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Old 12-30-2015, 05:43 AM  
Hamsters University
Serendipity7000's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 21,312
Default Re: Is this hammock hamster safe?

Here are some fairly typical German hamster tank layouts. Like you they have a kind of racetrack shelf along the back. In this photo there is a wodent wheel on top of a subterranean house, which is also a good idea.

They tend to use a lot of natural cork and wood things like bendy bridges. The cork tunnels are quite big and one would make a nice floor toy which can also be climbed over or used as access to a shelf. If the substrate is really deep you can have one of the cork bridges (ie half a tunnel) underneath the substrate so it is also like an underground hidey place. Some people use millet to look like plants for edible decoration too. The green in the photo on the left is hay. The Germans say putting layers of hay in the substrate helps tunnels hold their shape. In the uk we're not big on hay - it can be hard to find good hay and if its sharp or scratchy I worry about it poking eyes. Although I remember a German member saying Hamsters are cleverer than that and fold the hay as they eat it to keep the ends away from their eyes. Even so hamsters can get eye infections and injure their eyes on sharp bits of wood or such like.

This aquarium set up shows millet strands being used like plants. It also has a 27cm wodent wheel on a shelf to keep the substrate area deep (although the wheel on this one is quite high and protrudes out of the top of the tank, but it could go lower and still give a good depth of substrate).

If you decided on a wodent wheel, one idea might be to have an additional low, flat topped house or platform at the wheel end, on the floor of the tank, with the wheel stood on top of it. The house would be buried by the substrate and you could put a tube down to the entrance door. Instead of having the bendy bridge separating the areas, you could then have all the tank with quite deep substrate.

I also posted on your other thread with a link to how to hang the wodent wheel from the top in a tank, and that way you could also have higher substrate at the wheel end. The more full tank length of substrate you have, the easier it would be for a hamster to dig a tunnel. I have a bendy bridge dividing my wheel area in the cage, but only because the cage is so low that the wheel fills it! With your tank you can easily have it the same depth in the whole tank, without dividing it, by placing the wheel higher on a platform or hanging from the top.

Last edited by Serendipity7000; 12-30-2015 at 05:48 AM.
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