Chilling the Hammy, Take 1 - with the aquarium chiller

This system made use of some old aquarium gears from my previous hobby. The idea was to build a nice and coozy "underground" burrow for the hamster, and also to study now a hamster might behave if giving some condition similar to their natural environment to espace the heat living underground.

This is the whole set up : From a first look its a typical fancy hamster cage sitting on top of a tub bin. But inside the tub bin is a small aquarium tank half-filled with water and the water is kept cooled by a aquarium water chilling system. In the water tank is a small air chamber - made from a plastic toy container, half immersed in water so there is still air ventilation to the outside. And finally the air chamber is connected to the cage by tube. The air chamber is filled with an inch of sand to simulate an under ground burrow.

Here's a simple schematic to illustrate the system (pardon my crude drawing):

The water tank with the hammy chamber in it, as seen through the translucent tub bin.

The ambient temperature is a hot hot 33 degree Celcius (90 F) !!!

This water chiller is set at 26 degree C (about 78 F)

This is taken with the digicam at auto mode inside the tub bin, which the happy hammy can be seen snuggle in the cool chamber ! The temperature in the chamber was earlier measured as 27 deg C using a glass thermometer.

The Result:
After a 48 hours trial the following were observed :

+ Hammy's natural instinct lead him to first explore the "underground" burrow. He digged in the chamber, tested out the steadiness of the structure. Then I saw him coming back up, carrying with him few large chuck of bedding down, then up again to transport some foods. He then slept soundly thru the day...zzzz

+ I think the chamber was also well good sound insulated so Hammy got a quiet surrounding that also made him felt really "at home".

- Heres the negative findings :

- After 2 days of trial, I inspected the "chamber" (while he was out in the run-around ball playing). There was dews form on the side wall, the bedding were lightly damped, and the food stored there were moisted. I guess this could be due to the water surrounding the chamber that added more humidity to the air inside the tub.

- This was certainly alraming ! The ideal humidity for a hamster nest according to reference is 65 RH. When dews could form it would be near high 80-90 RH. If were to continue, either the foods would turn moldy or hamster could get pneumonia !

So finally, I got to shunt down the system and declared "Take 1" had failed.

Proceed to Take 2

Hamster House - the best hamster hangout