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groverjr 02-08-2009 08:42 AM

fish behavior question
Hi everyone, I hope you can help! My girlfriend has had a fishbowl for a couple months now and she had one problem, and now another. She started with a 3 gallon bowl and two fish, a goldfish and a beta. After a little while the beta started chasing the goldfish, but it never really hurt it. We figured they were just establishing dominance or something. Anyway, later on some friends bought her two more fish... a danio and a blackskirt tetra. I told her that the bowl was too small for so many fish but the woman at the pet store said it should be fine. The first real problem was the goldfish's belly became bloated (this was before the extra fish were added), then later it had problems swimming, stayed near the bottom a lot, swam on its side, etc. A few days after all these problems we separated it from the others but a day later it died. The second problem is current. A little while ago the tetra started chasing the danio around like the beta used to do with the goldfish. Today my girlfriend noticed the danio's fins are showing signs of damage. She doesn't want to have to separate the fish but otherwise we are afraid the danio will die from stress or injury. Also, I have found that both danios and tetra should be bought in groups, but the fishbowl is too small for a lot of fish. She doesn't have room for an aquarium in room. Any thoughts? -James

fishkid 02-08-2009 09:59 AM

Thats because it is a bowl. None of your fish should be kept in a bowl. They would be much happier in a proper tank and in groups. Also, the people at pet stores aren't always reliable. I wouldn't go to them for advice.

groverjr 02-08-2009 10:11 AM

While I agree the shop assistant probably doesn't know a lot about fish (since it is a general pet store), I don't see any reason why fish would be happier in a tank than a bowl, afterall you are really just changing the shape of the container. The bowl is properly cleaned, has a good ph and temperature, etc. As I mentioned I do think it would be better to have more space for the extra fish... but a larger tank really isn't an option.

Anyway, I am mostly concerned with the safety of the danio and what else we can do other than separating them. And if we do have to separate the tetra, how would it do on it's own???

fishkid 02-08-2009 10:24 AM

With a tank, you would be able to put in a filter, heater, prretty much all the stuff fish need that you couldn't put in a bowl. The tank wouldn't have to be big, a 15 or 20 gallon would be okay. The danios are hyper fish, and adding 2 or 3 more would diffuse the aggresion. The tetrar would also do better in groups.

groverjr 02-08-2009 10:32 AM

15-20 gallons seems pretty big actually when you consider how small a space she has. I think the problem is having a single danio and a single tetra. I have read the beta is ok by itself, but I am afraid there isn't room to add more fish...

Twistersmom 02-08-2009 10:40 AM

The betta is fine in a 3gal bowl, if kept alone. The danios and tetra both need to be in a heated tank, and will not do well kept singly, they need to be in a school. Also bettas can be aggressive towards other fish. If the danio and tetra are not rehomed it is very likely the betta will kill them.

groverjr 02-08-2009 10:47 AM

The beta was aggressive towards the goldfish, but so far has left the danio and tetra alone. I'll tell my girlfriend to keep an eye on it just in case it starts attacking them as well. I think one reason it might have stopped attacking the goldfish when the other fish arrived is it was confused and distracted enough to be more passive. Also, the problem is the tetra is attacking the danio. She can't put all three fish in separate homes. Would it be better to maybe get a couple more danios? That might encourage the tetra to leave them alone. And thanks for all the quick replies!!! I will talk to my girlfriend later so it is good to know.

Twistersmom 02-08-2009 10:56 AM

I would not add anymore fish to a 3gal. That is only adequate room for 1 betta. The tetra is attacking the danio because it is not in a school. The danio and tetra should get along fine, if both are kept in schools of 5 of their own kind. You would need to have a 10 or 15 gal tank to do that. Any chance you could return them to the store? They would be better off, unless you are able to set up a tank for them.

groverjr 02-08-2009 11:01 AM

Unfortunately no, she can't return them, I already suggested it. I figured the bowl wouldn't really be big enough for a lot of fish. I know this is going to make her really sad, she was upset with the goldfish died and I don't know what she'll do about the others. Would the danio and tetra both fair ok on their own at all? I can talk to her about getting separate containers for all three but I don't think she'll consider it a real possibility. I am also afraid this will turn her off from having more fish later (once we're married, we had planned to expand to a decent size tank).

Twistersmom 02-08-2009 11:25 AM

Small cotainer for them them would not be a good set up. They need heated water, and you will not be able to find a heater for a container. Maybe you can talk one of your friends into setting up a fish tank? Maybe the store would take them if you are not asking for your money back?

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