If you are looking to own a gerbil, there are certain things that you need to know about these animals. For starters, they are often compared to miniature Houdini types. They love to escape, and you’ll need to take the right steps to avoid such problems. That’s why glass aquariums are your best in these instances.
They provide gerbil owners with a view that is totally unobstructed. As long as the glass aquarium has a tight-fitting lid, it should make for a very secure habitat for the gerbil. Sure, the plastic cages that have all of the built-in toys and tubes may look pretty awesome, but they come with all sorts of unexpected problems.
Eventually, the gerbil will be able to claw at the plastic and cloud it up. This makes it much harder for the owner to see. They can also gnaw on the connections and escape from the cage with ease. The habitats that come with tubes and built-in toys are also going to be much harder for the gerbil’s owner to clean properly.
That’s why we are here to let you know more about the process of turning an aquarium into a gerbil cage. It’s easier than you may have realized, and the steps are simple to follow. All you need are a few minutes and a few common items. Before you can begin, let’s check and make sure that you have everything you need.
- What Items Do We Need?
- Now, it is time to get started on the actual conversation process
- What To Know About Your Gerbil
What Items Do We Need?
It should go without saying that you will need a glass aquarium. Aspen bedding is the best choice for your gerbil, as you want them to be comfortable when it is time to drift off to sleep.
Hay can also be used as nesting materials, and some gerbil owners may want to research the pros and cons of other other nesting options.
A water bottle is a must. Aquarium lid clips are also mandatory, as these will keep your little escape artist from being able to dash off into the night. Give the gerbil plenty of toys and exercise equipment, too.
The gerbil is going to get bored quickly if they are forced to play with the same toys every day. The aquarium requires a tight-fitting mesh lid for added safety, and from there, you should be all set.
Now, it is time to get started on the actual conversation process
The Proper Steps For Converting an Aquarium Into A Gerbil Cage
Step 1: Choose The Right Aquarium
The size of the aquarium that you choose will depend on the number of gerbils that you are planning to keep. If you are looking to cage one or two gerbils, a ten-gallon aquarium is best. A 15-gallon aquarium is your best bet if you need to house three gerbils. 20-gallon aquariums hold four or five gerbils comfortably. 30-gallon aquariums are best if you are looking to hold six gerbils.
Step 2: Applying The Bedding
The shredded Aspen bedding needs to be spread across the bottom of the aquarium. 2 inches or more should be used. Once the Aspen bedding has been spread, this is your chance to add some hay to make their bed even nicer. Clean shredded paper is another item that is typically used in these instances.
Step 3: How To Hang a Water Bottle
The water bottle is another key component of the gerbil cage. These animals like their water, and you’ll need to make sure that you are hanging the water bottle correctly. Be sure to watch your gerbil closely the first time they drink from the bottle. If the drip tube has not been placed at the proper height, the gerbil is going to struggle to get a drink. Baby gerbils will need an owner who is willing to adjust the height of their bottle as they continue to grow.
Step 4: Providing The Gerbil With Lots of Toys
Gerbils are adventurous, inquisitive animals. They love exploring new things, and they thrive when they are given lots of toys to play with. Make sure that you are buying sturdy toys that have been specifically designed with a gerbil in mind. Owners who try to give their gerbils toys that are meant for other pets are not going to like the response they receive.
The exercise wheel that you obtain for the gerbil must be specifically designed, too. If the slots on the wheel are not close enough together, their feet are going to get caught. Gerbils also love when their owners provide them with a nice climbing rock. This gives them the chance to observe the world around them.
Step 5: Add the Aquarium Screen Cover and Lid Clips
The screen cover and the lid clips need to be added so that the gerbil does not have the chance to escape. We cannot emphasize the importance of these additions enough. Gerbil owners who try to save a few pennies are going to be in for a rude awakening when their new pet (or pets) escape from the cage with ease.
So you’ve finished the cage, and now you’re curious about the ins and outs of keeping a gerbil as a pet. There are a few things that you need to know once the cage is finished, and this guide will provide you with the tips and pointers you need.
What To Know About Your Gerbil
They Love To Socialize
Gerbils and hamsters are often believed to be interchangeable. In reality, they could not be more different from a social standpoint. Hamsters are friendly by nature, but they also like to have time to themselves. The gerbil does not like to live a solitary life. They need to live with others of their kind, as the interaction helps them to lead a longer and healthier life. Those who are looking to bring a gerbil home are better off grabbing more than one.
Be Careful With Children and Other Pets
Little ones always love to play with gerbils, but you need to give them the proper warnings first. The gerbil is very fragile, and your child (or any child who stops over) needs to be supervised when they are handling a gerbil. The gerbil must also be kept away from larger pets that may view the newcomer as a form of prey. This includes dogs and cats. Do not ever allow anyone to grab the gerbil by their tail. The animal will suffer a tremendous amount of pain.
What About Their Sleeping Schedule?
Don’t expect the gerbil to adhere to a strict schedule when it comes to their sleeping times. They are frequent nappers. Gerbils are known to sleep for a couple of hours, and then they will be awake for a few hours. This cycle stays the same, whether it is daytime or nighttime. If the gerbil is raised in a household with humans from a young age, they may settle into a sleep schedule that is similar to yours.
Cleaning The Cage Properly
The gerbil’s cage needs to be washed out entirely every two weeks for the best results. The old litter must be thrown out, and you’ll need to remove everything that is currently in the cage. Wash out the inside of the cage with water that is warm and soapy. Once you’ve washed the cage, take some cold water and rinse it thoroughly.
Make sure that there is no soap left behind. That scent can be harmful to the gerbil. Don’t place the animal back into the cage until they are fully clean. Do you still smell soap after the rinsing process is complete? There’s a simple solution. Grab some towels, soak them in vinegar, and give the cage another wipe down. Don’t put anything back in until the cage is totally dry.
Caring For Their Bedding
Aspen wood shavings are the only type that can be used. Any gerbil owner who opts for cedar or pine is going to cause the animal undue harm. The gerbil will be most comfortable if the bedding in their cage is cleaned on a weekly basis. The frequency of this cleaning task will depend on the number of gerbils that you are keeping in the cage.
If there is more than one, you will need to clean the bedding more regularly. Once a week, simply won’t cut it. Gerbils tend to pick one area of the cage to use as their bathroom, so the cleaning process won’t be too challenging when it comes to the bedding. Replace any old bedding in the cage with some fresh bedding.
It’s best to leave at least a little bit of the old bedding behind, though. Otherwise, your gerbils will become confused, and they will need to reestablish their bathroom location. Check their water supply while you are handing any cage or bedding needs. Gerbils need constant access to clean, fresh water. The water in their container can be changed once a week, but many gerbil owners opt to swap all of their water out on a daily basis.