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People with fish......Is it cruel to keep fish in a glass fish bowl and not a tank?

(32 Posts)
LittleMissBliss Sun 01-Nov-09 15:06:01

It's ds's birthday in 10 days and i want to get him fish in a traditional bowl.

But have been told by the pet shop that they need to be in a tank which has been left switched on for a week to purify the water.

Is this true or are they just trying to con me into getting a fancy tank when i want a glass bowl?

LittleMissBliss Sun 01-Nov-09 15:07:21

the fish are gold fish not tropical fish.

TubOfLardWithInferiorRange Sun 01-Nov-09 15:10:28

I think goldfish produce too much waste for the traditional glass bowl but we have a lovely blue beta in a bowl in the boys bathroom. You could get him the traditional set-up and then the aquarium for Christmas?

shallishanti Sun 01-Nov-09 15:13:10

Bowls are supposed to be bad because the surface area is relatively small compared to the volume, I suppose it's to do with how much oxygen can be absorbed.
I think it's right that the water should be left to stand as well for any chlorine to evaporate.

LittleMissBliss Sun 01-Nov-09 15:16:15

So if we got him a blue betta would i be able to keep it in a bowl then? Don't really mind what fish it is really. Blue Bettas look pretty (had to google it!)

How often do you have to clean out the bowl if you don't mind me asking? I had fish as a child and from what i can remember it's weekly i think.

thumbscrewwitch Sun 01-Nov-09 15:16:36

but that last point depends on how deep you fill the bowl of course - if you fill it to the top then the surface area is way too small, but if you fill it to the widest part of the bowl then your surface area is fantastic, but actual area for the fish to swim isn't much cop. You can't put easily get any filters or oxygenating equipment into a bowl either so they need cleaning out much more often.

You can get tablets to "age" the water if you don't have the time to leave it to stand.

LittleMissBliss Sun 01-Nov-09 15:17:49

What about a big bowl and a small fish.....clutching at straws...

LynetteScavo Sun 01-Nov-09 15:18:08

I think goldfish need a filter, because they poo so much, and aprarently they become very confused, because of the constant curve of the bowl...like goldfish aren't confused anyway. hmm

They also need oxygen, as previously said ther isn't much surface area in a bowl.

LynetteScavo Sun 01-Nov-09 15:21:01

You could get a biorb tank, arn't those blue beta fish warm water ones? hmm

And yes, gold fish need cleaning weekly.

LittleMissBliss Sun 01-Nov-09 15:21:28

I think i just like the idea of a bowl. A tank wont be the end of the world. We do have time if we get the tank on Monday and set it up in the garrage to hide it from ds.

So If you have a tank how often would you have to clean the water?

Or does it depend on the tank?

herbietea Sun 01-Nov-09 15:21:51

Message withdrawn

LynetteScavo Sun 01-Nov-09 15:23:54

I put stuff in the water to make it fish frienly, then wait for it to be room temperature,...definately don't leave it sitting around for three days a week.

LittleMissBliss Sun 01-Nov-09 15:24:27

Love the biorb aquarium idea! Thankyou!

shallishanti Sun 01-Nov-09 15:24:57

bear in mind it will be very difficult to move a tank when it's full of water!

thumbscrewwitch Sun 01-Nov-09 15:27:22

I love that BiOrb - it's great!

How often you have to clean the tank depends on the size of the tank, how many fish you have, the filtration you have, how much food the fish are fed, how much greenery is in the tank etc. etc.

How often you should clean the tank is probably a different matter - I know when I had freshwater tropical fish we had to clean the filter every week but coldwater fish aren't so desperate. My parents didn't clean theirs anything like that often and the fish lived until ripe old ages.

herbietea Sun 01-Nov-09 15:27:44

Message withdrawn

LittleMissBliss Sun 01-Nov-09 15:42:33

I think we do have a pets at home or a really large pet shop of sorts near us so will have a look tomorrow, thanks for the tip.
If not i can always order it online on Monday and if it takes a couple of days to arrive it should still be enough time to leave it to stand before his birthday.

Shalli- I did sort of think about the weight of the tank. If it's really heavy we can set it up in the dining room and just cover it. DS will only be two so wont actually know its a fish tank if he does see it. But want an un veiling on his birthday, just so i can see the look on his face!grin.

Thank you for all your replies, i know fish aren't the most exciting thing to post about in the current active convos so thanks for taking the time!smile

Just one more question, sorry- real or fake plants?

My fish had reall plants but i think that makes the water get dirty faster doesnt it? But helps with the oxygen in the water so plus and negatives on both sides.

TubOfLardWithInferiorRange Sun 01-Nov-09 15:47:56

Or you CAN do a bowl with a beta. We have gravel in the bottom of ours and a peace plant growing out of the top with bare roots in the water below. I have to clean it about once every six months.

hocuspontas Sun 01-Nov-09 15:49:36

The biorb ones recommend you set the tank up and don't add fish for a month.

I was reading some fish keepers website and they all dismissed the biorb because of the surface area problem. I liked the look of them and especially the cleaning aspect but transferring our current fish to it could take 4 months!

LittleMissBliss Sun 01-Nov-09 16:02:23

Oh know a month!!! I think i will have to go in and have a chat to them about set up again. I think I would just get some teeny tiny fish if i was abale to get the biorb they look lovely.

LittleMissBliss Sun 01-Nov-09 16:05:47

No not know!! oops. Will be back later as ds2 is crying and ds1 has got all his toys out at once again all over the front room and dinning room. The reason why he's getting fish and not more toys for his Birthday!

sweetnitanitro Mon 02-Nov-09 16:00:31

Well I hope I'm not too late...

Bowls are bad and biorbs are bad. Setting up a fish tank takes over a month (closer to 6 weeks). Fishkeeping is more complicated, time consuming and expensive than most people realise so PLEASE do loads of research before you get any fish. You will need a tank, a filter, a heater if you are keeping tropical fish, gravel, cleaning equipment, dechlorinater, a water test kit and food and that's just the basics.

Please pay no attention to the biorb advertising blurb, there is no magic way to avoid cleaning a fish tank. I am a mod on a fishkeeping forum and all I seem to do all day is fix people's biorb problems hmm they really are the bane of my existence.

If you need to know anything else, please just ask. I know I sound all doom and gloom but it's very important to get the set up right because it can really harm the fish if you don't and it's awful to see kids get upset when their pet dies.

alysonpeaches Mon 02-Nov-09 17:40:26

Get as big a tank as you can afford whether its for goldfish, a betta or tropical. Goldfish are quite dirty fish so actually need more space than tropical. I would advise a tropical tank, with adequate filtration and a small heater. Then get some easy to keep community fish like Platys. The advantage with livebearer fish like platys and guppies is that they give birth to live fry and if you have a few plants in the tank a few of the babies will survive and grow up. A nice intro to the facts of life for DC.

My son has a tank in his room, with a few platys and guppies and was thrilled when he saw the babies.

You must keep up your weekly or fortnightly water changes though, when you clean the filter, no matter which fish you buy. It is quite true about setting up the tank before hand to mature the filter but there are several ways to do this.

Get a good book on the subject and read the fish forums. Can I recommend initially Fishkeeping for Dummies, or the Tankmaster series on Coldwater fish, or tropical fish?

They arent as easy as you think to keep, I started with just one tank, realised it wasnt big enough and at one time I had 5 tanks running as I had read up on the subject and realised I needed more space. Do get some live plants too. I used to think you could just put a goldfish in a bowl and clean it weekly, but these days that has been found to be cruel. The bowl distorts the fishes view on the world, its cramped, he can only swim round and round, and he has to live in his own excrement if you dont have a filter.

Avoid the biorbs though, unless you want some dead fish to explain to the children. When I downsized my fishkeeping, I did it so I could get the family a much wanted puppy. Despite what you think, the puppy is less trouble!!

If you want to know anything else, please get in touch.

LittleMissBliss Wed 04-Nov-09 21:29:54

Oh nosad Haven't been on mumsnet for a while as have been busy and have ordered and received the biorb 30l and set it all up with plants etc....

Haven't bought fish yet as leaving the tank for a week before adding the fish as recommended in the pet shop.

I am only going to get ds a single betta. Not gold fish as i first thought.

Is is cruel to keep a single betta in a biorb?

In the pet shop they are kept in a small box tank with a single plant. Also i have read that people keep betta in vases? So would have though a 30l tank for such a small fish would have been great?...... Oh no.

I'm planing to do a 20% water change weekly. I don't mind the hassle of cleaning the tank and changing the filters.

Fish are the only pets that i'm happy for ds to have as i really dislike dogs and cats. (the neighbours have a cat which ds talks to through the fence, so that's enough for me! lol)

Not really sure what to do nowsad.
We can't afford another tank.

sweetnitanitro Thu 05-Nov-09 01:07:14

Any chance you can still return the Biorb? For the same money you could get a much better and bigger tank that would be more suitable for a betta.

They are often kept in small tanks or sometimes glass cubes in a pet shop, however this is temporary and is not suitable for long term care.

Bettas are anabantids which means they have a special organ that allows them to breath air from the surface. In the wild this helps them survive the dry season in small pools. Unfortunately many people think that this means they can be kept in those kind of conditions permanently. TBH I thought betta vases were illegal hmm I haven't seen them in the UK for years thank god. There are so many reasons why they are awful, if you have time have a read- LINK

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