Why is my betta fish changing colours?

In this post, we will answer the question “Why is my betta fish changing colours?”. We will also discuss how to keep or boost your betta fish colours.

Why is my betta fish changing colours?

Some betta fish change colour as their surroundings change, while others lose their lustre due to stress or the aging process. The colour shift in betta fish is caused by a variety of factors. A betta fish’s colour may fade or turn black or white in some cases. 

Why do betta fish change colour? 

Now that we’ve established that betta fish do change colour, let’s look at some of the most prevalent causes: 

•        Stress

•        Change in environment

•        Tank size

•        Water quality

•        Water changes

•        Temperature changes

•        Illness

•        Puberty and ageing

Stress causes a shift in colour

Stress causes bodily reactions in betta fish, just as it does in humans. When humans get upset, their faces turn red as well. When someone is shocked or terrified, they become pale. The colour of betta fish changes when they are stressed. The alteration usually manifests itself as a colour loss or dullness. Some people lose their colour temporarily if they are under too much stress. Betta fish can also acquire a condition known as “stress stripes.” 

Many individuals acquire betta fish because of their stripes, unaware that they are an indication of a stressed-out fish. The stress stripes are a strong measure of your fish’s stress. The stripes on Betta’s body are horizontally aligned. 

A betta’s stripes normally run from its gills to the tip of its tail. The stress stripes are commonly black, red, white, or a mixture of these colours. If your betta fish develops stress stripes, you should examine its aquatic habitat and make a few beneficial alterations. Betta is frequently stressed as a result of the aquarium’s insufficient temperature. 

Make sure your tank is between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  The amounts of ammonia and nitrate in your aquarium may stress your fish, so make sure they’re within suggested limits.  It’s great if you have an aquarium water testing kit on hand. That way, you’ll always be one step ahead of any changes in the surroundings that can stress your Betta.

Change in the environment (for better or worse)

This is a very common occurrence among anglers. Pet stores, as sad as it is, do not always provide the ideal conditions for the fish on display. As a result, when you bring your Betta home and release it in your aquarium tank, it begins to restore its colour. 

Most betta fish develop a richer and deeper colour after a period of acclimating to their new surroundings. The fish suffer from the poor living circumstances in the pet store, and they lose their colour as a result of the stress. When you obtain a new betta fish, make sure the tank is fully prepared. Maintain a minimum of 2.5 gallons of water in the tank. 

The temperature in the tank should be between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You must give your fish time to adjust to their new surroundings, so don’t switch things up too frequently. 

The betta fish will gradually become stress-free and colourful as they migrate to a new and better home. The Betta has a chance to reclaim its original form and become happier as a result of the move from polluted water to communal space. The same is true for betta fish that are transferred from a dish or cup to a fish tank with clean water, filtration, temperature control, and plenty of room to swim around. 

On the other side, if your betta’s living conditions degrade, they’ll likely begin to lose colour (and may even turn into black or white).

Adequate tank size

In its fish tank, each Betta fish requires at least five gallons of water. Anything less than five gallons can cause your Betta fish to get stressed. Fish, in general, dislike being confined to small confines since they prefer to swim freely. As a result, five litres of water per Betta fish is plenty for swimming.

Water quality

Another factor that can stress your Betta is chlorinated or dirty water. The residual food and feces particles in the tank can cause the water to smell musty, indicating that your tank needs to be refilled with fresh water. Chemically treated water can be more damaging than stressful. Any disease or illness, on the other hand, can induce stress in your fish.

Nutritive diet

Bettas are carnivores by nature, thus they require a well-balanced diet. If you’re solely feeding your Betta fish dry pellets, it’s most likely anxious and undernourished. As a result, along with the dry pellets, you must include high-quality live items in your Betta’s diet, such as tubifex worms, bloodworms, mosquito larvae, and so on.

Water changes

A Betta fish might be stressed if the tank water is changed and cycled too frequently or not enough. If you change the water too frequently, the Betta may suffer from shock. At the same time, if you don’t replace the water frequently enough, the Betta will be stressed by the low water quality.

Temperature changes

75-80 degrees F is the perfect temperature for a Betta fish. 

It can be extremely stressful for your fish if the temperature in their water tank is not optimal. 

Even if you have a heater installed to keep the temperature exactly right for them, they can break down at any time. 

Heaters are, at the end of the day, just machinery. To verify that the heater is working properly, you should check the water temperature regularly.


Another typical reason for betta fish colour changes is illness. When a betta is unwell, it may lose its colours for a short time. 

Betta fish usually turn pale in colour, which is an indication of a health problem.

Ageing process

A betta fish reared in captivity has a lifespan of two to five years on average. Betta fish in the wild may live longer if they have a lot of space and a lot of insects and food. 

With careful care, your betta fish may even live longer than wild betta fish. The colour of the bettas when they are born is virtually translucent, as shown on the betta fry. 

When the betta fish ages naturally, the colour deepens. When the betta fish reaches the age of two, it begins to lose its brilliance and become bland in appearance. However, if you feed your betta fish properly, it may retain its full colour.

How can I keep or improve the colour of my betta fish? 

Here are some suggestions for keeping your Betta’s brilliant colour

– Provide a heater and a high-quality filter for your Betta fish. A good filter helps keep the Betta fish happy by keeping the water clean. 

– A Betta fish will not live long in a fishbowl, so make sure you have enough room in a minimum five-gallon water tank for it. 

– Do not leave your Betta fish in dirty tank water; change the water as soon as it becomes dirty. 

– Betta fish can benefit from a diet rich in vitamins, nutrients, and proteins, which can improve their colour. Your Betta fish will be more colourful and beautiful if you feed them a well-balanced diet and keep them in good living circumstances. 

– The greater the variety of nutrients you give your Betta, the better the outcomes. To satiate their carnivorous appetite, you can incorporate a variety of foods such as freeze-dried foods, live foods, and even high-quality dry pellets.


In this post, we answered the question “Why is my betta fish changing colours?”. We also discussed how to keep or boost your betta fish colours.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Why is my betta fish changing colours?

Does stress have a role in my betta fish’s colour change? 

Yes, when the betta fish is under stress, it will change colour. They tend to lose some of their colours and develop “stress stripes” or “racing stripes” as a result. 

Why is my betta fish turning blue instead of white? 

Bettas often start with a basic colour when they are 3–5 months old. However, as they grow older, particularly genetic markers in their DNA become active, causing a process to alter. As marble bettas grow older, their colours shift to blue, red, or black. It’s a common occurrence. 

What are the signs that your betta fish is dying? 

Discolouration along the body of the betta fish, such as white or brown spots, are also indicators that the fish is soon to die. Strange swimming movements or a shortening / eroding of the fins might potentially indicate a serious disease. 

What is causing my red betta fish to become blue? 

Stress, disease, age, and marble colouration, which is caused by a mutation known as a “jumping gene,” cause betta fish to change colour. Once you’ve detected the betta fish’s colour changes, you’ll need to check the water condition or temperature to ensure the betta fish’s colours are bright and lovely. 

What is causing my white Betta to become red? 

If you haven’t changed the water in a while, the fish will be scorched by the ammonia in the water, developing red streaks on their tails, inflamed gills, and eventually die. Because they are swimming in their waste, ammonia is extremely hazardous.


Can Betta Fish Change Color. https://aquariumsphere.com/can-betta-fish-change-color/

Betta Fish Losing Color (Turning Black/White) Cure Included. https://www.bettacarefishguide.com/betta-fish-losing-color/

Do betta fish change color? https://bettafishworld.com/do-betta-fish-change-color/