This seems to be a popular, and oftentimes hot-topic on the forum here, so let’s take an in-depth look at some of the features both of these housing options offer, and let YOU decide which is better.
Let’s start with a tank…
- Clear visibility
- Chew/escape proof
- Elegant to display
To elaborate on some of these points, a tank can be a very beautiful piece to display in your room, and is especially great for those who enjoy taking photos, since the glass is so clear. They come in a variety of sizes to best suit the space you have, though the bigger you get, the heavier it is to lift…which could result in a crack if you aren’t careful moving and cleaning it.
Most tanks are just plain and simple, but the United Kingdom sells a brand called “Perfecto” that comes with permanently attached glass shelves. This can be good to add more room for toys and give climbing opportunities, but might also be a detriment and chew up precious floor space…not to mention it might make cleaning more awkward too.
The price, in US$ for a tank (plain with no shelves) and lid combo, averages around $25 for a 10 gallon and $45 for a 20 gallon long. Given the fact that you buy a solid, mesh cover with locking clips, a tank is virtually escape-proof for those who might have an extra naughty “Houdini”.
When compared to any plastic or wire cages on the market, it is a bargain considering the amount of floor space you have, but when compared to the price of a bin, can drain your pocketbook much more.
So let’s look at a bin now…
- Cheap (need I say more?)
- Harder to view hamster
- Can look a bit cheesy
- Not completely chew/escape proof (unless made correctly)
For those who are on a budget, but wish to give their hamster/s as much room as possible, a bin is the way to go. The amount of floor space you can give, for the price, is probably the #1 advantage of these, in my opinion, as well as the fact you can customize them to suit your needs. Shelves, or smaller shoe-box sized bins, can be added in and bolted to the sides, tubes can go up and around the perimeter, or you can just leave it plain for an all-across, one level. You can also add on smaller bins and connect them via tubes as well as create a double-decker apartment.
Keep in mind, though, that most bins are slightly frosted and can make viewing your hamster a bit difficult, and depending on how you construct it can also mean the difference of whether your hamster escapes or not. Some hamsters, given the time, might chew their way out if they find a ridge or drilled hole to sink their teeth into. It’s best to find a bin with smooth, rounded edges and keep drilled holes out of their reach if your hamster is prone to chewing.
All-in-all, bins can be a spacious, and affordable housing choice.
A final thought to leave you with…
At the end of the day, it’s not about which housing is better of the two, it’s about finding what is most suitable for YOU and for your hamster’s needs. Debate solved!
Up next? Comparisons between wire and plastic cages. Stay tuned…
To construct a bin, check out this pinned topic which has helpful links on construction: http://hamsterhideout.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=27040
To view a chart showing popular aquarium sizes and dimensions, click this link: http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/aquarium_sizes.php