Have you ever had fish as a "pet"? If so look here please!

So, I found a little fish bowl the other day when I was going through some stuff in the garage. It’s so cute, it’s a ceramic cat on it’s back and the bowl sits on it’s stomach.

ANYWAYS, back to the topic.
Is it OK to keep this on a shelf about a foot from a window?

I’ve never had fish as a pet, so I don’t know a thing about them. I’m planning on getting a goldfish or some other cheapy at the local store, and seeing how it works out.

Is it OK to keep the fish near the window? Will the sun be harmful to it, or will I have to worry more about my cat eying it? :ahh:

Thanks in advance!

Hmm … I think a foot away would be OK … If it’s right up against the glass, don’t do it. It’ll freeze in the winter, or fry in the summer. My friend (who has a cat) took a piece of screening and bent it so it fit snugly over the top of the bowl, so her cat wouldn’t get the fish. It worked, until she left it off after feeding it one day …

Goldfish are pretty good fish to start out with. They’re pretty tolerant of everything, just don’t overfeed them! They’ll eat and eat until they roll over and die (literally). When you buy one, though, get an actualy goldfish, not a feeder fish. Feeder fish are bred to be eaten by lizards/other fish/whatever and will die within a few weeks (same goes for feeder mice, too).

Good luck! :slight_smile:

I’ve found beta fish to be the heartiest fish I’ve had. My brother had one (supercalifragilisticexpialidocious) that lived for like 11 months (about twice as long as all of his other fish). The only thing with beta fish is they’ll eat anything that’s in a bowl with them. If you get non-carnivorous fish, get some snails too. They eat the algea so you won’t have to clean it nearly as often. I don’t know if fish react adversly to sunlight. We’ve never tried it before. I would guess that it wouldn’t affect them much since water takes relatively long to heat up/cool down compared to air, but it’s probably safer not too.

I dunno about cats and fish. I only have dogs (who are much more interested in my brother’s bird than his fish (though now that the novelty of the bird has worn off, my yellow lab will let the cockatiel ride on it’s back)).

I second that, beta fish are really tough fish, you just can’t keep more than one per bowl. Sunlight won’t hurt the fish, unless its some really radical weather. Sunlight will increase the growth rate of the algae in the tank, though. Of all the creatures said to keep the tank algae free, snails work best, they live fairly long (except when they crawl out of the water, shivel up, and die). The algae eater fish are completely useless unless you have an enourmous tank for it to wander around (its fun to watch them eat), otherwise they die pretty quick.
Goldfish, acutally, don’t need the whole complex tank system (a water filter at most, for less tank cleaning), just some clean water and food will keep them happy for a long time (long time as in way past a year). Just be careful changing their water, if its really dirty, and you put the fish in clean water, it dies of shock. Either gradually clean the water, or not let the tank get really dirty in the first place.
Also, at best, try to use some sort of filtered water, a lot of fish die due to contaminants tap water.
Also, about your cat, a mesh cover will prevent the cat from sticking its paws into the tank, you also need to worry about the cat knocking the fish bowl over.
Yes, I have fishes as pets, two beta’s. I’m trying to build one of them a macquarium.

Whatever you do don’t name it ‘Charley Jesus’. It will die in a week or two if you do. :slight_smile:

Geez Elgin, you scared me when I saw the title of this thread! :ahh: I figured it had something to do with that Jay H 237 character here on CD!* :wink:

Well, anyways, the tank I have now is a 10 gallon. I still have a 5 gallon in the attic but I upgraded to the 10 about 2 years ago. I’m running a filter, an under gravel filter, and heater with it. The heater is neccesary since I have tropical fish and I keep the tank at 76-78 degrees at all times. This is a freshwater tank.
Now with a small bowl and a goldfish you don’t need all this. With normal room tempature the goldfish won’t require a heater, plus a heater won’t fit in most bowls. I used to have goldfish with a small bowl and I changed the water when it started looking cloudy. This was about every two weeks in the winter and about every week in the summer. I didn’t run any filters with the bowl. As for the cat, the above suggestions of screen sounds good. I never had a cat so I never had this problem. Whatever you do don’t put solid plastic or anything else to block the top of the tank, the fish do need air. Feed it two to three times a day only. A little “pinch” of food is all it will need. The only other thing I would use in the tank is “Chlor Out” or some other treatment to neutralize Chlorine and Chloramines if you’re filling the tank/bowl with tap or well water. For a small bowl 3 or 4 drops and for a tank like mine about 40. If you’re only changing part of the water change the drop ratio accordingly. It only costs a few dollars a bottle and it lasts awhile.

*Just because I filmed my fish tank to test my new digital camera with film mode doesn’t mean I don’t have anything better to do! :rolleyes: Now excuse me, I think I’ll go look at Ebay and see if there’s a life I could bid on. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ahahahhahaha! I forgot about that… *See my other post about the online journal and how bad my memory sucks.

Maybe I’ll name the fish Jay, or Fuji… :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m glad you mentioned that because that is how I killed my fish when a kid, and I was so horrified at killing poor Kitty (it was one of those sucker-fish that looks like a tiny catfish) that I’ve never gotten another fish!

Another way of handling the water is to only change half of the water at a time.


We had a beta fish in my dorm my entire junior year. I dont know how he survived but somehow he did. They are cool to look at, and dont require a very large tank. We had a nice sized glass tank but they can live in smaller tanks, or even under the roots of plants (dont know if you’ve ever seen those but i think they are funny). I would definately go for the beta as they can survive pretty much anything.

Fish, like all animals, need a certain amount of space and they really don’t appreciate goldfish bowls. Thousands of goldfish are given out at fairs and carnivals each year to die in a few days. So goldfish bowls are all over the place.

However, as many above have already stated, Bettas are probably the most hardy things you could keep since they live in stagnant canals from SE Asia. They are part of a group called Anabantids and have specialized gills that allow them to gulp air and therefore survive low oxygen conditions.

But they are tropical fish and need room temps of about 75 degrees to be happy so sitting them on a windowsill means they get all sorts of extremes.

Goldfish, on the other hand are very cheap and tolerant of cold. I keep them outside in a pool all year and they grow about a foot long and breed every spring. They are just a form of Asiatic carp and easily survive a temperate winter. But in a bowl they rapidly get stunted and tend to be very dirty. All freshwater fish have hyperactive kidneys to get rid of the constant influx of water that invades their cells (a hypotonic environment). Therefore, in just a few days or so, a goldfish bowl becomes a sewer and the fish is swimming in essentially urine in a very short time. Therefore they need frequent changes of water to be healthy and most people don’t exercise that kind of level of care for such cheap fish.

To keep fish well requires work. They aren’t toys.

Hope this helps.



Most things about fish have been mentioned already, but there are a couple of things that I would like to mention (I have two fish tanks – one 55 gallon and another 25 gallon – all with African ciclids):

1)** Putting it near the window will probably give you algae problems**. The sunlight may cause your fishbowl to get green in a hurry. (This has already been mentioned, but the proximity to the window may also cause extreme fluctuations in temperature, depending on how drafty it is)

  1. To deal with the water changing issue – what I do is I save our old half gallon and whole gallon milk bottles, fill them up with regular tap water, and keep them in one of our kitchen cabinets. After 24 hours, the chlorine found in tap water will evaporate out of the water and will not harm fish. This way, I know that I will have good water every time I do a water change.

However this does not eliminate the shock issue completely – in order to survive, fish need a certain amount of bacteria present in the water. These bacteria develop over time as the fish lives in it’s environment. However, if you change all of the water at once, the fish will no longer have enough bacteria and likely will die of shock. I recommend changing only 1/4 of the water at a time – that way there will not be a dangerous lack of bacteria and the bacteria already in the water will have a chance to multiply themselves.

  1. Get a book about fish before you buy one. A little bit of literature will help you immensely. Talk to the person at the pet store to figure out what’s right for you. Fish can be a bigger commitment than one may think. Depending on the species of fish that you get, the difficulty of care varies greatly. Do your research so that things don’t end up in disaster!

Hope this helps!

I know this probably isn’t helpful but…
the only “pet fish” i have had are guppies, but those were for my pet garder snake. You put the fish in the snake’s water dish and he slithers in there makes a ring around the fish and eats them one at a time. Poor little fish, but it is very cool to watch.

But don’t get snailS (plural). Get only ONE snail of a given species. Otherwise, you will wind up with a tank completely full of snails. Snails are hermaphroditic, and they produce lots of eggs. :ahh:

Anyway, the ram’s horn snail we had was fun to watch. Sometimes it would go to the top of the tank, then let go and float down to the bottom, instead of just sliding along the glass. We liked our snail better than our algae-eating fish, because it lived a lot longer, and it didn’t bother the goldfish. I had to be careful when cleaning the tank, so that I didn’t accidentally crush the snail’s shell.

We kept goldfish in a 10-gallon aquarium, and cleaning the aquarium was a dreadful chore, in my opinion. I was glad to get rid of it! The pet store guy did warn us that goldfish are very dirty, compared with other fish. I think a simple bowl, with careful water changes as suggested, is a lot easier; that’s what we did when I was a kid.

HOLY COW!! This sounds like more work than I wanted just for an excuse to use something that has been sitting in storage for a couple years.

Maybe I’ll just buy some pretty blue glass beads and put some fake flowers in the bowl… :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the detailed input.
Looks like we have a few future marine biologists in our ranks here.

I’ll decide what to do over the break the next few days, and go from there and keep everyone posted. I just cleaned the bowl today, so if I do something, I want to do it soon so it doesn’t get dirty just sitting there.

Yeah, dont buy goldfish either… A guy at a petstore once told me that they breed goldfish so much, so fast and so “cheaply” as he put it, that they aren’t expected to hold up more then a few weeks, unless you get one of the larger ones that cost a few bucks (but aren’t reccomended to swim in those little bowls…

I used to raise Gala Sharks, they are easy to maintain, friendly to other fish, but if they last more then a year they will get too big for your bowl and you will need to transfer them to at least a 10 gallon aqarium. A friend of mine had one once that he bought that was the size of a typical small goldfish that when it died it was the size of a small trout…yeah they do get big.

Anyway, if you plan on getting a fish, I noticed that someone said get a beta. Thats an excellent idea if you are only going to have one fish. They are easy to maintain and last a good long time.

I’ve had both goldfish and beta’s and i would say the easist fish to own/take care of is a beta. My beta lived for about 13 months, and all i had to do was feed it a pinch about 3 times a week, and change half the water every week or so. With beta, it’s not a good idea to keep them in direct sunlight, so maybe on the window sill isn’t the best idea. Also, beta live better in small tanks(mine was seriously about 4 inches in diameter at its widest point), but as stated before, dont put more than one in the bowl.