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Why does goldfish die in bowl quickly? Original truth has revealed

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Goldfish is one of the common fishes among all aquarium fishes. When people want to start an aquarium as a hobby then they want to start with goldfish. They start with a small bowl to reduce the primary expenses. But starting with a bowl is the wrong decision that you can make.

Goldfish can’t thrive in a bowl because generally, the space of the bowl is quite small compared to the fish tank. Bowl does not allow adding a filter and does not provide a natural environment to goldfish. Moreover due to not having a proper filter the waste creates ammonia spike that doesn’t allow goldfish to live a longer period of time in the bowl.     

But there are lots of other reasons for the premature death of goldfish also. Let’s elaborate on this topic to know more.

Why is your goldfish dying in a bowl?

Frankly speaking, goldfishes are not meant for the bowl. Goldfish is like other fishes that need a proper aquatic environment. People have their own misconception that goldfish should be in a bowl. This is not correct. Here is the reason why you should not keep goldfish in a small bowl.

  • Bowl doesn’t allow goldfish to grow

The average size of goldfish is 6 inches. The width of a 3-gallon bowl is 10 inches. The width of the bowl varies from 8 inches to 12 inches. Generally, people who don’t have space to build a proper aquarium prefer a 3-gallon bowl. Now 10 inches width will not give freedom to a goldfish to grow. That is why this is very painful for a goldfish to live in a bowl and it dies off quickly.

  • Not possible to add a proper filter

You can attach proper filters in a normal fish tank but in a bowl, you can add small filters which are not so effective to clear waste. So due to not proper clearance of waste bowl could be messy enough. Your Goldfish doesn’t like that condition inside of the bowl. So you should avoid bowls to keep goldfish.

  • Sudden ammonia spike

Ammonia is one of the main harmful materials in aquariums. Now for big aquariums ammonia spike doesn’t occur frequently.  On other hand, there are lots of other factors that help to no getting ammonia spikes in the aquarium. For the bowl, those other factors don’t work. As a bowl gets messy in a short period of time so you need to clear it frequently. But if you don’t clear bowls daily, then those food wastes and fish waste will create ammonia faster and for this reason, goldfish will die quickly.

Read more:- Know the causes and solutions of the cloudy goldfish tank

  • Not possible to grow beneficial bacteria

For aquarium beneficial bacteria are most important. Bacteria help to run the nitrogen cycle in the aquarium. As there are no driftwood and substrate that’s why beneficial bacteria can’t able to grow in a bowl. So goldfish will not get a proper aquatic environment.

  • Lack of oxygen in bowl

Goldfish will die fast due to the lack of oxygen in a bowl. You can’t add external oxygen or bubbles that will help to increase the surface area of water to absorb oxygen from the air. This thing only happens in the aquarium. So the oxygen deficit is the common problem in a bowl. So if you see that goldfish are gasping at the surface of the water then you should add increase the surface area by shaking water.  But this is not a permanent solution to make goldfish alive for a longer period of time.

  • Lack of companions in bowl

The inner space of a bowl is short for one goldfish so you can’t add a pair of goldfish in a bowl. If you add a pair of goldfish forcefully then that bowl will be overcrowded. This thing will decrease the life span of those pairs of goldfish very fast. But goldfish need companions to thrive. Due to not having the right companion in the bowl goldfish can’t live longer.

Read more:- Is goldfish compatible with cichlids? 

  • pH changes due to rapid water change

To remove ammonia and nitrite from the bowl you have to change the water to save goldfish. But the thing is that the pH level could be changed due to the rapid water change. As the quantity of water is very few in a bowl, so if you change the water a little bit from the total amount of water, still it will change the pH level of water. To save goldfish you have to provide the right pH level definitely.

Read more:- Importance of pH level and know how to control it

Where the goldfish should be kept to save in the right way?

The right tank size to keep goldfish is a 20-gallon fish tank. You must provide this amount of space to make them healthy. The 20-gallon fish tank is for the one piece of goldfish. For a pair, you can add an extra 10 gallon to your tank.

Goldfish is a carp species. It can grow up to 14 -16 inches long. So this data shows us that if we provide more space then it will grow accordingly. But that is not the case. Generally, goldfish don’t grow more than 6 inches to 7 inches. There are some types of goldfish that can grow bigger in the fish tank also. These are Oranda goldfish, Shubunkin goldfish and Veiltail goldfish. Among these three types, the Shubunkin goldfish can grow 9 inches to 18 inches. This totally depends upon the fish tank.

If you want to know the right tank size of each type of goldfish then you can read my researched article. Go here.

Read more:- How to keep fish healthy in a fishbowl: 5 uncommon tricks

How many days do goldfish live in a bowl?

Here I’ve given the reasons why you should not keep goldfish in a bowl. Now generally goldfish can live up to 10 to 14 years easily if they don’t face any uncomfortable situation but in a bowl, goldfish can’t live more than 2-3 years. This is so pathetic for a fish lover.

Final thoughts

Keeping goldfish in a bowl is a wrong approach to fish keeping. This is a myth that goldfish will be happy in a bowl. So if you are going to do it then you should change this approach and think about the long term. If you invest a little bit then you can easily build your own community fish tank. This will stay with you for years.  Here you can keep lots of fish with your favourite goldfish also.  But some of you may have no money. For them, the bowl can be an option to start but this will be definitely a short term hobby for them.

So best of luck & happy fishkeeping 🐟

Read more:- Setting up goldfish bowl for a beginner: With cost analysis

Read more:- How to build a community fish tank. With cost analysis

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