March 12

Sarah Robertson

Why Is My Betta Fish Losing Color?

Bettas are known for their beautiful colors and long flowing fins, but that doesn't mean healthy Betta fish can't lose some of those amazing colors. Betta fish are available in a range of solid colors, ranging from the most brilliant to plain whites and black, but many are also two-toned, and others have a variety of different pigmentations.

In the wild, these fish are rather plainly colored, although those produced in captivity may be found in almost any vivid color or shade. You must have noticed bettas of different colors and patterns, But the most popular in aquariums are red and blue variants of Betta fish. However, there is one question that every fish owners want to know, i.e. Why is my betta fish losing color and turning white? In this article we shall discuss about the same.

Here are Some of the Betta Color Variations:

Bi Color (These Betta fish have one color on their body and a different color on their tails)

Multi-color (Any betta that has three or more distinct colors and doesn't belong to any other category)

Butterfly Color (Their bodies are uniform in color, but their fins are divided into two distinct hues)

Marble Color (The overall Betta fish has an uneven color distribution)

Piebald Color (The face of a betta will be one color, but their body will be either solid or marble in tone)

Grizzle Color (Pastel in hue with patches of a different color dotting their body)

Pineapple Color (Black etching on scales)

Solid Color (From mouth to tail, the betta is covered in one solid color)

Why is Your Betta Fish Losing Color- Reasons:

There are several reasons why your betta fish may be turning white and we're going to discuss the most common causes below:

Old Age

Just as humans experience the greying of hair as they grow old, betta fish have a similar experience. As the Betta grow older, they can turn grey. Sometimes, they may lose their color. Most Betta fish that are at least a year old will change color as they grow older.

Stress

Stress can cause betta fish to bleach . A stressed Betta fish will experience a color change. Stress can be brought about by several factors, including poor water quality, the addition of aggressive tank mates, overfeeding and even irregular exposure to light.

Disease or Illness

Disease or illness can also cause betta fish to lose their coloration. If your Betta fish has recently begun to turn white, it's possible that it is suffering from an illness. If you notice betta fish hiding or staying at the bottom of their tank, this is also a sign that they may be unwell.

The following are some of the illnesses that cause betta fish color loss:

Fin Rot: If you see only the fins on your betta turning white, it's possible that he has fin rot. Betta fin rot can be treated if you act quickly, but it can also spread to the body and cause irreversible damage to your betta's fins.

Ich / ick: A betta fish that have turned white might have ich. This parasitic illness affects the skin of a betta, resulting in white dots appearing.


Here are some of the steps on how to get rid of ich and Fin Rot in betta fish: 

1

Step 1 - Clean your betta tank and replace the water with fresh warm water

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Step 2 - Add a little dose of aquarium salt, make sure not to add too much, about half a teaspoon will do.

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Step 3 - Put your betta in a separate container; this will make the treatment more effective.

4

Step 4 - Treat your betta with an ich medication. You can purchase one at any pet store near you. Follow the instructions on how to treat it.

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Step 5 - Once the fish is already treated, give him back his home and do a daily water change.

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Step 6 - Do 30% to 50% water changes in the betta tank every day for two weeks.

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Step 7 - If your fish still has visible ich, repeat step 4 and 5 until it is completely gone.

After the treatment is finished you may notice that your betta's colors are not as vibrant as before, but he should regain them after a few weeks.

Poor Water Quality

One of the major causes of color loss in betta fish is poor quality water. Healthy bettas require clean tank and well-oxygenated water to maintain their bright colors. If your Betta tank has low oxygen content or dirty water, the stress will cause them to lose color.

Diet

Bettas are carnivores. In their natural habitat, bettas eat mostly insects and insect larva. In the aquarium, they need to be fed a diet that consists of meaty foods such as brine shrimp, blood worms and daphnia. A betta that is being fed only pellets and flakes will end up turning white.

Columnaris

Columnaris is a type of bacterial infection that can cause fin and mouth rot in betta fish. The culprit behind the disease is probably the drinking water you use. If your tap water comes from wells or streams, it may contain bacteria or parasites that can harm your Betta fish if not removed before being placed in your aquarium.

External columnaris infections generally begin as white or grayish areas or patches on the head and around the fins or gills. Affected skin may appear paler and dull in than the surrounding area.

Anchor Worms

Betta fish can get anchor worms from eating infected invertebrates, the eggs of which may be deposited on plants and gravels. The white/green/red worm-like appearance of anchor worms may be observed if you look closely.

Injury

When a betta fish recovers from an illness or injury, the affected body part may develop back darker or differently colored. This is a natural aspect of recovery that you should not be concerned about.

5 Common Ways to Restore Betta Color

There are many causes behind Betta fish losing its color. Poor water quality, food and stress are some of them. When you notice a betta's color change, follow these steps.

1

Change the Water:

A tank with clean and well-oxygenated water will help the fish to maintain its bright colors. If your Betta tank has low oxygen content or dirty water, the stress will cause them to lose color.

2

Feed a Betta Fish a Varied Diet:

A betta fish that does not receive the right nutrition from its food will lose color. It's best to feed your Betta with a wide variety of betta fish foods found in the market, such as dried blood worms, daphnia and brine shrimp.

3

Change the Atmosphere:

If you keep your Betta in a small tank, it may cause them feel stressed and lose its color as well as their health condition. Change the atmosphere by adding plants and rocks to provide shelter for your betta fish.

4

Reduce Your Betta Fish's Stress:

Make sure the water temperature is at 76°F and keep it in a tank with enough space for swimming. On a regular basis you need to do 20% water change every week, so the pH level is neutral and clean water will help your betta stay bright.

5

Treat Your Betta Fish for Disease:

If the signs of sickness are severe, you should treat your betta fish for diseases immediately. If your betta fish has stress or environmental issues, they may be unable to fight back when the disease strikes them. Remember that unwell betta can lose colors easily even though you already follow these steps.

Color Enhancing Food for Betta

  • Spirulina: Spirulina is a micro-algae that helps improve fish health and coloration. Because bettas are meat eaters, they will almost certainly not consume this food alone. However, spirulina is found in a variety of aquarium products, such as fish flakes and certain frozen diets.
  • Salmon And Herring: Betta fish prefer insects as their natural diet, but Other than that, you may occasionally feed foods high in salmon and herring, as well as frozen portions of these meals. These foods, like crustaceans, include a lot of carotenoids, which are responsible for the color. You may buy these goods in frozen form from pet stores.
  • Brine Shrimp: Feeding your betta brine shrimp, as well as other crustaceans like copepods and daphnia, can improve the hues of your fish. Crustaceans are known to be high in carotenoid pigments, which may give fish coloration a red or yellow hue. Brine shrimp are also a popular live food because they are simple to produce and disease-free, making them an ideal live food. In conclusion, live food in particular attracts fish and improves their health. It's what they eat in the wild.
  • Supplements: The easiest approach to guarantee that your fish get everything they require is to feed them a wide range of foods. However, by adding certain supplements, you can boost the nutritional value of some food. It's possible to add fatty acids and vitamins to a betta's diet based on the supplement you're using.
  • Variety of food: If you want your betta to shine, there is no single meal that will guarantee it. To get the greatest results, you must feed your fish a variety of meals. You wouldn't want to eat only one thing all day long. It's a great idea to alternate foods so that your betta gets all of the various nutrients he needs to look good and show vibrant colors.

Frequent Questions

Why Are Betta's Top Fins Turning White and Disintegrating?

If you see only your betta's fins turning white, it might be a sign of fin rot. If you find frayed or damaged fins or a frayed appearance, this is an indication of Fin Rot. Betta fin rot can be treated, but if it's not treated soon enough, it may spread to the rest of your betta's body and cause significant damage.

The disintegration of the Betta's scales may be caused by environmental factors. The most likely causes are low oxygen levels, especially in a bowl or vase, poor quality of water and chlorine toxicity. Other possibilities include parasitic infestations or bacterial infections. Sometimes it can come from improper feeding also.

Do Betta Fish Change Color?

Yes, bettas do change colors. However, the reasons for their color transformation differ from one Betta to the next. Some betta fish alter color as a result of changes in their surroundings, while others lose brightness as a result of stress. There is no single reason for all betta fish' changing colors.

Can Betta Fish Regain Color?

If your new betta changes colors when placed in a new tank, you don't need to be concerned; the color should resume in a few days. Your betta should return to its normal color in a few days if it's given some time to unwind after being stressed out.

Why Is Betta Fish Losing Color and Not Swimming?

Color loss is a typical indicator of disease in aquarium fish. A Betta fish that's fading in color and no longer wants to swim might be a sign that something is wrong. Fading pigment may be a bad indication for fish, especially if coupled with lethargy and an inability to eat.

Why Is Betta Fish Turning Black?

Betta fish usually darken as they mature. This is most apparent in their fins, which gradually become darker as they get older. However, the environment can also cause bettas to turn black. Inappropriate tank conditions, tension, and infections caused by diseases like black spot disease are examples of this.

Bettas can also develop black spots as a result of Blackspot disease, commonly known as diplopstomiasis. It's one of the most prevalent parasites affecting bettas. It's a parasite that might be passed on through unclean water or overcrowded tanks. These parasites burn through their skin, causing black spots on the fish. It can also spread from tank to tank through water and nets. On the body of the bettas, it shows up as little black flecks or dots.

Why Is Betta Fish Turning White and Not Eating?

A betta fish that has gone entirely white may be suffering from ich. This parasitic illness targets a betta's skin and is frequently responsible for creating white spots on it. Other indications of infection include lack of energy, an inability to eat, and rubbing against items in the tank in order to remove their obnoxious visitor.

What Are Signs That a Betta Fish Is Dying?

Betta fish have a very short life span, typically living for only 2-5 years, both males and females. The atmosphere in which you are keeping them has a significant influence on how long they live. However, before they pass away, you will be able to notice some warning signals.

Lethargy

Betta lethargy is a typical and most evident symptom of the disease. When they are unwell, their activity level drops. Movement becomes sluggish as they become less active than usual. Most of the time they hide at the bottom of the aquarium. Older Betta fish also face the same problem. When there is a problem with ammonia, nitrite, tank temperature, or sickness, they become more lethargic than normal.

Less Swimming or Laying Down

The Betta swims for the majority of the day. When they are unwell, their swimming behavior changes. Swimming is reduced and sleep is increased in an ill Betta than usual. It's critical to pay close attention if you notice such a change.

When a Betta is at the end of its life and falls to the bottom of the tank. It might happen when there isn't a filter in the tank. Because chemicals and ammonia may accumulate if you don't have a filter, having one is vital.

When a Betta fish lies on its belly at the bottom of the tank, it is an indication that something is wrong. They will not live much longer if it is due to sickness or age.

Loss of Appetite

Appetite loss is a typical sign of age. Betta's metabolism slows as they get older, which explains why they don't require as much food. They require less food than before because their metabolism has slowed down.

When it comes to age, the loss of appetite occurs gradually over weeks or months but it occurs within a week for sick betta. However, if the tank's temperature is below average, a healthy Betta might exhibit similar symptoms.

Fading Colors

Fading colors are a major cause for concern. When they're very sick, the majority of the time, they lose their color. The color of your betta could change as a result of age, stress or sickness.

Frequent Breathing

Another common symptom of the illness is rapid breathing, which you'll notice in your Betta if he or she is unwell. Breathing difficulties can also be brought about by distressing situations such as an underlying illness, high ammonia levels, or chemical degradation.

Clamped fins 

Clamped fins are an indication that your fish is nervous. It's a condition in which Betta fish keep their fins folded against their bodies at all times. It begins near the top of the tail fin. The fin curls on itself, preventing the fish from fully spreading its fins.

Isolation 

Betta fish that are sick sometimes withdraw from the rest of the tank's fish. It might be due to a range of factors, including sickness, loss of appetite, fungal infection, anxiety, and so on. When Betta fish isolates themselves, something must be wrong.

How to Save a Dying Betta Fish?

Here are the things you must do to save a betta's life:

  • New water must be added to the tank daily, so it's clean and replenished with oxygen.
  • Fish should also be fed fresh food at least three times a day.
  • Your Betta will need treatment for bacterial infections and parasites if necessary. 
  • The water temperature should be kept at a comfortable room temperature.
  • Try providing live plants for your betta fish to graze on and add some aquarium salt.

Final Thoughts

If you notice a sudden change in the color of your Betta fish, you must find out what's causing it as soon as possible. Although it does not always signal a serious medical issue, color changes, especially the appearance of white, maybe an indication of sickness. Early detection of disease and water quality concerns can assist your Betta fish in recovering more quickly and comfortably. It will also assist in keeping your Betta's brightness.

Betta fish can also turn white due to a lack of proper nutrition. A Betta fish diet must consist of a high-quality Betta-specific pellet or flake food that contains proteins and fat when combined with a betta-specific supplement which will enhance coloration and promote fin regrowth in cases where the fins have been damaged.

Sarah Robertson


I am a passionate blogger who also happens to be a fish keeping enthusiast. Writing about my hobby is something that I absolutely love to do, and it's no secret that my chosen topic is always centered around fish keeping.

Sarah Robertson

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