I keep Messor barbarus who are notoriously bad climbers. Having the nest module of the formicarium on a bottom shelf and the arenas on a top shelf, I connected those so far by winding a PVC tube down a wooden beam. This is a pretty bad solution for two reasons:
- You get a "spring" effect on the PVC hose and it will have strong tension
- The PVC tubes are very slippery inside, which means for Messor sp. you need flat and thus, many windings to gain relatively little vertical difference.
So I've created this little helper to make migrating between modules easier for my colonies, especially those who're bad climbers. It comes with break-outs for right or left side access and is modular. The whole thing requires very little assembly.
For the future, I plan some more modules like splitters and T-sections for even more flexibility. If there are any requests to make larger/smaller/adapted versions of this, I'll also supply them here.
- Connect your formicarium modules easily to higher/upper shelves without ugly tubes
- Comes with native ports for 12mm/16mm tube (inner/outer) and an adapter for 10mm/14mm (inner outer) as well
- Is modular, can be extended in 20cm pieces
- Comes with a breakout for left and right side
- Some acrylic glass, preferable 4mm (2mm might work as well)
- Some M3x10 screws with washers and nuts
- Check what you need and print the appropriate modules from the STL files
- Cut the acrylic glass so it fits the prepared opening of modules you are going to use and have printed.
- Drill holes in acrylic glass and mount on the modules
- Screw the modules to each other carefully
- Check if everything is tight (might require some filing, depending on print quality)
- Mount wherever you need it and hook up short PVC connector pieces
- If you do not trust the tubes holding in the access ports, you can use the mounting holes to additionally tighten them with M3 screws
This design is provided as-is, without any guarantee that it will work or meet your expectations. Use at your own risk. I can not be held responsible for yelling spouses because your kitchen is full of pet ants or any injuries that occur when assembling this. This should go without saying, but well... ;) Also, Some species might be able to chew through the print material. So far the ants I keep do not show any interest in doing so at all, but check yours regulary as well!