Decorating a fish bowl is a fun and exciting process that children and adults alike can participate in. Most fish bowls are small and, therefore, few decorations are necessary. However, fish bowls can have more decorations than many people think. In fact, up to 70 per cent of the surface area of the bowl can be allotted to decorative objects and plants. Fish feel more comfortable when they have a place to hide.
The substrate is an important part of any fish bowl. The substrate contains all of the nutrients that live plants need to grow. If you do not plan to use live plants, then your substrate can consist of rocks only. If you do have live plants, then a substrate full of plant nutrients is necessary. Any colour of rock is suitable for a fish bowl and there are many colour options available, including natural, white, blue and florescent.
In addition to the small rocks that make up the substrate, many fish love the addition of larger rocks to the fish bowl. Large rocks with holes for swimming and hiding will make smaller fish happy and feel like they never left their native habitat. Larger rocks also add interest and realism to a tank. Only use rocks purchased from a pet store as these rocks are treated with special cleaners to prevent harm to the fish.
Both live and fake plants can work inside a fish bowl. The decorating process is the same for both kinds of plants. Place larger plants toward the back of the bowl, with smaller plants near the front. It is usually best to leave an open spot in the middle of the bowl for viewing and to allow the fish free swimming space.
Shells can make great decorations in fish bowls. Only a few shells are necessary. Place the shells along the bottom of the fish bowl before you put water or fish into the tank. This will prevent you from having to stick your arm inside the fish bowl and contaminate the water and it will also help the shells lay the right way.
Other decorations, such as castles, scuba divers, fake fish and other decorative items also work well in fish bowls. It is important to follow the rule of 50 to 70 per cent coverage; that is, 50 to 70 per cent of the surface area of the bowl can be taken up with decorative objects and plants. Any higher percentage of decoration coverage may crowd the fish.
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