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Many people ask if it’s ok for a Betta Fish to live in a bowl. Since Betta’s look so cool many people keep them in decorative bowls, even some that mount on the wall. And a bowl is cheaper than a tank. But is that ok for the fish?
Can a betta fish can live in a fish bowl? YES! They simply need clean water that is warm, and food to survive. But this is not ideal as a small unfiltered bowl can quickly become toxic (and deadly) to a fish if the water is not changed frequently.
The best size for a single betta fish is 5 gallons , but if you are still thinking on using a fish bowl please keep reading.
5 Reasons a Betta Fish should not in a Bowl
Water can reach toxic levels quickly
This is really the #1 reason not to keep a betta fish in a bowl.
Most fish bowls are a gallon or less. Fish and food waste accumulates faster percentage-wise when there is less water for it to mix with.
This means in a matter of a day or so a fish bowl may reach toxic levels of ammonia and start killing your fish.
A larger tank with more water won’t reach toxic levels nearly as quick as there is more water to offset the waste.
Fish Bowls do not have filters
On the theme of keeping the water clean: a filtered tank will keep the water cleaner for far longer than an unfiltered bowl.
And when filters are doing their job it also means less frequent water changes for you.
Really all your Betta needs is clean non-toxic water and food to at least survive if not thrive.
Still thinking of using a bowl that gets nasty fast? Keep reading…..
Fish Bowls are cold, and your Betta Fish is Tropical
Betta Fish are tropical fish and like water around 78 degrees.
This means if your house is generally cooler than 78 (my house is much colder) then you are going to need a heater to keep your Betta Fish happy and thriving.
Fish bowls and small tanks are generally too small to support a heater. Most heaters have a minimum tank size requirement and a 1 gallon or less bowl definitely won’t work.
Your Fish needs air – really!
Although your Betta has a labyrinth organ that allows it to come to the surface and actually breath air the way we do, the main source of oxygen should be from the water itself.
A bowl with a small opening at the top provides limited exposure to the air for the water to mix with. A tank filter also helps add oxygen to the water by mixing with the air – that’s not happening in your bowl.
Plants are great for a fish tank and help keep water clean, if you want plants in a fish bowl without lights then you need to have plenty of natural light in the room. Just don’t place the bowl near a window as temperatures will fluctuate.
What can a Betta Fish live in?
Now if you’re not sure which tank to get you can also read our article on the best fish tanks for Betta’s.