Do Betta Fish Change Color? The Truth About What’s Going On



Betta fish are very unique in the world of fish. They have a prominent forehead, spiny fins, and an overall appearance that makes them unmistakable. Betta fish originates in Asia but has become popular all over the world as their cute personality and strange appearance make them very distinctive. These little guys are only suitable for a handful of aquarium setups, so it’s important to know what changes will your fish go through when you first take them home and plan to keep them for the long term. With their distinct coloration, change in color is one of the most obvious ways that rainbow betta fish show their emotional state. While many people assume that changing color is only a sign of fear or anxiety in the fish, it can also be used as an indicator of stress from various other factors as well. In this article, we describe each change in Color and its significance.

What’s Going On When Betta Fish Change Color?

Some species of betta fish change color in order to communicate with their owners. As a result, the curious human can learn a lot about their fish without even trying! Normally, betta fish is a silvery-white color, but when they are stressed, they will change color. So, we can say that they are emotional animals. There are many factors that can cause a betta fish to change color. Let’s take a look at some of them. 

The tank setup – Bettas are extremely sensitive to their environment, so the setup of the aquarium can affect the amount of color change. If the tank is too small, or the tank is set up incorrectly, the fish will experience a lot of stress and will change color. 

Certain types of foods – Certain types of foods have a colouring agent that causes the fish to change color when it ingests them. Certain types of colours are found in the plants that are used in aquarium setups, and these colours can get into the water and affect the betta fish. 

Diseases – Diseases in the betta fish can change the coloration of the fish as well. If the betta fish is sick, it will show changes in color to show that it is not feeling well.

Normal Betta Fish Coloration

Betta fish coloration starts from the moment you bring it home. Betta fish come in a variety of colors, and the first one you see will be the one that you get. White, black, and orange are the most common colors. Normal betta fish have a silver-grey body, orange or red fins, and a white belly. The fins are what make betta fish stand out and make them an easy animal to spot in a tank. There are no dark red betta fish and no blue betta fish. The only way to get rare colours is to breed them. Bettas can be of different colours at different ages due to the change in their hormones and genetics. However, most betta fish change colour when they are around 6 months of age.

Unwell Betta Fish Coloration

At this stage, you need to step in and get your fish some help. It is a good idea to take your fish to a vet as soon as you notice that your betta fish has changed color. In order to get your fish back to normal, the symptoms need to be treated as soon as possible. 

– The water in your tank needs to be treated – Change the water in the tank every day and add medications to the tank to treat the illness. 

– The disease needs to be treated – Add medications to kill the bacteria or fungus causing the illness. 

– The tank needs to be treated – Change the water in the tank every day and add medications to the tank to treat the illness. 

– The tank needs to be cleaned – Change the water in the tank every day and add medications to the tank to treat the illness.

Dying Betta Fish Coloration

This is usually a sign of a tragedy in the tank. However, it can also be a side effect of the medications that you are using to treat another illness in the tank. If your betta fish is dying in its coloration, it is a sign that something is wrong. Remove the fish from the tank and change the water and add medications to the tank. Ideally, you should try to remove the fish from the illness as soon as possible. In order to bring your betta fish back to normal again, the symptoms need to be treated as soon as possible. You can also try to breed your female betta fish again since dying female fish are more likely to produce male offspring. You can get a rare or new color by breeding your male betta fish with a female of the desired color.

Final Colour of a Fresh Betta Fish

Bettas can change color a lot and even multiple times in their lifetime. Some of them can even die from this colour change. Betta fish keep changing color, even after they die. Their skin turns darker and the rough scales start peeling off. This is how their skin is recycled and can be used again to grow new betta fish. However, this change in colour is permanent and while you will never get a silver-grey betta fish again, you will get a betta fish that has a very dark color. The final colour of your betta fish will depend on a few factors. The most important factor is the pH level of the water. The pH level of the water will affect the final colour of the betta fish. You can check the pH level of the water by touching a pH strip on the surface of the water in the tank. A pH level below 7 is acidic, and a pH level higher than 8 is alkaline.


Which Colors Are Associated with which Behaviour?

– White betta fish are friendly and get along well with other fish in the tank. 

– Black betta fish are aggressive and have the reputation of being particularly territorial. 

– Orange betta fish are the most friendly, and they are also likely to change colour when scared or when they are excited. 

Tank Setup and Other Factors That Can Cause Color Changes in Bettas

Betta fish are extremely sensitive to their environment, and having a setup that works well for one tank can cause problems for another tank. The tank setup can include the type of tank, the temperature, the amount of light, the water quality, and the amount of food for the fish. A bad setup can cause a lot of problems for your betta fish. They can experience tank mates that are too aggressive, disease, stunted growth, and even death! A bad tank setup can also cause colour change in a betta fish. The water is too hard, too soft, or has a high pH level, a bacterial or fungus infection, or ammonia present in the water.


Betta fish are very interesting and interesting pets. They can be kept in small tanks, and they are very colorful. However, they are very sensitive, and if you don’t set up the tank properly, they can change colour. So, it is very important to set up the tank properly.


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