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View Full Version : any gourami can go in a betta bowl



Hans
03-14-2004, 2:56 PM
there is an ongoing argument at my place of work, some people think that any type of labyrinth fish can go in a bowl, not just bettas since they all have that lung thingy, also gouramis are proven to live in water that is 40 degress F. so i dont see why I cant have a dwarf gourami on my desk!

EvanH
03-14-2004, 3:26 PM
well, i don't know about the science... but when my power went out for 5 days, my gourami's were very happy... so happy infact that they just floated and didn't move!

dethjam316
03-14-2004, 4:18 PM
i don't know about 40 degrees...maybe 60-65 degrees. personally, i wouldn't keep a betta (or any fish) in a bowl. i just see this as a stressful life, not merely because of the tiny size, but also because of the potential stress involved with massive, frequent water changes.

i have a blue gourami quarrantined in a 3g eclipse. i don't think this is good for the fish, but it is necessary at the moment. the fish is actually doing fairly well in that unheated, but filtered tank. however, i do live in florida, so the ambient temp in my apartment never drops below 70, and is usually between 74-77. most gouramis get too large to really consider them good for bowl-sized tanks...larger than bettas, in any case.

but...when i think about it, i suppose one *could* keep a single dwarf in a bowl and have it *survive*. i just don't think it would flourish. of course, i'm not sure that bowl-bettas *flourish* either.

PumaWard
03-14-2004, 6:05 PM
some people think that any type of labyrinth fish can go in a bowl, not just bettas since they all have that lung thingy,

Well, I hate to say, but this is quite simply not very smart. By saying this, you're saying that you can keep a giant gourami (24'' fish) in a bowl. Maybe a snakehead ?? Or a 12'' kisser, 6'' 3-spot??

A dwarf gourami would most likely die off quickly if left in a bowl long term with no heat. It would most likely develope dropsy before long due to the high polutants and low temperature.

dethjam316
03-14-2004, 6:17 PM
Originally posted by PumaWard
A dwarf gourami would most likely die off quickly if left in a bowl long term with no heat. It would most likely develope dropsy before long due to the high polutants and low temperature. but how is this any worse than keeping a betta in a bowl? in fact, most things i have read note that bettas prefer about the same water temperature as dwarf gouramis, and a couple sites i just checked listed the minimum temperature as LOWER for dwarves than bettas (72 v. 74). this may be because of the shallow water pools bettas typically inhabit in the wild, i don't know.

i don't see your argument, puma, when i really think about this. are we being held down by the convention that it's okay to keep bettas in bowls, but not dwarf gouramis? that's what it seems like to me. personally, i don't think either is a good idea, but are dwarves that much more susceptible to dropsy, etc., than bettas?

yonderway
03-14-2004, 6:21 PM
Originally posted by Hans
there is an ongoing argument at my place of work, some people think that any type of labyrinth fish can go in a bowl, not just bettas since they all have that lung thingy, also gouramis are proven to live in water that is 40 degress F. so i dont see why I cant have a dwarf gourami on my desk!

Personally I think putting bettas in a tiny little bowl that they can barely turn around in is poor treatment.

A human being can go for a three day stretch without drinking a drop of water. That doesn't mean that they should.

Strive to provide an appropriate environment for your pets. You are a steward of their environment, and they are totally dependent on your for their health and long life.

People that put bettas in a tiny bowl should be shoved in a small coat closet for a few weeks.

dethjam316
03-14-2004, 6:53 PM
let's please try not turn this into an ethics of keeping bettas in bowls thread...we've done those time and time again.

i think the thread is far more interesting if the debate is over whether dwarf gouramis could also be kept in a setup like a betta. i don't see why anyone would want to do this, nor would i advise it, but it is interesting to consider whether the established practice of keeping bettas like this has skewed the perception of other fish that no one would ever consider keeping in a bowl but might live just as "successfully" in one. i think the important questions to consider are: are bettas "ok" to keep in a bowl (as seen by most people) merely because they have been kept like this so commonly for so long? or our there more complex reasons (ie: selective breeding, evolutionary traits) as to why betta splendens can be kept in these setups but its close relatives can't?

DEmigh
03-14-2004, 10:26 PM
Originally posted by yonderway
You are a steward of their environment, and they are totally dependent on your for their health and long life.

Amen Brother!

JesseJ
03-15-2004, 12:05 AM
I think the flaw in this argument is the initial assumption that bettas are fish that go well in bowls.

dethjam316
03-15-2004, 12:16 AM
i think y'all are missing my point. please re-read all my posts in this subject, before simply chiming in that you think bettas shouldn't be in bowls. that's not in question here...because:

there is an established convention that bettas are the *only* fish "okay" for a bowl, whether you agree with it or not. i personally don't, but that is immaterial to the question at hand.

so, i'll ask again: why have bettas been accepted as a fish that "succeeds" in such an environment, while its small relatives are deemed not acceptable for a bowl? i for one think hans has a posed an interesting question. by saying you don't think bettas should be in bowls, you're ignoring the complex question and putting 2 cents in on a simple issue that's been beat to death.

TKOS
03-15-2004, 9:26 AM
From my experience:

My betta does hang out near the top of his tank most of the day and takes gulps of air.

My dwarf gouramis rarely hang out near the top of thier tank and take breathes of air.

Is one type more willing to use the lab. organ? I don't know.

dethjam316
03-15-2004, 12:10 PM
thanks for a response, tkos. behavioral traits, eh. interesting. my dwarves (gave them to my dad, left them in nj) used the whole tank, but did primarily hang out at the top.

i'm surprised and disappointed this thread didn't attract more responses. oh well, guess we don't have too many critical thinkers on here like you, hans!:D

yonderway
03-15-2004, 1:20 PM
Originally posted by dethjam316
there is an established convention that bettas are the *only* fish "okay" for a bowl, whether you agree with it or not. i personally don't, but that is immaterial to the question at hand.

So then what's this "goldfish bowl" thingy I keep hearing so much about?

TKOS
03-15-2004, 1:28 PM
I believe he means that amoungst fish keeps it is an established idea that bettas are the only fish suitable for small tanks. Only places that sell fish would ever tell you it is a good idea to keep a goldfish in a bowl.

alphabetta
03-15-2004, 2:44 PM
Maybe the reason that Bettas and not gouramis are deemed "ok" to keep in a bowl is because male bettas won't tolerate other males in with them. Pet stores tell you its ok to put them in teeny tiny bowls, because that is the only way the pet store can keep them. And so the public at large generally accepts that OK bettas can go in bowls.

While I dont know much if anything about gouramis, I think the males don't have to be kept seperate and so then they can all be thrown in one big o tank together. So theres no percieved need to put them in little bowls.

Just a thought.

yonderway
03-15-2004, 2:57 PM
Originally posted by alphabetta
Maybe the reason that Bettas and not gouramis are deemed "ok" to keep in a bowl is because male bettas won't tolerate other males in with them.

So lets start putting male festae's in 10 gallon tanks. :D


While I dont know much if anything about gouramis, I think the males don't have to be kept seperate and so then they can all be thrown in one big o tank together. So theres no percieved need to put them in little bowls.


I've had some problems keeping male gouramis together. Sometimes you can get away with it. But the dwarf species seem to be pretty intolerant. Oh, they get along at the pet shop in overcrowded conditions. But try keeping a male dwarf in a tank for a few days and then add a second.

alphabetta
03-15-2004, 3:14 PM
Wow..thanks for pickin apart my post ...:sad

Told ya I didnt know anything about gouramis, only know when I go to the fish store I see all kinds of them swiming together and none labeled by sex.

And wtf is a festae? As for male bettas in 10 gal tanks at pet stores...I'm all for it. But I'm not the one you have to convince of this.

PumaWard
03-15-2004, 3:44 PM
I never said it was right to put bettas in bowls, deth, all I said was that putting gourami in bowls is wrong :).

That aside, let me clarify, if I may. IME, yes, dwarf gourami are more likely to get dropsy than bettas. I really don't think, again IME, that they handle poor water quality as well as bettas (don't take it that I am saying that they should be kept in poor water). That, coupled with low water temperatures, will make them all the more likely to get dropsy.

I also might add that dwarf gourami get larger than bettas (fins aside).

Finally, all I was getting at is that just because a fish has a labyrinth doesn't mean it should live in a pet carrier on your desk, be it a 2.5'' betta or a 2' snakehead...

daveedka
03-15-2004, 11:05 PM
Hans, I have pondered this as well, just because it makes sense in some respect or another That beatta's and Gourami's could live in similar environments. The size factor of course could be dealt with by equal ratio's of water( gallons per inch). I am not suggesting you try it at the expense of a gourami. Also, I have a 7 gallon fish bowl that I kept a comet in when I was a kid ( Don't yell, I won him at the fair, and din't know any different 20 years ago). to me this would be a better home than a 5 gallon aquarium. Since I don't keep beatta's and don't advocate keeping fish without a filter, what size fish bowls do people typiclly keep a beatta in. I have seen what they are kept in at the LFS, but never imagined anyone would keep them in a shot glass once they got them home

I have been following this thread for the last few days and am trying to think of a humane way to test test this idea. can't think of one, but If I do I'll let you in on it.

Deth, thanks for trying to keep the focus on this one, seems like a lot of people don't read the threads before they respond.

dethjam316
03-15-2004, 11:51 PM
yeah daveedka, i'm just so tired of those bettas in a bowl is cruel threads...the worst ones are the ones with online petitions. pleaaaase. enough already.:)

alpha-- i think you may be on to something...the fact that males cannot be kept together forces the keeping of them in smaller quarters in shops and among breeders. these kinds of setups would then undoubtedly follow into the home hobbyist's fishkeeping practice. this is perhaps a prime reason bettas are kept in small tanks. i like this idea. yes, other gouramis fight, too, but none have the reputation of betta splendens. this, more than any other idea so far, i think begins to explain why it's considered okay for bettas to be kept in small tanks and not other small labyrinth fish.

yonder-- no good hobbyist would recommend a goldfish for a 1g bowl. many have recommended bettas. end of argument there.

i guess there isn't a way to test this that wouldn't be risking the life of a dwarf gourami. puma seems to think that they are more susceptible to dropsy and other conditions via poor tank conditions and temperature, and this may well be true, but there really is no way to test this without trying it. i'm not sure this is so, however. as i said earlier, most sites seem to suggest dwarves can tolerate cooler temps than bettas. also, i've had that quarrantined blue gourami (as mentioned earlier) in an unheated eclipse and it appears as healthy as ever (minus the parasite that landed it there in the first place that won't go away, of course)...

i'm theorizing that one could keep a dwarf in a bowl as successfully as one could keep a betta. yes, temperature must be above 70 (minimum). yes, frequent water changes are necessary to maintain fairly clean water. but this is the case for a reasonably healthy betta, as well, so i can't buy that dwarves are significantly more susceptible than bettas. i'm certainly open to convincing, but that's my hypothesis for now.

~*LuvMyKribs*~
03-16-2004, 12:08 AM
i heard all the dwarf gouramies at common pet stores are males? and that they dont let females into the market so people cant breed them?

errr
thats what i heard please spank me if im wrong

hehe

Lazersniper
03-16-2004, 12:46 AM
I think alpha is correct in his assumption. When fish stores get their shipments of fish, sometimes they get a few fish in the same bag depending on size and what kind it is. As for bettas none are shiped in the same 'unit'. I don't think that the intention of breeders were for bettas to 'live' in these small spaces. The little 'shot glasses' were probably meant as a means of safe transportation. Due to the fact that stores can't put them all in a tank they just throw the units on display.

IT's the morons that came up with the ideas 'hey these are cool looking fish.. they would make a great desk ornament' that turned it into what it is today. Gourami just don't have the appeal that betta do to the public otherwise I'm sure they would be right up there with bettas. As was stated before there is also a size difference.

Simply put these fish weren't suppose to be put in these conditions but due to un-educated advertising/people they are.

So yes... you could put any fish into an environment it isn't suppose to be in... it's just a matter of how long/well it will live and whether or not you yourself would be able to do it.

dwf73
03-16-2004, 1:43 AM
I dont know what the big deal is- I keep a silver arowana in a bowl on my desk at work, at around 20 degrees. No problems so far

yonderway
03-16-2004, 1:09 PM
Originally posted by alphabetta
Wow..thanks for pickin apart my post ...:sad

Hey I didn't pick it apart. Didn't you see the smiley?


And wtf is a festae?

festae (http://www.aquariacentral.com/fishinfo/fresh/rterror.htm)

yonderway
03-16-2004, 1:13 PM
Originally posted by ~*LuvMyKribs*~
i heard all the dwarf gouramies at common pet stores are males? and that they dont let females into the market so people cant breed them?

The worst lies are the ones that contain an ounce of truth. Don't always believe what you're told (unless I'm telling you heheh)

In full truth, most female dwarf gouramis are nowhere near as spectacular as their male counterparts. Some LFS's used to require you to buy them in M/F pairs but customers spoke loud and clear, so LFS's started telling their suppliers they only wanted males.

So you basically can't get females because 90% of fish keepers aren't interested in breeding and there is just no money in the pet industry for offering them.

greenterrorrr
03-16-2004, 1:28 PM
I think the reason bettas can be kept in a small bowl is that their natural habitat is small pools of water in rice paddies. "To fully understand their needs it is important to become familiar with their native habitat. Bettas originate in the shallow waters in Thailand (formerly called Siam, hence their name), Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and parts of China. They proliferate in rice paddies, shallow ponds, and even slow moving streams." (http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/anabantids2/p/betta.htm)
Bettas are able to survive in such environments. I'm not saying you should neglect water temperature or water condition but I don't see much problem with such environments. I don't think they should be kept in an ounce of water nor do I think one male betta needs more than a gallon of water to be fine.

Lazersniper
03-16-2004, 4:43 PM
Rice patties are huge. Usually at least a few acres to one person. Many people usually have patties in the same areas. making it much bigger. Asians main food source is rice, so the rice patties are very very large. The only thing is they are usually shallow, usually knee deep or less, but no less then mid-lower calf. So by no means are these 'small pools of water' just shallow. I am asian with family still in those areas so I do know what it's like.

Lazersniper
03-16-2004, 4:52 PM
I"m sorry if my last post sounded like I was an azz but I didn't mean to offend anyone. For further clearification, it's not like farms that you see around here were they're dry land with some 'pools' of water due to rain or moisture. These patties are like very large shallow ponds/lakes.

TKOS
03-16-2004, 5:28 PM
As was mentioned before any fish can survive in a bowl double its size for short periods of time.

I for one have never had a betta live over a year in anything 1 gallon or less. But my betta in his own 5 gallon planted and heated tank has been going strong for just over a year now.

And yes, while rice paddies can dry up during periods in the year, for the most part they are kind of like a big swamp with a constant water flow to them.

Wippit Guud
03-16-2004, 5:43 PM
Hmmm... going off the labrynth area... what about mosquitofish? They breed in ditches and stuff. Or maybe small minnows? Although I think the latter would be too active to live long in a bowl.

Wippit Guud
03-16-2004, 5:44 PM
I had a betta live 18 months in a 1 gallon pickle jar (without the pickles) before he was moved into a 10 gallon. I think he preferred the jar, he eventually became lunch for the Monster.

~*LuvMyKribs*~
03-16-2004, 7:26 PM
yonderway :duh:

that would make sense!!!

i never even thought of that- but i always found it strange why they wouldn't sell males and females. hmmmm. i guess its like that with most fish where females are less colorful... hmm... its all wrong! ;) :p

alphabetta
03-16-2004, 8:50 PM
Hey Yonder, I wasnt really offended, the crying smiley (crying smiley??) was in jest.

Too bad there isn't anyway of conducting an experiment without subjecting some of these labyrinth fish to undesirable living conditions. Be interesting anyway. Sorta the Hitler of the aqaurium world.

And you guys that want female gouramis that are hard to find, can you maybe ask your fish store to order one for you? Some LFS around here are willing to do that.

I had a betta a long time ago when I was young and dumb, and he lived in a one gallon bowl for 2+ years.

And I think you guys hit it about right on the rice paddy thing. They are shallow, but there is constant water flow and they are pretty big. I'm thinking about doing a rice paddy set up in a 30 gallon for some female bettas. Gonna grow some rice in a test tank this summer and see if its even feasible to grow it in an aquarium.

OH BTW Lazer, alpha is a her...not that it matters too much.
And BTW Yonder......so THATS a festae.

Wippit Guud
03-16-2004, 9:15 PM
Well, I just happen to have a betta, a dwarf gourami, and a - either a 3 spot or a black paradise, I have no clue which - I could do some testing :)

But I won't.

bozco
03-16-2004, 11:00 PM
I know I might get my head chewed off here, but hey, I think I'd be willing to test it out myself. I am curious. While nothing I own is in a tank smaller than 5 gal its a good question and I now want to know.

~*LuvMyKribs*~
03-16-2004, 11:30 PM
Think of it like this:

Imagine you living in your bedroom for the rest of your life. Someone made it nice for you- put a little plant in there or something. Once or twice a day someone slides some food under the door for you. Every week they come in and vaccum the floor, and put some fresh oxygen in there. If your a labrynth fish then the window is always cracked a little- and you can always get some air. You will live- but you wont thrive. You would probebly die early from some sort of health issue. This is like living in a bowl. If you lived in a tank, you would have a house with windows always open and clean air being pumped through. You still get the once a week vaccum- but because you have such a bigger area the mess isnt as noticeable. Its much happier and you have room to excerise and even some friends to live with.

This is the way i see it. Kind of strange, but true.

Wippit Guud
03-16-2004, 11:39 PM
Geez, as long as I have high-speed internet, I'd be happy... someone cleans my room, makes my food, and I can keep myself occupied all day :)

Love life would suck, though...

Lazersniper
03-17-2004, 3:48 AM
sorry alpha :)

My brothers and I have kept bettas for a while now. He has kept most of his in an unheated 'bowl' if you wish.. I think it's like a 2 gallon. I have kept mine in a 20 gal long, heated. There is a big difference. His usually isn't very active at all and eventually looks like it's dying. It usually floats around until someone comes around and excites him. Mine swim all over the tank. One day mine decided to get nasty towards other fish, even to fish that were about 6 inches long. I took him out of there and put him in a bowl. After a few days I saw the same thing happen to him as with my brothers, it just kinda laid around, I also notice the color in his fins became more dull and even transparent in some areas. I could see little molecules moving around in them. After this I stuck him back in the heated tank and now he has a permanant red wash along his bottom fin. He was an all dark blue almost purple crown tail. IME the cooler water and less oxygenized water has changed him chemically and physically.

ZookeeprUltima
02-01-2012, 10:57 PM
i noticed this thread and thought i'd add my bit...
I recently bought 2 dwarf male gouramis for my 10 gallon aquarium. I have a 10 gallon quarantine tank, however upon filling it with water i noticed a leak. I can not use my hospital tank until my brother seals the leak and in the meantime i've had to use two of my empty betta tanks. These tanks are 1 gallon heated and filtered aquariums that i keep my bettas and the occasional feeder minnows in. They all have optional aeration that i put into use for the gouramis... i know they are labyrinth fish and all but bettas dont use gills AT ALL and other labyrinth fish use gills to varying degrees and i wasnt sure how much the gouramis prefer to use theirs. It's been a week and both gourami boys look surprisingly happy for such a small amount of space. They're almost done with quarantine and fairly soon they'll be in the community tank but they dont look at all unhappy in the 1 gallons.

jpappy789
02-01-2012, 11:10 PM
i noticed this thread and thought i'd add my bit...
I recently bought 2 dwarf male gouramis for my 10 gallon aquarium. I have a 10 gallon quarantine tank, however upon filling it with water i noticed a leak. I can not use my hospital tank until my brother seals the leak and in the meantime i've had to use two of my empty betta tanks. These tanks are 1 gallon heated and filtered aquariums that i keep my bettas and the occasional feeder minnows in. They all have optional aeration that i put into use for the gouramis... i know they are labyrinth fish and all but bettas dont use gills AT ALL and other labyrinth fish use gills to varying degrees and i wasnt sure how much the gouramis prefer to use theirs. It's been a week and both gourami boys look surprisingly happy for such a small amount of space. They're almost done with quarantine and fairly soon they'll be in the community tank but they dont look at all unhappy in the 1 gallons.

This thread is almost 7 years old...

Also I'm not sure where you heard/read that bettas don't use their gills. It's an accessory organ and I believe that they aren't even born with them fully developed...