Black 3.0 - almost assuredly not

Stuart Semple is at it again. He’s currently raising funds to manufacture a new version of his black paint. I would be extremely wary of going in on this as a backer (even though it is already well funded). While black 2.0 is indeed quite black and impressively matte it does not compare, at all, to singularity black or vanta black. For the price that Semple is listing Black 3.0 I am dubious that it will compare either. Carbon Nano tubes (which both of the superior paints use) are expensive.

In his kickstarter he has continued his habit of speaking in superlatives and being rather disingenuous. A prime example would be his demo photograph comparing different black paints. Sure it’s an unedited photo but the lighting is highly uneven across the paper making his paints appear darker in comparison to the other paints. Another issue is unless you get a hold of the base medium to mix your own pigments with you will not be able to retain Black 2.0/3.0’s degree of matte. So you can really only take full advantage of Semple’s paint if you’re using it straight from the tube, no mixing with other paints.

If you’re interested in working with dark paints with other normal paints and have a lot of money to blow I would pick up the oil based Gravity Black from the makers of Singularity Black. I haven’t gotten my hands on any of it yet (because it is hilariously expensive) but at least they’ve quantified how much darker it is then the other paints. They make it with the same ‘pigment’ as singularity black. However since the carbon nano tube pigments are mixed in with an oil base it will lose some of its darkness to that base. However since it is oil based you can use it as a normal oil paint rather than just as a coating.

Current Mantis Set Up

Unsurprisingly I get a lot of questions about my mantis set up, particularly how many I have at any given point. It changes depending on what I am raising and what has hatched but the basics stay the same. There’s a hatching container, communal nymph tank, individual adolescents and adults, and a breeding/laying tank that can double as a communal adult tank.

Total mantises currently: probably around 100

From left to right:

Glass tank with greenery, Breeding/Communal: Currently this is housing some 30-40 adolescent Chinese mantises. The tank just in frame to the left is an aquatic tank kept for personal enjoyment. It’s in transition again so I won’t picture it.

Mid-sized glass tank: No mantises in this one actually. It currently houses a young female bull frog I saved from my window well at the end of fall. By the time I could take it somewhere to let it go it was too cold. Not a fan of her. She is 100% not friendly to any kind of tank mate. She also flips out constantly which wrecks any sort of plants or decorative set ups.

Small glass tank with white sand/Communal: This one was housing 10 Arizona Unicorn Mantises. They just started getting old enough that cannibalism could be an issue so I took out 8 of them to put in in isolation tanks. While this species is supposed to be communal I do not want to risk it as I would like to breed them continuously.

Mid-sized colored top plastics/Adolescent single tanks: 8 of these are the previously mentioned unicorns. The top green lidded tank is the hatchery. The hatchery actually has a few nymph Carolina mantises in it. They hatched this morning and haven’t been moved over to their nymph communal yet. Over the past week or so a few ooths have been sending waves of babies out.

Large-sized green lidded tanks/Adult isolation: The three green lidded tanks contain 2 adult female Chinese mantises and one adult male. The two females have been bred so they are back into isolation. Chinese mantises are highly cannibalistic so they have to be kept separate.

Small-sized blue lidded tanks/Near adult isolation: These are housing some older adolescent Chinese mantises. They have to be separated relatively early because they are highly cannibalistic.

Wood topped tank/Adolescent communal: This is currently housing maybe 30 or so Carolina nymphs.

Small glass tank/Nymph communal: This one is housing about 30 or so nymph Chinese mantises. Once they get a wee bit older they’ll get tossed in the first tank to battle it out till they can graduate to individual tanks.

Also of note are the two white buckets. Left bucket is a fly breeder and the right bucket breeds fruit flies.

The black space heater under the Arizona tanks is help keep their temperature up. They are a desert species and do better in the mid 80s. Ideally I’d have the mantises in a small room which would be kept in the 80s but I don’t have the space.