My Giant Ant Terrarium Evolved Life

My Giant Ant Terrarium  Evolved Life


There’s something about ant keeping that really
feels like having a God’s eye perspective. An ant keeper has the unique opportunity to
watch and nurture a contained world from its humble beginnings, and grow that world into
something magnificent, fruitful, and abundant over time. This has been my experience as keeper of the
Hacienda Del Dorado, the home of our Golden Empire, our epic colony of Yellow Crazy Ants,
and my, has this world evolved! Today we take a look at what was once just
a terrarium for an ant colony and see how it has completely progressed into a crazy
new world of various creatures and vegetation, previously unseen, which have all become amazingly
interdependent on one another. You will be shocked to meet some of our new
inhabitants! We will also watch what happens when we create
a mini storm inside this world. How will they deal with this natural event? And finally, I have some exciting news about
the Golden Empire, so keep on watching until the end! AC Family, let’s revisit these lush Golden
Empire territories as we explore the Hacienda Del Dorado like we’ve never seen it before,
in this episode of the AntsCanada Ant Channel. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family! Enjoy! Remember what it looked like when we first
constructed the Hacienda Del Dorado, this 75 gallon terrarium designed to house our
Golden Empire? It was pristine, aesthetically pleasing to
the human eye, and orderly. Well, almost 2 and a half months later this
pristine ant estate, has developed quite interestingly into a lush, untamed world of thriving plants
and animals. Let’s take a look at the Hacienda Del Dorado
today. First, the plants that were planted have all
grown and changed. The Airplants are still in tact but have shifted
positions slightly. The bonzai trees have killed off some branches,
perhaps due to the growing aphid colonies that have seemed to spring out of nowhere. I plan on planting new bonzai trees if these
bonzai trees ever come close to completely dying out. The ants still don’t seem to be farming and
milking the aphids but as seen in a previous video, the ants have learned to lick the leaves
of the sweet honeydew the aphids excrete and leave behind. This makes the aphids and the ants allies,
as the aphids produce food for the ants, and the ants provide the aphids with protection
from their predators. What predators you ask? Well, take a look here. This ant is carrying the carcass of a lady
beetle. Surprisingly, every now and then I will find
lady beetles like this inside the Hacienda Del Dorado, which I assume try to grab some
of the Golden Empire’s livestock like prowling hungry wolves. I don’t know how they get in, but they are
no match for our Golden Empire who protect their livestock aggressively. And I was thinking: Shall we name this aphid
colony that the Golden Empire protect and cherish? Leave your name suggestions for these aphid
allies in the comments section! Our ficus plant has grown so much and has
completely taken over the back and center of the Hacienda Del Dorado, creating a dense
forest blanketing all driftwood, rocks and decorations in its vicinity. I love the colours of the leaves and the way
in which the vines crawl over everything! The ficus forest creates an awesome shelter
for the Golden Empire. But as far as plants go, I think the most
successful plant in the Hacienda Del Dorado is our blue fern. As mentioned in a previous video, ferns generally
are amazing terrarium plants because they easily thrive under a variety of conditions,
especially in terrariums. This blue fern has crept its fingers and tendrils
to unoccupied areas of the Hacienda Del Dorado, growing happily in soils which are unfavourable
for most other plants. But let’s meet our very first new comer! This mysterious plant here, an apro plant,
has sprouted seemingly out of nowhere. On the night of the Hacienda Del Dorado’s
creation, I originally tried to insert an apro plant but later decided the plant created
too much vegetation density in the setup, so I ended up removing it from the estate. In doing so, however, a few little twigs must
have fallen off, and these little twigs went on to grow into a forest of their own, which
now tower high along the back and eastern part of the Hacienda Del Dorado. And also, this thriving Apro forest is so
fast growing, I need to cut it back every 7 days to keep it from growing up past the
baby powder barrier, which poses an escape hazzard if the Golden Empire ever decides
to use it as a bridge out of the Haceinda Del Dorado. I feel it adds a cool dimension to the Hacienda
Del Dorado, and the Golden Empire seems to like it, so I welcome the Apro Forest’s sudden
appearance. Now AC Family, are you ready to see something
really cool? Let’s have a look at some other welcome and
interesting newcomers to these barbaric lands! If we take a look at the Golden Empire’s garbage
site, which as you can see is littered still with Fire Nation alates which still manage
to get trapped into the Hacienda Del Dorado, you will notice tiny little creatures. These creatures are called Springtails, organisms
belonging to the subclass Collembola, which are not considered insects but they are hexapods. But what is amazing is that these springtails
work together with the Golden Empire cooperatively. The Golden Empire provides the Springtails
with garbage which decays and provides food for the Springtails. Additionally, Various molds and fungi grow
on the Golden Empire’s garbage which the Springtails also love. In return, the Springtails act as the Golden
Empire’s clean up crews, eating up all the bad stuff that can endanger the ant colony. These springtails move freely above and below
the soil, eating all that decaying and molding material. I have no idea where these springtails came
from, but I am assuming their ancestors came with some of the soil or the decor that was
used for the Hacienda Del Dorado. I love that these Springtails are here! Shall we name them, too AC Family? Leave your suggestions in the comments section
for a name for this clean up crew! It is amazing what other creatures seem to
appear inside this contained community. I have also seen a spider and a miniature
forest cricket wandering these untamed lands, seemingly living among the Golden Empire. I wasn’t quick enough to grab my camera to
film them, but it is amazing to think that the Golden Empire is living among other animals. Again, I don’t know how these extra animals
got into the Hacienda Del Dorado in the first place, but I am assuming they either entered
with the decor, soil, or simply managed to get into my condo and enter through the terrarium
roof. For those of you wanting to try something
similar at home, I feel a great part of the success of our terrarium here is attributed
to the lighting. Aside from the artificial incadescent and
flourescent lighting, all the plants get full sunlight for a few hours every morning. So, if you are thinking of creating your own
thriving community of animals and plants, make sure your lighting is ample. If your plants thrive, the rest of your community
will also thrive. Before we continue, what other creatures do
you think we should add to this thriving community? I have created a poll here with some suggested
organisms that I think would benefit the Hacienda Del Dorado. AC Council, please take a few moments to click
and vote and I’ll try my best to find some to add to this community. So moving on to perhaps the most impressive
element of these worlds, our Golden Empire who is constantly changing the shape and landscape
of the Hacienda Del Dorado. Every few days they are redesigning their
underground castles, creating the most impressive ant hills, as they excavate their tunnels
grain by grain. Have a look at them working. They’re so busy all the time, around the clock. All is pristine and seemingly perfect, problem-free,
and partnerships working well. But now it’s time to shake things up a little,
AC Family. Whenever it rains here in the Philippines
where I live, I make sure to create a storm in the Hacienda Del Dorado, and tonight, the
Hacienda Del Dorado is due for their next tempest! Time to make it rain! Watch what happens. The falling water completely washes away the
surface work of the ants, tunnels and ant hills collapse. All the ants’ work washed away with the storm. The Golden Empire acts quickly, and instinctively
starts relocating the young to drier areas. Workers dash in various direction attempting
to coordinate the colony’s next moves. It looks like chaos has broken loose. If you’re watching this feeling bad for these
ants, don’t worry. The Golden Empire is perfectly adapted to
deal with rains, as ants have been dealing with rains for millions of years. In just a few short hours, the ants rebuild
their structures, and what’s surprising is due to the new moisture, the tunnels are stronger
and the ant hills can be built higher. The Golden Empire benefits from these regular
storms, because the young need that humidity underground. The water also forms droplets on the leaves
of the plants which the ants drink safely. All the native vegetation in the Hacienda
Del Dorado drink this water and thereby offer greater humidity within the terrarium due
to transpiration. The plants then grow on to create more shelter
for the colony, as well as feed the aphids which in turn feed the ants, and help feed
the molds and fungi which feed the springtails, which clean up after the ants. Without these regular storms, the entire Hacienda
Del Dorado would falter and become a wasteland. I notice that after these periodic storms,
the ants seem to have much more vigor in their day to day activities. Water brings life to the Hacienda Del Dorado
in so many ways. AC Family, and now I have some exciting news
to share with you. Let’s feed the Golden Empire a cockroach and
see if you notice anything. Dropping the cockroach here among the ferns. It isn’t long before some workers find it
and tell the rest of the colony. And before long, the cockroach is covered
in a blanket of Golden Empire ants. Now as they carry our cockroach offering away,
do you guys notice anything? Look closely. Well, in case you haven’t caught it yet, it
is with great joy that I announce that our Golden Empire is officially free of mites. For those who might be new to the channel,
it has been over 3 and a half months since our Golden Empire has been dealing with a
terrible mite infestation! We first spotted these body mites on January
1st of this year and learned from some mite experts that the mites weren’t blood-sucking
the ants, but were in a phoretic life stage where they were hitching rides on our ants
but were still posing a danger to the colony. We tried lemon therapy, moved them into this
more natural setup, and also added healthy members to their colony. I am not sure what it was that finally got
rid of the mites, but it seems the phoretic mites found the conditions favourable enough
to proceed to their next life stage and detach themselves from our ants to live their normal
lives eating the ants’ garbage! Isn’t that amazing news, AC Fam? I think so! So, although the Hacienda Del Dorado, our
ant terrarium here isn’t as nice-looking as it used to be, I actually don’t mind at all,
because the entire community has seemed to take on a cool life of its own. And it got me thinking, what is more important
in the end? A design that works naturally, organically,
and in perfect harmony between all members inhabiting a given land, or a design that
we humans see as fit, where our needs are the priority and not so much other life around
us? Which design do you think will stand the test
of geological time? AC Family, this is AntsCanada signing out. It’s ant love forever. Woah! Mind-blown yet, guys? Thanks for watching another ant video. It truly means a lot to me! For you AC Inner Colony members I have placed
a hidden cookie for you here, if you would just like to watch extended play footage of
the Hacienda Del Dorado today to some relaxing music and nature sounds. Enjoy the ant watching, guys! And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week we asked: What is the name of an ant’s waist segment? Congratulations to EVroolz 1 who correctly
answered the Petiole. Congratulations EVroolz 1 you just won a free
ant t-shirt from our shop! For this week’s AC Question of the week, we
ask: Explain how any two living things, either
plants or animals, benefit each other within the Hacienda Del Dorado. Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win, a free AC Test Tube portal from our shop! Perfect for those of you with starting ant
colonies for transferring your colonies to new test tubes, or providing your new colonies
with a mini outworld. Hope you can SUBSCRIBE to the channel and
join our awesome AC family, as we upload a new ant video every Saturday at 8AM EST. We marvel at the lives of ants every week,
learn cool things, and just enjoy ant keeping together! Please LIKE, COMMENT, and SHARE this video
if you enjoyed it. It’s ant love forever!

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