Introduction: How to Ready Your Uncle Milton Ant Farm
May be easy, may be not, but I'm gonna show you my detailed description of getting your ant farm ready.
So, I got this ant farm for Christmas, but I couldn't get any ants until May through June so I had sent for them around the end of May and finally got them on June 22 (they didn't cash the check very soon). Well, I ended up purchasing the expansion pack with some food, a water feeder, a poster, a magnifying glass, some ants, an ant fun book, and some other stuff.
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Step 1: Retrieving Your Ants
Go to the mailbox, open mailbox, and marvel over the Uncle Milton's package inside.
Take the package out, and head up for the house.
Step 2: Opening the Package
Set the package on the table, or another flat, pig-free surface.
Start opening one side of the package on the back side (I chose the right first.) This step is hard, considering the flap size that's somehow jammed down in there..... Open the other side, too.
Step 3: Removing the Contents
Open the main flap of the box and lift the group of booklets laying on top.
Remove the ant tube, and study it (optional).
Also remove everything else including the magnifying glass, the ant poster, the ant food, the membership card, the fun book, and all of those instructions.
Step 4: Retrieving the Ant Farm Farm
Head to wherever the ant farm farm is actually at (mine happens to be upstairs).
Make your way to where it's at (my bedroom..... don't mind the messiness. I have posters and drawings and that giant pile of crap is actually an organized shelf of crafting supplies that has come out of one of the four drawers I have full.)
Enter the palace--- I mean place... and grab the farm. Mine happens to be by my unused-as-of-now pink shag pillow and my World Explorer animal cards. (Yes, all those papers and stuff surrounding the farm were booklets and instructions that first came with the farm.)
Step 5: Getting Everything Somewhat Organized
Place the farm farm by the rest of the ant farm supplies you received in the mail.
Remove the pink "IMPORTANT! DO NOT OPEN TUBE OF ANTS UNTIL YOU HAVE READ THIS INFORMATION!" slip, which by the way doubles as an order form for future purchases (keep this.)
Step 6: Refrigerating the Ants
Open the fridge. In my case unlock the pig latch on the grease-stained handle thanks to Fred the mechanic.....
Place the ants in the fridge. Again, in my case beside the ultra-homemade-health drink, the Flax seed, and the pop.
Take note of the time, as you must leave the ants in there, and remove them in 15 minutes.
Step 7: Catching Up Basically on the Membership
Continue reading the pink slip.
Sign the membership card stating: "ANT FARM CLUB OFFICIAL MEMBERSHIP CARD: This certifies that the undersigned is a member in good standing (and climbing, building, digging, tunneling, & playing) of the Ant Farm Club. Said member joins fellow ant watchers located all around the world in learning about one of Nature's most fascinating creatures, the ant. Said member pledges to treat all living things with respect and, like the ant, always try to be a good team player, help those who are less fortunate, persevere to achieve his or her goals, and have fun."
Then it's "authorized" by Uncle Milton and I signed, too. (Cheesy, eh?)
Step 8: Catching Up on Everything Else
Fill in the feeding and watering chart with the months and the days.
Read the original ant farm farm instruction manual on how to feed and water the ants.
Step 9: Removing the Ants From the Fridge
After 15 minutes go back to the fridge and open it. Remove the ants and set the with the rest of the ant stuff.
Step 10: Putting the Ants in Their New Home
Position your ant farm farm so that you can have easy access whilst handling a tube of ants. Open the top chamber (just take off that green plastic thing.)
Break the seal on the ant tube and carefully open the tube, not letting any ants out. Remember, as the pink slip stated: "Ants are easily excited and may bite or sting to defend themselves...."
Rest the edge of the tube so that any ants that may tumble out will fall into the open farm. Gently shake and tap on the tube so that all ants come out. Triumph if any successfully do. But not all of them will..... SO.......
Step 11: An Alternative to Putting Ants in the Top
Take off one of the expansion caps and place the tube over it, making sure not to crush any ants. Allow them to basically move in themselves for around 10 minutes, then aid them since they ARE kinda under "anesthetics" if you will. (That colorful thing in the background is a basketball hoop for the pool. We just blew it up and set it there to keep it out of the pig's harmful way. And then the scaffolding across onto the balcony for replacing shingles :) )
Step 12: Helping the Ants to Feel at Home
Take some kind of long object that will fit in the top to move dead ants out of the way to the next chamber (I used the water feeder). Check the feeding/watering schedule to see if your ants need fed or watered. Mine just happened to need water.
Step 13: Preparing Sugar Water (optional)
Well, as the instructions say, you can either feed them normal water or sugar water. I decided on sugar water.
Get a container with a lid to keep your water in (like so). Set it on the counter. Get some sugar and set it there, too. Turn on the faucet and (optional) test the water to make sure it's ant-temperature; not too hot, not too cold. Fill the cup about half-full. Get a 1/2 tbsp and fill it with sugar, but DON'T put it ALL in yet! Put it in in portions and stir. Taste-test the water to see if it's at-all sugary. When you can taste the littlest bit of sugar in the water, use it, cuz that's what I did... Anyways, get a Sharpie and label the container "Ant Water". Close the lid.
Step 14: Watering Your Ants
Read the instructions on how to water your ants. Take the water feeder, squeeze the bubble end, place the tube end in the water and relax the bubble end again. I prefer to put the water droplets in the top chamber AND the bottom chamber, but you can do whatever.
For the top chamber, just take off that green cover or top expansion caps and squeeze only droplets down in.
For the lower chamber, take off the lower chamber expansion caps, stick the tube in and squeeze right into the sand. Make sure not to cause the sand to be soggy, just moist. And if condensation begins on the glass, don't water the ants until it goes away.
Step 15: Have Fun!
Examine your ants, even through the magnifier, and start the fun book. Read up on the rest of the booklets and TRIUMPH OVER YOUR SUCCESSFUL SETTING UP OF THE ANT FARM!!!!!!!!
Oh, remember 1. not to bake your ants, which means don't leave them in the sun
2. don't cause an earthquake, which means don't shake or severely bump the tank as that may cause DESRUCTION of the tunnels
3. don't start a war, which means don't mix ants from different colonies
4. don't overfeed your ants, which means.... don't give them too much food at a time
AND 5. obviously, don't ruin your ants' time, which means don't "aid" them in building and don't purposely disturb them!