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What you need to know to start breeding ants

At fairs, exchanges, in letters, over the phone, and even during personal meetings, families or clients who want to start their adventure with ants always ask the same:
What do you need to know to start breeding ants?
For us, this question is already the norm and we certainly know a clear and fairly short answer. Now we will write everything for you, and after reading this article, you will have enough information to start your first colony.

Let's start!
First, ants are very independent individuals that only need a few minutes of your time a day, or even once every few days!
Secondly. The minimum you need to have is the ants to look after and the right house (formarium) in which they will live. These are two things that are enough to become a myrmikeeper.
Let's start with choosing a colony. If you are not experienced in keeping other insects or animals, and you want to try with the simplest kind. Then we would definitely recommend starting with the simplest type of ants - the favorite of all beginners, the Messor reaper.

Honestly, it can be any subspecies of this species, as the main difference between them is color, place of origin and size. Some subspecies would like slightly different living conditions (slightly warmer temperatures), but usually these are more expensive species. Insects are best fed from a pet store or private breeders, and if you catch a worm at home, freeze it to kill all possible bacteria as the colony can become infected and then kill the entire colony. Food may be served every few days. And generally pour out a little more grain and watch for a few months to have enough stock.

We personally offer a choice of Messor barbarus, Messor structor, Messor capitatus, Messor hebraues or Messor wasmanni.

General breeding conditions: Humidity: enough to be in the formicaria with regular moistening. Room temperature, in summer even up to 30, in winter it is advisable not to drop below 21-22, because from 20 and below the ants become less active, and at 15 they can go into diapause. This species does not require wintering, that is, if it is warm enough in winter, they will still be active all year round.
Ants eat mainly grain (any grain, millet, wheat, poppy, etc.), insects, preferably squashed or dead.
There is no definite answer whether it is worth giving them syrups or similar carbohydrates, but personally we stick to the fact that it is not worth it.

Ants are indifferent to the light, you can choose not to buy additional light, you can also choose not to cover the formicarium, because ants will get used to the light, and after opening the curtains, they can become stressed. Heating is also not required, but if you suddenly want to heat them up, then the heating part should only be placed under the arena (or a little under the socket). In addition, ants do not like loud sounds and vibrations. If you can, try not to stress them too much.

If you feel more confident and ready to spend a little more time on the ants and feed more often every 2-5 days, you can try Camponotus. Most often they are quite large, they also have beautiful soldiers with a big head. Their diets include insects, syrups, and fruits and vegetables. They are wintering and non-wintering, but we offer only without wintering: Camponotus nicobarensis / turkestanus / fedtchenkoi / parius / irritans / pseudoirritans / festinus / maculatus / fellah and others.

And most often they live in drier formicaria, but the rest of the content data is identical.

We come to the Formicarium
In fact, ants can live in almost any formicarium, you can read our article on which ones are good and which are not.

In our offer, absolutely every formarium is suitable for both ants. The formicarium should have an arena (volumetric and high part) in which we feed the ants, walk on them and take their rubbish away. It is a good idea to throw away this rubbish once in a while.
A nest (passages or tunnels as many call them) where ants live. We strongly recommend that you populate the ants so that the nest is small. If you settle a small colony in a large nest, you can be 99 percent sure that they will dump it there, mold will emerge, the ants will be very stressed and most likely die one by one. This is a common mistake of many who begin and then begin looking for the cause of the colony's death. Therefore, either buy a small formicarium or a formicarium with the possibility of gradual opening of passages or nests. This is provided in all our slots. We have installed doors that open easily and provide a new living space.

Also in the formicarium there will be a sponge or a humidification chamber, into which you need to pour water every 1-3 days. It depends on how dry the room is.
Additional tips
- Formicarium cannot stand in a place where the sun's rays fall.
- We advise you to put an incubator-drinker in the arena (a tube completely filled with water with cotton wool on the end) so that the ants have access to water at all times.
- If you want to leave the ants for a few days, give them a little more food, pour water over the aisle chambers. and be sure to leave the test tube with water and make a little more space so that if something happens, the ants will move to the test tube.
- Remember to close all possible covers or doors that give the ants access to get out of the formicarium. If the beginner ants go free, don't worry, they won't bite you, these ants have gone out exploring in search of food and won't be able to settle down somewhere and breed new ants (only if the queen hasn't escaped). If you find a fugitive, you can carefully bring him home with a leaf.

These are the most important things you need to know when you start raising ants! You are now ready for your first colony!
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