Goldfish Bowls - Step-by-Step Analysis And Maintenance

Wouldn't it be amazing if all goldfish owners have happy and healthy goldfish? Many people assume that when they go into a pet store and see fifty small goldfish in an aquarium it means it is OK to buy some goldfish and keep them in a bowl or a small tank at home. Let's analyze the goldfish bowls subject.

It's helpful to use the analogy of your own house, but you can't open the windows or doors. And the you couldn't clean it for several weeks. What would it be like? How would you react to that?

Now imagine you are a goldfish. You live in an artificially-constrained space, swimming in a limited amount of water, stressed because you have very little oxygen and no corners to hide to. You know that if your owner can't maintain a high quality water and you are exposed to very common diseases that can cost you your life. Would you tell your owner that it's easier to keep goldfish in a decent size aquarium where you and your friends can be happy?

Lets think about why goldfish bowls and jars are such a hazard for your goldfish. Here is how goldfish get sick in bowls:

  1. The waste products reduce the amount of oxygen available and cause ammonia to build up
  2. The water becomes poisonous and as goldfish continue to grow, there is less oxygen available in the bowl
  3. Without adequate room to move, breathe or play, the fish begin to suffocate. The combination of stress and oxygen starvation leads to death
  4. The most important rule of goldfish keeping says you need at least 10 gallons of water for every small goldfish you own
  5. Right from the beginning the size becomes a big problem
  6. Because of its design, it is almost impossible to fit a filter
  7. The small opening at the top causes bad gas exchange meaning no oxygen
  8. Your goldfish won't have any corners for hiding, which makes them feel unsafe and from here they become stressed

So then, goldfish bowls:

  • are too small
  • deprive goldfish of oxygen
  • are boring
  • get dirty quickly
  • can't support more than one goldfish

Goldfish Bowl Maintenance

It's quite obvious that if you already got a goldfish bowl and want to keep fish successfully you need to maintain a consistently clean, pure and well oxygenated water. Make it your vow to keep water quality as pure as you can, even if all goldfish experts say that it's impossible.

Daily cleaning and maintenance should not be a difficult task. It will be easier to keep the bowl clean if you keep up on the cleaning.

You need to find a way to let more oxygen into the bowl. Removing some water to increase the surface area is a good idea.

Do a 30% water change every 3 days, but make sure the water has the same temperature and it's treated.

Remove all uneaten food that remains after each feeding session. To avoid wasting too much fish food and overfeeding your pet, you need to feed your goldfish once a day for 2 minutes.

As you can see, goldfish bowls require a lot of maintenance, a busy schedule and full attention from you. This is one reason why successful aquarists choose large tanks or ponds to keep their wonderful goldfish.

The stereotype of the old lady who leaves her fish in a a bowl is, well, just fantasy. If you already got a goldfish in a bowl, we all have to start somewhere.

Useful Articles

Goldfish Tanks - Buying The Aquarium You Dream About
Fish Tank Set Up | A Freshwater Step-By-Step Guide
Goldfish Diseases | How To Diagnose, Cure And Prevent
Goldfish Water | Quality and Maintenance
Goldfish Ponds | Building A Beautiful Pond Step-by-Step

Love to you,

Image credits to: fursryferret81 @