Can Hamsters Live in an Aquarium?

Hamsters are popular pets due to their low maintenance requirements. However, these charming tiny animals require an appropriate home to remain healthy and stress-free. You might have just heard that some hamsters are kept in aquariums. Is that feasible?

Yes. Hamsters can live in aquariums. But be careful your pet might suffer from overheating or be poisoned if ammonia or other harmful gases become trapped in the aquarium. So, aquariums must be stored in places with adequate ventilation and kept out of direct sunlight. You may turn the aquarium into a genuine cage by adding a few accessories, including platforms and beds, to the enclosure. (Obviously, the aquarium cannot be filled with water)

Generally we would recommend a more traditional style of cage rather than an aquarium tank, but it if this not an option then its fine to use an aquarium. Like mentioned before most tanks have poor ventaliation and can get hot very quickly. You must ensure that your tank has adaquet air flow and is not in direct sunlight.

Learn about aquariums, wire cages, and how to convert an aquarium into a hamster cage.

hamster living in an aquarium

Which Hamster Aquarium Is the Best?

A few key aspects should guide your decision-making when looking for the ideal housing solution for your hamster. This covers your budget, hamster breed, and interior design. If cost is not an issue for you, you should look for a tank with a generous volume. Some of the greatest aquariums available come with different levels and spaces for your pet to explore and exercise. 

In addition to that, they come with separators and may be altered to suit your requirements. For instance, if you own a Syrian hamster, the most suitable housing for it would be a wire cage because these cages are inexpensive and secure at the same time. On the other hand, if you just have American hamsters or other little species, you could find that an aquarium works better for your needs.

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Best Aquarium Hamster Cage 

10-Gallon Hamster Tank

Many prefer a more compact tank, such as a 10-gallon capacity. This is the ideal size for beginning your relationship with your new hamster, and it will allow you to choose whether you are interested in maintaining this pet for the long term. It will not be a problem if you conclude that hamsters are unsuitable for you or if your little pet rapidly outgrows the 10-gallon cage. You may resell or give away the little aquarium without stressing your hamster’s loneliness. Generally a 10-gallon take would be considered too small.

20-Gallon Hamster Tank

If you are passionate about keeping a hamster and want to get ready for years of enjoyment, you might want to consider investing in a cage that has a capacity of 20 gallons. This is the largest size typically offered and is suitable for housing most adult hamsters. The additional room allows many individuals to provide greater care for their animals by enabling them to have more toys, habitats, and furniture on hand for their companion animals. (If available we would recommend a 40 gallon tank as the ideal size).

hamster in a 20 gallon aquarium tank

Wire Hamster Cage

This cage is made to last and is quite strong. Your hamster will have plenty of room to run about inside the cage, and you will be able to close the door, so your pet will be protected. The cost of these cages is more than the cost of certain other choices now on the market, which some customers feel is a disadvantage. In addition, most people who have pets think this cage style is stressful for hamsters, resulting in various health issues.

Glass Tank for Hamster

A glass tank is one choice that a lot of people think is quite appealing because of its transparency. Glass tanks let you offer direct sunshine to hamsters without bringing the cage indoors. This tank has the potential to be a wonderful addition to every room in your house, making it ideal for positioning close to windows or in other high-traffic areas of your home.

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Hamster Tank Topper

Consider purchasing a tank topper if you wish to take care and affection to a higher level. This oversized cage is placed on top of a standard hamster tank. Your pet will have lots of room to play, run about, and hide in this roomy environment. In addition, it can serve as a permanent residence for either one or two hamsters. In addition, you can quickly and simply create a secure location for your little pet to go to if something bad occurs to them.

What to Look For in Hamster Aquarium Cage?

Before ordering a glass tank for your pet, be sure you have all the information you need to avoid wasting money by buying the wrong one. When purchasing glass for a hamster, the following are some things you should keep an eye out for:


Keep in mind that hamsters are not climbers since their feet are not suited for the activity of climbing; instead, hamsters are borrowers.

Consequently, a container with greater width and depth is preferable to a multi-layered cage. The dimensions of a hamster’s enclosure should be longer or broader, not taller.

Top Cover

The top cover will function in two different ways. One for ventilation; this is why, when you get a top cover, you need to be sure that it is not solid. It needs to be perforated with many holes so that air may go through it. Secondly, it should fit correctly and be lockable.

How to Make an Aquarium Hamster Cage?

There are a few ways to make aquariums into a practically escape-proof hamster cage. Proceed in the following manner:

Clean the Tank

Even if the fish tank is fresh new, there is no harm in giving it a good cleaning. If the tank is utilized, a thorough cleaning will remove any possible food or chemical residues.

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If you mix around a tablespoon of white vinegar with a cup of water, you should be able to remove even the toughest stains.  After cleaning the aquariums, let it dry outdoors so the vinegar won’t leave an odor.

Add a Mesh Top

Most aquariums come with a plastic top that completely locks the tank off from the environment. Do not use a plastic lid, and if you already have one, you should discard it. If you were to use it, there is a good chance that your hamster would suffocate and overheat.

Adding a top to the fish tank made of mesh and metal will make it possible for air to flow inside the tank. If you use this top type, your hamster will have much more difficulty escaping the cage. This style of tank cover may be available at a local pet store, or you may easily buy one online.

Other Needs

Make sure that the bottom of the aquarium is covered with wood shavings. Hamsters require bedding to burrow and inhabit their homes. Hamsters need exercise wheels, water, and food. 

You should also add platforms and other structures to the hamster’s habitat so that it has the opportunity to climb, hide, and investigate the different areas of the tank. They require more vertical room, so they don’t become bored or upset in the tank’s bottom.