Correct wheel size

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Correct wheel size

Post by Misha_usa on Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:08 pm

Hi there,

I've recently notices Nimh's tail slightly curling when he walks, which I don't remember he doing before, and I'm afraid it could be a beginning of weel tail.

He wasn't very keen on using his exersice wheel until now, but I recently moved it to a different location on the cage and he seems to be taking a liking for it now (which is good, as he wasn't exercising that much otherwise..). It doesn't look small at all at first sight, but looking more closely I noticed he has the tendency when running to "peep outta the wheel" by his side (it's a solid plastic wheel, not bars or spaces), which causes him to run kinda... crooked (?). That in addition to his recently found habit to lift his tail makes me worried about the wheel actually being too small for him to safely use.

I'm not familiar with which whould be the correct size for him to use, so could you please give me a hint on that?
Nimh in now around 18cm long (nose to tail's tip), more or less. And his current wheel is arround 15cm diameter.

I've read many people prefer flying saucers over exercise wheels because they allow mice to run on a more natural position for their back, too...
I think it may be a little difficult to fit a flying saucer on Nimh's cage as it'd eat up a big chung of the available area there, but whould the benefices be worth the sacrifice of space?
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Re: Correct wheel size

Post by CanadianExport on Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:05 pm

I know that for my two big girls the smallest size they are comfortable on is 6.5 inches ( 16.5 cm) I think. I have let mine use a medium saucer, a 6.5 inch silent spinner, and they also enjoy an 8 (approx 20 cm) inch comfort wheel. Even the littlest one can run on that just fine. I would say bump up the size of the wheel but also some mice have terrible tail posture. My black mouse Winnie always has her tail curved right up over her back when she runs no matter which wheel she runs on. In my opinion as long as your wheel isn't too small it doesn't really matter whether it is a saucer or a traditional wheel. I hope this helped a little.
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Re: Correct wheel size

Post by CallaLily on Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:22 pm

The 6.5 inch Silent Spinner is the smallest wheel recommended. Larger mice will probably need a bit bigger. Flying saucers are great (though don't get the ridiculously tiny one).

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Re: Correct wheel size

Post by Peachy on Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:32 pm

My little black mouse, Peach, curls her tail badly too. She always has, on and off the wheel, so I've always blamed it on her tail set. But if it was a new habit and only happened on the wheel, a bigger wheel is definitely something I'd look into. When you watch him run, his back should be flat and he should be able to hold his head straight without bonking his nose.

I think my mice have more fun with upright wheels so I prefer those, but if you decide to try out a flying saucer, you could try making a stand using cardboard boxes or popsicle sticks. There's a great example in this thread. I'm sure you could find more in the Housing Pictures or MES threads. Smile
http://petmousefanciers.forumotion.com/t360-quicksand-bedding#3458
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Re: Correct wheel size

Post by Misha_usa on Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:55 pm

I think mine must be the 6'5inch wheel then, since it's the one that came as default with the cage.
I'll try to go check tomorrow at the store for what I can find, maybe a bigger wheel or try a spinner.

You're all of great help, thanks a lot Smile
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Re: Correct wheel size

Post by Artistwolf on Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:09 pm

You should measure it... often the ones that come with the cage are far too small.

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Re: Correct wheel size

Post by CanadianExport on Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:16 pm

Also if all you can find is a mesh wheel those are safe to use. The ones that are not are the ones that have the horizontal bars. The info page they have on this forum has pictures that show which wheels are safe and the ones that are not. Good luck!
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Re: Correct wheel size

Post by MouseLover on Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:17 pm

6.5 inch wheels has been fine for nearly all of my mice. But it sounds like a bigger wheel might be worth a shot for Nimh.

My mice seem to enjoy regular wheels and flying saucers equally - or some prefer one over the other. So I like to provide both, or alternate them once a week, just for fun Very Happy

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Re: Correct wheel size

Post by AnonONIagent on Fri Nov 04, 2016 3:00 pm

I use a small flying saucer; it's all I can fit in their tank with how crammed full of toys it is.

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Re: Correct wheel size

Post by EverythingAnimal on Fri Nov 04, 2016 3:25 pm

Personally I think I'd rather have no wheel at all than one that's too small.

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Re: Correct wheel size

Post by River on Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:56 pm

Flying saucers admittedly aren't the best for 10 gallons, so it depends on what tank you have really.

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Re: Correct wheel size

Post by CinnamonPearl on Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:42 pm

Flying saucers are tougher to fit in ten gallons, so upright wheels are more ideal. But if you make a DIY stand for the saucer, you can fit the food bowl and a few toys underneath it.

A 15cm wheel is a little less than 6 inches, so it's too small. Get the medium sized silent spinner or any equivalent wheel that's 6.5".

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Re: Correct wheel size

Post by scaredymouse on Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:47 am

I'm not sure if you mentioned what size your cage/tank is.... The minimum for mice is 6 inches (15.24 cm) but that is the bare minimum. Most mice appreciate/need larger.

I have my girls in a 20g tank and I provide them with an 8 in mesh wheel (20.32 cm) and a 7.25 inch flying saucer (18.41 cm).

For my mice that are in 10g tanks, I am able to fit an 8 in mesh wheel very comfortably. And if I use the a platform, I can fit the 7.25 in flying saucer but it's still a bit of a tight fit in my opinion. My mice seem to enjoy running on both of the wheels, although some people say that their mice never really get the hang of the flying saucer. That said, unless you are getting an 8 in mesh wheel which allows plenty of room to run without curling the tail.... then you should get the flying saucer because it promotes the most natural running surface for mice.

Here are some examples:
https://www.amazon.com/Prevue-Pet-Products-SPV90013-Hamster/dp/B00BUFYAXC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478439500&sr=8-1&keywords=mesh++wheel

https://www.amazon.com/Ware-Manufacturing-Flying-Saucer-Exercise/dp/B001AT62H0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1478439653&sr=8-2&keywords=flying+saucer+wheel

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