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Advice from experienced gerbil owners please...

(10 Posts)
AnkhMorporkmum Tue 21-Jun-16 17:16:19

As a child i owned hamsters but I have never had a gerbil. I'm getting some gerbils soon and after doing lots of research I've got for an aquarium tank as shown in the pictures. I have tried to make the best enclosure on a small budget however have a few questions for anyone that knows their stuff and would welcome any feedback.

- Substrate - is it too deep and should I have had a larger play area/small burrowing area? Can anyone suggest a good ratio? The tank is big at nearly a metre long but I'm worried it looks a bit crowded now.

Wheel - I couldn't find anything anywhere telling me the ideal diameter for a gerbil. The one I have seems big at 20cm, is that the right size?

There is a glass jar with chinchilla sand, a wooden ball, tunnel and the water bottle is attached to the wall in case you can't see from the pic. There is a straw nest inside the Substrate filled with bedding and straw burried in layers with toilet roll tubes buried for them to find.

The lid still needs some work - I plan to sand paper it down so it fits more snugly and make sure there are no sharp edges.

AnkhMorporkmum Tue 21-Jun-16 17:41:03

Forgot to add the lid is ventilated with metal mesh, it's just wooden round the edges.

CancelTheCheque Mon 27-Jun-16 01:54:59

Layout looks good. Gerbils love to dig and will do so endlessly, the more to to dig and burrow the better. They may rearrange everything for you. You may want fix the wheels in place, i had those and they could move them quite easily. 20cm is fine, 17cm is too small for an adult gerbil. They love sand but will likely throw it everywhere. They chew everything. They are a delight, we have four!

I'd possibly be a bit concerned about the wood shavings. Pine can affect their little respiratory systems. I'd work towards switching to hemp and shredded paper - gerbils make a great alternative to a paper shredder.

8DaysAWeek Mon 27-Jun-16 02:20:15

Looks fab! They will love it. I used wood shavings for mine initially before I read that it might not be good for their respiratory systems, however I tried other substrates and they definitely preferred the shavings. I used shredded paper when I had to operate on one of them as it wasn't as dusty and would be better for wound healing. I've never used a wheel so can't really comment on that. Everything else seems good. I will say though that I can guarantee within an hour of putting them in there they will completely redecorate to their liking grin I always loved watching them do this!

CancelTheCheque Mon 27-Jun-16 12:43:33

My gerbils hate the hemp when it's fresh as it they can't burrow in it. It needs added paper and cardboard. Once it's woven in it builds exceptional burrows and they love it. Fortunately doesn't need to be changed as often as long as you spot clean.

TheDailyMailareabunchofcunts Tue 12-Jul-16 14:45:59

My daughter uses megazorb for her gerbils. And some hay. She has the living world green enclosure which is massive and she buries various things in the megazorb for them to find.
Also she has a sandbath thing which they use as a loo so although the tank uses a whole bag of megazorb, it's lasts for a long time because they don't wee/poo anywhere else. She has things like flowerpots buried and various wooden things like ikea magazine files
Also some reptile hides.
They are great pets. So much fun and eat out of her hands now

TheDailyMailareabunchofcunts Tue 12-Jul-16 14:47:32

Photo is when she was using carefresh. But the tunnels kept collapsing.
We avoid shavings and similar because her gerbils burrow with their noses too and they would get sore. The megazorb doesn't smell

VeryPunny Tue 12-Jul-16 14:50:14

My gerbils only ever chewed their wheels. We also hid an old enamel teapot, amongst other things, for them to play with - they stuffed it with hay and used it as a bedroom.

TroysMammy Tue 12-Jul-16 14:56:06

I had gerbils, they make short work of toilet roll tubes. I had them as a child and they were in a cage which my mother hung up on a bird stand. They made an almighty mess but my mother loves cleaning so that was ok. She put them too near her ironing board and they made short work of the cover. She wasn't too happy about that though. grin

BluishSky Fri 12-Aug-16 10:22:07

We used to like putting toilet roll in the cage - loads! They loved playing in it and by the end of the day, there would be a lovely big fluffy bed for them to sleep in.

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