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Connections & Tubing

Lets connect everything together

Most ant-keepers use vinyl tubing to create tunnels or connections between all the components in the ant-keeping setup or ant farm, mainly because it is clear or see-thru, allowing you to observe ants travelling inside and also because it is somewhat flexible and can be routed into diverse angles.

The main two outside diameters used in North America and most of the world are 9.5mm (3/8 inch) or 12.7mm (1/2 inch), with a wall thickness ranging from 1 up to 2mm, although all tubes are supposed to measure the same we have noticed that this is not always the case. The vinyl tubing we provide is made in Canada and gives us the consistency required to connect smoothly with our hardware; if by chance you have a piece of tubing that feels too tight or too loose with your hardware, this can be solved easily with heat, you can heat the tube with hot water (caution here), to soften it allowing you to shrink it or expand it, the same tip can be used to bend the tube into a more extreme or narrow-angle. However, all vinyl tubes, at some point, will kink. 

Due to the sharp angle limitations (kinking) of vinyl tubing often, it may be convenient to use L connectors, such allow the creation of 90-degree angles with the least amount of tubing possible; Ts and Xs connectors also facilitate sharp angles and create intersections between different tubes. Keep in mind that in the case of tubing and connecting pathways, less is more; keep it as short and straightforward as possible, similar to a formicarium (less space is more); if you use too much or overcomplicate things, ants may move and nest inside the tubing network. 

Our cone adapters interconnect different tubing diameters and, more importantly, allow glass test tubes to adapt to the plastic tubing while reducing the entrance diameter. A founding test tube plugged with cotton evaporates more water than a test tube with a cone adapter plugged with cotton; the diameter reduction is responsible for this factor.


Remember, there is always the minimalist approach; a 9.5mm tube can fit not too loosely inside a 12.7mm tube, and a silicone fitting often used in our tubes can fit a 9.5mm tube. 

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