Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

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VickieG
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Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by VickieG » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:54 pm

I'm in the middle of doing an upgrade to a 75 gal tank and bought a hamster wheel made of plastic coated metal mesh. I covered the back and outside with burlap to provide that tucked away feel. Is that ok or does it absolutely have to be plastic?

I can't figure out how to post a picture though, sheesh.


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VickieG
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by VickieG » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:51 pm

Nevermind, I should have kept reading, I think it should be fine as long as the grate is covered and only one way in/out..

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by Hermiesguardian » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:52 pm

VickieG wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:54 pm
I'm in the middle of doing an upgrade to a 75 gal tank and bought a hamster wheel made of plastic coated metal mesh. I covered the back and outside with burlap to provide that tucked away feel. Is that ok or does it absolutely have to be plastic?

I can't figure out how to post a picture though, sheesh.
You can cover it with burlap but most likely the crabs will tear it up. You can post pics through the app Tapatalk.
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Raising daughter's hermit crabs, Shelder, Paras and Derek. Added 2 more of my own (of course) Pete and Stryper. Former mommy to 2 guinea pigs and beloved cat, Nissi

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Xenocrab
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by Xenocrab » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:52 pm

Will burlap let it spin freely?

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VickieG
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by VickieG » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:42 am

Yes, it does let it spin freely. I'm downloading taptalk on my phone now so I can post a pic. Thanks for the tip about posting pics. It seems like such an obvious solution, it makes me wonder why it never crosses MY mind to "download the app". Sigh...


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VickieG
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by VickieG » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:56 am

I sewed the burlap ribbon to the wheel with hemp string using a large plastic darning needle. It didn't take too long, so if they manage to tear it apart, I can always redo it. It has like 3 layers of burlap and I made I lashed them tight so there are no loose spots where they can get stuck between the layers. I figured I would give it a saltwater dip before opening day. I'm at about the halfway point of my tank upgrade. It's such a slow process, but hopefully it will be more like the image in my head than not!ImageImage

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DragonsFly
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by DragonsFly » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:41 am

As I understand it, the problem with that construction is the metal bars that could trap and injure a leg of a crab when the wheel is turning. The crab-safe hamster wheel designs do not have bars that cross other bars as the wheel turns, just a post in the middle that the wheel turns around; this eliminates this hazard.
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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:45 am

DragonsFly wrote:As I understand it, the problem with that construction is the metal bars that could trap and injure a leg of a crab when the wheel is turning. The crab-safe hamster wheel designs do not have bars that cross other bars as the wheel turns, just a post in the middle that the wheel turns around; this eliminates this hazard.
Like this. ImageImage

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DragonsFly
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by DragonsFly » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:11 pm

Yes! Thanks for the pics, HG.
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VickieG
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by VickieG » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:35 pm

I understand what you're saying about the bars, but I think I eliminated that issue with the burlap. It's on very tightly. I can always put another layer of plastic canvas on top. I just figured they'd prefer fiber to plastic. Thanks for the input.

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:10 pm

DragonsFly wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:11 pm
Yes! Thanks for the pics, HG.
You're welcome!
raising son's dog, Dante. Husky/hound.
Raising daughter's hermit crabs, Shelder, Paras and Derek. Added 2 more of my own (of course) Pete and Stryper. Former mommy to 2 guinea pigs and beloved cat, Nissi

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DragonsFly
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by DragonsFly » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:16 pm

VickieG wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:35 pm
I understand what you're saying about the bars, but I think I eliminated that issue with the burlap. It's on very tightly. I can always put another layer of plastic canvas on top. I just figured they'd prefer fiber to plastic. Thanks for the input.

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The burlap is as good as plastic, with respect to being something the crabs can use to climb on. You could certainly cover an open-design wheel like those HG showed with burlap, if you like that look better than the plastic (I do too, it looks more natural!).

But "burlap vs. plastic" is not the issue: the problem is that wrapping this design with burlap won't prevent a leg from being crushed in between the bars as one passes by the other when the wheel turns. I wish I could maybe edit your first pic there to show you what I mean. It doesn't matter that the wheel is covered with burlap, or even that the one set of bars is wrapped; that wrapped bar still has to pass by the bar that connects to the axis of the wheel as the wheel turns. Even if all bars were wrapped, you could still get a crush injury. Try putting your finger in there and turning the wheel, and you'll see what I mean. At some point as the wheel turns, your finger will be caught between the central diameter bar (that you have wrapped, in the pic) and the bar that connects to the axis of the wheel (that you don't have wrapped, in the pic). If you tried to keep turning the wheel, increasing pressure would be exerted on your finger.

The hamster wheels that work for crabs have an open design, so there is no bar that crosses another bar at any time while the wheel is turning, and therefore they can't get a limb leveraged in between those two moving parts. I hope that helps!
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MT and BJ jumbos now. Everybody excited to move somewhere warm and beachy.

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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by GotButterflies » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:29 pm

Dragonsfly is correct. It is the bar that holds the wheel that is the issue. Hopefully you understand what she is saying. Legs can get trapped and lost there. I don't recommend this wheel. There is no way to make it safe.
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odelayheehoo
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by odelayheehoo » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:42 am

It's much easier, cost efficient, and saves time to just get a silent spinner wheel from a pet store for under fifteen dollars. That way, you do not need to worry about injuries or any harm towards the crabs.


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VickieG
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by VickieG » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:14 pm

I get what you're saying now, sorry I took me so long. I've actually been trying to find a way to put it up without using the metal thing for aesthetic reasons and because it gets in the way of the other features. If I can't figure it out, I'll get the other style. Thanks for sticking in there until I got the picture.

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