The scientific pursuit of underwater hamster objectivism
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Hampture 2.6 repaired, upgraded and back in the water
After 4 weeks of use, Hampture 2.6 has proven itsself subseaworthy, except for one issue; The hamsters broke their heat pad. I intended to leave them down longer than 4 weeks as it was going so well but a few days ago I noticed they were lethargic and huddled together whereas normally they are very active, moving from room to room, fighting over the chew toy and so on. Sure enough upon surfacing the habitat and checking the heater, they had chewed the wiring such that it was no longer delivering heat. So the hambros got a day or two of shore leave while I rewired the heating pad so that it is flush with the wall and no wiring is exposed for them to chew on. A bittering agent on the pad prevents them from chewing it, although that didn't seem to be an issue anyway as it's a type of plastic they have no interest in.
With that finished, I added LED lighting (battery powered until I can wire it into the main power supply) and a new food dish that is transparent so I can monitor their amount of food remaining as easily as their water supply. It's been two days now with the habitat back underwater and everything's looking good for a longer submersion this time; The soil did a better job of handling waste than I expected (to the point of growing plants) so this time I am attempting a 6 week submersion. If their food and water hold out that long (supplies of both are ample) I may attempt two months. By then, the livestream should be set up and you can follow along.