5 Reasons Why do Fish Change Colors (According Experts)

5 Reasons Why do Fish Change Colors (According Experts)


fish that changes color

Color Changes are a very Common thing When it comes to live-bearing Fish. It’s a Quite interesting thing to know Why your fish color changes? or your fish have colored spots on the skin like dalmatian dogs. It’s good to know under what conditions your fish can lose its original colors.

According to experts, there are 5 Reasons For Color changes, Let me tell you all one by one.

Reasons Behind Fish Color Changes

There are many People Talking on online communities about fish color changes. But I have done a Survey and interviewed some expert and Fish hobbyists for more than 10 years’ experience. After that, I gathered some Hard-Coded reasons Behind color changes. The number of reasons is Listed below.

  1. Histology of Fish Body
  2. Fish Food
  3. Water Parameters
  4. Aquarium Lighting
  5. Diseases

Histology of Fish Body

Now Dig In, I will share some Things that will know what is actually going to happen inside the fish body. This Fact will tell you why fish change its colors slowly and Rapidly?

Firstly, Slow colors Changes Happen, when it comes to the Birthing Growth from Larva into individual. This is the slow process of converting a specimen into complete body. In Initial stages, they have no prominent colors. They have fade ones. When the time is passing With the Age they are changing its original colors, which are genetically inherited from parents.

Secondly, Rapid color changes are due to Stress or Aggression. Some Fisher Man also see when a fish caught into a hook. They show rapid color change in it.

Finally another Reason behind the colors change is these two types of cells that are present on the upper layer of a fish skin. First one are “Chromatophores” and secondly “Iridocytes”

Fish Food

By common Sence, Fish Feed has no effects on your fish colors but it has drastic effects on your fish health. But Feeding Low Quality for a long time can have GREAT effects on your fish colors. Food is not directly concerned with fish coloring but Continuous dose of crappy food leads to Bad health. When your fish will fall ill. It will start loosing its good colors. She will look Dull or dumb. I am using Branded foods like TetraColor Tropical Flakes with Natural Color Enhancer.

Water Parameters

Water is Something that may lead to the death of your Sweet Pet. In case of any live bearing fish. Water plays an important role as food and oxygen for life. If they are not provided with quality water (WELL maintained Ph and temperature) the color of your fish maybe turn into Pale or light colors. The nature of water and PH must be alkaline. The percentage of Ammonia must be Zero. Nitrites and nitrates must be 20ppm. The water changes must be done on a weekly basis. The water temperature should be 28-degree Celcius. Use the Right Aquarium Heater for this Purpose.

Aquarium Lighting

It’s another factor that needs your eagle eye attention. Choose your Aquarium Lights very wisely. Let me tell you how it affects your fish colors. I have compiled a complete Guide on Best Aquarium Lighting for Fish Color. In most of cases, all Freshwater fish Shows Colors in just a small amount of light.More bright colors of light used To promote fish colors. They get shining or shimmering, when they are kept in Bright lights with 10,000k intensity. You will get More Blue Or Dark shades. On the warmer Colors, Fishes Lose its original colors or They may get fade or Dim. The Light That are used to loose fish colors having 6800k to 8000k of intensity. These lights Promotes Yellow, Red, Browns and Greens. So always make Wise Selection While Setting up lights on the fish tanks in right direction and placement.’


It is not natural thing that a fish might change its colors or get dim or fade colors or may be have some dark ones. There is ultimate reason behind them. Carrying a disease is one of them. For example if your gold fish is changing its color and turning into black. That is suffering from fin rot that turns the fins into black. It is Most Common Thing In Goldfish and Koi.


Why do betta fish change colors?

There are plenty of reasons behind betta fish Changing colors.  The main Reasons for Betta Fish losing Color Are Aging, Illness, Stress or Multi color or Marblation. We have Discussed above stress illness or aging. Marble colors are due to mutation in genes. The Gene name is Jumping gene that transfers from one parent to other. Movement of these genes in chromosomes Results in Color change.

Why do Goldfish change colors?

Some people claimed that our goldfish turning white or getting dark black colors. I have Discussed above why goldfish fins turns to white. But When it comes to Goldfish Turning White That Is an interesting Story. Two Type Of Pigments or cells that we know are present on the skin that reacts to the different light wavelengths. With the Passage of time Your fish may loose color due to great exposure to light or due to having less light. Same what happens with plants in sunlight, Happens to goldfish In the light of Sun.

Why do Parrot fish change colors?

Researches has proved that parrot fish colours are more fade or dark with the age. In Case of blood parrots, They change colors when they grow old. The solid orange colored parrot fish changes into blotchy light color. And the list goes on. As they get mature they shows different range of colors.

Why do Oscar fish change colors?

When It Comes to Oscars, the main reason of color change is the color of substrate. When the Substrate color is dark they have more dark colors and vise versa. So Oscar are more sensitive to tank environment or surrounding. They React according them.

Final Words:

Fishes are the more beautiful and color full creatures on earth. Same like human beings they are responding towards environmental and genetic changes. If you wanna have a beautiful colored fish, Provide them with quality habitat and surroundings. If you have any other valid point, I am very glad know that. I appreciate your Positive response. Stay Tuned have a Happy Fish Keeping.

Flora is a Fish Parent & Enthusiast for over 10 Years. She has Deep Love & Affection for Fish Keeping. It's become her Passion to Help others. Stay Tuned with her Blog to Know more about Pet Care Tips, Product Reviews, and Guides. If you've anything Interesting to Share about your Fish. She'd Love to Know.