AN OVERVIEW OF FISH BOWLS
- Classic drum style (this is wider from left to right than it is deep, from front to back). For the same size, you'll find more water volume in a round style.
- Round style. This type fish bowl is completely round. Has a larger water volume capacity than a classic drum style of the same size.
- New Bio-orb styles. These are new set-ups that include filtration systems and are usually much larger than your traditional fish bowl.
- Marineland sells fish bowls set in frames that include a little light. They're marketing this bowl to house Bettas.
- The 1/2 gallon fish bowl is probably the smallest size bowl you're going to find readily available. An acrylic model costs about $6 and weighs about 3 pounds when full.
- The 1 gallon fish bowl is readily available. An acrylic model costs about $12. It will weigh about 6 pounds when filled with water.
- The 1.5 gallon fish bowl is a very popular size fish bowl. An acrylic model costs about $15. It will weigh about 8 pounds when filled with water.
- A 2 gallon fish bowl can also be found. It weighs about 12 pounds when filled with water.
- The 3 gallon fish bowl is another common size. It is typically about 11 inches high and 10 inches wide. This is probably the largest in a traditional style fish bowl that you're going to find. It will weigh about 20 pounds when filled with water.
In regard to the materials used to make fish bowls, glass and acrylic are the two most common options. In most cases, the price difference between the two is not significant -- glass might be a little cheaper, but they'll more crack-prone and weigh more. Acrylic might cost a little bit more, but they're more crack-resistant and weigh less. Acrylic bowls are much more susceptible to scratches than glass bowls. You could buy a scratch remover kit but, truthfully, the kit would probably cost more than a new Acrylic bowl would cost.
- Fish bowls are cheap and easy to find
- Fish bowls are small, enabling you to fit a fish into an apartment or small home
- Because they are small, fish bowls don't weigh a lot, even when they're filled, so you can move them around as you see fit. This also makes changing the water easier as you could bring the bowl to your water source.
- Fish bowls are simple. For children or first time owners, there isn't a lot that you have to coordinate with a fish bowl.
- Fish bowls are too small for most fish as they grow to adult size.
- Fish bowls are too small for most filtration systems to fit into so you're not going to get a lot of help with filtration in a fish bowl. This limits how many fish, no matter how small, you could keep in a fish bowl. You also have to keep up on frequent changes to keep the water clean.
- Forget about keeping saltwater fish in a fish bowl – it is nearly impossible to maintain a healthy saltwater environment in something as small as a fish bowl.
Even with these disadvantages, many people manage to keep fish successfully in a fish bowl for years (or at least until they decide to upgrade their fish's home to a tank). If you do decide that a fish bowl is the right choice for you, there are some additional things you should keep in mind.
Keeping fish in a fish bowl will severely limit your fish selection. Not all fish are right for a fish bowl either because of their adult size or their need for open space. Do not fall prey to the myth that fish will only grow as big as their environment allows – a fish that is capable of growing up to 12 inches long will not stop growing just because it is kept in a fish bowl. Think about the needs of your fish before you buy them to make sure that they can be safely kept in a fish bowl in the first place.
- Don't fill the water all the way to the top. Fill it a little bit lower down so that you can increase the water to surface area ratio. Increasing that ratio will help improve the gas exchange between harmful gases in the water and oxygen in the air
- You can use the used fish bowl water to feed your plants. It will make them grow up tall and green!
- When you decide to move your fish up to a larger tank, you could use the fish bowl as a terrarium. They're supposed to be great for Venus Flytraps!
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