Fishbowls: Why Are They Still In Use?

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The fish is in the bowl.Creative Commons License courtesy of eltpics

I’m fish sittingCreative Commons License courtesy of Knox in a Box

I’m not really trying to prove a point here, but really.


1: Bowls are often very small, too small.

2: They trap ammonia, often suffocating the fish. I’ve seen way too many people saying their fishes are dying, and upon answering finding out that they are in a teeny tiny bowl.

I don’t want to be one sided, so here’s the upsides.

1: They’re cheap and pretty.

That’s it. It may be good for your pocket, but not for the fish. It makes me so mad to see those fish suffering in a tiny enclosure, goldfish especially.

Why don’t people do their research before going through the whole rigamarole?

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment or give me a


  • Leanne88: Ugh dont even get me started on fish bowls!!
    Part of me is pleased they are not good- can u imagine how many tanks i would have if they were ok for fish?!
  • Snails: I would have at least 30- but if they were good for fish they would be much higher priced.
  • Leanne88: Id have a whole bookcase full of them!! There are some lovely little nano tanks about but there all so tiny :(
  • Newfishmom: Just rescued a poor little betta from a green slimey mess in a bowl that held about 24 ounces of water. I threw the bowl in the trash and the betta in an extra 10 gallon I had. My son brought him home. How do you say No to that? Have to run n get a filter today. NO ONE in my house even blinked about starting another tank.... MTS has now affected my family! :)
  • Snails: MTS huh? I’ve never experienced it, except for when most of my fish started to get lethargic and couldn’t swim.
    They’re all fixed now!
  • Bensadork: Snails, MTS is an acronym for multi-tank syndrome. It just means people who are addicted to the hobby and own multiple fish tanks. It’s not a problem with the fish in any way. 😁
  • Snails: Ooooh. I’ve seen multiple definitions- Manic Tank Syndrome and such.
    I used to have multiple tanks until I put them all away when I moved.
  • Bensadork: Yeah I thought I had everything under control until I got another I guess I have it too. A 46 g bowfront and now my new 36 g bowfront.
  • Newfishmom: I just love the looks of those bow fronts. Gorgeous.
  • Snails: I’ve heard bowfronts distort the view of the fish, but I still really want to get one.
  • Bonnietaylor: I think a lot of times, it’s just ignorance. I watch Sesame Street with my Grandson sometimes, and see a bowl with a beautiful Goldfish swimming around in it. The people see this and kids ask for one and the parents get one. And of course most of the time the Pet Shop personnel don’t stop and educate the people one the housing needs of the fish.
  • PlatyPerson: There are lots of pros and con’s of fishbowls.
    PROS: cheap, sometimes very decorative and elegant, good for small apartments
    CONS: bad for the fish, hard to change water, no filter, too small for even one goldfish or betta to live in.
    So in general, its either the fish or your wallet. :(
  • mommomkris: i read on another website that the Chinese would often put their fish in bowls to show them off to their friends and guests then after the guests would leave they would put them back in the pond...thus the isea of a fish in a bowl was born.
  • amneris3: People are just cheap (and egocentric). They will pay 500$ for a phone, but won’t spend 20$ on a 10g aquarium.
  • edie1: my mom has two goldfish in a 2.5 bowl - i am only finding out how wrong it is - i would have never thought to research this because they sell the bowls in the pet stores - i know now how horrible i have been to these little guys and trying to find out how to fix :(. First i joined this site for info. I am going to get a 10 gallon aquarium but it is VERY overwhelming for someone with no knowledge. No excuses I am just explaining why we have one :(.
  • Newfishmom: Hi Edie, Many people have no idea when they get the goldfish and the stores are naughty for not telling you. Getting that 10 gallon is a nice idea but that would only be temporary for your fish as they need humungous tanks. Maybe even 40 gallons or more depending on what kind they are. The stores doing this hurt the fish and they also hurt the people they sell them too because either the fish get sick and die early or the people that really like them have to say goodby to them and find them a new home. Sorry you feel Bad over this, your doing your best by getting them a 10 right? Keep reading young lady their is so much to learn on here.
  • mommomkris: yes, bowls are only good for plants and candy! And depends on the plant a bowl can kill a plant too! soo in retrospect a bowl is only good for candy! Fill mine up with chocolate! Yum!!! :D
  • iamgyanbikash: are fish has done any crime, are they criminal why human keep fish in jail(fish bowl)??????????????
  • edie1: Newfishmom
    thank you :)

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