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Do Betta Fish Change Color?

Do Betta Fish Change Color?

One of the most popular fish breeds is the betta fish, sometimes known as the Siamese fighting fish. Betta fish are a terrific addition to any fish lover’s house, with their jewel-toned colors and flowing fins.

You walk past your aquarium one day and find out that something isn’t quite right.  After gazing at it for a while, you conclude that your Betta fish is changing its color. You didn’t expect to see that, and you have no idea why it’s happening.

There are various reasons for your betta fish changing colors, some of which are beneficial and harmless, while some could be serious. It could be a result of genes, stress, sickness, or old age.

In this post, you’ll discover why a Betta fish’s color changes and what it represents.

Do Betta Fish Change Color?

The short answer to this question is ‘yes’. Betta fish change color and it is perfectly normal!

Because bettas have brilliant colors, you might not notice this shift right away. These alterations may take place gradually over time.

Betta fish can change color or even fade from one hue to another. They may also become black and white in the future! Various factors may cause these changes. While some of the reasons could be typical, some could be linked to environmental or mental issues.


What Are The Causes for Color Change?

If your Betta’s color is gradually shifting yet it appears to be in good condition, it most likely possesses the Jumping Marble gene. You can refer to these genes as transposons. If you find any Marble Betta fish with them, they’ll have patches of random body coloration. 

The fish can significantly change its color patterns numerous times throughout its lifetime due to the gene “jumping” from one spot on a chromosome to another.

Your betta could be losing color for a variety of reasons. Therefore, you need to know the proper reason to find a probable solution for it.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons.

1. Stress

Stress is a common cause if your betta starts to lose color. Bettas aren’t as tough as they appear. So, when they’re stressed, this fish can change color temporarily.

You might also notice that your betta fish might have got stripes. Those aren’t cool marks your betta fish formed spontaneously; instead, they’re an indication your fish is under stress.

You might notice horizontally running stripes across the betta’s body. These are stress stripes and should not be mistaken for vertical breeding stripes. They’re typically of varying colors – red, white, black, or a mix of them running throughout the body.

Note that female bettas are more susceptible to stress stripes when compared to male bettas.

They must also feed on a regular basis, have their water cleaned on a regular basis, and also have an adequate diet.

If you don’t do this, your betta’s body will become stressed, and its color will begin to fade.

2. Old age

Your betta’s color fades as it gets older due to body-related changes. Hence, if your betta fish is turning old, this is one of the most common causes.

It’s much more probable that your betta’s color will fade as he approaches his golden years. A betta can survive for at most 5 years. Hence, if your betta is approaching that age, he may start to lose color.

Some fish lose their color brightness very quickly, while others do not appear to fade at all. Whether or not your betta loses its color as it ages is mostly determined by the genetics of the particular fish.

If you’re certain it’s not due to stress, then you can rule out the issue as an aging one.

3. Illness

Aside from becoming old or becoming stressed, sickness can also cause color changes. The color change is usually white. Although, it can vary depending on the type of disease.

When a betta fish is unwell, it may lose its colors and seem pale.

Some fish ailments might cause your betta’s colors to fade drastically. So, if your betta looks pale, that could be an indication that something is wrong.

Don’t forget to take note of other disease-related symptoms.

4. Injury

Your betta may lose its color after any injury. 

Perhaps your betta fish was hurt during transport, or it hit with something in its new home while adjusting to its new place. If there is any injury on your betta fish, it may change color regardless of how the injury took place.

The injured body part may grow back with a different color as part of the normal healing process. An old injury’s flesh and scales are often darker or lighter than the remaining part of the fish’s body.

That isn’t generally a reason to worry if everything else is in order!

Betta Fish

What Is The Cure for Color Change?

You can sometimes improve your betta fish’s colors by its nutrition. But only if it is healthy, the water conditions and tank temperature are acceptable, and it lives in a refined environment.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to improve the color of your betta. However, keep in mind that if their color is changing naturally, there’s little you can do to stop it.

However, if external causes are to blame, there are a few things you can do.

Improve Water Quality

Improving the water quality is one of the best remedies to most of your betta’s issues. You can accomplish this in a variety of ways.

Ensure you have a larger tank with a heater and a filter, and that you replace the water regularly.

Feed Them Color-Enhancing Food

You should also offer them food that will increase their color, in addition to ensuring that the water quality is good. Some excellent options include salmon, daphnia, and also using high-quality food.

Don’t Fill Up Your Tank

Last but not least, ensure your tank isn’t overstocked. When you have a large tank, it’s natural to overstock it with fish. After all, there are so many excellent options. 

Before you buy any fish, read up on the specific requirements of each one.

How Often Do Bettas Change Color?

Bettas lose some of their vibrant colors as they get older, similar to how mammals’ hair greys. A betta’s normal lifespan is two to five years, though healthy fish can live even longer if given good care. 

Bettas are practically translucent when they are born, and their first visible color appears as they get older. Until the fish reaches the age of two years, the color usually deepens. After that, the fish’s color may diminish, especially around the mouth and gills.

Do Bettas Lose Their Color?

Bettas naturally age and lose color as they become older. A well-cared-for betta has a lifespan of about five years, so if your fish has been with you for a while and has started to lose color, it could be due to normal aging. 

In certain bettas, age-related color fading can start as early as two years of age, however stress reduction can help.

They may lose color even due to any stress or illness, apart from age being a factor.

Why Is My White Betta Changing Color?

When you encounter white bettas with speckled coloring, it usually signifies they are marbles, and they will change color. 

After all, how cool is it to have a black and white fish one day and a red and green one the next week?

Marbled bettas are extremely popular and sought after due to their behavior of transforming colors. 

A genetic mutation also called as “jumping gene”, causes marbling. These genes can migrate from one chromosome to another on the betta’s chromosomal. However, the new site of the jumping gene is only temporary.

Related Questions

Do Betta Fish Change Color When Stressed?

Yes, one of the most common reasons for color changes in betta fish is stress. Due to stress, they may look pale, just like how we do! Moreover, they may lose some of their colors and possess “stress stripes” (also known as “racing stripes”) as a result.

Do Betta Fish Change Color When They Die?

Stress, illness, or old age can all kill betta fish. As a result, when there is high stress or have reached their golden years, they will die. Betta fish will change color as a result of this.

Color fading is a very serious problem. When they are really unwell, they frequently lose their color. 

When betta fish are on the verge of death, they lose their color due to a lack of oxygen or nutrition, a lack of circulation, and an inability to absorb sunlight. Hence, they change color when they die.

Do Half Moon Betta Fish Change Color?

If the color of your half-moon betta begins to change, don’t be in a shock. This, though, could be cause for concern. When these fish are anxious or ill, they lose their beautiful, colorful colors.

Occasionally, you can see a white half-moon betta, but they are quite rare.