⚠️ Due to high demand, production takes around 1 week ⚠️

Ant Colony Expansion: When and How to Upgrade


As your ant colony grows, there will come a time when their current habitat becomes too small. Knowing when and how to upgrade your formicarium is essential for maintaining a healthy and thriving colony. This guide will help you recognize the signs that it’s time to upgrade and provide steps for a smooth transition.

Signs It’s Time to Upgrade


  • Increased Aggression: Ants may become more aggressive due to limited space.
  • Limited Nesting Areas: Lack of available space for brood and new workers.

Excessive Waste

  • Difficulty Cleaning: The current formicarium may become difficult to keep clean.
  • Mold Growth: Increased waste can lead to mold and bacteria growth.

Behavioral Changes

  • Restlessness: Ants may seem restless and continuously search for new areas.
  • Reduced Activity: Overcrowded colonies might show reduced foraging and other activities.

Choosing the Right Upgrade

Size and Space

  • Larger Formicarium: Choose a larger formicarium that provides ample space for future growth.
  • Expandable Systems: Consider modular systems that allow for future expansions.

Material and Design

  • Durable Materials: Acrylic or glass are durable and provide good visibility.
  • Naturalistic Designs: Mimic the ants' natural habitat for a more comfortable environment.

Preparing for the Upgrade

Planning the Move

  • Timing: Plan the upgrade during a low-stress period for the ants.
  • New Formicarium Setup: Prepare the new habitat before moving the ants, ensuring it meets all their needs.

Ensuring Safety

  • Secure Connections: Use secure tubing to connect the old and new formicariums.
  • Minimize Stress: Move ants gently to avoid stress and injury.

Moving Your Colony

Gradual Transition

  • Connecting Formicariums: Connect the old and new formicariums with tubing, allowing ants to explore the new space gradually.
  • Encouraging Migration: Use light or temperature changes to encourage ants to move on their own.

Direct Transfer

  • Manual Move: If necessary, manually transfer ants using a soft brush or suction tool.
  • Safety Precautions: Ensure all entrances and exits are secure to prevent escapes.

Post-Move Care


  • Regular Checks: Monitor the new formicarium for any issues, such as escapes or health problems.
  • Behavior Observation: Watch for signs of stress or adaptation problems.


  • Cleaning: Continue regular cleaning and maintenance to keep the new formicarium healthy.
  • Feeding and Hydration: Ensure consistent food and water supply during the transition period.


Upgrading your formicarium is a crucial step in ant keeping, ensuring your colony has the space and resources to thrive. Recognize the signs of overcrowding, choose the right new habitat, and follow best practices for a smooth transition. With careful planning and execution, your ants will quickly adapt to their new home.

Further Reading

For more detailed guides and tips on ant keeping, visit our Ant Keeping Beginner Guides Blog. Here, you’ll find comprehensive articles to help you every step of the way.