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Old 04-21-2022, 04:43 AM   #31
Lilafernim
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Default Re: Show us what you've made!

Thank you so much for your suggestion! I’m in a difficult position at the moment because I don’t know if I am moving out my home or not it all depends on the next few weeks what happens. And I wanted to wait until I moved to change the enclosure as I currently only have an Alaska cage which is a fine size for travelling with. It’s all taken so much longer than expected though I might as well just have changed it by now!

But the delay has sort of been a good thing because I was adamant to get a savic plaza next since I like barred cages for being amazing at ventilation, there’s no concerns with it. But the more I look into glass enclosures I might just get something like that next. As you say I could paint on the outside, I could have really deep substrate which cages aren’t really deep enough for. I worried about the ventilation but whatever I did choose I’d just replace the entire top with mesh and then I know there would be no issues.

The more I look into it the more I think a glass enclosure can be the best for organising and creativeness. I’d also be able to take photos with no bars in the way! So yes, I’ve definitely been looking into it.
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Old 04-21-2022, 05:16 AM   #32
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Show us what you've made!

It's cages all the way for me! A tank can be easier to set up but I don't like the glass wall between me and the hamster! And I do like front opening cages They are entirely different things in my view, with pros and cons. I find I can be more creative with a cage because you can attach things to the bars (and yes there's the ventilation too). And even if a hamster is ok with top access only - I couldn't get on with that at all! Maybe what you get used to.

I think the idea of making things is to save money basically and yes it's easy to make a cage nice and creative without painting things. Plastikote is for water proofing the wood and sets hard - so why not make it colourful as well. Personally I wouldn't use anything else and won't even use food grade food dyes for humans! At one time I wouldn't even use plastikote! But I have rarely had a hamster chew a wood house (or any wood item) so relaxed a bit about it.

You just have to be sensible really - if it's something the hamster is unlikely to chew anyway then maybe not worry too much. If you have a very chewy hamster I wouldn't paint anything! But you can still make nice toys and shelves with wood dowels etc.

There are plenty of toys you buy that are coloured - the rosewood dangly things, the coloured cube hole things and the cheese wedge. It would be nice to know what paints they use but never had an issue using them.

I love the idea of making your own paints and dyes! I know someone who used to do this for dying wool. She used to spin wool and dye it. She mainly used green and brown - tea bags for brown dye and boiled nettles for green dye. Boiled betroot would make a red dye.
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Old 04-21-2022, 05:22 AM   #33
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Show us what you've made!

You can still have deeper bedding with a cage like the Plaza because it's tall - by adding cardboard or perspex inside the bars - which I've done. Perspex is expensive and I think would be very fiddly to fit without permanently fixing it. Cardboard doesn't look very glamorous - except possibly paint one side of the cardboard that shows from the outside. I balked at doing that in case it made the cardboard a bit soggy! Plus I did it in a bit of a hurry! Cardboard is easy to keep in place with cable ties as well.

I think these days there seems to be more of a trend to a natural cage - with splashes of colour. But each to their own. I mix it up and have natural things with bright coloured plastic and ceramic things!
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Old 04-21-2022, 12:17 PM   #34
Lilafernim
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Default Re: Show us what you've made!

That’s what I’ve always thought and it’s why I normally take preference to barred cages because it’s just an open space, like you say there’s no physical barrier. But at the same time although there is something there you can actually see more than with bars. I also prefer barred cages because hamster tend to bar bite if something is wrong and it’s a very clear indication but in glass enclosures it’s harder to tell.

But at the same I want at this stage to have really deep substrate for burrowing and I know there is the cardboard idea and I did that with the current cage but it blocks so much of the view from one level and also it actually made Mitzi chew more because she was fascinated with the card board. I did put it on the inside which I guess you could say is silly but I didn’t want any spillage over the sides.

Also I understand you can be creative with barred cages but I am quite an artsy person. So having a naturalistic or no images just seems a little dull for me. Obviously I know the hamster doesn’t care but a glass enclosure would mean I could do artsy stuff on the outside AND natural enrichment inside.

If I had a glass enclosure as said I could put what I want on the outside. I agree with Perspex and have looked up looks of glass enclosures and I’ve decided if I was to get one I’d probably get a fish tank and fashion my own roof with mesh. That way it can be deep and have all enrichment as well. I tend to find detolf ones seem to be quite low but I could be wrong. I just don’t think I could make a bin cage or attach Perspex properly.

Of course though barred cages are easy to move and are probably easier to clean. I’ve been back and forth in my head over it and I’ve still got time to think on it.
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Old 04-21-2022, 08:51 PM   #35
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Default Re: Show us what you've made!

Instead of a fully glass enclosure, you could have meshed sides. This would actually be much healthier for hamsters as it would allow far better ventilation which tanks and similar styles of enclosures are lacking in. Keeping an acrylic back would still give the same benefit of having a clear back from a tank style cage with the advantages of a barred cage. I wouldn't choose glass if you can get acrylic though as glass is far less durable as well as much heavier.
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Old 04-22-2022, 12:36 AM   #36
Lilafernim
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Default Re: Show us what you've made!

To do that though I’d need to have tools and be crafty with an enclosure to replace parts with mesh which I don’t think I could do. Maybe I’ll just stick with the savic plaza idea again and use serendipity’s idea of using acrylic halfway up the enclosure for bedding or if I can’t do that I’ll just try and make cardboard look nice. I still need to move yet before I can take any drastic actions I just thought glass would be a better option for visibility and deepness. But I guess it makes more problems than it solves.
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Old 04-22-2022, 04:40 AM   #37
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Show us what you've made!

Lilafernim, plenty of people have glass, perspex or barred cages. All of them have pros and cons, in the end I think it boils down to what is best for you and your hamsters. I've had all 3 types of cages and whilst like I said all have pros and cons I have never had problems with ventilation.
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Old 04-22-2022, 05:11 AM   #38
Ria P
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Default Re: Show us what you've made!

It is a matter of personal preference, Lilafernim.

I'm with Serendipity and prefer barred cages with big doors because i like the direct contact with our hamsters and i like them to be able to smell their surroundings. I also like to be on nose level with them so they can walk out of the cage on their own accord and straight onto my hands or lap.

The only ready made glass tank i'd consider is the Exo Terra because it has front opening doors. I'd change the fine mesh on the lid though to allow for better ventilation.
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Old 04-22-2022, 05:40 AM   #39
Lilafernim
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Default Re: Show us what you've made!

I have seen those exo terra cages before but I’ve only seen the small or the tall ones sold second hand. I wouldn’t want to pay full price for one as they are very expensive! I don’t know what I’ll do, I do agree I prefer barred cages for the hamster but I’ve seen a lot of people having glass or Perspex cages and they just look so nice and sleek. And I’ve done a lot of reading how to make it safe for the hamster but I do totally agree about ventilation, smelling the environment, being more connected since there’s no physical barrier.

Also I like the large doors on cages but as Ria suggests the exo terra also has large doors. Maybe I’ll just leave it to fate and see what comes up on gumtree or marketplace first XD at this stage though I really don’t know what I’m going to do and a lot of it also depends if we stay here or move. And if I move what the space is like things like this. I’m also thinking if I did stay here to get a savic plaza, keep the Alaska as a back up and if I see any hamsters in the area that are in REALLY bad conditions to foster them until I found genuinely good homes for them. But again that would only work from where we are now.

It’s just been a really stressful year financially and living wise and hoping to find out for 100% sure what we’re doing in the next two weeks. It does appear we’ll have to leave but it’s dependant on a lot of factors that we are fighting for, but there’s only so much we can do.
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Old 04-22-2022, 07:22 AM   #40
Ria P
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Default Re: Show us what you've made!

I can't quite see the problem here cagewise. All our Syrians live in Alaskas and don't show stress behaviours. Sure, they want to come out to play in the evening and sit or pace by their door but they would do that in a bigger cage as well.

Is Mitzi unhappy in her Alaska and showing lots of stress behaviours? Or do you feel she ought to be in a cage of at least 100cmx50cm because you've read it somewhere?

Be guided by your hamster. They are good communicators and will let us know when something isn't right for them.
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