Aquariums convert into cool hamster cages by adding colourful hiding houses and fluffy bedding for digging and tunnelling fun. Add a few hamster necessities, including a water bottle, food and chew treats, and your furry friend will be living in style in his aquarium turned hamster cage. Viewing the critter is easy through the glass enclosure, changing his toys is simple with the wide-open top and adding fun clings to the exterior glass of the cage will make him the coolest hamster in town.
Clean the aquarium. Use a mild bleach and water solution to sanitise the aquarium. Add 120 ml (0.5 cup) of bleach to 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of warm water. After cleaning, rinse the enclosure with clear water until no bleach odour can be detected. Dry the aquarium. Make the aquarium cool by adding static-cling decals to the outside of the hamster cage. Use letter decals to spell the hamster's name, or decorate for a holiday with seasonal clings.
Set up the hamster cage. Cover the bottom of the aquarium with absorbent, small-animal bedding made from recycled wood pulp, pellets or wood shavings that do not contain aromatic oils. Fill the bottom of the cage with at least one inch of bedding so the hamster can tunnel and dig. Top the cage with a wire-mesh locking reptile cage lid. Allowing air flow will reduce the chances for condensation and allow necessary airflow to keep the hamster healthy.
Put hiding places in the cage. Use tubes, small houses or other small enclosures that allow the hamster privacy and a dark place to sleep during the day. Try colourful building-block-style-stacking hamster houses and decorated small-animal homes from pet retail stores. Shaped like race cars, cupcakes and wedges of cheese, there are endless varieties of cool hamster hiding houses available.
Add water to the hamster cage. Use a hook-and-loop fastener, such as Velcro, to attach a water bottle to the glass sides of the aquarium. Hang the water bottle from the wire-mesh aquarium lid as an alternative for a hamster that attempts to climb out using the water bottle as a ramp. Thread a small piece of wire (a bent paper clip will work) through the lid, attaching it to a water bottle designed to be hung by a premade hole at the top of the bottle.
Add food and treats to the aquarium. Place a small ceramic bowl on the bottom of the cage. Choose a central location in the cage. Placing a food bowl in the corner is not recommended, as hamsters prefer to use the corners as a toilet, sleeping place or storage area for treats and food they wish to keep for later. Fill the bowl with a hamster pellet-based food. Place a few wooden, mineral or other hard-chew treats around the cage to encourage chewing and even wearing of hamster teeth.
Glass aquariums used as hamster cages can be heavy and retain heat. Place the hamster cage on a sturdy piece of furniture away from sunny windows. Do not place it on children's flimsy plastic play furniture or on a sun porch.