Do betta fish change colour?

In this post, we will answer the question “Do Betta fish change colour?”. We will also learn and discuss the possible causes for a Betta fish changing its colours.

Do Betta fish change colour?

A marble betta’s colouration will change over time, and this is totally normal for the species. However, if your betta is exhibiting symptoms of illness or stress, such as lethargy, hiding, or refusing to feed, you should carefully examine it to ensure that it is not suffering from anything.

Does my betta fish’s colour change as a result of stress? 

The stress of a betta fish’s life is one of the key reasons for colour changes in the fish. Your betta fish behaves in a manner that is extremely similar to how people react in stressful situations, such as going white as a ghost when scared or having a brilliant red face when angry. Stress can cause these fish to exhibit transitory colour changes when they are placed in stressful conditions. 

Stripes of stress 

Your betta fish may also be displaying stripes, which you should keep an eye on. Those are not the nice marks your betta friend has naturally evolved; rather, they are a warning that your fish is under stress and has to be removed. 

Stress stripes run horizontally down the betta fish’s body and should not be mistaken with breeding stripes, which run vertically down the betta fish’s body. Stress stripes, which reach from the betta fish’s gills to its tail and can be any colour, including red, black, white, or a mix of these colours, can be seen on the betta fish. Generally speaking, female betta fish are more prone than male betta fish to exhibit stress stripes. 

What is the source of stress in betta fish? 

The most common reason for your betta fish’s discomfort is due to inappropriate water conditions. Betta fish are extremely sensitive to changes in water temperature, so keep the temperature of the water in their aquariums between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Your betta fish will most likely become stressed if the water temperature is too high or too low. You should have an aquarium heater as well as a thermometer that provides precise temperature readings, and you should check the temperature of your aquarium at least once a day. 

If the temperature is too low, it’s possible that your tank heater is malfunctioning and has to be repaired or replaced. Additionally, if the water is excessively warm, it is possible that the heater’s thermostat has malfunctioned, and you will need to purchase a new heating unit for your betta fish aquarium. 

Betta fish require water with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5 and a hardness of 3 to 5 dKH, therefore include checking the water parameters of your betta fish’s tank in your weekly tank care routine. An aquarium water testing kit can be purchased at most pet stores and online retailers. 

Betta fish are particularly vulnerable to toxins in the water because of their small size. Check to see that the levels of ammonia and nitrite are zero and that the levels of nitrate are less than 20 parts per million (ppm). A partial water change of around 30 per cent will be required once a week for your system. 

As part of this process, you will need to rinse the filter media with old tank water to remove any muck that may otherwise clog the filter sponges and hinder optimal circulation around the tank and throughout the unit. You will need to replace the media on a regular basis in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Does my betta fish’s colour change as a result of illness? 

The brilliant colours of betta fish may fade and seem washed out if they are unwell or infected. 

Some fish ailments, such as fungal and bacterial infections, might cause your betta fish’s colours to become noticeably darker than they would otherwise be. As a result, if your betta fish begins to seem pale, it may be a warning that something is wrong; you will need to keep an eye out for any additional indications of disease in your finned companion.

Turning Pale

If the pale colouration is accompanied by lethargic behaviour and laying on the bottom of the tank, then you should further examine what may be wrong with your betta fish.

The most usual motives for these circumstances are stress from abrupt changes in the water parameters of the tank or a causal disease.

Is it true that my betta fish’s colour changes as it gets older?

Just like our hair turns grey as we enter our senior years, your betta fish’s colour fades as it gets older.

Betta fish in captivity have a life expectancy of three to five years, depending on the species. The colour brilliance of certain fish begins to wane rather early, whereas the colour of others does not appear to wane at all. Just like it is with people, whether or not your betta fish loses its colour as it ages is determined by the genetics of the particular fish.

Marble betta fish

Marble betta fish are notorious for changing colours throughout their lifetime. They were accidentally developed by selective breeding and feature black spots on a white or pinkish-coloured body, or vice versa, depending on the species. Even though the very first marble betta fish were usually black and white, these wonderful fish are now available in about every colour you can imagine. 

The marble colouration pattern is generated by a genetic anomaly known as the “jumping gene,” which causes the marble colouration pattern to appear. Jumping genes are genes that may migrate from one chromosome to another and to a different place on the same chromosome. The placement of the jumping gene in its new site, on the other hand, is just transitory. This also implies that the shift in genetic expression is only transient, which explains why marbled bettas frequently change colour during their lives.

Oodinosis or Velvet Disease

Caused by the protozoan Oodinium pillars, the main symptom of this disease is the appearance of bright spots that appear to form a veil over the betta fish’s body. In addition, it is also associated with loss of appetite, breathing difficulties, and lethargy. To treat this disease you will need to get rid of the parasites that are free in your tank and free your fish from the attached parasites.


In this post, we answered the question “Do Betta fish change colour?”. We also learned and discussed the possible causes for a Betta fish changing its colours.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know in the comments section below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Do betta fish change colour?

What is causing my red betta fish to become blue?

The betta fish can change their colours due to stress, diseases, age, and colouration patterns, which is a consequence of a mutation known as a “jumping gene”. Once you detect the colour changes in the betta fish, you must check the water condition and temperature to make sure the betta fish colour changes were not caused by environmental abrupt disorders

Why did my white betta fish turn to a different colour?

Betta fish typically develop a foundation colour when they are 3–5 months old, and they continue to develop it throughout their lives. In contrast, as they grow older, specific genetic markers in their DNA are activated, which causes a shift in the process. As the marble bettas continue to develop and mature, their colours change from blue to red to black. It is a natural part of the procedure.

What colour of betta is the rarest?

When albino betta fish are listed or put up for sale, perspicacious viewers almost always recognise them correctly as clear, cellophane, or white betta fish. These are all beautiful fish to have on display in a tank, yet they are all quite hard to come by. However, they are no match for a real albino.

Does stress contribute to my betta fish changing of colour?

Yes, under stressful circumstances, the betta fish would often change colour. They tend to lose some of their colours and undergo a condition called: “stress stripes” or “racing stripes”.

Should betta fish be raised alone?

Betta fish are highly possessive fish, and they should not be kept in the same tank with any other betta fish. However, few tankmates can easily live in a Betta fish tank without major issues.


Why Is My Betta Fish Changing Color? 2021.

Do Betta Fish Change Colors?

Carol. Can Betta Fish Change Color (or Lose Color).

Lawson, L. Why Do Bettas Change Color?