Why do pet stores sell “goldfish bowls” if they require so much more than that?

YourBestDeals.com - 468x60

Question by redstar: Why do pet stores sell “goldfish bowls” if they require so much more than that?
I’ve been reading that 1 common little gold fish needs 10-20 gallons of water, due to the fact that they are “dirty” or what have you. I just bought a common gold fish (often called “feeder fish”) and a 1 gallon bowl to keep him in, since he is only about 1 inch long. Will my little fish be ok?

Best answer:

Answer by Ianab
Shops sell cigarettes and Lard Burgers as well, doesn’t make them good.

They sell them because people buy them, not because they are any good.


Add your own answer in the comments!

about the author

10 comments on “Why do pet stores sell “goldfish bowls” if they require so much more than that?

  1. No. I consider fish bowls animal cruelty period. Pet store sell bowls because people continue to buy them despite the fact that books, and websites are available detailing proper fish care.

    Common goldfish not only produce a lot of waste, but they also have an adult size of about 12 inches at least. Their minimum tank size is 55 gallons, or better yet, a pond.

    I would personally return the goldfish. Or, if you are determined to keep him, perform drastic daily partial water changes on the bowl until you can upgrade to a temporary tank of at least 10 gallons with heavy filtration.

  2. you can keep them in a little bowl if you really stay on top of water changes and do them often. my mom had several around her house years ago. they did well for a long time.

  3. good business?
    Well according to the one inch per gallon rule.
    you have one inch of goldfish and one gallon of tank. it should work right???


  4. They sell bowls because people buy them and they just want your money. It’s like asking why do shops cell cigarettes. As long as it makes money, why not?

    Second, I hate to break this to you but your information is wrong. A common goldfish needs 75 gallons for itself! Your “feeder fish” is a comet. Comets can easily reach 12 inches in length, and some can even top 18 inches!

    Also, there is no use keeping fish in small bowls when they are small. Goldfish do most of their growing in the first year of their lives. So if you limit their swimming space now, they will probably suffer stunted growth and other complications. Fish need 3 things to properly grow: Aeration, Space, and Nutrition. Bowls are not well aerated. And they don’t have enough space. You can give the fish food but that alone wouldn’t be enough for it to grow and live its full life. Your comet can live 20-30, even 40 years!

    If you have a 20 gallon tank, you can keep a single fancy goldfish in it. But not a common. Fancy goldfish only reach about 6″ in size, therefore a 20 gallon is enough for them.

    Regardless of what goldfish you choose, they need excellent filtration, double filtration to be exact. Means if you have 1 fancy in a 20 gallon make sure the filter is rated at 40 gallons.

    And a final note, don’t be scared about the fact that you are getting a big tank. They are much easier to look after than small tanks. Think about it. A 1 inch fish in a bowl, or the same 1 inch fish in a 75 gallon. He’s safer in the 75 gallon because the waste he produces will not be able to quickly damage him, because there’s so much water around him!

  5. Because they don’t care about the fish they sell, they are only in it for the profit. If the fish die, you’ll go back and buy more fish. Most of the clerks in the big chain fish stores don’t know too much more about fish except that they live in water.

    The very general rule of thumb for goldfish and koi is they need 8 gals. of water for every inch of fish. Your 1″ goldie needs at least an 8 gal. tank–10 would be better, and you’ll have to upgrade to a bigger tank as the fish grows. Goldies need clean water and they discharge a lot of ammonia into the water. They also need a large area to swim in or they begin to get crazy. They need good filtration and a bowl doesn’t allow for a filter. The only differences between a “common” goldfish and a fancy goldfish are (1) the commons are the result of indiscriminate breeding so it’s a mutt, and (2) fancy goldfish cost more. They both need the same living standards. A 1″ goldfish is a baby and if given a healthy environment will grow very fast. If you keep your bowl water clean–do 1/3 water changes every day (use dechlorinated water), your fish may live but it will be stunted–not only on the outside but all it’s internal organs will be stunted and it will not live a normal life span because of that. And come summer when the weather gets hot, how are you going to keep a 1 gal. bowl cool enough to keep him alive? Goldfish die if the water gets warm, plus the bacteria will bloom, water will get depleted of oxygen extremely fast (hot water carries less oxygen then cool water). Goldfish need to be kept at around 65F degrees. That’s a lot to ask of a 1 gal. tank. A 10 gal. tank is a bit mroe forgiving and allows you a little wiggle room–you’d only have to do water changed once a week, you can run a good filter, the water would take longer to warm up so you could do water changed to keep it coolish, there’s more water mass so it’d take the bad bacteria longer to become lethal. Etc. Plus, bowls tend to narrow at the neck making evaporation slower and evaporation is how water stays cool.

  6. I worked at Petsmart. Those feeder fish are meant to die early, as in, be fed to other animals. If they are left in a large aquarium, they will get to about koi size. but if they are in a small tank, they will stay small and die very early, that is why you always see a few dead ones in the holding tank at the store, overcrowded and small. I personally like those bowls when you live in a small dorm room in college and all you can have is a fish. I had a Beta once in my dorm room, it was nice to have a little buddy without the hassle of having to get all those pieces of equipment, wait a week for the water to be at the right levels and such, and when I was gone for the breaks, I just grab my fish and fish bowl and drive away. So its nice for the Betas and lonely college students, but some people forget that its only for Betas. The fish that you see in the oxygenated tanks with the constant circulation, they are meant to stay in a tank like that, not a bowl.

  7. its because almost everywhere you see or think pet fish everyone imagines them in a bowl (like the goldfish in the tom&jerry cartoons) its a steryotype that the vendors prey on to get you to buy something useless.

    i really wnat you to get that fish a 20-30 (prferably30) gallon tank with a filter ASAP with a filter preferably rated for a 55 gallon tank.

    no offense but i really think these are strictly pond fish and should not be sold in such a small size to make people likely to buy them onlyto last unfortunetly for 5 horrible years

  8. $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

  9. Greed. It is considered and can be reported as cruelty.

  10. lodemai_of_bukovina

    Ian is exactly right, aside from “goldfish” bowls being perfect for betta fish.

    Your goldfish will likely live for no more than a month of his estimated 50 years in a bowl. My apologies.

Comments are closed.