Gerbilarium clean out and plans

So, I found that dollhouse on the trash pickup curb and took it in to make something of it but in doing that saved this background and used it as wallpaper for the gerbils topper. LOL. I think it’s cute! Originally the function was only temporary to keep their mess within the topper and not over the side onto the floor in the back.

I haven’t bought a rotary tool yet or attained acrylic glass sheets which I plan to soon to make a barrier on the lower half of all sides of the topper to keep it tidier.


Now I kinda love it.
Also I added back the hanging hay holder. Make them work for their hay for while. Love these darlings.



Then later today I decided to try a homemade hammock out of jeans. I figured it would be harder for them to chew up if they decide to and if its a success I can have a jean hammock sewn well and sturdier.

And I added their suspension ladder bridge from Bobby’s Bunny Boutique placed in. I can’t wait to see them climb around on these. Right at this time they were snoozing when I put it in.



Get this suspension ladder bridge from Bobby’s Bunny Boutique!

I get asked this often so I will take this opportunity to answer as I just did this big clean!

How long does it take to clean their gerbilarium?

The larger the space and deeper the substrate and whether you supply a litter pan/box/pot for your critter to do all their business in – the less cleaning is required.

My gerbils go wee and poo in aragonite sand that I keep in a high sided metal pot. I change this sand out every couple days.

They also sometimes use the cardboard squares I place in there for them to chew. So when I see they have I replace the cardboard. This is spot cleaning. Something that should be done daily or semi daily.

Monthly I do a full clean.

Gerbils do not wee much. They are desert rodents and drink little and wee little. They are also very clean animals. So they do not have much of a smell (I have a sensitive nose and notice only a smell in their litter pot). Mine go mostly in their pot. When I scoop out their substrate I never notice poops. I am not saying there isn’t poops in the main substrate but for a month and two gerbils the fact I haven’t seen any is telling that they go mostly in their pot and that is changed semi daily.

With a full clean monthly I remove most everything from the topper. I sweep with a little hand broom the cardboard and tissue they shred up there and nest with inside their summer home in the topper. In the winter they sleep “downstairs” in their burrows. But I have noticed that when it is warmer they nest in a wood house “upstairs” to keep cooler. This is why I am an advocate of the big tank and topper extension for a gerbil set up.

I place my gerbils in a box to play in with tubes to chew and hide in while I begin to clean.

I vacuum the topper out with the hose attachments and remove it and then wipe it down with a cage cleaner chemical safe for animals. then go over that with a warm wet cloth to wipe the residue of the cleaner away. then dry it with paper towels.

Then I remove the driftwood and platform out of tank and begin to scoop out most of the substrate and then vacuum out the remaining bit. I use a cleaner to wipe out all the residue left in the tank and repeat same process as the topper.

I wipe all around the outside of the tank too.

I replace their driftwood and platform and add a semi deep layer of substrate (shredded aspen by Native Earth) and hay so they can shred and thicken their burrows. In the hotter months I put less substrate. In the winter I put at least 8 inches of substrate.

On goes the topper and I replace all their items in there. Add more cardboard and toilet paper rolls and treats in there before putting them back. Then I hand feed them their most favorite treat so they have a positive experience after all the upheaval.

Then I vacuum my floor all around the area.

All this process from start to finish including vacuuming the floor I have found takes an hour at least.

But this is only monthly. Therefore really not bad at all.

The semi daily spot cleaning as well changing out water in their bottles takes 5 minutes I think.


6 thoughts on “Gerbilarium clean out and plans

  1. I hope the blue jeans work out for the gerbils.

    How are gerbils with Lixit Critter Space Pod? Rats love them. They are like Lazy Boys for rats, and are quite durable at least for rats.

    In my experience an unhemmed blue jean hammock (which I’ve tried) is a request for serious remodeling. You may want to try a sewn blue jean hammock even if they destroy the unhemmed hammock. My hammock testers are much less destructive of a hemmed and quilted hammock than anything with loose threads.

    Makes me wonder what would make a good material for a gerbil hammock. Kevlar? LOL

    How destructive are they with just plain fleece? (fleece lacks loose threads)

    • Oh goodness the hammock was a pile of confetti this morning!!!!! LOL. That was an absolute failure! Kevlar is RIGHT!!!!! I avoid any plastic with these guys but mostly it’s Lennon who is the gnaw master. Mercury (the black one) is too busy plotting escape. He is the one that always figures everything out while his agouti brother is hell bent on destruction. One day I want to make a children’s book about them!

      At this point I’d hate to risk a hemmed hammock with Lennon as it would be sad to see something destroyed like that that took any effor to create!!!!

      • I can just imagine the intro story for Mercury & Lennon. Mercury is snoozing in his lovely blue jean hammock. Mercury is dreaming of a beach vacation, ie hanging out with a glass of orange juice with umbrella stuck in the glass, lying on blue and white striped canvas beach chair next to the bathroom sink filled with water. When suddenly, KABOOM. Mercury wakes up and finds himself inside a ball of blue jean confetti. And, Lennon is looking on with a huge grin and strips of blue jean fabric in his mouth,


        I’ve actually watched my rats chew themselves out of a hammock. They usually don’t do this, but it is a bit hilarious when suddenly the hammock falls down and the rat has this horribly perplexed look on his face. For rats, it seems that they learn from falling out of their hammocks and they subsequently tend to leave them alone.

  2. A thing of beauty! Giving me lots of ideas, as per usual! Sad to hear the hammock didn’t last long. Although sounds like they had fun!

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