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Advantages and Disadvantages of Betta Fish Bowls

Updated on December 1, 2010

Even though a lot of pet stores sell betta fish bowls, there usually is very little room in the betta fish bowl for a filter or aquarium light. This is the reason why a large number of fish enthusiasts debate on the safety of these bowls to fish. Betta fish need much less care compared to many other fish because they are able to breathe oxygen from the top of the tank, but bettas still require a filter to keep their aquarium clean. If these fish don't have a quality filter to clean the tank, they may become stressed and pick up harmful bacteria or fungus diseases that can slowly kill them if they aren't treated right away.

Because betta fish bowls lack space for a filter, quite a few fish hobbyists even go as far as to suggest that betta fish bowls are detrimental to fish. Yet, are round tanks honestly as terrible as people point out?


Why Do Some Fish Owners Like Betta Bowls?

Because of their light weight and very small size, betta fish bowls are preferred by several fish hobbyists. In fact, betta fish bowls can be moved around with ease, from room to room, potentially giving home owners a reason to take the betta fish bowl with them any place they go.

Also, some people just like the look and feel of betta fish bowls, since they have a unique shape compared to rectangular or square aquariums. These bowls provide a nice change from a square aquarium, and a lot of people picture them as far more eye-catching.

Why Do Many People Hate Betta Fish Bowls?

Siamese fighting fish honestly don't have ample space to move around in betta fish bowls because of the small size and round tank. In some betta fish bowls, not even plants can fit into the small surroundings, so betta fish would have nothing to hide behind. I've noticed that fighting fish absolutely adore to hide behind rocks, plants, and even logs. Without decoration, the fish will feel uncomfortable because it is out in the open. Plants help betta fish feel at ease and also prevent stress, and stress can halt your betta from flourishing. Live plants also give oxygen, contributing to better surroundings as well as a vibrant, happy, and healthy betta.

Air stones, while they can probably fit in a betta fish bowl, may assist with oxygen, but they won't clean the fish tank like a real aquarium filter. Without a real filter, fish owners are trapped into changing the water religiously every couple of days. This can be a lot of work, so sometimes washing the betta fish bowl will be postponed until later, and the betta will get vulnerable to diseases without clean water.

The shape of the betta fish bowl is also a contributing factor, as it turns the aquarium into an automatic washer if you use a filter that is small enough to fit inside the betta bowl. Then, the unfortunate fish will most likely get shoved up against the glass to no end.

What's more, a heater normally can’t be setup in betta fish bowls, and a betta requires a heater to keep the water warm around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit to grow and stay healthy. Unless the aquarium is arranged inside a pretty warm room or living area, the betta can’t possibly thrive well in cold temperatures. So, he'll pick up diseases and may even pass away if these diseases aren't medicated. A heater gives betta fish the proper betta fish care and warm temperatures needed to live a longer lifespan.

Are Some Betta Fish Bowls Effective for Siamese Fighting Fish?

There are a few betta fish bowls that are large enough to fit plants and filters, but they often cost more compared to square aquariums. Your filter and heater also need to be of quality.

In the end, you’ll need to decide whether you’d prefer to spend the the extra dollars for a nice big bowl. The essential point here is that your fighting fish definitely will require the right filtration, suitable heating, and a nice good number of plants in addition to logs so that the fish can hide. Your betta aquarium shouldn't just rely on the betta's ability to breathe air from the tank surface.


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    • profile image

      Ray miller 

      5 years ago

      Is it natural for my betta to hide at the bottom of the tank

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love the look of my male in his 10 gallon and my female in her 20 gallon community tank.

    • Golden Fins profile image

      Golden Fins 

      8 years ago from California

      It seems most Bettas are most often kept alone. This must be the reason why their bowls are so small. I also think the rounding or bend of the glass can magnify these fish to enhance their beauty. I have a Betta, but I keep in in my 20 gallon community tank. It's very happy living there with other social fish.


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