Cute But Deadly: The Truth About Fish Bowls - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Cute But Deadly: The Truth About Fish Bowls



They may be compact and stylish, but thereís nothing cute about fish bowls. Small space and toxic water conditions are just a few of things wrong with this popular fish habitat.
If you have ever gone to the fair or a carnival, youíve probably seen goldfish or betta fish being given away as prizes. In many cases, the fish are just given away in bags, but some places give them away in small fish bowls. What many people do not realize is that keeping a fish in a fish bowl is tantamount to animal cruelty.


Why Fish Bowls are Bad

Keeping a betta fish or goldfish in a small fish bowl is equivalent to soaking in a bathtub contaminated by your own waste Ė there simply isnít enough water to dilute the waste. The key to keeping aquarium fish healthy is to maintain high water quality in the tank, and that simply isnít possible with a fish bowl unless you change the water every day. As your fish eats, it naturally produces waste and in a fish bowl there isnít anywhere for that waste to go. As a result, it accumulates in the bottom of the fish bowl where it will have a negative impact on water quality. If you donít change the water in the bowl, the accumulation of wastes can quickly lead to toxic conditions which could kill your fish. This is why many goldfish only last a few days after being brought home from the fair.

Related: Tank Stocking: The Truth About The 1 Inch Per Gallon Rule

In addition to promoting toxic conditions, here are just a few more reasons why fish bowls are bad:

They donít offer enough swimming space. Betta fish grow up to 3 inches long and goldfish can grow much larger. A small fish bowl simply doesnít offer enough swimming space to keep a fish healthy.
They have rounded edges. If you have ever tried to look through a fish bowl you probably noticed that it distorted your vision. Keeping a fish in a rounded bowl can be disorienting.

There isnít enough beneficial bacteria. In order to keep the water quality in a fish tank high, you need beneficial bacteria to convert the chemicals produced by the breakdown of waste into less harmful substances. In a fish bowl there simply isnít enough water or space to cultivate an adequate colony of beneficial bacteria.
They arenít big enough for heaters or filters. A fish bowl isnít designed to accommodate a tank heater or filter. Without a heater, the water temperature in your fish bowl is subject to fluctuations which could stress or kill your fish. Without a filter, the water quality will quickly decline and even small changes in water chemistry could be deadly.

They generally donít come with lids. Betta fish can jump up to 6 inches in the air Ė it is a natural adaptation they have from living in shallow pools and puddles in their native habitat. If you donít keep a lid on your fish bowl (and most of them arenít designed with lids), you run the risk of coming to feed your fish one day and discovering him dried out on the floor.

Related: How to Properly Acclimate New Fish in the Aquarium

Bigger is Better

If you are new to the aquarium hobby, you might think that a small fish bowl is easier to maintain than a large tank. Unfortunately, you would be mistaken. Sure, it might take more money to set up a large aquarium than to fill a fish bowl, but the maintenance will be easier in the long run. With a larger aquarium you have a larger water volume Ė this means that wastes and toxins are diluted so you donít have to perform water changes as often as you would to maintain water quality in a fish bowl. A larger tank also means that you will be able to accommodate a filter and a heater which will keep the conditions stable for your fish. Finally, if you do happen to make a mistake in regard to water chemistry, having a higher water volume means that the mistake could be relatively minor and you should be able to remedy it before it affects your fish. A minor mistake in a small fish bowl could be deadly for your fish in a matter of minutes.

If you really want to do what is best for your fish, you wonít even consider a fish bowl as an option. It might take a little more time and money to cultivate a larger fish tank, but it is definitely worth it for the health and wellness of your fish.
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Last edited by RussellTheShihTzu; 08-06-2016 at 02:05 AM.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 12:18 AM
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I 100% percent agree with you. My tank my not be the biggest but it is a 5gallon filtered and heated tank. I was new to this but did my research and made my fish happy :)
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-04-2016, 05:00 PM
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This is why im saving up money to get a tank. I have mine in a fish bowl. Didnt know about this site when i got him 2 years ago. Now i know but dont have the cash for a tank right now. Hopefully soon i can transfer my betta to a tank
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 09:10 PM
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My Betta has a 29 gallon planted tank all to himself. I hate the myth that bettas get "lost" or "confused" in a big tank. Everyone said I was crazy to put a tiny fish in such a big tank. This tank is a piece of cake! I'm so under stocked its basically no maintenance and my little King couldn't be happier. Give your betta 5 gallons plus and they will thrive!
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nazasaki View Post
My Betta has a 29 gallon planted tank all to himself. I hate the myth that bettas get "lost" or "confused" in a big tank. Everyone said I was crazy to put a tiny fish in such a big tank. This tank is a piece of cake! I'm so under stocked its basically no maintenance and my little King couldn't be happier. Give your betta 5 gallons plus and they will thrive!
Yeah my betta was a rescue from a 1/2 gallon so I panicked and got him a 5 in the 5 I had him with fake plants because I was in a hurry. But when I went into a ten gallon I planted it planted. It took a lot of convincing for my parents (and almost all of my birthday + savings) though but im so glad I did
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspen The Betta View Post
Yeah my betta was a rescue from a 1/2 gallon so I panicked and got him a 5 in the 5 I had him with fake plants because I was in a hurry. But when I went into a ten gallon I planted it planted. It took a lot of convincing for my parents (and almost all of my birthday + savings) though but im so glad I did
I'm sure he loves his new home! Once my betta settled into his new home he became extremely active. He is constantly patrolling the tank, checks up on his snail buddies, and rearranges my marimo moss balls untill it's time for his treats. So much personality packed into a little fish.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 02:11 AM
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Small bowls or tanks are not for novices, IMO 10 gallon minimum.

However If you know what you are doing it can be done.

With a heater and lid this is fine for a Betta.


However this is not fine for a Betta or goldfish
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 01:27 PM
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I agree so much @NickAu
Large enough fish bowls can be a suitable habitat for a Betta with a heater, lid and enough matinence.

Would you keep a dog in a small box? Then why would you keep a fish in a bowl?
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by NickAu View Post
Small bowls or tanks are not for novices, IMO 10 gallon minimum.

However If you know what you are doing it can be done.

With a heater and lid this is fine for a Betta.


However this is not fine for a Betta or goldfish

Nick, That is a better goldfish bowl than most I have seen o.o

The Males~
Lucifer, Gabriel, Titan, King, Finnegan, Fin-again & Ricky.
Lucifer & Gabriel are my only non-rescues...

The Females~
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 10:26 PM
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I have my betta in a 1 gallon tank. It has two fake plants and glow in the dark rocks that don't glow. Is that a good sized tank? My LPS told me that that was the ideal size. I thought they were lying but it was the cheapest, so we bought it anyway. I hope my fish is happy. At least I don't have a bowl!
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