Fishbowl Adviser

What Is the Best Fish to Keep in a Fishbowl?

Even though there are many people who already have different aquarium systems, keeping fish in a small space is not always possible. Generally, it’s better to provide a bigger space for your fishes to thrive in. However, even though keeping fish in a small fish tank or aquarium can be difficult and challenging, it’s not impossible. There are fishes that can live in a bowl’s environment, as long as it has enough space. To find out what is the best fish to keep in a fishbowl, continue reading.

Betta fish in a fishbowl

What Kind of Fish Can Live in a Bowl?

Keeping fish in a bowl is more than it seems. There are fish that can live in a bowl, but there are also those that must not be kept in those conditions. If you’re looking to get a fishbowl for your home, you need to find the easiest fish to take care of, especially if you’ve never had an aquarium. Some of the most popular fishes you can keep in a bowl are:

  • Goldfish
  • Bettas
  • Gourami
  • Paradise Fish
  • White Cloud Fish


Goldfish are an essential part of any aquarium, but they are also low-maintenance fish. They are very adaptable and fun to have, which makes them a great choice for first-time fish owners. However, you should keep in mind that goldfish tend to grow, which means that they can often become too large for their bowls. With this in mind, you should make sure your goldfish have enough space and get them bigger bowls. Additionally, you will also need to change their water frequently as they tend to be messy.


Betta fish or Siamese fighting fish can live in a fishbowl, but they are confrontational and best kept alone in their bowls. If they are put with other fish, they can attack and potentially kill other them, regardless of their species. They also need plenty of warm and clean water.


Gouramis are shoaling fishes that thrive while living in groups. However, there can be some territorial fighting, which is why choosing a group of only female gourami or a group with just one male is the best choice, especially for smaller bowls. These fishes also need a place to hide, so you’ll need to include plenty of shells or rocks in their bowl.

Paradise Fish

Just like bettas, paradise fish can also be aggressive and should be kept separate from other fish. They live in slow-moving or still water that has a cooler temperature. This means they are very capable of living in smaller bowls.

White Cloud Fish

White could fish are a great choice for someone who likes taking care of live plants. They are native to cold freshwater streams, but they are also even-tempered and compatible with other fish.

How Many Fishes Can Be Kept in a Bowl?

The number of fish you can keep in a bowl depends on the bowl itself. There isn’t a precise number of fish you can keep in a fishbowl, so you need to be looking at finding a bowl to fit the number of fish you want to get. When buying a fishbowl, you need to consider the water movement, surface area, fish conflicts, filters, size of the bowl, and type of wish you keep.

To measure the surface you need to multiply the length and the width of the area where the air directly touches the water. This is important to measure to see if you can increase the surface area by lowering the water level. The water movement in a fishbowl can also influence the number and type of fish you keep, so you need to see if the fish you have or want to get respond well to the same water movement level. The filters you get can take up space, so you need to match the bowl’s size with an appropriate filter.

As for the size, you need to provide at least 24 square inches of water for each fish you wish to have. The more room you have the better – your fish will surely appreciate having more space to swim freely.

Does a Fishbowl Need an Air Pump?

Many mistakes an air pump for a filter, but the two are not the same thing. A filter is an equipment piece that draws water through filter media and removes debris from the water. It is also home to good bacteria that help remove dangerous chemicals from the fishbowl’s water. An air pump doesn’t involve water, it just blows bubbles into it. And while the filter goes into the bowl, the pump goes on the outside.

But what does an air pump do? You don’t actually need an air pump, but having one has some great benefits. One of the biggest benefits is surface agitation and gas exchange. This is crucial for the health of your fishbowl. Without it, oxygen that is on the surface of the water won’t be able to make its way into the water, while any excess carbon dioxide that is in the water won’t be able to make its way out.

A pump will make sure there is proper oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange, and even increase the level of oxygen in the water, With more oxygen, your fish and plants will be able to thrive better and enjoy a healthier environment. So, even though it may not seem like you don’t need to have an air pump, you should definitely consider the benefits of having one.

Two Goldfishes

The Final Word

When you’re setting up your fishbowl, you need to think about what fish you want to have and what kind of environment you can set up for them. While a small fish tank can accommodate fish, getting a bigger bowl is better, regardless of the species you get. Finding the best fishbowls that can be a great home to many different species is a difficult task, but one you should take seriously if you want to take care of your beloved animals.


  1. What Is the Best Fish to Keep in a Fishbowl? – PetHelpful


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