Betta Fish Losing Color (Turning Black/White) Cure Included

Is your betta fish losing color? Perhaps they’re turning black or white, or just fading. Whatever’s happening to your betta, you’re going to want to find a solution! In this article, you’re going to find out all the reasons your betta is losing color.

And don’t be too alarmed just yet, in a lot of cases, it’s perfectly normal!

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Why Is Your Betta Fish Losing Color?

There are a number of reasons your betta could be losing color. Therefore knowing the different causes of color change can often lead to the correct solution!

So here are some of the main reasons.


One of the most common reasons your betta may start to lose color is due to stress. Bettas aren’t as hardy as some people think. They need a 5 gallon heated and filtered tank to live happily (Find out the best 5-gallon tanks for bettas).

As well as this, they need to be fed regularly as well as having their water cleaned regularly, and lastly, fed a carnivorous diet. (Check out the best food and live food for bettas!)

If you’re not doing this then your bettas body is going to become stressed and their color is likely to fade.

They’re Getting Old

As your betta starts to enter his twilight years, it’s also a lot more likely that his color will fade.

Generally, a betta is going to live for a maximum of 5 years, so if your betta is beginning to get closer to the 5-year mark he may begin to lose some color.

And in fact, they don’t even need to be that close to 5. A bettas color can begin to deteriorate as early as 2 years old. So if you’re sure it’s not stressed, then it could be a natural part of their aging.


As well as getting old or being stressed, the color change can also be brought about by disease. Most of the time this color change will be to white, however, the white could vary depending on the disease.

For example, if your betta is suffering from velvet they may begin to look more gold-like. And if they’re suffering from ich you’ll notice white spots.

They’ve Been Injured

Sometimes, your betta may lose their color after they’ve been injured. For example, if they’ve suffered from fin rot, when their fins grow back, the color may be lighter or darker.

In these circumstances, it’s perfectly natural and nothing to worry about!

(Have you ever wondered how long your betta can live for?)

Turquoise Betta

What About Marble Betta Color Change?

If you have a marble betta then you may notice that their color is changing too. As long as you’re sure that it’s not being caused by any of the problems above then don’t worry.

Marble bettas rarely stay the same color their whole lives and they often end up changing colors multiple times throughout. And in fact, the same is true for normal bettas as well. However, the color change isn’t as often.

When I bought my betta he was completely black, now his fins have started turning white!

Why Is Your Betta Turning Black?

On the subject of black bettas, should you worry if your betta is turning black?

If they’re only turning black and aren’t showing any other signs or symptoms of illness and stress I wouldn’t worry. As previously mentioned, bettas changing color is perfectly normal, especially if you have a marble betta.

However, if your betta is showing signs of sickness or stress such as lethargy, hiding, and not eating, you should thoroughly check him and make sure he’s not suffering from something.

Why Is Your Betta Fish Turning White?

A betta fish turning white is often much more of a problem than one who’s turning black. If you notice your betta fish is turning white, you should make sure it’s not any of the following


One reason they may be turning white is due to columnaris. Columnaris is a bacterial infection that will cause white spots that sometimes look fluffy to appear on your betta.

As well as white spots you may also notice their fins are fraying, ulcers, and sores on their body.

If you think your betta is suffering from columnaris then check out this article to learn everything you need to know to fix it!

Anchor Worms

Your betta may also be suffering from anchor worms. Anchor worms are small worms that can vary in color, but are often white.

Other signs that your betta is suffering from anchor worms are lethargic behavior, rubbing and scraping, ulcers, and sores, and breathing difficulties.

Fortunately, though, anchor worms are extremely rare in aquarium fish. If you want to find out more about anchor worms, then check out this article!


If your betta is suffering from ich, you’ll notice white spots on them a well. These white spots are caused when the parasite “Ichthyopthirius multifiliis” infects your bettas skin

As well as white spots you’ll also notice that your betta has a lack of appetite, lethargy and their rubbing on things in the tank (in an attempt to remove the parasite).

If you think your betta is suffering from ich you can find out more about it here.


Stress has been brought up already, however, don’t underestimate how much it can affect your betta.

If your betta is quite pale naturally and they become stressed, they can easily begin to look white.

So make sure you’re keeping your betta happy and stress-free. If you think your betta is stressed you can find out how to treat them here.

Fin Rot

If you notice the change in color is only appearing on your betta’s fins then they may be suffering from fin rot.

This will be even more apparent if the fins look frayed or damaged. If you think it’s fin rot, you should act immediately to prevent further damage.

When fin rot is left untreated it turns into body rot. At this stage, it’s going to be extremely hard to save your betta’s fins!

Learn more about fin rot.

How Can You Improve Your Bettas Color?

Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can improve your bettas color. However, remember, if their color is changing naturally, there’s nothing you’re going to be able to do to stop it.

But if it is being caused by external factors, here are a few things you can do.

Improve Water Quality

One of the best solutions to most of your bettas problems is too improve the water quality. And there are a number of ways you can do this.

Make Sure The Tank Is Big Enough

The first thing you’re going to want to do is to make sure that you’ve got your betta in a tank that’s at least 5 gallons.

The reason big tanks are better is that it takes longer for the water parameters to change. The easiest way to think of this is that 1 gallon of water will go colder a lot quicker than 10 gallons of water.

However, that’s not the only reason. Check out all the reasons you should keep your betta in a tank that’s a minimum size of 5 gallons.

Make Sure They Have A Heater And Filter

You also want to make sure that they have a filter and heater. Both of which are necessary for betta fish as they’re tropical fish! Contrary to popular belief they can’t survive very long in a bowl of water.

And even if they do, they’re going to be extremely unhealthy and unhappy.

Perform Regular Water Changes

You should change your betta’s water frequently. The amount you’ll need to change depends on how big your tank is. I have a 10-gallon tank and I find changing 30% of the water every 2 weeks is enough.

However, if the tank is smaller you’ll need to do it more frequently. And if it’s bigger, you won’t have to change it as often.

Feed Them Color Enhancing Food

As well as making sure the water quality is good you should also make sure you’re feeding them food that will enhance their color. Here are some great choices.


Salmon is one of the most common foods used to improve a betta’s color. However, remember, you shouldn’t use salmon too much.

It’s quite rich for bettas and it should only be fed to them a couple of times per week. If you’re going to feed your betta salmon, you can either choose to cut it into tiny pieces for them. Or buy fish food containing it!


Daphnia is another great choice if you want to give your betta some more color. Along with other types of crustaceans, daphnia is a great source of carotenoid pigments, which are the pigments that can affect your bettas color!

Find out more about daphnia for bettas.

Use High-Quality Food

When you’re feeding your betta, you should also make sure you’re feeding them high-quality food. If you’ve paid for cheap fish food, you’re going to be giving your fish cheap nutrition. Sometimes it’s better to pay a little bit more for a premium brand.

Don’t Overstock Your Tank

And lastly, make sure you’re not overstocking your tank. It can be very easy when you’ve got a big tank to add too many fish. After all, there are so many great ones to choose from.

You should be following the rule of 1 gallon of water per inch of fish. But remember to read about the individual need of each fish before you purchase them.

Betta fish care can be challenging if you have no idea where to start. Click here to read a complete Betta fish care guide!

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As you can see, there are lots of reasons that can cause your betta to lose color. Here are some of the main points to remember.

  • Your betta may be losing color due to stress, old age, injury, and illness.
  • Bettas can also lose color naturally, especially if they have the marble gene.
  • If your betta is turning black you shouldn’t worry too much, unless they’re showing other signs of illness.
  • Your betta turning white could be caused by columnaris, anchor worms, ich, stress, and fin rot.
  • you can improve your bettas color by making the water quality better, feeding them foods that promote vibrant colors, and not overstocking your tank.

If you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website! And if you have any more questions you can ask them in the Q&A Section!