Why do my feeder fish keep blowing bubbles in the top of the bowl?

I have two feeder fish and I have them in a goldfish bowl and they keep blowing bubbles. why? Now before you get on me let me plead my case, first I went to the local store and talked with the pet department before i bought them. I informed them that I wanted to get a fish for my seven year old. I asked them What did I need and was Prepared to by a tank and system I was also prepared to buy a more expensive fish as well. They told me because I was just starting out to just get two feeders and a bowl they are cheap ($.15 each) little maintenance would be required at the most change the water once a week , feed them once a day, and I asked questions like how much water, how long do the water need to sit, etc… They told me 48 hours use tap water or distilled water.I did everything required and bought the two fish ( they told me the fish would get lonely and wouldn’t survive by itself) I have found to be not the case When I called a Pet store in another city, the person there told me that they would eventually drown in a year or so and to come in and buy a beta. and that they require even less maintenance. i did come to this… I feed the fish smaller amounts once in the morning and once in the night… I change the water 3 times a week I went to the store and bout a whole bunch of distilled water and let it sit out to stay room temperature, my water change is about 98% clean water and that’s so they have a better chance- they seem to swim better and eat than they did when i was doing the 50-60%. I use a strainer and rinse the rocks and tiny plant that came with the bowl. I have a bare bowl that i have them in for a few hours while I clean their house. I am going to buy a 29/30 gallon tank tomorrow I even though I see they com with starer sets ( filters, nets , water diffusers, etc) I want to know what THEY REALLY NEED TO SURVIVE AND BE HEALTHY? Will that be a too small tank ? What extra supplies do i need? What do I really need to do to the tank and whats the proper waiting time before I can put them into the tank? When should I change the filters. And If the question comes into your head why didn’t I give them away the answer is no one i have encountered has an acceptable tank( most people have a 10-20 gallon with 10-15 fish, they are looking at their size because they are small no one thinks they need more room) and the store told me I could bring the fish back dead. I am looking for good solid sound advice not criticism, not saying that opinions don’t matter But i’m not the one giving the advice or own stores with large amounts of fish in 10 gallon tanks or that sells these damaging fish bowls with deceiving pictures of 1 or 2 fish in a bowl to have people thinking that its safe. I also came across something stating that a fish only grows the size of the tank its in and in something else stating that a while a fish outside stops growing the inside doesn’t and that their organs cet compressed and eventually die, which is true? Now i want these fish to have good comfortable home (a house is what you live in a home is what you live in and where you want to remain) for these fish their lives are priceless and they are depending on us take care of them. I hope I have given enough details maybe too much.So now that have pleaded my case Its time for you to pass judgment and give me my advice please… Thanks

p.s. sorry if I offend anyone.

well what kind of water do l use which is better purified distilled plain tap. I didn’t know about this site until i just came across it yesterday I’m not really a internet user. As for me not doing research I asked people who already have tanks for years and like l stated they have 10-20 gallon tanks with 10-15 fish and i was not basing that on what i seen in the store. I was going off the advice i got from the store l bought them from ( l went in 3 times before i bought the stuff) and the advice from the other pet store so i was trying to research and I was not given the right advice. lt’s not my faylt they are giving out the wrong advice ,

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3 Responses to Why do my feeder fish keep blowing bubbles in the top of the bowl?

  1. Elizabeth K says:

    The fish are not blowing bubbles, they are gasping for air. There is little oxygen to be found in a bowl. Small surface area, and no surface agitation to promote gas exchange.

    Good solid advice- bowls are death traps for fish. Especially goldfish. They produce a lot of waste and grow fairly large. In a bowl they will stunt, suffer from ammonia poisoning and overall poor water quality, and a greatly reduced lifespan.

    For now: A twenty gallon aquarium with a forty gallon filter will do for the pair as juveniles. But as adults a pond would be preferable- they should grow at least one foot in length. Because they require double the filtration, a boxed up starter kit wouldn’t be ideal.
    -I would suggest at least a twenty gallon aquarium (bigger is better), with a marineland penguin bio-wheel filter meant for double whatever tank size you buy.
    -Perform weekly partial water changes of 25% while siphoning the gravel. Also test the water on a regular basis, keeping a close eye on ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.
    -Maintain the filter monthly. If it becomes dirty between this, rinse it off in the water removed during a routine water change.
    -You need to invest in water conditioner. Allowing water to sit out will not evaporate out chloramines, or heavy metals.

    When can you add them in the tank? Well unfortunately aquariums should be fully cycled before adding fish, but because you did this backwards you’ll have to add them in midcycle or leave them in the bowl for an additional four weeks.

    Pet stores can put more fish in their tanks because of their large filtration system, the amount of daily maintenance done, and because the fish do not live out their lives in the store. You cannot base how you keep your animals by what you see in the store.

    As for the myth stating that a fish "grows to the size of its environment" that is completely false. How long do you think a goldfish lives? Most people believe their lifespan is only a few years, when really they can live at least 25 years. In small, unfiltered, poorly maintained tanks/bowls fish die prematurely because they are stunted and subjected to poor water quality.

    In the end you can blame the pet store all you want, but think about it- shouldn’t you have done research prior to getting fish? You could have used this helpful site before getting into this mess.

    Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions…just keep it brief.

    ~Use water straight from the tap and always treat it with water conditioner.

  2. junie says:

    First, both places told you bad info. The betta needs at least 5 gallons filtered and heated. The goldfish need 20 gallons minimum, highly filtered. If you do decide to upgrade the aquarium, do an internet search on how to cycle your tank. Basicly, you will need a gravel vac/siphon, and do 30% water changes at least 4 times weekly for the first 4 weeks. After that, reduce the changes to twice weekly, then eventually you will get to where you change 20% of the water weekly.

    You will learn why when you do the search on how to cycle your tank.

    In the future, please find yourself an aquarium shop that specializes in aquariums. Those are usually a better bet than the chain stores. Not always, but most times.

  3. kellyljw says:

    ok, the blowing bubbles is them gasping for air, they are suffocating, goldfish have a high oxygen requirement, and a bowl is the worst possible thing to house them in as the surface area is too small for the body of water. now for the help…

    ok, you need to research aquarium cycling, that goes without saying, it will take around 6-8 weeks usually, and will take a lot of water changes. basically, ammonia from fish waste is converted to nitrite, which is then converted into nitrate, nitrate should be removed from teh tank via regular partial water changes, once a week of 25% or mroe is good. always use dechlorinator in your tap water as the chlorine and chloramines will kill the bacteria which convert the lethal ammonia and nitrite into the not so bad nitrate, nitrates need to be kept under 40ppm, you will need a test kit to test your water as you cycle.

    as for the fish, feeders are common goldfish usually, and will need 25-30 gallons per fish, so for your fish to fully thrive and grow, you should be looking at a 50+ gallon tank, sounds big but when they reach 14-16 inches and are zooming round the tank happy big fish you will see its for the best. if they are kept in a small tank, they will become stunted, this is where they cant grow to their full potential, and they have their lives shortened due to their insides being cramped inside a too small body and possibly reducing how well their organs work.

    they will also need massive filtration, aim for double the recommended for the size tank you have, canister filters work very well with goldfish. they are very messy fish, so be preparred for good gravel vacs at every water change to pull out that poop 🙂

    also a good way to keep water quality up and to give the goldies some interest in life is live plants, any free floating pond plant will keep them happy, you can also bunch it and weigh it down so it looks like a rooted plant. they will enjoy picking at the plants and it breaks up the line of sight so they arent just sitting doing nothing.

    one last thing, well done on rescuing these guys and caring enough to give them a fantastic new life 🙂

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