June 13, 2007
by: jovial_cynic
I've looked around online for different kinds of ant-farm designs, as I want to be able to really see the ants digging around. There's all sorts of designs - some folks cut out elaborate lattice-work paths, and some use shaped plaster.

I decided to take my rarely-used router and carve some tunnels into a scrap piece of 2x6 that I've had sitting around for a while. I picked up a large sheet of Plexiglas from Home Depot recently, and after carving out the wood, stapling on some side rails, drilling holes in the Plexiglas, screwing the Plexiglass down, and adding some wood glue to seal things up, I came up with this:

It's double sided, and I've cut holes into the tunnels that allow the ants to traverse both sides of the habitat through them. I also drilled holes in the top of the rails to allow me to connect tubes to other chambers. I guess it's better to have foraging areas in separate containers, since food will tend to mold and cause problems.

Anyhow, this thing only took me an hour to build, and now that I've made one, I can probably make more faster. Maybe I'll make a few more and sell them...
np category: ants


jjhaling said:
ant farms consume way to much amounts of time
October 29, 2009

Tom Hanson said:
I wanted to let you know how impressed I am with your ant farm idea. I am from Salt Lake City, Utah and we have a wide variety of ants from giant wood ants that are nearly an inch long and jet black in color. . . right down to ants that are so tiny I noticed them accidently while watching a tiger beetle. My favorites are the Harvestor and a smaller version of a wood ant species. I was amazed to find that one entomologist poured polyester resin down a harvestor ant nest and when he carefully dug it up. . .it was over 8 feet deep in the soil. I must disagree with you. Every minute spent observing ants is one minute added to your life.

February 12, 2010

jovial_cynic said:
Tom -

Thanks! Now living in California, we have TONS of fire ants everywhere. I'm not sure if I want to start a fire ant colony in my house... but who knows? I might.

February 12, 2010

BLA said:

June 16, 2010

Ollie said:
Great idea - and it looks nice. Did you ever go into "production" of these? And how successful was it as a healthy ant farm?
January 02, 2011

jovial_cynic said:
Ollie -

If you check out my ant section of my blog, you can see how I went away from this model and chose to use modular sections for an ant farm instead. The modules ended up being far more interesting!

January 02, 2011

BugBarb said:
I have created several ant habitats. I like to call them castles. Why? Because QUEENS live in castles not farms! I have created smaller versions similar to yours. I use my dremel tool to carve a brooding/nesting chamber for the queen and more tunnels and chambers for when the colony expands. I like the carpenter ants, camponotus, especially the largest species, camponotus vicinus, that is around. Currently, I have 11 newly mated queens that I found in my yard. They must have been out looking for a suitable place to inhabit to start their colony. Being that I have so many and it will take time to raise the first workers, I put them in 2"x2"x3" clear plastic boxes. I have finished 6 habitats to slip into the boxes, so they have a brooding chamber and one extra tunnel. I slipped with the dremel tool and bisected my thumbnail lengthwise. I have had to stop my production of queen brooding habitats until I heal sufficiently. I have created some out of celluclay paper mache, which are drying. If they are dry, I think I'm healed enough to try my hand at the dremel router bit again.
I can't wait to see the first eggs.
By the way, have you visited the ants and myrmecology website. It has an awesome amount of information on ants and antkeeping.
"Anty Barbie"

April 08, 2011

bob said:
we tryed it but i dosnt work tht weell
May 15, 2011

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