Creating an Island for Ants (Paludarium)

Creating an Island for Ants (Paludarium)


May the Titans, our Asian marauder ants rest
in peace, and hopefully as well to the Dragon’s spirit and the conclusion this curse. AC Family, we have finally come to the end
of this epic ant story. In order that we may start a new one. AC Family, welcome to El Dragon Island. Please subscribe to my channel, and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! Here we are stand, AC Family, like celestial
creators at the genesis of our newly created and uninhabited island known as El Dragon. A massive dragon skull adorned one of the
island’s rock shelves, placed there to commemorate and appease the dragon whose spirit lead to
the ultimate demise of the Garden of Eden, which once lay where this island now stands. Let’s hope this monument and us naming the
island after him are enough to ensure the Dragon’s curse doesn’t carry on to these new
lands. The island itself is very dragon-like. El Dragon’s waters are pure, fast flowing,
and awaiting to be given its fertile sands to be the bed from which new life awakens. Soon these waters will be teaming with life. I am super excited today because for the very
first time on this channel, we will be creating a paludarium, a part land, part water vivarium
containing various originating creatures which will all be interdependent on each other,
including our brand new Polyrhachis ant colony which you saw from our video two weeks ago. And AC Family, I have some really exciting
news about these new ants of ours! After consulting with friend and ant taxonomist
David General from the University of Philippines Los Banos, I was finally able to get a complete
species ID and profile on these gorgeous ants. Turns out these ants are the species Polyrhachis
semiinermis. What was super cool was that like most Polyrhachis,
their feeding ecology is currently unknown to biologists. They are greatly unstudied and he suggested
we create a set-up that would maximize chances for observation of behavior. And AC Family, we had the perfect home for
exactly that! With this new island here, we were going to
get a God’s eye peek into a world of ants like no other human has before. Now are you ready for the coolest revelation
on these ants? Dave informed me that these Polyrhachis happen
to be weaver ants. Yes! They are a species of ant that use the silk
webbing capabilities of their larvae like glue, to build nests within the leaves of
plants and similar environments. El Dragon Island therefore with its lush tropical
plant life and sticks was the perfect home for these ants. So the time has come. Let’s stock this island with life. First, we needed to make this paludarium viable
by working from the ground up, the lowest ground point, that is. The waters required a bed of substrate in
order to sustain its needed life forms. I had some newly washed aquarium sand for
this. So, I went in, and gave El Dragon Island’s
turbulent waters some earth. Like a thick cloud of soot, the waters carried
and blew the black sands around the entire paludarium. Now I designed this paludarium to be an island
surrounded by a moving river. I personally hate having still water in a
setup, not only because it festers much more quickly, but it also creates an ideal location
for mosquitoes to lay eggs, so a submergable filter installed at the back helped create
that awesome water current. I also wanted El Dragon Island to be protected
from any creatures from the outside coming in, just in case those wild unwelcome Pharaoh
ants or crazy ants decide to make a comeback and deem this island their newest conquest. After all, history does tend to repeat itself. Moving waters meant a much more difficult
crossing for outside intruders. Now about this water, I had to ensure it was
biologically ready to sustain creatures. You see, we can’t just use ordinary tap water
and expect life to thrive in it. If we did, aquatic animals added would die,
not only due to the tap water’s chlorine, but also due to the lack of necessary microorganisms
which help keep any aquatic community healthy. So a couple weeks ago, I had to take aquarium
water from my other larger biologically established aquarium. This ensured El Dragon’s starting waters contained
some pioneering beneficial bacteria needed to properly sustain life. So I had to wait a couple weeks to build up
these beneficial bacterial colonies, before I could ever consider adding anything inside
it. This is what aquarium enthusiasts refer to
as tank cycling. Now that El Dragon’s waters had its microorganisms,
it was ready to house our first set of inhabitants. Let’s meet our new aquatic creatures, shall
we? Now I decided that since the main inhabitants
of El Dragon were endemic to Asia, I wanted this paludarium to be an Asian biotope, basically
incorporating species of plants and animals that were also native to Asia. Here is our first species. Presenting java moss, belonging to the Hypnaceae
family of mosses. It is native to Southeast Asia and grows well
in aquariums. It attaches to rocks, roots, and driftwood
quite well, and also offers a great home for aquatic microorganisms and creatures. But you will also see what I intend for its
biological role to be in the river of El Dragon soon. Next, I would like you to meet our newest
friends. Shrimp! These here are Caridina multidentata, Amano
shrimp, native to Japan and Taiwan. These shrimp feed on soft algae and decaying
plant matter. They will help keep the waters of El Dragon
clean and free of most algae. Next, we have these beautiful shrimp known
as Cherry Shrimp, Neocaridina davidi, from Taiwan. These shrimp are omnivorous and will also
feed on various microogranisms, decaying organic matter, and algae. They’re all quite cute aren’t they? Finally, I have some interesting colour forms
of these cherry shrimp including two Golden Back Yellow shrimp, and an orange and blue
shrimp. This multi-coloured colony of shrimp will
be amazing first additions to our aquatic portion of this paludarium, and make great
inhabitants to El Dragon’s River. Hey, AC family, what should we call the river
surrounding El Dragon, and what should we name this new colony of shrimp? Leave your name suggestions for both in the
comments fo us to vote on in a future video! Now let’s have a look at El Dragon’s river
world after our java moss, shrimp, and other additions were installed. Wow! AC Family, take a look at that! I’ve added some java fern and hairgrass, native
to Southeast Asia, as well as some gravel. A carbon dioxide diffuser was also installed
to support our plantlife. Now look at how cool this entire system works! So we have an area of fast current here, then
the river goes from turbulent to a more steady stream here at this slot. The shrimp love hanging out in this area. Around the corner, we come to clumps of java
moss, which are amazing because they act as natural filters, sifting debris and dirt carried
by our river current through this area. The dirt actually nourishes the moss, and
our shrimp are there to pick at anything organic. The water continues forth into a pool where
our filter blows it around again in a continual cycle around El Dragon Island. Isn’t that just amazing? In no time, El Dragon’s river went from slightly
cloudy to crytal clear. It will soon be established enough to house
other aquatic creatures. But for now let’s move up on land. El Dragon Island was designed to be an Asian
biotope but it is not a true Asian biotope because it harbours a few plants from South
America, namely these tillandsias, spanish moss, and this moonlight caladium. I chose these for humidity, size, and suitability
as a home to our Polyrhachis ants. Here I have some asian pothos. These plants grow out of three small aquariums
full of dirt which make up El Dragon Island. My hope is that our ants move into these plants. Let’s cross our fingers, AC Family! Let’s do it. It was time to set our Polyrhachis ants free
onto El Dragon and see how they like this brand new island home we made for them. Ah I am so excited! Here we go! Placing the test tube inside and removing
the cotton blocker. Let’s watch! The ants immediately began to explore! Look at how excited they are! They climbed the plants and driftwood, and
explored curiously around El Dragon Island. And look, it seemed our island was definitely
working at keeping the ants contained. This was so awesome! And now it was time to give our new El Dragon
inhabitants a house warming gift. I placed drops of honey at two spots on the
driftwood and in no time the ants came around to drink. And wow! This was my first time to have a real good
look at them, unobstructed. These ants were absolutely stunning! Look at them! And omg, look at this! Even the queen came out to feed on the tasty
honey drop! Wow! This queen wasn’t like most queens who sit
around in protective cover, waiting for her workers to bring her food. No, she was hands-on with her army. Risking her life out in the open, she was
brave enough to feed with her pack. Isn’t this just incredible? And that’s not all, AC Family, check this
out! I placed a crushed cockroach leg onto one
of the plant leaves, and look! A worker came around and puked something out
before diving into the cockroach leg! What on earth was this dark drop she puked
up? Could she have emptied out the contents of
her social stomach so she could fill it up with this fresher meat? Was this some kind of solid waste pellet like
those regurgitated by owls? Woah! Like a hungry lioness tearing meat off a carcass,
I could literally see the ant tearing the cockroach flesh off the leg piece and eating! What we were witnessing here was the feeding
ecology that Dave was talking about that was formerly unknown to biologists. Can you believe that here was something biologists
haven’t had the opportunity to observe or study much, and AC Family, together we are
the first to witness the beauty of these Polyrhachis ants feeding. What a awe-inspiring moment and sight. All this nourishment will be stored inside
their social stomachs to be brought back to the queen and the brood, and grow their colony. And just when I thought things couldn’t get
better, literally 5 hours after moving in, I checked the test tube and the ants had all
moved out. My heart jumped into my throat! Where did they go? My eyes scanned El Dragon and deep into a
little pocket of leaf folliage, I saw them. They had carried all brood into this pocket. AC Family, our Polyrhachis ants have elected
this spot a suitable location to build their new home. This was just magical! It was amazing to be able to witness El Dragon
sustaining life. I even spotted a snail that must have come
with the soil and was able to swim across. I’ve spent several nights watching the river
currents bringing debris to nourish our mosses and little bits of matter for our eager shrimp
to pick at and eat. One night, I managed to catch the shrimp eating
the leftover cockroach parts of our ants. The ants must have cast it into the water
when they were done feeding from it, and well it seems, one ant’s garbage is another shrimp’s
treasure. It was apparent that all life forms on El
Dragon Island were living cooperatively, in perfect harmony and interdependence. It was all just beautiful to behold. El Dragon Island was well on the way to blossoming
into an awesome community…. until I saw it. Something crawling on the glass that filled
me with great concern. Oh no! Wild pharaoh ant scouts were checking out
this new island of ours. It didn’t seem they could get across, just
yet. AC Family, this is not good. We can’t have what happened to the Titans
and our Jawbreakers, happen to our new Polyrhachis ants. It was only a matter of time before these
scouts will go back to their main colony and let them know of our lush island. The time has come, AC Family, for the release
of some special guardians. We needed to add a colony of beasts into the
waters of El Dragon to protect our island inhabitants… and I knew the perfect creatures
for the job. Oh boy, AC Family. El Dragon Island has been off to a great start
but we must make sure we protect it at this early stage so these wild pharaoh ants don’t
kill our Polyrhachis ants. Tune in next week to see what special guardians
I add to these waters, and AC Family, I know you will love them! You won’t want to miss next week’s episode,
so do remember to subscribe if you haven’t yet and join the AC Family, and hit that LIKE
button every time, even now. By the way, AC Family, give yourselves a huge
pat on the back! Thanks to you, last week’s video Trended at
#2 in the US! That’s a record for us! I feel we’re like a powerful, growing and
unstoppable ant colony just conquering the Youtube space! Thank you so much for the support, guys, and
showing the world how awesome ants are! It’s inspiring to know that people really
appreciate nature. AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would just like to watch some extended play footage of our new Polyrhachis
ants eating to the sounds of some relaxing music. The footage is actually valuable to biologists
researching this largely unstudied ant species! Alright and now it’s time for the AC Question
of the Week. Last Week we asked: Name any of the creatures
we found while digging into the Garden of Eden. Congratulations to Sam Ras who correctly answered: Earthworms. We also accepted springtails, snails, and
black crazy ants. Congratulations Sam, you just won a free ebook
handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What did we observe
in these Polyrhachis ants that was previously largely
unknown to biologists? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free ebook handbook from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE
if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

Ants vs. Dragon’s Breath

Ants vs. Dragon’s Breath


Oh no! AC Family, looking into the nest now, it was completely empty. The Polyrhachis ants were all gone! What happened? And shortly after their disappearance, something absolutely
mind-boggling happened that left me speechless. What is this? Please subscribe to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family! Enjoy! Before we get to what this eerie mysterious
mist is that appeared floating on the waters of El Dragon last week, we needed to address
where our Polyrhachis ants went and what has happened leading up to this phenomenon. AC Family, you will want to keep on watching
until the end for this epic ant story! So, I have been showing our past few weeks
of videos of our Polyrhachis ants to my myrmecologist and ant taxonomist friend David General from
the University of the Philippines, Los Banos, a man who has dedicated his life to studying
and classifying ants of the Philippines. Needless to say, he has been super impressed
with our video documentation of some extremely eye-opening footage on these Polyrhachis ants
of ours which he said were greatly unstudied. As you saw in our video two weeks ago, David
first mentioned to me that the feeding ecology of our Polyrhachis semiinermis ants was unknown. They didn’t know what they ate or how they
ate it. We discovered in our video that the ants fed
on sweet liquids like honey, as well as insect parts. We were even amazed to discover that the queen
even leaves the comfort and safety of the nest to feed with her workers, which is quite
interesting and unique since the queens of most species rarely ever leave the nest unless
they absolutely need to. Finally, we even watched as a worker regurgitated
some strange black pellet before diving into a cockroach leg, meat from which it ripped
off during feeding. David was so intrigued by all of this and
said “Wow! Great work! You’re on your way to accumulating enough
observations for a behavioral paper! Does a paper in Insectes Sociaux sound interesting
to you?” I told him, not so much, but I allowed him
to use our footage in case he or his associates wanted to write that research paper, but our
only condition was he had to credit the AC Family! Can you imagine, that we together contributed
to science? Super cool, AC Family. But that’s not all! Over the next few weeks I was also able to
shoot some other pretty amazing things, new AC Family discoveries! Another thing Dave mentioned to me earlier
on was that “The biology of many Polyrhachis spp is unknown. In fact, i’ve never seen them bring solid
food to the nest. They somehow take protein in their crops home
to the nest.” Well, two weeks ago, I placed a small spider
near their nest and one worker came, picked it up, and brought it home! Bam! Another contribution to science from the AC
Family! And check out this Polyrhachis ant pooping! You don’t see that every day, and in literally
1 minute, the poop drop was gone! The tilladsia plant which absorbs nutrients
and water through hair-like structures called trichomes drank up that nutritious ant poo. I told this to Dave and he said: “There’s
a new paper proving ant plants are fertilized by ant poop on the leaves. Good show for the tillandsia!” And good show for us, as well. We just supported that paper. But one major thing, scientists have apparently
been wondering was which larval instar in these Polyrhachis ants produces the silk needed
to construct their leaf homes. You see, these ants use the silk webbing produced
by their larvae to glue leaves and debris together to create amazing nests in the leaves
of plants and similar environments. We saw this last week, when our Polyrhachis
were nest building. They took pieces of sphagnum moss and cotton
which we provided to them in a container back home to their nest to glue together and form
a cozy sanctuary for the queen and brood. But, allegedly, myrmecologists have always
wondered and haven’t had an opportunity to study the web building process of these Polyrhachis
ants. And so their big question was: Which stage
of larva creates the webbing? Now as a backgrounder, in these Polyrhachis
ants, there are 5 larval stages known as instars. The first instar being the smallest larva
and the fifth instar being the last and largest right before pupation. After our Polyrhachis ants moved perfectly
onto El Dragon Island here, I was really hoping to catch our ants nest building and help answer
that big question. But now, it seems our Polyrhachis have disappeared. Where could they have gone? I checked everywhere! I searched every plant, root area, and soil. I checked the waters for drowned ants. I saw none. Could our shrimps have eaten them that fast? Impossible that our new Rasbora fish ate them! They were too tiny! Did they escape somehow? It was all just so perplexing to me. I sat for a moment and stared into the beautiful
chaos of El Dragon’s landscape. Could the Dragon’s Curse from the days of
the Garden of Eden be back? No, this is impossible! This is a science channel! We don’t believe in curses.. Plus, even if it was, it just can’t be… This is a brand new tank, brand new era, brand
new home… Oh no! Brand new home..? AC Family, there is something that I did forget
to mention. Some of the soils used to create the island
in which El Dragon’s plants grow, were taken from the Garden of Eden. Perhaps our curse had indeed passed on to
these Polyrhachis? I stared at our dragon’s skull which was set
on the stone to appease the spirit of the great dragon who once lived in these lands… …and then it hit me! The skull! I looked into the Dragon’s Skull and low and
behold, our Polyrhachis ants were there nestled into the comfy hallows of one of the horns
and greatest of all, AC Family look! The workers were using a larva to spin silk
and glue debris to form their new nest gate! Wow! AC Family, we just solved the mystery! These Polyrhachis ants use the fifth instar,
the most mature larvae to spin their silk! High Five, guys! We just answered the big scientific question,
as well as our own mystery as to where our Polyrhachis disappeared to! But there was one final mystery left. What was that eerie mist that appeared last
week on El Dragon’s waters. Well, when I discovered the ants moved into
the skull last week, one of the things that concerned me was that the ants no longer could
benefit from the transpiration that naturally happens in plants. You see ants that build nest homes in leaves
benefit from the humidity that the plants give off during transpiration. Transpiration is the process by which moisture
is carried through plants from roots to small pores on the underside of leaves, where it
changes to vapor and is released to the atmosphere. So, weaver ants like these Polyrhcachis have
natural humidifiers in their homes which is pretty darn cool. But in this completely dry skull, I feared
the ants might not be able to get the same amount of humidity as they would had they
lived in the plants. So, I decided to give them something to help
solve that. A fogger, which I placed on a timer to schedule
the creation of a mini mist every few hours, in order to give our Polyrhachis ants some
humidity support. Every three hours, a creeping mist like the
breath of a dragon covers the surface of the waters and keeps ambient humidity ideal for
our ants. Are you ready for this, AC Family? The best part about all of this: it obscures
the path and makes it hostile traveling ground for our pharaoh ant interlopers. If any of the pharaoh ants get too close to
the mist, they have a high chance of falling into the water and being eaten by our mosquito
rasbora fish. Many pharaoh ants now turn away when the mist
blows in. I loved watching the mist floating on El Dragon’s
waters, which by the way, thanks to your votes is now officially called the River of Dragon’s
Tears. As for our shrimp colony living in the waters,
they also officially have a name. You named them the Leviathans. I like those names! And of course, last week you guys voted for
an official name for our Polyrhachis ants, and AC Family, I am happy to announce these
ants are now called the Black Dragons. Thank you guys for always being so enthusiastic
at participating in these ant videos, and for being a huge part of their fate. Thanks to you, we contribute to the ants’
success and as we’ve seen in this video, to some amazing discoveries in science. It seems our Black Dragons which continued
to work through the night building their new nest in the skull of El Dragon will be ok. We’ll just have to keep providing them with
everything they need and hope they succeed. This El Dragon paludarium setup was such a
huge success. It made me look over to our Black Dragons’
neighbours, the Golden Empire in their Hacienda Del Dorado. Our Yellow Crazy Ants have been living in
this terrarium for over a year. Look at all of that chaos! The Hacienda Del Dorado was in desperate need
of a makeover! We also had to find another way to deal with
their exploding population, and I had just the renovation to solve both those problems. AC Family, behold. Alright, AC Family! Are you excited for what’s up next for our
Golden Empire? These Yellow Crazy ants are up for a royal
renovation and I can’t wait for you guys to see what I’ve done! Tune in next week to catch how I turn their
current overrun terrarium into one of the craziest ant setups I’ve ever created in all
my years of ant keeping! You won’t want to miss it so hit that subscribe
button and bell icon and hit the like button every time, including now! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would just like to watch some extended play footage of our scientific
discoveries as well as our ground-breaking discovery of the Black Dragons spinning silk
using their fifth instar larvae! Spread the word, the AC Family saw it first! Before continuing to the AC Question of the
Week, I wanted to plug my new daily vlogging channel, featuring my daily vlogs for those
wondering what I work on between these weekly ant videos! And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week we asked: How do beneficial bacteria
help keep fish alive in an aquarium? Congratulations to, and note this was completely
a random selection, Ant Love Forever who correctly answered “The fish’s waste makes toxic ammonia
which is converted by bacteria into nitrite and then again into nitrate.” Congratulations Ant Love Forever, you just
won a free e-book handbook from our shop. In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: List any of the ant scientific
discoveries we made in this video. Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free ebook handbook from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE
if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

Ants vs. Water Beasts

Ants vs. Water Beasts


El Dragon Island was well on the way to blossoming
into an awesome community…. Until I saw it. Something crawling on the glass that filled
me with great concern. Oh no! Wild pharaoh ant scouts were checking out
this new island of ours. It didn’t seem they could get across, just
yet. AC Family, this is not good. We can’t have what happened to the Titans
and our Jawbreakers, happen to our new Polyrhachis ants. It was only a matter of time before these
scouts will go back to their main colony and let them know of our lush island. The time has come, AC Family, for the release
of some special guardians. We needed to add a colony of beasts into the
waters of El Dragon to protect our island inhabitants… and I knew the perfect creatures
for the job. Please subscribe to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! It was clear that El Dragon was in the initial
stages of a mass invasion by these notorious wild ants known as pharaoh ants, ants we’ve
been grappling with for months now. They still haven’t moved out of my ant room,
and of course they would find our ant island here alluring, for on it, they could inhabit
its rich virgin soils, receive a constant supply of insects and honey, and all the water
and humidity they needed, not to mention a stout fledgling Polyrhachis colony with brood
to nourish them for at least a week or two. El Dragon needed some guardian beasts to intercept
the Pharaoh ants’ plans of invasion and protect our Polyrhachis colony. AC Family, I will take you through the official
release of these beasts into El Dragon, but trust me, you will want to keep on watching
until the end for the crazy and unexpected event. As for our Polyrhachis colony, they’re clearly
oblivious to the amount of danger their in. They just seem completely happy to be moved
into their new home in this leaf pocket on El Dragon. Speaking of which, the time has come AC Family
to give these new Polyrhachis ants an official name. Please take a moment to vote here for your
favourite name, from my Top 5 favourite suggestion from the comments of last week’s video. Thank you for your input, AC Council. This beginning acclimation period for an ant
colony is often the most exciting and challenging stage for any ant keeper because in these
first few weeks we get to learn via trial and error what the ants want and don’t want. I have found that one can read all the ant
keeping manuals in the world, but in reality, every ant colony is different and has its
own personality. These Polyrhachis ants, I find are inquisitive,
but at times quite cheeky! I saw this worker wandering so I attempted
to figure out what it was looking for. I wanted nothing more than to give it whatever
it needed in order to help the colony succeed. I tried offering it a fresh piece of superworm,
and… OK rejected and it assumed a threat pose. Alright Polyrhachis ant, perhaps some honey
might tickle your fancy? Success. She began licking the drop, and… oh? I guess sugar wasn’t what she was looking
for either. There was something else on her mind. What could she be looking for? I suddenly found her seemingly trying pick
at something from the driftwood, and as I looked closer, I realized what she might be
looking for! She wasn’t looking for food. She needed building supplies! As you may have seen in our video a couple
weeks ago, these ants build homes in leaves using the silk spun by their larvae. They glue leaf ends and debris together to
create their cozy nests. I tried offering the worker a piece of sphagnum
moss and tiny bit of cotton. Bingo! She instantly took to it. She picked up the sphagnum moss bit but I
guess that piece didn’t meet her standards. She inspected my offering a bit more. It was amazing being able to interact with
her like this. Would she approve of my package of building
materials? And no. And here she is assuming a threat pose again
warning me to not come near her. Alright, I get the message. So instead of choosing for the ants, I figured
I would give the ants the opportunity to choose their building material at their own discretion. I tore up more sphagnum moss and cotton bits
and placed them into a small container, which I placed onto El Dragon Island. And as planned, in a few short hours, the
workers were rummaging through our container, picking ideal pieces to bring back for nest
building. It was awesome to see them at work! What an amazing and unique behaviour to witness
in ants, right AC Family? It was like watching birds building a nest,
seeking out and gathering nesting medium! And wow! Check out their nest progress! It seems like they’ve got a plan and they’re
already looking pretty cozy and insulated in there! In the mean time, back to grave matters! We needed to unleash guardians into these
waters, just in case the Pharaoh ants decided to pull stunts and attempt to get across this
river somehow. By the way, this River also needs a name. Please take another moment to vote among these
Top 5 name suggestions here, so we can give this River an official name. So now AC Family, let’s go over our shortlist
of candidates to be the protective water beast of El Dragon: Turtles
Archerfish Crayfish
frogs salamanders
house geckos newts
beta fighting fish white cloud minnows
mosquito rasboras Many of these were popular suggestions from
last week’s video. Now to narrow the list down I had to pass
each species candidate through three specific criteria: 1) Ideal Habitat Match
2) A Taste For Pharaoh Ants but not Polyrhachis ants
3) Compatibility with Shrimp So let’s go over our first criteria: Ideal
Habitat Match. Which of these species could realistically
and comfortably live in this El Dragon paludarium? Right off the bat, turtles would be eliminated
because there is simply not enough space. Perhaps a baby turtle might be able to live
in here but it wouldn’t be long before it outgrew it, and not to mention a turtle would
totally wreck this setup, and God forbid it bend a branch or plant enough to touch a wall
and form a bridge for the pharaoh ants to cross or our Polyrhachis ants to escape. This also eliminates one of the top suggestions
last week: Archerfish. The water of El Dragon is only about 8 gallons
in volume and super shallow which is insufficient space for an archerfish. Plus, it would also try eating our Polyrhachis. Fiddler Crabs sadly also don’t make the cut
because they live in brackish water so they require a bit of salt in the water, and well,
this river is fully fresh. Our Second criteria: A Taste for Pharaoh Ants
but not Polyrhachis. We don’t want our water beasts to be picking
off our Polyrhachis islanders. This eliminates a lot of our candidates! Frogs, salamanders, and crayfish would eat
both pharaoh ants and polyrhachis ants that fall in or get close to the water. A house gecko, though it would make a cool
gargoyle hunting pharoah ants crawling on the glass walls, would also relish any Polyrhachis
ant. It leaves us with 4 more candidates: newts,
bettas fighting fish, white cloud minnows, and mosquito rasboras. So our final criteria was “compatibility with
shrimp”. We didn’t want our water beasts to be feeding
on our shrimp colony, which by the way, also need a name. AC Council vote here! And get this: surprisingly the shrimps have
already begun breeding! So cool! See this baby here? That shrimplet is super cute, so we can’t
have it become food for our new river additions! Let’s see who passes the test. Newts sadly don’t make this cut seeing as
they relish aquatic crustaceans like shrimp! Betta fighting fish, though gorgeous fish
and a very popular suggestion in the comments of last week, also don’t make this cut because
the bettas are large enough to eat the shrimplets and semi-adult shrimp. Two more candidates left: White Cloud Minnows
and Mosquito Rasboras, both very small fish that swim in schools. Turns out White Cloud Minnows which grow up
to 2 inches, are twice as large as mosquito rasboras which grow no larger than 1 inch
long, so not only does that mean White Cloud Minnows can actually feed on the tiniest shrimplets,
but also that I couldn’t keep as many White Cloud Minnows in our river, so… It was official, AC Family! Our new water beasts were going to be a school
of mosquito rasboras! Mosquito Rasboras, known scientifically as
Boraras brigittae are found in dimply lit, slow moving, quiet streams and ponds in the
forest peat swamps of West Borneo. This was perfect because the rivers of El
Dragon Island offered a lot of shady areas, mossy areas, calm areas, and a stream. They also loved eating living mosquito larvae
which in my books was a plus! In this size of paludarium, I could comfortably
house an impressive school of ten mosquito rasboras, which was awesome! I couldn’t wait to do it! But before I could add our Mosquito Rasbora
fish into this river, there was something I needed to do first. The waters were not prepared to house a school
of fish just yet. We first needed to move in a special preparatory
team! Remember last week how I said that it was
essential that our river was biologically established with enough beneficial bacteria
to properly sustain life? Well, right now the bacterial colonies are
still building up and are doing ok at keeping our shrimp healthy, but I fear there may not
be enough beneficial bacteria to sustain a school of fish. Let me explain. So without getting too in depth with the biochemistry
of it all, basically, all animals excrete waste in the water right? Excrement, urine, etc. This waste releases ammonia into the water
which is toxic to fish and aquatic creatures. Now here’s where the bacteria work comes in. AC Family get this: a group of bacteria covert
the ammonia to nitrite which is even more toxic than ammonia, but another team of bacteria
consume this nitrite and convert it to nitrate, which is a lot safer to fish than ammonia
and nitrite. Periodic partial water changes help remove
the build up of this nitrite before it gets to dangerous levels. So, we needed to make sure we had enough of
this beneficial bacteria to neutralize the amount of waste produced by a school of ten
mosquito rasoboras, otherwise adding the fish would poison El Dragon’s waters and kill all
its inhabitants. So, to gather this dream team of bacteria,
I had to dig into my larger tank’s filtration system and borrow some of the medium. Beneficial bacteria live mostly in the substrate,
on decor, and in the filter of aquariums. The sands and plants I used for El Dragon’s
rivers were all transplanted from my larger biologically established tank, so I knew I
had a lot of beneficial bacteria in El Dragon waters already but I wanted to add more just
to be on the safe side. So here before us is El Dragon’s filter, a
simple submersible filter with canisters holding the medium to house the bacteria. So here I had our canister with propagated
filter medium from my larger tank just packed with all that awesome bacteria, and in the
other canister, I wanted to add this cool stuff called Biosphere, containing rock biological
media for filters with bacteria already added to it. I popped a few of these babies inside, and
voila! One final thing I had to do was wrap this
entire thing in more media just to make sure any shrimplets don’t get sucked in, now that
the shrimps are breeding. And now we were ready to reinstall our filter,
a new planet of beneficial bacteria just waiting to eat up and neutralize our fish waste! I placed the filter in, and in a thick gross
brown cloud, the gunk from inside our filter blew all around the rivers of El Dragon. Though our water now looked polluted and dirty,
don’t be fooled. This is good dirt! Our populations of bacteria were now being
transported by the currents to all areas of our river. The gunk covered the sandy floors, embedded
themselves into the rock crevices, attached to plants, and nourished our moss. The shrimp were having a field day at all
this gunky goodness, picking away and eating anything it found tasty. The rivers of El Dragon were now seeded with
this life-sustaining team of beneficial microbiota, which would be the biological welcoming party
to our new water beasts. The next day, the waters were super clear,
The bacteria were now settled, and we were ready to add our fish. But suddenly a movement in the water caught
my eye. Is that what I thought it was? Oh no! Pharaoh ants in the water! I tried to fish one out and indeed, it was
a living pharaoh ant! It was confirmed. The pharaoh ant workers were now attempting
to swim across! This was bad. We needed to release our guardians now! AC Family, behold our great water beasts! Ok, so they were small, very small! But to pharaoh ants they were huge sharks! Look at them! I couldn’t wait to add them in! Let’s do this, AC Family! I poured the fish in, and as I stepped back
to watch them explore their new home, it was as if suddenly time stood still. Watching them was actually quite beautiful. At first the fish were a bit scattered and
disoriented. They were suddenly in a strange place they’d
never seen before. But it wasn’t long before they all found each
other and their instincts kicked right in, and they began to school. In a group together they began to explore
El Dragon’s river waters, at first they got a feel for the fast currents, and then eventually
made their way towards the peaceful gully, and checked things out around the corner where
our mosses were. I was suddenly a bit worried about how they’d
get along with our shrimp, but no, the shrimp and the fish seemed to acknowledge each other’s
presence but not bother each other. This was just amazing, AC Family. Over the next few hours, I watched as the
fish began to gradually come into their own and navigate El Dragon’s waters much more
confidently. They played in the waters, riding the exhilarating
river currents, then moving to slower waters, only to decide they wanted to swim in fast
waters again. Back and forth, the fish swam happily and
started to pick at the little specs of stuff the currents carried downstream. It was amazing to watch our mosquito rasbora
school acting as they would in the wild. But now the question was, would these fish
be efficient at eating pharaoh ants trying to swim across? Only time would tell, and I promised myself
I would keep my eye open to film the moment if I was ever lucky enough to catch it, but
based on the condition of the water surface just 1 day after adding the fish, it seemed
our mosquito rasboras were super thorough at feeding on whatever came floating on the
surface of the water. Look at how clear! Alright, let’s give our new school of Mosquito
Rasboras a name, shall we? Leave your name suggestions in the comments
and I will choose my top 5 picks for us to vote on in a future video. AC Family, as I watched our new water beasts,
now a bit more colourful, play and feed, I felt assured that our pharaoh ant invaders
no longer stood a chance at setting foot on El Dragon. Our Polyrhachis ants could rely on these fish
to keep them safe. I went to check the Polyrhachis nest progress… Oh no! AC Family, looking into the nest now, it was
completely empty! The Polyrhachis ants are all gone! What happened? And shortly after their disappearance, something
absolutely mind-boggling happened that left me speechless. What is this? Oh boy, AC Family! So many questions, and trust me, you won’t
want to miss the answers in next week’s episode, so be sure to hit that SUBSCRIBE button now
so you can keep following this epic ant story, and also don’t forget to hit LIKE every single
time, including now. By the way AC Family, in case you were wondering
about when I will update on the other ant colonies on this channel, rest assured I will
be featuring them soon. I generally try to share these epic ant stories
in trilogies before moving on to the next ant colony, and indeed some exciting news
is coming up! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here if you would like to watch some really awesome and special footage of our
Polyrhachis ants nest building, and just a hint, there’s something else there that you
might find cool! Also, I would like to quickly plug my daily
vlogging channel, that’s vlogs uploaded every single day, in case you may be wondering what
I do in between these weekly ant videos. Thank you to all AC Family who have already
subscribed! Alright and now it’s time for the AC Question
of the Week! Last week we asked: What did we observe
in the Polyrhachis ants that was previously largely
unknown to biologists? Congratulations to Omega Rex who correctly
answered: Feeding Ecology Congratulations Omega Rex, you just won a
free ebook handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: How do beneficial bacteria
help keep fish alive in an aquarium? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free ebook handbook from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE
if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

Roly Polies Came From the Sea to Conquer the Earth | Deep Look

Roly Polies Came From the Sea to Conquer the Earth | Deep Look


Pill bugs…… roly polies….. potato bugs… whatever you want to call them, somehow there’s something less creepy about these guys than other insects. More loveable, or something. Maybe it’s because they’re not insects
at all. Pill bugs are actually crustaceans. They’re more closely related to shrimp and
lobsters than crickets or beetles. Pill bugs even taste like shellfish, if you
cook them right. Some adventurous foragers call them wood shrimp. As early as 300 million years ago, some intrepid
ancestor crawled out of the ocean, sensing there might be more to eat, or less competition,
on dry land.” But unlike lobsters, pillbugs can roll up
into a perfect little ball for protection. If you look closely you can see the evidence
of where these guys came from. Like their ocean-dwelling cousins, pill bugs
still use gills to breathe. True insects — like this cricket — use a
totally different system. See those tiny holes on this cricket’s abdomen? They’re called spiracles. They lead to a series of tubes that bring
fresh air directly to the insect’s cells. But pill bugs don’t have any of that. To survive on land, they had to adapt. Their gills, called pleopods, are modified
to work in air. Folds in the pleopod gills developed into
hollow branched structures, almost like tiny lungs. In a way, the pillbug is only halfway to becoming
a true land animal. Because… they’re still gills. They need to be kept moist in order to work. Which is why you usually find pill bugs in
moist places, like under damp, rotting logs. They can’t venture too far away. Sure, pill bugs look like the most ordinary
of bugs. But they’re much more than that: evidence
that over evolutionary time, species make big, life-changing leaps. And those stories are written on their bodies. Hey, while we’re on the subject of oddball
crustaceans… check out this episode about mantis shrimp. Their eyes see colors we can’t even
comprehend. Their punch is faster than Muhammad Ali’s. And while we have you: Subscribe. OK? Thank you! And see you next time.

Shrimp Packs A Powerful Punch 🍤 | Freaky Creatures

Shrimp Packs A Powerful Punch 🍤 | Freaky Creatures


♪ NARRATOR: What a beautiful
place, Mother Nature! MOTHER NATURE: Thanks. I’m proud of the colors
and creatures here. NARRATOR:
Do you have a favorite? MOTHER NATURE: I love everything
under the sea equally… but there is one
that’s truly unique. The peacock mantis shrimp. NARRATOR: What is that? MOTHER NATURE: It’s a brightly
colored crustacean with folded claws. Beautiful…and deadly! NARRATOR: Ooh, I’d better keep
an eye on this one. MOTHER NATURE:
Actually, these bright beauties can keep an eye on you and watch for their next victim. They can see
in two directions at once. NARRATOR: Whoaaa… MOTHER NATURE: It also holds
a world record– fastest puncher. [bam bam bam!] NARRATOR: It has fists? MOTHER NATURE: Kind of. It has spring-loaded claws, also known as “hammer claws.” NARRATOR: That sounds
like it would hurt. MOTHER NATURE: It does! When they’re not
breaking through shells, they are fighting off anyone
who enters their home turf. NARRATOR: That is one dangerous
and beautiful creature! That’s freaky!