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Old 01-09-2019, 04:38 PM   #1
Altair
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Default New robo hamster owner with a few questions

I know how to care for a regular hamster and I do have alot of small animal experience but I have never owned a robo before. I unexpectedly came into this hamster and he came with a set up...he didnt exactly come from an good home. I have a few things I know are wrong and would like the best recommendations for the replacement stuff.
First: his wheel. He has a flat disk wheel (I forgot what they're called sorry). The kind where it's just like a spinning plate. Its tiny (so is he but) and I think his paw slips off occasionally. I was curious as to what inch wheel I should get him (and the quietest wheel if that can be done)
Second: water bottles. He lives in a tank (dont worry I've made sure there's enough ventilation and everything) and...the people i got him from just sat a water bottle in the cage....he cant really drink from it. I've temporarily rigged a old water bottle to hand with some wires but I'm interested in finding a water bottle for tanks? All of the ones at the pet store are for cages (with wire hanging things for bars)
Thirdly: the best type of bedding. I dont really trust carefresh with a anaimal that small and they've been using shredded paper...as in old paper they shredded themselves! Ink anyone? That one angered me alot, even if I'm being a bit paranoid.
Fourth: what is the best type of chewing thing for him?
Thank you!!!
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:27 AM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: New robo hamster owner with a few questions

Which country are you in? Can recommend water bottles and bedding in the Uk and bedding in Uk and US

Flying saucers are fine for dwarf hamsters but it’s good if they have an upright wheel as well. Our Robo has both and uses both. Maybe it’s too small if he isn’t managing it. The need the 6.5 or 7” diameter saucer.
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:09 AM   #3
cypher
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Default Re: New robo hamster owner with a few questions

Great to hear you've given this little one a good home

I think saucers should only be used as an extra wheel & the main wheel in the cage should be an upright wheel, which wheel you can get will depend where you are but as long as it spins freely anything up to 8" is fine.
I use water bowls rather than bottles for all my hams & as long as you have a little shelf or the top of the house, any stable surface a little above the substrate that would probably be a better option in a tank.
If the paper he was on was shredded rather than just torn up I would be worried about sharp edges as well as ink, again which substrate you could use will depend on which country you are in but a good one available in both the UK & US is Kaytee clean & cosy, white only.

For chews you can try hazel or apple wood sticks but the most popular chew with all hams is a whimzee dog chew, the little toothbrush would probably be best for a robo.
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:10 PM   #4
Altair
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Default Re: New robo hamster owner with a few questions

To serendipity7000 I'm in the US and he currently has a 5 inch one. He goes fast but I definitely see his front paw slip off the edge. I'll get him a 7" probably or maybe a bit bigger. I'm slightly paranoid when it comes to buying things for my babies and would rather it be bigger then he needs other then smaller. Thank you!
To cypher, thank you! I'll probably get a upright wheel anyway and maybe a larger saucer one for fun. And thank you, I think I forgot bowls existed for a moment there. I was gonna build him a popsicle stick house like I have for other pets, I could build a platform for a water bottle too. Thank you for the bedding advice! I had no idea dog chews were okay for them. That's really helpful info as I already buy (alot) of those little dog toothbrushes (I forgot the brand though, I usually buy it from sight lol) thank you!
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: New robo hamster owner with a few questions

Ah he sounds a lucky hammy to have found you. Flying saucer sizing is funny -there is nothing between 6.5"/7" and 11/12" I believe! But the 6.5/7" is perfect for a robo and ours runs fine on his - he jumps off sometimes for fun (and sits in the centre and spins round sometimes too!). At first they do fly off it sometimes but they soon get used to it.

In a standard wheel, the 8" wodent wheel is good for a robo - in Germany they call it the robowheel. Exotic nutrition in the US sell wodent wheels. I think the small round holes on it are good for a robo as they can't fall out or jump out while it's spinning.

As well as Kaytee Clean n Cozy there is also Boxo in the US (sold by Walmart I believe) which is sold in bulk so suppsosed to work out cheap - soft recycled pieces of cardboard. And you can also mix two or more substrates, so mixing Boxo and Kaytee Clean and Cozy would make the KTCC last longer/go furhter and work out a bit cheaper - but using either on their own is fine as well.

They also need nesting material - plain white toilet paper is best (not scented) - a few sheets torn into strips and then a pile of the toilet paper strips in a heap somewhere in the cage - but not actually inside the house. They like to forage for it, and pouch it or drag it back to where they want to build the nest (or line an existing nest).

If using a water bowl, I think caution is needed with a robo, so they don't fall in and drown, or get soaked and get a chill or tip it over and have no water. Our robo uses a bottle absolutely fine and I think that's a bit safer with a little tiny hamster. The water bottle I found good in a tank was the Ferplast Sippy bottle which comes with a holder with a suction cup, easily lets water out and our robo could easily use it.

But many people just use industrial strength velcro to attach a bottle to the side of a tank and it works very well. There isn't really a chewing risk if the pieces of velcro are small enough not to be very visible and well behind the bottle itself. Then you can use any bottle. It is something that needs keeping an eye on with robos (being able to reach it) as if it's over substrate, and they tunnel under, the substrate can get lower in the bottle area.

I had lots of nice little houses and hides when first setting up our robo's tank and he ignored all of them and dug a tunnel/hide under a shelf and made a big mountain there to disappear down under He didn't use a house until I got him a large labyrinth house, which is dark inside - and even now he has two nests - one in the house and an "emergency one" under his wheel which he uses if I do anything inside the house (spot clean) and eventually moves back to the house again. They are funny little things and they do like digging tunnels!

They are scared by a lot of open space so lots of floor toys like tunnels or a small level/shelf in one corner, go down well, so they can move around and always be underneath something. Although when feeling braver they move around without being under something, but like to have something nearby to dive under.

This is the Ferplast Sippy bottle. It comes with two attachments - one for a cage and one for a tank. The suction cup worked very well - occasionally one side would come unattached, but easily stuck back on again - and never did both suction cups come unattached at the same time so it never fell down - just needs checking now and then. Wetting the suction cup slightly on the tank side helps it stick well.

https://www.amazon.com/Ferplast-Hams...y+water+bottle
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:30 AM   #6
cypher
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Default Re: New robo hamster owner with a few questions

I really wouldn't be concerned about a robo having a water bowl tbh, obviously you don't want anything too big or deep but I've seen countless German robos & their set ups virtually all of which have bowls rather than bottles.
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:28 AM   #7
mangoandmimi
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Default Re: New robo hamster owner with a few questions

Agree, robos won’t fall in and drown all that’s needed when using a bowl is a bit of common sense ie not an enormous bowl, and put somewhere where it can’t tip. It is better for hamsters to use bowls, most do prefer them and they are more hygienic.

The silent runner is also fine for robos, that or the wodent wheel would work. The runner spins a bit easier and is probably a bit better.

Last edited by mangoandmimi; 01-14-2019 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:09 AM   #8
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: New robo hamster owner with a few questions

Seems to be different views on bowls At one time people were saying they were very unhygienic as can get bedding and other things in them. I guess a responsible owner will put them in a place where the water won't get soiled and have a shallow dish. Never had a need for a water dish myself but do sometimes use two bottles to make sure they get water.
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