Fishy Mother's Day Gifts And The Coolest Fish Bowls Too

While writing about the best aquarium ads the other day, it struck me how relaxing it is just to watch one or two fish in a bowl; it's a very zen like experience that always seems to relieve stress.  I thought why not buy a fish bowl and a small fish for my mom this Mother's Day, and do that for myself as well.  I'll share the cool fish bowls I found in my search.


The Fish!

But first, about the fish.  My research led to one conclusion: I should get a male betta fish.  No, not a gold fish because, as I learned from the gold fish experts, they won't last long in a fish bowl, as they are really meant to be in a temperature-adjusted minimum 10-gallon aquarium with many many other gold fish. So don't let anyone try to sell you a gold fish for a small bowl!

Of all the fish that are recommended for beginner parents of pet fish, the betta fish is the only one I found that does well in a small fish bowl with just regular air temperature water... no heat pump. The good news is that there are hundreds of varieties of betta fish and they are very pretty and very hardy.



Photo by Mean & Pinchy on FlickrPhoto by Mean & Pinchy on Flickr


But just buy one fish per fish bowl, because bettas will fight each other and then the loser will get eaten by the winner.  They don't call them Siamese fighting fish for nothing!   The betta below is pictured in fight stance as it prepares to attack his image in the mirror.



You'll find many more varieties of betta fish at your local pet or fish store. Make sure you get as much education as you can about care and feeding while you're there... although I'll leave some links to related sites below.

The Fish Bowls!

My aim here was to look for simple fish bowls that would not require a lot of maintenance or water, as energy is as scarce for Mom as it is for the earth.  Intentionally, I do not include any crystal fish bowls or any that are too small for any living thing. Other than that, I just included the fish bowls I think are pretty cool.


1.  Aquatic Gardens Hanging Betta Fish Bowl

The hanging fish bowl puts little Oscar right at eye level where Mom can always see him and be reminded to change his water daily.  It's not a lot to do...  Put a few of these on the wall and you've created an entire live wall sculpture!  Hanging Betta Fish Bowl



2.  Aquablock Fish Tank

Great for Mom's desk or really anywhere, except in direct sunlight, the Aquablock fish bowl is cut from a glass brick.  The 'interior decor' is cemented down, so you don't have to worry about taking all that out when you clean.  Pretty and perfect for one betta fish.   Aquablock Fish Tank




3.  biOrb Aquarium Fish Bowl

The biOrb is a cross between a simple fish bowl and an aquarium, as it does come with a 5-stage filtering system like the big guys, so you don't have to change the water every day.  Great halogen lamp is included. the biOrb comes in 4, 8, and 16 gallon tanks.  Available from




4. BettaCube Desktop "Fish Bowl" Square

Some people prefer a rectangular or square home for their fish, as a real bowl does distort the view of a fish from certain viewpoints.  This is a lovely, handcrafted glass fish home with real wood surrounding the base and trim.  You get to add the interior decorating.  (Update: The BettaCube is currently unaavailable, but the Tetra Water Wonders looks interesting.)




5.  1984 Fish Bowl By Danny Cheung

If you want to go all out for mom, the 1984 Fish Bowl is a very creative peek into the movements of her fish, if the fish wants to be seen.  Australian designer, Danny Cheung has created this sculptured fish bowl so that the portholes are, in essence, magnifying lenses for viewing the fish; but the opaque walls offer some privacy to the fish. (Thanks to Gloria for for finding this bowl.  It's a winner!)




The next few fish bowls, sorry to say, are not available yet, but if you get into betta fish, as so many folks have, you will want to check on their availability in the future!



6.  Michal Shabtili's Portable Fish Bowl

Oh, do I love this one!  Shabtiali's motto: "If your fish is your best friend, take him with you."  This portable bowl is fun and it even stands up.  Let us know if you catch the Portable Fish Bowl selling anywhere and I'll do the same!


© Michal Shabtili© Michal Shabtili


© Michal Shabtili© Michal Shabtili



7. Fish Bowls By Roger Arquer

Spanish industrial designer, Roger Arquer, has created many philosophical, as well as beautiful, mouth-blown glass fish bowls, always leaving you with something to contemplate in addition to your fish.  In the example below, called XS or XL we are thinking about a small fish living with a big fish.  He has several more designs... go look!




Resources:,  Ezine@rticles,, Wikipedia  Above Photo of betta fish with snail, by Mean & Pinchy on Flickr

More fishy articles... these will give you more ideas!
Where Fish And Fowl Can Meet And Greet

5+ Cool, But Fishy, Aquariums

The Gold Fish World Cup or 10 Sports You Can Teach Your Pet Fish

That's the buzz for today!

May 1, 2009
by Anonymous

aquariums for bettas?

The betta hobbyists that I know usually say that bettas being kept by the average person shouldn't be in an aquarium. They like still water. Just a thought...

May 2, 2009
by Anonymous

Portable fish bowl

is a horrible idea. Does anyone really think fish enjoy being sloshed around and moving from temperature to temperature and possibly being dropped? This is cute in theory but horrible in practice, if you genuinely care about fish.