Use the hashtag #BanTheBowl on social media to bring awareness to the suffering and abuse fish experience when kept in a bowl and other small vessels.
Why No Bowls?
Bowls and other small aquariums under 3 gallons are a recipe for disaster. The small water volume will quickly become contaminated with waste or missed food, and they do not allow for proper filtration, heating, or enrichment like plants and hides. Ammonia, which is damaging and toxic to your fish at any level, builds up fast in small aquariums and due to the difficulty of properly cycling these small containers it is sitting in the water with your fish unchecked. Not to mention, they are just downright cramped! All fish need room to swim and do fish things. They like to explore and interact with their environment. They can even be taught tricks!
Myth: Wild bettas live in small, dirty puddles
Truth: Wild bettas, the ancestors of domestic bettas, live in swamps, rice paddies, wetlands, and shallow ponds in South East Asia. Although these bodies of water may sometimes be shallow, they are quite large and many span acres. Wild bettas also have the option of hoping to new water, thanks to their labyrinth organ, unlike a betta we keep in an aquarium. Bettas should be kept in aquariums that are at least 5 gallons and like any animal, their living environment needs to be kept clean.
Myth: Bettas can breathe air, so they don’t need oxygen in the water
Truth: Although it is true that bettas can breathe air thanks to their labyrinth organ, they still need oxygenated water that is created by surface movement from a filter because they mainly breathe through their gills.
Myth: If I live in a warm place then I don’t need a heater for my betta
Truth: Your betta requires a heater, even in Arizona! Hot air outside doesn’t make a difference for your betta inside, and water temperature is going to be colder than room temperature, especially if there is water movement. Bettas like their water to be kept around 78°F.
Myth: A bubble nest = a happy betta
Truth: A bubble nest only means your betta has reached sexual maturity and is ready to breed. Some bettas never even build nests!
Myth: Bettas cannot be kept with other fish
Truth: Bettas can be kept with lots of other tropical fish, snails, and shrimp! Tetras and cories are great options. Just ensure tank mates are peaceful and don’t have long colorful fins like a guppy. Some bettas may attack shrimp and snails, so decide based on your betta’s personality.
Myth: You can keep female bettas together, or a male and female together
Truth: Keeping female bettas together (called a sorority) is a controversial subject. When done right you may have success, but even if you do and someone replicates it they may have a different outcome. A male and female pair will kill each other, and they should only be together for breeding purposes. BBR does not support keeping any domestic bettas together. Always block a bettas sight from other bettas.
Examples of common inadequate ‘aquariums’