I'm stumped on this one - I'd appreciate some advice.


So here is the story up until now.

I have a ten gallon tank. It is about two years old. About mid-way through its life, it underwent a move where I changed homes but the aquarium itself remained mostly wet. Kept about 15% of the water inside the tank during the move. This happened several months ago and the cycle did experience some minor issues with what basically amounted to a rather huge water change but has been fine ever since - with a few "small" caveats that I'm providing mostly to try to give as much information as possible. First, the tests..

Using API Freshwater Master Test Kit. I'm judging by color here so please bear with me.
Ammonia appears to be slightly above zero, if not zero (bright yellow).
Nitrate also bright yellow.
Nitrite is sky blue.

PH is a slight issue as far as detection goes, because it seems to get to the 7.6 mark, but then measuring with the high PH range seems to mark at 7.4. So between 7.4 and 7.6 PH.

Tank is heavily planted.

Stock: 2 African Dwarf Frog, 3 Fancy Guppies, 1 Large Corydoras Catfish, 2 Small Corydoras Catfish, 1 (very) small pl*co (I have a 65gal for him when he grows a bit), several malaysian trumpet snails, 1 nerite snail, 1 female betta

Diet is VERY varied. Mainly NLS Optimum Flakes, Frozen Brine Shrimp, Freezedried Tubifex Worms, bug bites and agar snello with calcium.

Okay, the issues. In order..

1. I noticed one guppy got very sick. I did water changes and treated the tank with paragard. Severely emaciated. Fins appeared red. Looked like she also had some form of rot. She died. I was very bummed. She began her life in this tank.
2. One female guppy had ich. Treated with Paragard/Melafix. Signs disappeared.
3. My second female betta (they get along fine, we did a LOT of acclimation with them) began signs of lethargy. Breathing and trying to swim, but eventually just seemed too tired. Not swim bladder - when she had the energy to swim, she did so upright and normally. Continued treating with Paragard. Eventually, she also died.
4. Now my last remaining betta female is exhibiting signs that the last female did. Beginning stages. Slight lethargy.

I'd provide pictures but there doesn't seem to be any visible signs. The red betta female has no VISIBLE signs of illness. I do not see any ich in the tank on any inhabitant. One corydoras cat last night seemed lethargic as well.

Im debating a cycle of prazipro and doing a longish cycle of paragard again (I had stopped when signs of illness disappeared between the ich and the betta showing signs). Any advice would be appreciated.


Sooo sorry to hear. I'm no where near anywhere enough to help,


I'm so sorry to hear about your tanks. Sicknesses can appear at strange times (and bettas, to me, can be especially hard to treat sometimes). It's good that you caught the lethargy early. That definitely seems to be the earliest warning sign for most fish. I've had bettas where it takes 4 months for this to turn to death, or 24 hours.

My concern is potentially parasites. It's hard to tell on bettas, but if you can get a look at the betta's anus, see if there are any red spikes or strings hanging down. That would be camallanus worms.

Is she bloated at all? Have you tried fasting the fish for a day or two?

How did the fish all react after the move? Stress can do weird things to fish, so, since it's such a variety of illnesses, I wonder if stress was the root cause.

I would do 25-50% water changes every other day for a while and possibly invest in tannin-leeching botanicals, which will definitely help the betta and cories to destress.


I fast fish once a week, every week. Basically, I feed them their last feeding on day 1 at around noon, skip day 2, feed around noon again on day 3. Its a habit I got into early on in fishkeeping and seems to make for healthier fish and tanks overall.

I cant see her butt, tbh. She is a bit shy and red as she is, i doubt id see much red on top of it.

Your suspicion makes me want to go the prazipro route, though.

None of the fish seem bloated per se, but they do seem a bit on the heavy side so maybe what I'm mistaking as a bit of fat is actually bloat. It could very well be. Red betta has a very large sternum and has since I got her. I took that as just a part of the whole "being a female betta" thing but, again, even though I've been doing this for 30 odd years at this point, this whole thing has me absolutely stumped. So, I'll keep an eye out.

I've been doing 10% water changes about four or five times a week since the sickness began, and about 30% change every two or three days. Sometimes four, as things tend to get busy and its really hard to keep a daily schedule for all but the most basic maintenance.

As far as tannins, there are two peices of "wildwood" that was leaking tannins for a long while. They're still in the tank (the frogs and pl*co love them) but they've been in the tank for [probably 1.5 years. I'd say the tannins are gone by now! Haha.

I was going to be breeding the bettas (I have a gorgeous white male in another tank) so I have almond leaves. Two bags of them. I could easily put a leaf or two in. In fact, I will!

I'll look up the worms you mentioned. Thank you so much for the insight.

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