the two life stages between which the deutonymph stage occurs in the Astigmatid mites found living among our Golden Empire. Leave your answer in the comments section and you could win a $25 gift card to our shop. Stay tuned next week for a special Valentines Day episode of the AntsCanada ant channel, where we also announce our annual Grand Ant Love contest. Hope you can subscribe to our channel as we upload a new ant video every Saturday at 8 a. m. Eastern Standard Time. Until next week, AC family, it’s ant love forever.