New hamster owner in need of advice
Yesterday (Tues) I bought two male Winter White Russian dwarf hamsters. They came from PetSmart and are brothers from the same litter. I'm unsure of their age, though.
I have them in a 10 gallon fish tank instead of a cage (I just preferred this idea) so they have a lot of space. They have a large food bowl, 1 water bottle, and 1 wheel at the moment, and plenty of bedding to tunnel in, etc.
In the store, they seemed to get along well - no fighting or apparent aggressive behavior, though one was fussy from just having been woken up and he was squeaking a lot but otherwise didn't seem to be trying to bite, etc.
Soren, my personal favorite, is very easy-going. He has already climbed into my hand willingly on a couple of occasions and is settling in nicely. He nibbles a bit, but so far it hasn't hurt and he has never acted aggressive towards me. He has a few scars around his nose and eyes, though, and that has made me curious about what has happened to him in the past.
His brother Kier, however, is a serious drama queen. He hates being touched - it scares him and he starts squeaking like you're killing him. In fact, he's easily frightened in general and takes off running and fussing at the slightest thing. He's decided to make his nest underneath the water bottle, so any time Soren goes to take a drink, Kier flips out just because Soren is near him. Soren never threatens Kier, never starts fights, nothing. He just wants a bite of food or a drink of water, and Kier acts kind of crazy.
I separated them last night with a simple piece of cardboard in the tank - the squeaking was keeping me awake - but I removed the cardboard this morning. I was out of my room for maybe 20 minutes, and when I returned, Soren had a great deal of blood on his face and front paws. He was shaking and squinting a bit. I was worried at first, but after several hours Soren seems fine and is acting normally.
Kier is still overly dramatic and pissy, though at the moment they are both sleeping. They do not like to get near one another right now, mostly because Kier has a squeaking fit and Soren simply backs off. He never seems to instigate things, but Kier seems to think he will.
Kier seems to behave as the more submissive one - by the way he rolls on his back and puts his feet up, but the fact that he bit Soren so badly really bothers me and I would like some opinions on what to do.
PetSmart allows one to return an animal within 14 days for a full refund no matter what the problem (sickness, death, personality clash, etc), but I really want to keep both of them. I would also prefer to keep them in the same tank - I really don't have the space or money to deal with another tank.
I'd like to think that Kier's behavior is simply due to the stress of a new environment, but I don't know that for sure. Should I leave them together for now and see if Kier calms down and becomes more tame with time, or am I just risking Soren's health and life by doing so?