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Old 03-14-2022, 12:46 PM   #1
arnoldshirl
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Default My Roborovski Dwarf Hamster prefers less space

Explain this to me. I purchased in the beginning a 10 gallon aquarium tank and bought some accessories such as Wheel, House, Water Bottle, Food Dish, Aspen Substrate, Food, Toys and Chew things. I also bought a exercise ball too then.
Please remain in your seats and stop gasping!

A month later after some research I learned a Roborovski's cage needed to be a minimum of 450 Sq. In. by 18 In. long. I measured the tank and it is 20 In. by 10In. by 12In. The overall Sq. In isn't there. However, she didn't seem stressed over this. She would move about and do her Hammie thing. Only time she would jump up and scratch at the glass was when I approached. She never truly nipped at my fingers then, only a few times in the beginning.

Furthering along here, with this knowledge of home requirements, I returned to the pet shop and the largest they had available was 20 gallon. So I purchased it and gave it a cleaning with a safe bio enzymatic formula cage cleaner to rid of any germs or new smell. The following day, while she was balling it around the room, I transferred her entire bedding area and other furnishings into the bigger tank. I allowed her the time to settle in, of course.
Periodically I would check on her, the usual give fresh water and to let her know I was still here (Didn't need her to think she moved completely away). She was behaving weird. She was constantly digging in the corners of the tank and scratching fiercely at the glass as if she wanted OUT! I set up the play pen I got from Amazon and placed in her 'Let's go explore' mug, immediately she darted into the mug. In the playpen she calmed down, played about doing her hammie thing. This behavior went on for several weeks. One day I placed her in the playpen and while she was there I checked the cage for anything that could be causing her to behave in such a stressful way (I learned that behavior is the hamster is stressed). There is nothing wrong with the cage or her things and the cleaning agent used is Safe and highly recommended too.
After placing her back in her home is where she continued to dig the corners and scratch at the glass in the way of 'Get Me out Of here!' I learned she needs Sand for baths. So I purchased a sand bath and sand from Amazon. She didn't like it! I thought maybe it's the sand, so I found this desert blend sand stuff (after all, she is a desert hamster, right?) It is made of ground English Walnut shells and hamster's love nuts! She took to this right away, in fact she would dig through it to where I buried a few sunflower seeds for her to find, give her digging a well worth pay off. She continued showing stress scratching against the glass as well as many days simply sitting in the corners in a pouting, sad way. When it came time to clean her cage again I placed her in the 10 gallon tank because her playpen was air drying from it's previous hose down cleaning (I always do this after she plays in it). She was so calm in this tank. I slowly and carefully added substrate while she was in there. It was like she was being a part of fixing up her home, ground walnut shell sand here...peanut home there...wheel here...don't need that bath house (take it away my dear human!)...dish there...water bottle hang there...toys just throw about wherever you feel...Perfect, now let me stretch out and melt into a pancake onto this desert feeling floor, I need a nap...
My long winded point is my friend, Cinnamon Bun, who is a Roborovski Dwarf Hamster PREFERS to live in a 10 gallon size tank! Now I ask for any of you to EXPLAIN this reasoning!? and what the hell am I do do with this 20 gallon tank that is obviously still not required size for her?
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Old 03-14-2022, 12:53 PM   #2
cloudy
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Default Re: My Roborovski Dwarf Hamster prefers less space

I do not have any advice but I just wanted to say, I think it is so lovely how much you love cinnamon bun and how much you are trying to make her happy.

As to the second tank, maybe one day you will meet another hamster who would like it.
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Old 03-14-2022, 12:56 PM   #3
Pebbles82
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Default Re: My Roborovski Dwarf Hamster prefers less space

You mentioned disinfecting the new 20 gallon. I would give it a really thorough rinse out with water afterwards as hamsters have such a sensitive sense of smell that any cleaning products can really stress them.

You could try that. Give it a really good rinse out and remove any residue. Then put everything back.

The 10 gallon one is bound to smell familiar but my experience of robos in tanks is they do do this sometimes - scrabble at the glass to get out. It's partly why I moved our first robot to a barred cage and he was much happier. It could also be that after being in the playpen, she felt too enclosed in the tank.

It's very difficult to find good sized cages in the US however. One good option, which is tank like is the Fop Tamburino - not too big not too small. It just about meets the minimum size but in my view is more friendly than a tank )lower and sloped sides.

It comes with a huge house that needs taking out really as it fills up the cage - and a hayrack that also needs removing. Believe it or not its intended for guinea pigs and it's far too small for a guinea pig.

It's another $60 though. You don't see the price until you click on "buy".

I actually don;t think it's necessary to use disinfectant in a cage unless there has been illness or disease and then always rinse it out really well after the disinfectant has had its 10 or 15 minutes. Really just soapy water (dishwashing soap in water) is enough and even then rinse well to remove any residue).

This is the Fop Tamburino - it's the only place I know it's sold in the Us. It's approx 75cm by 45cm. Which I would say is a good size for a robo - some would go bigger. And easy to set up to give more or less space (depending on contents). Some would also say a 20 gallon tank is too small actually. But if you did get the tamburino (which is much easier to manage as well, being perspex - easier to lift, move or clean) I'm sure you could sell the 20 gallon quite easily.

tamburino
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Old 03-14-2022, 12:59 PM   #4
Pebbles82
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Default Re: My Roborovski Dwarf Hamster prefers less space

If she was desperately digging and scratching to get out that does suggest something wasn't right for her in the cage or something was bothering her. Not necessarily the size.

Being lower and curved sides and a large grid top, the tamburino does give more scope for interaction without a large wall between you or squared off corners. Some hamsters have been known to chew away the aquarium sealant so the tank falls apart!
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Old 03-14-2022, 01:09 PM   #5
arnoldshirl
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Default Re: My Roborovski Dwarf Hamster prefers less space

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
You mentioned disinfecting the new 20 gallon. I would give it a really thorough rinse out with water afterwards as hamsters have such a sensitive sense of smell that any cleaning products can really stress them.

You could try that. Give it a really good rinse out and remove any residue. Then put everything back.

The 10 gallon one is bound to smell familiar but my experience of robos in tanks is they do do this sometimes - scrabble at the glass to get out. It's partly why I moved our first robot to a barred cage and he was much happier. It could also be that after being in the playpen, she felt too enclosed in the tank.

It's very difficult to find good sized cages in the US however. One good option, which is tank like is the Fop Tamburino - not too big not too small. It just about meets the minimum size but in my view is more friendly than a tank )lower and sloped sides.

It comes with a huge house that needs taking out really as it fills up the cage - and a hayrack that also needs removing. Believe it or not its intended for guinea pigs and it's far too small for a guinea pig.

It's another $60 though. You don't see the price until you click on "buy".

I actually don;t think it's necessary to use disinfectant in a cage unless there has been illness or disease and then always rinse it out really well after the disinfectant has had its 10 or 15 minutes. Really just soapy water (dishwashing soap in water) is enough and even then rinse well to remove any residue).

This is the Fop Tamburino - it's the only place I know it's sold in the Us. It's approx 75cm by 45cm. Which I would say is a good size for a robo - some would go bigger. And easy to set up to give more or less space (depending on contents). Some would also say a 20 gallon tank is too small actually. But if you did get the tamburino (which is much easier to manage as well, being perspex - easier to lift, move or clean) I'm sure you could sell the 20 gallon quite easily.

tamburino
I did let it air out a few days after I cleaned it first. I never knew of their keen sense of smell until I learned of this here in Hamster Central. I'll check out the Tamburino and even try again with placing her in the 20 gallon after i hose it out and air dry it some more. She just seems so calm in this 10 gallon. Which I find oddly strange considering what I am learning on how Roborovski's need lots of space.
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Old 03-14-2022, 01:12 PM   #6
Pebbles82
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Default Re: My Roborovski Dwarf Hamster prefers less space

Some breeders actually start a hamster off in a small cage for taming, and then upgrade them. They do seem to always like something they've been in before - familiarity - but I'm not sure it would be good long term. Of all the species of hamster, Robos have the fastest metabolism and need a lot of exercise and places to run around.
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Old 03-14-2022, 01:17 PM   #7
arnoldshirl
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Default Re: My Roborovski Dwarf Hamster prefers less space

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudy View Post
I do not have any advice but I just wanted to say, I think it is so lovely how much you love cinnamon bun and how much you are trying to make her happy.

As to the second tank, maybe one day you will meet another hamster who would like it.
Thanks, I do love her so much and her happiness means a great deal for me because these small sweet creatures don't have a long lifespan, in which I felt in the beginning that is so unfair, however, I took that negative feeling towards and chose to make something positive from it. Give these cuties the best years of their short span lives.
That's another suggestive thought towards this second tank, gather as much research and hands-on experience too and give another home to another cutie when the day arrives. I don't want to take on too many at once, they all need personal attention. One hamster at a time allows them to feel the extra special, undivided attention they should have. If you know what I mean, not saying it's wrong of others to raise a room full of hamsters. Just for me personally, I rather have one at a time.
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Old 03-14-2022, 01:20 PM   #8
AmityvilleHams
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Default Re: My Roborovski Dwarf Hamster prefers less space

Noticed the OP mentions using ground walnut shells. That really isn't safe unfortunately - they're extremely likely to grow mold etc and while walnuts themselves are a very safe nuts the ground shell just isn't safe for any pets to use as litter or bedding.

As far as stress with a larger cage goes, sometimes a big part of that is the overall cage setup. It's hard to say for sure without knowing exactly how the cage is set up, but with robos in particular they really don't like having much if any open space without overhead cover. They do need space, but how the space is set up can change how well they take to that space too!

20 gallon tanks(even the 20 gallon longs) aren't really appropriately sized for hamsters long term IMHO - however, I would personally keep it if you have the space to store it just in case you ever need a hospital cage. You could also use it as a secure space to put your hamster during spot cleans if staying inside the cage while you did that were to stress them out.
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Old 03-14-2022, 01:20 PM   #9
arnoldshirl
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Location: USA
Posts: 88
Default Re: My Roborovski Dwarf Hamster prefers less space

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
If she was desperately digging and scratching to get out that does suggest something wasn't right for her in the cage or something was bothering her. Not necessarily the size.

Being lower and curved sides and a large grid top, the tamburino does give more scope for interaction without a large wall between you or squared off corners. Some hamsters have been known to chew away the aquarium sealant so the tank falls apart!
EEK! Chewing!? Oh my word that sounds as if she was digging her way out of her prison! LOL
I'll definitely check out this alternative Tamburino. Be back in a bit....
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Old 03-14-2022, 01:27 PM   #10
arnoldshirl
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Join Date: Mar 2022
Location: USA
Posts: 88
Default Re: My Roborovski Dwarf Hamster prefers less space

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmityvilleHams View Post
Noticed the OP mentions using ground walnut shells. That really isn't safe unfortunately - they're extremely likely to grow mold etc and while walnuts themselves are a very safe nuts the ground shell just isn't safe for any pets to use as litter or bedding.

As far as stress with a larger cage goes, sometimes a big part of that is the overall cage setup. It's hard to say for sure without knowing exactly how the cage is set up, but with robos in particular they really don't like having much if any open space without overhead cover. They do need space, but how the space is set up can change how well they take to that space too!

20 gallon tanks(even the 20 gallon longs) aren't really appropriately sized for hamsters long term IMHO - however, I would personally keep it if you have the space to store it just in case you ever need a hospital cage. You could also use it as a secure space to put your hamster during spot cleans if staying inside the cage while you did that were to stress them out.
Wow! Really?! Hospital Cage? Why is it so far what I have threaded to gather knowledge on giving my friend the best years of her short life you have been so negative towards? Yes I want the best for my hamster! But I don't need the the rudeness of suggestive comments as in me keeping the bigger cage for a hospital!
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