Can you keep fish in a glass bowl?

The glass bowl, which can still be found on the shelves of pet stores, is a vessel suitable for a bouquet of flowers or a candle holder. Whoever puts the fish in the glass ball is mistreating a poor animal. You don’t need any aquarium knowledge to notice that the fish in the bowl are not very active and often have breathing problems. When a salesperson in a pet shop persuades you to buy a glass bowl and a fish, he or she is doing it out of sheer calculation, aiming at profit in a deliberate way of misleading the customer. Learn the arguments why you can’t keep fish in a glass bowl.

What kind of fish can be kept in a bowl?

None. It’s best to get out of that mindset right away. There are no fish that will feel good in a glass bowl. And an aquarist should first and foremost be concerned with creating the right living conditions for his or her fish. On the zoological market there are a whole bunch of small tanks in the shape of cubes or cuboids, in which you can easily arrange a suitable living environment for fish and install all the necessary equipment. There is also no problem finding small species of fish that can live in such tanks.

Can a goldfish live in a glass bowl?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions by people interested in buying a goldfish. Although goldfish are cold-water fish, they suffer horrible torment in the glass bowl. They are active fish that require space to swim and have a high metabolism, which results in rapid water pollution with their feces. Due to the lack of filtration in the bowl, the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the water is low. The longer the water is left unchanged, the worse the chemical parameters and the lower the oxygen concentration. Under these conditions, the fish have trouble breathing. It moves closer to the surface of the water where there is a little more oxygen. Its gill lids and mouth are forced to work very hard to increase water flow through the gills.

The water in the bowl becomes cloudy, it often has an unpleasant odor, and a slippery residue appears on the glass. Water exchange in the bowl improves oxygen conditions and eliminates harmful pollutants. However, the whole process of changing the water and washing the bowl is a huge stress for the fish. For the aquarium handlers, too, because they have to do it often. In addition, fresh water has an aggressive effect on the delicate skin of the fish and its gills. So goldfish cannot be kept in a bowl if you want to provide them with the right conditions.

Can a betta live in a bowl?

Apart from goldfish, the second most common fish to end up in the bowl is betta. It seems that bettas do quite well in these conditions, as they breathe with atmospheric air, so oxygen deficiency in water is not a problem for them. However, they are tropical fish. Too cold water and air temperatures over water can cause infections. In addition, the fish becomes less active, and a stagnant, apathetic fish is no longer attractive. When buying a betta, definitely choose a cube-shaped aquarium.

What’s wrong with a fish bowl?

The basis of aquaristics is the creation of suitable living conditions for fish, which is closely related to obtaining biological balance in the tank. A state in which water parameters remain stable and have values suitable for living organisms. For this purpose, you can install a filter with a capacity suitable for the aquarium and its inhabitants. The filter will become populated with bacteria over time, including nitrifying bacteria, responsible for creating and maintaining the biological balance in the tank. The substrate also plays a significant role, although in certain situations you can give it up. In a fish bowl, due to the lack of filtration and constant water changes, there is no chance to create even a substitute for a state of biological balance.

Fish in a bowl are under constant stress due to poor water parameters, low oxygen, inadequate temperature, limited swimming space, and lack of hiding places. As a result, their natural immunity is weakened, leading to the development of many diseases and in most cases death.

What kind of fish can be kept in a fish bowl?

A bowl is a good container for flowers or stone decorations. A bowl is not an aquarium, but a glass container, not suitable for keeping live animals.

In short, why shouldn’t we keep fish in a fish bowl?

  1. In a fish bowl, due to its shape, there is limited gas exchange.
  2. Installing a filter and heater is problematic.
  3. Lack of filtration makes water dirty quickly.
  4. The almost daily exchange of water prevents the formation of a biological balance.
  5. Limited swimming space for fish.
  6. No hiding places for fish.
  7. Fish are exposed to major stress, which promotes the development of various diseases.

dr inż. (Ph.D.Eng) Aleksandra Kwaśniak-Płacheta

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