How to Change the Water in a Glass Fish Bowl

A glass fish bowl is a small and convenient way to provide a home to your pet fish. Beta fish, goldfish and other types of small fish are perfectly suited for these types of bowls, and the bowls are small enough to be able to fit in just about any part of the house. However, many people make the mistake of setting up the bowl properly and then abandoning it. In order to keep your fish healthy and the bowl from becoming grimy, you'll need to be prepared to change the water in the glass fish bowl regularly. Typically, changing the water every few days is best for the fish.

Tools and Materials

  • Water at room temperature
  • Fish net (optional)
  • Water conditioner
  • Paper towels
  • Clear glass, large enough to hold the fish
  • Strainer

Step 1 -- Double Check Water Temperature

It's a good idea to leave the water out overnight that you'll use to temporarily store your fish, or for a few hours before you change the water. It's important that the temperature of the fish's water be as close as possible to the temperature of the water that is currently in the fish bowl. Otherwise, the fish may die from temperature shock when you are changing the water.

Step 2 -- Transfer the Fish to the Glass

Fill the glass about halfway with the room temperature water. Do not overfill the glass, as it may splash when you place the fish in the glass and the fish can fall out of the glass, causing it to become injured or to die.

Carefully and gently reach your hand into the fish bowl and form a cup shape. Scoop up the fish using your hand and be especially gentle when you come into contact with the fish. Lift it carefully out of the bowl and quickly transfer the fish to the clear glass. Do not drop the fish into the glass, but lower your hand into the water and allow the fish to rest in the water before removing your hand. Alternately, you can use a small fish net to transfer the fish to the other bowl. Cup the top of the net with your free hand to prevent the fish from dropping out while you transport it.

Step 3 -- Drain the Bowl

Place a few paper towels at the bottom of your sink to catch any rocks or other debris that may fall out of the bowl. Carefully pour out the bowl into the sink, working to only allow the water to empty out. Place the strainer on top of the paper towels, then pour the rocks into the strainer. Wash the rocks with lukewarm water and then place them back into the base of the bowl. Clean any other items that you may have in your fish bowl in the same way.

Step 4 -- Refill the Bowl

Fill the bowl with room temperature water once again. Leave the bowl of water out for an hour or two to let it adjust to the temperature completely. Then, simply reverse the process of transferring the fish to the glass by carefully and gently placing it back into the newly cleaned fish bowl.