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Old 07-17-2018, 07:20 AM   #11
SandyT
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Default Re: Second Hand Cages

That is very true. I just want to maximise the space and give hammy as much room as possible. It's hard to know what to do for the best. I don't know whether to put a race track at the back and the wheel on the side or maybe a shelf each side woukd be better. The house I've ordered is a Rodipet labyrinth house so I know this doubles as a shelf, I'm hoping to set that up in a similar way to serendipity, by raising it up a bit. I'm not overly keen on those rat tunnels tbh, though I know it's not me us
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:26 AM   #12
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Default Re: Second Hand Cages

I just wanted to maximise the space for hammy bit I don't want it to look dark and gloomy. I'm toying with the idea of a racetrack at the back but maybe a shelf either side would be better. I'm getting a Rodipet house, which I hope to do something similar to what Serendipity did with hers. I like the tube idea but am not sure about the rat tubes. Maybe I will just have to play around with it a bit and see what seems to work the best. Thank you so much for all of your help Cypher. It has been amazing. ��
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:27 AM   #13
cypher
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Default Re: Second Hand Cages

I think it's really hard to imagine how cage set ups will work until you do have a play around with them, I always find some of my original ideas have to change once I start trying things out.
Once you start trying things out, seeing where the house & wheel will work best then adding other things I'm sure you'll figure out something that will work for you & your ham.
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:16 PM   #14
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Second Hand Cages

I would definitely get the Plaza To be honest I don't think the height is that bad. The internal height is apparently 48cm. Only 2cm higher than the Barney cage (which I have and would jump at changing it for a Plaza but - have a cage already!) Assuming it's for a Syrian and not a dwarf hamster.

Main thing would be to have plenty of substrate to cushion any falls and I don't think it needs a full racetrack. If you were concerned about the height you could put strips of perspex or cardboard around the inside of the bars near the base - maybe 2 inch high - and put deeper substrate in, thus lowering the height.

Rodipet also make great labyrinth houses - large - almost full depth of the plaza cage - they're not cheap and maybe work out more than a wood shelf but then you get a house as well. They also sell little legs you can attach to the house so it sits above substrate level (and makes a good shelf height). And then a shelf at the other end. As long as any hard items are under or on a shelf and can't be landed on it should be fine.

Have to go now but will post a photo later of the labyrinth house as a shelf in the Barney and you can see the height effect and add 2cm!
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Old 07-21-2018, 03:05 AM   #15
SandyT
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Default Re: Second Hand Cages

Hi Serendipity, thanks for your reply.
Yes, it's a Syrian I will get. I plan on filling the base completely with Fitch. I have ordered a Rodipet labyrinth house. I ordered the toilet too. I don't know what to put in the toilet as I'm worried if I put sand, hammy won't know the difference between the toilet and a sand bath. I didn't get the legs as I'm hoping to to put dowels on like you have done. Is non toxic silicone glue safe? I wasn't sure whether it or not to put another shelf above the house. I've bought some hemp mat to cushion shelves and the top of the house in case of falls. I don't know if this needs sticking down or just placed on top loose.
In some ways, I'd rather make my own shelves because then the can be exactly what I want but I'm struggling to find kiln dried pine in a decent size.
Thank you again.��
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:24 AM   #16
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Second Hand Cages

I put sand in the toilet It soaks the pee up well. I don't think it matters whether it's a toilet or sand bath really. The Syrians I've had haven't been that interested in a sand bath but do use a toilet. Our last syrian used the toilet as an ensuite bathroom He would pee in the very back corner, and sit in the front part to have a wash. Our current syrian sits in it to have a wash as well. You could put both in and see what happens!

Glue -I used a non toxic wood glue. I think once it's dry it's safe providing there is non visible to chew on. I actually bought a bottle of Ponal wood glue from Amazon.de as it's the one the people on the German hamster forum use. I really like it - it's a big bottle and will last for a long time. It has no aroma really and is white - looks a bit like copydex it sets really firmly,

Did you get the 42cm labyrinth house? I think there are two options - it can either be a sort of subterranean house with just a small amount of substrate under it and the top just above the substrate (only a small amount under it so they don't try and tunnel under ad get squashed. And you can put a shelf over that. Or you can have it on legs so it sits on top of the substrate and the top is high enough to make a shelf. I had a bendy bridge ramp as well for getting up onto the roof/shelf so they don't have to use the top door.

I think the latter is better - depending on the hamster. Also the subterranean version may not work due to the cage base sloping (although you could wedge it on the sides of the cage base part way down).

With our last syrian, the house on legs with the roof as a shelf worked really well. Our current syrian is a bit of a tunneler and just lived under the house which didn't work too well so I did the subterranean option for him and that worked better.

Both our hamsters have enjoyed those houses and nest in the front right comparment (which is darkest as round the corner from the front door) and pee in the centre back compartment nearest the nesting part. Not sure what they do with the rest of it! In winter they tend to block everything up to keep draughts out.

Hemp mats I just cut to size and lay them on top - any hard item like a ceramic bowl or sand dish etc will keep them in place. I did stick it down to one narrow shelf once and just used plastikote - but then you can't get them off again to change it when it gets a bit bedraggled

Have added a few photos of it in the Barney cage. The Barney is deeper than the Plaza (54cm instead of 50cm) so there was a gap at one end so I put another narrow shelf along the back to cover the gap. But bear in mind our hammy was older when I set this up so I was really cautious about fall risks.

It worked well with the house at one end and a shelf at the other end. The wheel was at the back next to the shelf. I had a large rat tube tied to the roof as access between one side and the shelf and leading into the rat sputnik. That helped block any falls from the roof in the middle (the tube was over the hard ceramic pot underneath).

What I did with the legs was only put them on two sides. I rested the back and one side of the house on the rim of the cage base, had a leg at the other side and two at the front and sawed them down to the right height to match the height at the back where it rested on the cage base, so it was level. But that's just one option It helped the house sit further back so it didn't waste too much floorspace in the cage.

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Old 07-21-2018, 08:34 AM   #17
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Second Hand Cages

Ranchouse cages on ebay sell shelves in all different sizes.

They do these two shelf packs as well. To be honest I only used one or two of the smaller shelves. The screw on bendy bridge ramp is quite good. For smaller shelves just to cover a gap or something. They do larger ones and you can choose the size/width. They're a bit slippery on top so I roughened mine up or put hemp mat on them. They come with all the fittings but may be cheaper to make one yourself.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mixed-8-P...kAAOSwNuVaxzj4

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mega-Pack...4AAMXQlgtSwVvI

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4-Pack-5-...EAAOSwpXNaxz7p

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/25cm-Deep...n_g_kxy4jpELSg

This one you select the size/width

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/25cm-Deep...n_g_kxy4jpELSg

This is their page with all the shelves

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/m.html?_s...Shelf&_sacat=0
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Old 07-24-2018, 01:23 PM   #18
SandyT
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Default Re: Second Hand Cages

I agree with you Cypher, I have been trying to work it out in my head, draw it out and even made a scaled down model. None of it helped. However, the pictures you have posted Serendipity, have been a real help, so thank you very much. I know the cages are slightly different sizes but it has given me a much clearer idea.
I've got the same house as you and plan to put it on dowels, much the same as you have. I got the Rodipet toilet as well, is this likely to squash a hammy if it tunnels underneath? It's ceramic.
I've bought some of the grass mat things that you hang from the roof of the cage in case of falls.
The shelf you have on on the left looks like a really good thickness. The ones on eBay look nice but they look mighty chunky. Thanks for the links, much appreciated. Actually, that's probably the shelf that comes with the Barney.
Can I ask, what is the log looking thing on the shelf at the front and what is on the shelf at the back?
Thank you so much for all of your help, it really is so appreciated
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Old 07-24-2018, 02:04 PM   #19
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Second Hand Cages

On that last pic the cage was half empty After some changes and before finished. The log thing on the shelf is just a ceramic pot - I got it from Rodipet but they don't make them any more. It's actually a bit small for a Syrian. On the back shelf is just hemp mat with one of the rosewood hyacinth tunnels leading from the house roof to the shelf (Charlie couldn't climb steps any more at that point but could manage shallow tunnels).

The tube across the cage roof is the Savic rat tube which is quite long. I also like rat sputniks.

Yes the shelf is the one that came with the Barney. The ranchhouse cage shelves are quite chunky and heavy - but one that goes full width will be stable as it has screw fasteners on three sides. The long narrow shelf I had on the back did slope down a bit with the weight due to only being supported on two sides - but then I didn't fasten it on properly as forgot to use the washers

You can get plastic corner shelves that overlap quite cheaply. Or make a shelf.

The ceramic toilet - I would see what happens - with our current syrian I had to replace it with a plastic one as he did start digging under it and it was sinking and I was worried about it squashing him - although it's not that heavy and syrians are quite strong and I think it wouldn't have squashed him. Another hamster may not try and dig under it!

I think in the Plaza you could even just have a shelf at one end (eg the house roof with a smaller shelf over the gap between the house roof and the edge) and no shelf at the other end - providing there was plenty of substrate and nothing hard to land on in that area. Or just a corner shelf in one corner and the wheel in the other corner.
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