The Craziest Ant Farm I’ve Ever Made

The Craziest Ant Farm I’ve Ever Made


This El Dragon paludarium setup was such a
huge success. It made me look over to our Black Dragons’
neighbours, the Golden Empire in their Hacienda Del Dorado. Our Yellow Crazy Ants have been living in
this terrarium for over a year. Look at all of that chaos! The Hacienda Del Dorado was in desperate need
of a makeover! We also had to find another way to deal with
their exploding population, and I had just the renovation to solve both those problems. AC Family, behold. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! So AC Family, what you will see in this video
is truly the craziest ant setup I have ever created in my life. Today, we will be drastically transforming
the Hacienda Del Dorado, our long time home of our Yellow Crazy Ants, we call the Golden
Empire, and man, I cannot wait to show you what I have planned. I intend for the new ant setup to incorporate
some really cool elements of nature, some careful design, and neat ant engineering! Keep on watching until the end for the complete
tour of the Golden Empire’s new kingdom! So there were two problems with the current
territories of our Golden Empire that we covered in previous videos. First, having lived in this Hacienda Del Dorado
terrarium for over a year, I felt the ants were not being stimulated enough. They were settling too into routine, devoid
of any enrichment or life events. There were no changes to their day to day
activities to the point that they seemed almost placid and expectant at feeding time. The Hacienda Del Dorado became the same old
territory dominated and overrun by the same ficus vegetation, and the only place the ants
could catch a break from these lands was at Golden Rock, their custom Gold Play Button
ant farm. The Golden Empire clearly needed a territory
makeover. Second, this supercolony of eight queens has
been continually growing over the past year without a limiter to control their population. We attempted using carnivorous pitcher plants
last year to help curb the Golden Empire’s population growth, but that proved ineffective
as the ants began forming a symbiotic relationship with the plants by dumping their leftover
insect parts into the plants to keep them fed and their pitchers in non-trapping mode. We attempted to introduce a praying mantis
into the Hacienda Del Dorado as a natural predator, and the mantis did prey on ants
but, it wasn’t enough to keep the Golden Empire’s numbers in check. But today AC Family, the new territory renovation
I had in mind would offer a solution to both the Golden Empire’s lack of enrichment and
population control. Check it out, AC Family. Here sits a gorgeous paludarium piece, part
land, part water, designed like a tropical rocky pool fed by a natural spring. I absolutely love this ornate terrascape of
rocks and plants arching over this pool of fresh water. I love how various blooming mosses carpet
the surface of the rocks. The crystal waters bubbling from a spring
at the top of the rock face is powered by a mini water pump filter within the pool. Attached to the rock grow some epiphytic and
gorgeous bird’s nest fern, along with a small Arrow Arum plant growing from the marginal
shallows at the east end of the pool. I also added some driftwood limbs to help
the colony safely travel around these wetlands. The substrate of the aquatic portion is a
pebbly gravel along with brown aquarium soil, to mimic the floor of some natural spring
pools I have seen in jungles in the past. Overall, I could not wait to add this to the
Hacienda Del Dorado, because aside from the obvious aesthetic it would add to the ants’
setup, its purpose was also functional. I knew the Golden Empire would benefit from
the enrichment offered by this new habitat type which they would need to learn to navigate
safely. The Golden Empire has never had to deal with
living around a large body of water before, and although these yellow crazy ants are a
tropical species and are fully capable of learning to live around water, I am certain
there will still be a learning curve as they adapt to their new spring. Also, with the new trickling water and pool,
I knew the least nimble ants of the colony would inevitably fall into the water and drown,
which would definitely help curb Golden Empire’s numbers in a natural way. So the time has come, to give the Hacienda
Del Dorado, the greatest makeover and upgrade in all of Golden Empire history! The first step, was I needed to completely
rework the lighting system. My plan was to increase the living area vertically,
so I needed to have the lighting elevated from where it originally was. So I built a structure to support the new
lights. Due to the higher elevation of the lighting,
I also needed to install a higher quality lighting system so that all underlying plants
and mosses could receive the ample lighting needed for photosynthesis. With the new lighting rig setup, we now move
down to the ground. So AC Family, here was my plan. I wanted to install the new rocky spring pool
here, but I would first need to relocate this huge piece of driftwood westward. Now check this out, prior to installation
of the pool, I needed to first install this wooden stool. Its function was to create an elevating plateau
for the rocky spring pool. This way, the ants would still have generally
the same amount of ground surface area when this new water feature is installed. And now, AC Family, the biggest question was,
how was I going to execute all of this with the Golden Empire still inside the setup? For sure the ants would go into complete hi-jinx
as soon as my hands start moving things around. Essentially, there was no plan. I just had to cover my arms in baby powder
and work as fast and effectively as I could. So here we go, AC Family. Let’s do this! Let’s drastically transform the Hacienda Del
Dorado to make it an even greater haven for our Golden Empire! With the help of my house keeper, we went
in and began to rearrange the setup, working as quickly but carefully as we could. As soon as my arms were in the setup the ants
were completely panicked and started to climb my arms, but thankfully yellow crazy ants
are a non-stinging species, so it just tickled a bit. I cut away at the ficus and moved the driftwood,
then installed the stool. Placing the rocky spring pool inside was super
challenging, but after an hour and a half of work and careful planning, check out how
the new Hacienda Del Dorado looks now! Behold, the new Hacienda Del Dorado is now
a majestic, rain forest palace for our Golden Empire. Isn’t it just incredible? What do you guys think? Alright, I can’t wait to give you a tour of
the setup. It may seem a bit confusing at first glance,
but check this out. My intention for this new open concept setup
was to make the entire living space seem borderless. I wanted to obscure the boundaries of where
the outside of the setup begins and where the inside starts. At initial glance, it seems like the Golden
Empire has complete freedom to escape this unconfined setup, but if you look carefully,
you will see that with some neat design features, the ants actually cannot escape. First, all landmarks that the ants have access
to, do not touch the areas which can lead to escape. I took advantage of the fact that these ants
do not jump and made sure all decor was at least 1 – 2 inches away from all edges. One challenge however was the electrical cord
of the pump powering the spring. Incorporating it in such a way that wouldn’t
allow for escapes took some planning. Now, the ants are able to climb the cord but
are stopped at this point with this modified slushie cover smothered in baby powder and
rubbing alcohol. Any ants that happen to slip off the cord
and down onto this shelf, are still unable to escape due to these baby powdered barriers
on both ends created from modified takeout container covers, also painted with baby powder
and rubbing alcohol. Stranded ants on this shelf end up wandering
around, trying to figure out how to reunite with the colony, until it finally decides
to take a safe dive off. Now AC Family, check out all these new awesome
plant additions! Some Spanish moss, slabs of tree bark, and
some epiphytic bird’s nest ferns hang decoratively from the lighting rig, blurring the setup’s
boundaries, creating that incredible illusion of a non-bordered territory. Some of my favourite plants of the new Hacienda
Del Dorado, however, are these beautiful bromeliads. These plants are also epiphytic, meaning they
don’t need soil to grow. Instead, these bromeliads are growing in small
bags of coconut husk which I have attached to their old driftwood piece. The ants can also utilize these bags of coconut
husk to create some cool tree houses for themselves, offering more nesting space for our Golden
Empire. What I also love about these bromeliads is
that after watering, water collects in these wells between the leaves, creating small pools
of water, offering the Golden Empire some cool sites to drink. These bromeliads would also function as drinking
stations for the colony. So cool right? The largest plant in the setup was this gorgeous
red anthurium, which the ants loved to climb. It quickly became a popular ant trail pathway. Now, let’s take a look at the new Hacienda
Del Dorado floor, which I am obsessed with! I felt this new look of the ground floor was
better than before, because it more closely resembled the multi-faceted surface of a real
rain forest floor. I loved how the branches and plant life above
created some beautiful and more natural lighting effects throughout the floor space of this
setup. The ants had their bright spots and their
dark spots to frequent. Now looking to the right, it may seem a bit
strange at first glance to see this floating spring pool in the middle of all this natural
landscape. Well, as mentioned, I didn’t want the new
water feature to decrease the surface area of the Hacienda Del Dorado, so the fact that
this water feature was hovering was a good thing, and it actually created an awesome
massive dark and humid cave which the Golden Empire was already using for nesting space! I also wanted the spring pool to hover so
that I could better film beneath the water’s surface, so this current arrangement allows
us to still have a God’s-eye view into the Hacienda Del Dorado’s aquatic world. Speaking of which, I forgot to mention that
currently inside these waters live a population of aquatic snails which help keep the waters
clean. Now AC Family, let’s finally have a look at
how the ants are dealing with this new rocky spring pool. Watching the ants exploring their new spring
pool was just awesome! The mosses helped the ants come in close contact
with the water which bubbled from the top spring. They explored every corner of their new wetland
inquisitively and began to map out the new territories. It was absolutely breath-taking to watch the
ants enjoy their new spring pool. By the way AC Family, I think this floating
spring pool needs a name. What should we call it? Leave your name suggestions in the comments
section and I will choose my top 5 favourites for the AC Family to vote on in a future video. Feel free to also leave your name suggestions
for the bromeliad nesting-drinking stations and the Golden Empire’s new cave. Overall, this newly transformed Hacienda Del
Dorado paludarium was not only more beautiful than before, but it was also functionally
a better more natural habitat for the ants, as well as offered a greater living space
for their massive population. And now speaking of massive population, one
of the things I wanted to check was how many ants were falling into the water and drowning. Was this new spring pool going to prove effective
at helping curb our ant population? Well, turns out, it wasn’t long before I began
to spot ants that had sadly slipped into the pool water and drowned. Their dead bodies floated on the water’s surface
and even got caught up in the filter’s intake. Now, having decaying ant bodies in the spring
water could offer some valuable nutrients for our mosses which help filter out some
of the organic matter from the water as it trickles down these moss-carpeted rocks, but
having too many ant bodies decaying in the water could also foul up the spring pool pretty
quickly. And so AC Family, I think you know what’s
next. Our next step was to introduce a great aquatic
creature into these waters, to feed on these fallen ants, swallowed by the pool, and AC
Family, I know you will absolutely love the creature I’ve chosen for the job! Oh man, AC Family! What do you guys think? Do you like the new Hacienda Del Dorado? Now, guys trust me on this: you won’t want
to miss what creature I add to these waters to prey on the fallen ants! I am so excited to show you, for it’s a pretty
epic addition to the Hacienda Del Dorado, so hit that subscribe button and bell icon,
and hit the like button every time, including now! AC Inner Colony, a special treat this week. I have left a hidden cookie for you here,
for a special clue as to what our new aquatic creature is that will be added to our spring
pool. Perhaps you can figure it out before everyone
else! Good luck! Before continuing to the AC Question of the
Week, I wanted to plug my new daily vlogging channel, featuring my daily vlogs for those
wondering what I work on between these weekly ant videos! And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week we asked: List any of the ant scientific
discoveries we made in this video. Congratulations to Top 10 Videos who correctly
answered: “The 5th stage of larva is the one used to
spin silk.” Congratulations Top 10 Videos, you just won
a free e-book handbook from our shop. In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: List any of the reasons why this new
Hacienda Del Droado makes a better home for our Golden Empire? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free ebook handbook from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE
if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

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