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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My boyfriend and I decided one day that we would like to have a hedgehog as a pet, because they are so cute! But we didn't want to go out and buy one without learning about their care and what things we would need to have for them. We want our home to be completely ready for our hedgie before we get him/her!

Anyways, we have been reading up on them for the last week or so (I have been on here pretty much daily! :) ) And the biggest thing we have been talking about is the type of housing for hedgies. We don't really want to use C&C cages or the plastic bins, but still want our hedgie to have plenty of room. We like the idea of an aquarium because it could be up off of the floor and harder for our cat to mess with, and could be more "built in".

We found that a 40 gallon tank will give about 4.5 square feet of room, but have read that aquariums have poor ventilation. My boyfriend is pretty handy with things and has come up with an idea to modify the tank to hopefully cure or at least help this problem.

His idea is to take the bottom out of the tank and replace it with a very fine wire mesh and then create a way to mount a CHE underneath the mesh, or get a very small space heater and create a duct that would pull the heated air up and through the mesh/cage liners and top of the tank. He also had the idea of using small computer fans attached to the top of the cage to help pull air through.

My question's are do you think that this would work? One concern is our hedgie getting his/her feet/nails caught in the mesh. (But this is why we would try to find a very fine mesh, like this.)

But my main concern is the hedgie getting burned or the liner melting if the wire mesh gets too warm. To avoid this would it be better to have the CHE mounted above the aquarium?

Sorry if I wrote a lot, but we are excited about getting a hedgie, and are willing to spend a few months getting everything perfect before we get one.

Thanks!
Dawnn
 

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I would be worried about the mesh. Their nails could still get caught in that. Also is the aquarium wide enough to fit a wheel? And it might be difficult to clean the aquarium because they're so heavy.
Sorry I don't know what to say about your ventilation system. But I would look into other cage options first.
 

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First off, good for you for doing your research and for finding HHC! Everyone here is really very helpful.

Even though I see where you're going with this (heat rises and ventilation and all that), from what I know, mounting a CHE on the bottom of the cage is very dangerous. They get REALLY hot and the last thing you want to do is burn little hedgie feet. There was a member on here just the other day who discovered a burn/melt in her fleece because of a CHE. So I wouldn't risk it. Even if it's slightly less efficient to mount it on the top, it's safer in the long run. :) Also, I think using fans can cause temperature fluctuations, which you don't want. A stable temperature is best.

If you're concerned about aesthetics, have you considered a cage like this? http://www.amazon.com/Midwest-141-Ferre ... B000F4UNCG I think they're pretty clean looking, as far as cages go, and have a lot of space. It's not cheap, but I'm sure the price would be comparable to doing it yourself once you factor in materials, time, gas money, etc. If I were doing it all over again I'd definitely go with one of those cages.

Hopefully this helps! Again, welcome to HHC!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick responses! We had looked at our local Petsmart and Petco, and really didn't see anything that we liked, or most of what they did have were too small, or extremely high priced. I saw the post about the burnt/melted fleece and that was my main concern!

We read the back of the CHE in the store and it didn't say how hot they get, (obviously pretty warm!) And I wouldn't want to risk harming hedgie feet.

As for that ferret cage on amazon I think that that would work! It is fairly expensive, (still cheaper than buying in store) Plus I can get it with FREE 2-day shipping! :) And I think if we were going to try to make something ourselves it could easily go well over that, and require a lot more time.

The only thing is with that cage we would have to put some form of plastic on the sides of the wire to discourage climbing, and also close in the ramp and loft area right? From another post on here I read that weaving plastic place mats through the wire is a cheap fix!
 

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Cool! Glad I could help. I think those cages are pretty snazzy, plus you get the bottom for storage (you will soon find you have a LOT of hedgie stuff!).

Yeah, you would have to enclose the ramp sides and loft sides if you decided to keep it in there - some hedgies won't use ramps/lofts so you could always take it out. :) But enclosing is easy, you could do it with some coroplast, zipties, and a drill (if you needed to get holes in the sides of the ramp).

I think the Ferret Nation cages have vertical bars so you don't have to worry as much about climbing, but you can weave plastic or fabric through the bars to help keep the heat in some.

If you look through the 'Cage Setup Examples' thread you can see what kind of modifications other people have made to their FNs. Good luck! :D
 

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Just my two cents...

since your BF is handy...could he cuild something similar to Snarf's cage:



I have more pics if you want details. It looks like a piece of IKEA furniture in our livingroom. :lol: It is wood covered in arborite and the floor is covered in lino. Just keep in mind you will likely need to make a cover as the mesh sides make a perfect hedgie ladder. :shock: We chance it with Snarf only because he had lived in it all his life with previous owners and never tried to escape and hasn't tried with us, otherwise we would have covered it.

Just PM me if you want more info.
 
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