Hello everyone! This is my habitat for my three new gerbils. It is a 40 gallon tank filled with bedding and accessories attached to a five foot tall metal cage. The tank is where they burrow and sleep whereas the cage is where they eat, chew and dig in the sand bowls. They are currently temporarily attached with tubing which I plan to replace soon with a wire mesh tube of some sort. The small two level wire cage sitting at the bottom of the large cage has since been removed. What do you think?
Nice big setup! Just a few notes of caution though, I know you said the current connection method is temporary, but make sure the cardboard can't be chewed on any edges or corners or they could escape in minutes! The plastic tube will be chewed at the ends if they don't have metal protection rings, or are recessed, but you said they are temporary, so maybe that won't be an issue if they are there for a short time?
Another thing which may or may not be a long term issue for your gerbils is that having a cage with multiple separate compartments could lead to declanning, so this kind of setup is generally advised against (also 3 gerbils are somewhat more likely to declann than a pair, no idea on the increased risk btw, I'm trying to gather data on that via my clan experiences thread, but it's early days atm).
It can work (see this amazing setup, you'll need a translator to read text), but you don't know whether it'll work for your Gerbils until they declan or they live out their lives. Gerbils can declan at any age.
How big a risk is it? Not a foggiest I'm afraid, and I don't recall reading anyone who even gave a rough estimate.
It's a pain as that was exactly the kind of cage setup I wanted to do, far more feasible than a single giant cage! But I know now for my boys that separately caged sections would most likely cause them to fall out. I have a separate sandpen for them which I give them brief access to in the evening, I had to limit the time that Blake went in their to about 10 minutes (he used to love staying in their much longer). That's because when he came back to the cage his brother (Avon) would give him hassle, and it coincided with some tension between them generally. This largely disappeared when I restricted his time to it, and/or let Avon in 1st (their very recent fight seems to be unrelated to that as Blake was going to the sandpen less recently).
Anyway, maybe you're gerbils will be fine with it, watch out if any 1 or pair of gerbils try to block 1 of the sections from the other gerbil(s). Also to reduce the risk of that perhaps you could try creating 2 (or more) runs/tubes between each section, then no 1 gerbil can block off a section. This may still not stop territorial behaviour though, but it may reduce the risk of it happening. You'll need to keep a regular eye on them.
That green saucer running wheel though isn't appropriate for gerbils (possibly any rodent?), for one thing it causes them to run with their spine curved sidewards (which isn't natural), and if they ran on it a lot could cause spine problems (so could a too small regular wheel btw). The other issue with saucer wheels, is that Gerbils can run really fast, assuming they could get enough grip they could end up flinging themselves outwards (much more likely than in a regular wheel) possibly hurting themselves. If they can't get enough grip, then they won't really be able to run properly anyway. I would ditch that saucer wheel if I were you. Another thing, they might chew it, (though possibly not if it's a really hard plastic).
Also watch out if they start chewing the plastic water bottle you have there, I know it has a guard over it, but that might just be an extra chew challenge to a gerbil! lol
Btw what did you mean by the 'small 2 level wire cage', the little red roofed one? I know you said it's gone now, but I just wondered .
They not only don't use the wheel at all, they act like it doesn't even exist. Guess they just aren't interested. They haven't don't anything to the bottle. The ramps are cloth covered but they've only chewed on one, and when I cut the chewed part off they seem to have stopped.
So far so good, they sleep together and are generally up and about at the same time, nothing bad seems to be occurring between them. I had my previous pair in this setup for almost their whole lives without trouble, but with a third one this time who knows. I know not to buy a trio again in the future.
They might not use the saucer because it is too small. I have the Niteangel 8.5 wheel the smallest one. I reccomend getting at least that size wheel. When I had a 6.5 inch Kaytee wheel (I know it wasn’t suitable but got a bigger one quickly) they barely ran but when I got the new wheel they started running on it all the time. I think it’s definitely worth the money. www.amazon.com/dp/B08FC8X9L4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_5T58WFWNG9BEXXWMH5ZT?psc=
Re cloths, just trying to remember now, but I think it's unnatural fibres that are particularly advised against as their harder to chew/break, and can wrap around limbs etc. I think natural ones are ok? But I'm not sure about that.
Interesting to hear your old pair got on ok in there , how old were they?
So the plastic tube is now replaced with metal ducting and I finally got a new 12" wheel which they seem to like a lot. After pansy kept causing damage by chewing the plastic wheel base I had to remove the base and attach the wheel to the cage frame, just barely enough room at the middle level.