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.
An internally lit formicarium from Mark Newton.
An amazing sand/soil founding formicarium from the owner of Formiculture.com.
Spider Ants have proven to be incredible hard to obtain. Recently we had the unique opportunity to acquire a colony and shoot this short video inside the nest.
Along with our photography of ants in the wild, in the studio and in high magnification, we've been experimenting with a new method that puts ants into 360 degrees.
Ants Australia seem to have bigger aspirations than just a successful YouTube channel and are now producing and selling formicariums and other ant keeping essentials.
In their latest Ant Desk video they show us how useful fruit flies can be as a primary source of protein for your ants.
Good news Australia! We're now stocking Tar Heel Ants Formicariums in our store.
Every year ant keepers across the world go out and collect queens for their personal colonies and also sell or trade with other ant keepers in the hobby. This year in Europe, people will have an extra reason to collect.
Ants Australia's new series of videos, beginning with "How to build an ant nest".
I imagined a torrent of red Myrmecia flowing from the entrance of this nest like lava from an active volcano and decided “Vesuvius” was an appropriate name for my latest creation.