What Fish Can Live In A Bowl Without Oxygen? Ultimate Guide To The Aquarium

If you start petting fish, keeping them in a bowl is a good idea. Then you may wonder what kind of fish can live in a bowl without oxygen?

Many fish have low oxygen needs and may thrive in a bowl. Nevertheless, raising fish in a bowl is not advisable for novice aquarists.
It takes a great deal more care and expertise. Even with professional aquarists, it may be a difficult task.

If you are extremely interested in this hobby, the useful information in the article will be useful to you. GA Pet Sitters included some types of fish that you can raise without providing them with oxygen. There are also some tips for choosing the right bowl for your fish. The method for adding oxygen in the fishbowl is available as well.

Now, let’s read on and be ready to raise your fish pet!

Best fish for small bowl

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Do you know What Fish Can Live In A Bowl Without Oxygen?


Guppies are always a great choice when it comes to fishbowl mode. The big, brilliant fins on these fish offer a lively flair to the fishbowl. 

Guppies live in schools. So, if you decide to buy them, choose at least five. 

If you do not want your bowl to be overpopulated, only raise guppies with the same gender. This is to avoid them from breeding.

Guppies, on the other hand, require very little care. They can live for more than seven days without eating. And, these small, robust organisms can withstand temperatures as low as 15 to 18°C. 

Guppies are also effective in controlling mosquito development and preventing dengue fever.

Guppies require very little care

Guppies require very little care


Another popular choice is bettas. 

Bettas are one of the toughest aquatic animals, surviving in a cup or a bowl with ease. They need an environment temperature of around 25°C to thrive. However, they may also live in low-oxygen habitats.

A weekly water cleaning or twice-weekly water topping is necessary to maintain Betta in the bowl.

Bettas are competitive and violent. Hence, we recommend that you raise them alone or with less dangerous fish.

Read more: Best Fish For 2 Gallon Tank: Some Suggestions And Advice

Paradise Fish

Paradise is a gourami species that is usually relevant to Betta. They are among the most aggressive species in their family. 

They prefer chilly, smooth-moving water, making them appropriate for keeping in the bowl. 

You should pay attention to their possessive character. It would be best to raise them alone rather than with other spices.

You should raise alone the paradise fish in the bowl

You should raise alone the paradise fish in the bowl

Zebra Danios

They are great beginner fish since they are resilient, friendly, and have a good stamina level. They’re also quite simple to look after.

Zebra danios live in schools. So, maintaining five or more species in the bowl is necessary for them to grow.

They have a propensity to bite the fins of long-finned fish. So, remember to keep those fish away from zebra danios.

Zebra danios are omnivores. You may raise them with a wide range of food, such as flakes and daphnia. Of course, choosing high-quality products for your pet is necessary. 


You have probably heard of goldfish even if you have no liking to fish. Goldfish are inexpensive and need little maintenance. As a result, it is ideal for use in fish bowls as well as scientific research.

Goldfish come in more than 200 different colors and variations, thanks to decades of selected breeding. 

They are relevant carp. Some certain varieties of goldfish are tougher than their parents.

Goldfish need water of around 20 to 23°C to grow. These fish don’t even ask for regular water changes. One or two-week bowl change is alright.

Goldfish is a popular choice

Goldfish is a popular choice


Gouramis need to grow in schools. A group of five is the best for them. 

Gouramis are generally peaceful creatures. Yet, a male fish may turn violent against another male. We recommend keeping just one male in a female gourami school.

They live in smooth-moving streams. You can take note of this characteristic to provide an ideal environment for them.


Ember and neon tetras can both adapt to living in a bowl without oxygen. 

They’re a fascinating species to observe and keep in a bowl. The neon species can even add a splash of color to any fishbowl.

The tetras are both schooling fish. As a result, keeping them in groups of at least five can bring them more joy.

White Cloud Minnow

The white cloud minnows will bring a joyful mood to your fishbowl with their stunning appearance. 

Along with white cloud minnows, the ambiance of your fish bowl might obtain a charming look. These calm fish are easy to take care of. They can survive in water temperatures ranging from 15.5 to 22°C.

As a result, white cloud minnows are an appropriate fish for living in a bowl, even without oxygen.

White cloud minnows have stunning look

White cloud minnows have stunning look

Things to bear in mind


It is a common misconception that fishbowls require less care and upkeep. Bowls of this size take a lot more time and effort than bigger tanks. 

Small fish bowls will require more frequent water changes and cleaning. On the other hand, bigger tanks only need to change their water once a week. 


Most of the fish you can put in the bowl are tropical.

When considering purchasing a tropical fish, it is critical to understand its preferred temperature of the water. If placed in an environment that is too cold or too hot, the fish may perish.

Most tropical fish require a temperature range of 21 to 25 C. However, keep in mind that certain species will flourish and live at greater temperatures. On the other hand, there are still creatures that require a lower temperature to survive.

Temperature level is important for fish. Yet, don’t forget to keep it consistent. With a small fishbowl, there is a greater chance of water temperature fluctuation owing to ambient circumstances.

A sudden temperature shift can harm the fish. It makes your pet more vulnerable to illness and parasites by causing stress.

Temperature is vital for fishbowl setup

Temperature is vital for fishbowl setup

Results of overfeeding

Don’t worry if you cannot feed your fish for one or two days. They can still survive if the environment is ideal, even without food for a short time. 

Meanwhile, giving them extra food can result in a lot of waste. The remaining food will encourage germs to grow fast as well. It may cause the water to become unfit for your fish. You may discover murky water or, even worse, a sick or dead spice.

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Signs of the lack of oxygen 

Sadly, when oxygen levels in the fishbowl fall too low, there is no warning. The sole indicator of the issue will be your fish’s behavior.

Fish will react to reduced oxygen levels by swimming around less at first. They’ll move less aggressively and eat less frequently as a result. 

As oxygen levels fall even lower, the fish will start breathing laboriously and move their gills more quickly to acquire adequate oxygen in the water.

Fish will eventually start to gasp at the water’s surface repeatedly, typically opening their mouth wide. This is to take in the oxygen-rich surface layer of the water.

The labyrinth organ 

A labyrinth fish possesses a unique organ. The labyrinth cell permits it to breathe air from above the water’s surface.

A labyrinth fish will frequently ascend to the tank top and inhale air from the water’s surface. The Labyrinth organ allows fish to absorb oxygen.

If a labyrinth fish lives in a situation where there is little or no water, it may survive for a long time as long as it stays wet.

Some signs to determine that the fish need more oxygen 

Your fish will first become less energetic. They’ll swim less, move less, and may even stop eating. Keep in mind that if you have a tank full of inactive fish like glass catfish, plecos, and so on, this indicator may be difficult to notice.

As oxygen levels fall, fish will begin to exhibit indications of difficult respiration. Faster gill movements as they try to acquire more oxygen. Frequent rising to the surface to gasp for air is another example of these behaviors.

Finally, all of your fish will cluster at the surface, panting for oxygen with their jaws wide open. If you notice your fish at this time, you must act quickly. The new water will provide dissolved oxygen, aid your fish’s survival. Therefore, a 50 percent water change is recommended.

You can watch the fish’s behavior as a sign of oxygen shortage

You can watch the fish’s behavior as a sign of oxygen shortage

How to supply oxygen for the fishbowl? 

By carefully adding water into the bowl, you may provide oxygen to it. The water will take up air and pump oxygen into the bowl as it flows. 

The amount of oxygen provided depends on how much you pour the water and how many times you do it. 

The easy steps are as follows:

  1. Fill any clean container with water by scooping it out.
  2. Pour water into the bowl while holding the full container some distance above it. Repeat the procedure several times. 

Because each fishbowl is unique, there is no fixed guideline for how often you do it. You’ll have to decide at what hourly intervals are ideal for your bowl. 

When the fish begin to come to the top gasping for oxygen, it’s time to carry out the steps.

Factors for choosing a fishbowl 


Fishbowls are available in a wide range of sizes. If you want to provide your fish with the best possible living conditions, a fishbowl with a capacity of 5 gallons of water is the way to go. 

However, before you choose a bowl, think about the fish you are going to raise. It will help you make a decision easier. 


Choose a bowl form that allows you to simply add the required substrate for your pet. Bio substrate is an excellent choice for a fishbowl. Besides, gravel addition is also advisable.

However, just pick the gravel with no sharp edges. The sharp pieces can harm the fins and nostrils of most bottom-dwelling species.

Live Plants

Aquatic live plants are ideal for any fishbowl. 

The fish will suffocate if there isn’t enough oxygen. These plants can fix the oxygen in your bowl. They also give cover and room for most fish species to explore in their small, constrained environment.

Aside from the benefits for fish, the plants also add a pleasing and relaxing look to the bowl. 

Plants offer lots of benefits

Plants offer lots of benefits


If there is an aquarium light, the temperature will rise in the fish’s water. The type of fish will determine how bright it is. 

Some underwater lights for tropical fish can assist in regulating the water temperature by replacing heaters.


Much tough fish require some filtration to enjoy a full and ideal living condition.

If you can’t maintain changing the water as often as the manufacturer recommends, add a tiny sponge filter or air pump to break the water surface and stimulate air exchange with your room’s environment.


Do you know what kind of fish can live in a bowl without oxygen? There are lots of options for you to choose from. No matter your choice, paying attention to the fish and the bowl must be the ultimate rule. We have shared with you all the necessary information. Hope that you will have a great experience with this interesting hobby.

Thank you for reading!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

1. Which fish can survive without oxygen?

There are several fish that can live without oxygen. They are bettas, goldfish, tetras, guppies, gouramis, and so on. 

2. What is the easiest fish to take care of in a bowl?

New aquarists will find guppies to be one of the simplest tropical fish to keep. These lovely fish come in a wide range of colors and are extremely durable too.

3. Can a fishbowl run out of oxygen?

Yes. This happens sometimes. You can observe your fish’s behavior to recognize the problem properly.