The social well being of your pet must be a primary consideration, and housing your pet hamster in a suitable cage is a major factor in maintaining a healthy hamster. The housing or enclosure you choose for your pet will be his home for the rest of his life, so choose wisely as this is possibly the biggest expense you will have to make.
From experience a wired cage is more suitable for housing a Syrian hamster. The most suitable cage for your pet is a wired cage that has a plastic clip on base.
The most expensive cage in the shop is not necessarily the best. Some of the cheaper ones are more appropriate for housing hamsters in. Many pet stores sell durable colored plastic cages that may include attached tubes through which the hamster can crawl for exercise. These are suitable enclosures.
Avoid cages with upper wired floors, wire floors hurt and can damage a hamster’s feet: This is one of the main causes of a condition called Pododermatitis Also know as Bumble foot. Avoid cages that are too high and with multi levels. Syrian hamsters are very good at climbing but can find it very difficult to climb down again, they usually drop from a high.
Some of the gadgets like sleeping quarters and narrow tubes they have on some cages are not suitable for a large fully grown Syrian hamster. Be sure to place the cage out of drafts and direct sunlight, make sure any door closes securely and clips securely in place. Provide a box for sleeping and plenty of nesting material.
An aquarium is not a suitable habitat to be modified for housing a hamster. Be aware that glass sides restrict the airflow and keep heat in. With or without a top, aquariums have a very poor air circulation.
Wired cages have a better air flow which is good for your pet. Tanks generally seem to smell less, but if you put your nose in it you will soon figure out why they are more in need of a clean than you thought. Fish love aquariums, hamsters don't.