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Last night I had a brainwave whilst i was trying to get asleep!

Who says we cant keep mammals in a natural enviroment???
we dont keep frogs in plastic cages, or fish in milk bottles!

heres my idea...

imagine a tank that has a full grass cover and quite alot of plants, its looks dead natural, has a small body of water at one end, that uses pond liner to keep it there. The ground in the tank has a slope at one end where a hole is there.

keeping mice or small rodents in a beautifully natural tank with everything they need, water, and a sprinkling of nuts in the morning for them to hunt! letting the animal make its own burrow! the life of the animal would be increased and it would be happier and look damn cool!

what do you think? mad idea or cool? should i try it? would my parents let me??
 

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I think it would be cool as hell, but it might be hard to clean. I have two rats and they poop an awful lot. I have to clean out the cage every 4-5 days, I'm not sure a natural environment could assimilate all the waste without smelling like a cesspool. I know my rats would probably try to eat everything in the tank/cage too. Keep us updated if you do try it out.
 

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You could try something like a contained sandy area towards the back - something that might blend in but would be easy to lift out. If you can get them to use it like a toilet/litterbox that would solve your problem!

I've had rats and mice as pets before, and they are a HANDFUL. I bet they'd go through the resources pretty quickly. If I were going to try that - I'd get something with a big footprint, like a 40 breeder or a 50 ( 3 ft x 2 ft on bottom ) and try it first with a single mouse. I LOVE those fancy mice that they have with the little cow prints! Aww! Also, have you ever heard of a spiney mouse? Looks almost like a hedgehog with BIG ears, BIG eyes, long nose and spines on it's back. One of those would be really cool to have in that sort of environment I think - keeping in mind that some research would obviously have to be done since I don't know their care requirements off the top of my head.
 

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This is a really cool idea, and I've considered it myself for quite some time; however, the conclusion that I alwyas come to is that these rodents are largely fossorial, and unless we provide some way to view them insider their tunnels, we're not going to be seeing much of them. I've actually seen a system like this done with naked mole rats, where the system was already devised and built with pvc tubes. They were cut in half and placed against a really tall but relatively narrow tank, and little lights were installed incrementally along the tunnel system. This permitted viewing of the habitat, but left the animals to their own devices. Granted, it's not as interesting as letting them do their own thing, but think of it as an overgrown ant-farm. Who knows, this could come out really cool. Good luck!!!
 

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I did kinda of something like this for my aquatic turtles in my room...took a pondliner that fit back into the corner...built a stand around it with land area that was 360 degree's around the pond...put a viewing window in it and two basking lamps...filled it with plants and bark...turned out well...unfortunately when i left i had to tear it down and the pond is now filled and out in the yard...definately a do-able idea...
 

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ive done something like what your talking about afew times but i wouldent house a domestic rodent in it they all produce a lot of smelly waist IMO(ive kept and bred hundereds of each)and there colors just dont look right in a natural setting(whoe sees hooded rats or satin mice in the wild?)plus almost all rodents would just rip the place apart(rats aspecialy!)domestic mice smell and gerbils dig like crazy, i set up one for afew wild deer mice, i used a 40g tank and filled it with bark multch and potting soil about 6" deep then added some grass sod and let it grow afew inches tall, added some PVC pipes barried in the dirt for tunnels(they dug there own mostly but used the PVC pipes to store food)and added a lot of bark against the back and branches for them to clime on(deer mice are WAY more active than fancey mice at night!)and rocks, i hade afew plants(i small bush i got at a garden center pluss some plants i got from the back yard)but i wasent realy in it for the plants. I had three deer mice in it for about a year. every few months i would dump it out and replace the soil ect, i realy like the way it looked and they never made mutch of a mess it looked natural and the big plus was it never realy had a smell even if i dident clean it for months(deer mice dont smell like domestic mice/rats do)but deer mice only come out at night so in the day it was pretty boring, i also made one similar with a 20g for a tiny shrew witch was even better with moss, ferns ect and the shrew was awsome but i only had it setup for about 2 months sence i got stuck out one night and coudent feed the shrew, by the time i got home he had starved to death:icon_frow (shrews are amazing animals i learned a lot of realy amazing things watching that shrew!)
 
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