5 Best Ants For Gel Ant Farm [Pick These!!]

For beginners, especially those with a gel ant farm, choosing an ant species that is easy to manage should be a top objective.

The five best ants for gel farms include black garden ants, pavement ants, red harvester ants, carpenter, and acrobat ants.

However, due to ant habitat differences, some of the ants recommended are easier to find than others because the availability of certain species depends on your location. 

For instance, one species of the red harvester ant is easy to find in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and neighboring states.

In contrast, the most typical acrobat ant species is native to Florida.

Before diving into the different ants for ant farms, it’s critical to understand what gel farms are and the preparation you need to make before bringing live ants.

gel for an ant farm

Choosing the best ant farm

One critical factor in choosing a gel kit is the size of the gel ant habitat.

The nutrient-rich gel used in ant farms serves as a habitat and food for the ants.

The larger the gel farm, the longer it will serve ant needs before needing replacement.

Larger areas also hold more ants.

Feeding ants is not common for gel farm ant owners. As the ants dig and tunnel into the gel, they meet their nutrient and water needs from the gel. 

For this reason, larger gel farms will sustain the ants longer because ants will take longer to deplete the gel reserve. 

Another factor to consider is the viewing area to allow watching the ants.

Most ant farm gel kits are made from a translucent blue gel encased in a clear acrylic box, so you can watch your ants dig tunnels any time.

LED lighting lights up the kit increasing night visibility.

led light

Choose an ant farm designed to prevent ants from escaping, especially when keeping dangerous species like fire ants

Ants aren’t included in most kits.

Some ant farm suppliers issue vouchers for free ants.

Due to state restrictions, shipping ants from some states to others is prohibited.

You can always purchase ants from a local pet or ant store.

Etymologists, though, recommend collecting ants from your backyard.

You have many brands of gel kits to choose from, but the best overall ant farm is the  Dan & Darci Light-Up Ant Habitat

[amazon box=”B07W3NLRVG”]

5 Best Ants For Gel Ant Farm

Before discussing each ant type, one thing to note is that, unlike ant colonies in the field, you do not need a queen ant to start a gel ant farm.

It is recommended that ant-farming newbies start with a colony without a queen.

Below are five easy-to-keep ant types for the North American region.

[1] Red Harvester ants

Live harvester ants are an excellent pet to keep. You can buy or collect them from the field in our backyard.

As the name suggests, they’re red or dark brown, with a large squarish head.

The antennae is elbow shaped with large saw-like mandibles, and the body is spineless.

Harvester Ants  

The red harvester ant mound is easy to identify.

There’s no vegetation 3-6 feet around the nest entrance. You’ll also notice small pebbles in the bare area.

The small stones are part of the trash dug from the hole. 

Once you identify the mound, scoop the workers.

This way, you can easily start a farm without a queen.

These ants sting and bite.

Though not as lethal as fire ants, be cautious when collecting them.

This type of ant is easy to maintain.

Harvester ants require less humidity than other ants and thrive in temperatures between 16-21 degrees Celsius.

They dislike large amounts of light. A lot without a queen will live for 2-4 weeks.




[2] Pavement ants

Another easy-to-find, collect and keep is the pavement ant.

Pavement Ant

Pavement ants do well in medium-high temperatures of approximately 29 degrees Celsius and high-humidity environments.

Keep the kit lights down.

This species is fascinating to watch because the ants exhibit aggressive behavior around food, and small colonies cautiously send only a tiny number of foragers to scavenge food.

Although they will live in a gel farm, pavement ants do best in sand ant farms.

Look for their activity around floor slabs and house foundations, where they dump small heaps of soil and debris.


[3] Black garden ants

This species is EVERYWHERE, and probably the most typical ant type anywhere in the world, making it one of the most accessible options when starting a gel ant farm.

little black ant

You can collect these ants from the yard and look under rocks, dead wood, logs, or leaf heaps.

The Lasius Niger ants thrive well in warm and hot environments of 20-27 degrees Celsius.

Thus, ensure the gel farm temperatures are ideal. Similar to harvester ants, they thrive in low-humidity habitats.


[4] Acrobat ants

The acrobat ant is another easy-to-keep species, and it’s famed for acrobatically raising its tail when threatened.


You can find ants for your ant farm by checking under tree barks, hollow stems, wooden cavities, inside logs or stumps, and under rocks. 

For those who want to catch queens, late July to early September is the best time.

In summer, they thrive in temperatures around 23 degrees Celsius and 8 degrees Celsius in winter. 

Relevant Viewing:

[5] Carpenter ants

Carpenter ants are famed for destroying wooden structures (don’t let them get loose!).

Carpenter Ant

Besides that, they are among the ants that are easy to care for and are lovely pets.

For ant keepers interested in starting a colony, the easiest time to catch a carpenter ant queen is between April and July, and Nuptial flights are heaviest around May.

These ants nest in wood or around wooden structures.

Some burrow tunnels in wood, while others live in wooden cavities.

In homes, they make nests in dead, damp wooden frames.

These ants are most active at night, assuming minimal lighting in the gel farm.

When collecting ants, don’t mix ants from different colonies because different colonies fight and kill each other.

Take care when collecting them.

Like fire ants, they bite and sting.

Final Thoughts And Gel And Farm Review

The best gel ants are species easy to keep.

Recommended ants for gel farms include harvester, pavement, black garden, acrobat, and carpenter ants.

However, some of these gel ants are not available in all regions.

Collect the ants readily available in your area or purchase ants locally or online.

Gel farms make keeping ants easy.

No feeding is required since the ants feed on the gel.

However, ensure the lighting and gel farm temperatures suit your ant species. 

[amazon box=”B07W3NLRVG”]