Goldfish keeping doesn’t have to be difficult, frustrating…
A goldfish bowl can actually be a GREAT home for your little fish – if you use it correctly.
Using these secrets I’ve learned over the years, it can be enjoyable, educational, easy and FUN experience!
Tish, the oldest documented goldfish (43 years!) lived in a bowl its whole life!
The following methods all use some kind of filtration. Filtration is important to help your fish stay alive, unless you prefer to do daily water changes instead (which can lead to your fish quickly outgrowing your bowl).
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites:
The 7 Best Goldfish Bowls
1. Glass Goldfish Bowl by WGVI
Why We Love it:
This is a beautiful, hand-crafted bowl available in three sizes with openings from 4-6 inches, making it small enough to help keep goldfish from jumping out but large enough to allow for adequate cleaning. It is a sturdy weight and the glass is almost a quarter of an inch thick. The 10-inch bowl can hold just over two gallons of water. This bowl may have bubbles within the glass due to the handmade nature of the product, which adds to its charm.
2. Hygger Horizon 8-gallon LED Glass Aquarium Kit
Why We Love it:
If you’re in the market for a larger bowl for your goldfish, the Hygger Horizon 8-gallon is a great option. We know it isn’t a bowl per se, but we love it so much we couldn’t leave it out. This kit comes with a filter, LED lighting, and even faux rock décor. It does not have a lid but the LED light sits a couple of inches above the top of the tank. Due to the size of this kit, your goldfish may not need to be upgraded for a period of time as long as routine water changes are performed. The curved-front glass is sleek and the tank itself is long and narrow, which is the preferred shape of active goldfish.
3. Glass Fishbowl on Driftwood by Cohasset Gifts
Why We Love it:
This bowl option is a true stunner. It is crafted from handblown glass and real wood grown in Indonesia. Each bowl is unique in size and shape, but they hold anywhere from around one gallon to over four gallons of water depending on the inch size purchased. These bowls have approximately a 4-inch mouth. Due to the interior texturing of these bowls, they are a lovely option for plants and the unique design creates enrichment in a nano environment.
If you are torn on whether goldfish bowls are safe for your favorite fish and want more detailed information on the truth when it comes to proper goldfish housing, you should check out our best-selling book, The Truth About Goldfish, on Amazon. It covers everything about creating the most ideal tank setup and more!
4. Koller Products 1-gallon fishbowl with LED lighting
Why We Love it:
The Koller plastic fishbowl is a great option if you’re in the market for a smaller bowl. This may need to be upgraded to a larger bowl as the fish grows. This bowl has the clarity of glass without the weight and it’s shatterproof. It has a lid with LED lighting featuring seven different colors and a timer. The lid also has openings that allow for oxygen transfer, ensuring fish are able to breathe.
5. Koller Products 2-gallon hex fishbowl
Why We Love it:
This is another lightweight, shatterproof option for small goldfish. Since it only holds two gallons, it may need to be upgraded as the fish grows. This bowl features a cool hex shape, making it a great option for a unique look. It has a small enough opening to reduce the risk of fish jumping out, but it is large enough to make it accessible for cleaning.
6. biOrb Halo Aquarium
Why We Love it:
This futuristic-looking fishbowl features a hidden waterline, five-stage filtration, and multi-colored lighting. The lights are remote-controlled and have different brightness levels. It also has a lid with a magnetic catch, making for easy access when needed and keeping other curious pets out the rest of the time.
7. Outgeek Bubble Wall Hanging Bowl
For small fish, this is a beautiful bowl option. This also works well in spaces without surface space available for a fishbowl. The hanging bowl will require frequent water changes for maximum fish health. This bowl works well as a planter and a shared space with a plant can help oxygenate the water for the fish.
Tips for Choosing The Best Goldfish Bowl
There are 3 main things to consider:
In general, the bigger the bowl – the better.
More water volume helps dilute the waste byproducts…
… and increases surface area for oxygen exchange.
Larger bowls allow more space to grow aquatic plants, which are INCREDIBLE for keeping the water safe for goldfish.
More plants = less work.
And they can support more fish.
From an aesthetic perspective:
Larger bowls have less distortion for viewing your fish than smaller bowls.
Related Post: Best Fish Bowl Starter Kits
2. Surface Area
This isn’t as much of an issue if you have some kind of electric filter or airstone creating gas exchange.
Bowls that have a larger surface area (i.e. wider opening) for the water can support aquatic life better – especially when plants are being used as the only filter.
Thanks to better oxygen exchange.
You can also achieve a larger surface area by not filling the bowl up all the way to the top (if using a typical bubble style bowl).
You lose water volume which results in less swimming space for the fish, so starting out with a larger bowl can make up for this.
Sometimes the more unusual styles of bowls can actually afford great surface area for the size (even glass trifle or mixing bowls).
If using glass aquaria, thicker glass will be more durable.
Trust me, you will want this.
Glass that is too thin can burst without warning, harming your fish and your house and leaving a huge mess.
The bigger the bowl, the more important it is that the glass is durable.
Plastic or Glass?
Plastic containers are definitely the cheapest.
I even have one myself…
… but honestly prefer glass given the choice.
Plastic can leach chemicals into the water if heated which can harm aquatic life.
(The stuff used to make plastics can include glass fibers, mineral, flame retardants, colorants, release, silicone, formaldehyde and more – yikes! (source))
So while glass can be more pricey, it gives you peace of mind for the long-term health of your fish, especially if you plan on adding a heater.
The investment is well worth it.
A goldfish bowl is not only supposed to be an ornamental accent to your living area…
It’s perhaps the most fascinating and educational object you can have in your home!
How to Set Up a Goldfish Bowl
Tap the method below to see the instructions
Cautions & Tips
Tap the FAQ below to see the answer.
Tap the problem below to see the solution
Got Pet Store/Fair Fish? Quarantine!
Not sure if your small fish are actually healthy?
Chances are they aren’t, unless you got them from a trusted breeder (or reputable importer).
They may look fine, but are probably carrying a load of “bugs.”
If you don’t deal with these to start with, they can end up killing your fish in about a month or so.
But don’t worry…
Your fish just need to be “cleaned up” at the beginning and then they will be good to go.
A quarantine bowl will need live plants (or filtration/water changes) to deal with their waste. Hornwort is my favorite as it floats and does not need to root. If it dies during treatments no big deal as I already have lots more where that came from.
For the quickest/simplest version of quarantine, you can use MinnFinn to treat all the most common goldfish diseases, followed by a salt treatment to get rid of ich parasites.
Read More: How to Quarantine New Fish Properly
Now it’s Your Turn
What you do with this information is up to you, and I hope it helps someone’s pet.
Are you realizing you want to make some changes to your bowl?
Pet ownership is a learning process for all of us. We make mistakes. We learn new things along the way.
Ultimately, we all want the best for our fish.
Featured Image Credit: DJ Srki, Shutterstock