Cute But Deadly: The Truth About Fish Bowls
They may be compact and stylish, but theres 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, youve 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 there simply isnt 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 isnt 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 isnt 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 dont 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.
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In addition to promoting toxic conditions, here are just a few more reasons why fish bowls are bad:
They dont offer enough swimming space. Betta fish grow up to 3 inches long and goldfish can grow much larger. A small fish bowl simply doesnt 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 isnt 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 isnt enough water or space to cultivate an adequate colony of beneficial bacteria.
They arent big enough for heaters or filters. A fish bowl isnt 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 dont come with lids. Betta fish can jump up to 6 inches in the air it is a natural adaptation they have from living in shallow pools and puddles in their native habitat. If you dont keep a lid on your fish bowl (and most of them arent designed with lids), you run the risk of coming to feed your fish one day and discovering him dried out on the floor.