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Maintaing a Fish Bowl

Selecting a bowl:

Choose as large of a bowl as possible. The larger the bowl, the longer your bowl water conditions will stay healthy and that in turn will keep your fish healthy.Do not buy a bowl that is less than 1 gallon, I believe that is just too small and does not provide for good care. Select a bowl with the widest possible top. Surface area is just as important as volume as it aloows for air contact and air exchange.

Choosing a fish:

If your bowl is less than two gallons, only one fish can be supported. Many people will tell you that goldfish can be kept in a bowl. Goldfish are in the carp family and will eventually grow to a size that will make it necessary to either put them in a tank or give them away, otherwise they will just languish and eventually die. REMEMBER - the fish will outgrow the size of its environment. If anyone says that they will stop growing to fit the tank it is a lie and not an establishment to do business with!! Bettas "Siamese Fighting fish" are a good choice. DO NOT put more than one male in the same bowl because they will fight, resulting in injury and death for one or both fish.

Setting up your bowl:

Buy a 1 gallon bottle to be used ONLY for fish water. Bottled water is acceptable. Fill the jug with water and wait until it is room temperature (Around 70° F). Use a water conditioner to remove the chlorine in the water. Gravel is not necessary but if you use it, rinse to clean it. Fill the bowl, leaving a couple of inches from the top so the fish doesn’t leap out. Make sure you leave enough room so the water doesn’t overflow when you float your fish! Float your fish in the water for about 15-20 minutes, every 5 minutes add some of the bowl water into the bag the fish is in - this way the fish will acclimate to the new water. When you release the fish pour the bag through a net over a bucket or bowl, then place fish from net into water. Don’t add the bag water to the bowl. If necessary, take some of the extra water from the water bottle and top off the bowl water level. If you have cats, find a cat-proof location for your bowl.

Care and maintenance of your fish bowl:

Feed only 2 little flakes or pellets a day. Do not overfeed, even if your fish appears to be hungry. Feeding too much can make the water foul, killing the fish. They won’t starve. Use appropriate food for the kind of fish you have. Change the bowl water once a week. Keep a gallon of water in a jug on hand at all times so that it will be room temperature and free from chlorine. Place the fish in a separate container with some of the old water. Pour out the bowl and use an algae sponge to scrub out the bowl, then rinse the bowl. Bacteria are not really an issue as they are in a fish tank, as the bowl water should be changed weekly anyway. Refill the bowl with the room temperature, dechlorinated water and put the fish back in. Now refill the jug for future use, treating the water at this time as well.

If there appears to be signs of overfeeding or any form of water fouling, change the water immediately.

Checklist of items you will need:

Fish bowl
Water conditioner
Small net 

Gallon bottle
Algae sponge  
Gravel and decor
Extra container or fishbowl 

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Page Last Updated: Monday, July 6, 2009 03:45 EST
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