A Fading Act: Dealing with Betta Fish Losing Color (2024)

Is your betta fish losing color or turning white? It’s so sad to observe your vivid marble Betta turning a faded hue. One second, they’re healthy and colorful, the next, they seem like a phantasm of their previous selves! But, there’s no need to be concerned; there are a lot of steps you can take to help them get back their color. In this article, we’ll investigate the general causes of color loss in Betta fish, offer potential remedies, and advise how to stop it from occurring.

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What is Color Changing in Betta Fish?

What is Color Changing in Betta Fish?

Color Changing in Betta Fish

Betta may change color when the pigments in its scales, fins, and tails begin to fade or become mottled. This can be caused by various factors, such as age, heredity, sickness, diet, and stress. Additionally, the color of a Betta fish can vary depending on the water temperature and the amount of light they get periodically.

At its core, the color of Betta fish is determined by its genetics and typically stays the same over time. Nevertheless, it can modify due to environmental variables, for instance, the water temperature, the amount of light it receives, or the kind of food it’s fed. Moreover, some Betta fish may experience color alterations due to worry or an illness that can be challenging to identify without the help of a veterinary professional.

Common Causes of Betta Fish Losing Color

Common Causes of Betta Fish Losing Color

Common Causes of Betta Fish Losing Color

Betta fish can experience a fading of their colors due to various environmental or internal factors. An incorrect water temperature, dirty water, or no light are all environmental issues that can lead to the loss of vibrancy. Additionally, overcrowding can bring a host of problems, including stress and poor water quality, which can again lead to a fading of colors. Nutritional deficiencies and if you feed your betta an improper diet can also be the culprits of color loss. 

On the other hand, if the issue is more internal, such as disease, the culprit could be anything from bacterial or fungal infections to parasites. Even kidney or liver problems can cause the colors of a Betta fish to disappear.

Possible Solutions to Color Loss in Betta Fish

Possible Solutions to Color Loss in Betta Fish

Possible Solutions to Color Loss in Betta Fish

The first step to resolving color loss in Betta fish is determining the root cause. Suppose the issue is environmental, like the temperature, water quality, or insufficient lighting. In that case, the perfect solution is to adjust their habitat.

On the other hand, if the color loss is due to a bacterial or fungal infection such as white spots on their fins, antibiotics or antifungal medications are the way to go. Suppose the color loss is due to parasites or other types of infections. In that case, it’s best to use medicines targeting the problem. Lastly, if the color loss is a sign of a more severe health issue, like kidney or liver problems, it’s time to take the fish to the vet.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Color Loss in Betta Fish

Diagnosis and Treatment of Color Loss in Betta Fish

Diagnosis and Treatment of Color Loss in Betta Fish

Once the root of the color deficiency has been determined, a suitable treatment plan can be initiated. Suppose the color loss is due to environmental factors. In that case, the issue can be solved by providing the fish with the appropriate habitat. On the other hand, if the color loss is because of a bacterial or fungal infection, the fish should be treated with antibiotics or antifungal medications.

Suppose the discoloration of the fish is caused by parasites or diseases. In that case, they should be medicated with medications specifically designed to address these organisms or diseases. Additionally, if the color change signals a more severe health issue like kidney or liver malfunction, it would be best to take the fish to a vet for treatment.

Diet and Nutrition for Color Loss in Betta Fish

Diet and Nutrition for Color Loss in Betta Fish

Diet and Nutrition for Color Loss in Betta Fish

A balanced diet is necessary for your Betta fish to stay in top shape since inadequate nutrition can cause many health problems, like fading colors. To ensure your Betta fish are getting the sustenance they need, provide them with a high-quality, protein-packed diet that features frozen or live foods. Plus, notice your betta fish by adding omega-3 fatty acids to their diet can bolster the vibrancy of their colors. 

It’s also vital to ensure your Betta fish are getting enough light. Light helps them process the pigments in their fins, tails, and scales. If your Betta fish aren’t getting enough light, their colors may become dull.

Types of Color Loss in Betta Fish

Several types of color loss or color fading can occur in Betta fish, such as:

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Melanism in Betta fish is a condition where they have a surplus of melanin, which is the substance that gives them their coloring. This leads to an overall darker look, and it’s more frequent in fish caught in the wild rather than those bred commercially.

Melanism color Loss in Betta Fish

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Leucism Color Loss in Betta Fish


Leucism is a genetic abnormality that prevents certain regions of a fish’s body from obtaining any coloration, resulting in the appearance of white or faint patches on the body. However, the eyes of the fish retain their original hue.

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Albinism Color Loss in Betta Fish


Albinism is a genetic abnormality that completely inhibits the production of melanin, leading to a completely white fish with red eyes. These albinos are quite a rare sight in the wild but are a frequent occurrence when it comes to fish bred commercially.

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Chlorosis Color Loss in Betta Fish


Fish can suffer from chlorosis if their iron intake is too low, resulting in discoloration of the fins and body, which can take on a pale or yellowish hue. This is usually due to low water quality or a substandard diet.

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Erythroderma Color Loss in Betta Fish


When a fish is feeling the strain of stress or sickness, it may show in their appearance as a condition known as erythroderma. This can be caused by nasty water conditions, too many toxins, or a viral or bacterial infection. The usual symptom is the loss of color in the fins and body.

Tips for Preventing Color Loss in Betta Fish

Tips for Preventing Color Loss in Betta Fish

Tips for Preventing Color Loss in Betta Fish

To preserve the vibrancy in your Betta fish, giving your betta the perfect habitat is essential. This entails keeping the water temperature, purity, and lighting within the ideal range for the species and its tank mates. Furthermore, providing your Betta fish with a healthy, protein-laden diet and supplementing it with omega-3 fatty acids is also paramount.

Furthermore, you should also watch out for indicators of unease or disease, as these could lead to color loss. Some signs include sluggishness, loss of appetite, foggy eyes, or difficulty swimming. If you detect these signs, bring your fish to a vet immediately.

Stress and Color Loss in Betta Fish

Stress and Color Loss in Betta Fish

Stress and Color Loss in Betta Fish

Stress can cause your betta to lose its bright colors, which usually happens due to overcrowding, tainted aquarium water, or insufficient lighting. To help your fish maintain their vibrancy, ensure they have adequate space to swim, keep the water clean and toxin-free, and should provide enough light for their scales, fins, and tails to remain vibrant. If your fish appear stressed, it is vital to take action and reduce the stress levels in their habitat. This could involve giving them plenty of hiding places, performing more frequent water changes, or providing them with more light.

Breeding and Color Loss in Betta Fish

Breeding and Color Loss in Betta Fish

Breeding and Color Loss in Betta Fish

Betta fish breeding may involve a decline in hue due to genetic and ecological influences. Mutations, such as albinism and leucism, can bring about a shortage of pigmentation or white marks on the fish, which often become hereditary and passed down from parent to child.

In addition, adverse environmental conditions, comprising dismal water quality, high degrees of toxins, and bacterial or viral infections, can all decrease in color for Betta fish. These issues may be caused by overcrowding, inadequate diet, and inadequate water upkeep.

Furthermore, selective breeding can also result in a decline in color, white patches. To bring about particular hues and shades, breeders may choose fish with specific genetic traits and mate them together. This can eventually lead to a need for more diversity in coloration and patterns.

It bears mentioning that any discoloration can indicate sickness or an unhealthy state, so you must be vigilant, observe the fish for any other signs, and take steps if needed.


Losing the color of your Betta fish can be saddening, but it is essential to remember that there are ways to treat and prevent it. By creating the proper habitat for your Betta fish, giving them a high-quality diet, and making sure they have plenty of hiding spots, you can help guarantee their continuing health and vibrancy.

Additionally, observing your Betta fish for signs of distress or disease is necessary, as these can cause color loss. Take your fish to the vet immediately if you notice any warning signs.

For more information on fish keeping, such as product reviews, best-rated lists, how-to pose questions, and other related topics, check our website. If you have any queries or concerns about Betta fish color loss, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always more than willing to lend a hand!


Why is my Betta fish turning pale like white?

The most common cause of a Betta fish turning pale is poor water quality. Poor water quality can lead to a wide range of health problems, including discoloration of the Betta’s fins, scales, and body. This can lead to the fish becoming pale or even white. Make sure you are regularly testing the water parameters in the tank, such as pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. If any of these levels are off, you should take steps to rectify it. 
Another potential cause of a Betta fish turning pale could be improper nutrition. Bettas need a balanced diet that includes both plant-based and protein-based foods. If the Betta is not getting the proper nutrition, it can cause them to become pale or discolored. Make sure you are feeding your Betta a variety of foods in order to ensure they are getting all the essential nutrients they need. 
Finally, if the pale coloration is accompanied by a loss of appetite, it could be an indication of a more serious underlying illness. If this is the case, you should take your Betta to a vet for an examination and treatment. 

Why did my Betta fish lose its color?

First, let’s talk about the environment. Betta fish are often kept in small tanks or bowls, which means that the water conditions can become quickly polluted with waste. If the water quality is poor, it can cause your fish to lose its color. To prevent this from happening, make sure you do regular water changes and keep the tank clean. 
Another factor to consider is the fish’s diet. A Betta fish needs a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in order to remain healthy and vibrant. If your fish isn’t getting enough of these nutrients in its diet, it may lose its color. Try offering your Betta a variety of pellets and frozen foods to ensure it is getting all of the nutrients it needs. 
Finally, stress can also be a factor in color loss. Betta fish can get stressed out if they don’t have enough hiding spots or if there are too many tankmates. Make sure your tank is set up in a way that your Betta feels comfortable and secure. 

Why is my blue Betta’s color turning white?

The first possibility is that your Betta fish has just entered a stage of maturity. As Bettas age, their color can change from vibrant blues and reds to more neutral shades. This is quite normal and isn’t something to be concerned about. 
The second possibility is that your blue Betta is suffering from a condition known as “melanism”. This condition occurs when a Betta’s body produces too much melanin, the pigment responsible for the fish’s coloration. This can cause your Betta to turn a grayish-white color and is usually caused by stress or environmental factors. 
The third possibility is that your Betta has a bacterial infection. Bacterial infections can cause the fish to lose its color, as well as its appetite and energy levels. If you suspect this is the case, it’s important to take your Betta to the vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment. 
Finally, it could be that your Betta’s tank isn’t providing the right environment for them. For example, if the water temperature isn’t correct or there aren’t enough hiding places, stress can cause your fish to lose its color over time. 
If you’re concerned about why your blue Betta is turning white, it’s important to observe your fish closely and make sure they are getting the care they need.

Why Is My Betta Fish Turning Black?

The most common cause of Betta turning black is simply their natural coloration. Betta fish come in a variety of colors, and some of them naturally have black spots or stripes. If your fish has always had these dark patches, then it’s likely just part of their natural coloration and there’s nothing to worry about! 
However, if the black coloration has only recently appeared, then it could be a symptom of something else going on with your fish. It could be a sign of a bacterial infection, or even something more serious like an internal parasite. In any case, it’s best to take your fish to a vet to get it checked out and make sure everything is okay. 
Another possible cause of black coloration in a Betta fish is stress. Stress can cause a lot of physical symptoms in fish, including darkening or fading of the coloration. If you think your fish might be stressed, make sure to check the water parameters in your tank to make sure everything is balanced. You should also avoid handling your fish too much and make sure they’re getting plenty of rest. 
Finally, black coloration in Betta fish can also be caused by poor water quality or diet. Make sure you’re doing regular water changes in your tank and feeding your fish a balanced diet. If you’re not sure what kind of food to give them, talk to a local pet store or vet for advice. 

Why Is My Betta Fish Turning White (Losing Color)?

Reasons your Betta is losing color:
First off, it’s important to make sure that your Betta fish is getting the proper nutrition. A diet that is too low in protein can cause Bettas to lose their color. Make sure you’re feeding your fish high-quality, protein-rich food like bloodworms or brine shrimp. 
Second, it could be due to stress. Betta fish are very sensitive to changes in their environment, so any sudden change can cause them to lose their color. Check to make sure the water temperature, pH level, and other water parameters are all within the proper range for your Betta. Also, make sure that the tank isn’t overcrowded or has any other sources of stress for your fish. 
Third, it could be due to a disease or illness. If your Betta is losing its color and showing other signs of illness (such as lethargy, lack of appetite, or poor swimming), then it’s best to take it to a vet for a checkup. 

What About Marble Betta Color Change?

When it comes to marble Betta color change, it is important to understand that this type of fish does not naturally change its color. It is not uncommon for a marble Betta to appear to change color slightly due to lighting or water conditions, but the underlying hue will remain the same. 
If you want to see a dramatic change in the color of your marble Betta, you will need to provide them with special food that is specifically formulated to enhance their colors. These foods contain ingredients like astaxanthin and spirulina which can help bring out the vibrant colors of your fish. 
It is also important to note that you should never change the water temperature or pH level drastically as this can stress out the fish and cause it to lose its color. You should also avoid feeding your fish too much or too little as this can also affect their coloration. 
Finally, you should make sure to provide your marble Betta with plenty of places to hide and relax. This will help them feel more secure and make sure they stay in their most vibrant colors. 
So, if you want to see a dramatic change in the color of your marble Betta, be sure to give them plenty of special food and ensure they have a stable environment free from any drastic changes.

How to enhance the vibrant colors of a Betta fish even further?

There are several ways to enhance the vibrant colors of a Betta fish:
Provide a high-quality diet that is rich in pigments, such as frozen or live brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia.
Keep the water clean and well-maintained, as dirty water can dull the fish’s colors.
Provide plenty of hiding places and decorations in the tank, as Bettas are territorial fish and their vibrant colors are often more pronounced when they feel secure in their environment.
Provide proper lighting that mimics the natural light cycle of Bettas, as natural light can bring out their vibrant colors.
Consider adding aquarium salt to the water as it can bring out the fish’s colors.
It’s important to note that some fish will not change their color regardless of the environment or food, as coloration is genetic.

How Long Does It Take for Betta Fish to Regain Color?

It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for a Betta fish to regain its color. The specific amount of time it takes can depend on a variety of factors, such as the fish’s overall health, diet, and living conditions.
If a Betta fish has lost its color due to stress or poor water conditions, it should regain its color once those issues are addressed and the fish is placed in a healthy environment.
Improving the water quality, providing a proper diet, and creating a comfortable and secure environment for the fish can all help to promote color re-growth.
It’s important to note that some fish will not regain their color regardless of the environment or food, as coloration is genetic. Additionally, as Bettas are tropical fish, they need to be kept in the warm water of around 78-82 F, and it could take longer for them to regain their color if the temperature is not right.

Do Betta fish turn white when stressed?

Betta fish can turn pale or white when stressed, but it is not a common occurrence. Stress can cause a variety of physical changes in fish, including changes in color. Stress can be caused by a variety of factors, such as poor water quality, high levels of ammonia or nitrite, a lack of hiding places or oxygen, or aggressive tankmates.
There are other reasons why a Betta might turn pale or white, such as disease or illness, so it’s important to rule out any underlying health issues before assuming the fish is stressed.

How do you restore a Betta fish?

Improving water quality: Make sure the water in the tank is clean and well-maintained, with the appropriate levels of pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Perform a water change and use a water conditioner to remove chlorine and heavy metals.
Providing proper nutrition: Bettas require a high-quality diet that is rich in protein. Offer a variety of foods, such as frozen or live brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia.
Creating a comfortable and secure environment: Bettas are territorial fish and need plenty of hiding places and decorations in the tank to feel secure. Provide proper lighting that mimics the natural light cycle of Bettas. Bettas are tropical fish and require a water temperature of 78-82°F.
Identifying and treating any underlying health issues: If the fish is showing signs of illness, such as lethargy, lack of appetite, or difficulty swimming, consult a veterinarian or a professional fish keeper for diagnosis and treatment.


Aaron White

Senior Editor at FishyFishPet.com

I am a passionate writer for FishyFishPet, a website dedicated to helping fish pet owners of all levels learn about the best practices for caring for their aquatic companions. On our site, you’ll find a wealth of information on everything from choosing the right fish species to setting up a healthy and thriving tank ecosystem. Whether you’re just getting started with fish ownership or you’re an experienced aquarist looking to expand your knowledge, FishyFishPet has something for everyone. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you find our site helpful and informative.

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