Why Did My Betta Fish Turn White

Why Did My Betta Fish Turn White

Siamese fighting fish (Betta Slendens) or, in short, Betta is a fresh water fish. The fish is the most loved aquarium due to its different colors and less care.

However, they are more prone to color change which fades their beauty. And the most common question people have is, why did my betta fish turn white?

The genus betta is available in around 73 species. But surprisingly, only Betta Splendens species are the most popular in many homes, best used as pets.

Selective breeding history has made the fish coloration and finnage variety, becoming more popular. They have been domesticated for around 1000 years.

Many homeowners also ask why is betta fish losing color? The answer is there are various causes that we will look at. Additionally, you’ll end up with the solution to retain your fish friends’ color.

Why Did My Betta Fish Turn White

Aquarium, Fish, Pet, Betta

There are four reasons betta fish turn white. Although some are natural, others result from the external environment. As such, you can fix them and retain the fish’s beauty. Let’s dive in;

  • They are stressed
  • They are aging
  • They are infected
  • They have sustained injuries

They are Stressed

Betta fish are very sensitive to the environment. And the main sign is becoming stressful. Once they are stressed, you’ll notice white patches on their fins or the whole body.

Conditions like temperature change can bring about stress. For instance, if you don’t have a good water heater, the temperature will drastically decrease, and the fish will turn white.

Secondly, a lack of a proper diet can bring about stress. Betta fish regularly need a carnivorous diet to stay healthy.

Third, they need well-filtered water and a spacious tank. If all these conditions are not met, the betas will be stressed and turn from their original color to white.

They are Aging

The average lifespan of betta fish is five years. However, a full lifespan is determined by feeding them a healthy diet and meeting all other requirements.

If the betta fish are kept in unhealthy conditions, you may notice the aging signs after only two years. Unfortunately, if the white color results from aging, it cannot be fixed.

They are Infected

Certain diseases and infections can lead to discoloration of betta fish. Infections like worms and parasites are notorious for causing white color in betta fish. Many people ask why is my blue betta fish turning white?

Read: Giant betta fish lifespan

Fish, Betta Fish, Blue Fish, Animal

Here are some of the infections that lead to this unfortunate condition;

  • Fin rot – the fins look damaged with white patches. In some cases, they can turn purely white. If this disease is not treated earlier, it can rot the whole betta body. Fin and body cure powder medication can cure the infection if noticed early.
  • Ich – the infection is caused by a parasite known as Ichtyopthirius Multifiliis that settles around the skin. Usually, you’ll notice the fish are losing appetite and rubbing against the tank walls or other objects.
  • Anchor worms – are small worms in various colors that infect the external body. Normally, you’ll notice your betta fish rubbing against the tank walls. Secondly, you may see soles on their bodies.
  • Columnaris – It’s a bacteria that causes white patches on the betta fish body. Moreover, it can cause frayed fins and ulcers. Antifungal and antibacterial supplements like Bettafix added to food can treat columnaris infections.
  • They Have Sustained Injuries– Betta fish are highly territorial. As such, males are well known for fighting if kept in the same tank. On the other hand, females can attack each other too. After the fights, the results are injuries or even deaths. If they sustain injuries, you’ll notice the white color on the body due to stress and a sign of healing too.

Secondly, if the fish have been treated for infections like fin rot, the fins may remain white for some period as the healing process continues.

Fish, Underwater, Red, Betta, Black Fish

How to Retain Betta Fish Color

  • Invest in a Big Tank

High volume fish water tank will retain the water for long without parameter changes. For instance, water in a one-gallon tank will cool faster than in a five-gallon tank.

  • A Good Heater and Filter

Betta fish need well-heated and filtered water to live freely without stress. You need to regularly inspect your heating system to ensure the fish live in good condition.

Read: How to euthanize a fish with baking soda

  • Cleaning the Tank and Regular Water Change

You need to clean the tank and change the water after 10 days to 2 weeks. If you use a smaller tank, you’ll have to carry out the exercise regularly.

  • Healthy Betta Diet

Foods like salmon and daphnia contain carotenoid pigments that retain betta fish color. You can consider cutting them into tiny pieces or buying ready foods.

  • Avoid Overstocking the Tank

Use the rule of one water gallon per inch of fish to ensure the tank is not overstocked. The betta fish will be free of stress and feed without congestion.

Read: How to dechlorinate tap water for betta fish

FAQs on Betta Fish Color

What Are Signs that a Betta Fish is Dying?

The main sign that reveals that your betta fish is about to die is the discoloration of the whole body. You’ll often notice the body turning white or with brown spots. Additionally, you’ll see shortening fins and strange swimming habits.

Will My Betta Regain its Color?

Changing of betta color immediately after being put into the aquarium is normal. If you have provided all the necessary conditions as discussed, you shouldn’t worry. Give the fish time to relax, and the normal color will return.

How Often Should You Change Betta Water?

You can change at least 20% of water after every 7 to 10 days assuming you’re running a water filter. Note betta fish needs more oxygen to stay healthy and comfortable.

Can I Pet My Betta Fish?

If you touch a betta fish, it may get afraid and respond by biting you. Also, touching it can affect the slime coating that protects it from infections. And to your surprise, you’ll notice betta fish turn white after a few days. It’s already infected. 

Read: Are baby bettas hard to take care of?


Fish Science: Fish Colouration

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