September 16, 2007
by: jovial_cynic
With my new terrarium setup, I figured that I needed to come up with a good way to keep the ants fed and watered, even though I can't really see them tunnel through the dirt at the moment.

I dug out a small section of the dirt and filled it with moss, and I now periodically dump some water onto the moss instead of directly on the dirt. That way, the water gets absorbed in a usable fashion, instead of just pooling up on top of the dirt. The dirt I have available is really dusty, so it beads the water, causing it to pool up, which is not useful.

Also, I'm using one of the squares of Plexiglas as a way for me to track how much food they're eating. Every night, I put a dead critter on the Plexiglas, and each morning, it's gone. Little round pill bugs, crane flies, spiders... gone, each morning.

I believe that my ants also like aphids (for their honey drops, not to eat), I found a stem of dandelion with aphids crawling all over it. I grabbed a stalk and tossed it onto the Plexiglas, but since I know that the dandelion won't last (it's just the stalk, and not the whole plant), I laid one end of the dandelion on top of a plant that I actually have growing in the terrarium (a hens-and-chicks succulent plant), and some of the aphids have moved over to that plant. It turns out that aphids also crawl on glass very easily, so I've had to secure the top of the terrarium a little tighter to keep them from getting out.

Here's some pics:

Aphid on the terrarium wall:

Aphid on dandelion stem:

Aphid on the succulent (little blurry):

Aphid on the succulent (also little blurry):

And there's probably about 30 or so of the aphids crawling around. Hopefully the ants make use of them. I'd like to see that and take some pictures.
np category: ants


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