Please note images show the 4 tube array. This listing is for the 3 tube array.
A formicarium that brings the functionality and practicality of test tubes to the next level. It is modular, expandable, easy to care and full of features. We love the fact that you can expand slowly and serve only the areas that need to, best of all its chambers are using a long insert and has refillable water chambers.
One of the most common mistakes we come across is moving a colony to a formicarium (big space) too early, but it is also hard to make slow, gradual steps as it is hard to find a formicarium design or size that fits the colony needs, one solution, especially on the beginning stages (1 to 150) workers, is to slowly increase the space and with this formicarium doing so is very easy, remember ants like tight cozy spaces, and when we provide such ants tend to keep their chambers clean. When moving to a new place most ants decide so with a voting system so when we limit the options it is more likely they will move to where we want to and faster.
Each test tube has a watering hole at the back, allowing you to control the humidity levels on each tube, you can choose where to have more or less humidity as needed. We suggest always having at least one dry tube in the set-up, so your colony has a humidity gradient to choose from.
Due to the hole on the back, test tubes are not able to hold full level water capacity compared to a traditional test tube, water would flood into the insert area if filled too much, this is due to the lack of negative pressure, we recommend using crushed vermiculite or perlite to fill the water reservoir space, therefore increasing its capacity to hold more water and for longer periods of time, each tube comes already prefilled with perlite and cotton in place, you can buy more perlite here, photos show examples of this, when injecting water please do so slowly and carefully observing for saturation on the cotton, the goal is to add enough water but avoid flooding the insert underside.
The test tube port is designed to have a little empty space within its connecting tunnels to avoid ants using it as a chamber, encouraging them to keep the port clean so it is only used for traffic. The port aligns perfectly to the back hole opening of our “glass outworlds”, you can skip the hose between them by gluing it directly on the back with a tiny bit of fish tank safe silicone, this allows you to use the entire inside diameter.
Each kit comes with everything needed to get connected to an “outworld (foraging area)” or any of our formicariums. You will receive; a test tube port, a piece of 5 cm vinyl tubing, 1 plug, enough silicone fittings to attach test tubes to the port, glass test tubes with a drilled hole at the back, a small bag of crushed perlite, long plastic inserts with the option of sand texture and either a red film with a one-piece ring or separate black jackets with rings or both if you choose so.
The red film has the advantage of allowing you to see inside without touching the set-up, the black jackets are useful as they can protect only the areas you need to, also completely block all light but do need to be removed by gently sliding them out to be able to see the insides of the tubes.
This unit is compatible with our 16x125mm test tubes (also fits 16x150mm); you can buy extra test tubes, inserts, cotton water keepers, jackets, feeding inserts, etc., all fit and can help further customize your test tube formicarium.
Diameters on Test Tube Port:
Test Tube opening measures 14 mm, with the soft silicone fittings it can hold test tubes with 12 to 14.1 mm inside diameter.
Connection openings measure 9.5 mm (3/8″) or 12.7 mm (1/2″)
Test tubes measure 16×125 mm, Inserts measure 83 mm long.
Material: Made with sturdy PLA pro, borosilicate glass, sanded and un-sanded grout and mineral additives, silicone tubing, vinyl tubing
Weight (all parts) and Dimensions (assembled):
Three Test Tube Port: 82 grams, 14.5 x 76.5 x 24 mm
How to clean the inserts
Cleaning your insert is very easy. Once you have removed a tube and plugged the port with cotton.
We recommend using 3% USP hydrogen peroxide and a soft brush to clean the insert, it can be found on any pharmacy, the mildly abrasive properties of hydrogen peroxide acts a gentle non-toxic bleach. If you have 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, then rinse with distilled water and let it air dry.
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.