Right now I have my 2 girls in a 20 gallon tank which I have divided into 2 parts (a flat part for their food, dust bath, & house & the other half is just about full of bedding and hay for digging) I was thinking of buying a wire cage topper for a 10 gal tank for them and just have the tank filled the whole way with stuff for them to dig in. My only concern is if the toppers are as safe as they seem. The first 2 gerbils I got were in a wire cage before I got them & the one climbed to the top of it and got stuck upside down. I have a hamster in a tall cage also and she is always climbing it and hanging from the top which really stresses me out. I like using tanks more than cages but a topper seems like a really good idea at the moment.
Post by Sunny&Sandy on Dec 18, 2012 20:30:57 GMT -8
Good question. I have never had a gerbil injured in a tank topper, and they tend to be pretty agile creatures, but I suppose it's a possibility, That's scary about the gerbil getting stuck upside down! I'd personally lean more towards having a 20 gallon because it seems to give them more room to run around, but I can also see advantages to have lots of substrate for digging in the ten gallon with the topper.
Post by reesesturtles on Dec 19, 2012 15:53:48 GMT -8
I have three toppers, 2 in use, and my gerbils love them. I put newspaper on the base of the topper so they aren't walking on mesh flooring all the time. When the paper gets shredded or soiled I just replace it. My guys love to climb into the topper and people watch or beg for treats. And I can place my hand in at their level rather than from overhead. Toppers are messier though since gerbils like to kick stuff out. I haven't had bar chewing issues with my fellas that are in toppers. I do have one gerbil that is an avid bar chewer that I would never put into a topper for that reason. She developed the habit when owned by someone else who had her in a tiny crittertrail. She has much more digging and habitat space now in a 20 gallon, but will probably always have that bad habit. Some people can distract gerbils from the bars with wood sticks, taped up cardboard, lemon juice, etc. I think it's fine as long as you are comfortable with the idea of a topper and willing to make accommodations for your gerbils' needs. Some people on the forum like toppers and have gerbils that have lived long healthy lives in them, and others don't care for toppers and still have gerbils that live long healthy lives. You just gotta figure what you prefer for your own critters.
I think that either one is a fair option. I cannot think of any bad things that have happened in my tank toppers. Excetp for the few that like to potty in the corner of the topper, thus causing pee to streak down the glass tank, often on the outside of it :S
If you are ok with cutting a hole in the lid to your 20 gal, then you could just put the topper on that! Then they could have 20gallons of substrate, and still have the cage top. Or if you have a wire cage hangin out somewhere, just use that one.
I don't keep sand in my tanks. It just gets spilled out, and filled with bedding. Instead, I have a tank that has sand in it, and when I play with them, they get some sand time.
In a small cage with wires, there is a bigger chance they will chew bars...and climb upside down. I do find that a topper makes them more active, if you put the food and drink in the topper...then they always have to climb up.
It's like chosing between 2 evils They are both too small.