Post by LilyandDaisy on Mar 16, 2022 13:50:07 GMT -8
Living World Eco Habitat Medium
This is a wood and acrylic tank-style enclosure on wheels, measuring 98x58cm and around 50cm high (not including the wheels). It was manufactured by Hagen and despite apparently being discontinued, still occasionally pops up on Amazon. I bought it in September 2020 from Amazon for £140. It can also be found second hand occasionally. There is also a Large and a Small size. The mesh topper in the photo is not part of the Eco Habitat. I had it custom made to fit the tank.
The enclosure comes flat-packed but is easy to put together and doesn’t require any tools other than the included allen key.
It is a spacious enclosure with plenty of space for a pair of gerbils. The height is especially good as you can fit a good depth of bedding, plus a wheel at one end (even without an added topper).
It is fairly lightweight before adding bedding so perhaps a good option for those who can’t or don’t want to lift heavy tanks. The wheels mean it is easily moved around even once filled with bedding. This is important for me as my gerbil tank sits in front of a cupboard which I need occasional access to.
This enclosure does have several downsides or flaws. Firstly, the lid is not fit for purpose. The lid is a sheet of wood with wide gaps in it. Gerbils will easily chew these gaps larger to escape. I also don’t think it offers optimal ventilation. You can fix this by stapling wire mesh over the lid, but ideally I think it should be replaced with a new wood and mesh lid for better ventilation.
There are some 1cm holes in the sides for ventilation. I initially glued acrylic strips over these as I was concerned about bedding falling out or the gerbils chewing the holes larger. One of the acrylic strips fell off a few weeks ago and I haven't got around to gluing it back on yet, but the gerbils haven’t chewed the holes and I haven’t had too much bedding falling out. So it might be ok to leave the holes as they are.
The base is not fully waterproof. It is slightly sealed but I discovered that it would still absorb urine and stain. I painted it with transparent Plastikote Project Enamel to protect it.
As this enclosure has a wooden frame, there is the potential for chewing. I glued metal corner profiles to the corner posts to protect them but couldn’t find a way to protect the top rims. These have been chewed a little.
Finally, the enclosure is not really designed for very deep bedding. The weight of 12”+ of bedding in my Eco Habitat caused the base to bow slightly and pushed the back acrylic panel out of its groove so that it bowed outwards. The base has four wheels, one at each corner, so I added additional wheels to the middle of the base to further support it, which helped. Another option might be to remove the original wheels and put the whole tank on an additional, much stronger, wheeled base, or to not use the wheels at all and just have the tank fully supported on the floor or another surface.
All in all, I like my Living World Eco Habitat, and it does make an excellent enclosure for gerbils once modified, but I did have to do a lot of work on it to make it suitable. It’s not exactly an enclosure you can use straight out of the box. It wasn’t a cheap option either at £140 (not including the cost of everything I needed to modify it), so if I had to get another similar enclosure I would probably consider just putting a 100cm glass tank on a strong wheeled base. I would recommend it to those who don't mind DIY and don't want to get a glass tank for whatever reason.