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Ants.... *cry*

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:30 pm
by wodesorel
I moved the water dishes last night to clean it early this morning and found an ants nest the size of both dishes underneath. It was a two foot wide mass of white babies and black adults. Those teeny little pavement ants that are the size of springtails. I could barely see them once they started running of in all directions. They ended up crawling all over the crabs, and the crabs freaked out, and then I freaked out...

Anyways, the display case is now in pieces. All crabs above ground were bathed and moved into a spare 55 I had sitting upstairs, left from when Peach passed away. They are crowded and not happy, but I can't imagine they were happy with that many ants on them. I moved in whatever I could clean from the tank. It's not pretty, but it's serviceable for the moment and they're safe.

I found what looks like 22 dead molters, going by the shell count. I was in such a hurry that I didn't count the ones above ground to know for sure and didn't want to handle them again. The ants must have been in there for a while. They're so tiny we never noticed. I'm still waiting for the shock to wear off, but I've only had 4 hours of sleep in the last 25.

Goji is alive, although he was at the tail end of his molt. Of course, he was the last shell pulled from the substrate. I thought for sure he was going to be dead. Fingers crossed he makes it. He's my first and my most precious.

There were three crabs in isos that were safe - the white crab (who came up this morning no longer white, was going to celebrate that and then heck broke loose) and the last two from Herps Alive.

There were four other crabs down and looking normal, and one that had just shed. I had to play musical crabs but they're in one of the isos, and the other iso has the smaller crabs so they don't get run over by the unhappy big boys right now.

I'm not sure what to do going forward. We were going to have to tear things apart anyway for the new build. I figured we could get away with having them in their tank for a while, but with them upstairs I can work with paints and sealants in the living room where the tank is going. What we may do is get the display case cleaned up and converted into a home for my kingsnake (which was the plan after the crabs were moved) and use his current 55 to split up the hermits until the new build is done. It's going to take a month or more for it to come together. That should give us time to fight the ant battle so they don't show up again in the new tank.

And yes, my back is screaming at me. My husband was asleep and I couldn't get him to wake up to help, so I did it all myself. I'm probably going to be out of commission for the next couple of weeks judging by how it feels.

Re: Ants.... *cry*

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:54 pm
by Rawrgeous
Oh no Wode. :( I am so sorry to hear about the losses of your babies- that really sucks.... I hope you get some rest, and to feeling better. :/ Good luck with the next few days, and resituating everyone! Good vibes your way- kick some ant booty! Lol

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Re: Ants.... *cry*

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:01 pm
by pandaincognito
Im so sorry, wode! Thats terrible :( id panic too, but I dont have an extra tank just as big to move them. I'd probably be at a loss with so many losses....... Dont hurt yourself while all this is happening. Your well being is just as important as your pets

Re: Ants.... *cry*

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:16 pm
by Giner13
I hate hearing about all the mess & losses!! I hope you get things straightened out quickly & smoothly, as well as without further injury to yourself.
But I would probably freak too! What do you reckon brought them into the tank??

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Re: Ants.... *cry*

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:55 pm
by mool
What a horrible discovery. I'm sorry it happened to you and your colony. It sounds like you got a handle on things as best as anyone could have done.

I hope things smooth out going forward.

Re: Ants.... *cry*

Posted: Wed May 04, 2016 11:28 am
by hprmom
Oh no! I'm so sorry. :(

We always have teeny tiny ants on the floor, I never notice them unless I am working a big project and spend several hours sitting on the floor and one wanders across my cutting mat every now and then. We also get piles of dead ones (they look like granulated dirt until you look closely) by the back doors every now and then. Oddly they never congregate in the kitchen or anywhere we leave crumbs lying around, and I'm not the best housekeeper! I've never worried about them before, but our 20g is on the floor right now and when I expressed concern about ants, the hubs just said, "they need a queen to build a nest". Um... I had no answer for that. But I am going to be more diligent about prevention.

Re: Ants.... *cry*

Posted: Wed May 04, 2016 1:44 pm
by wodesorel
I got really lucky in having that tank upstairs and ready. I had wanted to sell it, but it's one of the first modern aquariums produced in the 1970's, and the glass is 1/2 inch thick. It weighs something like 150-200 pounds empty. We can't get it downstairs... My husband said the 70s we bought for the build weighed half as much! He could move those by himself.

I forgot I had purchased another 55 at Herps Alive for $20 a couple months ago. We happened to be 10 minutes away at an appointment when they announced a surprise sale. Got a good one. Going to move my snake into it, and then use his empty 55 (which was an old crab tank and is trashed) as a second emergency set up. Having that many crabs split between two 55s still isn't great, but I think they'll do okay. Just need to pick up a new lid.

I wish I had thought to get photos, I really do. Seeing thousands of ants in one's crab tank is kind of insane and I wish I could share it now that it's calm around here.

The crabs settled in quick. After about 24 hours they stopped clanking around. They all staked out their own spots and turned into lumps, which is how they've been for years. :)

Still haven't emptied the 135 gallon.... Haven't seen any more ants though!

hprmom - they brought their queen with them. :?

So here's the makeshift tank. I've been in the process of repairing and prepping that room for painting for forever, then I needed to use it for spillover from the critter room, then for the feeders. It's warm and quiet. Someday it will be painted!


They're doing okay. Not thrilled, but okay.



Re: Ants.... *cry*

Posted: Sun May 08, 2016 4:15 pm
by mlakers
Oh, no! Probably my biggest fear...ugh. So sorry to hear this!!