Tank Cleaning

Gerbils are desert animals who don’t really produce a lot of waste compared to other rodents.  It might even be hard for you to tell when to clean their tank out.

Gerbil tanks should be spot cleaned daily.  If you use a sand bath this will make daily spot cleaning easy just sift the sand.  Because gerbils are clean animals they will pick a spot as their bathroom usually an elevated surface.  If you can’t visibly see where they are going try using your nose.

When to clean a Tank:

  • 10 gallon = weekly
  • 20 gallon = weekly – biweekly
  • 40 gallon = every 4 weeks (give or take)

You will need a secure place such as another tank or carrier for your gerbils while you clean.  Place some bedding with them as well as some cardboard and treats.

Because gerbils use scent to know who belongs in their clan, you will need to pull out some of their current bedding to reuse.  Scoop out the top inch layer of the bedding (its the cleanest) and set it aside.  Next, you will pull out their toys, food dish, water bottle, wheel and other toys.  If your gerbils use a nesting box you can allow them to keep the nest built inside and replace it every other time you clean.  Now dump out the remainder of the old bedding and you are ready to clean.

There are several solutions to cleaning a gerbils tank.  You can mix your own solution or purchase one from the pet store.  Which ever method you use make sure to rinse heavily and allow the tank to sit until all fumes from the solution have left the tank.

You can use the following:

  • Small drop of dish soap (not dishwasher soap) with water.
  • Teaspoon of bleach with water.
  • Aquarium tank cleaner made for small animals.

Make sure their tank is completely dry and again free of any cleaning fumes before you put anything back into the tank.  When you finish putting their home back together take the bag of old bedding that you set aside and sprinkle it on top of the new bedding.  If you find your gerbils are scent marking or stressed, try using more of the old bedding next time.