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Questions about Cage Setup

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Post by raccoonobsessed Mon 11 Jul 2022, 8:16 pm

Hi everyone! Very Happy

I'm a soon-to-be mouse owner and I've been doing tons of research over the past week or so trying to figure out everything I'll need for a single male mouse I'm going to buy. I've already got most of the things I'll need in my cart on Amazon (not yet purchased because I want to buy it all at once), but there's a few questions I need answered first.

1. I am planning to buy a 20-gallon glass tank with a mesh lid to house my mouse. As far as I'm aware this size is adequate for a single mouse, but if I am wrong please tell me. My more important question is whether the mesh lid gives proper ventilation for the mouse. If anyone has experience with mesh lids and would like to tell me of your experiences, please do so.

2. What is the best way for mice to get water: a bowl or a bottle? I know the vast majority of mice drink from bottles with no problem, however I tend to overthink things way too much so the few bad reviews on Amazon (people saying that either the bottle was too leaky and made an absolute mess or that the little metal ball was too heavy and the mice couldn't get any water out) scare me a lot. Most bowls seem like a relatively good alternative (though not the igloo-looking ones, since there's no way I'd risk my mouse getting stuck inside like I've seen in pictures on the reviews), but I have heard that bowls tend to get dirty very fast and can cause healt issues for mice.

3. Are DIY toys okay for mice to play with/on? I am buying a pack of toys off of Amazon, though I would still like to make a few toys and levels with cardboard, popsicle sticks, and paper towel rolls if I can. I will absolutely only be using Elmer's glue, since I know that hot glue is toxic to mice (which is why all the YouTube videos of people making hamster toys with lots of hot glue scare me). However, I did see one video that said to be very careful of popsicle sticks, since even the slightest gaps can be dangerous if the mouse gets its foot stuck in between. Should I shy away from popsicle sticks and just stick to cardboard and paper towel rolls, or will I be fine as long as I'm careful to line up all the edges and avoid any gaps in the sticks?

I'd really appreciate any responses since I'm super worried about making my very first mouse as happy as possible. I've decided I also might as well put a list of everything I'm buying off Amazon below, in case anyone wants to look through it and tell me if anything on my list looks concerning. I really don't mind if you don't, though. I'm just mainly concerned about having my questions answered.

Thank you for reading! Love

Excersice Saucer:
Water Bottle:
Food Bowl:
Cage Cleaner:
(This isn't listed above since I have it at home, but I'll be using mouse-safe fruits as treats for training)

Last edited by raccoonobsessed on Tue 12 Jul 2022, 5:03 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : *Edited: I changed my first question since I found a better tank on sale.)
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Post by Malcolm Thu 28 Jul 2022, 9:57 am

Only one toy is required which is a running wheel. With the money you save not buying other stuff you can get several different types of wheel and see which one your beast prefers. Or saucers and wheels. Around 5 or six inches or more in diameter. The quality of the wheel's bearing is most important, the wheels must spin nicely. The saucer should have a ball bearing if possible. The wheels with either ball bearings or made from the thinner wire for the bearing shaft- around 1/16 inch diameter- spin better than the large diameter shaft. Solid plastic things will puddle the peach sometimes, never mind having rings of #2 spun around.

The favorite cages of our mice was the top of empty boxes which also had a low roof. I cut one side off the box, put it on a small crate, and both went on top of a larger table. The box footprint must be bigger than the crate under it, so nowhere for the mouse can reach . Low being 8-12 inches above the bottom for the roof height. The lowest height a mouse will not jump is around 12" or so, so staying 2 feet higher than anything the mouse can jump on will stop him escaping.

Our mouses mostly preferred to sleep on top of the box out in the open but in one of his houses and the rarely spent much time in the aquarium tanks, a 20 and 40 gallon were part of their housing all at the same time.
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Post by m00n Tue 30 Aug 2022, 8:56 am

Sorry that my reply is late and you've probably figured stuff out by now lol.
It is very exciting that you are going to get mice! I hope we get to see photos <3
1. 20gallons seems to be the recommended size for a single mouse so I think this should be fine! And a mesh lid should provide enough ventilation, there aren't that many other lid options anyway haha

2. I personally have both available! That way, if there's an issue with one, they can use the other. Bottles do run the risk of getting stuck or leaking, so I think it is best to look at reviews for which bottle you want and to check on it when you replace the water. Mice tend to put their bedding in water bowls, the best way to avoid this is to keep them on something solid away from the bedding, and also to take any bedding out. The water in bowls should be kept shallow to avoid drowning (I've not had this happen but it seems to be common advice). Fresh water should be given daily which is the perfect time to check these things!

3. DIY toys are a fantastic way of keeping your mice entertained! There are lots of tutorials you can find online. Hot glue should be safe actually! and is much easier to use than Elmer's glue. You should make sure that any glue you use states that it is non-toxic and/or children-safe. I have heard the thing about toes getting stuck in popsicle sticks before but haven't heard it actually happening to anyone. I think if you take the extra care to make sure there are no gaps (really easy to fill in with a hot glue gun) then you should be perfectly fine!

Extra: I would recommend using a wood-based bedding instead of a paper-based bedding. Wood-based such as aspen, hemp, or kiln-dried pine, are much better at absorbing wee and controlling ammonia. Since mice are prone to respiratory issues it is important to keep ammonia levels down. They also hold burrows well! You can still use the carefresh, I do too, but I use it in a ratio of 1:3 carefresh to hemp.

Good luck with your mouse! <3


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Post by cerial Tue 30 Aug 2022, 10:12 pm

I have several male/female deer mice mixed in with my fancy mice in a huge 300 + gallon multi tank setup with around 10 feet of floor space.

Most of the males(all one family)  get along. They have the occasional tumble. But it never draw blood. Although they will team up and kill any outside male.

The only mouse that has a issue is Grey. I called him Grey because he had grey hair even from a young age.

This is Grey several months ago.

I thought he would get in fights every now and then. But I seperated him after the above video and quickly realized he was simply scared of other mice and even scared of noises. Females males even fancy mice he freaks out.

I had him in a 10 gallon sitting on top of one of the tanks so he could still see the other mice. But the sounds of the other mice would scare him. He was still scared of me.

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So last month I moved him into the room and he sits right behind my bed in this 10 gallon. The purple wheel is his security blanket. Anytime he is scared he runs into that wheel. I clean his and the other mice tanks every 2 weeks. Grey stays in the purple thing and I move him into a 5 gallon then manage to get him out of it before quickly cleaning it.
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The 10 gallon has 2 wheels, sticks for him to chew and climb, a few pieces of bark making 1/2 tunels for him to hide under.

After a month Grey less stressed, healthier, and much more comftable around me.
My other mice get totally diffrent stuff every 2 weeks. New boxes, new bedding, new sticks, and usually a new thing. They love it and spend the first day popcorning and exploring.
Grey does not like change so I keep his wheels in the same spot and limit new things to places for him to hide or tear up.

The other mice like moving the bedding around and making places to hide treats. They will actually move several feet of bedding and I found they move 1" shreaded paper easily.  It would cost me around $80 every two weeks to use carefresh due to the tank size. I go to thrift shop and pick up junk things like "Microwave Cooking" books for around $5. Then I shread those 4-5000 pages, tumble them, wet the bedding down with a 1 part ivermectin to 5 parts water ratio spray, them tumble it more before adding adding all the cleaned and new stuff.

Perferably you would apply ivermectin topically. But you cant really can't handle deermice without the risk of them jumping off your hand. So applying it to the bedding works to get it on the mice and lessen dust.

The paper bedding actually does a great job of preventing smell and is very easy to clean the tank as I lay it down 3-6" thick(it settles). I give them new cardboard boxes arranged diffrently every 2 weeks and it is these boxes that get the most smell. The amount of food thrown around after 2 weeks is more they have eaten and around 12 days I will get a bed of food around the food dish that they have pee'd on etc which is another reason to do the tank every 2 weeks.
Here is my big tank made of 4 tanks
Sleeping area with a few wheels
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Play area with lots of sticks, dig box, more wheels, and lots of area to run
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Common feeding/water tank with some more sleeping.
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Tanks getting cleaned this weekend.

A single mouse will be very happy in a 20 gallon. Make sure he has things to climb on, chew on, and just stay busy with when your not there.

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Post by animalgirl555 Mon 17 Oct 2022, 10:07 pm

Whoever's tank that is in the pictures, I would recommend adding more bedding so that your mice can make burrows. Smile

Put at least 6 inches of bedding at the bottom Smile Smile
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