Caring for Your Termitat®

With this easy to care for habitat these masters of social organization will give you years of enjoyable learning, wonder and entertainment. These are live animals living in a closed environment and they will need your occasional attention as with any other treasured pet.

1.) Upon Receiving Your Termitat:
Check for a healthy and lively colony. You might notice a few dead individual termites. This is not uncommon after the bumpy ride. They will quickly be dealt with by the colony. There might be some normal debris under the wood disk as the colony commonly tosses excess materials outside. IMPORTANT NOTE: If all the termites arrive expired, you must contact us by email within 1 hour of the delivery time (as indicated by USPS tracking information) and include photos of the packaging and the termites. Contact: info@termitat.com

Soldiers: Termitats are set up using a small group of worker termites and often a soldier if one is available in the original larger supply colony. Many times a new colony in the wild will only begin to produce soldiers after they achieve sufficient numbers to be able to feed extra mouths. Soldiers are dependent on workers for their food; they are unable to obtain their own cellulose meals due to their jaws being suitable solely for defense of the colony. Even in a mature wild colony, there will only be about 5 soldiers for every 100 workers. In a small starter Termitat colony that has a soldier included, it is common for the colony to consume the soldier and therefore save the colony’s energy. Soldier production will be deferred to a later date. The colony will consume the protein packed body of the soldier (nothing is wasted!) and place the inedible jaws and head in an area used for the colony’s debris. If this is the case with your colony, be patient, as a new soldier will appear in due time as your colony builds up its numbers.

Winged Workers: Occasionally winged termites will appear when younger workers molt into these winged potential reproductives. Since they cannot leave the Termitat and fly off to establish new colonies, they will be reabsorbed into the colony, and reproduction will be handled by supplementary reproductives recruited from the mature nymphs.

 

some good condensation

2.) Basic Watering Guidelines
The forest floor dwelling species of termite in your Termitat requires some damp wood and high humidity. It is simple to maintain the proper amount of damp wood in the Termitat. Be sure to make a habit of checking the wood disk at least twice a week to observe whether a small area approximately 1.5″ x 1.5″ near where the termites are located is visibly darker and damper than the surrounding wood. Add just enough water to keep this small area damp and do not worry about making the entire wood disk damp. Avoid adding water to areas of the wood that the colony does not have access to. Without access the termites will not be able to control fungus that can occur on this inaccessible damp wood.

a.) Add water in small amounts. If the area of the colony’s gallery is a little darker/damper than the surrounding dry wood in the disk (you might even see a small patch of some good condensation on the inside of the clear acrylic), hold off on adding more water. Adding too much water is the main source of problems maintaining a healthy environment for the colony. If water is needed, fill the syringe from halfway to full with spring water or distilled water. Avoid using tap water pr de-ionized water. Non-chlorinated bottled drinking water is fine.

b.) As you inject water, tip and tilt the case so the water moves to where you want it. To add the water, pick up the Termitat and tilt the front face forward until almost horizontal. It might be also convenient to hold the case above your head with the front face down as you add water to make sure it stays in the gallery areas with the termites and does not run down on the back side of the wood disk. This will allow you to slowly control the added water and to direct and distribute it as it is added with the syringe. The recessed hole at the top of the Termitat accepts the perforated black rubber nozzle tip of the syringe. Then press the black rubber tip into the recess for a good seal. If the hole is blocked, insert the supplied piece of fine wire to clear the hole. The wire comes attached to the syringe. Try not to lose this wire. Slowly depress the plunger and allow the water to enter into the area where the termites are located. Slowly tip and tilt the case in different directions to distribute the water evenly so it does not immediately drop to the bottom of the galleries and escape down on the inside of the acrylic to the lowest part of the wood disk. Monitor where the water is going as you press down on the syringe plunger.

c.) When you have added enough water to dampen just the wood the termites can access, stop and quickly lay the case face up on a table. Let the water soak into the horizontal wood for a few minutes before you set the case upright.

d.) Do not try to keep the entire wood disk damp. Follow the progress of the colony and just keep an area of the chambers and tunnels slightly damp. Over time, when the colony has had sufficient time to seal up the air leaks they detect and control the air movement in the gallery, less water will be needed to maintain some damp wood and high humidity.

e.) When adding water, try not to allow it to spread to areas the colony can’t get to. If you notice the start of branching fungal growth on the surface of the wood, cut back on the water and give the colony a chance to get any fungus under control. The termites will eventually tunnel over to it. Termite fecal pellets have anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties, and these will help control fungus growth.

4.) Temperature Limits
These termites do best at temperatures that we humans also find comfortable. A cool, lowlight spot on a desk or shelf is a good location choice. The thermometer strip on the side of the Termitat is graduated in degrees Centigrade . Keeping them between 20ºC to 24ºC is ideal. In degrees Fahrenheit these temperatures are equivalent to 68ºF to 75ºF. Do not allow them to be subjected for any length of time to extreme temperatures above and below this range. The centigrade reading on the strip that is brightest is the current reading. Putting the Termitat near an extreme heat source like a house heating register or radiator or leaving it in direct sunlight will quickly produce dangerous temperatures.

5.) USB Microscope Setup
a.) For Macs: Assemble the microscope and turn on the Photo Booth software built into the computer. Then insert the microscope’s USB plug into the computer. In the menu bar click on “Camera” and choose “Andonstar Camera”. The Photo Booth software can take a single still image, four stills to a page, and a video. It can then export it in an email or save it to iPhoto.

b.) For PCs: Load the included CD and download the instruction PDFs and software; use AMCAP.EXE

c.) Instructions from the microscope manufacturer for PC users:

USB Microscope Instructions for PC Use
Functions and applications
The USB MICROSCOPE is an electronic product for microscopic object observation. It can magnify stamps, coins, antiques, insects, electric circuits, machines, hair, skin, fabrics, food, decorations, etc.
It is a tubular imaging system consisting of an optical lens, an image sensor, an illumination mechanism, and an image transfer control circuit connected to a computer. You can display the images captured by the microscope on a computer screen, store them on the computer, print them, or send them over the Internet. Before installation and use of this product, please read the instructions below to ensure its correct use.

Safety Instructions
1. The electrical socket that the computer is plugged into must be properly grounded as the computer supplies power to this product. If in any doubt, please have a professional electrician check and verify the grounding to ensure safety.
2. This product contains delicate and precision components. Be gentle when using it and avoid harsh handling or excessive force that may cause damage to the product.
3. The temperature of the handle increases slightly during use and it feels a little warm. This is normal. If the product is overheated and hot to the touch, immediately cut off the power.
4. Never leave the product on and unattended. Unplug from the USB port after use.
5. Do not disassemble this product. Disassembling this product will result in irreparable damage.
6. This product should only be used by children under supervision of an adult. Never give this product to a child to use or play by him or herself. Keep this product out of reach of children.
7. Do not let this product come in direct contact with steam, vapor, water, or liquids of any kind. Such contact can cause irreparable damage
8. When not in use, put the handle in the transparent sleeve and store it in a tightly sealed box to avoid moisture and decay.
9.If the lens needs cleaning, carefully wipe the lens with a clean cotton swab just dampened slightly in isopropyl alcohol.

System Requirements
For best picture quality, the following specifications are recommended:
1. Windows XP, Vista ,windows 7
2. 128M RAM or above
3. At least one USB port (For best effect, USB 2.0 port is recommended).
4. CD-ROM and a 40G or higher hard disc.

Technical Specifications
1. DSP: Digital Image Monarch Processor.
2. Sensor: high-quality CMOS sensor,2MP
3. Resolution: 640*480,1600*1200
4. Colors: true color 24bit (RGB)
5. Interface: USB2.0.
6. Frame rate: 30 frames/sec (when 640*480).
7. Magnification: about 10X—500X
8. Size: 12mm in diameter,
9. USB cable length: 1.6 meters

Installation
To avoid mistakes in the installation process, please strictly follow these steps:
Place the included CD into the CD-ROM drive.
Find the icon of ‘amcap.exe’.
Copy the ‘amcap.exe’ to your PC. Just copy but never try to install it.
Plug the microscope into the USB port, and double click on the icon of ‘amcap.exe’ to open the image window.

Directions for Use
Properly connect the microscope to the computer and to rotate the dial on the USB cable that controls the brightness of the LED in the microscope. After a short while you should see the image captured by the microscope on the computer monitor.

OPEN IMAGE WINDOW
Double click on the icon and open an image window on the screen. After a few seconds the microscope will begin to take images in the window. Click on ‘OPTIONS’ and click on ‘VIDEO CAPTURE PIN’.
Choose one of image window size in the drop-down menu and click on ‘OK’ to confirm.

FOCUSING
The focusing ring is on the body of the microscope.
When the focusing ring is rotated it adjusts the distance between lens and sensor to obtain a clear image.

TAKE PHOTOS
Push down the snap key on the handle or push down the button of the dimmer that is located on the USB cable to freeze an image. Or click ‘snap’ on the top of image window, or push down the ‘return key’ of keyboard to freeze an image.
The photos you have taken will be saved in the computer and display an icon on the screen.
If your system could not freeze an image please follow these steps:
1, Open the image window
2, Click on ‘capture’ on top line of the window
3, Click on ‘still’ in the pull down window
3, Click on ‘folder’
4, Designate the folder for your photos location
5, Click right mouse button to confirm
The photos can be taken by pushing down the button of the dimmer or just push down the return key of the keyboard.

LED Light Adjustment
There is a LED light dimmer on the USB cable. Turning the dimmer can adjust the light power to a proper level according the demands for best contrast and illumination levels.

Movie Recording
1. Click on ‘capture’ located on the top line of image window
2, Click on the ‘set time limit’ in the pull down window
3. Click on the ‘use time limit’
4. Input the number of seconds that you want to record
5. Click right mouse button to confirm
6. Click ‘capture’ again
7. Click ‘start capture’
8. Click ‘ok’ to start the recorder
The movie recording will be stopped when the chosen time period is over.
The movie will be saved in the AVI format.

Microscope Tips

To maximize your new powerful magnifying tool, try these helpful tips.
You can first use the scope with the Termitat case on its feet and in the vertical position on a table top. Hook up the scope using the USB cable to your computer. Bring the front of the scope approximately 1-1/2″ away from the acrylic face of the case. Angle the scope body to the front of the case off from perpendicular to avoid picking up the glare of the LED lights. Focus using the knurled ring on the scope body. Quick focusing can also be done by moving the scope on its base closer or farther away from the acrylic.

A good set up to range across the front wood surface without having to focus or bend the scope on its flexible neck is possible by setting the case down horizontal on a 1–3/4” high stack of square PostIt pads, for instance, to make the flat surfaces of the acrylic parallel to the table. Place the stack under the middle of the wood disc. Adjust the scope on its neck to reach in and focus carefully on a termite near the center of the wood disk. You can now slide the microscope with its base and reach every area without having to bend the flexible neck and readjust the focus. The microscope base will slide underneath the case as you circle around the perimeter.

 

Disposal

If for any reason you wish to humanely dispose of your colony, freezing in the case is the best method. See the included and required USDA disposal instruction sheet.

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