Can Guppy Live In A Bowl? (How To Make Them Live In A Bowl)

Guppies are an incredible fish species, and they look beautiful in a glass bowl colored and filled with plants. But can guppy live in a bowl? Let us find out.

Guppies cannot survive long in a bowl as it contains only a few gallons of water, making the water dirty quickly by the leftovers of guppies, algae, and other waste. Also, we cannot fix the filter and aerator in a bowl. So make sure to keep your guppies in a nano tank instead of a bowl.

There are various reasons for not keeping guppy or any other fish in a bowl. Also, we will discuss the things to be careful of if you have decided to keep them in the bowl. So, let us get into it and discuss the answers to your questions. 

Can we keep guppy in a bowl?

Not only guppy, but we should never keep any fish in the bowl. For your guppy and every other fish, the bowl works as a death bowl for them. You can use Fishbowl to make a beautiful aquascape by putting beautiful plants on it, but planning to add fish in a fishbowl is not a wise idea. 

If you are planning to add some in a fishbowl, you can add shrimp and snails. Shrimp and snails will help you maintain the ecosystem by feeding on dead plants and producing low waste. However, snails and shrimp can reproduce in a small space, so this will be something that should be in the mind of an owner. 

Reasons behind not keeping guppy in a bowl

There are many reasons behind not keeping guppies in a fishbowl:

  1. SPACE: Guppies need a good amount of space to live comfortably, which bowl cannot provide. Not getting enough space can make your guppy come under stress, which can result in critical issues. 
  2. Water condition: Less amount of water in a bowl acts so unstable in case of oxygen level, water parameters, and water temperature. 
  3. Water heater: Guppies are fond of living in warmer water, and though a small volume of water makes the temperature of water unstable, a water heater remains the option for warmer water, and because of the smaller size of the bowl, it is not possible to install a water heater in a bowl. 
  4. Filtration: Filter is the most important thing to install in your fish tank. A filter is essential as it oxygenates the water so that our fish can breathe comfortably. Also, it cleans the water by separating the waste from it. Without a filter, there can be a good amount of toxic waste, which is very harmful to your guppies. There are filters available in the market for the bowl, but all of them are not useful as they don’t work. 
  5. Open bowl: If you have a bowl open from the top, it is not safe for your fish. Your guppy can jump outside from the bowl to the surface and can die because of the suffocation.
  6. Mating season: Mating will be very difficult for your fish if you add a male and a female guppy in your bowl. The bowl has significantly less space which will become a problem for your guppy to breed, and they will come under stress. In addition, if the female guppy reproduces, there will be no space for the fry to swim and hide, resulting in the mother guppy eating their fry. 

There are more reasons behind not keeping guppies in a bowl, like, keeping your fish in a bowl will not allow them to see the outside world, as the bowl is curved in shape, which makes it difficult for the fish inside to see the clear view of the outside world. 

Can guppy fry live in a fish bowl?

An owner should know that the bowl plays the same role for both adult guppies and guppy fry. Bowl will act as a death bowl for both adult guppies and guppies fry. 

Guppies fry will face the same problem which adult guppies suffer by living in a bowl. In addition, keeping fry in a bowl will reduce their life span. 

Also read: Can Guppy Fry Survive In A Community Tank?

Can guppy survive in a bowl without a filter?

Guppies are freshwater fish species which means that they are likely to live in clean water. Filters do the work of cleaning the water by removing the solid waste from the water. 

Guppies can live in a bowl without water, as they produce less waste than other fishes, but we don’t recommend keeping guppies without a filter. Filter helps to keep the water free of toxicity by removing the waste from the water. Toxic water can be very harmful to your guppies. 

Clean water is essential for your guppies to live comfortably and grow happily with a long lifespan. Therefore, an owner should have at least a small filter for guppies in the bowl. 

Also read: Do Guppies Need Filter?

Can you use a filter in a bowl?

You can install a filter in a bowl, but you will not have many options as you will not have a hang on back filter or any internal filter. You will not be able to place an even small hang on back filter on the edge of a bowl and will not be able to attach the internal filter to the glass. 

The only option left with you is to add an external canister filter or a sponge filter in a bowl. An owner should make sure that if they are going for an external canister filter, it should be small, as a large canister filter will be too strong for the bowl. 

Adding a sponge filter will make your beautiful bowl full of beautiful plants look ugly.

We can quickly decide not to keep our fish in a bowl by reading all the facts. A nano tank will be far better than a bowl to keep your guppies or any other fish in it. 

Keeping your guppies in a nano tank

Instead of going for a small bowl, you should go for a nano tank for your guppies. The reason for choosing a nano tank instead of a small bowl is:

  1. Bigger in size: Nano tanks are quite bigger than a small bowl. A small bowl is between 1 to 3 gallons, while a small nano tank will provide you a 5-gallon space. Also, the 5-gallon tank fulfills the minimum requirement of an aquarium guppy need to live comfortably. 
  2. Filter and heater: Mostly nano filter comes with a filter. However, an owner can install any filter or heater in the nano tank.

A filter is essential for your guppies tank, as it cleans the water and protects the water from getting toxic. In addition, guppies like living in warmer water and heater will help you provide them with the warmer water they need. 

Providing your guppies with an adequate space to live is essential for them. In addition, guppies and much other fish need clean and fresh water to live comfortably and happily.

Also read: How Many Guppies In A 20 Gallon Tank?

How can you keep guppies alive in a bowl?

We don’t recommend keeping fish in a bowl but if you have your guppies in a bowl, then here are some measures you can take for their stable lifespan:

  1. Make sure to fill the water only till the widest part of the bowl as doing this will help dissolve more oxygen in the water and release carbon dioxide in the air. 
  2. Use a fish bowl filtration system, but they are not that helpful, so you can go for a sponge filter or make a DIY canister filter.
  3. An owner has to make sure to change 50 percent of the water to the dechlorinated water.
  4. Make sure to feed your guppy only in an amount that they can eat in a minute.
  5. If in case there is any uneaten food by guppies, remove it immediately. 
  6. Avoid keeping the bowl in a place near the door, window, or heater, as it can change the temperature of the fish bowl.
  7. An owner has to add only one fish (length-wise) per 3 gallons of water.

You can add plants in a fish bowl. Plants help guppies by releasing the oxygen and taking the carbon dioxide released by the guppies. 

Avoid keeping your guppies in a fish bowl if you can. If you have a small space to install an aquarium, the best you can go for is a nano tank, as it will not take much space and will have 5-gallon space, which fulfills the minimum space required to keep guppies. 


Keeping guppies or any other fish in a bowl is not a wise idea for a fish keeper. Guppies need adequate space and clean water to live longer and happier. The bowl contains a small volume of water, which will be dirty quickly, and lousy water can harm your guppies. Filter plays an essential key role in fish tanks as it keeps the water clean and prevents it from getting toxic. As discussed in our above article, there are no filters for a bowl that works perfectly, and you can also not install a heater and aerator in your fish bowl. 

Reference: ResearchGate, NCBI

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