Can I actually still keep fish?

bcsay720

Member
I love betta fish and consider myself a pretty good keeper of them, but a had several bad experiences (3 in a row) where each betta that I got got sick within a few months (or within 2 weeks, as it was with my favorite one) of purchasing. I did everything I could try to remedy the problems I encountered based off advice from this group (and sometimes did things that made it worse by accident thinking it would help, like changing the filter cartidge). No matter what I did, and even if the betta improved in health, he would eventually die in a long, drawn out, and very saddening way (except the one who only lasted two weeks. That only took a day and a half).

I finally came to the conclusion that it probably has something to do with my pipes in my apartment building, since I have never had an issue keeping bettas until I moved here last year, and decided to stop breaking my own heart with bettas that can't live in the water, no matter what it's treated with.

I really miss having a fish, though, and after conferring with many others about loopholes to get around my bad water, I have come up with a few ideas. I would love to know if anyone thinks these are viable options, because I genuinely cannot put another fish into that situation without being fairly sure of success:

1. Get a tap filter that goes directly on the tap so all the water that comes out of the tap is already filtered (plus water conditioner, of course)
2. Keep an ongoing large bucket of clean, treated water to use for water changes so that its perpetually cycling

I DO know about the nitrogen cycle and continually set up tanks successfully. It seems to be what happens after the first few water changes that hurts the fish. Thanks in advance.
 

UnknownUser

Member
I don’t like the idea of filtering the tap water because that removes many of the essential minerals and such in the water (although someone else can jump in here - would that hurt fish or just plants?) It sounds more dangerous to me than option #2. Another option is to collect rainwater if you live in an area that rains year around / has enough rainwater. Since it’s just a betta fish, you could keep one in a 5 gal and you wouldn’t need so much water compared to bigger tanks. You could purchase aquarium water in gallon jugs, which is the most expensive option but again it’s a small tank so it might be do-able.
 
  • Thread Starter

bcsay720

Member
UnknownUser said:
I don’t like the idea of filtering the tap water because that removes many of the essential minerals and such in the water (although someone else can jump in here - would that hurt fish or just plants?) It sounds more dangerous to me than option #2. Another option is to collect rainwater if you live in an area that rains year around / has enough rainwater. Since it’s just a betta fish, you could keep one in a 5 gal and you wouldn’t need so much water compared to bigger tanks. You could purchase aquarium water in gallon jugs, which is the most expensive option but again it’s a small tank so it might be do-able.
I was also thinking of getting the jugs. I did that as a last ditch effort for my last betta fish, but it was too late for him then. He went down fast, unlike the others. Thanks for your advice.
 

mang0

Member
i don't see an issue with the tap filter. but where were you getting your fish from? if you were getting them all from the same source maybe there could be an issue at wherever they were farmed/bred at like an internal parasite outbreak or something. the rainwater idea is a bit risky, if you go that route still use water conditioner and boil the water before it goes into the tank. it's a lot of work so try the water filter first.

also not sure how much you "value" invert life (some people don't really care if their snails or shrimps get eaten) but when you setup the next tank, after cycling it, add in a nerite snail and a couple of shrimp. keep an eye on the snail, and after like a couple months if everything is going well add in a betta. it sucks not being able to have a fish for that long, but i hear that shrimp especially can be fairly sensitive so they'll be your "canary in a coal mine" so to speak.
 
  • Thread Starter

bcsay720

Member
mang0 said:
i don't see an issue with the tap filter. but where were you getting your fish from? if you were getting them all from the same source maybe there could be an issue at wherever they were farmed/bred at like an internal parasite outbreak or something. the rainwater idea is a bit risky, if you go that route still use water conditioner and boil the water before it goes into the tank. it's a lot of work so try the water filter first.

also not sure how much you "value" invert life (some people don't really care if their snails or shrimps get eaten) but when you setup the next tank, after cycling it, add in a nerite snail and a couple of shrimp. keep an eye on the snail, and after like a couple months if everything is going well add in a betta. it sucks not being able to have a fish for that long, but i hear that shrimp especially can be fairly sensitive so they'll be your "canary in a coal mine" so to speak.
That's a great idea. I think snails are super fun to watch, so I don't mind stocking them first. My first fish was from PetSmart, but after a bad experience with my fish there (plus some snails), I moved to a local aquarium store that is very well run for my other 2 (it definitely was not their fault about my fish. Even their bettas that had visible stress damage from being shipped to the store had bubble nests and were active and friendly whenever I would go in). I have time to play around with the tank, though, because the store had to move due to rent increasing during a pandemic, and they have no reopened yet (I guess having to recycle every single tank you own takes a lot of time....). Thanks!
 
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