Are Round Aquariums Bad for Fish?

From the common fish bowl to the fashionable curved glass of a large aquarium, I’ve always been intrigued and attracted by round tanks. But my next question is always: Are round aquariums bad for fish?

Small round aquariums, especially common fish bowls, are definitely bad for fish. The round shape reduces the surface to air ratio and the small size makes it hard to keep a regulated temperature for the fish.

A larger (over 20 gallons) round aquarium would be ok for fish provided there is good water circulation and aeration. As a general rule, the smaller the tank, the harder it is to keep balanced.

Lets take a closer look.

Why Round Tanks are Bad for Fish

The cute design of a round fish aquarium might seem like a fun way to decorate your house, but the shape of a fish aquarium can actually be a detriment to the health of your fish. Learning about why round fish aquariums are bad for fish and how to find the right tank for your fish can extend the life of your aquatic pet.

You can probably recall a number of times when you saw a cute goldfish in a small round bowl and wanted to have one yourself. Unfortunately, this trend is actually very harmful to fish. Round fish bowls and cylinder-shaped aquariums are bad for fish for a few reasons.

Watch this funny, but still informative video on keeping a goldfish in a bowl:

Even though we don’t think of fish as emotional creatures, they are, and the shape of the tank distorts the fishes’ perspective of the outside world, causing stress. Tanks with flat walls allow for the fish to clearly see outside of the tank.

Any way you slice it, bowls are bad. Bowls are especially bad for fish because they tend to be much smaller, limit oxygen intake for the fish (these little guys still need to breathe!) and it’s harder to regulate the temperature inside of a bowl.

Are Cylinder Tanks Bad for Fish?

Cylinder tanks can be bad for fish because of the small amount of surface area at the top of the fish tank in relation to the volume of water. This makes it harder to keep the tank aerated at healthy levels for the fish.

People don’t realize that commonly owned fish can live far longer than mere months. With proper care, beta fish, for example, can live from three to five years. Sadly, many people consistently take such poor care of their fish that it’s common to falsely believe that fish can only live for months.

Finding the Right Home for Your Fish

So you’re probably realizing by now that more goes into owning a fish than meets the eye. Properly educate yourself on your desired fish before buying.

Finding the right fish is going to require doing your homework before hitting the store. As it turns out, the best place to find fish might not be at a pet store at all. How your fish were cared for before they even entered your home have an impact on their health.

Once you know what kind of fish you want, watch this to consider the best aquarium for your fish:

Getting a fish may seem like a good way to have a low maintenance pet, but the reality is that fish require more care than you might think. If we’re going to be responsible pet owners, we need to avoid misconceptions about animal care and find resources that will educate us on the best pet-care practices.

You’re probably wondering what tank is right for your fish if this much goes into it. While rectangular tanks are pretty much the only option in terms of shape for your aquarium, there is still more to consider. Before buying a fish, you’ll need to consider what aquarium is the most suitable for the specific pet you want.

While there is much more that goes into having a pet fish, you can find one that will fit your lifestyle. Things you’ll need to consider are:

  • Once you know what breed of fish you want, research what kind of unique care you’ll need to give your fish.
  • You’ll need to know how many gallons of water your desired fish needs in order to live his happiest fish life. If your desired fish requires more tank space than you can afford or find a place for, you might need to rethink some things.
  • Your fish can become stressed if his tank is in a loud, active environment. If the aquarium is in direct sunlight, it can overheat or cause algae to grow and windows and vents can also disrupt the environment of your aquatic pet. The best places for your tank are places where it will be able to maintain the consistent environment that your fish requires.

Finding the right tank for your aquarium takes a bit of research, but it will be well worth the effort if you want your fish to have a happy, healthy long life. With the proper planning, you can find a fish that fits your home perfectly. Here is a resource on fish care to help you get started.


While there is a lot to learn before picking out the fish of your dreams, there is a community here on the internet that is passionate about proper, well-researched fish care that can help you find your way and help you avoid common but dangerous misconceptions about caring for these wonderful creatures.

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