The Jumbo chamber is a hybrid formicarium with an innovative hydration chamber located at the top center; the unit has a big rounded chamber, it is modular and expandable, the textured interior provides an ideal substrate. The design of the chamber and how the glass sits on it, allows for great visibility.
We call it “Jumbo” due to how it showcases its only chamber, but in reality it is not a big formicarium, it is well suited for colonies that need a medium to small space depending on the size of the species.
You have the option to add-on a pre-cut high light transmission red film.
The water chamber allows to control the humidity depending on frequency and quantity of water added. The unit is very efficient at retaining humidity and needs very little water on a planned schedule. (See instructions below). This nest is best suited for dry up to moderate humidity species (Camponotus is a good example), it definitely can hold high humidity, but keep in mind that the glass is slanted, and if you ever add too much water and saturate the substrate, the excess water will (due to gravity) exit through the bottom edge of the glass and evaporate.
Specifications and Instructions
Dimensions: 10 x 5 x 5 cm +/- 3%
Features on each side and on the back a hole to fit 9.5 mm (3/8-inch) tubing, height is compatible with our plastic and glass outworlds.
Clear glass (2 mm thick) with exceptional clarity mounted with Neodymium magnets.
The frame is 3D printed using PLA pro plastic.
The water chamber is made with a special formulation of porous grout to ensure water transport; inside walls have multiple layers composed of sanded grout and mineral additives.
Weight: 103 grams, with Outside world: 296 +/- 3%
Before introducing any species, please fill-up the water chamber with distilled water to its max capacity; we recommend introducing ants 24 hours after hydration.
Avoid intense vibrations or impacts as this can crack the substrate and glass.
Hydration Chamber Instructions
- Always use distilled water, this helps diminish mineral build up.
- It is ideal to wait 24 to 48 hours after the water chamber empties before adding even more water.
- When adding more water, only fill the chamber to a % similar to the relative humidity % your species requires, (it is rare to need a full fill).
- If water droplets are present on the glass or substrate, or if it looks wet, do not add more water; even if the water chamber is empty, unless you know what you are doing and are dealing with a high humidity species, remember to much water can cause mold outbreaks and also such water will look for ways to escape and evaporate.
The front glass has been carefully paired with the unit to ensure a perfect seal using magnetic force. Glass is waterproof, and the plastic frame around it is close to being waterproof, this means containing humidity inside is very easy. The substrate, is only water-resistant meaning water does not easily go through it, but it does get absorbed within the material. The water chamber uses porous grout to transfer humidity to the inside walls of the nest, similar to cotton inside a founding test tube, but we are capable of controlling the amount of liquid on the other side.
OK, so how do we do it? Measuring how much water goes in and how often is the best and most common method:
When water is added to the chamber, it is expected to slowly absorb into the rest of the inside walls. How quickly the water disappears is an indicator of how dry the nest is, rarely should you need to keep the water chamber re-filled all the way up, as this would only be ideal for high humidity species.
Watering the chamber quarter to halfway once a week seems to keep the inside humidity around 40% to 60%, but this also depends on temperature and external humidity. The water chamber slowly distributes the liquid through the entire nest, this creates a gradient in humidity, the water may disappear from the chamber, but it is now stored within the walls of the nest and will slowly evaporate as it is sealed inside by the plastic frame and glass. If you overfill the nest the walls will become soaked, the water will look for ways to evaporate and most possibly leak through the glass, or crevices in the plastic frame, as well as increasing the possibility of a mold outbreak and or mineral build up.
We suggest observing the glass and substrate surfaces for condensation, having some minor condensation early in the mornings is normal (or with any drop in temperature) but if it is always there or it takes longer to disappear as the day warms up this means you need to add less water and less often. On the contrary, if you never see condensation even with quick reductions in temperature then you may need to add more water and more often, you can test this easily with a tiny piece of ice against the glass, do it on an empty chamber or right in front of the water chamber internal glass, pay attention to the times it takes to see condensation form and use that time as a reference
All of our grout formulations are MOLD resistant, BUT > any leftover food or organic materials as well as excess humidity can result in mold, the key is to provide foods that cannot be dragged into the inside, always use feeding dishes and liquid feeding trays, clean up as often as possible, keep humidity to the minimum needs and ensure your colony has a small tight space to ensure they keep it clean.
How to clean
Cleaning your formicarium is very easy. Remove the front glass with a gentle pull to detach the magnets and gently remove all the dry debris, apply slight pressure to avoid cracking the interior grout.
Once done, we recommend using 3% USP hydrogen peroxide and a very soft brush to clean the grout on the walls; it can be purchased at any pharmacy. The mildly abrasive properties of hydrogen peroxide act as a gentle non-toxic bleach. If you have any hard to remove stains, you can also let it sit submerged in a 50/50% solution of distilled water and hydrogen peroxide for 10 to 20 minutes, once done and ready rinse with distilled water and let it air dry for at least 24 hours without the front glass before it is ready for its next use.
Do not use any soaps or acids like vinegar to clean your grout formicarium as such acids eat away the lime, calcium and other minerals in the grout, they could also leave toxic residues within the porous grout.
The design corresponds to our second generation of “Hybrid” formicariums, an external layer printed with a sturdy frame of PLA plastic sealed with conservation clear glass, an internal layer made of grout, sand and mineral additives. Paired with a watering chamber specially designed to distribute moisture evenly through the chambers.
The exterior layer is very water-resistant and very efficient at retaining humidity, due to the slow evaporation the inner layer maintains very constant levels of humidity, it needs very little water and controlling the dosage of water and frequency determines the overall inner relative humidity of the nest, very little water is needed.
The inner cavity has a sandy and rugged texture, as this provides a better grip for ants with the substrate, similar to the one found on our grout inserts and the most high-quality formicariums on the market.