All Things Gardening forum→Terrarium build for baby praying mantis..

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Fox Valley, North America (Zone 5a)
A garden is more than just plants.
Plant and/or Seed Trader Critters Allowed
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CraftyFox
Aug 7, 2021 8:21 PM CST
Happy to help!
I use a standard reptile lid on top of my 20 or 10 gallon, but I use like 20lb fishing line or floral wire(depending on the type of environment 'wet' vs 'dry'), and stitch a fine window screen to the top.. This will prevent all but the smallest of insects to escape thru the top. You can then use a strip of draft foamtape to run around the top of the tank, as a seal for the edges.. I've felt the need to improve on this part, but it should give you some ideas to mull over. Been a while since I've built one, but I think I have one left around somewhere.. My son was unstitching them because he didn't need the fine screen. I'll look when I'm out in the garage again. I think I've illustrated it well though, no?

Then, if you want to get even fancier.. You can cut the top off a milk gallon, leaving enough flare to sew it to the top of your cover (or fuse it with hot glue, etc.). After you are sure it's fused well, you can cut out both screens from the center of it, making a small drop port you can open and close without having to remove the whole lid. You will find a number of containers that will fit snuggly into this system..

Like M&M cylinders.. Those little cheap plastic yogurt slurp (blah!) things that are banned from here.. Hoses.. Etc. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.
I also use this method for making ports and vents on Sterlite type containers for arthropods. Never a shortage of milk gallons around. I usually drill a hole that the cap will just barely not fit thru, so I can use the ring to lock it in place.. Sometimes I crack the container.. If I rush it. Don't rush it! You can also use these as small ports into bait capture traps, swapping out a lid w/holes for one that doesn't have one, when you want to collect.. For a very passive/lazy method.

Not sure what you meant by keeping them alive.. I don't kill many of the fruit flies using that water method, but I don't clap my hand hard either, allowing the water to do the work. Then you just carefully wipe them on an object in the tank.. They will usually recover. I was feeding them to Ladybugs, so I just stuck them on the honey-dipped toothpick and served them up like candy apples..

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And yummy delicious winter mosquitoes, for variety..

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I used this base for rearing fruit flies, and other stuff.. Like an aquarium it adapts nicely to many varieties of culture.

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Hope that gives you some ideas!
You either serve the whole, or you serve the hole.. The difference can be subtle if you don't pay attention.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Aug 12, 2021 5:22 PM CST
Well, not sure if we got a name..
but due to an intense thunderstorm last night With lots of rain and intense wind, my cover failed and I'm pretty sure my baby left. I've been looking all day and haven't seen them. (Sad).

Good news is there are a million mosquitoes full of my protein rich blood that are flying around My garden fat and easy to catch because I spent forever looking for this baby.
If I ever do it again, it will be under an overhang so I can manage weather.

The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Aug 12, 2021 5:29 PM CST
Btw, my light bait bug trap was entirely worthless when I checked the next morning.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Tropicals
Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1
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purpleinopp
Aug 14, 2021 8:02 AM CST
Well it was worth a try!

The solar pump I ordered has arrived. I don't think it is going to work for the purpose I had envisioned because the flow is much too strong. Maybe when it cools off I'll try something else but for now, I'm going to put it in a bowl with the pretty rocks I picked up in the Rocky Mountains. Pics later...
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now.
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Tropicals
Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
purpleinopp
Aug 14, 2021 9:02 PM CST
I put the bowl together but it clouded up and I have no pics yet.

But I got to thinking that a piece of gutter would make a great stream bed, or the base for one. I've been wanting to make a triple-decker hanging planter out of gutter anyway. That's why it was on my mind.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Tropicals
Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
purpleinopp
Aug 15, 2021 9:19 AM CST
There was enough sun this morning to get a decent pic. It only works when the sun is shining on the solar panel, but I think it's great for the price. The water is hard to see but it's just the right amount for the size of this bowl. Rocks are prettier when they're wet, IMVHO.
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Thinking more about the rain gutter, it seems like a hanging triple-decker planter could have a water feature as the middle rung. A stream flowing from a little hill, and making a paddlewheel turn. And maybe some mini aquatic plants...?
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Image
Turbosaurus
Aug 22, 2021 10:01 PM CST
it's Beautiful, but from an engineering standpoint- i know you can do better
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Image
Turbosaurus
Aug 22, 2021 10:15 PM CST
bowl full of rocks is a great idea, but you can do better. what you want is a drainage with some sort of elevation, , a smaller tupperware top w holes drilled, an upside down coir basket w landscape fabric.. something so the bottom is a water reservoir, not filled with rocks that take up volume.

it's tropical storming in NY and my outdoor terrarium is completely flooded because I didn't plan the top correctly- good thing, because I didn't plan the top correct my bug " bugged out " well before the flooding.

good news is I have at least one more mantis, getting very big, in the original hatching surround..
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Image
Turbosaurus
Aug 22, 2021 10:17 PM CST
bowl full of rocks is a great idea, but you can do better. what you want is a drainage with some sort of elevation, , a smaller tupperware top w holes drilled, an upside down coir basket w landscape fabric.. something so the bottom is a water reservoir, not filled with rocks that take up volume.

it's tropical storming in NY and my outdoor terrarium is completely flooded because I didn't plan the top correctly- good thing, because I didn't plan the top correct my bug " bugged out " well before the flooding.

good news is I have at least one more mantis, getting very big, in the original hatching surround.. i kinda want to move it in my hand, but I don't know if it's molted enough to have wings
The plural of anecdote is not data.

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