The culture tube formicarium brings the concept of inserts and housing ants in test tubes to the next level, we have worked hard at solving some of the most common issues encountered when using plain test tubes and traditional inserts.
>> This formicarium can also be used as a founding chamber, please read below for more details.
Each culture tube formicarium includes
1. Water evaporator module, with a mini 10ml glass jar , the module uses a 12.7 mm (1/2″) piece of tubing to transfer humidity into the connection module, it features a stainless-steel mesh to prevent ants from escaping, it can be used for any other nests. (more details on the water evaporator module product page).
2. Culture tube connection module, with a fixed glass on top and a removable red film, it has 5 holes in it and are used as follows; 1 for connecting a 16 mm test tube with the use of a silicone fitting, 2 x 9.5 mm (3/8″) on the opposite sides for expanding or connections using vinyl tubing, 1 for connecting into the water evaporator module using 12.7 mm tubing; this opening is covered by stainless-steel mesh so, that in the case of needing to disconnect the evaporator module to refill or service ants will not escape, making it easy to use. And last, 1 tiny pinhole 0.5 mm in diameter at the bottom of the chamber to ensure proper ventilation and airflow while preventing ants from escaping.
3. Test tube for culture tube with insert, this is a 16×125 mm borosilicate glass tube, and a plastic insert that can be plain or have substrate similar to all of our other inserts. It also includes a long plastic jacket and a black ring that helps block out the light as well as position the test tube at the proper elevation to connect into the module and allow for a heat cable to pass under. Silicone fitting is also included.
4. Two silicone-filled 9.5 mm tubing plugs, a 5 cm piece of 12.7 mm and 9.5 mm vinyl tube.
More features and benefits of this design compared to traditional test tubes:
>> Here is how to use it as a founding chamber #1
1. The culture tube formicarium can be paired with our other smaller test tube inserts or any test tube setup, as long as they are 16 mm in diameter, for example; fill a tube with water and cotton to the top and use it on the opposite end of the water evaporator module, providing humidity and a drinking source, if such cotton gets moldy just swap it for another one with no need to transfer the entire colony into a new test tube, this creates a very small chamber that can be used for foundation purposes, or leave the test tube empty and plug it with cotton, so it creates a humidity buffer, once the colony is ready to use the long tube then open the tube and use the long insert, the possibilities are endless.
2. Separate water chamber outside the tube, so we do not waste visual space, also allowing for more ants to fit inside the tube and no need to panic if we are running low on water.
3. Increased humidity capacity for species that require such, as we do not have dry cotton leaking humidity in the front, control of the humidity inside the tube is controlled by the quantity, frequency, and temperature of the water deposited in the water chamber as well as where you place your heating cable.
4. We made it easier to set up and refill the test tube, no need to fiddle with cotton balls or water leaking into the colony on every refill, setup time is incredibly fast.
5. Expandable and modular concept.
6. The setup has a humidity gradient, ants can pick what they need.
7. The long insert provides better flooring and grip (cocoon spinning species benefit a lot), reduced stress levels due to a more contained space with crevices to store brood, brood rests against a humid warmer material as opposed to bare glass, no flooding issues. This overall helps brood develop faster as well as greater total worker counts by making the test tube environment more natural.
The glass test tube flushes into the plastic connection module and stays in place with the help of a silicone fitting.
Formicarium assembled measures: 190 x 30mm/ made of PLA plastic and ECO resin. Height depends on the bottle choosen, max height is 8 cm when using the 15ml bottle.
Test Tube: 16mm x 125mm, 12.9g / Borosilicate glass
Weight: 60 grams
Avoid intense vibrations or impacts as this can crack the glass and the substrate.