Feeding Your Ants & Ant Nutrition – AntsCanada Tutorial #11 [HD]

[Music] Hello, what’s up? It’s, uh, Mikey Bustos here, Ants Canada once again bringing you another tutorial on behalf of the Ants Canada ant store you know in the past, it’s been a long way for me in terms of getting the You know, I guess, the formula right in caring for ants learning about you know just really how to properly care for ants and you know the ant keeping hobby itself is a fairly new kind of thing and we’re all really learning from eachother at this point because Like I said, it’s it’s a fairly new activity And craze. One of the things I wanted to share with you guys today Which is so important to know in regards to keeping ants is: ant nutrition and feeding. You essentially need to provide ants three things And that’s water sugary foods and protein and this next video will take you through Exactly that so hope you enjoy it and here it is By far one of the most important areas of ant keeping is nutrition and feeding Providing your ends with proper nutrition is so vital to the success of your ant colony The failure to grow or the decline of a captive ant colony is quite often a result of poor nutrition So we wanted to create a tutorial on how to properly feed your ants essentially providing your ants nutrition consists of three elements a protein food source a sugary food source and water Failure to provide any three of these essentials will lead to malnutrition and eventually the death of an ant colony Before we begin exploring these three elements We should first address the best way in which to provide your ends with the food and water they need For really young colonies of just a few workers some find it easier to provide food as close to the founding chamber as possible And so they choose to place food directly into the formicarium as seen in this photo of Lasius neoniger nantics eating a piece of cricket remember that if you choose this method place the food in a location where it will be easy to reach and clean up later A better option would be to feed the ants in a tube however the best option is to provide your ants with what is called an outworld An outworld is like your colonies Well, outer world an area that will resemble the world outside of the nest In the wild worker ants wander out of their nest and forage for food to bring back to the colony in In captivity, matching this nest and outworld duality in their living space makes things more natural for the ants Having an outworld also makes things a lot cleaner for everyone As you can imagine, living in a moist environment underground in close proximity to each other The Colony is constantly in danger of mold outbreaks other fungi, bacteria, and disease so ants are actually very, very clean when it comes to organic material lying around After eating what they need Ants will literally carry their garbage out of the nest and dump it in their outworld for you to clean up afterwards Having an outworld there for the ants to establish a dump site helps keep the nest clean and free of garbage They will even dump dead bodies in the outworld Okay, so let’s begin with a protein source Protein foods are essential for an ant colony. Particularly for the proper development of the Larvae Adult workers of most ant species lack the chewing parts required to chew up very solid food So many species of ants drag such food like the body parts of prey insects back to the nest For the larvae which do have the chewing parts to consume and break down into a nutritious soup that the workers can then consume It’s an efficient system that ensures that both adult ants and Larvae are fed protein accordingly Proteins which consist of chains of Amino acids are the building blocks of life and growing Larvae especially require these protein rich foods in order to grow Colonies with lots of brood really rely on you to provide them protein sources Examples of protein sources include insects, meats, moist cat or dog food, and, in the case of granivores, seeds When the workers discover the food in the outworld They will consume what they can of the semi-solid food and then drag the rest back to the nest for further breakdown and for the larvae to work on If you’re feeding crickets to your ends remember that your ants are what its food eats Therefore it is important that the crickets are gut loaded and healthy when fed to your ants A simple container with dog food, veggies, grains, or other high nutrient cricket chow along with a cotton block test tube of water should be good to keep your crickets nutritious as prey items However, although protein is indeed important to a growing colony’s diet A diet exclusively composed of only protein sources can be fatal A study in an australian lab found that ant colonies that were fed only protein foods Led to mortality of the Workers due to protein toxicity Furthermore they discovered that the mortality rate of the workers in Colonies that had no larvae were much higher than that of workers in colonies that had larvae to make use of all that protein This brings us then to the second essential to ant nutrition: sugary foods Sugary Foods are important for ATP, that is to say… energy. It is important for adult ants. Adult ants aren’t really growing in the same way that larvae do, but are constantly moving and working That is why sugary foods, which give the ants energy, are important for adult ants Examples of sugary foods include fruits, honey, sugar water, seeds, cake crumbs And if you can get your ants to feed from them nectar from blossoms and other plant exudates In the wild some ants even tend aphids to drink their sugary secretions called honeydew Whatever you provide your ants is a sugary food source, it is important that they constantly have a sugary food source in their outworld to give the colony energy So you ask, how much of protein and how much of sugary food should you be giving? Well, we say, let the ants figure that out. If you constantly provide the ants with both a protein source and a sugary source They will naturally decide the ratio on their own In this outworld belonging to a large tetramorium colony a bunch of food materials are dumped into the out world on a bi-weekly basis pieces of fruit, cut up insects, seeds, tiny pieces of meat And the ants go out like in a buffet and choose exactly what they want to bring back to the colony and in what amounts Every other week this out world is cleaned using tweezers and more food items are placed into the out world for the ants to choose from As your colony gets larger, a larger outworld is always better The third essential is water, the universal solvent Water is vital for almost all biological processes and living things For larger colonies water placed in a test tube is always a good idea Spring outworld decorations with a hand spray also provides your ants with a source to drink ants need a clean source of water at all times and if your formicarium doesn’t provide that a water filled test Tube blocked with a cotton ball placed into your outworld will give your ants water when they need it Watching your ants gather food and nutrients for the colony is one of the most exciting things about owning ants You may notice the ants transferring food from mouth to mouth a process called trophallaxis If you see here in this picture You’ll see the drop. That’s transferring between worker and queen You will watch as your ants drag pieces of food back to the nest for consumption and then dragging their leftovers into your outworld It’s a lot of fun Offering your ants variety of food items is your best bet and in time you will learn what kinds of food they like the most When you know how to properly feed your ants Culturing a successfully growing colony becomes easy and very fulfilling. This is Ants Canada signing out [Music]


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