Help! Betta Has Extremely Stubborn Finrot!

Alexolotl

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So my betta hazmat has some somewhat stubborn finrot I’ve been trying to treat with daily 50 percent water changes, and I’ve been seeing very little improvement (if any) so I was planning on purchasing some kanaplex, and giving him a very light treatment to see if it helps.

However, while feeding him today I noticed the scales on the top of his head are raised! I’m concerned he’s starting to get dropsy. If it is dropsy, what can I do to give him the best chance at living? He’s a really nice betta and I don’t want to lose him because I’ve only had him for a few months. I’ll be testing the water later but it SHOULD be pristine, unless I somehow lost my cycle.

Pics:
FF543987-7365-4FBA-B78E-718DD1A8A9C0.jpeg 77713214-455A-4CF5-B58F-938600997A79.jpeg F7F7DE43-39FA-478B-9EA1-A6215A05BBDA.jpeg

As you can see he’s resting on the bottom quite a bit, which is what concerns me. When he does swim his fins aren’t clamped, however.
 

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Wystearya

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I know it's hard to get clear fish pictures (trust me, I can't get them either!), but I can't see the scales clearly enough to tell.

I don't think I see signs of dropsy. Usually in dropsy the body scales are raised. Like around the belly and sides.

If the water changes are not helping, then yeah, go ahead and try some medication.

How old is your fish? - Like, how long have you had him?
What size (in gallons) is your tank?
 
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Alexolotl

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I’ve had him since early March, so odds are he’s relatively young. The tank is 5.5 gallons. I’ll try and get a better photo, because it IS really hard to see.
 

Wystearya

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Ok, 5 gallons is plenty big and he is young so that rules out old age.

What kind of filter do you have? (I assume you have one since you did mention a cycle.)

What kind of food/s do you feed and how much?
 
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Alexolotl

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Filter is the HOB that came with the kit (Top Fin Silenstream 10 gallon) which isn’t ideal I know, but a better filter is on the bucket list. I feed Seachem NutriDiet Betta pellets, and I give him one a day, soaked in tank water. (Two a day on mondays and Tuesday’s and Wednesday is a fast day)
Here are some better photos:
6E6917B8-62F0-4F13-AB6C-3454C9B41B92.jpeg 7B3F45A2-382D-4757-AAC1-72F7DB3256CE.jpeg
It’s still hard to see but if you look closely you can see what looks like a lump of raised scales (at least to me, anyways)
 
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Alexolotl

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Ok, so long overdue update: We’ve moved to a different house for a month, and I am hoping the new water will help hazmat heal. Ever since we arrived (last Sunday) he’s been acting much more lively and rests on the bottom much less, so I THINK the water is cleaner. I haven’t gotten around to testing it yet, but I expect it’ll be cleaner. The lump of raised scales also dissapeared as soon as I started treatment a few weeks ago so I doubt it is dropsy.

As I said, he is ACTING more lively but doesn’t really look like he’s healed very much. His fins are basically the same, he’s still kinda pale, and he does rest on the bottom sometimes (not sure if this is normal or not however) I’ve continued to dose his tank with Kanaplex, and have set his filter to maximum output (85 GPH) but STILL nothing. How long do I need to wait before I should see any results? And should I do biweekly water changes as well, or would that be too much stress?

Additionally, I soak his pellets in tank water with a high dose of Kanaplex added to it and then lightly dust them in Kanaplex before feeding them to him (most falls off/dissolves before he actually grabs the pellet however) Should I stop doing both methods of treatment, or continue until he improves?

More photos:
47B749BD-81C9-4738-9B01-F7C8D6E632CB.jpeg 4194CC8F-E098-497A-81EE-3BB11E95EDF8.jpeg 8DD6574B-2182-4A03-88C5-FEA9457D85F6.jpeg 2FBD2A00-2F65-4767-8D98-5458C3BD98D7.jpeg 61C7CCE7-3B32-4087-B732-F15EE4F7A522.jpeg 75273AC1-F110-4F3C-AF41-918349397F51.jpeg 9B42EA3C-B372-4B82-977E-743B599E92B0.jpeg
And here’s what he looked like when I first got him for comparison:
D219DC7B-3695-4C2C-B6C3-68787BEBFBB4.jpeg
 
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Alexolotl

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Ok, I’m pretty sure Kanaplex isn’t working. I’ve continued treating him (missed a day though, I was out of town) and stopped dusting his pellets in it, and his fins haven’t healed one bit. IAL’s don’t help either, I’ve had several torn up into pieces in there for absolutely ages.

What should I do now? He’s acting really lethargic half the time, not moving his fins and barely pumping his gills. The other half he’s happy as a clam, though! I really don’t want to put him down but I hate to see him in so much pain. I often find him propped up on the thermometer or one of his fake plants, and it’s clear he’s having difficulty swimming.

One last thing: The edges of his fins often have red spots or brownish looking stuff on them. I’m guessing this is extremely severe finrot? He’s mostly the same as when I last posted, so if one is close enough to get a good look, can someone please confirm that? If not I can try to grab more pics.
 
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