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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure this question has been asked 1000 times, but I currently have a 55 gallon tank that is housing a single Syrian hamster whos starting to get older in age, I'm unsure of her actual age as my younger brother got her from a pet store and couldn't take care of her so I ended up with her but I know she's starting to get older. It would be my first time owning any mice but I've been trying to do lots of research before hand!

So my main question, is I'm looking to get about 4-5 pet mice and would a 55 gallon be a okay size for a group that size, or should I think of getting a smaller group?
 

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Assuming all the pet mice are females, the tank size is not significant. Female mice will be satisfied with 20+ gallons. Pet store MALE mice should not be housed together (in case you were unaware). The main concern is frequency of changing bedding. More mice = more ammonia buildup. My general rule was 1 week bedding change for every 3 female mice per 20 gallons. So for a 55 gallon tank, I'd recommend:

2 Mice: replace bedding every 3-4 weeks
3 Mice: replace bedding every 2-3 weeks
4 Mice: replace bedding every 1-3 weeks
5 Mice: replace bedding every 1-2 weeks
6 Mice: replace bedding every week

Also, IMO, I wouldn't bother with providing toys, etc. That just complicates cleaning. I would provide new cardboard (torn boxes, toilet rolls, etc) and lots of tissues, newspapers, and old socks EVERY cleaning (some people believe tissues have particles that may cause respiratory damage, it personally never affected my mice). Newspapers are fine because the ink is soy based. Also, a large wired wheel is very important (not plastic). Like this one (you want the large/chinchilla size one): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000HG96DE/ref=twister_B01M6YRVVA?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Wire exercise wheel: DRASTICALLY easier to clean and greater durability. From my personal experience, I only had 1 incident where the foot of a mouse got stuck in between the wire out of over 1000s mice throughout the years. However, this is because with time the rust had eaten away the section of the wire so instead of being 1 X 1 size, it became 2 X 1. The foot was able to accidentally fit inside, mouse survived for several months after though but with slight crippled foot.

55 gallon glass tank is relatively heavy to lift to dump, especially for a single person. So if you are going to scoop the bedding out, you should also wipe the bottom to get the leftover debris. That'll probably take 1-2 hour process (transferring mice, removing bedding, wiping, replacing bedding). An alternative approach for easy cleaning is plastic bins, but then not viewable from the side.

So in summation, size of enclosure is not important but the frequency of cleaning to eliminate ammonia buildup from waste products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Assuming all the pet mice are females, the tank size is not significant. Female mice will be satisfied with 20+ gallons. Pet store MALE mice should not be housed together (in case you were unaware). The main concern is frequency of changing bedding. More mice = more ammonia buildup. My general rule was 1 week bedding change for every 3 female mice per 20 gallons. So for a 55 gallon tank, I'd recommend:

2 Mice: replace bedding every 3-4 weeks
3 Mice: replace bedding every 2-3 weeks
4 Mice: replace bedding every 1-3 weeks
5 Mice: replace bedding every 1-2 weeks
6 Mice: replace bedding every week

Also, IMO, I wouldn't bother with providing toys, etc. That just complicates cleaning. I would provide new cardboard (torn boxes, toilet rolls, etc) and lots of tissues, newspapers, and old socks EVERY cleaning (some people believe tissues have particles that may cause respiratory damage, it personally never affected my mice). Newspapers are fine because the ink is soy based. Also, a large wired wheel is very important (not plastic). Like this one (you want the large/chinchilla size one): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000HG96DE/ref=twister_B01M6YRVVA?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Wire exercise wheel: DRASTICALLY easier to clean and greater durability. From my personal experience, I only had 1 incident where the foot of a mouse got stuck in between the wire out of over 1000s mice throughout the years. However, this is because with time the rust had eaten away the section of the wire so instead of being 1 X 1 size, it became 2 X 1. The foot was able to accidentally fit inside, mouse survived for several months after though but with slight crippled foot.

55 gallon glass tank is relatively heavy to lift to dump, especially for a single person. So if you are going to scoop the bedding out, you should also wipe the bottom to get the leftover debris. That'll probably take 1-2 hour process (transferring mice, removing bedding, wiping, replacing bedding). An alternative approach for easy cleaning is plastic bins, but then not viewable from the side.

So in summation, size of enclosure is not important but the frequency of cleaning to eliminate ammonia buildup from waste products.
Thank you so much! This was all seriously super helpful information and I'll refer back to this post a lot!
I'm still about half a year to a year out from getting any mice so I'm still doing a lot of research but you've been a ton of help!
 
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