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I got Hugo on Janurary 25th 2021, here is a picture of the day I got him:
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Overtime he quickly develepoed a water dog personality and became one of my favorite fish.

Unforatnetley in late Feburary of 2021 I started seeing signs of finrot, I treated it and thought it was all gone so I put him back in the main display tank. However about a week later I noticed it most defentley was not gone and it had appeared to get a lot worse.

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From this point on his finrot only develeped and got worse and worse. With being in Canada fish medications are incredibly hard to come by and when you do see them its about double maybe triple the price then what it should be. The only medications I could find were salt. I used salt for about a week and noticed he got dramatically worse and the salt was defentley not helping if anytning making it worse.

However over the course of a few weeks I let him rest with 0 medications in the water and it seemed to help. So his fins started growing back.

It wasn't until earlier this month I started seeing signs of finrot again. I knew this defentley wasnt a good sign considering the fact that it was a miracle that he survived the last time. But as I did before I let him rest and monitored him. 

However over the course of the week he has gotten dramatically worse. I'm fearing his last days are coming. He has develeped severe popeye, and a small bump on his side. He is very week and lately has been staying at the same spot at the surface of the water. His immune system is obviously very week. 

This is a picture of him this morning:

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This morning however I saw him swimming. Usually hes been staying in the same spot all day long. But today I guess he needed some movement. He swims in little twitches but will still come to visit me at the front of the glass every time.

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I used some salt for my bettas popeye and it helped. As you said their behavior changing is always distressing. I recently figured out my heater died on my bettas tank and it explained why he was so inactive. Maybe just walk through your system step by step to see if there is something that could be fixed. Best of luck @James BlackI am pulling for you and Hugo!

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@James Black, I am sorry to hear Hugo is struggling again. I hope that the IAL work for you and Hugo, they have definitely helped my bettas in the past. I frequently would boil the leaves in distilled water to soften them, store the tea in a glass jar and add a cup of the IAL tea from boiling to the tank each day. 

May Hugo make another miraculous recovery for both of you. 

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Hugos still hanging in there...barely! Hugos a fighter!

He hasn't gotten any better if anything only worse. I've just been letting him rest. I dont think medications are a good idea at this time as hes so weak that might be what puts him over the edge. 

I'm thinking (and let me know if this is a good idea) to put him in a smaller aquarium for his last few days. I figured this might be easier for him and less stress. I have a empty 3 gallon waiting for livestock. I can put a cycled spongefilter and heater in there. I have lots of hornwort that I can also put in. I'll just be sure to keep up on water parameters. I havent't been feeding him either so I dont think there will be much bioload to begin with. I can add tannins and I feel as if this would make him more comfortable for a perhaps a miraclous recovery.

 

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On 1/5/2022 at 5:17 PM, Guppysnail said:

Do you still have the bowl he loved so much? That may make him feel most comfortable along with the tannins. 

I do! I think one of the reasons he loved it so much was that there was lots of plants and tannnins! Its something I will be looking for when I setup the smaller tank tomorrow. Im thinking I'll keep the water level low, put lots of hornwort and add tannins.

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I think you just identified the key to betta health: lots of plants and tannins.

Hugo chose you for a reason, he trusted you to make sure he stayed as comfortable as possible and it sounds like you are doing a great job. 

Whatever the outcome at this point, you gave Hugo everything he needed and that's more than most people get. 

You are an excellent fish parent. 

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Thanks so much @Torrey for those words

I moved hugo into his hospital tank today. I filled the aquarium up with roughly 3 inches of water, added a heater a small baby spongefilter and LOTS of plants. Tannins will be coming, I cant locate any IAL so im gonna use a pure roibous tea bag. 

I have finally have some good news to share! I saw great improvement with hugo today. He was a lot more active, chasing after my fingers trying to bite at them today. His popeye seems to have improved ALOT. To catch him I used my specimen container instead of a net. I thought this would be less stressful especially for his deleicate fins. He was veryy curious and swam right into it. 

I'm hopping if he continues to get stronger I can use some antibiotics. Its hard to locate some being in Canada, the only ones I can find is API Melafix but its really expensive here. Salt is always an option but I dont want to use salt again on Hugo. I used it last time he had finrot troubles and it only made it worse. Its probably because I wasnt dosing correctly but i dont want to risk anything. It also seems that letting him rest is indeed helping him. 

The way I have positioned the tank its hard to get any side views, but heres a top down view:

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On 1/6/2022 at 3:25 PM, James Black said:

Its hard to locate some being in Canada, the only ones I can find is API Melafix but its really expensive here.

I'm glad you didn't buy it, anything ending in "fix" (like Melafix) is contraindicated for fish with labyrinth organs (like bettas and gourami).

There's a lot of research *specifically* on the tannins in IAL. I was able to find some on Amazon.ca so if you can't find them anywhere else you can have them delivered. The IAL tannins generated changes in the fish' blood that was measurable and dose related. More IAL generated a stronger antibacterial and antiviral response from the fish. It's used in countries where fish meds are not an option, and I have seen the difference first hand. The study I am referencing is available via Google scholar, there are more behind paywalls. 

I am thrilled to hear Hugo is doing better! If at all possible, you may want to explore a good lid, or even saran wrap over the lid, to keep the humidity and temperature up.

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On 1/6/2022 at 10:17 PM, James Black said:

@Torrey Yeah I saw some on amazon too however I thought with the couple day delevery time it may be too late. However I may order them anyway and if it is too late, well I can use them for perhaps a future betta or aquarium.

Give Hugo all your confidence in his ability to hang on.

Due to the shipping / supply chain issues that have been exacerbated by covid, Amazon is now listing what is available by area/warehouse location. We have been using Prime, and have been getting most items in under 24 hours.

Hugo is a real fighter, if he's warm enough he should be able to hang on until the leaves arrive. If he doesn't, he chose to move on and is incredibly grateful for the love you showed him.

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Hugo's finrot is still continuing, however his popeye is almost all gone. 

I still haven't added tannins to the water, but I've ordered the leaves. They are supposed to come around thursday, maybe friday. A little longer then expected.

I'm thinking from what I've read from you guys, and various internent cites Indian Almond Leaves might be what pushes him over the edge for a nice and miraclous recovery. Its looking promising.

I'm thinking I can fill up his hospital tank a little more with water.

The hornwort is being the finicky plant it is, and shed the needles all over the place. In the right setup I love hornwort, however in the wrong setup its my worst enemy.

I took hugo out and put him in a specimen container for pictures and a better look at him:

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On 1/10/2022 at 8:12 PM, James Black said:

Hugo's finrot is still continuing, however his popeye is almost all gone. 

I still haven't added tannins to the water, but I've ordered the leaves. They are supposed to come around thursday, maybe friday. A little longer then expected.

I'm thinking from what I've read from you guys, and various internent cites Indian Almond Leaves might be what pushes him over the edge for a nice and miraclous recovery. Its looking promising.

I'm thinking I can fill up his hospital tank a little more with water.

The hornwort is being the finicky plant it is, and shed the needles all over the place. In the right setup I love hornwort, however in the wrong setup its my worst enemy.

I took hugo out and put him in a specimen container for pictures and a better look at him:

20220110_212413.jpg.77000cf5ef404299b055af0fc1497709.jpg20220110_212424.jpg.c3ef7a8c5485d056c2a0318ae6f80959.jpg

what a fighter hugo is glad he is doing better. you and hugo are in my thoughts

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If I am not mistaken, it looks like Hugo has a bit more finnage to his tail than when you had to put him back in Q/T?

Before you move him back to his regular tank,  I would recommend elevating the tannins in his home tank to match what you get in the Q/T, and also ghost feed his regular tank and test the water to ensure you have a thriving beneficial bacteria colony.

If Hugo is healing up w/o your needing to use salt indicates that Hugo is very sensitive to water parameter changes, and didn't have a strong enough immune system to compensate for what may have been minor fluctuations of ammonia or nitrite (sensitive bettas will develop deteriorating finnage in response to the slightest amount of ammonia or nitrites, just like a human who gets a burn will have greater sensitivity to the sun in the burned area. Think of the delicate fins as being as sensitive to ammonia burns as the gills).

Most fin rot is either bacterial or fungal. In a small subset of bettas, it is caused by ammonia or nitrite burns, and is more likely to happen in higher pH water. If Hugo is in this category, he will need extremely stable water parameters, and @dasaltemelosguy has excellent information in his testing journal on the benefits of lucky bamboo properly rooted in the tank to keep nitrates down as well. 

Great job on tending to Hugo, and it's wonderful to see Hugo making a recovery!

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