Small Glass Fish Bowl?

  • #1
I bought myself a small glass fish bowl today, thinking this would be fine for one or two small fish. I went online to find that almost every how-to fish site says absolutely to NOT get anything for fish other than a large, filtered aquarium. What if I just want one of two cherry barbs? Do I really have to get all fancy and expensive when all I want is something small, simple and easy to take care of?
  • #2
Sorry, but a bowl is not suitable for any kind of fish.

1. Heating--being Tropical fish, they need heated water, but bowls can't be heated.
2. Filtration--all fish need good filtration; without it deadly toxins will build up very quickly, but a bowl also is too small for a filter.
3. Aeration--because there is so little surface area for oxygen exchange, fish in a bowl will quickly suffocate.
4. Lighting--bowls can't really have lights on them, but without at least 12 hours of light each day a fish will die of Vitamin D deficiency.
5. Space--fish are very active and need lots of room to swim around. They will feel very cramped and unhappy in such a tiny container. Also, Cherry Barbs need to be kept in groups (shoals) of 6+, but there is no room for 6 fish in a bowl.

So, unfortunately, you do need all the "fancy and expensive" equipment. There is no denying that this hobby is expensive, but it is totally worth it. So many poeple on here have started with one little tank and loved it so much they soon got another, and usually bigger, one. As for fancy, the equipment is pretty straightforward with just a little knowledge.

If you would like to get a tank so you can have fish, we are here to help you through the whole process. It is really a rewarding experience. The people on this forum are really awesome.
Welcome to FishLore!!!
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thanks. I guess I should have expected that answer! I'm just so worried that I won't be able to afford everything my fish will need. I'm a teenager without a job and no steady income. Can anyone give me an approximate estimate of how much everything I need will cost, at the minimum?
  • #4
I'm also a teenager with little income, but I've made it work somehow, so don't give up!  How much it costs depends on the size of the tank.  I'm assuming you would want a 10 gallon, which is the smallest tank you can keep tropical fish in (with the exception of Bettas, which can be kept in 5 gallons).  For everything you would need, it would probably cost $200 (US), give or take 50.  That's about what I set up mine for.
Here's a list of what you need:

the tank
a canopy containing a fluorescent light
test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH
plants--I recommend real, and other decor
various fish food
2 buckets for water changes
a siphon/gravel vacuum
a fish net
a good heater
a good filter (not undergravel)
2 thermometers--one for tank and one for clean water for water changes and also as a spare
tap water dechlorinator
(someone please add anything I missed!)

uh oh, I gotta go offline, it's starting to thunder and lightning...I'll pick up again tomorrow if I missed anything...
  • #5
Wellk, the storm passed quickly and I didn't have any homework, so I managed ot get on again.  I added a few things to the list above. Be sure to read the "Good Fishlore Articles For Beginners", posted by Gunnie.
  • #6
Also if you don't mind getting used things you can look in your local paper or on kijijI and you can find setups for much cheaper. I got a ten gallon with stand, filter, heater, thermometer, cover, one light one plant light for only $25. That was a particularly good deal but you can find them. When you go to craigslist make sure you find the link to your city or one near you (all the way on the right). Then type in "fish tank" in the search under community. Then try "aquarium". Try the same thing under the ALL Sale category.

Hope this helps.
  • #7
The last time I was at Walmart (this week) they still had the Marineland Eclipse Hex 5 tank  (includes everything but the gravel, heater, plants, and fish) for $29.95.  It is a good set-up with one of the finest filters around - The Bio-Wheel 3 stage filter.  The better heaters for a new one (and I would NEVER recommend a used heater except on a VERY temporary arrangement) will be around $15.00, gravel  probably $6.00, then it is up to you, but you have a while because you cannot just go buy a tank and put the fish in right away. The Tank has to be Cycled. Please do consider a Fishless Cycle as it is more humane for the fish. It is very stressful for the fish to be in a tank that has not cycled and they can even be killed in the process.. (The Nitrogen Cycle  You will have about 4 to 6 weeks for the tank to cycle and be ready for your fish.  So that will give you some time to read up about what fish you want and can get.  and to get the money for anything else you may want to add to your tank. 

Welcome to the forum and I hope you enjoy it here.  We are so happy to be of help to you.

  • #8
The cycle may take more like 6-8 weeks...and I forgot to mention, if you want to get a smaller tank you could get a 5 gallon but then all you could get is a Betta and maybe some small catfish (Cories). Even 10 gallons is pushing it for Cherry barbs. 6 of them in a 10 gallon is all you could have.
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Thanks for all the help, I appreciate it so much. I think what I'll do it take everything very, very slowly. Who ever thought that when I bought that tiny fish tank, I would come to realize that taking care of fish is so much more than putting some flakes in a bowl every once in a while? I sure didn't...

Also, to start out with, I just want one or two small fish. What are the best fish for beginners? Is there already a thread on this topic? ???
  • #10
Unfortunately you probably won't be able to just get one or two fish, because all the good beginner fish need to be kept in groups, trios (1 male, 2 female), or shoals (6 fish).
Here are some hardy, cheap, interesting fish:
Cherry Barbs
Zebra Danios
Leopard Danios
Corydoras Catfish (Cories)
Black Widow/Black Skirt Tetras
Lemon Tetras
and others...

Do some research on fish and see if you like anything, and we'll help you decide if they're the right fish for you. Of course, the fish you can get depends on what size tank you get. Have you decided? The recommended tank size for a beginner is 20 gallons--it isn't too big but is big enough that if you make a mistake it won't harm the fish as quickly (toxins won't build up as quickly in a bigger tank, and the water temp can't change as quickly, etc.). However, if you really can't afford it, you may need to go with a 10 gallon. I would not get anything smaller because it takes more experience to make sure the water stays at correct levels of everything in such a small amount of water. Welcome to the hobby--but so you can't say you weren't warned, it is extremely ADDICTING! MTS (multiple tank syndrome ;D) has infected so many people here just months after setting up their first tank. You shall be our next victim!! mooaaahahahahaaa!!!! ;D ;D
ahem sorry, I hope I didn't scare you away, we fish geeks get a little crazy sometimes ;D

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