Why did my fish always die?

TheFishNerd

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Feb 19, 2020
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This is just a strange observation I have made that I thought I would share and get some input on. I have developed a rather odd way of cycling and keeping my tanks that I wasn't sure if I wanted to share since it's not the traditional way of keeping fish but here it is. I could never get a fishless cycle to work so I decided I wanted to create mini-ecosystems in my betta aquariums and have huge success since. No filter or cycle just live plants and bubbles. I even have one aquarium that has no bubbles or filter and the two bettas in there are just as healthy as the rest. I also add my fish only a day or two after filling it up. I use prime for two or so weeks with water changes until everything is balanced and the water tests completely safe. It has worked for me very well since I jumped back into the hobby recently. Before this second try at the hobby, I only kept tropical fish the traditional way and had terrible results. Even now, I can't keep my mom's tropical fish alive and they keep dying one by one despite using the exact same method as with my bettas. The tank is going through a cycle with tons of filtration, water changes, and prime. Even after doing a water change and adding more prime last night a guppy died in the night and another is in the process of biting the dust. All these fish were bought from Petco and looked fine when I got them but are dying. This happens to me every time I try and set up a Clearwater aquarium with tropical fish. I get fish, they look fine, then they die one by one with only a few survivors. I had a fully cycled 40-gallon tank in my last house and every time I would add new fish, half would die and the other half would be fine even if the water tested perfect and there is already established fish thriving in the aquarium. Any ideas? Are cheap big box fish just doomed to die or have I just been trying to keep fish the way I am supposed to instead of keeping them the way that works for me?
 

duanes

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One thing you may want to consider is the difference in tolerance to conditions of different fish.
Betta's often live in nutrient rich (fertilized with buffalo dung) rice paddies, with high nitrate waters and have that labyrinth (air breathing organ) that most other fish don't have.
They have evolved to live low oxygen, tiny ditches, with little to no flow.
Other fish such as the normal community species that come from highly oxygenated ,high quality , flowing water of streams and rivers, or non polluted bodies of water like lakes, and if all or any of those conditions are not met, makes them susceptible to disease and other maladies, if conditions are not perfect.
 

TheFishNerd

Exodon
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MFK Member
Feb 19, 2020
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One thing you may want to consider is the difference in tolerance to conditions of different fish.
Betta's often live in nutrient rich (fertilized with buffalo dung) rice paddies, with high nitrate waters and have that labyrinth (air breathing organ) that most other fish don't have.
They have evolved to live low oxygen, tiny ditches, with little to no flow.
Other fish such as the normal community species that come from highly oxygenated ,high quality , flowing water of streams and rivers, or non polluted bodies of water like lakes, and if all or any of those conditions are not met, makes them susceptible to disease and other maladies, if conditions are not perfect.
That makes a lot of sense. I used to have nasty well water at all my other house but this one has very good well water and I thought for sure I would have different results but I still can't keep the darn guppies alive. It's pretty hard with a high ph but it has no effect on my bettas. I do have ammonia and nitrates at the moment but they are detoxified. I guess I will keep experimenting to find what works. I would have given fishless cycling another shot but my mom just loves buying fish and couldn't wait that long.
 
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