Rodent Watering System DIY Tutorial(Split Line)

I have made this set up using supplies you can find on Amazon and even your local hardware store. They sell rodent watering system kits all over the internet, but I narrowed it down so you can create this rodent watering system with just the basics.

The supplies I used for this tutorial are from Reptile Basics, but I will link the Amazon replacements at the bottom of this post.

The system works with gravity so as long as you can put the bucket or tub above the rodent rack you can consider it an automatic rodent watering system.

The one I created is a split line so two of my rat breeding racks have a single bucket feeding 5 tubs each(total of 10).

Here’s what you’ll need:



  • Tubing – I got 50 feet but that is more than enough for 2 of these set ups. How much you’ll need depends on how long you’ll need your waterline to be. 
  • Quick disconnect – I have only found this on Reptile Basics. One of the reasons why I bought their products instead of opting for the less expensive alternatives. Without this piece you’ll need to fill the bucket with a hose nearby or drag the entire system to a water source. 
  • Bucket connector with valve. I recommend the valve so that you can shut off the water going to the lines at any time(it helps when refilling) 
  • T connectors – at least 10
  • L connectors x2
  • Nips 1 for each tub/cage(I used 10)
  • 5 gallon bucket or water container 


I will describe each step and show pictures for clarity. Let’s get started!

1. Drill the bucket or tub towards the bottom.

You’ll need to drill a hole to fit your bucket valve connector. If you’re unsure of what size it is start small and increase the size to see which one will fit the bucket connector.

Leave 1/2”-1” from the bottom to make sure you don’t drill through the bottom of the bucket.

 automatic rodent watering system

2. Attach the Bucket Connector(bulkhead) to the bucket.

You’ll have to unscrew the plastic nut that goes in the bucket. Automatic rodent watering system

Put the threaded part of it in the bucket so the valve is sticking out.

The tank connector should come with an O ring, a black rubber ring, that you’ll need to put on the outside of the bucket to stop water from coming out. This is important!!

Using the O ring will help prevent leaks. This also helps so that you don’t have to tighten the nut all the way causing plastic to crack. 

3. Attach a tube from the tank connector to one end of the Quick connector.

Then you’ll need to add tubing from the other end of the quick connector to a “T”connector.

If you are splitting the the  line like I did then you’ll need to connect it to the short end of the T connector. This “T” will be the “split.


From the first “T” you’ll need to connect one tube long enough to reach the top of the first tub or rack. Then place the long side of another “T” connector to that end of that tube.

The idea is to get one main line down the entire rack with tubes splitting to each tub. 

6. Attach the nipple

From the “T” connector you just added attach tubing long enough to reach INTO the first tub.

This is the end you’ll put the metal nipple (I added all the metal nipples after I finished all the tubing)

The next portion of the main line will need to reach the top of the next tub. You’ll put another long end of a T connector to that end. Add a line that goes INTO the second tub. And put the nipple on that end.

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you get to the last tub. 

8. For The last tub you’ll need to put an “L” connector.

The “L” is used so the main line stops. So one end of the “L” should be connected to the main line and the otero end of the “L” should have a tubing that connects to the nipple that goes IN the last tub.

You’ll need to do the same thing for the other side (from the top split) I ended up doing each side simultaneous so I can match the length of the tubing. 

You’re all set!

Fill the bucket up with water and turn the valve on and you’ll have flowing water! The rodents know what to do. If they don’t right away they will figure it out since they’re curious creatures. 

Remember you can also use this method to do a single line. You would just need to skip splitting and connect a tube straight from the quick disconnect to the first tub. 

If you have any questions leave them down below. I’ll gladly explain in more detail where I can. 


Make sure nipples are secure. For the Amazon nipple ends they should come with a spring you can attach or reptile basics sells their own. 

Get Flexible tubing! It helps them stay in place and prevents the tubing from disconnecting. 

Clear tubing works best! Reptile basics only offers black opaque tubing as of now but if you can get a hold of clear it’s better so you can see where the waters going and if there are any blockages 

Make sure your rodents can’t reach the tubing or they’ll chew it and cause leaks. 

Check the size of your valve BEFORE you drill. It sounds simple but trust me I’ve made the mistake of not  checking. 

All of these supplies can be bought off of Amazon too! Check out our store front for a list of things to get.

DIY Automatic Watering System for Rodents
by Joce Arriba, Infinite Scales

Not interested in a rat water system? Check out this info on Ball Pythons and more!