Moving from 10gal to 75

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Moving from 10gal to 75

Post by MimzytheBun on Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:05 pm

Hi guys!

Well Lola has yet to give birth, or turn all "golf-ball"y, so I'm leaning pretty far towards the not-pregnant camp. I've still got a little bit of hope (I have to say, reading hours and hours of information on baby mice made me pretty excited) in that she hasn't been with me a full 20 days yet, but I'd be pretty surprised at this point.

I've been looking around for a larger house as Lola is currently alone in a 10 gallon aquarium tank. After searching around kijiji and sales groups, I found a 75gal tank being sold for only 50$ as it has a pinhole leak. I hadn't expected to go so big, but I know a bargain when I see one so I scooped it up. Just picked it up today and boy is it huge.

So my main point of the post here is asking what you all think I should do/how should I approach moving her to such a larger tank. I'm waiting till the 20 day mark, and then going to pick her up some company. How many female mice would be appropriate in this size? I was originally only thinking three (including Lola), but I've heard that overly small groups in huge spaces tend to do poorly and fight. Does anyone here have experience with this? How many would you get?
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Re: Moving from 10gal to 75

Post by CanadianExport on Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:43 pm

I have not gone quite that big but I did move two girls from a 10 gallon to a bin that is about 450 to 500 square inches. They did squabble more that first but after about a week they started to really settle in and enjoy their space. I now have 4 females in that amount of space and I have noticed that the most important thing for them to be really comfortable is that they have lots of places to hide. I think it was back on TFM but someone said that mouse cages should look crowded because mice do not like lots of wide open spaces, I have found that to be true. One thing to consider is maybe bonding the mice in a smaller space before introducing them straight into the huge tank. Those are just my thoughts, I am not very experienced with this as these are first mice. I also have no idea how many mice would be good for that size. Hopefully one of the more experienced members can chime in and give you better tips.
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Re: Moving from 10gal to 75

Post by CallaLily on Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:10 pm

@CanadianExport wrote: One thing to consider is maybe bonding the mice in a smaller space before introducing them straight into the huge tank.

I second this. I know you'll have to quarantine any newbies for 3 weeks, but afterwards I'd still introduce them and let them bond in a smaller space before putting them all into one huge space.  This time can also be great to really get them tamed up even more than just those first few weeks in quarantine. (I've had mice that took months to get to what I would call tame.) Then maybe bump them up slowly. I went from a 15g to a 20g long to a 40g breeder slowly over time. Even if you don't have multiple sized tanks lying around, you could maybe partition off a smaller space in the 75g and then slowly open it up?

The Cage Calculator says up to 13 females in a 75g.  I don't think I'd personally ever do a group that size, even in a large enough space.

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Re: Moving from 10gal to 75

Post by MesaMouse on Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:31 pm

CallaLily makes an excellent point about sectioning off parts of the 75g and then gradually expanding their territory once they're comfortable with one another and their surroundings. If I'm remembering correctly, a 75g is 48"Lx18"Wx21"H? That will be wonderful for creating different levels, having multiple wheels, etc. -- it could end up quite a lot like that marvelous cage MouseLover posted a week or so ago! As far as the number of ladies you could house goes, regardless of the amount of space, colonies larger than 5-6 can easily get out of hand. I had 5 ladies in a 20L and, believe me, 5 was plenty!

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Re: Moving from 10gal to 75

Post by MimzytheBun on Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:08 am

@MesaMouse wrote: As far as the number of ladies you could house goes, regardless of the amount of space, colonies larger than 5-6 can easily get out of hand. I had 5 ladies in a 20L and, believe me, 5 was plenty!

Thanks for all of your opinions guys! I'm thinking the separation route will be the best, as long as I can find a mouse proof medium to make a wall.

I do have another question though, do you think I'll need some kind of topper on the tank? I have one on my 10gal now obviously but the new tank is about 20 inches of glass straight up. I'm not planning on building anything close to the top, so do you think it would be alright without one? I'm worried about ventilation in such a high walled tank, but luckily the desk where I'll be keeping it is right beneath a vent. I'm also not going to be keeping anything beside the tank on the outside, so I doubt any wild mice who may sneakily live in my foundation will be able to scale almost two feet of glass like spiderman. What do you guys think, would it be alright as is?
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Re: Moving from 10gal to 75

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:23 am

I wouldn't risk that. Mice are pretty good escape artists sometimes. A lid isn't too much, here's one on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Zilla-11435-Screen-48-Inch-18-Inch/dp/B000QFRMRS

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Re: Moving from 10gal to 75

Post by MesaMouse on Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:40 pm

@AnonymousMouseOwner wrote:I wouldn't risk that. Mice are pretty good escape artists sometimes. A lid isn't too much, here's one on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Zilla-11435-Screen-48-Inch-18-Inch/dp/B000QFRMRS

Ditto! Their vertical leap can astonish and mice have been known to scale up a tank by using the clear grouting in the corners! A screen lid will allow just as much air circulation as having no lid at all and will enable you to hang fun things for the meecers to climb on, pinatas for them to destroy, etc.

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Re: Moving from 10gal to 75

Post by MimzytheBun on Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:32 am

Well I've got the huge 75 gal tank set up. Its so big I couldn't really get it all in one picture! (And yes, she has some fish neighbours  Smile )

I'm planning on getting her a friend or two in the next week, so for now the bottom of the tank is just layers of paper towel and with lots and lots of tissues for her to rip apart. I didn't want to fill the whole tank with bedding, only to have to get rid of it all when the new mice start mixing in (after quarantine).

I was originally only going to put her in here for play time, which previous I had been using a similarly sized rubbermaid bin for. All of the wooden furniture is the same from her play bin so she didn't hesitate exploring at all. The longer I left her the happier she seemed to be, sparking and sprinting all over. Tonight is the first night she has had the big wheel and she seems incredibly happy to have one again - the pet store had her housed with a wire wheel, which she was spinning happily on when we picked her out; knowing the dangers of those I bought a saucer wheel but she never did get the hang of it.
Thank you for all of the suggestions to those who responded, I got a giant screen topper for the tank and have used it to hang a number of things. Lola loves these cardboard/fleece/wooden block stacks I made for her, climbing and nibbling at the boards. The little tent in the background is a jungle gym type thing which she enjoys using as a hurdle on her speed runs around the houses.

I was going to move her back to her ten gallon for the night, but as soon as I did she went nuts biting at the screen and chattering. I put her back in the big tank and she sparked around like a baby. So... I guess I'm going to leave her there. With the screen lid it is secure, all of her toys and hides are there, and I even strung an extra large hammock over the entrance to her nest box and favorite wooden house. I was thinking it would make her feel more private, but she is just a fan of the hammock in general.

She didn't act scared or nervous for even a moment since I've introduced her to the tank, so I don't think the extra space is upsetting her. Since she already spent a few hours a day in a similarly sized/smelling place, so I think the transition isn't causing her distress. I am going to carefully watch her the next few days though to see if she starts acting more nervous, in which case I'll downsize her overall space especially when she is sleeping. As it is though I'm pretty happy, because of how happy she seems. Plus, I do think the tank ended up looking pretty cute Wink
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Re: Moving from 10gal to 75

Post by Peachy on Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:38 am

That's awesome! I'm glad she's enjoying all the space. I bet decorating such a big tank is loads of fun! Applause

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Re: Moving from 10gal to 75

Post by MimzytheBun on Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:45 am

Its wonderful just to see how much more active she is! Not just on the wheel, but moving all over the tank, rearranging things - she has already pulled some of the fleece squares I filled the bottom of one house with over to her nest Laughing I have so much fun building the little houses with all the platforms, her tank will likely be full soon!

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Re: Moving from 10gal to 75

Post by CinnamonPearl on Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:22 am

Nice new tank! Can I ask why you don't use bedding though? It's pretty important for mice to have.

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Re: Moving from 10gal to 75

Post by CallaLily on Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:09 am

Looks like a great start to such a big tank! Glad to hear she's loving it!

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Re: Moving from 10gal to 75

Post by MimzytheBun on Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:58 pm

@CinnamonPearl wrote:Nice new tank! Can I ask why you don't use bedding though? It's pretty important for mice to have.

I'm going to be adding a few full inches of bedding soon, so the whole tank will be part dig pit. I just didn't want to put an entire package of bedding in only to have to throw it all away when I get the other mice, so for now I have piled bedding and tissues around the seams and anywhere she starts nibbling the paper towel.
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Re: Moving from 10gal to 75

Post by Artistwolf on Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:36 pm

Hold up—any new mice will have to be quarantined for like three weeks anyway before they can be added to the tank.

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Re: Moving from 10gal to 75

Post by CinnamonPearl on Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:44 pm

Yes, I'm with Artistwolf. Quarantine all mice before you introduce them to your group. I would just give your girls bedding now; three weeks without it is quite a lot.

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