Fire Ants vs. Simulated River Jungle

Fire Ants vs. Simulated River Jungle


And speaking of this delicate and important
partnership, it seems one of our biggest ant colonies on this channel has been long deserving
of their own territory upgrade and expansion, and many of you have also shared this sentiment! AC Family, you guys demanded for an update
on the most famous and long-standing ants on this channel: the Fire Nation, our massive
and ravenous fire ant colony. These ants are the OG’s of the AntsCanada
ant channel, and it was time to give them a new home. And so AC Family, I would like to introduce
to you, a great new kingdom where fire and water shall meet! AC Family, behold! The “Selva de Fuego”, the Jungle of Fire! Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! Oh boy! I did it AC Family. I created what has to be the most exotic,
most ambitious, highly complex, and certainly the largest ant world I’ve ever made in the
history of my ant keeping journey. Today’s ant story, is a tale of how the “Selva
de Fuego”, the name given to my new Amazon River jungle-inspired, South American biotope
paludarium, which was designed to be the new home of my massive and raging fire ant colony,
was made. And just so you know, the ending of all of
this will completely shock you! I was speechless. The name “Selva De Fuego” in Spanish means
“the Jungle of Fire”. My desires to recreate the Amazon River Jungle,
the native home of these notorious tropical ant invaders you guys named “The Fire Nation”,
began when I first started to play with paludarium setups with my other ant colonies. I felt, if there was going to be an ant colony
in my ant room that was perfectly fitting for a half land, half water enclosure, it
would be these fire ants, who are designed to take on water. As we saw on a previous video on this channel,
fire ants can form living rafts or even underwater air pockets when submerged. Living naturally around water in the Amazon
rain forest is something these fire ants are built for. But I knew constructing such a habitat was
not going to be easy. First, the enclosure had to be escape-proof,
and the Fire Nation is an intelligent society of escape artists. They are constantly and routinely looking
for and testing out weaknesses in my setups, so in designing their new enclosure, I knew
it had to offer zero escape options. And before you guys mention it, an air tight
lid was not an option if I was planning on maintaining the inside of the enclosure, the
river section of the paludarium, and feeding the ants. Second, I wanted the enclosure to be big enough
to house the colony for at least the next two years. Currently the colony is at well over a million
ants and counting. This paludarium had to be massive! Third, if we were going to go all out on this
setup, I figured we may as well have completely committed to creating the most accurate replication
of the Amazon River jungle possible for our fire ants. My plan was to make this a South American
biotope, meaning all life entering and living in this paludarium, both plants and animals,
both on land and in the water, was going to be native to the South American Amazon. Finally, I had to try to pull all of this
off without getting stung – “try” being the operative word! The idea was just crazy, but as master ant
world creators, I was up for the challenge. Our beloved Fire Nation have long deserved
and needed a new and larger home. So, after temporarily relocating the larger
part of the Fire Nation’s setup, I went to an aquarium manufacturer to have them custom-design
a huge 100 gallon long but deep glass enclosure and asked for them to create it with a top
lip, as well as a partition which sectioned off about 35% of the floor area. I also needed a hole for cables. When it was installed in our ant room, I went
straight to work, first adding our soils, then driftwood, then the plants, then the
substrate for the river, then the water. After many hours of work, this is what our
new Amazon River jungle world looked like. AC Family, behold the “Selva de Fuego” our
new Amazon River Jungle, South American biotope paludarium. Do you like it? Let me show you guys around! All plants in this habitat are native to the
South American Amazon basin. First, let’s check out the epiphytes. We have Tillandsias and Spanish moss, both
air plants which absorb water from humidity in the air and rain that hits their leaves. Also adding to the natural woodwork are epiphytic
Neoregelia bromeliads which don’t need soil to grow but instead grow attached to wood
and tree fibres. Along the ground we have Maranta, an arrowhead
plant, lots and lots of nerve plants, and my personal favourite, these gorgeous silvery-purple
Peperomia caperata plants. On extreme ends we have heart-shaped philodendrons. All of these plants were hand-selected for
their growth size, which is critical because we can’t have the plants grow large enough
to offer an escape opportunity for the Fire Nation. Now let’s move into the river. The river was created using a submersible
filter hidden behind these rocks downstream, whose water output I connected to a tube which
runs behind all these plants and out the other end of the tank, creating a continual cycle
of steady river current. Isn’t that cool? We fully had a linear river in this setup. I decided to keep the back wall of the River
bare so that we could have a view of the underground tunnels of the Fire Nation when they move
in. This entanglement of aquatic moss will be
great at naturally filtering debris carried downstream by the currents of this river,
and this moss attached to this rock will help at filtering any debris floating on the water’s
surface. My favourite, though are these floating plants
called frog bit, whose long roots extend like jellyfish tendrils downward to anchor the
plants in place. These frog bit will be perfect at consuming
up toxic waste nitrates produced by the aquatic animals that will be living in this river. Aquatic animals you ask? AC Family, you must know by now that of course
we’ll be adding aquatic creatures to these waters! Let’s meet them now, shall we? Eagerly awaiting to be released into our Amazon
River world, is our aquatic dream team! First, to hang out in the upper levels of
the river, meet this flamboyant and gorgeous gang of black-eared panda guppies. Just look at their striking colours! Metalic sky blue, with black pectoral fins,
and firey red patterned fan tails make these some of the most beautiful fish I have ever
seen in my life. This gang of guppies is a macho group. They are all boys, and the reason for that
is because guppies when given the opportunity, breed like crazy and I don’t want them to
overpopulate the River. Also, breeding happens to shorten their lifespan
and we need these aquatic adonises to live as long as possible. Guppy gang, guppy gang, guppy gang, guppy
gang… Sorry, I just had to. Next, to inhabit the mid-level and lower parts
of the river, is this cute pair of golden ram cichlids. This breeding pair just met and were betrothed
only a couple days ago, so you may notice the uncomfortable awkwardness. Let’s not show that we notice. Moving along, we have this swim team of albino
Corydoras catfish. These guys will be awesome at cleaning up
organic matter sitting at the bottom of the river. They are our aquatic cleanup crew! What’s cool about this species is they must
breath air oxygen along with oxygen in the water to survive, so they come up to the surface
for a quick grab of air every now and then. They love hanging out together! And finally, to survey all areas of the River
for standing protein matter is this assassin snail, but don’t ever let him know you’re
looking. He’s terribly self-conscious! And there you have it! The community of creatures which shall live
in our Amazon River. I’ve selected these animals carefully for
their compatibility with the habitat, space, and each other, but also because they may
potentially feed on drowned members of our Fire Nation, helping with population control. I say “potentially” because I don’t actually
know if these creatures will eat fire ants, but based on their bio profiles, there was
a good chance they would. And so, AC Family, let’s add these river beasts
into the Selva de Fuego’s waters. Viva! Guys, you won’t believe… how beautiful these
new creatures looked within our Amazon River! I couldn’t look away! The
school of guppies danced and played together riding the river currents with exhilaration
and exuberance. Our Assassin snail began climbing the rocks. The Corydoras catfish hung out together chilling
out along the bottom warming up to the huge pebbly ground they’ve never before seen but
would soon come to love, and when they thought I was gone, our pair of Golden Ram cichlids
came peeking out from behind the rocks to start exploring and looking for where in
this big river they were going to establish their honeymoon home. I was super satisfied with our new river inhabitants. The filter used to keep the River clean and
running contained filter medium from my larger established tank, so the existing beneficial
bacteria could handle the bioload created by these water creatures. I had no doubt in my mind, that these originating
river plants and animals would keep the Rivers of the Selva de Fuego healthy and vibrant
from now on. By the way, these creatures of course need
names, so leave your name suggestions for the guppies, rams, corys, and snail in the
comments section and I will choose my top 5 favourites for us to vote on in a future
video. And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting
for. It was time to release the ultimate star colony
of this channel, The Fire Nation, into the Selva de Fuego. The Selva de Fuego offered a huge amount of
digging space for the fire ants to live. The Fire Nation has not had this much living
area in their lives. I was super excited about this huge milestone
in the colony’s history! I knew they would love it in here! It was however, absolutely critical to make
sure this move was executed properly, as it had the potential to go wrong very fast! The process had to be planned out well and
could not rushed. First, I needed to make sure the Selva De
Fuego’s barrier was applied. Along the top of the tank I made sure to paint
a thick band of fluon, to make sure the ants couldn’t climb out. Now, I made sure to tell the aquarium-makers
to place an upside down lip along the top, and so I also applied the fluon barrier beneath
this lip all the way around. Actually, what scared me was that this aquarium
had sharp squared edges, so I was hoping the fire ants wouldn’t be able to climb the corners. Let’s hope not, AC Family! I was also concerned the fire ants might try
to escape through this hole accommodating the power cord of the filter, but I stuffed
the space tightly with filter medium and surrounded the area with fluon barrier. I hope this will be enough! Now let’s go back to the old Fire Nation territory
arrangement prior to the Selva de Fuego’s installation. One important key step was, I had to make
sure I knew exactly where the queen was. As the primary egg-layer, she was the most
important member of the entire colony, and knowing of her whereabouts was vital to ensuring
a successful colony move. So to find her much more easily, I took a
pitcher of water and gently poured this water, little by little, every few hours into the
Fire Palace. This automatically would incite the ants to
instinctively start moving the whole colony to higher grounds, i.e. into their two Hybrid
Nests. After a day of doing this, eventually the
Fire Palace was completely flooded out, but don’t worry. The Fire Ants that chose to stay behind began
forming living rafts which the ants could actually paddle around using their collective
leg force. Now let’s peek into the Fire Nation’s Hybrid
Nests. Wow! The majority of the ant colony was indeed
in here. But now to find the queen in this crowd. It was like a Where’s Waldo challenge, but
eventually I noticed a mass ball of ants by an opening of one of the rooms. There, my friends, was her royal Fire Ant
highness, the queen of the Fire Nation. Incredible! I hadn’t seen her in months! I felt as though I was looking at a celebrity,
the most famous ant of the most famous ant colony on this channel. It was thanks to her great egg-laying work
that we have all had the awesome opportunity to enjoy and learn from fire ant watching
on this channel. In fact, I credit her for the initial growth
of this channel and the global assembly of the AC Family. This short moment with her now was extremely
meaningful to me. She and her entire colony absolutely deserved
this new epic space. So now that I knew the queen was in this Hybrid
Nest, with the help of my friends, we detached the whole Hybrid Nest and Outworld Network
from the Fire Palace. That network now sits here on top of the Selva
de Fuego. At this point, the Fire Nation has been waiting
patiently in this confined space for a day and a half, so they were super eager to move
out. They were restless. The next step was I needed to uncover both
Hybrid Nests and expose the furthest Hybrid Nest to a bright light. This would encourage the fire ants to move
out and into the paludarium. To form the grand bridge into the Selva de
Fuego, I fixed this tube into place and set the other end of it onto this wooden limb
so I could clearly film them as they moved into Selva de Fuego soils. The only thing left to do now was to connect
this bridge tube to this fluon-covered tube connected to the colony. Alright, are you guys ready for this? All is set! The time has come, AC Family, to finally release
the Fire Nation into their new Amazon River jungle territories, the Selva de Fuego! 1 – 2 – 3! I connected the Fire Nation’s tube to the
bridge tube. Let’s watch them move in! The Fire Nation came pouring out of the tube
and onto the wooden limb. It wasn’t long before it was clear that the
ants have claimed the Selva de Fuego home. But then I noticed something. There were some ants that had fallen into
the water. A lot of ants, actually. More than I was comfortable seeing, and it
didn’t look like they were dealing too well either. The gang of guppies swarmed ominously beneath
them, seeming very interested in these isolated and helpless ants floating at the mercy of
the river’s currents. Suddenly, I grew fearful and began to question
my choices. It looked to me as though these fire ants
weren’t as apt to deal with this river as proficiently as I had anticipated. It had only been a few minutes and there were
already tonnes of ants fallen helplessly into the river, which to me meant many, many more
would soon join them the more time went on. The ants were now shipping in the brood. Things were getting serious! I even thought I caught the guppies taking
test bites at the fallen ants. Suddenly the worst case scenario came to me
and hit me like a knife to the heart! What if the queen were to lose her footing
here and also fall into the water and be eaten! That would be the permanent demise of the
Fire Nation. My heart raced. I had to think fast! I began to panic, as the impending feeling
of having made a big miscalculation grew within me. AC Family, I can’t help but feel like I screwed
this time! I think creating this Amazon River world was
one huge mistake! AC Family, we are amidst a major ant crisis,
but I apologize. This epic ant story must continue in next
week’s episode, otherwise this video would run for close to an hour, which based on your
comments would not be a bad thing for many of you, but trust me on this guys, so much
craziness and mind-blowing moments happen amidst this Fire Nation move into the Selva
de Fuego, so hit that subscribe button and bell icon now so you can keep updated on this
on going ant story, and remember to also hit the LIKE button every single time, including
now! AC Inner Colony, the action continues for
you. I have left a hidden cookie for you here if
you would like to see more extended play footage of the initial move of the Fire Nation into
the Selva de Fuego. I can’t handle the intensity of these ants! But I know you guys will love the hidden video. Also, I realize it is officially the start
of ant nuptial flight season for many of you, so if you would like to get into ant keeping
and want to eliminate all guesswork, we provide ant keepers with simple-to-use and great ant
farms. Check out our various ant keeping kits and
supplies at AntsCanada.com and just a reminder we ship worldwide and offer full email support
if you ever have any questions! Also, I would like to plug my daily vlogging
channel for those of you who may be curious as to what I do in between these weekly ant
videos. I upload daily vlogs of my travels around
the world and they often contain nerdy biology stuff, too! Next, addressing those who want two videos
a week, I’m currently looking into options for live streaming of my ant colonies. This is taking me some time so hang in there,
I promise one day you guys will see a notification pop up in your feed that we are live streaming
one of our ant kingdoms and I hope when this happens you guys will tune in to watch! Let me know which ant colony you guys want
to see for our first live stream? OK and now it’s time for the AC Question of
the Week! Last week we asked: What does polymorphic mean? Congratulations to Beaver Gaming who correctly
answered: Polymorphic means coming in
different sizes and shapes. Congratulations Beaver Gaming you just won
a free e-book handbook from our shop. In this week’s AC Question of the Week we
ask: What did all the plants and animals living
in the Selva de Fuego have in common? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free e-book handbook from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE
if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

50 thoughts on “Fire Ants vs. Simulated River Jungle

  1. This man should be a middle school or high school teacher. He has great enthusiasm and seems very knowledgeable. Kids need this. I know we must have text books, which often seem bland, but we also certainly need caring teachers to convey things in a fun and interactive way.

  2. Ok ok ok… I've been watching for about three months just for fire nation and I've wondered if you could release mites to balance the nation so you wouldn't have to spend so much money 💰

  3. Love it, but it should be called "Selva de Fogo". The Amazon forest and river is mostly in Brazil and we speak Portuguese not Spanish, soooo I think it should be in Portuguese just sayin' hahahah!

  4. Awesome setup! I had this exact same setup but with poison dart frogs instead of fire ants. But as far as fish and plants go i literally had the exact same lineup! I had to break down the tank cause I was deployed overseas and it was too hard to find somebody to competently take care of it when i was gone. But seeing your video has made me want to start it back up again. Anyways your video got me thinking could I somehow incorporate a colony of fire ants with the poison dart frogs in the same enclosure? The fire ants could serve as the primary food source for the dart frogs instead of feeding them annoying fruit flies and if the fire ant colony was large enough the dart frogs wouldn't even put a dent in them. Now i don't think they could just roam freely with each other cause the frogs would eat too many of them and then eventually when the frogs got full and stop eating them the fire ants could possibly swarm them and kill the frogs. So my idea would be to have a enclosed ant colony within the tank and then during feeding time or certain times of the day i could have a door open and allow a controlled amount of fire ants out of their enclosed colony and into the rest of Paludarium. To entice the ants to come out i could feed them outside of there protected colony simulating their natural foraging behavior. The only thing i would have to make sure of is that the queen doesn't leave the safety of the colony and get eaten by the dart frogs. Do you think this would be possible?

  5. cosmo and wanda or bonnie and clyde for the cichlids, ed edd and eddy for the albinos, seymour for the snail, and all the kids names from the movie “little rascals” for the other fish

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