Our Gerbil Living & Play Habitat Pics
This is about Martin and Gonff, and where they live and play...
Martin and Gonff are brothers, and their only real differences are
that Gonff's a little thinner and that Martin's the dominant one.
(We lost track of who this picture is really of, so we made a mirror image of it
in order to get this effect! The camera flash backlit the eyes, normally they're black.)
Update: We lost Martin to old age early in 2000.
On 05-02-2001 we lost Gonff to old age and what may have been a scent gland tumor.
They will both be missed.
Sometime soon we will adopt two new gerbils to take their places in our hearts.
When we do, we will post their pictures here.
This is the Living Habitat; a 20-gallon (US) tank with a hand-made birch plywood cover.
The cover incorporates a modified Hartz tube system and an external water bottle.
There's an aquarium fluorescent light fixture fixed behind the habitat to avoid over
heating the guys, and the brass fixture on the left contains a red bulb for night viewing.
This is the cover seen from the bottom.
You can see how the 1/4 inch hardware cloth protects the underside of the cover.
(If you look carefully, you can see the brass tabs that support the front cover sections.)
The cover with the left-hand section removed...
... and with the right-hand section removed.
The next two graphics show the (current) nesting area, with the back door
entrance through the flower pot, the swing that our guys never use, the Hartz tube
system and the ramp. The "tree" is actually a 5 inch in diameter, 7 inch high section
of oak trunk with a plastic top. The "tree" has three passages bored through it,
but only the top one is visible in the graphic. The guys use it for storing bedding...
This is the Play Habitat; a modified 10-gallon (US) tank with
one glass side replaced with the same wood used in the Living Habitat.
The lack of vents and the "drawbridge" keep 99% of the chinchilla dust inside the habitat.
(The "drawbridge" is closed only when the habitat is not in use,
or when we have to leave the room for a minute while the guys are in residence.)
These graphics show the dust bath side of the habitat from the inside,
and from the outside of the tank. You can also see the tube slide
and the "steps" that lead to the access holes in the top section, in the following graphics.
These graphics show the other side of the habitat; the playground-style "ball bin".
The ball bin is now filled to 2 to 3 inches deep with beads (5 to 7.5cm, this pic shows far
fewer, as we under-estimated how many it would take to originally fill the bin.)
The following graphic shows the Play Habitat with the top section removed
(my favorite pic, looks neat from this angle)...
... and this shows the two bin lids removed, which allows easy access
for recovery, rescue or cleaning. The lids can also be removed
through the front of the habitat without removing the top section.
This is the inside of the top section.
You can see the shoulder that leads into the tube slide, in the front left corner.
The access holes to the lower levels are in the left and right rear corners.
This is the inside of the top section since we modified it to
encourage the guys to use the tube slide. You can see the new
divider and the 3 holes that we made in it in order to create a sort of
cul-de-sac at the tube slide entrance.
(The cover of the Living Habitat and the outside of the Play Habitat were
hand-rubbed with linseed oil, and the inside wood surfaces were left unfinished.)
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