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The Atom Formicarium is a new formicarium from Tar Heel Ants. To a degree like no other formicarium we have made before, these are strictly for founding queens to be given the chance to raise their first workers and brood and start their colony off in a more natural-sized habitat.
What comes with your Atom Formicarium?
Style A comes with a pipette for adding water and a rubber stopper for the opening to be plugged.
Style A Dimensions:1 3/8" diameter and 1/2" tall (35mm x 11mm)
Hydration is performed inserting water through a small hole in the lid. A pipette or syringe is filled with water and the reservoir is then filled with the pipette by squeezing until the reservoir is full. You may need to fill the reservoir more than once to see water spread into the main chamber. You can overflow the reservoir until water seeps into the main chamber with the ants. Once water begins spreading across the interior of the nest, hydration should be stopped. Practice a few times before adding your ants to the Atom A. While it is not an exact science, it is very simple method of adding water to a formicarium after you have a little experience. If your ants are in a foraging area with your Atom A, use the non-viewing surfaces of the lid to place tiny water droplets for drinking.TIP Use warm water when hydrating as it absorbs faster!
Style A can only house ants up to medium size. Some ants, such as small Campontous species such as Camponotus nearcticus may be better suited for the Atom B formicaria. While the workers are certainly medium sized, the queens will not be comfortable in the tighter chambers and tunnels in the Atom A. Please email us with questions about our recommendations for your specific species at email@example.com
Keeping tiny and small ants queens?
We strongly recommend Atom A for these. The following species were kept extensively in Style A nests during our testing phase of the Atom: Brachymyrmex sp., Temnothorax sp., Solenopsis invicta, Tetramorium sp. E, Pheidole sp., Nylanderia sp., Colobopsis impressus, Solenopsis molesta, etc.. This is just a partial list of what we kept in them here at Tar Heel Ants but many more ants would be included in this size category.
Style A is not large enough for large species such as Camponotus castaneus, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, and other large Camponotus species. Odonotomachus spp., Formica spp., would also be too large.
Style A Atom nests MUST be hydrated every 1-2 days(although longer is possible depending on the relative humidity where they are kept)
Once workers arrive and the colony is moved into a foraging area, this frequency will likely be much longer. Why is 1-2 days acceptable? Pet ants should be frequently monitored (in our opinion) and adding a little water during the check-ins is minimally disturbing and quick for the ant keeper. ***We strongly recommend Style B if you are not certain about being able to check on your ants every day. Style B can be left for 2-3 weeks (or more in some cases) without need for maintenance when used properly.
Why use Style A over B?
Small ants like small spaces, you will see a difference in their behavior and they settle into laying eggs more quickly on average. Style B does have advantages over A, however. For example, you cannot keep a Camponotus castaneus or other large ants in Style A due to their size.
Suggestions for use: We strongly recommend the use of a microscope with the Atom formicarium . This will enhance your experience with not just the formicarium but particularly the ants. See the videos below for examples of things you may see.
When ants arrive the idea is to prepare a foraging area ahead of time and then place the Atom inside the foraging area, removing the stopper. This nest will then be loose inside the formicarium. Optionally you can use this to move your colonies into Inception Chambers or other formicaria that you can place the Atom into and open up.
(Select a Foraging Area from our Accessories Page on this website)
In old days of raising founding queens there was the test tube method. Everywhere people inserted queen ants inside glass test tubes of various sizes where they could watch as queen ants laid their eggs and raised their first workers in a 360 glass display. This never set well with some people including one hobbyist who set it as his goal to make more naturalistic habitats for his pet ants. One day, this hobbyist dreamed of an idea where queen ants could be raised not in round glass tubes but a founding habitat more akin to what they would use in the their native habitats. Size and cost of the final product were both very important. Hydration choices for the ant keeper were also important so more than one was devised for varying preferences (see other versions of the Atom). Most important was the interior "feel" of the nest. Many ant keepers like to take photos and we wanted them to look like the queens were in actual underground chambers they created (see below).
The Atom Formicarium is a new formicarium from Tar Heel Ants. To a degree like no other formicarium we have made before, these are strictly for founding queens to be given the chance to raise their first workers and brood and start their colony off in a more natural-sized habitat. A little background for those interested....
The Inception Chamber is where the Atom Formicarium sprouted its roots. With the Inception Chamber formicaria new methods were utilized to create tiny tunnels and chambers. These habitats are sized more closely to the ants natural habitats underground (and in wood etc.). The Atom formicaria is basically the smallest form possible of the Inception Chamber.
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