• Now a quick glance at how a strain color is expected to change overtime:

  • Above is the map of  color changes in mature bettas. We people get lines, a pudgy belly and love handles as we get older (well, not me, but everyone else LOL). Bettas age beautifully, so we as betta lovers must allow them to not be so perfect as they get old. And love them just the same.

    Q: I have had my betta for about 2 weeks.  I have noticed that he is changing color on his fins from red to blue.  Is this normal??

    Question submitted by Kelly, Chicago - IL

    A: Do bettas sometimes change colors? The answer is YES. Most bettas will change color as they age, some strains more so than others, some very fast and some very gradually. I really wish you had described your betta's original color so that I would be able to better help you. I assume it is a pet store betta, in which case it is a "mutt" genetically speaking, the result of random breeding. Most of these bettas have a lot of washes and many are multicolors. Let us explore what can cause a betta to change color and let us also take a glance at different strains and how they can be expected to change color wise as the bettas mature.

    Let's start with why would a betta change color?

    Solid colored bettas: These bettas have only one color (red, or blue or yellow etc..) and usually do not change color much. As they grow older, they will get what we call "washes" (these are colors that appear on the fins usually at the base). Sometimes also dark pigment on their bodies.
    Multicolors: These have random colors on their bodies and change colors as they mature, usually the balance between the different colors may evolve. I suspect you have such a betta (consistent with the fact that you have a pet store betta and most pet store bettas are multis).
    Butterflies: These bettas will not only change in the same way as the solid bettas above, but also the tip of their fins will change. Some start with solid fins and then the tips turn white or clear (or black if it is a black BF pattern). The colored ban will also change as it may grow or shrink, be even or become uneven. Hence BFs may not stay the same as when you bought them.
    Marbles: Marbles are the most changing of all bettas. They change pattern throughout their lives, some turning darker, or lighter or going one way, then the next. A black marble may start solid black, then become piebald, then turn into a BF, then become blotched and then get less and less black until it is almost cellophane. This is an extreme example, but not an impossible scenario. It is impossible to predict what a marble betta will look like in a month. Some change more or faster than others.
    Diseases: some diseases will cause bettas to change colors. Usually they will turn pale, or have red sores, or even dark or red edges on their fins and tail (fin rot). Worry not, no disease I know causes a betta's fin to turn blue, so I am sure in your case this is just a pigmentation change. :))
    Methylene blue: Careful with it! If you put too much it may cause the fins of yellow bettas to turn blue LOL. (serious).
    Light colored fish: (Including Opaques, Yellows, Pastels). All light colored fish will get washes in their fins as they age. Washes are primarily red, or sometimes blue. I have seen yellow bettas get red pigment as they age (?????). Go figure. This is normal and unavoidable. Opaques tend to get washes very quickly and I have never seen, to date an opaque remain pure white. Light bettas also get dark pigment on their bodies.
    Blue and Greens: will get red washes as they get older :(
    Reds: may get dark heads & more black pigments on their bodies.
    Cambodians: will get more red on their bodies.
    Chocolates: These seem to be the most stable color wise. Why? Well, because their bodies are dark, so more dark pigment will not show. Their fins are yellow (non-red) so red washes are near impossible. So they stay fairly stable color wise throughout their life.
    Black Melanos: May get red washes as they age
    Fertile blacks: May get red washes, and some marbling in their heads as they age.
    BFs: May become BF or lose their BF pattern. Usually the pattern will only becomes more predominant, but it may expend to not look even anymore. Some may turn into marbles.
    Marbles: all bets are off, anything goes LOL.
    Multicolors: May get red washes, dark pigment, or changes in overall coloration, possibly even marbling in head area. This would be the less predictable of solid colored bettas, as they are often the results of weird crosses and carry genes they do not show.

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