Keeping Guppies in a Glass Fish Bowl

Fish Bowl with Guppy

A lot of us have had the experience of walking by a street market and witnessing Guppies sold in a glass fish bowl. Thinking that it’s easy to take care of it when you can quickly do water changes by just dumping the water out without having to siphon vacuum it out. You also think that they will look great on your desk since they occupy such a small amount of space. Unfortunately many Guppies get sold this way to uninformed consumers.

The truth is a glass fish bowl, small plastic tank or vases are actually harder to take care of than a large-sized aquarium tank. It is difficult to maintain the water’s quality in any aquarium tanks less than 10 gallons (40 L) since the toxin gets compounded quickly due to the small volume of water. And poor water quality usually leads to a sick Guppy fish.

Glass Fish Bowls are often Described as “Death Bowls” for Several Reasons:

  1. Fish bowls are generally small so any toxins from left over food or fish waste gets compounded fast and increases the ammonia level quickly.
  2. Not many any fish bowl filtration systems are available. The ones that are available on the market barely filter anything.
  3. No tank covers for fish bowls so debris that falls into the fish bowl also contributes to poor water quality.

If you do Decide to Keep your Guppies in a Glass Fish Bowl then Follow these Maintenance Tips:

  1. Only fill the fish bowl with water to the widest part of the bowl so more oxygen can be dissolved into water and more carbon dioxide can be released into the air.
  2. Change 50% of the water every other day with dechlorinated water.
  3. Get a fish bowl filtration system, even though they’re not that helpful.
  4. Only feed what your fish can completely consume less than 1 minute.
  5. If there is any uneaten food, remove it immediately.
  6. 1″ of fish (length-wise) for every 3 gallons of water.
  7. Avoid placing your fish bowl, where the temperature can change dramatically (for example, near window/door, near heater).

Note: Keep in mind that Guppies should be kept in 3 or more since they live in shoals. If you are keeping them in a bowl then only keep one type of sex, otherwise they will start breeding and you will need more space. Read our How to Identify Between a Male and Female Guppy Fish article to learn how to tell the Guppy’s sex apart.

Keeping Guppies or any fishes in a glass fish bowl are generally not a good idea. If possible, upgrade your glass fish bowl to at least a 10 gallons (40 L). That way you can setup a proper filtration system for your fishes, resulting in less maintenance work. It will make you and your fish happier in the long term.


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