I liked fish when I was a kid, so I recently bought a 2 gallon bowl for some neon tetras to keep at my desk.
Well, not quite. First, I received a small bowl (not even sure the size) as a gift, so I got some rocks and some neon tetras. Since I was very impatient, I filled it with tap water and aquarium rocks, let it sit with the fish in the bag for an hour, then dumped it in. 3 of my 5 tetras died immediately, the 2 others survived happily for a couple weeks.
Every week or so, I emptied half the water into a small bowl with the fish, poured out the gravel, rinsed it under tap water (cleaned it as best I could), put them back, new water (at room temperature), and replaced the fish. This went on for a couple weeks, then I decided that I wanted more of the fish (tetras look kind of sad with just 2).
So I got my current 2 gallon bowl, some more rocks, and 4 more tetras. One of the originals had been pretty sickly since I did the last water change, and died a few days after the tank transfer.
So a week later, I have 5 living tetras. But the water is getting extremely cloudy pretty much immediately. I change the water about 1/3 at a time, yesterday I changed 2/3 of it over the course of the day to no real effect. The tetra's red stripes are starting to fade, and they are all swimming at the surface.
Is there anything I can do to address the clouded water? If there is a tiny filter for a fish bowl I would be interested, but I have seen nothing for under 10 gallons. I also don't want this to get much more expensive than it already has, I don't exactly have a huge budget to work with. The girlfriend has already commented on how much cheaper the cat is