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Discussion Starter #1
First I apologize for the length. I'm kinda excited and want to make sure I get this right. I barely got any sleep when I got home from work this morning because I couldn't stop planning what to do and trying to come up with names, etc...

I spent all last night here and at Darksong17's website clicking around on links (great information btw). I have in mind what I plan to get accomplished today but wanted to first put it in writing somewhere so I can make sure I don't forget anything but also run it by some seasoned rat owners to see if there are any glaring problems with what I have in mind.

The girls (two baby females - my husband didn't say how old but he said they are 'adult mouse size' now) will live in a 30wX12dX12h aquaruim with a latch top. Hopefully when they get bigger we will get them a larger cage but for now I hope this will be adequate.

Once the boys wake up from their nap we will get some Regal Rat (I called our local pet store and they not only carry it but they have a bag in the store) and probably Yesterday's News and a litter box and possibly a couple small toys or chewies. Until then I plan to make a fleece hammock and a fleece crawly tube and braid a rope out of the fleece scraps.

Here is what I have so far (yes, I plan to clean them as soon as I finish typing):

I read everywhere that the tissue box will be fun but is the opening too big? And I figured I would put the Gerber Graduates tub in there too but didn't know if it should be on it's side or if I should cut a hole in it and stand it up? Also I plan to use the white wire pantry shelf and secure a larger wooden platform and make a ramp and put these over the litter box for more play area.

I also have some shredded paper for bedding but didn't know if I could use some disposable diaper changing pads instead (they were free samples that I never used) since I have those laying around the house. Ideally I'd like to use fabric like most of you but until the girls get somewhat potty trained I thought I could save myself some frustration.

And finally, the small tank on top is what I thought I'd send with my husband to pick up the rats. It is 12X6X8, would that scare you if someone came to pick up baby rats in that? It's just for transport and also has a mesh latch top. I thought I would put a fleece scrap or shredded paper in there for bedding.
 

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Re: Thoughts for our set-up. Anyone see any glaring concern

I'd advise getting a wire cage ASAP for the rats. Aquariums are hazardous to the rat's respiratory system and require cleaning every day or so(and I mean scrubbing cleaning) so that ammonia doesn't build up and irritate their lungs.

Wood absorbs urine and will stink and be very nasty after awhile, I wouldn't suggest using it.


Other than that all your ideas sound great.
 

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Re: Thoughts for our set-up. Anyone see any glaring concern

Aquariams arent the best. As the ammoinia from there pee builds up with the lack of ventilation and can be harmfull to the ratties. Also they cant climb around (vital for healthy strong young babies) How big is the tank ? I CANNOT be smaller than 20gals. Its far to small.


Apart from that...The yesterdays news will be fine and as long as theres lots of toys. Hammocks and atleast one shelf they should be kept amused untill you can find a big cage.
 

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Re: Thoughts for our set-up. Anyone see any glaring concern

Thanks for the input! It's a 20gal long tank. With it being long it should have slightly more ventilation that a standard tank but I do understand it will still be an issue, that's why this is meant to be temporary. The tank will most likely get cleaned every day, I'm a little compulsive about smells, particularly bad ones. I try to give our poor dog bath weekly which I think really hurts his pride (it takes him a lot of effort to accumulate his dog stink and there I go ruining it :p ). Besides, I plan to have them out of the tank a couple times a day to run around.

I guss I could just cover the shelf with denim, I just wanted to make it wider somehow. The top surface is only 6X12 which seems a bit small. I looked around our garage for plexi glass but I can't find any.

Could the girls climb up a rope ladder? I could easily make one of those to attach to the shelf.
 

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Re: Thoughts for our set-up. Anyone see any glaring concern

As long as it is temporary it is ok.

Yes they could climb up a rope ladder. Mine have never taken to it personally but ive heard that most rats love it ((I have the gender confused splitpersonallity..hybrid..shizofrenic..Rare breed of rat.. lol))

As for the smell...they really dont smell that much..
 

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Re: Thoughts for our set-up. Anyone see any glaring concern

Also, is 6x12 big enough for a litter box or should I get something larger?
 

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Re: Thoughts for our set-up. Anyone see any glaring concern

BeanieBoo-Rattles said:
I have the gender confused splitpersonallity..hybrid..shizofrenic..Rare breed of rat.. lol))
:lol: I can't wait to see what kind of personalities our girls have. I understand girls are quite energetic which sounds like fun!

BeanieBoo-Rattles said:
As for the smell...they really dont smell that much..
Yay! That was my only concern about getting them. I'm not that bad, but my husband teaches fifth grade/science and said if I couldn't handle the smell he would take them to his classroom. Actually I think he plans to take them to school for about a month or two a year for animal science (I should add not for experiments, but more of a temporary class pet/this is what a rat looks like kind of thing).

Okay, so now I am officially spamming my own post, but are there objections to using hot glue inside the cage? I was planning to attach a section of a plastic 20oz bottle to the opening of their tunnel and am thinking either elastic (probably safer but not as sturdy) or hot glue (definitely easier). The bag doesn't say anything about toxicity but it's an old bag and who expected hot glue to be ingested back in the day?
 

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Re: Thoughts for our set-up. Anyone see any glaring concern

[begin flame]
Disregard the hot glue question. I figured it out myself. I can secure it without either. It was s stupid question anyway. Would I allow my son to eat a hot glue stick? Of course not. And rats are expected to chew on everything in their cage. I know. And it only took 10 minutes. Don't worry, I'm flaming myself so no one else has to.
[/flame]

[now for more needless spam]
Here's what a geek I am. I sew one object then run downstairs to get another piece of fabric and end up posting something here. Goofy n00bs.
[/spam]
 

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Re: Thoughts for our set-up. Anyone see any glaring concern

This is what it ended up looking like. I'm pretty happy with it for now. But we are having so much fun with the girls that we are considering getting a couple more. We'll wait a week or two before making any rash decisions, but either way we will need to get a more appropriate set up soon.




 

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Re: Thoughts for our set-up. Anyone see any glaring concern

that's a lovely nursery. i use tanks for nurseries too, when they are too small to fit in the cage, even the dog travel crate. but have to considered putting your's on its side so it get even better air flow? this is what i did for my 20gal.
in fact here's a picture of 2 that i had running years ago:





from what i could see from your pics i think if you laid your tank on its side you should still be able to secure it there with bungee cords like i did. the babes would also be able to climb at least one of their walls.
 

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Re: Thoughts for our set-up. Anyone see any glaring concern

ooh, i like the tank on it's side modification. a great alternative, because everyone knows that the perfect (and cheap) cage doesn't just fall from the sky when it's needed. :(
 
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