1. Post #1
    garry's Avatar
    September 2001
    12,410 Posts
    I'm preparing to make a wall mounted ant farm. Here's the plan.

    I've ordered 2 sheets of plastic from here. One is 80mm thick, transparent. One is 40mm thick, bright green. Both around 1200mm by 600mm.

    The plan is to buy some lengths of wood, at least 60mmx60mm, route out 2 trenches in it with about 100mm between them. Then mitre the wood up into a frame. Then insert the plastic sheets, fill with dirt and buy a queen ant.

    I'll update the thread with progress shots.

    UPDATE

    I got 3 lengths of wood. I only need two, which is good because one has a big chunk knocked out of it.



    Got them clamped in my utility room



    Never routed before, so a bit of a test. Successful.



    Here's the router bit



    I'm using a Dremel Trio



    The guide works like this



    This is thick enough for the back panel, but I'll have to do 2 runs for the front sheet.




    I'm leaving around a centimeter inside between the sheets for the dirt and ants. I'm leaving a space in the back incase I want to add some lighting in future. Not likely because the ants won't like that, but it's there if I decide to tease them.



    I'm only sanding down the front channel. This is the only one that's going to be visible.



    Mess



    I'm spraypainting the frame black. I'm going to give it a few coats. But I ran out of paint so I'll have to go fetch some when I fetch the soil tomorrow.




    Meanwhile the plastic arrived!





    Looks good! Going to leave the protected sheets on for now though, don't want to risk scratching the hell out of the transparent one!





    UPDATE

    So I cut the frame and screwed it together. I originally planned on using glue, but decided that screws would be better. I had planned to have the top of the frame too - but at the last minute decided to cut the top off straight and come up with another solution. I want the wood at the top to be lighter so I can take it off and on easier. I might leave it open for a bit to see whether the ants would escape anyway.



    I filled and sanded the frame, and gave it another spray. It's good enough for me right now.



    Because there's only 3 walls the sides pull away from the center, so I'll need to glue the panels in to keep it all together. Maybe. Because it'll be fixed to the wall anyway - so maybe I won't.




    The bottom corners are perfect though, so it's all good.



    UpDATE

    I got it all glued together



    Oh oh!



    All fits together nicely!



    Made a bit of a mess with the glue



    I screwed it to the wall



    To do this I drilled a big hole half way through, then put the screw inside that and screwed through the remaining half of the frame. I'm going to get some bungs for these holes.



    From the other direction



    Lights on



    Arty Shots





    Built the lid!


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  2. Post #2
    Wait... so if I write anything here, it's going to show up under my name?
    B!N4RY's Avatar
    December 2009
    7,362 Posts
    Ant farm gel would be a better substituent for soil if you are planning to display it on the wall. It can come with variety of clear colors, light can pass through it therefore you can clearly see the frameworks developed by the ants, and they have no problem surviving in it. Looks great in any room and you can also install some LEDs to illuminate/accompany the color of the gel.
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  3. Post #3
    Master Captain
    DeadCow's Avatar
    August 2010
    2,028 Posts
    Oh god I remember these from when I was 6... I wanted to keep my ants in sight 24/7 so I sneaked the ant farm into my bedroom and hid it in my dresser. Oh god, what a mistake. Ants everywhere.
    Similar picture of the one I had

    Good luck Garry!

    Edited:

    Forgot to post my main point...

    Make sure the thing is VERY well sealed. Be overly paranoid if you don't want ants everywhere.
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  4. Post #4
    The Silent Rater
    Timenova's Avatar
    November 2009
    3,266 Posts
    Ant farm gel would be a better substituent for soil if you are planning to display it on the wall. It can come with variety of clear colors, light can pass through it therefore you can clearly see the frameworks developed by the ants, and they have no problem surviving in it. Looks great in any room and you can also install some LEDs to illuminate/accompany the color of the gel.
    No, it isn't good for long-term keeping. I have kept ants for over a year- the gel feeds the workers but not the queen and larvae, who require protein in their diet and other specific nutrients. The gel is also likely to kill them within a few weeks. Stick to soil or no soil.

    This is one of my black ant queen from this year:



    She has about twenty workers. This species is a very productive egg layer and can be expected to start laying eggs within days of catching.

    Lasius flavus, yellow ant:



    L.flavus is much like the black ant, L.niger, but they are nocturnal and very shy. And yes, I am keeping three queens together. They can be polygynous if needed, meaning more than one queen. This colony has about 20 workers.

    Messor barbarus, harvester from Spain:



    These live in dry conditions and collect seeds with which they make a paste to eat, called 'ant bread'. Queens are very large, and they have a soldier caste capable of drawing blood in human skin. About 20 workers in this one as well, because the queen took a long time to start up.

    Pheidole pallidula, mini army ant:



    Very tiny, but very strong and aggressive. Queens are very productive. This species has a genuine soldier caste with a hugely disproportionate head. My colony has about 100 workers with one soldier.

    Good site to get ants, German based company but fast delivery: http://www.ants-kalytta.com/home.php

    Just remember that its best to start with the common black ant. Queens of any species take roughly two months to raise their first workers, and they shouldn't be checked on more than once a week during the process. Its quite interesting to watch.

    If you need any help with the actual keeping of them or just advice, don't hesitate to ask.
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  5. Post #5
    garry's Avatar
    September 2001
    12,410 Posts
    Ant farm gel would be a better substituent for soil if you are planning to display it on the wall. It can come with variety of clear colors, light can pass through it therefore you can clearly see the frameworks developed by the ants, and they have no problem surviving in it. Looks great in any room and you can also install some LEDs to illuminate/accompany the color of the gel.
    The black ants I'm getting aren't suitable for the gel. I kind of prefer the soil anyway I think, it gives you bolder lines - that's kind of what I'm looking for.
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  6. Post #6
    garry's Avatar
    September 2001
    12,410 Posts
    Plastic is being delivered today!
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  7. Post #7

    May 2007
    60 Posts
    Please post your experiences with setting it all up/keeping the ants when you're done garry! :)

  8. Post #8
    The Silent Rater
    Timenova's Avatar
    November 2009
    3,266 Posts
    Got another bit of advice- ants cannot see red light, so covering the setup with a sheet of a suitable red filter will let you see them and they'll still find it dark.
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  9. Post #9
    garry's Avatar
    September 2001
    12,410 Posts
    Updated! I could have made my life a lot easier by buying the frames and then buying 6 lengths of strip wood to go either side of the panels, instead of cutting channels out. Live and learn.
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  10. Post #10
    PLAY IT LOUD!!!
    K3inMitl3id's Avatar
    February 2010
    2,875 Posts
    Garry you got a pretty pimpin vaccum cleaner there.

    This looks pretty sweet though. Can't wait until it's finished.
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  11. Post #11
    Cake like Lady Gaga
    Shadaez's Avatar
    December 2005
    16,012 Posts
    Are you liking the Dremel Trio?

  12. Post #12
    Voted WORST Gold Member 2012
    Killuah's Avatar
    August 2005
    15,453 Posts
    Are the ants good with the spraypaint garry? Sometimes it's toxic for them.

  13. Post #13
    garry's Avatar
    September 2001
    12,410 Posts
    That's a good point! I wouldn't have thought it would be too bad being dry, but I guess covering it up on the inside wouldn't hurt.

  14. Post #14
    Played it for the plot
    Dennab
    October 2008
    14,789 Posts
    hows that dremel trio? I've been looking at getting one
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  15. Post #15
    Gold Member
    [Seed Eater]'s Avatar
    July 2011
    5,723 Posts
    Ah man this is awesome. You've inspired me to try and get one of my own in the spring.

  16. Post #16
    ForMod2013
    KnightVista's Avatar
    June 2009
    2,832 Posts
    How many ants do you plan on getting?
    I can only imagine an "accident."

    Much similar to Black Mesa, but with Ants.
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  17. Post #17
    Beanz's Avatar
    April 2011
    848 Posts
    How many ants do you plan on getting?
    I can only imagine an "accident."

    Much similar to Black Mesa, but with Ants.
    "...Prepare for unforeseen con...- OH GOD ANTS EVERYWHERE!"

    also, this is a pretty cool idea. i'd love to do something like this but with some other insect since i have a huge problem with myrmecophobia. where are you going to have it?
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  18. Post #18
    garry's Avatar
    September 2001
    12,410 Posts
    Updated!

    The dremel trio is pretty good. I get the feeling that a real router would have made things easier because it'd have been more powerful - but for smaller jobs it's great.

  19. Post #19
    Gold Member
    BummieHEad's Avatar
    January 2010
    466 Posts
    I've always wanted one of those, looking good!
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  20. Post #20
    Gold Member
    Furioso's Avatar
    October 2006
    4,720 Posts
    just make sure that when you've got ants in there, you keep a flamethrower in reach at all times just in case the plastic breaks somehow
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  21. Post #21
    GOLF WANG
    Alec W's Avatar
    August 2006
    7,602 Posts
    Suddenly I'm fascinated with ants again.
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  22. Post #22
    frosty802's Avatar
    April 2009
    445 Posts
    Looking awesome, just hope they don't manage to escape, are you planning to put a see-lent around the joints?

    Plus where's it going to live? Hopefully out of sunlight so you don't cook your ants ^.^

    I know its harsh but it has to be said, "Where did I put that magnifying glass".

  23. Post #23
    garry's Avatar
    September 2001
    12,410 Posts
    Updated OP

    Things I've got left to do

    • Top blocker - gonna build this out of strip wood so it's lighter.
    • Get Soil
    • Get Ants
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  24. Post #24
    Gold Member
    BummieHEad's Avatar
    January 2010
    466 Posts
    When will the ants arrive?

  25. Post #25
    deggie's Avatar
    August 2010
    2,632 Posts
    That looks incredibly clean. nice job
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  26. Post #26
    Gold Member
    ManxKat's Avatar
    January 2007
    170 Posts
    Can't wait for the ants and lighting!
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  27. Post #27
    The Silent Rater
    Timenova's Avatar
    November 2009
    3,266 Posts
    It's a nice looking setup. I guess you plan on feeding them through the top?

  28. Post #28
    garry's Avatar
    September 2001
    12,410 Posts
    Build the lid for it out of glued together strip wood, spraypainted it and popped it on. Updated the OP.

  29. Post #29
    ~ pissing excellence ~
    Fingers!!!'s Avatar
    May 2005
    2,844 Posts
    Nice room man!
    Nice everything, but as the guy above said, check ALL the seals.
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  30. Post #30
    CJF
    PieClock's Avatar
    August 2006
    16,298 Posts
    Can't wait to see this finished.

    Also your house is sexy as fuck, I love it's style.
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  31. Post #31
    frosty802's Avatar
    April 2009
    445 Posts
    Can't wait to see this finished.

    Also your house is sexy as fuck, I love it's style.
    Loving the style but personally I like a cosy sitting room.

    Looking awesome though Garry, when are you starting to show people around.

  32. Post #32
    garry's Avatar
    September 2001
    12,410 Posts
    Define cosy? Small?
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  33. Post #33
    rogasm
    Rolond Returns's Avatar
    May 2010
    4,824 Posts
    The white walls and large amounts of empty space seem a little austere, especially with the chairs facing away from the entrances to the room. Otherwise it's a damn fine place.

  34. Post #34
    frosty802's Avatar
    April 2009
    445 Posts
    Define cosy? Small?
    Instead of black furniture against a white setting I would go for warmer colours. Space to me isn't a variable in cosy. Plus the post above sums it well that you have your back to some entrances. Personnaly I'd prefer a little more furniture in a room.

    But then its not my place to question someone else's house. I still like it, just personally I'd change afew things.

    EDIT: I think the real thing bothering me is the colour scheme and the fact your sat in the middle of the room (I presume from what I can see in the images)

  35. Post #35
    garry's Avatar
    September 2001
    12,410 Posts
    I get what you mean, but it;d be hard to not face away from the entrances :)


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  36. Post #36
    Gold Member
    ewitwins's Avatar
    December 2009
    14,199 Posts
    Man, Garry, your house looks so ridiculously spiff with the flooring you guys installed.

    I like the stickers on the stairwell, too
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  37. Post #37
    frosty802's Avatar
    April 2009
    445 Posts
    I get what you mean, but it;d be hard to not face away from the entrances :)

    -sniped huge images for sack of quote ;p-
    Indeed so! Those stairs, are just wow, never seen anything like that (the wall art) and it looks awesome, whose idea was that? That's some TV you have there, I don't see a nice sound system to go with it though.

    @post above, I don't think they are stickers.

    P.S. looks like garry suffers from the " ; " instead of " ' " thing as well :D

  38. Post #38
    garry's Avatar
    September 2001
    12,410 Posts
    The wall men are stickers, kinda. They're made out of vinyl.

    http://www.supernice.co.uk/product.p...orted-colours-

    I like them better than having framed art on the wall, or wallpaper. They're a lot more modern. And if you get sick of them they just peel off and you can stick something else up there ;)
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  39. Post #39
    Level Design Portfolio
    Mr Anonymous's Avatar
    November 2009
    2,041 Posts
    Apoligies for going off-topic, but: You have such a nice house. And I love your choice of colours in the lounge :) The Vibrant green on the lamp, Ant Farm and cushions look amazing!
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  40. Post #40
    Played it for the plot
    Dennab
    October 2008
    14,789 Posts
    damn, rich fucker

    your house is certainly nicer than mine
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