by Kyrstie Waters
(last updated June 6, 2009)
When it comes to caring for gerbils, a proper home for them is very important. Gerbils can jump! That means that you need a wire lid on top of your cage. You should set up the gerbil's cage before you even get one. This will help the gerbil get accommodated to its new home faster. There are also many other things to keep in mind when setting up a tank for your gerbil.
Glass or plastic aquariums make the best kind of tanks for your gerbils. Wire cages are not the best idea for housing gerbils. They will chew on the bars all day and night, rubbing their noses bald. Gerbils also like to kick their bedding out of wire cages, creating a giant mess all around their cage. I would not recommend a wire cage for gerbils. It is a good idea to buy at least two gerbils. They like to have companions. Gerbils need a lot of space, so a 20 gallon tank is probably the best for a pair of gerbils. Gerbils are natural diggers, so be sure to provide them with a lot of space to do so.
An amazing fact about gerbils is that they do not expel very much urine. Therefore, your gerbils' cages do not smell bad and are easy to clean up. Because of this, you only need to clean their cage once a week or so. When you clean out your gerbils' cage, supply them with new bedding, food and water. Remember that cleaning out your gerbils' cage is very stressful to them. When you replace their toys and equipment, put them in the same spot they were in before you cleaned. This will limit the stress to your gerbils if they do not have to get used to a whole new environment. Be sure to change your gerbils' water every day. Algea and bacteria can grow in water that hasn't been changed in awhile and it can be very harmful to your gerbils.
Provide a few toys and hiding spaces inside your gerbils' cage. However, be sure to not overcrowd the cage. Gerbils like to have a lot of space to run around and burrow freely. Providing a few branches are a good toy to have inside your gerbils' cage. This is a chew toy and also something to climb on. Have fun arranging your cage and providing the most fun environment for your new gerbils!
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