Dirt Shack v1.0 From dspdrew & byFormica

It seems that formicariums are going through a phase of innovation with new designers emerging across the globe. Each attempting to put their unique and interesting designs out into the world of ant keeping. The Dirt Shack v1.0 is a perfect example of this.

The formicarium is fully designed and manufactured by dspdrew, the owner of the Formiculture.com. The design at first glance looks somewhat complex, however it is actually relatively simple and seemingly well put together.  The nest has 8x3 inches (20.3 x 7.62cm) of digging space that can be filled with a substrate such as dirt or sand. In the middle of the formicarium is a hydration chamber that is easily filled with the connected vinyl tubing.

What appeals to us about this design :

·       The design seems to fill the ever growing demand for founding formicariums and alternatives to test tube set ups. Whilst test tube set ups are efficient they certainly are not as visually appealing.

·       Since this design uses a substrate it allows the ants to have more control over their home and thus allows them to create the perfect labyrinth of tunnels and chambers as opposed to Ytong or acrylic nests for example.

·       Feeding, hydrating and expanding the nest if required should be relatively easy with the access ports provided

·       The nest comes with some fine and medium-grain sand substrate with clay for added stability. This is really important as in the past many substrate based formicariums have had issues with tunnels collapsing and this should really help reduce these issues

·       The product is being backed and supported by the people at byFormica so this gives me confidence in the quality of the product

Some things to keep in mind :

·       Whilst your ants may enjoy a substrate based formicarium it may inhibit your ability to view the ants if they chose to live in a section not visible to the outside. It is uncertain how much of an issue this will be as the hydration chamber fills a large section in the middle of the formicarium, making it more likely for the ants to build against the outside perspex.

·       The formicarium is not designed for ants smaller than 3mm as they may be able to get into the hydration chamber or even escape

·       Currently the product is available through byFormica's Amazon store and is being shipped out of California and getting it shipped to other places across the globe such as Europe or Australia may be somewhat difficult or expensive.

If you want to purchase a Dirt Shack V1.0 the Price is $24.99 USD + shipping. You can find them here on Amazon.