Gerbils love to dig and are excellent chewers! They therefore require a sturdy enclosure that can hold deep substrate for burrowing, so a tank set-up is the best option. Hamster cages are not suitable as the bases can be chewed through and they do not provide enough depth for burrowing. You will need at least 8 inches of substrate in your tank for optimum digging potential!

A pair of gerbils should be housed in a tank of at least 75 litres capacity (20 US gallons), but you should seek to exceed this where possible. We strongly advise choosing a 3ft x 1ft x 1ft tank as a minimum. These can be found cheaply on second hand selling sites, and you can just add your own mesh lid. If you want somewhere to easily hang a water bottle you could add a hamster cage or gerbilarium topper on to the mesh lid.

Most gerbilariums sold in pet stores are far too small, however there are a few larger models available online:

DIY options are usually a lot cheaper, unless you can find a good 2nd hand version of one of the above! Our gerbil set-up at the rescue is a 4ft tank with mesh lid added as seen below

Another excellent DIY option is the Detolf cabinet from IKEA. Laid on its back with a mesh lid added, this makes an excellent tank for gerbils (or hamsters/mice). The example below is our permanent resident mouse/multimammate set-up. With deeper substrate this would be perfect for gerbils

Safe Substrates