Why Is My Betta Fish Turning White?


Bettas are beautiful, but they need constant care. Fish owners and enthusiasts share their concern for their fish’s health when they notice, “Why is my Betta fish turning white?”

The question is, what are the reasons for this? And how are we going to solve it? In this post, we will address these questions and provide you with some tips on preventing your Betta from turning white in the first place! Let’s find out!

Why Is My Betta Fish Turning White?

There are several reasons why your betta fish may turn white.

1. Stress

Stress is the most prevalent cause of Betta fish changing and losing their colors. There are several sources of stress, including:

  • Water temperature swings
  • A squeezing tank
  • A filthy tank
  • Inadequate filtering and erratic water changes
  • An unsuitable diet and overfeeding
  • Unsuitable or violent tank mates

Bettas need a lot of love and attention to be happy. They are intelligent fish, so if you don’t provide them with enough decoration or lush planting, they will become stressed out – which can cause significant problems for your Betta!

2. Illness

There are some causes why your Betta fish may start to become white, and all of them suggest health issues:

  • Anchor worms

An anchor worm is an external parasite that can create white spots on your Betta fish. These worms attach themselves to the skin behind the scales of fish. It creates an illusion like there are areas without color.

You should remove these parasites with anchor worm medicine. This gentle treatment will not break the fish’s delicate skin barrier and ensure your betta’s health.

  • Ich (White Spot Disease)

Betta fish are often subject to Ich, a pesky parasite that can cause your betta’s body and fins to look like sprinkling sugar or salt crystals. Ich appears in the tank due to poor water quality. Treating it will take multiple treatments because these parasites have a long life cycle.

  • Fungal infections

Fungal diseases might cause white areas on your fish’s gills, fins, and body. They are most commonly found on the fins and around the mouth. Both fin and mouth rot are fungal illnesses.

Fin rot is a frequent condition in aquarium fish. Bacteria cause the condition which causes the fish’s fins to become white around the margins and produce a ragged, split look.

You can treat it with antifungal medicines. It would help if you cured this sickness as soon as possible to avoid it from spreading to the betta’s body or causing lasting fins damage.

  • Columnaris

Columnaris is another illness that causes white spots on fish and is also known as Cotton Wool sickness. The Columnaris is a bacterial illness that requires antibiotics or antibacterial treatment.

In contrast to fungal diseases, which normally appear as hairy patches or white, decaying margins on fins, this illness appears on the body in white, mold-like areas. It can sometimes cause infection to spread throughout fish bodies, making them sicker. However, this type does not appear very often in Bettas.

3. Changing environment

As soon as a new betta is introduced to a new aquarium, he often loses its vibrant colors. This problem is highly common and usual due to the changing environment.

The betta has most likely created a territory in their tank or box at your local fish store. When they are separated from their old surroundings and relocated to the new home, the stress might cause the betta to change color.

By turning off the tank lights for a few hours, you can reduce the impacts of stress. However, when the betta settles in and rebuilds their domain, the colors should return to normal, generally within a few days.

4. Age

Betta fish gradually fade color as they mature. They have a lifetime of around five years, so you should expect the colors to fade if your pet reaches that age. Especially if a fish lives in a stressful environment, fading can begin as young as two years old.

What Can I Do About It?

There are several methods to improve the issue!

  • Don’t overstock your tank

Adopting male betta with many potential tank mates is not good. Unfortunately, overstocking can result in terrible news for your Betta fish.

Bettas are highly territorial. They will not accept excessive interference into their territory. So, it would be advantageous if you had a big, densely planted tank that has been meticulously aquascaped to create clearly defined areas for your betta to claim.

If you overcrowd your betta’s tank, fish risk provoking conflicts and even fights. Your betta may suffer from stress, and their colors may fade as a result.

When stocking fish into a tank, utilize the one inch of fish per one gallon of water ratio as a guideline. Remember that most of the fish you buy will most likely be juveniles, so verify the fish’s mature size to ensure fish don’t overcrowd.

  • Perform regular water changes

As mentioned above, the primary cause of your Betta fish becoming white is poor water quality. Performing regular water changes is critical to the health and survival of your Betta fish.

Although the filtration system will remove nitrates and ammonia, it cannot eliminate (100%) all of them. To do this, you must change 15% to 20% of the water per week.

In general, the smaller the aquarium, the more frequently you have to change the water. If you have a big aquarium that isn’t overcrowded, you may do a 30% water change per two weeks.

Use an aquarium vacuum to take fish waste, decaying plant debris, or uneaten food beneath decorations and around plant bases while changing the water. This process will keep organic stuff from degrading and contaminating the water.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed our explanation and tips on solving “Why is my Betta fish turning white?”. Please remember to share if you find this beneficial!

Besides, if you think your pet might have an infection or parasite, it would be wise to consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible to avoid any permanent damage.

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