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  #1  
Old 12-07-2013, 09:46 PM United States
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PpunkTheHedgehog PpunkTheHedgehog is offline
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Default Gerbils keep pushing up bedding and dumping out their water!

Sooo I have two lovely gerbils. They are the kindest things in the world, love being petted and kissed XD


They have two of these cages, along with a series of tubes and other little look out things, one tube leads into deep bin full of bedding where they can build their own tunnels and sleep. They seem to enjoy the set up, but even if I put a small amount of bedding in the main cage, they still try to burrow in it and push all the bedding up against their water bottles, thus running out of water quickly and getting their bedding all wet and kind of unsanitary. The water bottles are on literally the top bar of the cage, I had to take off the top to get it on. I've had all sorts of hamsters and mice in the past that used the same or similar set up, and never had this problem >.> I've just moved their water bottles to the other side of the cage, but their attempted burrowing seems to be more random than not, so I'm skeptical it will work. Will to try anything though!
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:47 PM United States
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If there is very little bedding I don't see how they could pile it that high... unless they're moving it from one cage to the next.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:37 PM United States
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Well the cages are longer than they are tall, the water bottles are pretty small but go down under the plastic part. I'm worried that if I take out any more bedding, they'll just be peeing and pooping on the plastic bottom
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Welcome little Natalia! We look forward a long, happy life with you.
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:22 PM Canada
EternallyCynical EternallyCynical is offline
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Gerbils have different needs than hamsters and mice, and are prone to digging in any and all bedding. Typically, gerbils are better off in a tank. Optionally, there are special 'gerbilariums' that are cage on top but have a DEEP tank portion underneath for digging. A cage like the one you have pictured is not ideal for gerbils - they don't need all the plastic tubes. They need a lot of deep bedding to dig in. Some people put cardboard tubes under the bedding for them to go through, but a setup suitable for a hamster is not necessarily ideal for gerbils. If there's bedding, they'll try to dig in it at some point.
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:34 PM United States
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Well the gerbils DO have a place to dig and burrow, and use it regularly. It's about 2 feet deep, maybe a tad more. I'm aware this won't keep them from digging in the other sections of the set up, but I've bought an external bottle that sits up a bit higher, and positioned it around a tube so that if they kick up bedding, it mostly gets stopped by the tube, but they can still get to the bottle easily.

They might not need the extra plastic tubes, but they absolutely love them! They're constantly playing in them, chasing each other, or just running back and forth. They have three large wheels to use, but sometimes I think they prefer the tubes
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Welcome little Natalia! We look forward a long, happy life with you.
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  #6  
Old 12-11-2013, 10:10 AM United States
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Tricky little gerbils. All I can think of is putting the water bottle on the outside and limiting the amount of bedding/fluff in the section where the water bottle is.
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Old 12-11-2013, 12:25 PM United States
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Put a platform under the water bottle. Rocks, bricks, wood (will need replaced over time)... That way the bedding piles up alongside it but doesn't get piled on the water bottle nozzle. Adjusting water bottles is pretty much a weekly thing with gerbils since they change their cage around so much.

Also plastic is not very safe for gerbils. Check the edges of the cage and the tubes very frequently. They will chew right through the middle of a tube.

These are the cages I used:


The duct tape is reinforcing chewed areas to prolong the tube before buying a new one and the paper towel is catching bits of plastic from the chewing so I don't have to dig it out of the carpet.



The top and bottom section were connected by a tube attached to the bottom of the top drawer. There was the odd occasion pups fell from the bedding section to the sand section but I just put them back up and they were fine. The tube needed replaced about every 6months.

Unfortunately I don't have a good picture of this entire tank setup
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Old 12-13-2013, 12:43 PM United States
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Akane, this is a fairly similar set up to mine, with the mix between the critternation plastic cages and larger bins for excessive bedding and playing XD although I think mine is a tad smaller, for two gerbils. (I thought about adding a friend, but by the time I adopted them from a classroom they were older and I've had issues introducing an outsider into a family that has been alone together before.)

But thanks for the advice guys! I went ahead and got a different bottle, and added a little platform by it, so hopefully that will help >.>

Also, that picture of the little spotted guy is sooo cutee his white stripe down his face looks like a little skunk stripe XD
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Rest In Peace Ppunk. We will always miss you, sweet, grumpy boy.

Welcome little Natalia! We look forward a long, happy life with you.
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