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Hey,

I'm having my Bar Mitzvah this year, and my mom was thinking for the big lunch we should do it fish themed. She thinks that we should put little fish bowls on the table, and in them some little fish. She thinks that it would be good because afterwards I would get a tank for them and keep them as a reminder. I think that it would be too risky and it would probably kill most of the fish.
What do you think about this idea? I personally would be afraid of:
A. Stress from being in a tiny, unfiltered bowl
B. Stress from not enough/too much aeration (My mom wants to either just agitate the water from time to time, or put in airstones)
C. Stress from having tons of people crowded around
D. Danger from curious kids and other people who might hit/startle/hurt the fish or bowl.
Also, if you think this won't work, try to include a variation on the theme that won't involve stressing/killing lots of fish.
 

Red1313

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How about setting up a nice tank in a focal area instead?
That way you get the tank and fish but don't have to worry about the fish getting stressed.

You could do something like make a background that everyone could sign and decorate instead?
 

Butterfly

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Good for your Mom for wanting to do something special for you and good for you for thinking of the fish first
Let me think about another theme
Carol
 

LyndaB

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Red1313 said:
You could do something like make a background that everyone could sign and decorate instead?
What a wonderful idea!

And what a great Mom for wanting to incorporate your love for fish. Give her a hug for me!
 

Tigerfishy

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That's a lovely idea, but I agree, maybe have a tank as a focal point or get a nice decorated background that will always remind you. Great ideas!

Have a good day when it comes!
 

sirdarksol

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Congratulations!

Red1313 said:
How about setting up a nice tank in a focal area instead?
That way you get the tank and fish but don't have to worry about the fish getting stressed.

You could do something like make a background that everyone could sign and decorate instead?
I like the focal point tank. Depending on mom's budget, it could even be multiple tanks. A few small ones, like five or ten gallon tanks stocked with a small number of small fish (one betta apiece, or guppies, neons, etc...), could be used (you could probably find them for ridiculously cheap on Craigslist). You could pass them on to good friends afterward, if you didn't want to maintain so many tanks.
If you and your mom were up for a bit of work, you could even do little vases or whatever of just aquatic plants (no fish, though small shrimp do okay in such setups temporarily). There were a couple at the aquarium show, and they can actually look pretty cool if they're carefully done.
 

midthought

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I think the only fish you could probably get away with having in unfiltered bowls like you're talking about are betta fish, and possibly other labryinth fish if the bowls were much larger. It wouldn't be ideal for the fish, but individual fish could survive for several hours just fine in such setups, even if small. Ideally the water would be dosed with Prime or another detoxer to make sure it remains okay for the duration of the party. It may nonetheless cause short term stress in the fish just to be in such a confined space with a lot of inevitable action around it. It wouldn't be surprising to me if the fish were to come down with symptoms of some disease soon after the party, particularly if the fish came from a nice environment before.

The big problem that I see with what your mom proposes is that you won't be able to just dump all the bettas into a tank at the night's end. They'd simply kill each other, and that's pretty much the last thing you'd want to remember about your bar mitzvah. And they aren't even suitable to put in with other fish if you had a community fish tank (or several community tanks) already set up. And because they need homes of their own, that could add up to quite a lot of tanks after the party. Using other labyrinth fish don't really fix the problem either as they're all pretty territorial and require even more space.

I really like Red's idea of a background that people can sign and decorate. I hope your mom likes the idea too and goes with that over the live fish centerpieces. It's a sweet thought though, just highly impracticable and really bordering on cruel when you get down to brass tacks.
 

Meenu

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sirdarksol said:
There were a couple at the aquarium show, and they can actually look pretty cool if they're carefully done.
That sounds really intriguing. I don't suppose you happened to take a few pics you'd be willing to share?

midthought said:
I think the only fish you could probably get away with having in unfiltered bowls like you're talking about are betta fish, and possibly other labryinth fish if the bowls were much larger.
Even if the fish would be able to survive the bowl for a few hours or a day (you could add 2 drops of Prime to each bowl to help with ammonia), I would be SUPER worried about kids picking them up, shaking them, taking them out of the water and touching them, etc. Anyone else have visions of Darla from Finding Nemo?
 

Nutter

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Yes Finding Nemo did pop into my mind. "Wakey Wakey little fishy!" Kids might not be able to resist the temptation of an easily accessable fish at such close quarters. The points that were mentioned by the OP in the first post also struck me as being very valid concerns. I like the idea of a tank as a focal point with the background signing. I think that would give you some great memories. Or you could have the larger tank as a centrepiece with the tables circled around it & no background.

I hope you have fun on the big day & good on you for being concerned about the fishes long term welfare. Your lucky to have a mum that puts so much thought into things for you. That lady deserves something special this Mothers Day.
 

Meenu

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I also thought about centerpieces that are not live. I know there is a lot of really cool Mexican art that is fish-inspired made of everything from metal to paper mache.
And of course, I love the idea of a centerpiece tank and the background. I don't know how fancy this is going to be, but maybe you could have a large oceanic background near the entryway that guests could have a family picture taken in front of as they arrive. You could include a copy with your thank you notes, and you or your mom could keep one copy in a scrapbook.
 
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Thanks for all of the suggestions, I might try to go with the plants and some shrimp, I was already wanting to have a small tank like that, and that could probably work out, it would also probably limit the amount of space each thing would take up, with just some plants and a few shrimp. Do you think the plants would produce enough oxygen for the shrimp to last that time?
 

Nutter

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Yep, no problems at all. Shrimp don't consume a huge amount of oxygen anyway so they would probably survive even without the plants. (plants would look much classier though)
 
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Yeah, I was thinking maybe I could just do little things like this, though definitely not THAT tiny. I don't imagine it would be hard to do for a short time setup, and then I could still keep the plants etc.
 

Nutter

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Yep that one works. Looks good but I think it would be better if you could use a larger vase. The one in the pic appears to only be about the diameter of a candle holder.
 

Meenu

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You may want to consider deleting the threads with the defunct links so people don't try to click on them...

I like the look of it... I agree with you that it should be larger.
 
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Yeah, that was just the only picture I could find for what I was thinking of.
 

TheSwampFox

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I think the tank in a focal area idea is best. Small unfiltered bowls is just asking for trouble IMO.
 
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