A gel ant farm is a suitable solution for a child with a spotty track record of keeping other pets. If you have given in previously and ended up taking care of a dog, cat, hamster or bird, the formicarium and its short-lived inhabitants might be the answer.
Ant Farm History
Ant Stuff explains that the original formicarium dates back to 1956, when Californian Milton Levine found a way to sell pests and their habitats for $1.98. Multiply this by 12 million, and you have the number of ant farms sold by this savvy entrepreneur. Back then, the formicarium was filled with sand for the tiny ants to live and dig in.
Introducing the Gel Ant Farm
Today’s kids crave transparency and ant farm gel provides a medium that offers the insects moisture, some nutrition, satisfies their tunneling needs and is sufficiently translucent for kids to behold the antics of their little pet ants. In addition, the gel ant farm makes keeping the animals even simpler, since there is no longer the danger of inadvertently killing the animals for lack of moisture or nutrition.
It is interesting to note – as outlined by Ant Farm Universe – that the ant farm gel dates back to the time when NASA decided to bring ants into space but needed to find a way to prevent their and their substrate’s floating. Another advantage that the gel ant farm has over its sand-filled cousin revolves around the susceptibility to vibration. Although it is still a good idea to not shake or jostle the container, it can withstand more accidental vibration than the sand-filled type.
What Makes the Formicarium a Good Option?
For starters, ants do not have to get walked in sub-freezing temperatures, do not scratch the sofa, do not chirp loudly or smell up a cage. At the same time, the short lifespan of the average worker ant – between three and six months – makes it a good pet of choice for the child who loses interest in hobbies and pets quite quickly.
If the child is initially enthusiastic about a gel ant farm but quickly gets bored, the amount of care and supervision the parent must provide is limited to the lifespan of the animals. Do not get a queen ant, as this will result in the constant replenishing of dead worker ants. In fact, it is possible to populate the ant farm gel with little more than 10 to 15 ants – they must come from the same colony! – right out of the backyard.
Ant Stuff: “A Brief History”
Ant Farm Universe: “Choosing Your Ant Habitat”