Well it's not good, bowls don't work with a heater which you need, and you don't necessarily need a filter but you do need a heater and with a round bowl I don't think a heater would work, you need at least a 2.5 gallon aquarium with a heater and plants for a betta to be happy and with water changes.
you could just get a large bowl... i keep 2 of mine in 2.5 gallon bowls that are heated. they look much better in tanks though. they need a heater because they are tropical fish, their temp range is 76-84 degrees. if the water is too cold, it will sit on the bottom and wont move much, and is much more likely to get sick than a betta in warm water. a betta needs room swim, keeping a betta in a small bowl is the equivalent of keeping a human in a port a potty. think about it, he has enough room to stretch and turn around, and thats pretty much it. he also has to go to the bathroom in that water. how would you like swimming in your own waste?. if you keep him in a less than 1 gallon bowl, youll need to change his water every day to keep him from dying from ammonia poisoning. (this would probably be most appealing to your mom) think about the fish you will get, he has long, beautiful flowing fins. if he swims around and around in that bowl, and all he sees is that tail in front of him... well think about it like a dog that chases his tail. and chances are, he will bite it. not just nip it, but he will eat it. now where are those long beautiful flowing fins now? here is one of my old bettas.... he ate off his tail from being in the small bag he was shipped in, but once i put him in a large roomy 10 gallon tank, he never touched it again (10 gallons is the ideal size to me, because theyve got lots of room to swim and explore, but he would still be fine with a 2.5 gallon)
I've had 2 Bettas in my life, and they need proper care to live. I'll organize it by their needed care. I'm 11 and I'll tell you what I think.
Food- Bettas need food specifically for them They need a lot of protein, like their ancestors from the rice paddies in Thailand. Good foods do not have wheat gluten, and have only a little amount of cheap fillers such as soy. With proper foods, Bettas can show their true colors and live happily.
Tank Size- There is a myth that Bettas in Thailand live in puddles. That is certainly not the case. Those paddies can go miles long and it's only shallow when it's really hot. IMO, Bettas shouldn't be in a tank below 1 gallon. Ammonia would build up very quickly, and you need to do more work. The bigger the tank size, the less you have to do and you can put some more fish in a 10 gallon.
Temperature- Bettas are TROPICAL FISH. They thrive in warmth. With a heater, thy could be happy like little clams. :) They get easily sick in coldness, and that's really bad care.
Filtration- Bettas don't need it but its recommended. Its main goalies to keep ammonia out and make sure the Betta isn't suffering from ammonia.
Sickness- With improper care, they easily get sick and die. Most common sicknesses are ick.
Bowls aren't appropriate for a few reasons...
1. In the wild, bettas jump from puddle to puddle until they reach a large body of water. So it is their natural instinct to jump. Therefore, it is likely that your fish will jump out of the bowl. A covered tank would prevent this.
2. Bowls are often too small for bettas. IMO Bettas thrive in 2.5 gallons or more, the average bowl being only 1 gallon. The reason I dont believe in 1 gallons for bettas is not only because the fish like more room to swim, but also because it means more water changes. The ammonia created by your fish builds up quicker in smaller spaces, meaning more water changes are necessary OR your fish will die from ammonia posioning.
3. Bowls are typically more difficult to heat. Bettas are tropical fish that originate in hot & humid Thailand. They should be kept in water 78-80 degrees farenheit. In a cooler temperature, they will clamp up (their fins will not be open and spread out as usual), they will be less active and they are more prone to diseases and illnesses that can be fatal. I always suggest getting a heater for your tank that is adjustable & has a thermostat.
I hope that your mom finds what I took the time out to type helpful. It is only in your best interest to provide a betta with a good home. Bettas often live 5 years or more when given the right conditions... Filters are not needed BUT they are reccomended. They keep the water clean & clear, without any film on the surface.
Last edited by teeneythebetta; 07-25-2012 at 03:35 PM.
A 2-3 gallon heated container should be big enough for the fish to explore a bit and for someone to have some fun with decor in. Bigger never hurt. Less *can* be OK but requires a lot more water changes and monitoring. Would definitely not go below a gallon. Hopefully she wants her fish to be comfortable in his home!