I purchased the medium size water bottle for my ratties from Doctors Foster and Smith's website. The model number listed on the box is "GB-16 Medium". It's the 16 ounce bottle with 7/16" tube size. It also comes in a 16 ounce bottle with a 5/16" tube size, which I would recommend for smaller rats. On the box, Lixit recommends the 5/16" tube for rats and the 7/16" for larger animals such as rabbits and ferrets. I was not aware of this at the time of purchase, since the site I ordered it from sold it in the bird department and only gave examples of what type of bird would need whichever sized bottle. Figuring a rat was not much bigger than a conure or Quaker parrot and still bigger than a cockatiel, I went with the larger size. Personally, I think it works just fine for my lady rats- they don't seem to have problem and it is only slightly bigger than the tubes they had been used to prior.
Installing the Lixit glass water bottle was rather difficult but just on the part of which direction the locking bracket should be installed. I had installed it correctly the first time, but then had difficulty getting the actual water bottle into place. Please note that tools are required for assembly which would be a screwdriver and 3/8" wrench or pliers. On my first attempt of installing the hardware, I didn't read all the instructions and came unprepared with only a screwdriver so it was back out to the mud room to dig for a pair of pliers. Then I noticed only after tightening the locknuts very tightly, that I had installed the back-strap upside down on my second attempt. So far, that has not hindered the bottle from working as intended- I think it is mainly stated to assemble that way only to prevent bumping it out of place or having a bird or ratty lift the wire bail and having the glass water fall and shatter.
A good video on how to install the Lixit Bird Deluxe Glass Water Bottle can be found HERE on YouTube.
The complicated mounting of the Lixit water bottle ensures that this bottle is not going anywhere. Its sturdy. Its supportive. And the water bottle itself is stationary. The hardware itself is high quality stainless steel. No flimsy, bendable metal wire holding this bottle in place!
The Lixit Bird Deluxe Glass Water Bottle is a ball-point tube. It works on a vacuum-lock, not a valve seal. The control ball serves as a piston and releases water out of the tube when nudged inwardly by the rat's tongue. When the bottle is filled and first inverted, you must press in the control ball and let the water trickle out until a vacuum lock develops inside the bottle, before placing it on the cage. As long as the vacuum lock is in place, the rubber stopper is securely pressed into the bottle neck, and the water is at room temperature, you will not have any leaking. However very occasional dripping can occur from air expansion inside the bottle due to temperature increase, or immediately after your rat finishes drinking. This is normal and is nothing more than a few drops. Nothing like the constant drip, drip, dripping I have experienced with other bottles.
The only safety concern I would have with this water bottle other than taking the obvious precaution not to drop it and breaking the glass, would be that the instructions mentioned cutting off the mounting screws with the locknut using a hacksaw or nippers. I didn't come across this being an issue for after I tightened everything, the mounting screws were already pretty flush with the locknut. The tiny amount that stuck out past it was even with the shelf floor of my Midwest Double Critter Nation cage, so unless I had the door open, my rats would not be exposed to it anyhow. I recommend having a set of nippers or a hacksaw available, just in case.
Cleaning this water bottle has never been easier! All parts are said to be dishwasher safe! Even if I did not have a dishwasher, I was pleased to discover than the bottle neck was wide enough to fit a baby bottle brush inside to clean. All of my other water bottles' openings were far too narrow for any brush to fit into, and I was often worried that I was not getting my water bottles as clean as they should be.
Finding replacement pieces is very easy. You can order replacement bottles, tubes & stopper sets, or stoppers by themselves by contacting Lixit. The prices are reasonable too. A replacement bottle, without the mounting hardware, tube or stopper, for this particular bottle, is only $12.99 according to the paper that came inside the box (note: it states prices are subject to change and to call 1-800-358-8254 for update). So even if you accidentally drop it, you still have ways of replacing it without having to buy a brand new bottle and hardware set.
For more information on this Lixit Bird Deluxe Glass Water Bottle, you can visit Lixit's website at http://www.lixit.com.
Quality: 5 Stars. Quality material, genius mounting hardware design.
Safety: 4 Stars. Depending on the cage you are mounting this water bottle to, you may need to cut the mounting screw flush with the locknut, to avoid any part of the screw sticking out, potentially causing injury. With my DCN cage, I did not have that issue. However, it prevents residual or airborne bacteria contamination which is beneficial for your rats' health.
Ease of Assembly: 3 Stars. Complicated although the directions are quite clear.
Ease of Cleaning: 5 Stars. All parts of the water bottle is dishwasher safe. Bottle neck wide enough to wash using a bottle brush for those who hand wash.
Price: 4 Stars. Purchased for $21.59. This is considered quite expensive for some, in comparison with other water bottles. However, I feel that you get what you pay for. Quality costs a little extra.
Aesthetics: 5 Stars. I almost put "n/a" for this category because I didn't know how a water bottle could possibly be aesthetically pleasing. But when I think back to how tacky my water bottles looked, all "ghetto-rigged" as I called them, into place with pipe cleaners and zip ties, this one is very pleasing in appearance. Sure, it doesn't come in flashy colors or with cute little pictures of pocket pets on it, but it does look nice.
Rat's Response: 5 Stars. My rats were able to drink from it without any issue. They took to it right away.
RAT WHISPERER SCORE: 5 Stars.
Overall I am beyond pleased with the Lixit Bird Deluxe Glass Water Bottle and decidedly will continue to purchase these bottles whenever I am shopping for water bottles for my rats.
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As the owner of the blog, I do receive free products or services. The Rat Whisperer will make note on any posts where a product was received for free. Please view the statement on any post where there is a review and/or a giveaway to learn if a product was received for free. I do not accept paid reviews, but I do receive some compensation from ads and affiliate links on my site. This compensation does not influence my reviews, but it does allow me to maintain the site, purchase more products to review and keep my pets in the manner to which they have become accustomed. Affiliate links will be marked with an *. Please note that compensation in the form of a "free" product does NOT affect my opinions in any way. I strive to provide 100% honest feedback about the products being reviewed.