10 gal or 20 gal?

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10 gal or 20 gal?

Post by GabbiLuvsMice on Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:06 pm

I am planning on getting two females in about two months. I am asking for everyones opinion. Should I purchase a 10 gallon fish tank or 20 gal to house my two females? I looked at the cage calculator and it said 10 gal can house about 3 mice, and 20 gal can house about 6 mice. So should I pay about 32$ US for the 20 gal or about 15$ for the 10 gal and spend other money on toys and other items. I know the bigger the better, but will 10 be enough to hold the amount of items needed for 2 mice? The measurements are about 20" in length and 10" in width.
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Re: 10 gal or 20 gal?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:36 pm

Go for a 10gal. But in my opinion, you should get a minimum of three girls, not two. Two girls is an incomplete colony. Because not all the positions in the colony are filled, this can cause a lot of trouble getting along between the two girls. Also, if one of your mice passes away, the other one will be left completely alone, which is dangerous to the health of the remaining, lone female. A 10 gallon would be perfect for a three doe colony.

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Re: 10 gal or 20 gal?

Post by CallaLily on Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:36 pm

A 10 gallon is a great size to start out with for up to 3 females. It makes taming them and getting to know them easier, and it's easier to monitor them during their quarantine period in that space imo. Once they're tame and you know their personalities you can consider moving them into a larger space. But even then buying the 10 isn't a waste. It's a great quarantine/hospital tank, so it never hurts to have one on hand. But if it turns out moving up is not for your mice, 3 females can live quite happily in that space for their whole lives. It really comes down to your preference and more importantly - you're mice.

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Re: 10 gal or 20 gal?

Post by MouseLover on Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:31 pm

Do you think you'll stay at just 2 mice, or do you think you'll end up getting more in the future? Cause if you think you'd like a bigger group of girls in the future, maybe it might be worth getting the 20? If not the 10 would be fine. Either would do really Smile

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Re: 10 gal or 20 gal?

Post by GabbiLuvsMice on Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:50 pm

Thanks to everyone for the advice! I asked my grandma and she approved! We plan to buy from a breeder in Chaska, MN, he sells 2 for 5$ should I be worried about how cheap they are? My grandma is planning on visiting before we decide but its the only breeder that we could find within a reasonable distance from minneapolis or the town where she lives. My only concern is that this is our first time owning mice, (she has had a hamster before, which didn't go down well) (aka sadly mother cannibalized her litter that was accidentally bred) so I'm a bit worried that 3 will be hard to handle? My grandma is capable of caring for them, but is it harder?
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Re: 10 gal or 20 gal?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:54 pm

Three mice is no harder than two. With a breeder, all you have to do is be careful you aren't buying from an irresponsible or backyard breeder. I highly doubt a good, reputable breeder would ever sell does in less than groups of threes, so tread carefully.

Here's a good article on questions to ask a mouse breeder, in order to determine if you're dealing with a reputable one or a BYB. I assume you've been exchanging information with him via email. Any reputable breeder would be happy to answer these questions for you.

http://petmousefanciers.forumotion.com/t55-top-ten-questions-to-ask-your-mouse-breeder

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Re: 10 gal or 20 gal?

Post by MouseLover on Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:12 pm

Mice are pretty easy to care for, and as CinnamonPearl says, 3 should be no harder than 2.

Visiting the breeder before you buy the mice is a great idea, as you should be able to see relatives of your (future) mice which will help you assess their health, temperament etc., and you'll be able to see if the mice are kept in clean conditions and are well cared for.

Hopefully you and your Grandma approve and you can get your mice soon. Be sure to post pictures if you get some Ear wiggle

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Re: 10 gal or 20 gal?

Post by cloverfieldmouse on Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:39 pm

I don't really have an anything to add to the question and answers, but I did just want to put out there that Petco is having a sale where their aquariums (without lids) are $1 per gallon; making the ten gallon $10, but you'll have to buy or make a suitable lid for it.
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Re: 10 gal or 20 gal?

Post by scaredymouse on Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:45 pm

A 10 gallon aquarium is perfect for up to three mice. And yes, three isn't any more difficult than two. However, you need to consider the potential expense of additional vet care if they get sick.

Generally, bigger is better. But for mice, that isn't always the case. Untamed mice, with too much space, tend to be really flighty and jumpy. For this reason, they do really well is a smaller tank, where they feel safe and cozy. That being said, once you have tame mice... you can house them in larger tanks without any problems.

When my mice were new, I put them in a 20g and sure enough, in a matter of weeks they were wild! I put them back in the 10g and spent more time taming them. Now they are back in the 20g (mostly because I like to decorate) and they are as sweet as can be.

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Re: 10 gal or 20 gal?

Post by Norman's Mom on Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:56 am

So - I had a question for the OP - I keep seeing you type "2 mice", is there a reason for this, and do you mean females?

The things is - Three females are the ideal starter colony - all the way around. For a couple reasons - and all of them impact health.
1.) Females are colony- minded, meaning they establish hierarchies and roles within that hierarchy. A colony of two is unbalanced - you will be missing a peacekeeper. Colonies like this develop unhealthy attachments to each other, and more often then not, one becomes an extreme bully - pushing the other around, plucking her bare, or even hurting her. A third mouse - the Peacekeeper keeps a colony balanced, and seriously helps reduce the risks of a over-co-dependent/bullying situation greatly.
2.) Females get attached to each other - like very close sisters. If you only have two, and one passes away - that leaves the lone girl left behind bereft and alone - and that can kill them. Mice, can very easily, die of loneliness and a broken heart. Having three, should one pass, leaves two to mourn and lean on each other in their grief and loss, while you go about QTing a new tankmate.
3.) If you get females - you absolutely need to consider the long term - having girls is a commitment because as their lifespans wan, you need to replace colony members to keep their spirits up - this can turn into years of owning mice. If you are OK with that - then girls are a great idea!

3 girls do happily live in a 10 gallon.

These are the largest reasons to consider getting three girls, and not two.

Now - Should you get a boy - that's it. One boy to one ten-gallon. Boys cannot live together, and that is also something to consider, because that means as his only friend, he will need a lot more attention everyday from his person then girls do.


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Re: 10 gal or 20 gal?

Post by GabbiLuvsMice on Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:56 am

To: Everyone so far, we are going to get 3 females, I was just wondering if I could comfortably fit 3 wheels, 3 food bowls, and more than 3 hidey huts, not to mention all of their toys?
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Re: 10 gal or 20 gal?

Post by MouseLover on Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:00 am

Girls (generally speaking) are happy to share. You'll only need one food bowl, and they'll sleep together in the same house. One wheel is fine too Smile

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Re: 10 gal or 20 gal?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:23 am

For three girls, you only need one of each. That way you have more room for other toys and MESs!

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Re: 10 gal or 20 gal?

Post by GabbiLuvsMice on Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:25 am

Im getting 2 separate opinions here Confused I thought mice could get territorial over food and hog the space, leaving the others with no food, and if we only had one wheel, couldn't they get hurt running? Could three mice fit on one large saucer? Not to mention, could I even fit a large saucer in my tank? (20" by 13")
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Re: 10 gal or 20 gal?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:40 am

I don't think anyone here said girls will fight over food, unless you heard that from another source. Unless you have a real bully in the tank, that's vastly unlikely to happen. If you're referring to boys with that territoriality, it's not just food they'll fight over. They'll main and kill each other. You don't need a large saucer. Medium sized wheels are fine. If you're worried about one of your girls falling off a wheel if they try to run together, just get a mesh wheel.

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