I have started to home many of my ant colonies in acrylic nests purchased from AntHouse in Spain. They are easy to take apart and are so clear that making videos or taking photos of my ants is as easy as falling off a log. Just make sure to keep the nest hydrated to avoid a colony moving out, as all the ant species I am keeping in this type of Formicarium seem to love them.
Here are just 4 of the several different designs I am currently using.
Please open the attached link below to see the video of my cube nest.
Upright Glass Formicarium.
Here is a glass starter set up I bought from Ant Store in Germany. This is now home to ever growing Formica lusatica colony, and I must admit that ants do really well in this kind of set up and make the kind of nest they probably would living inside a stone wall or under a flat rock. Both parts of the set up have a removable glass top, although with fast moving ants like Formica species which can run up glass quickly and easily, it is advisable to only do this when the ants are less active, or you may find some will escape in the blink of an eye.
Ant Mine Plaster Nest.
This comes in a kit which is made and designed by the same company who made the Ant-O-Sphere, and can be bought in the UK from Interplay or in the USA it is sold by Amazon.com. The kit includes an easy to follow, step by step guide book and with a bit of adult help or supervision, a child of 7+ could easily make one of these; although it is better if an older child, teenager or adult makes it and maybe let a small child watch and learn.
This Formicarium product which you make yourself (or get someone to make it for you, like your dad or older brother) is now on sale in the UK. I got this product from Interplay UK, though I imagine other stores may also stock it.
While I wouldn't advise keeping ant species larger than Myrmica in this set up, as they would be just too cramped for space, medium to small ants are fine; although avoid very tiny ants as they may just squeeze out of the air holes in the clear plastic front plate. It is of good design and can be connected via air line tubing to other ant set ups, including Ant World. The bungs give access for putting in water, food or ants as required.
Converted Plaster Nest
This old plaster nest entrance was sealed with a wad of cotton wool, but I wanted to connect a foraging pot via some tubing. The hole was just a bit too large and had a minute space where small ants might get out, so I have glued a metal washer over this which allows access for the tubing; but has completely sealed up the hole around it.
The washer in my opinion was a brilliant idea, as ants cannot chew through this like they might do with cotton wool bungs.