Fin Rot in Betta


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So my betta, Darkwing, has been experiencing fin rot most likely since I got him in November. Since I diagnosed him with it, I've tried keeping the water spotless, salt baths, melafix (a mistake I am very regretful over), and now a combination of Kanaplex and Jungle Fungus Clear. I know my current treatment does work as I treated one of my guppies successfully and saw new fin growth within his first few days with the medicine. However, when it comes to Darkwing, he's on his second set of treatments (with a week of no treatment to allow the tank to rest) and I've yet to see any improvement. In fact, I'm pretty sure it may be getting worse.
How do you treat stubborn fin rot? Is it even fin rot or is it just tears from his plants? If it is his plants, which ones is it most likely to be? I've ran my finger over every plant and to me they don't feel sharp.
Any help would be appreciated! The photos are of him throughout the last few weeks as well as his current tank set up.
He's in a 5 gal with a filter and a heater.
His temps are consistently 2 or so degrees off of 80°F though more often than not at 80°F exactly
Nitrate- 0
Nitrate- 0
The water is between soft and hard but leaning more towards soft.
The alkalinity is a little more than 180ppm.
His pH is too high between 7.8 and 8.4 (I have some Indian almond leaves in the tank but other than that how do I lower his pH?).
His ammonia levels are within the safe range but are a little high for my comfort.
He is eating fine and isn't lethargic as far as I can tell.



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4 years
Considering you have 0 Nitrates and you have ammonia levels, your tank isnt cycled. It is very crucial to have a cycled tank because it means you have established beneficial bacteria to eat away the toxic waste your fish produce.Having any level of ammonia/nitrite will make it harder for fin rot to heal or cause it. I would work on cycling your tank mainly.

It is possible for bettas to rip their fins on fake plants and then turn into fin rot. The best way to tell is the pantyhose test. If any fake plant snugs the slightest on the pantyhose, then it will highly rip a bettas fin as well. I really suggest live plants, they look more natural and help filter the water too.

To help treat fin rot, water changes are key. I also suggest raising the temperature if you can, add some some very concentrated tannin extract from Indian almond leaves or roobis tea. Fin rot is very common in bettas and can be difficult to heal. I would continute with the Kanaplex medication, add extract tannin extract, increase water changes and most importantly, cycle your tank so you have healthy BB established and dont have any ammonia slowly affecting his fins.

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