Tank formicarium

Introduction to the tank setup

A glass box, an aquarium, a terrarium or any other similar glass or plastic construction makes a great ant farm. We’re calling the category ”tank” and it is something most people can make themselves without much trouble.

You need: 1 tank, 1 lid, dirt/sand

formicarium tank setup diy

1. Preparations

Since this i one of the easiest ways of keeping ants there is not really that much to prepare. We’ll assume you’ve found a suitable tank in which your ants can make a home in. This can be an old aquarium, terrarium or any other thing that serves the same purpose. Why not a clear plastic box? Keep in mind when choosing your tank that it needs to be moist-resistant. Many ant species like moisture, and a shoe box won’t be able to stay fresh for long.

When you’ve found your tank, make sure to clean it thoroughly. Use some mild detergent such as dish wash and scrub away chemicals, bacteria and other things that wants to hurt your ants. If you’re using stronger stuff, make sure to let i air out and dry for a few days before filling it.

And also, you might want to find some sort of lid that fits. Ants love escaping.

2. Fill it up

This is really your own call. But we recommend filling your tank to about 50% with a mixture of dirt and sand. Make sure the mixture is moist when putting it down. Otherwise your ants may have a hard time keeping their tunnels from collapsing.

If you want to fill your tank with 5 centimeters of sand – do it! Maybe you’ll terraform mountains and valleys? Let your imagination fly!

formicarium tank setup with dirt sand

3. We're done with the tank setup!

Even though the ants might not praise you, it’s a fun thing decorating your formicarium. A tank setup is perfect for this! You can really create a nature like environment for your ants. Add stones, dried up twigs and other things found in nature. Maybe you’ll add a small lake with the help of a cup? Just make sure there is something that the ants can get a hold on if they fall in (and they will!).

And that’s about it! For more information on what to feed your ants and how to care for them, see Nutrition and Care.