Ideas for tank enrichment

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Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by inkeduptara on Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:01 pm

So I have a glass aquarium, I have a tv house and a wood house for them and a wheel. I have a tank topper coming that I will modify with 1/4 inch wire around it to prevent escape and I will put a fleece hammock in the opening they could fall back down in to tank. Making sure it is all safe. The topper also has an additional wheel for them to use. I will be adding a fleece corner hammock and some braided fleece ropes for them to climb on.

What are some other enviroment enriching activites to put in there. What other toys? I have one of the wood tumblers, can they have boiled and baked apple twigs like my chins have? Are there other things to occupy them I can add? I know the TP rolls and I seen a huge thread on making popcicle house, which I will be doing too. I just want to make sure I give them ample things to be happy and healthy. Additionally would you say 4 is too many for a 10 gal?

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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by snukb on Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:23 am

I got some "branchy" pear wood and dogwood branches from Etsy to use as "climbing toys" for my mice. Apple wood is also fine, as far as I know, as long as it's pesticide and chemical free. You can find a lot of fun, safe wooden toys on Etsy.

Here is a list of wood that is safe for gerbils. I wasn't able to find one specifically for pet mice:
http://www.egerbil.com/safe_woods_for_gerbils

Sometimes I hang millet from the wire top and they love to climb on it and it keeps them occupied for days. Every so often I add a handful of timothy hay or orchard grass and they immediately get to work adding it to their nest. Shredded paper is another popular nesting material. The boxes for the macaroni I eat (Annie's) is recycled and printed with vegetable ink, so sometimes I rip off the glue flaps and give my mice the boxes to play in. PVC pipes are also fun toys, and a little more permanent than TP tubes. Terra cotta flower pots make great little mouse hidey homes, as do coconut halves. I find a lot of fun mouse toys in the bird section of the pet store. Wooden or rope ladders meant for birds are very popular with my climbers.
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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by kawmice on Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:22 am

I LOVE all the ideas snukb mentioned. I have used them all at one point. lol I am also a big fan of the bird toys. I also like to save boxes from food items and use them in the cages as well as TP rolls and such. I also use hay - I put a nice handful in the cages one - twice a week for the mice and they love to play with it. Makes a great snack as well.

I also have apple wood chews for them.
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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by Mrs. Beach on Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:58 pm

Believe it or not, small crumpled-up, crinkly paper bags, and cardboard boxes! They seem to be the biggest hits, and endlessly available and free! Poke some holes in the paper bags, and cut some small holes in the boxes, and watch the fun!
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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by doganddisc on Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:00 pm

I made robes of fleece with square knots and hung them from the top of the cage. The mice LOVE climbing around on those.
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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by thistlebrook on Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:54 pm

inkeduptara wrote:Additionally would you say 4 is too many for a 10 gal?

In my opinion no, but I personally would only probably keep 3 in one.

As far as enrichment items, I use hay in conjunction with toilet paper rolls, flying saucer wheels, and millet. Happy
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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by inkeduptara on Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:26 pm

Thank you everyone. Wow, lots of ideas! I am getting a bigger tank that is for sure. If I have 5 mice, what size would you wonderful Miceketeers recommend? a 20 gal sound ok? i was also toying around with the idea of modifying a rubbermade tote, like I have seen done, so i can have more open sides, and an open top for them. It looks easier to clean. Would you be able to recommend a size for that idea for 5/6 mice?

Sorry for the questions, just want to make sure I am doing it right for the sweet ladies I have.

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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by thistlebrook on Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:21 pm

A 20 gallon should be fine for 5 mice, but I do recommend using a converted bin. Although you can't see the whole thing this bin could comfortably hold 5 mice, probably 6 (it's 28 quarts):

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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by inkeduptara on Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:47 pm

thistlebrook wrote:A 20 gallon should be fine for 5 mice, but I do recommend using a converted bin. Although you can't see the whole thing this bin could comfortably hold 5 mice, probably 6 (it's 28 quarts):


Are you using the 1/4 inch wire? Was it hard to attach? What do you recommend to attach it?

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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by thistlebrook on Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:11 pm

Not exactly too sure on the spacing, sorry. Embarassed I used a soldering iron to cut the plastic out (because scissors will crack the plastic) and made two holes next to each other at regular intervals near the edge of the window, then attached the wire using zip ties. It was easy, but the soldering was a pain because it was very slow-going/tedious.
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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by inkeduptara on Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:07 pm

What bedding are you using? I have seen so many different conflicting things. I would like to get whats best for them. Pam made me fleece liners to put in the cage, we use them with chins. I will be trying that next, with a tissue box with bedding for them to sleep but I would like honest feedback on what you ladies prefer?

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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by kawmice on Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:13 pm

I also prefer the tubs. Lol
And since I am allergic to aspen I use soft sorbant by kaytee. I also like total comfort by kaytee. It is Jusy about the same as carefresh but cheaper.
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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by inkeduptara on Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:33 pm

I currently have carefresh and softsorbent. Do you freeze yours? I read it is best to freeze to avoid mites, but again, being used for chins I had never heard that before.

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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by kawmice on Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:26 am

It is best to freeze it. Unfortunately I have a small freezer and can't. I do use other methods of mite prevention though. I use revolution every three months and use bird mite spray on the cages and bedding as a preventitve. I do freeze my bedding when can but I usually can't fit the bag in my freezer. A deep freezer is not an option for me unfirtunately.
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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by snukb on Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:08 am

I thought you only had to freeze wood chips. I don't understand why there would be mites in paper bedding. It's so deeply processed that I can't imagine any mites would survive.

That said, I really like paper crumbles, I find them to be a lot more absorbent than Carefresh and I never have an odor problem (though my mice are all female). The mice really seem to love to burrow and nest in Carefresh though.

If you don't have a freezer big enough for the bag, could you get dry ice from your local supermarket and a big styrofoam bin? You'd have to buy new dry ice every time you bought a new bag of bedding but that would definitely do the trick.
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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by kawmice on Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:12 am

Think about it this way-

The pet store gets a shipment of bedding in. There happens to be mites in the bags of pine chips. Eventually those mites will travel to the bag of paper beding wether in transit to the store or while on the shelf. I once got mites this way myself. It was bad.
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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by onceuponamousery on Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:01 am

diatomaceous earth is much safer, I had a issue with mites and ever since I used it never had any again, I sprinkle it in their tanks when I clean and put their bedding on top, works great and is even safe if they eat it, its a natural pesticide

Red Lake Earth® Diatomaceous Earth with Calcium Bentonite, 20 lb.

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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by inkeduptara on Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:58 am

Thank you, Regina! I will look in to that!

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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by kawmice on Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:41 am

Hmmmm. I have to check that out as well. Thanks!
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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by inkeduptara on Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:43 am

I have a fair amount of freezer space so I did freeze before hand, but I will be looking up the earth to purchase (sounds weird) lol

i also built them popsicle stick bridge and ladders last night!

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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by onceuponamousery on Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:03 pm

It works for other pets as well, I know dog breeders who use it as a heartworm preventative too. It kills fleas, ants, spiders etc Happy

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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by onceuponamousery on Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:07 pm

[quote="snukb"]I got some "branchy" pear wood and dogwood branches from Etsy to use as "climbing toys" for my mice. Apple wood is also fine, as far as I know, as long as it's pesticide and chemical free. You can find a lot of fun, safe wooden toys on Etsy.


Hi,
I was looking for the branches you mentioned on Etsy with out any luck, do you know where or what to type to find them on there? I have been wanting to find them safe branches for a long time!
Thank you!
Happy

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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by Rhasputin on Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:29 pm

Try posting on craigslist looking for apple branches, or bradford pear branches. Someone is bound to have some you can pick up for free. Mimosa branches are also safe to use.
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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by onceuponamousery on Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:12 pm

Rhasputin wrote:Try posting on craigslist looking for apple branches, or bradford pear branches. Someone is bound to have some you can pick up for free. Mimosa branches are also safe to use.

Thank you! Jay and I were saying we will have to get a book on trees to learn their names lol Happy

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Re: Ideas for tank enrichment

Post by inkeduptara on Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:37 pm

http://www.keepyourchinupwood.com/


She has prepared apple and other woods. She sells to anyone, for the most part. Not sure if she ships international. She cuts, scrubs, boils and bakes the wood to ensure it is clean and bug free. I get my apple wood from her for the chinchillas.

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