Trouble finding a cage topper for a 20 gallon long

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Trouble finding a cage topper for a 20 gallon long Empty Trouble finding a cage topper for a 20 gallon long

Post by Vladka31 on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 1:13 pm

Hi guys, I have 4 mice in a 20 gallon long and I have just a mesh top with a little door right now, I a,ways wanted to get a cage topper for it but have the hardest time finding one that isn’t just for a 10 gallon! Well now something happened and the mesh is a bit broken! Shocked So there’s some more urgency to the situation, do you have any recommendations? Can I DIY one somehow? I make a cage front before out of Home Depot closet shelving but am not sure if it’s a good idea to make the entire topper myself or if I’m missing an easy option or keywords when I’m looking for one.
Any advice is appreciated, thanks!
Tank is 30” by 12” on top for reference.

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Post by CallaLily on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 3:32 pm

I put “topper” in the forum search and a few threads came up. It looks like others struggled to find toppers for tanks larger than 10 gallons, though there is an expensive option on Etsy I think was mentioned in one of those threads. You could DIY using wood and metal hardware cloth. I googled “DIY tank topper 20 gallon” and some results turned up, mostly from gerbil forums.

When DIYing or buying, you’ll want to make sure the wire spacing is suitable for mice. A lot of commercial toppers/cages have too big bar spacing for mice. 1/4 inches is best but up to 3/8 inches could work for larger adult mice. Be sure there’s no sharp bits your mice could come into contact with. And also keep in mind not to restrict air flow from the tank too much when/if creating floorspace/platforms in your topper. You’ll also want to look out for easy access (large front opening doors would be great) and a topper that attaches securely but still easy enough to remove when needed.


I’m not sure if any of this helps. I’ve never used a topper with mice, so I don’t have real personal experience to share. Pardon

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Post by Vladka31 on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 3:14 pm

Thanks CallaLily,
That does help! I guess I'll end up building my own then! Will likely integrate it into my current screen top and cut out the broken pieces, use wood and wire (I want wire specifically for the convenience of certain toy and equipment attachments. But it also looks like a lot of people buy one for 10 gallon and modify a lid to accommodate it- but I think they're too expensive to go through the trouble anyways! Pinterest which links to gerbil forums looks like the best resource so far. Thanks again!

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Post by Robin~ on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 3:30 pm

If you need more mesh (you likely will) 1/4" hardware cloth is only about $15 for a ~10' roll. Works wonders and is perfectly safe; just be aware it's hard to cut w/o wire cutters the the edges can be sharp!


Last edited by Robin~ on Tue 03 Sep 2019, 7:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Peachy on Tue 03 Sep 2019, 6:12 pm

I built my own topper for a bin cage. It was meant for gerbils rather than mice, but it worked fantastic and was super easy. Have also used wire mesh to build a topper on top of a normal 10 gallon screen. That worked pretty well, too. Just watch out for pokey sharp bits!

Here’s the tutorial I based my toppers off of: http://gerbilforum.proboards.com/thread/23353/diy-wiremesh-woodless-tank-topper

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