What is a striped betta fish?

In this post, we will answer the question “What is a striped betta fish?”. We will discuss the reasons why your betta fish might be striped and how to treat and solve it.

What is a striped betta fish?

A striped betta fish is a stressed betta fish. The stripes are called stress stripes. Incorporating a new betta into your aquarium can be stressful for both you and your fish, and your betta may exhibit some alarming colour changes at times as a result. Stress stripes are one of the ways your betta will communicate with you if anything has changed or if something isn’t quite right in the tank. Fortunately, these unfavourable circumstances can typically be corrected rather quickly, allowing your betta fish to regain its colour within a short period.

What are betta stress stripes?

Betta stress stripes are the result of your betta’s reaction to unexpected changes or adverse aquarium circumstances. Your fish’s vibrant colours may begin to fade, and light and/or dark vertical stripes may appear on the sides of its body as a result of this. Stress stripes are often thought to run horizontally, whereas breeding stripes are thought to run vertically, so be sure to verify which way the lines are flowing.

Do male bettas get stress stripes?

Stress stripes are usually considerably more visible in female bettas than in male bettas, however, this is not always the case. Instead of generating stress stripes, male betta fish will most likely lose colour and show other indicators of stress, rather than creating stress stripes. Examine the specifications and conditions of your tank if your male betta fish has lost colour and/or displayed a change in behavioural patterns.

Why is your betta stressed?

Several factors might be contributing to your betta’s stress, and there may be more than one solution to your unique situation. Stress stripes on your betta fish might be caused by a variety of factors, including the following.

New tank

The development of these stripes in fresh betta fish when they are transferred from the pet store to a permanent tank is fairly frequent and may be seen in many cases. These stripes should fade away after a couple of weeks, as long as the tank has been properly cycled, filtered, heated, and tested in the manner that it should have been done.

Change of environment

A change in environment, similar to that of a new tank, may be sufficient to stress out your betta fish. Especially if you’ve made significant alterations to existing regions that will require reclaiming, this is important to remember. Monitor your fish’s reaction to the new alterations over the next several days; the stripes should disappear once your fish has been completely adjusted to the tank once more.

Wrong water parameters

Poor water quality, as well as rapid changes in water quality, will quickly stress out any fish in the environment. Stress stripes can be created by a lack of proper circumstances or by too large water change rates. To avoid massive, erratic water changes, it is preferable to do small, regular water changes. 

Adjusting settings carefully will prevent your fish from becoming stressed even worse. Stress stripes should help to enhance the water’s overall condition.

Improper tank conditions

Besides being unhappy with the water quality, your betta fish may be unhappy with its present environment. The size of the tank, the lighting, the flow of water, and the lack of hiding spots can all cause stress in your betta. Remember that you should never maintain a betta fish in a tank that is less than 5 gallons. You should also try reducing your lights, slowing the water flow, and giving lots of natural crevices for your fish to feel secure.


Even though betta fish are solitary fish, some hobbyists have had success keeping them in groups with a variety of other tropical species. It should be noted, however, that just because your betta fish does not appear to be aggressive towards such fish does not imply that it is compatible with those species. 

Some fish, particularly more energetic and colourful ones, may stress out your betta without displaying any visible indications of distress. Instead, they may acquire stress stripes and become more nervous in the aquarium as a result of their experiences. If you find that your betta’s colouration begins to fade and its behaviour begins to alter after being introduced to a larger tank with more fish, it may be time to remove it from the system and reintroduce it to its original aquarium.

How do you treat betta stress stripes?

The only approach to cure betta stress stripes is to remove the source of the stress from the fish’s environment completely. Make sure that your aquarium water is testing correctly first and foremost; unsatisfactory levels may usually be remedied with more frequent water changes and tank upkeep, but they can sometimes be more difficult to rectify. 

Following that, you should pay attention to how your betta moves around in its tank. How active is it? Does it swim around and keep itself busy, or does it wander at the bottom of the tank? Make certain that your fish has enough room and stimulation to keep it interested throughout the day if it falls into the latter category. 

You may make your tank more bear-proof by including extra hiding locations, like rocks and living plants, in addition to the decorations you already have. A fish that hides frequently may also indicate that the lighting is too strong, which may be alleviated by providing additional hiding places and tannins to naturally decrease the light and boost immunity. Check to see how the two species interact with one another if there are other fish or invertebrates in the tank, and whether either one is getting aggressive at any point. 

Finally, think about if you’ve made any significant adjustments to your tank recently. Stress stripes are likely to appear on a young betta fish, but they should only last a short period. It’s possible that the rearranging of the landscape led your betta to become disoriented and stressed out as a result of the change in environment.

Can bettas die from stress?

Yes, stress can cause betta fish to perish. A stressed betta is far more prone to sickness and infection, and even small diseases can cause it to die very fast. Stressed bettas are also more prone to have a loss of appetite and become more lethargic, which can lead to weakening and later fin rot as a result of their slow movement and movement. 

When you see your betta fish losing colour or acting erratically, you should try to figure out what is causing the problem as soon as possible. In the interim, you can incorporate tannins into your diet to help boost your immunity. Nonetheless, it is vital to remember that making any adjustments to your aquarium to restore ideal conditions should be done gradually to avoid stressing your fish even more.


In this post, we answered the question “What is a striped betta fish?”. We also discussed the reasons why your betta fish might be striped and how to treat and solve it.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What is a striped betta fish?

What is the source of the stripes on my betta fish? 

Stress stripes appear on the body of betta fish when they are under stress, and these stripes are visible to the naked eye. Betta fish discolouration is one of their ways of communicating with you that something is wrong with them or that their environment needs to be improved. 

What is the source of my betta fish’s black stripes? 

Betta stress stripes are the result of your betta’s reaction to unexpected changes or adverse aquarium circumstances. Your fish’s vibrant colours may begin to fade, and light and/or dark vertical stripes may appear on the sides of its body as a result of this. 

Do female bettas have stripes like their male counterparts? 

Bettas with breeding stripes are only found in females. These stripes run vertically along both sides of the fish in a sequence of 5 or 6 bright coloured bands, which are spaced 5 or 6 inches apart. While breeding stripes may be fairly vivid, fear stripes are often more brilliant in appearance. 

Is there a betta with star and stripes?

Aside from diverse coloured betta fish, there are also betta fish with stars and stripes on them. Betta fish with stars and stripes are extremely unusual breeds of betta fish. The stripped betta fish is virtually identical to the standard betta fish, except for its outside appearance. However, a standard betta fish may develop stripes over time if kept in the same environment. 

What does a betta that is stressed out look like? 

Swimming in an Odd Place: When fish are under stress, they frequently exhibit unusual swimming patterns. If your fish is swimming wildly without making any progress, falling to the bottom of his tank, rubbing himself against gravel or rocks, or locking his fins at his side, he may be suffering from severe stress and should be sent to the veterinarian immediately.


Breeding or Fear Stripes? – https://nippyfish.net/2011/03/02/breeding-or-fear-stripes/

Betta Stress Stripes: Identification And Treatment – https://bettasource.com/betta-stress-stripes/

9 Causes Of Betta Stress Stripes (& What To Do) – https://www.bettacarefishguide.com/betta-stress-stripes/