Cages and Aquariums

Choosing a good habitat

The habitat must be chose with care because your small friend will spend all its life in it. This one must be escape proof but also protect your pet from exterior aggressions like cat, wind draft or even from us! 

I personally prefer aquarium to cages. They are more appealing and easier to clean and use. You'll find here descriptions of different type of habitat and their characteristics. It's up to you to make the choice.


Size needed

The usual size recommended for a gerbil pair is 10 gallons/37Litres. The surface size must be around 25cm/10 inch by 50cm/20 inch, 1250cm2 /200inch2 .Take your length and make sure that your cage or tank meets these sizes.But a larger aquarium or cage won't be bad! The bigger it is, the better... in this case! 


 According to the "Guide to care and use of experimental animals" published by the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), one gerbil would need of a minimum of 116cm2 /16inchfloor area size. This means a 10cm by 10cm. (4inch/4inch) this is small! On the other hand, a mother with babies needs 900cm (144inch2) this is approximately 30cm by 30cm (12 inch/12inch)


The comparatives

Meaning of the points

Cleaning: How easy it is to clean it.

Visual aspect: All the esthetic aspect and the sight quality.

Practical aspect: If the habitat is easy on us. Easy to carry, don't ask too much from us.

Recreational aspect: In the gerbil mind, is it fun for them?


Diferent types of habitat


3,75 / 5

Here is the ideal solution. The aquarium must be larger then high so that the air can move freely. Don't forget to put a lid on the top! If you build it yourself, make sure there is no wood piece reachable to the gerbil, if so, it will gnaw it trough!  

Cleaning an aquarium can be more difficult due to the weight of it. 


Cleaning: 3/5

Visual aspect: 5/5

Practical aspect: 4/5

Recreational aspect: 3/5


Plastic cages with tunnels (HabitrailType)  

3,5 / 5

This imitate the best a real gerbil network of tunnel but the air circulation may be poor. The bedding can be expulsed from it trough the bars. Also, this cage type is often a little too small for 2 adult gerbils. But if you can get many cage of that type and get them together, it can be great! But then, cleaning all the tunnels can be a long job!


Cleaning: 2/5

Visual aspect: 4/5

Practical aspect: 3/5

Recreational aspect: 5/5


Metal cage with plastic bottom. 

3 / 5

This could be a nice habitat but the bars let the bedding pass thought when the gerbil digs. The plastic base can be chewed thought if they manage to get a grip on it. And finally, they will chew the bars all day long, which can become very annoying.


Cleaning: 4/5

Visual aspect: 2/5

Practical aspect: 3/5

Recreational aspect: 3/5


Home made cage


? / 5

(depending of the construction)


This may be a good idea for the handyman. On the other hand, you have to follow some basic rules.

-No wood piece should be accessible to the gerbils, if it does, they will chew it.


The mesh must be less then one cm wide (half an inch)

Used cages or tanks Just be sure to disinfect them as necessary with Javel water or alcohol. Pay attention to broken glass or twisted metal wires. If it is painted on the inside, don't take it.
Cages made for other pets  Other type of habitat can be used. Look if they meet gerbil's needs 

Guinea pig cages: The bars can be too distanced and the plastic base can be too easy to chew. 

Bird cages: The removable basket at the bottom is not a really good idea. you'll have to modify it by yourself. The maintenance may be then, more complicated. Beside that, if you can install some stairs, stages and tunnels, this can make a really nice place.  

Rat cage: It's a good idea but again, the gerbil will expel bedding all over the place. 

The Gerbillarium

2,25 / 5

These are aquarium filled with dirt and sand, to create a natural environment. Even if the gerbil will have a lot of fun digging tunnels, cleaning this kind of thing can be very difficult. Bacteria will grow fast in this type of place. If they manage to dig a nice tunnel, it may fall apart and trap your gerbils. Reaching their nest is almost impossible if one is sick or if you have babies.

it's better you don't try this type of habitat at first. But if you want to try that, tell me about it! I'm interested to see it! 

Cleaning: 0/5

Visual aspect: 4/5

Practical aspect:0/5

Recreational aspect: 5/5



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