Losing color often happens naturally as your betta fish ages; once it gets to 4 or 5 years of age.
If you have a young betta fish whose color begins to fade then you need to try and find out why. Factors such as water temperature, stress and dietary issues can be to blame. If you can’t find an answer to the problem yourself, it’s worth speaking to a betta specialist.
Should a female betta fish change color?
Female betta fish are paler in color than males. Having said this, the color of female bettas does deepen during their first year. They often start out being very pale, only to attain a deeper, more vibrant, shade when they reach sexual maturity. This happens when they are around 7 – 8 months old.
The jumping genes of a marble betta
Marble bettas are noticeable for their patches of color which give their body a blotchy appearance. These fish have what is commonly referred to as a jumping gene. Put simply this means that genes can jump into another gene and stop it from performing its function.
For example, if there is a blue patch of color on a marble fish, a jumping gene can prevent the original gene from producing the blue color. That part of the fish then loses its pigment.
By their nature, jumping genes move. Once that jumping gene leaves the area, the blue pigment returns. Of course, this means that marble betta fish can change color quite often!
So, betta fish can change color. Sometimes this is a good thing – as deeper colors are a sign that they are happy in their environment – and sometimes it’s bad sign or a natural effect of age. And in the case of marble betta fish, it’s just a regular part of life.