Why Is My Betta Fish Turning White / Losing Color? (and what to do about it)

You love betta fish, we love betta fish, and we all want your betta to be happy and healthy and living its best betta life. However, despite all the love in the world you might have seen brightly colored scales fade or even noticed your betta fish turning white.

If you’ve noticed a recent color change in your fishy friend, while your instant instinct might be worry, it’s not always a cause for concern. Many factors can cause color fading in betta fish, so if you’ve noticed your betta losing color, this guide can help you diagnose the cause and find the best cure.

About Betta Fish Color

There are several causes of color change in betta fish, and many of them are environmental. If you see an unexpected change in your pet, consider the following factors affecting their outer appearance and inner health.

Reasons Why Betta Fish Lose Their Color - JapaneseFightingFish.org

Stress

Stress is the most common reason that aquarium owners will see betta fish losing color.

Bettas are very temperature sensitive and don’t respond well to temperature change, a common cause of stress. They also need a spacious territory to thrive in, so a heated five-gallon tank is a must for a happy fish free from environmental stresses.

A steady routine is another way to keep your betta calm and well adjusted, and this includes regular feeding times, a clean tank, and a carnivorous diet.

Age

As they grow older, bettas naturally age and lose color. The lifespan of a well-cared-for betta is about five years, so if your fish has been with you for some time and has started losing color, it might be part of the natural aging process. Age-related color fading can begin as early as two years of age in some bettas, but reducing stress can help.

Illness

While not all color change is inherently dangerous, various sicknesses and diseases do cause color change in bettas.

Fortunately, many of these are easy to spot because you will most frequently see your betta fish turning white. Some diseases can cause other color changes and you should familiarize yourself with these, but fins or scales turning white is almost always a sign that something is wrong.

Injury

When a betta fish heals from an illness or injury, sometimes the affected body part can grow back darker or differently colored. This is a natural part of healing and nothing to worry about. It just means your fish is on the mend.

Why Is My Betta Fish Turning Black?

Some betta owners notice their fish growing darker in color or their naturally bright color fading to black. This is often a sign that the fish is maturing and is usually nothing to worry about.

Marbled bettas frequently go through color changes and darkening that are part of their appeal. However, if you notice your betta turning black unexpectedly, always watch its behavior closely for any signs of illness and stress, just to make sure the change isn’t related to something else.

Why Is My Betta Fish Turning White?

Marbled bettas aside, a betta fish turning white is usually a sign of an underlying problem. If you don’t own a marbled betta, color fading to white should be taken seriously.

The most common causes of this kind of color loss are disease and improper care. If you see your betta fish turning white, monitor your fish closely for other symptoms. This can help you identify the following conditions and treat the problem as soon as possible.

Fin Rot

If you notice just your betta’s fins turning white, it could be a symptom of fin rot. Look for damage to the fins or a frayed appearance if you suspect this disease. Fin rot can be treated if you act fast, but it can also spread to the body and cause permanent damage to your betta’s fins.

Ich / ick

A betta fish turning white could potentially be suffering from ich. This parasitic malady attacks a betta’s skin and often causes white spots to appear.

Other symptoms include lack of energy, loss of appetite, and rubbing against objects in the tank to dislodge their unwanted visitor. Poor itchy fish. This video explains what to look for in rubbing behavior and how to identify the cause.

Columnaris

Columnaris is a bacterial infection in bettas that can cause white spots, ulcers, frayed fins and other nasty symptoms. If the betta fish turning white also starts developing a slightly fluffy appearance, it could sign this infection.

Once identified, this illness is easy to treat with a supplement you can add to their food. We like BettaFix antifungal and antibacterial treatment for an affordable solution that heals ulcers and restores healthy scales.

How To Make My Betta Fish More Colorful

If you’ve checked for sickness and disease and you’re still left asking why is my betta fish turning white, it might be time to revisit your betta’s tank environment.

No one wants to see a poor stressed betta fish turning white, so review the following tips to give your betta the very best conditions and make sure you are helping it thrive. A solid routine and healthy diet can even help your betta to grow more colorful than ever.

Tank

Although bettas are considered a low-maintenance fish by some, the truth is they can be once they have been given an ideal environment that will help them thrive. A tank that is too small or too crowded will have many adverse health effects.

At least five gallons for a single betta is ideal, and a filter helps keep the water cleaner for longer. Plants also act as a natural filter, help reduce toxins in the water, and give your betta a comfortable place to rest.

Temperature

Bettas do have an ideal temperature they like to live in, and it’s fairly warm. Room temperature often won’t cut it. If you see your betta losing color, invest in a heated tank to keep the tank a toasty 78 to 82 degrees for a happy, healthy fish.

Diet

If your betta is already healthy, and you want to unlock its full color potential, color enhancing diets can bring about the most dramatic results.

Bettas are natural carnivores, so looking for foods high in protein, including brine shrimp or salmon to their diet is an easy way to bring out their natural beauty and prevent them from losing color.

Taking care of a betta can be challenging but watching them grow vibrant and colorful is a truly rewarding experience. A sick betta fish turning white can be a scary experience, but with treatments like BettaFix widely available, you have the power to keep your fish at its fighting best.

Deep and bright colors are as simple as a clean and healthy tank and high-quality foods as part of a healthy carnivorous diet. And as always, we are here to answer aquarium questions and help keep your betta beautiful.

Tips For A Colorful Betta

  • Filtered 5-gallon tank
  • 78-82 degrees heated
  • Watch for rubbing behavior or damaged skin
  • Treat illnesses quickly and appropriately
  • Supplement a carnivorous diet with naturally pigment-rich foods
Why Do Betta Fish Change Color - JapaneseFightingFish.org

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