I bought this for my daughter of 79 who has two gerbils. They were housed in a cage with a deep tank below, which we fill with sawdust to enable them to burrow. We wanted this as an extension to go on top of the current cage to give them more variety and some tubes to go through. It works wonderfully and we were able to incorporate it into our current housing so that they have more space. They spend a lot of time in this part of their living area and love going through the tubes. It is very easy to assemble follo0wing the instructions. I have had no problems with them getting stuck. Fortunately, the model includes metal rings to go over the exposed ends of the plastic tubes. This is imperative, as the gerbils quickly gnaw through plastic and would make short work of the exposed ends. I think this home offers good value for money, we paid about £25 for it through Amazon. We are thinking about adding more Rotastak products in the future to make it even larger.
I have kept hamsters for a number of years, I have already reviewed the Rotastak space command, which is currently where my hanster is living at the moment. I had this bought for me when my cage broke. It was one of the cheaper cages in the range i've looked it up on amazon and it ranges from £20 to £24.99.
I alwasy keep syrian hamsters and for those of you who have had one you will know they need quite a lot of space to move around. What originally drew me to Rotastak cages is the brightly coloured tubes, the add ons you can get and the fact that it recreates the hamsters natural habitat of tubes and tunnels. This was much easier to put together than other Rotastak cages I have come across. It consists of a circular unit which is 3/4 plastic and the rest bars around the top. Along with an attic bedroom that the hamster can get to through a horizontal tube from the middle section or by climbing the tube you can see at the right of the cage. The instructions were ok, they consisted of a coloured picture and no words in my case! I didn't find this the most helpful thankfully it was pretty self explainatory.
The first thing I noticed when I put my hamster in the cage was the lack of space for her. Syrian hamsters can grow quite big and she seemed to fill the whole middle section. There is an internal running wheel which takes up a 1/3 of the space in that area, and this is the only place you can put the food bowl, so she kept constantly knocking it over. Another thing I noticed was that she struggled to get up the external tube as the bends are rather sharp, she also got wet if she came down that way as her fur touched the water bottle. This particular cage also lacks knaw rings, these are metal circles that go on the end of the plastic tubing to stop Hammy from eating all of the plastic and possibly escaping! you can buy these separately but I feel they should come included in the cage for the price.
I had to go out and get another cage, I have since used this as an extension to the Rotastak cage I have in place of this one. I find Rotastak products hit and miss, you either get a really simple easy to construct cage, or a nightmare of a cage which takes forever to construct!
I would recommend this as an extension only to an existing cage, you could possibly get away with keeping dwarf hamsters in there, but you would need to Rotastak ladders to help them get up the tubes as they are so small. If you are looking for a started cage then I would recommend the Rotastak Cosmo Pod which is cheaper and bigger for Hammy.
My little hamster, Lennon, is probably the most spoiled hammi in the world. Since he moved in with us a few months ago my whole flatshare is all over him and spoils him with loads of attention, snacks (in moderation of course) and toys. His house - which is more of a mansion then a normal hamster cage - is a colourful plastic monstrosity which takes over my whole desk.
As most of us had hamsters before we had a very big range of cages, add-ons and tunnels right from the beginning. One of them is the Rotastak Deluxe Starter Home which was bought for around 20£ a few years ago. The set consists of one round centre piece with a hamster wheel in it. It alas has one tube connection in the bottom and the side and 3 tube connections on top of the cage. The sides are made from clear plastic with some normal cage wiring on top of the sides. The set also includes tubes and connection pieces, a small red hamster bedroom and a water bottle. All in all it is good value for money and I never had anything to complain with Rotastak products. Unfortunately the Deluxe Starter Home is just that - a started set that needs quite a lot of add-ons to be hamster friendly. I'll go through the single pieces of the set separately to give you a better overview:
- The actual cage. When I first saw the round "Deluxe" cage I didn't even realise that it was supposed to be a cage on its own. With only around 10 inches in diameter it is incredibly small considering the size of a grown-up Syrian hamster and definitely not suitable on its own. We use it as an extension to his actual cage and in effect it is only a stop-off point between his play area and is bedroom.
What I really like about it that the sides are not cage bars but see through plastic. As I keep Lennon in my bedroom I do appreciate it that I don't have to fight against sawdust all the time and that the bar chewing is kept to a minimum. The top bits of the sides are made from normal bars allow air to flow and to feed him little treats from time to time
The wheel that is attached inside that cage is incredibly inefficient. Being inside the enclosure it takes up a lot of space and it is quite hard to clean. We have another wheel attached on the outside of his actual cage and Lennon seems to prefer this one - although it means running around tubes for ages until he reaches it. My main concern about the wheel is that it is far too small. With only about 5inches in diameter it is far too small for a large hamster. If you do chose to get the Rotastak Deluxe Starter Home please consider buying a larger wheel for him to play in and putting it into a play pen.
- The bedroom. Lennon loves his hamster bedroom. The red colouring makes it sufficiently dark throughout the day so he can sleep undisturbed. It offers enough space for him to sleep and to accommodate his food stash. The lower bit is connected to a tube that comes up from the cage and the top half can easily be removed. This is particulary good for cleaning and renewing his bedding. When you put the top on again you have to make sure that it locks properly, it happened a few times before that it didn't close and I could spend hours finding Lennon again. My little escape genius really manages to get out of every cage or enclosure!
- The tubes. Several colourful plastic tubes are included in the set. They come in different lengths and with a few corner pieces which is perfect to create a little maze. Small rodents love to play in maze and I can guarantee you that your hammi will love the challenge of climbing vertical tubes, run around corners and find the quickest way to the food bowl. We usually change the layout of his cage/maze once a week to provide Lennon with some variety and to give him new areas to explore. He will be a bit grumpy for a few hours that we messed with his home but after that he will play in it for hours - usually keeping us awake until the early hours of the morning.
But back to the tubes: there is virtually nothing to complain about. Their diameter is big enough for him never to get stuck in although he is quite a big hamster. The connections seem to be strong enough to hold even the wildest tunnel combination together. The only thing that I would criticise is that the colours don't match the ones of the tunnel extension set and that they look rather dull in comparison with others.
- The extras. Included in the set are a small round food bowl and a hamster size water bottle. To be honest there is not much to say about them; they are standard equipment of every starter set and come in handy as spares if you already have others. The water bottle is quite noisy when he drinks from it but I guess that's the same with all water bottles.
Now to the most important question: Would I buy the Rotastak Deluxe Starter Home again?
I wouldn't have bought it as a main cage for Lennon but it is a good enough add-on and he certainly does love his bedroom. That is basically what I would suggest, buy a bigger cage to start off with and add other bits and pieces to make you hamster's life as interesting and exciting as possible. One can never have enough tubes to create mazes and a bedroom is a very good idea to give your hammi the relaxation and hiding space that he needs.
Thanks for reading and rating my review!
We own the Rotastak Deluxe starter home for our dwarf hamster and I would like to change it as soon as possible, when we got it out of the box we realized the hole to attach one of the tubes onto is situated right over the wheel. The wheel and lid are fixed in place and can not be removed so this makes one hole unusable, we did speak to customer services at Rotastak who sent out a new one, unfortunately this was also put together wrong. we made do as the children had purchased it with their own money and were quite upset that in their eyes they had made the "wrong choice".
we placed on the tubes and added the red house like it showed in the brochure from Rotastak and then discovered that our hammy can not climb vertical pipes. I purchased a ladder another Rotastak add on, and gave the hammy some time to work it all out, in the end she gave up and made her bed behind the wheel.
There is nothing Deluxe about this house and its far too small , it needs further add on's to increase the space (and the add on extra's are not cheap)
The pipes smell so awful when the hammy wee's in them and we haven't made it past a week without needing a full cage clean. My hamster wee'd on the joints between the pipes and it leaked through onto the coffee table. I must also add several of our pipes connections are not very strong. The click together system needs some work by Rotastak.
The plus side is the plastic sides mean you don't have sawdust flung out by the hamster.