Fishbowls have been around forever, and we likely all remember having a goldfish or betta in a bowl at one point or another. As time has gone on, science has been able to give us more insight into the physical needs of fish, including environmental needs. That science has also told us that fish bowls aren’t always the best option, especially when not well-managed.
But, that’s not to say that all fish bowls are bad. Not all fish bowls are created equal! We’ve put together these reviews of our picks for the best fish bowl starter kits for bettas and goldfish to help take the guesswork out of picking a bowl that will not only suit your fish, but also your lifestyle, available space, and time. With proper care, cleaning, and maintenance, a fishbowl can be a soothing, beautiful addition to your space.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Tetra Waterfall Globe Kit||
|Best Value||Aqueon Betta Bowl||
|Premium Choice||biOrb Classic Aquarium||
|Koller Products Panaview Globe Fish Bowl||
|Koller Products BettaTank||
The 8 Best Fish Bowl Starter Kits for Bettas & Goldfish – Reviews 2020
1. Tetra Waterfall Globe Kit – Best Overall
The Tetra Waterfall Globe Kit is our best overall fish bowl starter kit because this glass bowl is classy, modern, and functional. At just under 2 gallons, this bowl is the perfect size for a desk or other small space.
This bowl looks like a classic glass fishbowl, but it sits in a black base that attaches to a black waterfall feature that rounds up the bowl and curves over the top of the rim. There is a small plastic piece included in the kit that guides the water, reducing splashes from the bowl. The waterfall creates a unique look, but it also functions as a filter with replaceable cartridges. There is a switch-operated LED light that curves over the waterfall featuring, hiding the filter itself and allowing you to provide bright lighting to the bowl if you so choose.
Tetra recommends this bowl for a small goldfish or betta, or small tropical fish, like guppies and tetras, with the addition of a heater that is not included in the kit. This bowl does have an open-top, so pets and children may be able to access the bowl.
2. Aqueon Betta Bowl – Best Value
The Aqueon Betta Bowl is the best fish bowl starter kit for bettas and goldfish for the money. This is an economical choice to get started with fish-keeping, but at only ½ gallon, it is not a long-term solution.
This bowl is made of plastic and includes a lid with a feeding window that can be opened and closed. The lid snaps into place, making this secure. This kit includes a divider that allows for two fish to be in the bowl with a divider in the middle. It also includes gravel, a plastic plant, a sample of betta food, and a sample of water conditioner.
This kit does not include a filter or heater, so you may need to add an airstone or small sponge filter to maintain water quality.
3. biOrb Classic Aquarium – Premium Choice
The biOrb Classic Aquarium is a great premium choice for a goldfish or betta bowl. This kit is pricey but worth every penny!
This bowl is available in multiple sizes from 4-28 gallons. It has a very modern, sleek appearance and includes a base and a lid with built-in LED light. The base and lid can be purchased in white, silver, or black. This bowl is made of acrylic, making it lighter and stronger than glass, but also more prone to scratching.
BiOrb Classic has a five-stage filtration system built into the bowl that takes replaceable cartridges. The replaceable cartridges are made to be one size fits all, so they will fit the filters for any size biOrb bowl. The lid and base create a seamless appearance for this system. It is easy to assemble, and the lid keeps it secure from children and pets.
4. Koller Products Panaview Globe Fish Bowl
If you’re looking for a very basic starter bowl, the Koller Products Panaview Globe Fish Bowl is a great option to get started. This 1-gallon bowl is made from shatterproof plastic. The plastic is much clearer than glass and does not create the same visual distortion as glass.
Most fish will quickly outgrow a bowl this size, but it is a good starting point when it comes to learning how to manage water parameters and fish care. It does not include a filter, airstone, or light. You will also need to separately purchase your substrate of choice and tank décor.
Once your fish outgrows this bowl, it can be hand washed and used for a variety of things, including a terrarium or vivarium, flowers or plants, or home décor.
5. Koller Products BettaTank
The Koller products Betta Tank is a great choice if you’re looking for something a little different. This bowl is made from shatterproof plastic and holds 2 gallons of water. It is hexagon-shaped, making it a unique piece compared to round fish bowls. Since it is made from plastic, it is clearer and lighter than glass.
Since this bowl is 2 gallons, you will have a little wiggle-room as your fish grows, giving you more time before you need to size up to a larger bowl. With proper water care, a small fish could live long-term in this bowl. This bowl does not include décor, substrate, a filter, an airstone, or lighting.
Like the Koller Products Panaview Globe bowl, this product is made to have uses other than just a fish bowl, so if your fish outgrows it you will be able to clean it and use it for home décor projects.
6. Anchor Hocking 4262 Goldfish Bowl Drum
The Anchor Hocking 4262 Goldfish Bowl Drum is a classic fish bowl. It is made of high-quality glass, making this bowl somewhat heavy. The glass may create some visual distortion. It can hold 2 gallons of water.
This bowl does not include any décor or equipment and will require routine water changes to maintain water quality. Since it is 2-gallons, you may be able to keep smaller fish in it longer, but it is not a great long-term solution for most fish.
This bowl does not include a lid, meaning it is accessible to children and pets. The weight of the glass does make it difficult to knock over.
7. Tetra 29263 Betta Bubble Betta Bowl
As cute as the Tetra 29263 Betta Bubble Bowl is, it’s a poor choice for most fish. This glass bowl is only ½ gallon, so it is only appropriate for short-term use for bettas and goldfish.
This bowl has a plastic base with three rounded “feet”. The base and curved lid give this bowl a modern feel, but the base can be removed, and the bowl will sit flat without it. The lid has a feeding window, allowing you to drop food in without removing the entire lid. The lid has a built-in LED light with an on/off switch. This bowl does not include any type of filtration or airstone.
This bowl is very lightweight and is prone to being knocked over. Due to the small size of this bowl, it is better suited to use as a brine shrimp hatchery or growing small plants for larger tanks, like marimo moss balls.
8. Elive Betta Fish Bowl
The Elive Betta Fish Bowl is a small, ¾-gallon glass bowl with a removable cup on the back. This cup can be used as a planter or to store items, like pens and pencils. It is completely separate from the bowl, so there is little chance of dirt from plants contaminating the bowl. The planter does have drain holes and the area the water drains to is removable for easy emptying.
Unfortunately, this bowl is too small for long-term housing for most fish. It also does not have a lid, so it is not protected from children and pets, and is very lightweight due to its size. This bowl has a LED light built into the base and the light has a 4-hour timer, making lighting for this bowl convenient.
This bowl does not come with a filter, airstone, or other accessories, and doesn’t really have the space to house them either.
|What Might Thrive in My Fish Bowl?||What Might Struggle in My Fish Bowl?|
|Goldfish can breathe surface air, meaning they can live without a pump and filter||Snails shouldn’t be kept in a fish bowl unless it has a secure lid|
|Bettas can breathe surface air, meaning they can live without a pump and filter||Tank cleaning fish like Plecostomus and Algae Eaters|
|Nano shrimp varieties do not need a filter or air pump and require little space||Large fish|
|Small tropical fish like guppies, but they will survive best with filtration and a heater||Small tropical fish, like tetras, that require exceptional water quality|
|Feeder animals, like brine shrimp and daphnia, can be farmed in fish bowls||Feeder animals, like minnows, unless they will be fed quickly, or you are prepared to maintain the bowl for them|
The Tetra Waterfall Globe Kit is our pick for the best overall product out of all of the products we’ve reviewed. This kit is unique, functional, and attractive. The Aqueon Betta Bowl is our pick for best value because it’s extremely cost-effective and is great for transporting or temporarily housing fish. Our premium product pick is the biOrb Classic Aquarium because of the completeness of this kit, available size and color options, and overall beautiful appearance.
We want you to use these product reviews to pick the right starter bowl for your goldfish, betta, or other small fish. Fish bowls aren’t for everyone because they do require very regular water changes due to their small size, but with the right care and attention, and filtration when possible, you’ll be able to make a fish bowl work for you, whether it’s for your betta or your brine shrimp hatchery.