Five Reasons to Choose an Aquarium Over a Fish Bowl

5. The Light

Now, you can get a tank without a light but most kits come with one. If you get a kit with a light, also go to the hardware store and buy a cheap timer. Set the timer for a natural light cycle (12 on, 12 off is good) and let it run. The timer is a lot better than constantly having to plug in and unplug the light.

But why does a light matter, you may ask. Having a light allows you to grow healthy aquatic plants in your aquarium. (I recommend anacharis.) These plants will remove the natural waste products produced by the fish and help stabilize your system. Additionally, they are much prettier to look at than the cheap plastic kind. A third plus is that you never have to water them!

4. The Heater

Most fish bowls are too small for a proper heater, making them susceptible to large temperature changes. While most fish can tolerate temperature change, it still causes them stress. Stress can lead to illness and shortened life spans. By putting a heater in your tank you can keep the temperature stable and your fish happy!

3. The Decorating Possibilities

I know this appears to be a strange insertion with all of the equipment, but it is truly an important aspect to consider. Fish live their lives in fear of bigger, meaner fish. If you put them in a bowl, which offers little space for the addition of hiding places, you will again increase the amount of stress your fish experience. By using an aquarium you can arrange decorations so that there are hiding places as well as open swimming areas to suit your fish’s needs.

D�©cor also offers one other benefit to the fish. It provides stimulation. While it is debatable as to how much stimulation a fish needs to live a fulfilling life (certainly not as much as a mammal) providing unique swimming areas is a form of enrichment.

2. The Filter

Most bowls don’t have the space for a filter. This lack of a necessary piece of equipment leads to necessary weekly cleanings. Ah, the joys of catching your fish in a plastic cup and emptying the whole dirty mess into the kitchen sink! Really, a filter reduces this trouble by removing particulates and chemical waste. In essence, it filters whatever the plants cannot.

Filters can also provide much needed water flow to your aquarium. The fish require oxygen to live, and the filter outflow will mix the oxygen into the water as it pours back into the tank. (You can also use an air pump and stone to add bubbles to your water if you feel your fish need more.)

1. The Space

Perhaps the greatest benefit of moving your fish to a tank is the amount of space it will give the fish and you. I will especially focus onto the benefit to you, here. A tank allows you the joy of the partial water change. The partial water change is exactly as it sounds. Instead of cleaning the whole mess at once in the kitchen sink, you siphon off a couple of gallons as you vacuum waste off of the bottom of the tank. Then, you can replace the water removed. Trust me, it’s wonderful. You don’t even have to take the fish out for cleaning.

Space has another benefit as well. Because there is a larger volume of water in the tank, the environment is less likely to change dramatically in a short period of time. Waste material is diluted to a greater extent so it will not become toxic to your animals before the plants and filter can deal with it. The temperature will also be more stable because of water’s amazing ability to hold massive amounts of energy (relative to air). In all, if you leave town for a week and don’t get to clean the tank, your fish is less likely to die in your absence.

There you have it, five reasons to move your fish to an aquarium tank. By doing so you will have taken your fish from being a mere desk ornament to being a well cared for pet. Yes, the aquarium is a bit more costly and takes up a bit more space. It is worth it, however, to be a humane fish keeper.

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