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Old 04-16-2018, 09:17 AM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: San Diego California
Posts: 21
Default Spot cleaning deep substrate.

Question: How would you spot clean in a deep substrate if the hamster pees on the bottom of his burrows? Frequency recommendations? Every spot clean would mess up his burrows

I noted my Winter White likes to burrow so I'm trying 7-8 inches aspen in my 40 gallon breeder. My issue is regarding spot cleaning. I'm approaching 3 months of learning my hamster and the only area I've learned he urinates is deep in his sleeping nests. Just did my 2nd cage cleaning yesterday and slide the cage out to look at the glass bottom and there is about a 2 inch diameter yellow spot on the bottom glass. Last clean I put 4 inches substrate in and just did a nest clean about weekly, but it gets more difficult with 7-8 inches.

Maybe there is nothing complicated about this and it's just "up to me" when I want to destroy the burrows for a spot clean. Not sure how much help replacing bedding is though if a lot of the urine is on the bottom glass.

Last edited by quisp65; 04-16-2018 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:41 AM   #2
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: San Diego California
Posts: 21
Default Re: Spot cleaning deep substrate.

Asking a question sometimes gets me thinking more sometimes and I come up with the solution myself

I'm leaning toward about every 2 weeks looking where the yellow spots are on bottom of the tank and removing about a small "coffee can sized" cylinder of substrate that goes to the bottom where I also wipe the glass. Maybe I can go over 2 months between full cleans this way.

I think I might need to do at least 2 week spot cleans like this so the ammonia don't build up in his burrows.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:44 AM   #3
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Location: Wales UK
Posts: 23,253
Default Re: Spot cleaning deep substrate.

A healthy Russian pees so little that you can leave it a while, it is difficult if they pee deep down but just cleaning that area every couple of weeks should be fine, if your ham continues to use the same spot it shouldn't be too hard to clean that small area without destroying the burrows completely.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:46 AM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Sweden
Posts: 274
Default Re: Spot cleaning deep substrate.

Have you tried to potty train him. My girl used to do the same during the first week or two after I brought her home. Have a look at this video for litter training. Does he sleep in this burrow where you found the pee spot?

Also, have you provided the little one with a sand bath? If so, check if it contains lumps of sand at the bottom. If it does, the odds are he is already using the sand bath as his toilet. If not, and he still pees in the burrow, place the sand bath in a corner nearest to the burrow and transfer the soiled substrate onto the litter tray as explained in the video. He'll pick the cue quickly.
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