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!

Ant Cam POV: What It’s Like to Be a Yellow Crazy Ant

Ant Cam POV: What It’s Like to Be a Yellow Crazy Ant


Wow! Guys, ever wonder what it’s like to be an
ant? Like I mean get down to their level and size
and see what they see, stand among them, check out their microworld and experience the ant
perspective? Well, today we do exactly that, by watching
my yellow crazy ant super colony, called the Golden Empire, move into their specially designed
formicarium, and during this move, the ants are up front and center, literally in our
faces and tickling us with their antennae! You’re in for a big surprise so do keep on
watching until the very end of this video! AC Family, today we enter the Golden Empire’s
ant farm setup for a never before peek at the giant lives of these crazy ants, here
on the AntsCanada Ant Channel. Please SUSBCRIBE to my channel, and hit the
BELL ICON! Welcome to the AC Family! Enjoy! Behold the most fortified encampment of the
Golden Empire, the queens’ quarters. If you look into the middle of all this chaos
you will see one queen there, another queen there on the right, and a third one lies somewhere
deeper here. Pretty cool that the Queens quarters are so
close to the surface at the moment that we can actually get to film them! You can even see one worker carrying a batch
of eggs right there. The Golden Empire here currently has at least
5 egg-laying queens, who all share the duties of laying the colony’s eggs. The fact that this colony has multiple queens
is pretty special in the ant world, as not all ants allow multiple queens living together
in harmony. There’s a fourth queen there being tended
to by an entourage of workers making sure she’s comfortable and protected. And wow! Looks like the fifth queen is also above ground
with a loyal worker hoisting up the batch of eggs she’s laid today. But something is different, and the fact that
all these queens are not in the nest, but instead, are above ground in their outworld,
is definitely out of the ordinary. AC Family, the colony is preparing for something
major, and it’s to happen very soon. But in order to understand what and why this
major event is about to happen, you must first understand what this colony has been through. If you’re new to the channel, the Golden Empire
here, this cute multi-queen yellow crazy ant supercolony is one of the OG ant colonies
of this channel, and has probably been through the most challenges of any ant colony I’ve
ever owned. They’re actually rehabilitating at the moment,
after having experienced a mass apocalypse, literally not even kidding! You see at one point they were a massive,
glorious colony of millions, but were unexpectedly hit by a lethal plague of blood-sucking mites
which reduced them to just a few hundreds. I was able to save a small population and
put them into quarantine, where I treated their vampiric body mites with predatory Hypoaspis
mites harvested from rhino beetles. We managed to recover five queens and the
colony has since continued to grow in numbers since their mass culling and following mite
cleanse. And so, I’m happy to announce that today the
colony is healthy and has grown nicely into their Hybrid Nest Outworld setup, and therefore
are ready for an additional expansion to their living space, and that AC Family brings me
to why these queens and all the workers seem to be preparing for a major operation, one
that will surely blow your mind as it did mine. It actually also has to do with the very big
surprise I mentioned at the start of this video! Hang tight, because the most incredible event
and footage we’ve ever shot on this channel is about to happen in just a few moments! Check this out, AC Family! What you see here is dried up sphagnum moss. It’s actually the hydration layer to the Golden
Empire’s Hybrid Nest ant farm. I’ve stopped watering this hydration layer,
and as a result, if you look into the Hybrid Nest, you’ll notice that the ants have completely
moved out. They simply treat this space like walking
area, and not nest area. These tunnels and chambers used to house the
majority of the colony, but because the space got a bit too dry for their liking, the colony
decided to move out and into their outworld where it was a bit more moist. It was all part of my plan! So once the majority of the colony was moved
into the outworld, I also stopped watering the outworld, not to the point where they
were suffering, but just enough for them to feel it was time for them to pick up the colony
and move to greener and wetter pastures. And that, AC Family, is what is about to happen
now. The Golden Empire is eager to move, all according
to plan! AC Family, behold the newest hi-tech ant real
estate, I am adding to the Golden Empire’s set up! It’s called an Ant Tower, but our newest large
version! It’s a state-of-the-art, 2-in-1 nest + outworld
ant farm enclosure, which I feel the Golden Empire will truly love and benefit from! Let me show you how it works! It’s an upright, dirt nest formicarium that
stands 9.5 inches tall and 6 inches wide. Picking it up, you’ll see that it’s cylindrical,
with a perforated top, and an interesting shape, but trust me, the design is pretty
sweet for housing an ant colony. Let’s take a look at the cover, which pops
off and is covered with microholes for ventilation. The microholes make for good ventilation but
are small enough to keep any outside wild ants from breaking in to invade, and trust
me, I’ve been there so I know full well just how important that is! It is designed so you can put your barrier
underneath or along the top of the Ant Tower. There’s also a feeding chute that pops right
off for easy feeding without having to remove the entire cover. Here you will notice there are three ports. These two large holes are entrance ports,
into which you can insert any of the two perforated plugs that fit snugly in, or a test tube adapter
in case you have an ant colony starting up in one of our ant test tubes. It just makes for easy moving of a budding
ant colony into the Ant Tower. In our case however we will be needing this
large vinyl tube which attaches snugly into the port hole without glue. This little perforated hole here is for attaching
a standard aquarium air pump in case you need a bit of air circulation inside the Ant Tower. Looking into the Ant Tower now, a rounded
barricade slides out which is normally used for smaller ants, but if you’re housing larger
ants, its removal creates a greater space for the ants to create their chambers and
tunnels between the inner and outer walls of the ant farm. The ants basically are forced to build their
nest tunnels and chambers up against the wall where you can see them. Sometimes it takes awhile, but as the colony
grows larger so do their tunnels and chambers, giving you more access into their nest Finally, the magic of this formicarium is
how it is hydrated. This hydration ring pops out and if you look
carefully there are microholes through which the water enters via capillary action, from
this water ring tub here. You can fill this space up with cotton or
whatever hydration medium you choose, or simply leave it empty if you wish. Water rises up into the digging medium, therby
providing the ants moisture. So on goes the lid… And there you have it! Our Ant Tower Large, available only at our
website AntsCanada.com. I’m truly excited to move the Golden Empire
into this! Alright, AC Family, enough talk. Let’s decorate this bad boy! First, I needed to add a layer of activated
carbon, not something that is required, but a precaution I’ve been doing lately to ensure
the soils remain nice and clean of toxins or poisonous elements. It also ensures there aren’t harmful trace
metals in the water soaking into the digging medium. Next, I added my soil, and with a trowel packed
the dirt down nicely into the spaces all around the central barricade. And after an hour of work, this is what the
Ant Tower habitat looked like. AC Family, behold, the newly decorated Ant
Tower and future addition to the kingdom of the Golden Empire! Isn’t it just cute? I absolutely love it! Let me show you around! But first, let me spray this little piece
of carefully crafted nature with some water to moisten the lands in preparation for the
ants soon. I truly love the dimension and shape of this
living, bioactive space. The plants and mosses used here, in what is
actually a mini terrarium are alive and beautiful, and will help create a very naturalistic home
for the Golden Empire. I used vein plants as the primary plant and
live java moss for ornamental ground cover. I’ve covered the ground in leaf litter and
wood chips to help give a naturalistic feel. The plants and tiny soil creatures living
here will feed on and thereby help break down the ants’ waste keeping everything within
this enclosed living space clean and cycling. So what do you think? Do you think the Golden Empire will like this
new home we’ve created for them? And so, AC Family, the moment we’ve all been
waiting for. Without further adieu, it’s time to move the
ants into their new home! You’re in for a treat, guys! The footage you’re about to see, was some
of the greatest footage I’ve ever captured in the history of this channel! First, I needed to add baby powder to the
inside of the lid. Though I choose for this to be one of those
forever enclosed terrariums, I still added some dry baby powder just in case I needed
to open the chute during the move for whatever reason. Next, I filled the bottom tub with water so
the entire nest would be hydrated. Now the entire environment was perfectly moist
and ready for the ants. OK AC Family, and now for the best part! What will make this move unlike any you’ve
ever seen and any we’ve ever filmed on this channel, is tonight we will get to see what
it is like from the ants’ perspective with a tiny microcamera planted inside their moving
tube! You guys have asked for this for years, and
finally, I’ve managed to make it happen! So cool right? I know! Just wait until you see the ants like you’ve
never seen them before! Here we go, AC Family, connecting the tube
at the Ant Tower port! And now to connect the tube into the Hybrid
Nest to give the colony access to their new home addition. Ready? 1 – 2 – 3! Attached! It wasn’t long before a curious ant started
to wander up into the tube, and enter the unchartered territories of the Ant Tower. I loved watching it explore the lands, then
return to the nest to call the entire gang! Little by little word began to spread of the
new fertile lands that lay just beyond this new strange tube that had been connected to
their territories, sending more and more ants to scout the new lands and verify that indeed
this was an ideal place into which the colony should move. Which then gave us the perfect opportunity
to get down to their size level and spy on them moving in! AC Family, time to enjoy some Golden Empire
Big Brother! The ants began to move into the Ant Tower
but also came up to check on the camera. Isn’t it crazy! This view at this micro size gave me chills,
in a good way. How about you? Oh my! It’s almost like their antennae are tickling
me! Hahahah! What we were seeing here was what it was like
to be a part of the Golden Empire move from I guess an ant’s perspective! It wasn’t long before these new territories
were the talk of the kingdom, and more and more ants started to scope their future home. I loved watching them climb the rocks, scale
the walls, and explore every little square centimeter of the lands. I knew just by looking at them that the move
was official and under way! A few hours later, this was what the tube
looked like! Whoa! Look at that traffic! Ahhhhh isn’t this crazy, AC Family? Look at them, they’re just in a complete mass. Seeing them at this level was pretty incredible
because it made me appreciate how effective their communication must be. Imagine, they all are on the same page seeing
as they all communicate via pheromones, and there are always multiple messages floating
around, but the ants despite this chaos of legs, antennae, and ant bodies all shuffling
about, seem to manage carrying out any operations they need pulled off? Seeing the ants like this completely blew
my mind! Here’s a bit of a time lapse! If you look carefully, you can see that several
mites have also come through the tube from their main nest, but I think these are friendly
mites, that feed on the ants’ waste. Now check out what the tube looked like several
hours later! Whoa! They created a cocoon pile! Wow I have never before seen ant cocoons up
this close and personal! There’s even a larva there in the pile, and
it seems to be busy in the process of spinning a cocoon casing! How awesome! I believe turning the light on in the tube
area for filming alarmed the ants and so they began transporting the brood pile out of the
area. And hey look! What a surprise! There’s a Hypoaspis mite, the mite species
that cleansed the Golden Empire of their lethal blood-sucking mites! Incredible to think that not only were the
ants moving into the new location, but their microscopic friends and soil allies were,
too! I felt this was such an incredible opportunity,
watching the Golden Empire for the very first time in this very way special way! It brought me a newfound appreciation for
these incredible golden ants we’ve cared for, and come to love for over three, at times
challenging, but always awesome years. 24 hours later, this is what I saw. A lot of the colony had moved into the Ant
Tower, and look! They completely redecorated! Haha! Ah well, I guess this was expected though,
right? I was totally fine with them customizing the
living space as they saw fit. They had totally burrowed into the soils and
created some massive ant hills within the Ant Tower. I expect the plants to survive though and
the lands to take shape over time. This entire move filled me with such joy because
I knew the Golden Empire here, though enduring such a difficult past, was well on the road
to recovery now to eventually rise once again into the glorious ant kingdom they once were. This additional ant tower will allow the colony
to have more nest space to house their growing population, the queens, and babies. I tried to stay up to catch the queens moving
into the new lands, but sadly, I fell asleep before I could catch them. They also haven’t dug up against the walls
yet, but I expect them to very soon! I’m in no rush to see all these things right
away. I’m only here to care for the ants and observe
what the ants allow me to see, and honestly, what we saw today was sensory overload enough! It felt as though for once, for a moment,
I was part of the Golden Empire, standing among them during such a large scale operation,
which I otherwise would have only been able to witness as giant from the outside trying
to make out the ants through a vinyl tubing wall. AC Family, I appreciate with all my heart
that you were here to join us. I’ll see you next week, and remember, it’s
ant love forever! AC Family, did you enjoy today’s episode? I couldn’t believe we were able to film what
we filmed today in that tube! Crazy right?! Hey, another very intense video is up ahead
next week, where we feed something very draconian to the Fire Nation. You won’t believe how they ants ravage the
corpse, so you know what to do! Smash that SUBSCRIBE button and BELL ICON
now for notifications, so you don’t miss out on the epic ant footage seen nowhere else
but here! And don’t forget to hit the LIKE button every
single time, including now! It would really help a lot! Speaking of ants, it’s approaching the end
of nuptial flight season in the Northern Hemisphere, and a lot of you are catching queen ants now,
and in case you didn’t know, we’ve got all the top of the line ant keeping gear for you
ant keepers at all levels from beginner to advanced, as well as a tonne of new and exciting
products for the ant keeping community not available anywhere else, so head on over to
AntsCanada.com, and browse through our shop. We ship worldwide, and offer full email support
if you need us. We also have ant colonies with a queen available
in most regions, so go check us out and pick up your ant farm kit and ant gear today! 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 to watch the full, extended play close up footage of the ants
within the tube! It’s such a trip and you don’t want to miss
it, so check it out! And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week we asked: What was I looking for, the following morning,
to tell if queen ants had mated in my room? Congratulations to Victor Aina who correctly
answered: You were looking for broken
off wings on the floor. Congratulations, Victor, you just won a free
e-book handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What other creatures other than the ants
did we spot moving into the Ant Tower? 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!

Ants vs. Axolotl

Ants vs. Axolotl


Last week, we built the Blood Towers, the
beastly ant territories of the Dracula Ants. Check out those fruit flies, circling like
crows outside the towers, but next door to these ant newcomers, lays another kingdom
of old, of the O.G. Ant Trinity, that has long been established
in the Antiverse. It’s an ant kingdom we, the AC Family, call
the Hacienda Del Dorado, home to the Golden Empire, a mighty supercolony of yellow crazy
ants. But there has been a great change in the Hacienda
Del Dorado since we last visited these territories, that has tipped the balance within the kingdom. Have a look at this. If you’re new here, this is what the feeding
grounds used to look like! Today the crowds of Golden Empire ants have
been reduced to only a few seen rummaging through the debris. But what had happened to the once glorious
Golden Empire? Well, AC Family, what you’re seeing here,
is a great transition that all the inhabitants of the Hacienda Del Dorado are undergoing,
as a result of a single kingdom-shaking event. The disappearance of an emperor, and the entrance
of a dragon. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the AntsCanada
Ant Channel! Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family! Enjoy! Alright, AC Family, I know some of you who
have been following the channel for awhile, may be die-hard Golden Empire loyalists or
fans of Emperor Sapphire, but if you are, don’t panic. I’ll explain everything that has happened
in detail, so keep on watching until the end. But for you newcomers, who may be wondering
what is going on, let me catch you up to speed! This waterfall and pool called the Golden
Springs were installed for population control, as the less nimble ants would be swept and
swallowed up by its falls, and living within its waters, was the Golden Empire’s resident
Kraken, a blue crayfish that we all watched grow up here. We had named it Emperor Sapphire, an awesome
and sensitive beast, whose main purpose was to feed on decaying ant bodies which fell
into the Golden Springs, thereby keeping these waters consistently crystal clear. But now he’s gone. Here’s what happened. Months passed and Emperor Sapphire began to
grow bigger and bigger slowly outgrowing the Golden Springs. So, I’m sad to announce, that it was no longer
fair nor healthy to restrict our blue crayfish to the limiting waters of the Golden Springs,
and after his latest shed, I had to rehome him, leaving the Golden Springs completely
evacuated. His royal absence, however eventually lead
to a build up of algae within the Golden Springs, since there was now noone to take care of
cleaning duties, and the water grew foul as more and more dead ant bodies collected untouched. But now you may be wondering how this lead
to the staggering population decline in the Golden Empire. Now you may be thinking the ants drank this
foul water and died off in masses, but actually, although the absence of the Sapphire Emperor
was indeed the cause of the disappearance in ants, it’s not what you’re thinking. In fact, the Golden Empire has not been dying
out. They’re still here in the Hacienda Del Dorado,
and I’m about to show you where they’ve all been hiding. It’s night, and a gift is about to fall from
the skies. It’s the Golden Empire’s feeding time! At the arrival of the chopped up roaches,
a group of ants come boiling out from within their deepest of catacombs, to feast on the
food offerings that fall from the skies every night. Have a look! Message spreads fast by way of pheromones
that food has arrived at the surface, springing more and more ants into action to help with
processing the food. More squadrons of ants appear on the scene
to carry these massive pieces of fresh roach meat. Look at them cooperating and carrying the
roach pieces from all sides, as they pull and plan their operations of food transport. And now suddenly the feeding grounds are as
populated as we’re used to seeing them. But AC Family, here’s where they’ve been hiding
all this time. Within the soils of the terrarium there is
a damp layer. I’ve been purposely drying out the lands for
a reason I’ll get into in a bit, but it has caused the ants of the Golden Empire to retreat
deep into this layer of moist soil. AC Family, check out all those amazing chambers
and tunnelwork, and all the ants pouring out from their openings! We’ll be seeing some special guest appearances
later on in the video at this particular cross section of the nest, so hang tight for that
in a little bit. Meanwhile, as for this roach, they’ll be working
on fitting it into the nest, then disappear again deeper into the moist soil layer. So let’s shut the lights and allow these ants
to deal with their food in peace. Now I’m sure many of you may be glad to know
the Golden Empire is OK and healthy as usual. But why then have I attempted to dry out the
lands to keep the ants deeper underground, and what is the connection to the absence
of our Sapphire Emperor? Well, now that the Golden Springs were empty,
and kind of festering, I had some major renovation plans in mind, in order to make these waters
great again, and set the stage for the reception of our Sapphire Emperor’s replacement. That’s right. We needed a new cleaner beast for the Golden
Springs. So, I needed the ants to stay out of my way
as much as possible while this project was in operation, but boy AC Family, did I have
some epic plans for these Golden Springs! A new beast was coming to the Antiverse, AC
Family, and it was unlike anything I’ve ever kept before. The next evening, when the ants were sparse
and retreated out of the way, I went straight to work as quickly as possible, so to not
alarm the ants before they came boiling out to defend their kingdom from the giant divine
hands descending from the skies. Though these ants don’t sting, they are quick
to swarm and can spray formic acid into bites they inflict which cause irritation and lots
of escaped ants using my body as a bridge! I disconnected the filter, and began to scoop
away at the soil. All this substrate needed to go. The beast that would be moving in here would
need more room than the Golden Springs was currently offering! Next, I needed to replace the substrate with
a layer of black sand. I chose the sand so that our new beast would
show up nicely against it! And AC Family, after several hours of work
and renovations… Behold! I’m pleased to present to you the new Hacienda
Del Dorado. Now before I get to the newly restored and
improved Golden Springs, let me show you the awesome changes I made to the lands. The new territories look absolutely gorgeous! I couldn’t look away! It was calming to the eyes. Don’t you guys think? I’ve planted groupings of arrowhead plants,
Syngonium podophyllum, and a cute smaller species which may or may not be creeping wire
vine, Muehlenbeckia axillaris. I find these plants accent our creeping fig
ficus at the back there quite nicely. Another quick thing I wanted to show you guys
were these newcomers! These ferns, which I actually didn’t plant,
sprouted out of nowhere growing epiphytically without soil with our bromeliads. Pretty neat that they sort of planted themselves
and it’s beyond me how they got there! And speaking of making grand appearances on
the scene, guess who else has made a grand comeback to once again frequent the feeding
grounds! They’re back! So check this out, AC Family, now that the
new plants have been installed, and with it new moist soils added, as well as more water
to help the new plants root properly, the lands were no longer dried out as before,
and so the Golden Empire has returned in their great numbers above ground. And let me tell you, working around their
feeding grounds planting the plants was no easy venture! The Golden Empire came pouring out of their
nest, covering my arms, biting and spraying me with formic acid. I’ve never had to work around them like this
for such a long time and for the first time felt and experienced their wrath. Impressive defense line, I must say! But the thing that impressed me the most during
this whole relandscaping operation was just how many ants emerged on the scene! Have a look at this! Masses of ants scrambling about in hi-jinx,
as the colony was made aware of my giant hands ripping and planting around their home. Ants were relocating brood in a panic, I mean,
wouldn’t you? But look who else I caught making moves. A queen! This was one of the 8 royal queens to the
Golden Empire’s supercolony! It was awesome to see her again, and then
out of nowhere a second queen! Totally amazing! It was great seeing our monarchs, even if
it was in this current state of emergency. And so the Golden Empire was now back to normal,
and no longer in estivation brought about by the great drought I had caused, but now
that the colony was back to frequenting all areas of the Hacienda Del Dorado, it was time
to add the finishing touch to the Golden Springs, or should I say, it was time to add the finishing
beast to the Golden Springs. The waterfalls were ready and working, with
waters cascading down its purifying planted surface. Though I had done an 80% water change, some
of the biofilm and sediment from the old substrate had settled on top of our new sand substrate,
which was okay because this valuable gunk contained the necessary bacteria needed to
neutralize the poisonous waste which would be generated by the beast that would be moving
into these waters. I could also see pieces of dead ant remains
in the mix. It was definitely important that these waters
stay as clean as possible, because the Golden Springs happen to be the Golden Empire’s primary
water source. It’s pretty ironic to think that the Golden
Springs happens to give these ants life, bring some of them death, and now, brings them a
new pet dragon, that they have no idea is about to enter these waters. And so AC Family, it is with joy and excitement
that I am pleased to present to you, the Hacienda Del Dorado’s new resident water beast! Behold! Our brand new White Aquadragon, a.k.a. an
axolotl, scientifically known as Ambystoma mexicanum. Now if this is your first time seeing an axolotl,
I’m sure you may think its appearance is as strange as its name, but let me assure you
these creatures are incredible! Although they are commonly known as Mexican
walking fish, these creatures are not actually fish at all. They’re amphibians, closely related to tiger
salamanders. They were originally found living in lakes
in Mexico but sadly are now listed as endangered in the wild due to urbanization, water pollution,
and introduction of invasive predators in their natural habitats in Mexico. Luckily, today they are widely bred within
the captive pet trade, and this makes our aquadragon extra special. Check out those external gills though, and
all the blood vessels extending to the surface to absorb oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. They are basically the inverted version of
our lungs! Super neat, right? This poor axolotl seems to be sustaining an
injury on its tail which it must have gotten from a tank mate biting it. Now these animals are carnivorous, consuming
small prey such as worms, insects, and small fish in the wild, so I had to test and see
if it had a taste for yellow crazy ants, so I placed in a dead ant and it took a quick
swipe but hilariously missed. Oh well, let’s hope it gets better at aiming. As you can see these guys are amazing swimmers
and are 100% aquatic animals, and this white aquadragon of ours appeared eager to move
into his bigger home. I also couldn’t wait to add our white aquadragon
to the Golden Springs, but before that, I first needed to drip acclimate the beast so
that it would gradually adjust to its new future waters. And soon, the beast was ready for its official
release. Here we go AC Family, are you ready? It is time to release our new white aquadragon
into the Golden Springs for the purpose of feeding on drowned members of the Golden Empire. Here we go! 1 – 2 – 3. I placed the axolotl in, and it instantly
hid sitting frozen behind some driftwood. It began to regain its bearings for a bit. I watched wide-eyed as it sat there truly
like a dragon waiting beneath the waters. I truly hoped it would do a good job at consuming
the dead drowned ants. It was so weird to see it living here, because
prior to this, I have always been used to looking in and seeing our Sapphire Emperor. It sat silently for a long while staring at
the new strange world above the water. And then it decided to move, an ant came to
check out the huge white shape it could see below the waters, but the beast was ready
to check out its new home. It swam around the corner and cautiously began
to explore the Golden Springs floor. I am sure it could smell all the dead ants
at its feet but it seemed to not care much for them at the moment. I am sure it could also see all the ants crawling
around the other side of the glass, but again not too interested in them either. It moved to check out the filter, which it
could probably feel was making strange mechanical vibrations. And then what it did next kind of touched
my heart. It was staring out at the vast world of the
Hacienda Del Dorado outside the waters. It suddenly occurred to me that this was probably
the very first time, our axolotl had ever seen plants, soil, wood, and even ants. It stood still staring for a long time at
the beauty beyond. OMG! Were these creatures smart? Then suddenly it began to move, probably hoping
to explore the rest of the Hacienda Del Dorado. Ugh my heart. It eventually turned around and began to continue
mapping the edges of its watery domain. Now it’s said that the minimum requirement
for an axolotl is 10 gallons and the Golden Springs, now with most of its substrate removed
was about 10 gallons, more wide than tall, but I surely began to feel guilty keeping
it within the said minimum required space. What do you guys think? Anyway, it continued to look around at the
world beyond the Golden Spring’s pool. For now, I was going to let it settle in to
its new home where it would take up the task of feeding on drowned members of the Golden
Empire. I watched our white aquadragon for one last
moment as it retreated towards the back to retire for sleep. The next morning, I came to visit the Hacienda
Del Dorado, and could see our white aquadragon from a mile away against that dark substrate,
and strangely, I believe it also saw me coming. It turned to face me as soon as I walked through
the door! Ugh my heart! Why was I feeling guilty for keeping it the
Golden Springs? I felt like it needed something bigger. Well, the good thing was the axolotl seemed
a lot more settled in now, and also appeared to be less stressed and a nicer colour. Also the water had cleared up quite nicely,
the black sands now visible, with all that biofilm from the night before probably settled
in our filter and crevices within the waterscape to do its job at neutralizing our axolotl’s
waste. Now get this, AC Family, another great thing
I noticed was its tail had healed nicely overnight! This is actually one of the most amazing features
about axolotls. They’re super healers! Surprisingly axolotls don’t heal by scarring,
but are capable of regenerating entire lost appendages in a period of months, and, in
certain cases, more vital structures like parts of their brains. Isn’t that amazing?! They can also readily accept transplants from
other individuals, including eyes and parts of the brain, restoring these alien organs
to full functionality. It’s pretty mind-blowing if you think about
it! Now as I watched the axolotl pace around its
living space, I wondered if it was perhaps hungry. It was hard to tell if it was eating ants
or if simply didn’t have a taste for them. There were no more dead ant bodies along the
floor, so could that mean it could have eaten them overnight? But just in case our white aquadragon was
hungry, I decided to give it a house warming gift anyway, as is our AC tradition. Here I had some thawed, frozen bloodworms,
an apparent axolotl favourite. I dropped some into the Golden Springs, and
the blood worms fell straight to the bottom. I instantly knew the axolotl could smell them
as suddenly bam! Some must have floated towards her and she
sucked them up into her mouth. It began to feed happily on the bloodworms,
and when it was done, it moved over to continue ant watching. Speaking of which, the Golden Empire was back
with business as usual. Check them out! They were as busy as ever reconstructing tunnels
and ant hills within the new rich soils, and by the way, do you recognize where this new
soil came from? Ten points if you can tell where in the comments. Now with all the ants now back to frequenting
the Golden Springs, back to traveling their usual trails around the waters, to collect
a drink and distribute the waters within their bodies to all members of the colony, there
was now an added pressure for our white aquadragon to fulfill its task as water cleaner, as effectively
as our former Sapphire Emperor had during his term in the Golden Springs. Which brings me now to me dilemma, AC Family! Here’s where I need your help. What should we do? Do you think this axolotl was a good choice
for our Golden Springs? Although the axolotl does seem happy, a part
of me is starting to doubt this choice for a water beast, because even if the Golden
Springs are the alleged minimum required space, I still get the sense this area is too small,
plus I have yet to actually see if it is eating the dead ants. To be fair, it’s only been a few days and
I plan on keeping a good eye on our white aquadragon here, feeding it bloodworms daily,
but I’d love to know what you guys think? Should we rehome this axolotl and replace
it with perhaps another crayfish? If you do think we should give this axolotl
a chance in the Golden Springs, what should we name it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments
section, AC Family. As always you determine the fate of the inhabitants
of the Golden Empire, and ultimately, the Antiverse. I love these ants and want what’s best for
them, including clean drinking water free of the poisons generated by any drowned bodies. The lives of the Golden Empire and this new
axolotl lay in your hands. Like a massive ant colony ourselves, I believe
collectively we’ll be able to make the right choice. It’s ant love forever! Alright AC Family, did you enjoy this week’s
episode? What do you guys think? Will this axolotl be a passing guest in the
Antiverse or should we keep it? I will be sure to update you on how the axolotl
is doing in a future video, so hit the SUBSCRIBE button and BELL icon now so you can keep updated
on the happenings of the Hacienda Del Dorado and other ant kingdoms! And hit the LIKE button every single time,
including now. 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 would just like to watch extended play footage of our new axolotl in
the Golden Springs. Talk about a cute, gentle giant! And before we proceed to the AC Question of
the Week, I’d like to plug my daily vlogging channel, daily vlogs which have become a full
out bird dad channel, as I am now raising a baby African Grey parrot! If you love birds, I’d love for you to meet
my new cute little bird! Hope you can subscribe when you’re there. And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week we asked: Name one reason why having
a large colony is advantageous in the ant world. Congratulations to Smunstu Stinkymonster who
correctly answered: With a larger colony, the workers are much
more efficient at their various tasks like foraging,
keeping the nest clean, and feeding the young. Congratulations, Smunstu Stinkymonster, you
just won a free e-book handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What neat special ability does
the axolotl possess? 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!

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!

Oh No – I Started an Ant War

Oh No – I Started an Ant War


In ant keeping, there are a few basic golden
rules of ethics, that most ant keepers follow. First, don’t keep non-local ants. Doing so endangers your ecosystem and the
ants themselves. Second, pre-kill your prey insects. It’s cruel and can be dangerous to your ants
to feed live prey. And finally, we ant keepers know to never,
ever mix your colonies together. This would cause an ant war. Today, I broke this last rule, because I had
heard that Yellow Crazy Ants can fuse colonies. In fact, the Golden Empire today, as we saw
in a past video, is the result of two colonies that joined forces. This is why when I received this new 5 queen
colony of yellow crazy ants, it never occurred to me that the ants would end up going to
war! AC Family, sit tight because today, we will
see what can happen when the basic rules of ant keeping are broken! Will there be mass death from an ant war,
or will the ants join forces? AC Family, Put on your strongest of armour
and carry your most solid sheilds, as we watch an epic battle unfold before our very eyes! It’s every ant keeper’s nightmare, and delight
to all of those who have asked me to war my ant colonies. You won’t want to miss all the ant action
ahead so keep on watching until the end. A warning to all ant keepers out there not
to try this with your ants at home. This episode was not planned the way it turned
out, but what happened will surely shock you! Gather round AC Family, and let’s learn about
the amazing ways of ant colony fusion and ant war in another action-packed epsiode where
we marvel at the amazing world of ants, here on the AntsCanada Ant Channel. Please subscribe to my videos! You won’t regret entering this ant universe! Hit that bell icon, too, to join the AC notification
squad. Enjoy! So before the ant lovers of the world start
attacking me, here’s my defense. Someone offered me this large Yellow Crazy
Ant colony through the GAN Project, and I at first was hestitant to take them. The Golden Empire was still recovering from
their mite infestation, and I was happy with their growth in size since I first got them. But then, I went back to what our mite biologist
told us about what causes mites to enter their phoretic state, meaning the life stage where
they go from beneficial mites that eat the ants’ garbage, to hitchhikers where they attach
themselves to the ants’ bodies. The mite biologist had said that one of the
causes of mite phoresis is if the ants were already suffering from a health condition,
if the ants’ health was somehow compromised in the first place. So, in light of this, I also knew that the
larger an ant colony is, the greater chance of success they have at thriving because with
more workers, it means they can acquire more food for the colony, keep the nest cleaner
and better maintained, have babies better fed and protected, and generally carry out
all the necessary tasks required for a healthy colony. This is how I came to decide that, yes, perhaps
adding this large 5 queen colony of healthy ants to our Golden Empire, a 3 queen colony,
might prove beneficial at speeding up the riddance of our ants’ phoretic mites. Tonight, I was going to break our third golden
rule of ant keeping ethics. I did it before with this colony, and other
than one of the queens retaliating for a bit, it was fine. I assumed this induced colony fusion now would
alos prove to be problem-free. But little did I know, I was in for a shocking
surprise. Night fell, and the new colony was in place. If you’ve been AC family for awhile now, you
know the drill. We’ll be using light and heat to move our
new ants into the Hacienda Del Dorado, the lush kingdom of our Golden Empire. The tube which was to be the bridge into the
Hacienda Del Dorado was covered with baby powder on one end to keep the ants inside
the terrarium from crawling out. I unwrapped the container to reveal the new
foreign 5 queen colony. woah look at all those ants. They were restless in their container. I was told the colony was quite agitated these
past few days, perhaps because they were tired of living in their plastic container. This move was going to be easy. So my plan was to disconnect this tube which
connects the main nest container to their outworld, and connect this tube leading to
the Hacienda Del Dorado to this hole. As for the ants in the outworld, I would dump
them directly into the Hacienda Del Dorado afterward. I would then place the bright light over their
current container to encourage them to move out. Here we go, AC Family. It was time. Time to mix these two yellow crazy ants together. Here we go! The ants moved in and quickly started carrying
brood out of the container and into the tubes. All seemed to be going as planned. The very first worker entered the Hacienda
Del Dorado without problems. It was so fast that I hadn’t seen where it
went. I assumed it had found the nest under the
driftwood where the Golden Empire were nested. Without thinking anything wrong would happen,
I allowed my cameras to run for two hours, and left them to join forces. 2 hours later, I came back to a horrific sight! The new colony had moved completely into the
Hacienda Del Dorado, but something didn’t look right. The ants seemed to be clumping! What is happening here. With a closer look, I was shocked. To my surprise, the Golden Empire and this
new 5 queen colony had engaged in an epic ant war! Workers were locked together, biting legs,
mandibles locked, many ants clearly in agony! Oh no! What had I done?! The Golden Empire was in danger and it pained
me to know that I had caused this ant war. I wasn’t sure which colony would end up winning,
but I knew this definitely would end in massive ant blood shed. There was nothing I could do but watch in
horror, as our beloved Golden Empire fought against these newly introduced enemies! May Gold Help the Golden Empire! The next morning. Everything was still. I looked around the Hacienda Del Dorado. There weren’t very many workers in sight. The war had ended. Who won? How many casualties were there. With a heavy heart, I surveilled the Golden
Empire’s kingdom. To my surprise, I could not find any dead
ants anywhere. What? Where did all the ants go? Last night the armies were fighting and I
was sure I was going to have to deal with piles of dead ants in the morning… but no. No dead ants. I placed a dead cockroach inside to attempt
to draw the ants out from wherever they were hiding. Suddenly, it was like a ray of hope! In just a few short minutes, ants came rushing
out from under the driftwood. And what made me smile, was that the ants
that came running out were our ants from the Golden Empire still carrying their phoretic
mites, as well as new, mite-free ants, assumingly from the newly introduced ant colony from
last night. Wow! The colonies had ultimately joined forces. What could have happened? Did they fight for awhile and then just decide,
hey guys. Let’s settle our differences and just become
one big happy family, how about it? Whatever conspired overnight, I for one was
relieved. Can you imagine what was going through my
mind overnight, thinking about how hard it would have been to tell you guys the Golden
Empire died because of a colony introduction, the breaking of a basic ant keeping Golden
Rule? Anyway, so the Golden Empire now officially
has 8 queens and a larger worker force now. Also, there are many ants that are now mite-free. Let’s hope this greater worker force helps
get rid of these phoretic mites once and for all. Another very cool thing I spotted in the Hacienda
Del Dorado was this! The bonzai trees were apparently carrying
their own set of parasites! But in this case, it excited me because these
little insects were aphids! It was my dream to find a way to properly
and successfully house a colony of aphids because as some of you may know, some species
of ants love to tend aphids and other similar plant insects and milk them of their sweet
secretions called honeydew! And yellow crazy ants are one of those species
known to perform these aphid-tending behaviours! Yes! Can you imagine the Golden Empire farming
their own sugar source all inside the Hacienda Del Dorado? So far, it seemed the Golden Empire wasn’t
tending them yet, but I think I did catch what I thought were workers licking the leaves. Perhaps one day the workers will discover
that they can farm honeydew from the small aphids feeding from the bonzai trees! Isn’t that cool, AC Fam? I will be sure to keep you guys updated on
this, and the overall progress of the Golden Empire. Thank you for watching another episode of
the AntsCanada Ant Channel. It’s been quite the journey for this Golden
Empire, and still the sauga continues on, and we the AC Family will be here to support
and watch over them every step of the way, won’t we? Because, it’s ant love forever. Alright! That was close. right guys?! So what do you think happened here? Why would the two ant colonies be going to
war in the beginning, and then decide to join forces? Let me know your take of this story in the
comments section! AC Inner Colony, I have placed a hidden cookie
for you here if you would just like to watch extended play footage of the ants in this
video without all the commentary. And of course, we have the AC Question of
the Week. Last week we asked:’ Why did this colony reject our first cockroach? Congratulations to Hexagon 21! who correctly
answered: They ignored the cockroach ’cause it was too
big of a prey item. Congratulations Hexagon 21 you just won a
free ebook handbook from our shop! For this week’s AC Question of the Week we
ask: What is mite phoresis? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win a free tshirt from our shop! Please subscribe to this channel so you don’t
miss a single episode. We upload a brand new ant video every saturday
at 8AM EST. It’s ant love forever!

Ants vs Giant Millipedes

Ants vs Giant Millipedes


Greetings, AC Family. On this channel, we delve into the awesome
and often shocking world of ants. But today’s video is just one of those videos
that can be summed up in a four letter word – EPIC! AC Family, today I made the decision to take
my chances and see what would happen if we added giant tropical millipedes into the Hacienda
Del Dorado, the estate of our Golden Empire. The result which you will witness in this
video, will hands down shock you! You won’t want to miss all the epic invertebrate
action ahead, so trust me on this, keep on watching until the end! AC Fam, let’s gather round the Golden Estate,
and find out what happens when we add some giants into our Golden Empire ant territory,
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, Enjoy! So, let’s begin with WHY I had to add these
giant millipedes into the Hacienda Del Dorado. If you have a look at these ant territories
you will see that the plant growth is unbridled, uncontrolled. The plants are thriving and it is starting
to get a bit crowded. Thriving plant life is good, because it adds
structure below the soil, which is perfect for the ants’ tunnels, and also adds landscape
and humidity above ground. The only drawback is I have to regularly trim
the plants because some of them will go on to grow past the ant barrier and hence offer
a bridge of escape for the ants. In last week’s video, you may have seen that
I was cutting these apro plants. Now the thing is, these plant trimmings take
a long time to decompose. They simply lay on the ground and decompose
naturally, which can take weeks or months. Of course, it helps that the Hacienda Del
Dorado is also home to colonies of miniature creatures like isopods and springtails, which
by the way thanks to a vote by you the AC Family, are officially called the “Spring
Cleaners”. But still, even with the Spring Cleaners,
the plant matter took long to decompose. As you can see here, at the site of last week’s
plant cuttings, the decaying plants are still there. And so, I felt this terrarium community required
much larger helpers, chosen specifically to feed on the decaying plant trimmings and speed
up the decomposition process. Introducing our chosen ones, Orthomorpha coarctata,
tropical millipedes native to South East Asia. They belong to a family of flat backed millipedes
called Paradoxosomatidae, and boy do they look interesting! I caught these millipedes during a recent
stay in the Philippine jungle. They were everywhere and were clearly a very
important decomposer of plant detritus. Here we have 6 very active millipedes and
most of them were captured as mating pairs. I find these millipedes to be extremely promiscuous,
always mating at every opportunity and with various partners. The fact that the millipedes were breeding
was perfect because I knew that I not only had both males and females, but that I could
expect them to multiply and proliferate inside the Hacienda Del Dorado. Now the name Millipede means “thousand legs”,
but millipedes have much less, but still, watching them move is truly a marvel. Check out those legs moving in waves. They can even move backwards! Now AC Family, let’s take a look at the risks
involved with introducing creatures like these into the Hacienda Del Dorado. Of course, there was no telling how the ants
of the Golden Empire were going to react to our new multi-legged guests. In the past we have found that anything large
found in their territory, would be perceived as a threat and/or dinner. So, there was the obvious risk that the Golden
Empire would completely devour these millipedes. However, here’s why I felt the millipedes
had a good chance at withstanding the ants. First, the millipedes impenetrable exoskeleton. I find these millipedes to have some of the
hardest, most solid exoskeletons around, and when I say solid, I mean solid, for their
size anyway. I once fed a dead one of these millipedes
to the Fire Nation, our red tropical fire ants, and not even they could cut it open
until it naturally decayed and by the then, the good stuff had all dried up. So, I expected that both the mandibles and
formic acid of our yellow crazy ants would not have been able to get past the millipedes’
thick armour. Also, speaking of acid spray, these millipedes
have other tricks up their sleeves. They possess glands which allow them to actually
expel a defensive dark brown fluid containing hydrochloric acid. Take a look at these snap cap vials which
I used to contain the millipedes on the way back to my place. You can clearly see the dried up blobs of
defensive fluid. It is enough to make animals sick, creatures
die, and even bring about a bad reaction in humans. In fact, after shooting this video one of
my eyes got super irritated for a few hours due to the defensive fluids. I knew, that these giant invertebrates were
not defenseless weaklings, and in my mind, if any larger creature were to survive the
thousands of ants of the Golden Empire, it would be these guys. So AC Family, the time has come. Time to add the millipedes. If we can successfully pull this off, we will
have a new crew, essential to the health of this entire biological community that is the
Hacienda Del Dorado. The Golden Empire was going out their usual
evening activities. They were busy building and fortifying their
tunnels, diligently. Here you can see ants feasting on honey, and
don’t worry about those ants that look like they are drowned. They’re not. They’re just stuck and when all this honey
is sucked up by tomorrow, they will be freed. I also made sure to feed the Golden Empire
some extra cockroaches just to make sure they were well-fed prior to this epic introduction. So my plan, was to introduce one millipede
first and see how the ants would react, and gauge whether or not it was worth adding the
others. Here we go AC Family, time to add our first
millipede. Here we go 1-2-3. The millipede is now inside the Hacienda Del
Dorado. Instantly, ants are all over it. It isn’t long before the millipede is swarmed
by the Golden Empire. Strangely, it seemed as if the millipede was
calm and unaffected by the swarming ants. It was hard to tell if the millipede how the
millipede was feeling. The millipede began to move and made its way
to towards the foliage, with ants still hustling about doing their best to subdue the massive
creature. The struggle continued…. and then the millipede
disappeared into the foliage. It was hard to tell if the millipede was injured
or not. It was evident that the Golden Empire was
restless and were fully aware of their new visitor. I decided to take our chances. It was time to add more millipedes, this time
a breeding pair. Instantly, the pair split up when they were
met with a swarm of aggressive ants. The male went on to flee towards the plants,
while the female decided to take a dangerous move. She proceeded to enter one of the ant’s nest
entrances. Let’s watch what happens. The female realizing she had made a huge mistake
immediately scrambled as best she could to climb out of the ant’s den, but even with
so many legs, she kept slipping off the loose soil of the tunnel walls, and kept sliding
back into the ant hole, met with swarms of aggressive ants. The male, too was doing his best to seek refuge
from the angry ants. The scene was heart-stopping! She attempts to climb out again. No good. She slips right back in. The male continues to look for a place to
flee to. The Golden Empire is angry as ever, trying
their best to bite, subdue, and formic acid spray the millipedes. Will this be the end? The female tries again. She’s almost out. Oh no! She slides back in again. Things were not looking good for this female. The male still seemed mobile and in a strange
way, ok. The female attempts another escape. Yes, she’s out. She began to wander a bit and then strangely
headed back for the hole she just came out of. No, don’t go in there again! The female moved towards to the plants for
refuge. I realized that perhaps the millipedes were
at a disadvantage because they had no plant cover to escape to, and also I was placing
them directly near the ants’ nest entrances. So, I decided to release the final 3 millipedes
in the dense plant foliage, so that they would have a better chance at escaping the initial
barrage of ants, perhaps even escape into the shrubbery unnoticed. I released the millipedes. And as expected, very few ants were made aware
of their presence, and they managed to escape, unscathed. That was it! They needed to be released near cover and
away from the ants. I looked back at the mating pair that were
still being attacked by the Golden Empire. The female had disappeared around a corner
out of sight. I had no idea if she was going to survive. When I looked at the male, my heart sank. Sadly, he hadn’t made it. It looked as though the Golden Empire’s acid
sprays had been too much for the millipede. The millipede’s lifeless body lay motionless
in the soil, as ants proceeded to continue biting and spraying him with formic acid. The dying millipede began to curl up into
a ball. He then fell into an ant hole, to be attacked
further by the Golden Empire. I felt so bad about this. This was all my fault. Watching this millipede die was truly heart-wrenching. My guess was the other millipedes were also
suffering a similar fate in some other sad corner of the Hacienda Del Dorado. Adding these millipedes was one very big miscalculation
and a mistake. Usually, when filming these nature videos,
I make it a point to not interfere and to simply allow nature to take its course, but
I did that once, and it cost the lives of dozens of newborns. I did what I usually never do. I went in to rescue the dying millipede from
the ravaging ants. What I saw next, shocked me to the very core. The millipede was not dead, but was actually
very much so alive and moving. It seemed as though the ants’ acid sprays
and bites were indeed no match for the millipede’s tough exoskeleton. I was right! The millipede was alive, but it seemed it
was just playing dead, until the ants would leave him alone! What a clever boy! This brought so much hope! My guess was that each one of the millipedes
I placed inside were able to get away from the ants by taking refuge in the thick plant
cover or simply were able to fool the ants by playing dead until they left it alone. I won’t know for sure until I see the millipedes
again after tonight, but I will surely update you if I do. My guess, is each one of those millipedes
are still alive and they will go on to feed on our decaying plant matter in the Hacienda
Del Dorado. Let’s hope they continue to breed and multiply. And so, ends another epic day, AC Family,
in the untamed and exotic world we call the Hacienda Del Dorado, a biological community
of which just got bigger. Tonight I learned a valuable lesson: it seems
as though you can take the wildlife out of the wild, but you can’t take the wild out
of the wildlife. Thanks for watching, AC Fam. This is AntsCanada signing out. It’s ant love forever. —- Woah, talk about plot twist! Were you guys afraid and sad for the Millipedes,
too? It looks like they’ll survive, but we’ll see. Let’s keep our fingers crossed! Ac Inner Colony, I’ve placed a hidden video
here if you’d just like to watch more long form footage of the ant-millipede battle without
all the narration. And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week. Last week, we asked: Name one of the three beneficial
creatures that live with the ants in the Hacienda Del Dorado. Congratulations to Wolfee03 who correctly
answered: Springtails. We also accepted aphids and isopods. Congratulations Wilfee03 you just won a free
AC test tube portal from our shop! For this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What type of acid can be found in
the defensive fluids of the millipedes in this video? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win a free ant t-shirt from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to this channel, as
we release a brand new video every single Saturday at 8AM EST. Also it would mean a lot to me if you could
hit the LIKE button, SHARE, and leave me a comment! 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.