Fire Ants vs. Water

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, sit back. It’s time! At every 7 o clock, right on the dot, something
amazing starts to happen over head in the Selva de Fuego. Something great and life-giving. Rain. Using some tubing and an automatic timer,
I figured out a way to recreate a mini rain shower for one minute within the Selva de
Fuego every morning and night. It took a lot of testing and adjusting, but
eventually, I managed to get the drops to fall perfectly and evenly like rain. Now I didn’t have to worry about watering
the jungle, as it had its own storm system. As the life-giving rain drops fell hitting
the plants and soils, it seemed as though it was a celebratory heavenly sign for all
the inhabitants of the rainforest that they had been blessed with a new, perfectly self-functioning
home to call their own. After the rains, as is our AC tradition, I
offered the Fire Nation a house warming gift. I gave them on behalf of we the AC Family,
a mighty cockroach feast on a stick for our beloved ants to enjoy, who were now super
hungry from the great move. They came swarming to the feast. Watching the ants come pouring out of their
underground castles was amazing! It’s moments like these, that ant keepers
live for! I cherished the sight, triumphant and awe-inspiring! The one thing I learned from this whole experience
was that, one cannot completely predict how nature will unfold, no matter how thoroughly
you think you have all bases covered, and all blue prints drawn up. I discovered on this day that with nature,
there was no perfect contingency plan, as it clearly has a mind of its own. One can only guide life in a certain direction,
like physically cutting out a river, but life will always inevitably flow freely like water,
undominated as it so chooses along the path of least resistance. AC Family, I was happy to say this Selva de
Fuego project was an utter success… That was until, I noticed the next morning,
the fire ants had been busy cutting out their own path of resistance. The fluon barriers I had placed to ensure
the ants remained secure inside the Selva de Fuego had weak spots. Over night, the ants had figured out that
the corners were easier to cling on to despite the fluon barrier. Oh no! So far, it looked like they hadn’t yet figured
a way to cross the upside down lip. But that’s not all! What I spotted next, caused me great concern. The rains overnight had naturally cued some
guests to emerge from the nests, and there seen on one of the frog bit islands were full
grown male and female alates. We didn’t have the time I thought we had to
prepare. The fire ants were now starting to have mating
flights! What was going to do keep all these fire ants
inside? It was then that a tiny movement in the corner
caught my eye. A tiny spider was lassoing some of the ants
that managed to get too close. At first, I asked myself, how on Earth did
a spider get in here? It must have come in with the plants. But what was more important, was that it was
at that very moment, that a crazy idea came to me, which would offer a great solution
to both my fire ant escape problems. Oh boy, this was about to get interesting. AC Family, just when I thought things were
all settled, it seems the adventure has just begun! Tune in next week, when we add a team of special
guests to the Selva de Fuego to deal with escaping ants and flying alates! Trust me on this guys, you won’t want to miss
next week’s crazy, action-packed episode, so hit that SUBSCRIBE button and BELL ICON
now so you don’t miss out on this mind-blowing ant story! Also, do remember to hit the LIKE button every
single time, including now! AC Inner Colony I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, to watch full footage of the Fire Nation enjoying and devouring our great
house warming gift. You won’t want to miss out on what’s there! Also, I wanted to quickly address our completely
failed attempt at live streaming the Hacienda Del Dorado this week. For those who don’t know, I had scheduled
an interactive live stream where you could feed the ants yourselves with Superchats. I was completely surprised to see how many
of you came to support by sending in Superchats to feed the ants. In the short time we live streamed, over 60
of you sent in your Superchats which was completely unexpected and those with Superchats of over
$30 got their names on personalized flags which skewered giant roaches. The full list of SUPER CHAT supporters is
in the description box! Thank you guys so much! Needless to say, the Golden Empire had a complete
and utter feast and loved it, but the only thing was, due to slow internet connection
in my part of the world, the live stream continually kept cutting off and every time I tried to
reconnect to the stream, all of you received Live notifications to your devices, emails,
and home feeds, and when I learned this, I cringed! I sincerely apologize to all those who not
only were looking forward to the live stream, but also to the hundreds of thousands, possibly
even over a million people out there who received a barrage of notifications from me every time
I reconnected to the LIVE. Someone mentioned it was around 9 notifications! It seemed we lost some subscribers due to
the annoying notifications, but I promise, it won’t happen again. I have contacted the Youtube support team
who will hopefully help us avoid future complications like this. The great thing, though is that now I know
that an interactive live stream like this is possible, and I have already begun brainstorming
an automatic feeding system so you guys at home can feed the ants yourselves from the
comfort of your own home or mobile device, during an ant live stream! Isn’t 2018 technology just amazing? Alright and before proceeding to the AC Question
of the week, I just wanted to plug my new daily vlogging channel, for those of you curious
about what I do between these weekly ant videos. I upload daily life vlogs of my travels around
the world, and it also includes a lot of biology stuff. Alright and now it’s time for the AC Question
of the Week! Last week, we asked: What did all the plants and animals living
in the Selva de Fuego have in common? Congratulations to Aaronn Carrington who correctly
answered: All plants in water and
on land are native to the South American Amazon. Congratulations Aaronn you just won a free
e-book handbook from our shop. In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: Why does the Fire Nation queen take her time
when moving out of an old nest and into a new one? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win a free ant t-shirt from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE
if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

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