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Vertical Founding Den – Atta or Trachymyrmex

Original price was: $17.99.Current price is: $16.99.

The Vertical Founding Den is a budget-friendly, quality formicarium suitable for Atta or Trachymyrmex fungus farming ants.

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Product Description

The Vertical Founding Den is meant to be the first home for your newly established Atta or Trachymyrmex colony. Both Atta and Trachymyrmex grow their fungus vertically and this nest gives ample room for vertical growth without being too large for your new colony. The nest size  is 3″ x 3″ x 3″, roughly big enough to hold a tennis ball.  The Vertical Founding Den sports a  3/4″ layer of gypsum cement, with two inter-connected water ports for easy hydration. Just add water to one of the ports and it will absorb into the gypsum slowly, providing a very humid environment that mimics the underground fungus garden of a wild leafcutting colony.

Hydration

The hydration ports allow for managing the moisture levels within the nest to create an optimal habitat for the fungus and the ants. Controlling humidity is crucial for the fungus’ and ants’ well-being and helps simulate their natural environment, allowing them to thrive and build their colony comfortably. A syringe with a blunt tipped needle is included for adding water to the hydration port. Slowly insert water with the blunt-tipped syringe into one of the side ports at the base of the nest.

How Often and How Much Water?

This depends on the fungus needs and the humidity requirements of the species of your leafcutters. Most likely, you will need 100% humidity and this will be a weekly hydration fill. If your leafcutters are mostly taking in fresh flowers and leaves, you may not need to refill it that often. You can tell if the nest needs water by the coloring of the gypsum cement. If it is not a dark color and it is noticeably lighter weight that normal, it’s time for a refill. After the refill, the gypsum will turn a darker shade, and the nest will be heavy, indicating it is holding enough moisture. The top layer of the gypsum should not be visibly moist — the fungus should not come in direct contact with water or it will be damaged.

What if I over water the nest?

It’s OK! It happens to everyone at some point. You will see a slick surface or water droplets on the top of the gypsum. Direct contact with water will damage the fungus but it’s probably OK. You can remove excess water by placing the blunt-tipped syringe into the water ports and pulling up on the plunger. The quickest way to remove water is to turn the nest upside down to let the water drain out of the water ports. This will of course mess up the fungus but the ants are experts at home repairs and will have it fixed up in no time. Just make sure that the lid is secure before turning it over.

What do I do if I see mold inside of the nest?

This should not happen unless contaminated water was added or if the ants are not removing old plant matter. If it looks like the mold is growing on the surface of the gypsum, open the lid and with long tweezers, wipe the nest surface with a clean cotton ball. Do not add anything to the cotton ball that could harm the ants.

How do I apply heat?

Don’t. It will kill the fungus.

 

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