Why is my betta fish turning white?

In this post, we will answer the question “Why is my betta fish turning white?”. We will also discuss some of the reasons for it and how to improve your betta fish colour.

Why is my betta fish turning white?

There are a variety of reasons why the colour of your betta may change. If you find that the colour of your fish is fading or changing, one of the following factors might be at blame:

  • Stress
  • Changing of environment
  •  Age
  •  Illnesses (fin rot, columnaris, ich)
  • Injuries
  • Marble gene


Stress is the most prevalent reason for betta fish to lose their vibrant colours, according to research. Although they are clever fish, Bettas require a lot of décor, lush plants, and toys in their tank to be happy. Those factors will cause your betta buddy to feel stressed if any of them are not in place.

Changing of environment

If you have a recently bought betta, it is highly normal for him to lose his vibrant colours when he is initially introduced to his new tank. The betta may have formed a territory in his tank or box at the fish store if you think about it. He may become pale if he is separated from his regular habitat and brought to a new one. 

By turning off the tank lights for a few hours, you can help to reduce the impacts of stress on your body. Once the betta has settled in, his colours should return to their original vibrancy within a few days, at the most. 

Making drastic changes to your betta’s tank, such as changing the aquascape or adding new tank mates, may be quite stressful for these delicate fish. However, if your betta has restored his territory, he should be able to regain his colour within a few days.

It is getting old

Betta fish naturally tend to fade and lose their colour as they get older, which is quite normal. 

Bettas have a lifespan of around five years, so if your pet is approaching that age, you should anticipate his colours to progressively fade. According to some sources, fading in some fish can occur as early as two years of life, especially if the fish is kept in a stressful environment.


Bettas’ colour might change as a result of certain diseases and illnesses. 

When your betta is unwell, he will often change colour and turn white, which makes it rather easy to identify. Once you’ve determined the source of the problem, you may take action to rectify the situation. 

The following are some of the most common disorders that can cause discolouration in bettas:

Fin Rot

Fin rot is a disease that affects many aquarium fish. The bacterium that causes the sickness causes the fish’s fins to become white around the margins and produce a ragged, split look. The condition is contagious. 

To prevent the sickness from spreading throughout the betta’s body or causing lasting damage to the fin, you must treat it as soon as possible.


Betta fish are susceptible to Columnaris, a dangerous bacterial illness that can be fatal. Ulcers, damaged fins, white, fuzzy patches on the body, and overall lethargy are all symptoms of the condition. The most likely cause of columnaris in your betta’s sudden appearance of fluffy and white fur is columnaris. 

Columnaris is available in two variations. The most severe form of the illness can be lethal within 24 hours if not treated immediately. While it is possible to treat your betta if he develops the other version of the sickness, you may not be able to do so if the disease is caught too late.


It is caused by an aquatic parasite that attaches itself to the fish’s skin or gills, resulting in White Spot illness or Ich. Upon being attached to the fish, the parasites create irritation, causing the fish to flick or “flash” against solid items in the tank, such as rocks or the aquarium substrate. 

As the sickness proceeds, the fish develops a rash of small white spots on its body and fins that spreads throughout its body. Illnesses like Ich are typically quite straightforward to treat if they are caught early enough.


Sometimes, once an injured fish has recovered and the afflicted body part has begun to mend, the tissue and scales of the fish will return in a new colour, most typically black. There should be no cause for alarm because this is merely a natural part of the healing process and indicates that your pet is getting healthier.

Marble gene

Marble bettas can and do change colour. That is a natural occurrence that is caused by the fish’s genetic makeup and is to be anticipated. 

Marble betta fish have what is known as “jumping genes,” which allow them to jump. Transposons, rather than jumping genes, are the more accurate term to use. Transposons are segments of the fish’s DNA that can move around in the DNA sequence. In other words, if one or more of those genes shifts locations, your betta’s colour or even appearance can alter, making it look transparent or translucent. The best part about owning a marble betta is that you can never tell what colour your pet will turn out to be until he or she is fully grown. 

Some Marble bettas keep their patterns and alter very little, however, others can change to a solid colour, such as black or white, depending on their environment. When compared to a sick or stressed betta, whose colours become faded white, the colours of a Marble betta are lively and bright, shifting rather than becoming faded.

How can you improve your betta fish colour?

Fortunately, there are a variety of techniques you may do to increase the colour of your bettas. It’s important to understand, however, that if their colour is changing naturally, there is nothing you can do to halt it. 

Improve the overall quality of the water 

One of the most effective ways to resolve the majority of your betta’s issues is to enhance the water quality. There are a variety of approaches you might use to do this. 

Make certain that the tank is enough in size 

Your betta will need a tank with a minimum capacity of 5 gallons, so make sure you have that in place before you begin.

Check to see whether they have a heater and a filter

You should also check to see whether they have a filter and a heater installed. Betta fish are tropical fish, thus they require both of these conditions to survive. Contrary to common perception, they are unable to live for lengthy periods in water. 

Change the water in your aquarium regularly

You should replace the water in your betta’s tank regularly. The amount of water you’ll need to replace will be determined by the size of your tank. 

In contrast, if your tank is smaller, you’ll have to do it more often. Furthermore, if it’s larger, you won’t have to replace it as frequently.

Feed them colour enhancing food

Not only should you make certain that the water quality is adequate, but you should also make certain that you are providing them with food that will improve their colour. Some excellent options are salmon and daphnia.

Offer high-quality food

When you’re feeding your betta, you should make certain that you’re providing them with high-quality food. It goes without saying that if you pay for cheap fish food, you will be providing your fish with cheap nutrients. Occasionally, it is preferable to spend a little extra money on a premium brand.


In this post, we answered the question “Why is my betta fish turning white?”. We also discussed some of the reasons for it and how to improve your betta fish colour.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Why is my betta fish turning white?

Do bettas’ colours change throughout their lives? 

Transposons and Marble genes are two terms used to describe these sorts of genes. Betta fish that have them are distinguished by the splotches of random body colouring that appear on their bodies. Because the gene “jumps” from one position on a chromosome to another, the fish can have wildly different colour patterns at different stages throughout its life. 

What is causing my betta’s hair to turn grey? 

Be aware that it is natural for a betta’s colour to change slowly as it matures, and older bettas will frequently develop a “beard,” or a region behind the mouth that turns dull or grey as they get older. Once again, this occurs gradually as the bettas develop. The rapid colour loss might indicate disease or be a visible indication that the water supply is insufficient. 

What is the best way to detect whether my betta is stressed? 

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. 

Do bettas have a preference for light? 

Yes, they will not enjoy anything too bright, but a basic aquarium light will suffice. Bettas are also fond of aquarium plants, which require the presence of an aquarium light to thrive and live. 

Do betta fish recognise their keepers? 

Betta fish do identify their owners. When their owners go by the tank, some bettas become excited and swim to the front of the tank. Bettas are usually associated with their owners’ meals and playtimes, thus the more you engage with your betta fish, the more probable it is that they will remember you as their caregiver. Betta fish may be affectionate toward their keepers.


Betta Fish Losing Color – https://www.bettacarefishguide.com/betta-fish-losing-color/

Why Is My Betta Fish Turning White? What To Do About Losing Color in Fins or Tail. https://japanesefightingfish.org/betta-fish-turning-white/

Why is my Betta Fish Turning White? https://www.aquariumnexus.com/betta-fish-turning-white/

Why Is My Betta Fish Turning White? https://www.tankarium.com/betta-fish-turning-white/