FIRE ANTS vs. WATER!

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Can fire ants conquer water? Moving my massive fire ant colony into their new home, a 100 gallon South American biotope (all animals and plants from South America) paludarium (half land- half water) was an intense experience to witness! At the onset, it seemed the fire ants, a colony we call the Fire Nation, was having troubles dealing with the river we made in the setup, not to mention being completely chastised by the river's fish. Watch how the Fire Nation deals with their new life in the Selva de Fuego, and check out the surprises and twists that happen along the way. Hope you guys enjoy this week's episode!
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Caption: 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!. please subscribe to my channel and hit the. bell icon. welcome to the ac family. enjoy!. as the fire ants rushed about, i had to remain. calm so i could think about this logically. and tackle each problem separately. first, i had to address all the ants falling. into the water. many of you guys said it, just move the tube. to the ground. how silly of me!. of course. i carefully moved the bridge tube away from. the water so the ants could have direct access. to the soils. done. now to address the ants that seemed to be. drowning in the river. they needed a life saver of some kind, and. it just so happened that we had the perfect. rafts for them to climb on. i pushed over some of the frog bit so these. fallen ants could climb aboard and dry off. suddenly, things didn't seem as dire anymore. what a relief!. i think the thing that worried me most about. all of this was the fact that in a previous. video, these fire ants showed perfect mastery. on a thin tight rope we made them walk to. get to food. remember that video . this is why it shocked me to see so many ants. falling off this much thicker and seemingly. easily grippable branch. but then again, on the tight rope the ants. were much more calm and traveling in generally. a single file, unlike the huge mad column. here, which now understandably could lead. to some ants slipping off amidst all that. hustle and bustle. but in addition to that, i think the fact. that i wasn't seeing the ants forming their. triumphant body rafts right away, also scared. me a bit. should i now expect helpless drowned ants. to be a common sight in the selva de fuego . if so, i wasn't prepared for that, and i didn't. plan for our river to be able to sustain masses. of drowned ants long term. anyway, after these minor changes to our master. fire ant emmigration plan, it did seem things. got better. the ants didn't hesitate to begin digging. out their subterranean super base in the virgin. soils of the selva de fuego. the fish were seemingly unphased by the ants. that could be seen in full view to their side. but i did notice the ram cichlids seeming. particularly curious and loving just watching. the ants. it appears we aren't the only ones, ac family,. who love ant watching. speaking of the rams, if our newly betrothed. breeding pair were awkward at first, that. was now all done, because the two were completely. bonded now, and inseparably in love. how nice!. but it wasn't all warm and fuzzy in our river. world, as i watched our gang of guppies completely. chastising the ants that were taking refuge. on the frog bit. these guppies are such bullies!. one of the things that really impressed me. though, was how the fire ants of the fire. nation seemed to be learning how to manage. life on these life-saving, floating islands. of frog bit. watch this, ac family. check out these incredible frog bit-stranded. ants collectively swimming their frog bit. to a nearby branch. the currents moved the frog bit around, but. you could clearly see that all the ants had. one common goal in mind - to get to the wood. a few of the ants are unlucky enough to lose. their grip and get carried away by the swirling. river currents. come on ladies, you can do it!. the currents help move the frog bit along. ahhhh so close, yet so far. by night, the situation in the selva de fuego. definitely seemed a lot more stable. i did notice the guppies, who initially appeared. to threaten the fire ants, had finally grown. bored of terrorizing them. and as for the ants, it was amazing to observe. them now impressively proficient at finding. various ways to make it to dry land. any ants stranded on frog bit islands were. now very effective at synchronized paddling. to nearby wood. the ants even cooperatively formed bridges. on the water's surface using their own bodies. to gain access to other frog bit islands. from there, ants found neat stair cases to. dry land, like these natural ropes of spanish. moss. even though the ant colony had been moving. in for almost 12 hours now, there was still. a lot of the colony left to move out. the fire nation was truly a massive kingdom!. i didn't even know if the queen had moved. in yet. she usually doesn't move out until a certain. percentage of the ant colony is moved out,. perhaps because she needs to be absolutely. sure the new home is secure and safe, complete. with her necessary royal interior preparations. she is after all a vip and needs to have all. her diva requirements met before her grand. entrance!. and also perhaps because she needs the majority. of the ant colony to be around her at all. times. it's unclear whether she decides when it's. ok for her to move out or when the colony. decides for her. i guess that's something we'll never know. meanwhile, at ground level, the construction. of nests were well under way. i was amazed to see the ants building ant. hills right up to the edge. they towered high like great forts situated. at the water's edge. how they even managed to pull off attaching. sections of soil vertically to the glass was. beyond me!. talk about incredible architects wouldn't. you say . what's amazing about all this, is that had. this been humans, it would have been a huge. architectural operation, with several teams. over-looking different aspects of the construction. following a master blueprint. but with these fire ants, there are no job-specific. teams, no master blue print, but just one. huge colony all working together following. some collective intelligence, which will ultimately. result in a massive, complex underground sanctuary. can you believe it . the fire nation just astounds me!. i wonder where they're going to choose to. setup their garbage site. let's hope not in the water!. i was relieved to note that our barrier of. fluon was working at keeping the ants inside. the setup. thank goodness i didn't have to worry about. the ants escaping, for now anyway. the fire nation was at this point busy transporting. the brood, these young fire ants were the. lucky ones to emerge from their pupae as the. future first generation of selva de fuegans. it was so satisfying to see that this entire. emmigration operation seemed to be under control. and running smoothly now. and then i saw this. ac family, this kind of caught me off guard. huge larvae!. oh boy, the alates are coming. i completely forgot it was the season. so the reason this was an area of concern,. was because the fire nation was now starting. to produce the young queens and males with. wings for this year's nuptial flights, and. i didn't exactly have a plan for dealing with. that yet, but i think we have some time to. formulate a contigency plan of some kind. by morning, our fish were waking up to greet. the new day. peeking into the hybrid nests, i was happy. to discover that almost all of the colony. had moved out overnight and most certainly. so did the fire nation queen. and so ac family, later that night after disconnecting. their evacuated old home, i could officially. announce that the fire nation had completely. moved in to their new territories - this massive. jungle river paludarium known as the selva. de fuego, a replication of the fire ant motherland,. we know as the amazon river jungle. the day before, i was worried this jungle. river habitat was unsuitable for the fire. nation, that the river would end up killing. the colony, but now 36 hrs later, i was surprised. to note that the surface of our river was. crystal clear and free of ants, and our river. floor, also fire ant body-free!. this to me meant, the fire ants had learned. over this short period of time, how to live. around this moving body of water. i knew they would figure it out!. i loved watching the ants living in the selva. de fuego. they began establishing clear trails, busy. ant highways across the soils to other entrances. nearby. it was amazing to see that the fire nation. had claimed these territory theirs!. and so did the fish!. i caught the ram cichlids fully defending. the best section of the river with clear view. of the ants. it seems the cichlids were unwilling to share. this prime area for ant watching!. so now, ac family, are you ready for this . a final surprise that i think you guys might. like a lot!. so, we had the plants, we had the river, we. had the aquatic animals, and we had the ants,. but there was one final touch that i had planned. to make this a true amazon rain forest, and. oh, ac family,
 

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