My family is not into pets to be honest. That being said when they won some goldfish last year a part of me was excited and remembered my own childhood with pets. My wife had taken my daughters to their school carnival which was a fundraising effort each year. My daughters played the duck game which is basically a bunch of floating toy ducks in a small pool. You then pluck out one duck and if you have a star on the bottom presto you win.
My daughters won two fish a came home with my wife all excited. I was not home at the time and my wife called me to pick up some fish food. I told her that I would be at least two hours time from coming home. On my way home after buying the fish food my wife called to tell me that the fish looked hungry and my girls were getting nervous. Therefore they decided to give them sponge cake. First I started laughing hysterically and then I realized that I bought this fish food for nothing. The next day as you would have imagined, they died.
This past year my daughters went again to the carnival. This time they went with me. When we got home I found a large flower vase and put them inside. However there was no sponge cake for the fish this year. I fed them the fish food which said it expires late in the year 2012. That was four weeks ago. They are alive and kicking so far.
That is the good news. The bad news is that without a filter, after about one week the bowl looked dirtier then the Florida Everglades. I turned to a friend who had fish for advice. He said I should pour half the water out and then the other half pour in clean standing water. The temperature was simply to be not to hot and not cold. I felt like I was living the story of Goldilocks and the three bears.
The first time I took tried to clean the bowl I probably poured more then half the water out. The second time I did that was a few days later and I got better at pouring out the water. I would do about half. The thing that I recently noticed however that was the bowl would get dirty after a day and everything settled at the bottom. Now what do you do.
First I asked my local pet store and he said sorry, without a filter there was nothing that would clean the bowl well. Then I started searching on line but I did not see that much out there. Yesterday I finally had a break through. Perhaps it was that I was paying more attention to things, but when I was pouring the water out of the vase I noticed that all the sludge or whatever you wish to call it, that was at the bottom came up and started circulating in the water. This created an opportunity to clean the bowl.
I started pouring more water into the bowl. The more I poured in, the more the dirt kept circulating in the water. I would then go and pour more water out. After three times of doing this you know what, I looked in my toilet and the water there was really cloudy. I had done it. I filled up the vase again with water and the water was really clear. The fish started diving to the bottom and swimming around. Something they were not doing before this.
In conclusion if you need to clean your fish bowl and do not have a filter, this might be the right way to go about it. It certainly worked for me.