Glass jars

A pair of glass jars can create a beautiful formicarium – and it’s easy to build! All you need is two glass jars and, dirt or/and sand!

You need: 1 large glass jar, 1 smaller glass jar, dirt/sand

glass jars formicarium setup done
glass jars formicarium

1. Preparations

Start by making sure you have all the material you need. First of, you need two glass jars of different sizes. It is important that the smaller ja fits well in the bigger one. We want to be able to lower it down and for the space between them to be appropriate for our ants. This will be the area for our ant’s nest.

A recommended size of this space is between 1,5 to 3 centimeters (0,6-1,2 inches), depending on the ant species. Some ants are bigger than other, and therefore need more space. The thicker the space, the more room for the ants to ”hide”. With a perfectly fitted space the ants will have no choice but to give the antkeeper insight into the nest.

This formicarium requires dirt or sand (or rather a mixture of the two).

Lastly, you need hammer and a nail.

glass jars formicarium put togheter

2. Place the glass jars

Start by cleaning the glass jars thoroughly. Normal detergent is fine, as long as you wash it away with water afterwards. When the jars are dry, put the lid on the smaller jar and lower it into the larger one. Try to centre the jar as accurately as possible. We want equal space on all sides. If you want to, you can use silicone to fixate it.

glass jars formicarium with dirt

3. Fill it with dirt/sand

When the jar is centered you can start putting your dirt/sand-mixture in there. Be careful not to move the smaller jar as you shuffle it in. It may be a good idea to lightly moisturize the mixture before putting it in. Ants like moist and need it to be able to build chambers and tunnels that stays up. Spray some water on a piece of dirt/sand and then put it in.

The filling needs to be compressed a bit, but do not push it down too hard. Use your fingers or some sort if kitchen utensil if you prefer.

glass jars formicarium lid

4. Air holes

Even ants needs to breath. With the aid of a hammer and a nail (or something else serving the same purpose), make small air holes in the lid of the bigger jar. Make sure you don’t make them too big, so that your ants can fit and escape though them.

If you accidentally make a giant air hole, just cover it up with cotton, or a thick piece of paper and tape. Or why not buy a fine net and put in there.

glass jars formicarium setup done

5. We’re done!

And that’s about as hard as it gets. For more information on what to feed your ants and how to care for them, see Nutrition and Care.


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