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Terra nests

Published on Nov 24, 2023

Please check the description in the listing of the nest you ordered, this range includes:

Micro Founding Terra v3  – For founding smaller species queens, from single queen

Founding Terra – For a single queen up to 10-20 workers

Terra XS v2 – For young colonies from 10-50 workers

Terra S v2 – For colonies from 40-80 workers

Terra M v2 For colonies from 80-200 workers

Terra M v2 4 way – Same as the M, but with 4 ports to endlessly expand

Terra L v2 For large colonies from 200-1000+ workers

(all of the worker count above is species dependant – smaller species will need more workers than stated)

A brief summary of this range

Our Terra nests include magnets as well as 3 to 4 ports. The use of magnets allows easier, and quicker, connections of new nest expansions and allows the use of add-ons, like the hydrometer and water tower.

The magnets on the nests have different polarities to allow multiple nests to link together. Opposing polarities link together, same polarities will not. Please refer to the product description to know in more detail about the polarity. But this means that you should make sure you understand what connects and what doesn’t before adding your ants so you know what to expect!

New v3 range – whats changed?

In our v3 range, we have now included metal mesh into the hydration element, this addition ensures escape prevention and also means the nests can confidently be used with micro species of ants. It also means that flooding of the nest is much harder to do than before, so it gives you a lot more time to notice if you have over-watered your nest and you can react by putting cotton in the hydration port to soak up any excess moisture. Care should still be taken when adding water to the nest. We have also included + and – signs on the nests which give you a visual representation of the polarity of the magnets, so it should be easier to know what sides match up to others. Note here – opposites attract, so a + will connect to a – and a – will repel another -, same for two +’s.

Hydration of the nest and how often?

The hole on the top of each nest is the hydration port. This allows you to hydrate the plaster in the nest by adding water to this port.

How does it work?

There is built-in mesh in the plastic exterior of the nest, with holes just large enough for water to pass through to the plaster, but not large enough for ants to escape in the rare occasion that they have chewed through the plaster to this point.

We recommend that when you receive your nest, you should fill the hydration port to the top and wait 10-15 minutes for the water to soak in. This should hydrate the nest enough to get you going. Be careful not to add too much water as once the plaster is fully saturated, any excess water will flood into the nest and be dangerous to your ants.

Also note that if heating from the bottom of the nest, a lot of hydration in the nest will cause condensation on the acrylic. So if you decide to heat from the bottom, keep this in mind and think about hydrating less, or to heat from the top to combat the condensation build up.

Then after hydrating for the first time, 1-2ml per week is recommended (so not much!), these nests hold the hydration for a long time. Depending on the temperature you keep the nests at, you may need to add more water, so this is something you should experiment with and you will soon find the most optimal method.

*Note – hydration is not essential if water is being provided elsewhere, so always add slightly less water than you think is needed to avoid over-hydration.

I have over watered my nest! What do I do?

Don’t worry, it happens to everyone at some point! To reverse this, stuff the hydration hole with cotton wool, this will soak up the excess water into the cotton over a few minutes, which you can then remove and replace with fresh cotton if there is still excess water in the nest. Repeat this process until all excess water is gone.

Seed eating species in Terra nests

For species that eat seeds, they like to store the seeds inside the nest. Keep this in mind when thinking about hydration as if the seeds come into contact with moisture, they will germinate and create a mini forest inside your nest which can then grow mould.

We advise that you provide alternative sources of water for these species and do not hydrate the nest. We sell the water-tower add-on that is a great way to provide a water source without hydration. Or you could link up another nest and hydrate that, but making sure to keep one nest dry. These ants will make sure to store their seeds in the most dry area of the nest, so doing this will provide them with a seed storage area.

We have also found success in feeding seeds within a hydrated nest. But to make sure they don’t germinate, be sure to crush the seeds up first.


  • Clear acrylic top
    • Take off the protective film before use
    • Make sure the hydration hole lines up with the nest. If not, try flipping it until it does
  • Screws (8mm)
    • 4 for Micro founding
    • 5 for Founding (4 for nest + 1 for outworld handle)
    • 4 for sizes XS/S
    • 8 for M
    • 13 for L
  • Blanking plates
    • 1 for both Founding nests
    • 2 for sizes XS/S/M
    • 4 for L
    • You will receive blanking plates that are with opposing polarity for nests XS+
  • Allen key

Plus any optional add-ons:

  • Red cover
  • Tubes
  • Water tower
  • Hydrometer

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