Leo Braun's Ultimate Wheel
By Mary Ann Isaksen
Photo by Leo Braun
What can you possibly say, but that Leo has done it again! Leo has been
working with us to create the best possible cages, lab block holders, and
wheels for many years now. After all the years of using wire wheels with our
precious pets, seeing many of them get injured, it was Leo who came up with
the idea for solid surface wheels. First, he came up with sheet metal wheels,
then decided to powder-coat them for easy cleaning, but Leo still wasnít
satisfied that heíd made the best possible product. He began working on
designs that eliminated the center axel and the spokes that held the axel (the
bars that some rodents would hit their heads on or catch their tails in). The
quality just kept getting better. Now, Leo has created the Ultimate Wheel,
which certainly lives up to its name!
Made from spun aluminum, it is the lightest wheel ever created for its
large size (comes in 12 and 15 inch diameter sizes). There are no spokes and
no axel to possibly injure your pet. It has an aluminum hub which houses the
very expensive roller bearings that make this wheel completely quiet. Imagine
that - a quiet wheel! You can have this wheel right in the bedroom with you
while you sleep away the night in peace, even though your rodent pals are
getting the exercise they need. Leo has also thought of every possible
situation and has made them in both free-standing and hanging styles.
With the quality of the craftsmanship, and the added powdercoating for
ease of cleaning and to protect the metal, this wheel is sure to last a
lifetime. I have yet to see one get damaged, and there is nothing that a rat
could do to one to damage it. I guess thatís why Leo offers a two-year
warranty. Incredible, a rodent wheel with a warranty - now thatís a first!
Super Pet Flat-Bac Bottles
By Sarah Shuman
This is a new take on the typical pet water bottle. Rather than being
cylindrically shaped, they are more rectangular. The backs are flat, as the
I have tested these extensively in different sizes, and these are some of
The plastic is sturdier than the average bottle, so they wear well. I
have only had one rat chew through them. The only thing that stops this rat
is those super-hard Oasis Bell bottles that are shaped like a Tylenol
capsule--Veronica the Diamond-Toothed Rat can chew anything else open.
Because the plastic is hard, it is also rigid, which minimizes drips. It is
also sort of a smokey grey translucent color, so that sunlight cannot
penetrate to cause algae growth, but you can see inside to tell when the
bottle needs to be refilled. There is a little "floaty thing" inside which
you can use as a further visual cue to help you gauge water level quickly
without squinting. To further minimize dripping, these have a "column" in the
middle which keeps the sides at a constant distance from each other.
Another thing is that these bottles come with a small mountable frame
which you must install in order to use the bottle. This is very easy on wire
cages--you simply unscrew the little back plate, put the frame in position on
the cage, and rotate the plate back onto the screw which connects it to the
frame. This will hold it firmly. If you want to use one of these in an
aquarium, however, you must buy the suction cups to attach it, which I have
not yet tried. The good thing is that, once you have the frame installed,
it's very easy to refill the bottles by simply snapping them off the frame,
opening them, and snapping them back in when full, which I find takes a lot
less time than wrestling with a metal water bottle holder.
Some things to watch out for: A friend of mine had trouble with one of
her animals being unable to get water out of the spout, and just recently I
have seen the same thing happen once with my rats. This has happened with a
standard bottle, too, though. It's possible that the lower part of the
drinking tube may be a bit more horizontal than it should be and may therefore
be more likely to trap air between the metal balls in the tube, therefore
making the water inaccessable. Also, when you twist the spout to make it line
up properly so you can insert it between the cage wires, it may slide out
entirely, so be sure to check that it's in the rubber stopper all the way and
that the water flows freely when you tap the metal ball. But that's a good
thing to do with ANY kind of water bottle, as I recently found out.
Overall, I like these bottles and find them sturdy and easy to use. I
All products reviewed become the property of Rat & Mouse Club of America.