How To Make an Ant Farm With a Fish Tank? (Briefly Discussed)

Ants can make amazing pets; they build detailed homes with numerous tunnels, and an ant farm is a great way for you to watch them do it. You can buy an ant farm but making their habitat on your own is a great and rewarding project. You can use a fish tank to make an ant farm.

So, how do you make an ant farm with a fish tank? You can use an old or new fish tank to make an ant farm for your ants. To create one, add moist dirt into the aquarium and then cover the top of the fish tank. Fish tanks are usually made from clear glass or plastic. Therefore, if you use a fish tank to make an ant farm, you can easily see the ants carry out their various activities. Also, you can modify the size of the fish tank to suit the colony or choose to retain original measurements.

A fish tank makes a good home for ants to build their colony. You can install the ant farm in your home or office and watch most of their activities. Read on to find out more about using a fish tank to make an ant farm, how thick the ant farm should be, and if ant farms are cruel.

How Do You Make an Ant Farm From an Aquarium?

Making an ant farm from an aquarium is not that difficult. If you are interested in having an ant farm, you can acquire a new fish tank or recycle an old one you have been keeping in the house. If you do it correctly, you will be enjoying your ant farm within a short time.

The first thing you have to do when making an ant farm from an aquarium is select the perfect aquarium for your ant farm. If you choose to use an old fish tank, make sure it does not leak or have cracks. If you put ants into a fish tank with openings, they might get out and crawl around the house or office.

Ants also need a moist environment, and if the fish tank has many openings, the ant farm dirt might get dry too quickly the ants will be uncomfortable. The fish tank also needs to be strong enough to hold dirt for a long time.

The fish tank needs to be clean before you convert it into an ant farm. Wash the fish tank with soap and warm water, do not use cleaning chemicals. This is because some chemicals might harm the ants if you use strong cleaning agents. You need to clean the fish tank to remove all bacteria, fungus, and other materials that could be harmful to the ants. After cleaning the fish tank, let it sit and dry for a couple of days before you start filling it with dirt.

After cleaning and drying it, you can now start filling the fish tank with dirt. It is recommended that you use a mixture of moist soil and sand to make the ant farm dirt. The sand should not be more than the moist dirt. This is because sand loses water fast, and if the ant farm is full of purely sand, the ant farm will be too dry and not suitable for ants to live. Find the perfect balance of mixing the moist dirt with sand.

Another important reason for using moist dirt is that the ants need moist soil to make stable tunnels. If the ant farm dirt is too dry, the ants will not make stable tunnels. They will collapse from time to time, and it could be a danger to your ants’ health. Make sure the ant firm dirt is not too moist. If there is a lot of water present, it could make the fish tank dirty, and you will not see the ant activities.

The amount of sand you put into the fish tank depends on your preference. Some people will only add a few inches, while others add dirt up to fifty percent of the fish tank. If you have a small number of ants, there is no need to put a lot of dirt into the fish tank. One advantage of adding ant farm dirt to half the fish tank is that the ants will create many tunnels, which can be fun for you to see.

After you put dirt into the fish tank, you can now place your ants in it. Ants tend to move around, and if they smell food, they might want to leave the ant farm to go search for it. You need to cover the fish tank to avoid the ants climbing on the side of the fish tank and leaving it. You can purchase plexiglass and place it on top of the aquarium. Do not cover the top too tightly. Make sure that there is enough space for air to go into the ant farm.

Do not turn the fish tank into a plain-looking ant farm. You should make it unique and stand out from other ant farms. You can install a light source so that you can watch the ant activity during the night. You can add twigs and leaves for the ants to climb when they are not moving around in their tunnels. You can also shape the ant farm dirt on different levels. It does not have to be flat.

The lifespan of an ant is short. An ant can live close to four months. If you keep only worker ants in your ant farm, the colony will last close to four months, then they will slowly die. If you want your ant farm to last longer, you need to have a queen as they are the only ones who can reproduce. It is difficult to catch one in the wild because they live deep inside the colony. You can purchase one from a pet store together with a few male ants.

How Thick Should an Ant Farm Be?

There are different sizes of ant farms. You can build an ant farm with two sides or four sides, depending on your preference.

The minimum thickness recommended for an ant farm should be between 0.6 inches and 1.2 inches. Ants need enough space to build their colonies. In the wild, ants have been known to build colonies more than three meters into the ground. If you build a small ant farm, your ants may reproduce so fast that you might need to relocate some to another ant farm if you have a queen.

When using a fish tank to build, you can add dirt up to half the tank’s size for the ant to live. The biggest ant farm in the world is 3 feet high and 3 feet wide, built by Terminix Service in the United States. If you can keep your ant farm measurements under 3 feet high and 3 feet wide, then your ants can successfully build a colony without any problems.

Are Ant Farms Cruel?

Animal rights are an important consideration for anyone looking to keep any animals at home. Ant farms are quite popular, and many people keep them in their homes. However, it is important to ensure that ants living in the ant farms are treated properly.

Ant farms are not cruel and are very safe for ants if well maintained. If you take good care of your ant farm, your ants will be safe. One thing to note is that ant farms are not toys for children. It is not something they can move around with during playtime. If you want to buy or build an ant farm, ensure that your children are old enough to know that it is not a toy.

You also have to provide food and water for the ants. In the wild, the worker ants can leave their colonies to find food for their queen and babies. In an ant farm, they cannot leave to find food, and it is up to you to make sure they have constant food and water supply. Make sure the food is fresh and always replenish the water source in the ant farm.

Avoid the urge to move the ant farm every time. Ants enjoy a peaceful environment, and if you move the ant farm every time, they will get stressed and uncomfortable. If you have children, make sure that they do not shake the ant farm. Shaking can lead to collapsing of the tunnels the ant made to move around, and many will be cut off from their food supplies. Keep your ant farm away from direct sunlight and in a firm position to avoid getting knocked over.


Making an ant farm from a fish tank is easy if you follow the correct steps. If you have an old fish tank lying around and want to keep ants, you can convert it into an ant farm. Ensure that you add in the correct amount of soil to ensure the ants can easily create tunnels without them collapsing. Ant activities are fun to watch, and if you want, you can also keep a queen and watch the population in your ant farm grow.

It is important to respect the rights of animals. If you decide to have an ant farm, you need to be ready to maintain the ant farm and provide the ants with food and water. You should ensure that the ants have a conducive environment for them to live and reproduce.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is an owner of several pets including reptiles, cats and dogs. An avid writer, who loves to share her insights into caring for pets.

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