To understand why your gerbil should live in an aquarium we'll first have to look at gerbils in the wild.Gerbils are a burrowing animal, they dig up the ground and create underground tunnel systems in which they reside.The other noteworthy trait of a gerbil is that it is a rodent, which in short, means they like to chew allot.
|A male and female fat-tailed gerbil (Pachyuromys duprasi). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Gerbil movement is more like hopping than running, and their large back feet are furry on the bottom to protect them from the heat of the sand. Gerbils are fast but overly inquisitive. In their natural environment, they mostly eat insects, and additionally gain moisture from desert plants that store water in them. A gerbil has fur all over its body, including the tail, as this prevents it from getting sunburned.
There are several quite obvious reasons why aquariums make better housing for a gerbil:
When the gerbil starts to dig around through his bedding, the bedding is contained within the aquarium and isn't splashed sideways on the floor (which I just finished cleaning of course).
Cages that have more than one level can become a serious danger, especially to pups. They run around and play around and a fall or stumble and can end up with a broken leg.
Gerbils also tend to chew the wires of the cage which isn't particularly good to the cage or good to the gerbil.
Moreover Gerbils are social animals, and prefer to live in groups. Often very large groups live well together, as long as the living environment is big enough; otherwise, the gerbils may become frustrated and attack one another.That's why it's very important to have a large roomy aquarium for you gerbils. Aquariums tend to be bigger than cages thus provide to the little ones more room play in. Moreover hamster wheels can easily be fitted at the top of an aquarium.
The other choice would going with a plastic habitat. IMO these aren't very good as a gerbil may chew them up and from experience escape is far too easy using those.
If you don't have a gerbil, get one!
Gerbils are a very popular house pet, and there are several reasons for that. They are typically non-aggressive, and they rarely bite unprovoked or without stress. They are small and easy to handle, since they are sociable creatures that enjoy the company of humans and other gerbils. Gerbils also have adapted their kidneys to produce a minimum of waste to conserve body fluids which makes them very clean with little odor.