The Fish Keeping & Aquarium Guide.

What Fishes Can Live In A Bowl Without Oxygen?

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When we think of keeping fish as pets, we think of those big aquarium tanks. But do you know some fishes thrive better in a fishbowl as compared with an aquarium? The pros of having a fishbowl include ease in setting up, minimum maintenance, low start-up cost, and spatial needs. 

If you decide to get a fishbowl, you must keep one simple rule in mind; there must be at least one gallon of water per inch of fish for every dwelling fish. This ratio can change with the addition of snails, and other non-fish species to the bowl.

Most traditional glass fishbowls are mostly one gallon. Aeration and filtration can increase the amount of space for a fish, but due to the design of fishbowls, accessory options are minimal.

Types of Fish That That Live In A Bowl Without Oxigen

Let’s have a look at the fishes, which can thrive in a fishbowl:


Guppies are available in a wide array of colors and which will add color to any tank. Their dorsal fins are large and are brightly colored. The male species are gorgeous and more brightly colored, which help to distinguish them from female species. As they are prolific breeders, it’s better to have same-sex of guppies to avoid having a large group of guppies in your tank. They are low maintenance as they can survive for more than a week without any food. And regarding the water temperature, they can thrive easily even when the room temperature is around 18°C and can also go as low as 15°C for a short period.


At some point in time, you have seen a Betta in a bowl or even in a cup! They might survive for some time under these conditions, but for them to thrive, the right environment is necessary. For them to live comfortably, the water temperature should ideally be around 25°C. It’s easy to care for them, but be aware that Betta’s are territorial, especially in small environments. They are aggressive and will fight with other fish, irrespective of what breed of fish it is. They are very colorful, with males showcasing bright and elaborate colors, while females are duller. If trained properly, they can follow your hand from outside of the bowl.

Paradise Fish

Just like bettas, paradise fish are also territorial and aggressive. So, it’s better to keep them alone. But unlike bettas, paradise fish prefer cooler temperatures and slow-moving or still water of a fishbowl to that of larger tanks. For those people who do not want to go for Goldfish or guppies can adopt this breed. They are adaptable, enduring, and colorful and give an option of having something different.

Zebra Danios

For a bowl without a filter, this species of fish is the best. They are inexpensive and very little maintenance. They get the name Zebra because of their stripes. They contain bright lines that run horizontally over their entire body. They are a smaller fish, similar to that of a guppy. They are also enduring in nature. But unlike guppies, they are a social fish. They are most comfortable in a school size of, at a minimum of 5 other Zebras, always staying near the surface. Not known to be picky eaters, they are perfectly happy enjoying regular flakes of fish food.


Everyone is familiar with this breed of fish. They get their name from their color (gold) and classification (fish). For someone who has no prior knowledge of how to take care of a fish, these are a great option, since they require minimum care. Depending upon their size, you will need to change their water weekly or bi-weekly, as they are very messy. It’s the only downside of Goldfish.


Unlike bettas, Gourami is “shoaling fish,” which means they survive better in a group. But to avoid territorial fighting, restrict the number of male fish to one or have an all-female group. With these fishes, always have a bowl with plenty of shells or rocks as they like places to hide.


Perfect for beginners. These fish are bright, small, colorful, and energetic. They to thrive well in a group, 3-5 fish is ideal school size. You can spend your time just observing them, as they are entertaining to watch. They prefer lots of plants, so pick up cute and colorful aquarium plants for them. Their diet is simple. A steady feeding of fish flakes should do the trick.

Things to Keep in Mind


It is wrong to assume that fishbowls and smaller fish tanks require less responsibility and maintenance. These kinds of bowls and tanks require much more time and energy than larger water tanks. Smaller fishbowls will require the water to be changed and cleaned more often as compared to that of a larger, well-filtered tank, where the water may only need to be changed weekly.


Most of the fish that reside in these small tanks belong to the category of “tropical fish.”

Surprisingly, not all fishes that are considered tropical are from equatorial regions. When thinking of buying a tropical fish, it is vital to know their ideal water temperature levels. If put in an environment where it is either too hot or too cold could cause the fish to die. 

The majority of tropical species need an environment, which stays between 70 F and 78 F. But again, be aware, some species will require a higher temperature, while some will require lower temperatures for them to thrive and survive.

Not only is the range of temperature important, but also keep in mind that the temperature needs to remain consistent. With a smaller tank, there is a higher probability of change in water temperature due to conditions in the room.

A rapid temperature change is harmful to a fish. It can cause stress and make a fish more susceptible to disease and parasites.

Ammonia and Waste: The Danger of Overfeeding

Also, avoid the temptation of feeding extra food to the fish even if you are going on a short break over the weekend.

Healthy fish can survive much better without food for a day or two in a suitable environment.

Overfeeding will lead to excessive waste, and the remains of leftover food can cause bacteria to multiply quickly. This may lead to water becoming unsuitable for the fish, and when you come back from vacation, you might find cloudy water or much worse a very sick or a dead fish.

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