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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everybody!

I've had this bowl going for about two months now with three fancy guppy fry in it for the past two weeks. While I love guppies, I was wondering what my other options were? I would of course take the fry out and put them back in my 29 gal.

Originally it started off with the intent to be a betta tank, but I started wondering what other kinds if creatures would do well in a 3 gallon bowl? It's heavily planted with green gecko crypts that are finally starting to grow in and has two Anubias petites on top of the little dojo in there. Has a heater and a sponge filter, gets four hours of direct light a day and then just ambient lighting from my two windows.

I only ask because I love bettas (already have two in my room), and wouldn't mind getting another one but am looking at different options.
 

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That's a very nice tank! Looks like a water bubble.
If it has a lid of some kind, 5 chili rasboras would work. They're very, very small. A couple of male endlers would also work, or you could keep some cherry shrimp.
 

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Some good suggestions from the above poster and I second a colony of neocaridina shrimp. Cherry shrimp are in that family and there are different colours now, yellow and blue just to mention a couple. The only thing is, you should only keep one colour, since if they interbreed, they will revert back to the wild type.

Your little bowl is very pretty!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's a very nice tank! Looks like a water bubble.
If it has a lid of some kind, 5 chili rasboras would work. They're very, very small. A couple of male endlers would also work, or you could keep some cherry shrimp.
Aw, thanks! It was a fight to get it to cycle, but it was totally worth it. I might look into the rasboras. They've always looked like cool little fish. 😊

Bump:
Some good suggestions from the above poster and I second a colony of neocaridina shrimp. Cherry shrimp are in that family and there are different colours now, yellow and blue just to mention a couple. The only thing is, you should only keep one colour, since if they interbreed, they will revert back to the wild type.

Your little bowl is very pretty!
Hahaha, I thought about little shrimp. I tried a handful of cherries in my big tank and they were doing really well then boom. All gone. No clue where they went. Didn't introduce anything different and didn't have any aggressive fish.

But maybe they would do well in this tank. Do they do okay with chili rasboras or endlers? Don't want to mix them with something that's gonna pick their antennae off.

Oh, and thank you! It's been a little labor of love (plus it looks so much better in real life than in the picture).
 

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... intent to be a betta tank, but I started wondering what other kinds if creatures would do well in a 3 gallon bowl ...
Please don't confuse a 3 gallon tank with a 3 gallon bowl, a 20g High with a 20g Long, or even a 55g with a 40g Breeder. Surface area trumps water volume, especially when it comes to Labyrinths, including bettas.

Several websites list nano species and many may thrive in a 3g bowl. Betta, Scarlet Badis, Sparkling Gourami, and other Labyrinths are sure to be found on those lists for nano tanks, i.e. receptacles wherein the surface area is the greatest dimension, however are poor choices for a bowl.

This may sound counterintuitive to you but decreasing the water level in the bowl to 1.5g, and thereby tripling the surface area, will create an environment much more favorable for Betta, Scarlet Badis, Sparkling Gourami, etc, only don't mix with Gourami with neocaridina unless you intend for them to be feeders.
 

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If it were me, I would put just shrimp in the bowl. I have found that almost any fish will eat the baby shrimp. I have kept neons and small rasboras with my neos, and they were fine with the adult shrimp, but I sure noticed a decline in the number of young. When you get a shrimp colony going, it is surprising how much activity there is in a tank!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Please don't confuse a 3 gallon tank with a 3 gallon bowl, a 20g High with a 20g Long, or even a 55g with a 40g Breeder. Surface area trumps water volume, especially when it comes to Labyrinths, including bettas.

Several websites list nano species and many may thrive in a 3g bowl. Betta, Scarlet Badis, Sparkling Gourami, and other Labyrinths are sure to be found on those lists for nano tanks, i.e. receptacles wherein the surface area is the greatest dimension, however are poor choices for a bowl.

This may sound counterintuitive to you but decreasing the water level in the bowl to 1.5g, and thereby tripling the surface area, will create an environment much more favorable for Betta, Scarlet Badis, Sparkling Gourami, etc, only don't mix with Gourami with neocaridina unless you intend for them to be feeders.
The top surface area of my tank is 9 inches across and its widest point is 10 inches across. Would it really be that bad for fish?

Bump:
If it were me, I would put just shrimp in the bowl. I have found that almost any fish will eat the baby shrimp. I have kept neons and small rasboras with my neos, and they were fine with the adult shrimp, but I sure noticed a decline in the number of young. When you get a shrimp colony going, it is surprising how much activity there is in a tank!
I may think about that. Around where I live, though, it may be cheaper for me to stick with fish.
 

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The top surface area is 9 inches across and its widest point is 10 inches across? What do you mean? Are you saying there's only 1" difference between the diameter at the middle and the diameter at the top?

The bowl in the uploaded photo appears spherical. Although the photo does not depict a water line we can infer that the greatest diameter appears to be ~3x greater than the top diameter. Maybe the three fancy guppy fry will thrive in there, I'll withhold comment on that.

But as far as fish who depend upon atmospheric oxygen the greater the surface area the better. Guppies can't drown, Betta can. It's physically possible for Betta to breathe thru just a 1" opening, but it's stressful, very unnatural. Think of yourself in a pool swimming underwater. You could rise to the surface at any point to breathe. A bowl with only a narrow opening would seem claustrophobic.

Bump: The top surface area is 9 inches across and its widest point is 10 inches across? What do you mean? Are you saying there's only 1" difference between the diameter at the middle and the diameter at the top?

The bowl in the photo that you uploaded looks spherical. Although your photo does not depict a water line we can infer that the greatest diameter appears to be ~3x greater than the top diameter. Maybe the three fancy guppy fry will thrive in there, I'll withhold comment on that.
But as far as fish who depend upon atmospheric oxygen the greater the surface area the better. Guppies can't drown, Betta can. It's physically possible for Betta to breathe just thru a 1" opening, but it's stressful, very unnatural. Bowls are unnatural (more so than tanks).
 

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What do you mean? Of course more water surface area the more area for atmospheric exchange, and so the more water surface area exposed to air/atmosphere, the more potential of dissolved oxygen. But that oxygen content would apply for all fish.

Labyrinth fish, such as Bettas, would have a easier time surviving in environments with little surface area/low dissolved oxygen content, than most other fish, simply due to the fact that they have the labyrinth organ which allows them to breathe surface air for oxygen, whereas most other fish don't have the ability to breathe surface air and solely (pretty much) rely on the dissolved oxygen from atmospheric exchange.

Labyrinth fish can obtain oxygen via:
Dissolved oxygen from atmospheric exchange
AND breathing atmospheric air

Most other fish obtain oxygen via:
Dissolved oxygen from atmospheric exchange -only (for the most part)

So as you can see, it is the opposite, Bettas would be better than most fish, living in a bowl with less surface area. You can even see that Bettas can survive in little cups with no surface agitation, little water as long as they get some air for atmospheric exchange, where as most other fish would die from those conditions (low oxygen).
The other fish wouldn't "drown" (lungs fill up with water -since they don't have any), but they would die from lack of oxygen (hypoxia). Only time I've heard of labyrinth fish being able to "drown", is if they can't reach the water surface and so I guess they choke/swallow like humans do underwater and water floods their lungs/labyrinth organ. As long as there is some open water surface, the labyrinth fish can breathe there. Of course it's best to provide adequate levels of dissolved oxygen, but that's besides the point.

But with all that said, yes the bowl has less surface area than a most traditional tanks, but with the mentioned surface area, I am sure the OP can still stock the tank with most nano tank compatible fish. Just provide enough surface agitation (essentially expands the surface area with all the rippling/waves). Also a good idea to circulate the dissolved oxygenated water down to the bottom of the bowl as well. Looks like there is a sponge filter in there which would be perfectly fine for stocking any fish possibility.

Just don't want the OP getting the wrong advice/info.

OP, is the 9" or 8" across, the widest width of the bowl, or is that really the water surface exposure?

Still even if you only have a 4" actual diameter of the water surface, that is enough for most fish as long as there is good surface agitation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just don't want the OP getting the wrong advice/info.

OP, is the 9" or 8" across, the widest width of the bowl, or is that really the water surface exposure?

Still even if you only have a 4" actual diameter of the water surface, that is enough for most fish as long as there is good surface agitation.
The water surface is 9" across. The bubbler for the sponge filter gives lots of surface agitation. I haven't seen any issues from my little guppies as of yet, and the plants seem to be doing well. From what I understand you're saying that a betta would do fine in here?

Bump:
The top surface area is 9 inches across and its widest point is 10 inches across? What do you mean? Are you saying there's only 1" difference between the diameter at the middle and the diameter at the top?

The bowl in the uploaded photo appears spherical. Although the photo does not depict a water line we can infer that the greatest diameter appears to be ~3x greater than the top diameter. Maybe the three fancy guppy fry will thrive in there, I'll withhold comment on that.
Yes, the widest point of the bowl is only an inch difference from the surface area. As I said before, the picture I have isn't the best. But the surface area is 9" across with plenty of surface agitation.
 

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Ahh yes, much better pictures :)

That is a lot more surface area than we would have guessed from the original pictures haha. Usually round bowls enclose higher up, leaving much less surface area. Still the same info applies though.

But yes you could stock pretty much anything you want that is compatible for a nano tank. Yep, even a Betta.

Just so you know, from the pic, the sponge filter is going, but the bubbles don't really appear to be causing a lot of surface agitation. It looks like the bubbles are more so just floating on the surface. What you want for surface agitation is rippling/wavy water. It looks like the lift tube (clear plastic tube the bubbles are going up) is nearly touching the surface and that may be why the bubbles aren't agitating the surface much. You can try removing the tube (or making it shorter) and see how much that helps.

Still with the little surface agitation, it depends on fish stock, with just a few little fry, they don't use up much oxygen, so they don't really need a lot of surface agitation. But if you end up stocking more fish, you might need to increase dissolved oxygen which you would do by increasing surface agitation.

With Bettas, they do like to have some calm water surface areas so they can build a bubble nest and it's a bit less chaotic (easier) for them to breach the surface for air.

Still get opinions on your desired stocking as there may be compatibility issues. So take a look at some lists of nano tank fish and let us know what you are thinking of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Still get opinions on your desired stocking as there may be compatibility issues. So take a look at some lists of nano tank fish and let us know what you are thinking of.
Yes, yes. Bigger than it first appeared. :)

I'm thinking of either going for shrimp or some endlers. Maybe rasboras, but I've read that they need longer tanks for more movement.
 

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The only concern I would have with a betta is that I'd drop the water level or make some type of lid to prevent jumping out..
Really cool bowl btw. I love bowls/jars/nano containers out of various materials.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The only concern I would have with a betta is that I'd drop the water level or make some type of lid to prevent jumping out..
Really cool bowl btw. I love bowls/jars/nano containers out of various materials.
Oh yeah, totally. I was definitely going to make a lid out of mesh, betta or not. XD

Not doing the whole betta thing of "I can fly!" *leaps from tank* "Just kidding. Now I'm dried up." Or in my aunt's case, down the drain.
 

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Of course more water surface area the more area for atmospheric exchange, and so the more water surface area exposed to air/atmosphere, the more potential of dissolved oxygen. But that oxygen content would apply for all fish ...

I've written, "Surface area trumps water volume, especially when it comes to Labyrinths, including bettas." The 1st part of the sentence, i.e. SURFACE AREA TRUMPS WATER VOLUME, implies a generality and is understood to include all creatures in water, e.g. all types of fish, reptiles, amphibians, etc. Then the 2nd part of the sentence, i.e. ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO LABYRINTHS, implies that the 1st part of the sentence holds true even more so when pertaining to Labyrinths.

... Labyrinth fish can obtain oxygen via: Dissolved oxygen from atmospheric exchange AND breathing atmospheric air...

Dissolved oxygen from atmospheric exchange is insufficient for Labyrinths, which is why I've written that "Guppies can't drown, Betta can [drown]." I've seen Labyrinths perish in bags of water which have been filled to the top and tied off, leaving no atmospheric air. They perished not in hours but in minutes. Therefore your point is moot.

... surface agitation -1 ... it's best to provide adequate levels of dissolved oxygen, but that's besides the point ... Just don't want the OP getting the wrong advice/info ... as long as there is good surface agitation -2 ... surface agitation -3 ... surface agitation -4 ... surface agitation -5 ... surface agitation -6 ... need to increase dissolved oxygen which you would do by increasing surface agitation -7

Surface agitation is mentioned seven times, dissolved oxygen only twice. Just as surface area trumps water volume, so does dissolved oxygen trump surface agitation. The finest air stones pale in comparison to the diffused oxygen plants provide, which is so fine as to be invisible to the naked eye. Mechanical agitation, surface or otherwise, is not match for ThePlantedTank (no pun intended).

With Bettas, they do like to have some calm water surface areas ...

"Some" is an understatement, bubble-nesters are stagnant water species. They like every square millimeter calm. They survive in agitated tanks, such as community tanks, but do not thrive. And now I'm all finished with this thread and unsubscribed, the onus of the OP getting the right advice/info is all on you now :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think a shoal of micro rasboras would be kind of full though. Maybe a pair of least killifish or a single male endler? Or an african dwarf frog?
Oh man, I haven't kept dwarf frogs in a loooong time. Used to have several in different tanks. I'm thinking about going with a bunch of cherry shrimp (or yellow shrimp). But, you have given me something to think about concerning another tank....

MTS activated.
 
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