How to Make Ant Farm Gel

Many people love to make an ant farm at home. It is fun doing such activity and is also educational.

Ant gel is used by the NASA during the 2003 Space shuttle experiment.

In 2003, the NASA conducted an experiment in the outer space to study the life of an animal in space and at the same time study how ants can tunnel in microgravity. Since then, making an ant farm gel became one of the favorite projects of the family at home. Ant farm gel can be done in various ways and you can consider this article to guide you in making an ant farm gel.

Replacement Gel – The Easy Way

If you want to make an ant farm gel the easy way, all you have to do is to buy replacement gel for your ant farm. You can find the ant farm gel in pet shops or you can order in many online stores. Once you have the replacement gel you should prepare it following the directions indicated in the package. You can choose to buy the semi-solid chunks and melt it in a microwave. Also, there is a powder form of ant gel in which you will prepare just like of making gelatin. To obtain best results make sure to follow the instructions. After you have prepared the gel, pour it in the ant farm. Make sure to tap the sides to eliminate bubbles. Keep in mind to keep the gel cooled before adding the ants on the farm otherwise the ants could be harmed.

Home Made Ant Gel

As you are having fun in making an ant farm, you can also make a home made ant gel. It is very easy to make an ant gel as long as you have the necessary materials. The materials you will need include 25 grams of potassium sorbate, 27 grams of sodium benzoate and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Add the ingredients into boiling water and stir it thoroughly and turn off the fire after few minutes. The next step that you should do is to immerse the aquarium in cold water and pour the hot mixture. You can add tea tree oil in the mixture and stir. Let the mixture set until it become a gel.

Ant farm gel serves as transparent habitat and an alternative to the traditional ant farm that is dirt-based. The good thing about this transparent habitat is that it allows ant enthusiasts to view the ants walking whether on the top or deep inside the gel. You can choose to make different colors of gel to obtain dramatic effect. On the contrary, when using the ant gel the life span of the ants is only for about three months and after such period they will gradually die.


  • Rafael Torres said on February 24, 2013
    I found this post extremely helpful and informative. I have a small garage shop in Lancaster CA. I currently use grade dirt, I would love to use gel. What is the most cost efficient way to make it? How exactly do you change the gels color? Thank you for your time, Rafael Torres
  • Michael Baker said on June 7, 2015
    Great Information...Just a couple questions though...
    1. How much water to 25 grams of potassium sorbate, 27 grams of sodium benzoate and 1 teaspoon of sugar in order to make a good solid (not to wet) gel for the ants?
    2. I would think tea tree oil would repeal ants but how much should be used for this mix and what benefit does it serve?
  • Michael Baker said on June 12, 2015
    (continued) It doesn't look like anyone answered Rafaels question as to what to use for gel color. Well @Ravael, this is just speculation but my first instinct would be simple food dye and it certainly wouldn't hurt the ants but today I had second thoughts. So much is put into this gel to make it fungus and mold retardant that there is a good possibility it might be Methyl Blue (for blue tenting) or Malachite Green (for green tenting). In either case, it's not going to hurt your ants and easily obtained from any petstore in the tropical fish section as killing fungus is exactly what both are used for. I'd only recommend a drop though, a little goes a "very" long way in the terms of color and you may find it interesting to know that Methyl Blue used for tropical fish Fungus is the very same used to dye your blue jeans!!! So like I said, it's a strong color and although the bottle which is intended for fish will say to use a lot more, just a single drop is all you should need in either blue or green colors. Hope this helps.
  • Freddy said on June 21, 2016
    english please? chemical names can be really confusing. What are the products that contain these chemicals?
  • Blaine said on April 18, 2020
    how much water with the potassium and sodium ingredients?


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