Before you bring your new gerbils home, you should prepare their tank. Remember that your gerbils will have a stressful day. They'll likely leave littermates behind. They're leaving what is possibly the only home they've known to move in with you. When you adopt your new gerbils, their entire world will change.
One of the ways you can make the move easier for your new pets is to have their tank set up and ready for them before you bring them home.
- a glass tank (at least 5 gallons per gerbil)
- bedding (see our bedding tip)
- a water bottle (see our water bottle tips)
- gerbil food (see our gerbil food tips)
- a mesh wheel (like the one pictured above) or a covered, gerbil-safe wheel
- cardboard tubes (see our toilet paper tube tip)
- a secure wire mesh lid and lid clamps (you can find these in the reptile section of the pet store)
Make sure you have the items listed to the left before you adopt your gerbils. Fill the tank with a few inches of bedding. Gerbils love to dig! Fill the water bottle and hang it in the tank. Leave at least a couple of inches between the nozzle and the bedding. Gerbils will pile bedding, and you don't want the bedding end up against the end of the water bottle.
You may choose to place the gerbil food directly on the floor of the tank or in a small, ceramic dish. (Make sure it's ceramic. Don't use a plastic dish. The gerbils will chew it up.) The reason you may choose not to use a dish is that your gerbils will always bury their food. It's an instinct to hide the food, so even if you use a food dish, the food will end up buried in the tank. Make sure the food is away from the water bottle so that when the gerbils bury their food, they don't also bury the end of the water bottle.
Place the exercise wheel in the tank, and add a few cardboard tubes to the tank. You may also want to place about 10-15 sheets of plain white, unscented toilet paper in the tank. Your gerbils will shred the cardboard and the toilet paper sheets to make a soft, fluffy nest.
Finally, make sure the lid you bought fits and that the clamps hold the lid in place securely. Gerbils can jump and climb. If you don't have a secure lid, eventually, they will find a way out.
Now your gerbils' new home is ready! Now you just need to prepare a travel carrier so that you can bring them home safely and comfortably. We prefer to use a critter keeper, a small plastic carrier with a handle. You can find critter keepers at your local pet shop. Fill the critter keeper with at least an inch of bedding. Place some food in the center of the carrier, and drop in one or two toilet paper tubes. This will give your gerbils something to do during the ride home.
You're ready to adopt your gerbils! Take the critter keeper with you and welcome the newest members of your family into your home!