Where's the high end?
One thing we've noticed lacking in the industry is high end formicariums. While there are definitely products on the market that are miles ahead of the typical tupperware ant farm, they're still very affordable. We're talking about something that you'll need to work 6 months for, just to be able to afford it. Flashing lights, loud noises, computer controllers, live plants. Ok, we may be over exaggerating but you get the idea.
At present, most of the formicariums that are on the market are small and midrange. When our interest in ants began we went looking for the best. Our natural instinct was to find the finest the industry had to offer, the high end equipment that we love. To our surprise there wasn't a high end.
No doubt the reason is clear. A relatively small market that prefers no fuss, affordable equipment that can be had for less than a bus ticket. There's merit in this thinking. Ants are a unique hobby that enables you to house a sophisticated social colony through all stages of live without the need for complex or expensive equipment.
However lets think about it another way. You can keep a goldfish in a bowl almost indefinitely for as little as $25. Go and fish one out of a pond and you can almost do it for nothing. That's as close to ant keeping as I can think of. However, look at the aquarium industry and you can see how far the industry has come over the last few decades. Off the shelf all in one aquarium setups can cost thousands. Now we don't expect ant keepers to be paying that sort of money but why isn't there something around the $500 mark? Would anyone be prepared to pay this sort of money if everything that needed was included? Is there anything you need that would actually cost this much?
What if we told you that we've been working on a few designs for ourselves that might fit into this category. Is there an interest in this type of equipment. Is it just a waste of money when a tupperware container does exactly the same thing. Does ant keeping need a high end?
We'll leave you with the photo above of a prototype we've been working on and would love to hear your feedback on the subject.
In an unfortunate case of bad timing, a live TV interview in Australia has been interrupted by a mating swarm of ants during their nuptial flight.