Reason Why Is Your Betta Fish Losing Color

Betta is an extraordinary fish species that can accentuate the appearance of a fish tank. However, although they are pretty hardy, they can run into complications over time.

Not just fading, your betta can also turn white or black, depending on the affecting factors. But, of course, nobody wants to see their pet fading away in front of them. So, if you witness a sudden change to the betta’s appearance, you’d have to find the root cause.

Before you start panicking, know that this is more common than you think. However, there’s no alternative to precautions. So, this article will explore every reason why your betta fish is losing color and suggest some solutions.

Here’s Why Your Betta Fish Losing Color

Reason Why Is Your Betta Fish Losing Color

Despite what you think, bettas are incredibly hardy and resilient. They seldom have any issues with their living conditions. However, there are exceptions to everything, including your betta fish.

So, why is your betta suddenly losing color?

Let us explore some of the most probable reasons:

1. Stress

Although bettas are pretty hardy, they require additional help in the tank and living conditions. There are several factors from the optimal water parameters to providing the fish with filtered and heated water.

If the water parameters aren’t ideal, bettas can be under stress. Their diet plays a crucial role in their health too. Overfeeding and underfeeding can leave them stressed and in discomfort in the tank.

Bettas also like living in clean water. So, a tank with excess waste and nitrate in them isn’t favorable for your betta.

Being close to larger fish species can put them under stress as well. So, keep an eye on that too.

2. Illness

Aquarium-based diseases are a lot more common than you think. The sudden color change in your betta could also be a sign of illness.

If your betta is ill, mainly due to infectious disease, they will turn white. Likewise, you will notice prominent white spots on the betta if they are suffering from Ich.

They tend to become more gold-like when suffering from Velvet. So, the color change also indicates which disease the betta is suffering from.

3. Aging

Bettas have a standard lifespan of 5 years. So, if your betta is nearing their senescence, it can lead to sudden color changes. Some bettas start losing their shine and color by the 2-year mark. So, if that happens, you can be assured that their age is to blame.

4. Trauma or Injury

fin rot in betta fish
Fin Rot in Betta Fish

Bettas are very vocal about their living conditions. And the color change is an alarming sign of those lingering issues.

If the betta is hurt due to an attack from another fish or some other reason, it reflects on their appearance.

You will often find a betta with a fin rot having a faded appearance. This is a lot more common than you anticipate.

What About Marble Betta Color Change?

Unlike the standard and more accessible species of betta, marble bettas are unique. Unfortunately, they are not easily found in the stores, so they are pretty expensive.

After you’ve spent so much money on them, the last thing you want is for them to die prematurely.

Unlike an average betta, the marble betta changes its color naturally. It isn’t always a sign of disease or stress. It is in their nature to change their appearance throughout their lifespan.

So, unless you find something else of concern, a change in the marble betta color is nothing you have to worry about.

Most marble bettas start black and later turn their fins white around the edges. Despite the color change, remember that the change isn’t very frequent.

So, if you find your marble betta changing its color very frequently, it could be a sign of distress in them. You should also look for signs of aggression from other species in the tank. Sometimes, getting bullied by larger species can lead to the marble betta losing their color.

Why Is Your Betta Turning Black?

Betta fish is available in different types and varieties. They vary depending on their size, shape, color, and appearance.

Black bettas are very rare. Most of the commonly found types of bettas feature vibrant colors with an iridescent body.

So, if you notice your betta turning black in the tank, along with other symptoms, it is a sign of concern. However, it could be a natural discourse if the betta is turning black but isn’t showing other signs like restlessness and lacking appetite.

Marble bettas tend to change their color to black and white throughout their lifespan. So, if that’s the case, we wouldn’t recommend you worry.

However, for safety reasons, keep a close eye on the fish and check for prominent issues with them. If they are not in their natural form, you might have to consider taking other measures.

Why Is Your Betta Fish Turning White?

Unlike changing their color to black, a betta turning white is a sign of concern. There are several contributing factors to the complication. We’d recommend that you keep an eye out for any of the following causes:

1. Anchor Worms

Anchor worms are like parasitic infestation that affects the bettas. These are tiny worms that can occur in the aquarium due to poor water conditions. So, if your betta starts turning white, we’d recommend checking for anchor worms in them. Common signs include lack of appetite, lethargy, sores, breathing issues, rubbing, etc.

2. Columnaris

This is a common bacterial infection that causes prominent white patches and spots on the betta’s body. Ulcers and sores are prevalent in this case too. Since it is an infection, not taking immediate precautions will kill the betta and further spread.

3. Ich

One of the most common types of parasitic infections, Ich, directly affects the skin of the betta. It leaves white spots and patches all over the betta’s body, making their skin fray out. It is a deadly disease, so immediate treatment is necessary. It is a very fast-spreading infection, so you might find it easier to remove the affected fish to protect the rest.

4. Fin rot

If the color change in the betta is limited to just the fin, it is a sign of fin rot. It could be due to damage, injury, or another aggressive fish in the tank. Fin rots are very severe if left untreated. The rot can spread quickly and lead to a body rot eventually.

5. Stress

Poor water parameters, larger and predatory fish, and improper tank setup. Several factors can cause stress to a betta. If you find the betta losing color and becoming more and more transparent, it is a sign of stress. So, try to find the cause behind the stress and eliminate that to allow your betta to have a happy and comfortable life.

How To Make Your Betta More Colorful?

How To Make Your Betta More Colorful
Betta Candy Koi Halfmoon

Knowing the causes is the first step towards rectifying the color change in your betta. Sometimes, it is an illness, and sometimes it is old age. However, it is due to prevalent environmental factors for the most part.

In such situations, here’s what you can do:

1. Pick a Larger Tank

Bettas don’t enjoy living in a cramped space, especially if it is a community tank. So, bettas need a minimum 5-gallons tank to strive in. Larger tanks are also safer because they impact the water parameters gradually instead of instantly. So, the larger the tank, the safer and better it is for the betta.

2. Integrate a Filter and Heater

A powerful filter is a must in a community tank with a betta. This regulates the waste in the tank and prevents excess levels of nitrates, which can kill the betta. So, install a filter with high power for optimal results. Also, a water heater might be beneficial to maintain the water temperature in the tank.

3. Change the Water

Bettas produce a lot of waste every day. So, if you want them in their optimal health. You don’t necessarily need a water change every day but doing one every week or every other week is ideal.

Also, don’t change all the water. 30-50% water change is ideal for retaining the water’s chemistry and favorable parameters the betta needs to live in.

4. Focus on their Feeding

One of the best ways to enhance their color and appearance is by feeding them color-enhancing foods. And, before you think that’s not possible, let us clarify it.

Bettas are more carnivorous, so you need to feed them live foods or animal products to enhance their strength and appearance.

Foods like salmon daphnia are color-enriching foods that can restore the lost or pale appearance of the betta. Also, stick to high-quality store-bought foods instead of the cheaper alternatives whenever you are feeding your betta.

5. Avoid Crowding the Tank

Although bettas are pretty resilient, they have a peaceful temperament. This means that they don’t like overcrowded tanks with territorial species.

If you have a 10-gallon tank, keep a maximum of 10 fish in it. This is the standard count. An aquarist should keep one fish per gallon capacity.

How Long Does It Take for Betta Fish to Regain Color?

There is no “standard” period for your betta fish to regain their lost color. However, the same does depend on the cause behind the issue.

If the fading of color is due to water parameters, changing them should show immediate effects on the fish. Similarly, if your betta has sustained an injury, treating that will help them regain their natural color.

With proper treatment, your betta can regain its color within 1-2 weeks. First, however, you need to provide them with the care they need to recover from the disease or trigger that led to the discoloration.

Wrapping Up

Bettas losing color isn’t an uncommon issue. However, finding the cause of the discoloration is crucial if you don’t want them to die or spread any disease they are suffering from. We have shared all the details comprehensively in this guide. We hope it addresses all your queries and concerns. However, if you are confused about anything else about the subject, feel free to leave a question in the comments.

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