Pink Betta fish

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With their bright colors and spectacular fins, bed fish are one of the most popular tropical freshwater aquarium fish in the hobby. Bettas come in a remarkable range of bright colors, including red, blue, purple, gold, black, white, and multicolor. But have you ever seen a light pink betta?

Real pink bettas are not a common sight, although you can buy them from some specialist online retailers and you will never see a wild pink betta! Pink fish are produced by special breeding, and this spectacular coloration is no coincidence.

However, there are some instances where you might come across a pink bedfish that is genetically not a pink fish at all.

Pink bettas

You can find pink bettas in many shapes such as poster, crescent moon, marble, and crow’s tail, but these creatures are rare.

Although you will rarely find a genetically pink betta at your local fish shop, you may come across some fish that appear pink.

Albino Bettas

An albino Betta fish has no pigmentation whatsoever. These fish have clear to whitish colored scales and fins and their eyes are pink or red. You can even vaguely see the fish’s organs and muscles through its scales, giving the fish an overall pink appearance.

Wild albino animals have a massive disadvantage compared to their normally colored relatives. Not only is an albino fish more susceptible to attack by predators, but the UV light the fish is exposed to can cause cancer and blindness.

Unfortunately, albino bettas also usually have multiple health problems and other mutations. Because of this, albino fish are not purposely bred, and those that appear rarely survive long.

Clear or cellophane bettas

Clear or cellophane betta fish have white or translucent scales so that the viewer can see the internal organs and muscles of the fish under the scales. This gives the fish a pink sheen in certain lights. The fins are generally opaque or clear and can be pink in color.

Unlike albino bettas, these types have black eyes and their color depends on genetics and selective breeding, rather than any underlying abnormality.

White Bettas

White bettas can sometimes look pinkish red under certain aquarium lighting, although a truly white betta should definitely be white.


Cambodian betta are beautiful two-tone fish with a pale pink or white body and a deep red finn. This betta color morph was once very common, but nowadays they are not that popular which is a shame as they are really nice pink betta fish.

Female betta fish

Often female bettas appear whitish-pink more often than male bettas. Of course, if you keep a couple of pink females and one pink male, there is a good chance you can breed pink offspring.

However, Betta genetics often rule this out and thwart breeders’ attempts by creating unexpected coloring in batches of roasts. That makes breeding Bettas a fascinating and often surprising hobby.

Why did my betta turn pink?

Aside from being a naturally pink color, or appearing pink as described above, there are other reasons a Betta fish might be pink.

Immature Betta fish

When you buy a juvenile Betta fish, it can change color as it ages. In general, fry get darker and reach breeding conditions with age. Betta fish usually reach sexual maturity long before they are fully grown. So your pale pink baby Betta might turn out to be red when he’s older.

However, it is very unusual to find a betta fish in a fish shop that has not yet gone through color transformation, although it can happen. So don’t be alarmed if your beautiful pale pink Betta fish gradually turns a deeper shade of red.

Senior Betta Fish

Just as people turn gray as they age, something similar happens to aging Betta fish.

It is very common for a betta’s bright, bold color to fade as it enters its stage of life in old age. Often times, the fading process begins with the betta ‘s fins, which gradually spread over his head and then all over his body.

So if you started with a bright red betta fish, you may end up with a pink fish near the end of its six year lifespan.

Ill Betta!

In many species of fish, including betta, it is very common for sick fish to change color and usually paler as the disease progresses.

There are many diseases that can cause your bed fish to fade from a bright red color to a pink hue. Bacterial and fungal infections are typical culprits in causing Bettas to lose their color. So, if you have a young fish that is starting to fade, watch out for other symptoms of the disease and treat your fish accordingly.

Stressed Betta

If something scares you half to death, you turn pale. Well, your Betta buddy reacts similarly when he’s stressed out. When betta fish are stressed, they can temporarily lose some of their colors and fade from bright purple to a washed out pink. Once the cause of the stress is removed, the fish will usually return to their normal healthy color.

Stress can be fatal to fish as it weakens the fish’s immune system and leaves them open to disease and attack by parasites. So, if you think your fish is stressed out, you need to find out why and resolve the problem quickly.

Striped betta betta

On the subject of stress; Have you ever stood in the fish shop and admired a beautiful striped betta fish? Well, these impressive racing streaks are unfortunately not a good thing for your fishy friend as they are actually stress streaks.

Stress streaks generally appear in a horizontal pattern along the sides of your fish, usually from the gills to the tail. The stripes can be black, red, white or a combination of these colors and are more clearly seen on female betta or the poster betta of both sexes.

If your Betta fish has streaks, you need to find out why your fishy friend is feeling stressed and do something to correct the situation ASAP:


It could just be that you just bought your Betta from the fish shop and introduced them to your aquarium. In this case, your fish should settle in within a week or two and the streaks will gradually disappear.

Bad water conditions

A very common cause of stress in bettas is poor water conditions. Bettas are very sensitive to the water conditions in their tank. If the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels in the water get too high, your betta becomes stressed and can develop stress marks.

Test your aquarium water every week to make sure the ammonia and nitrite levels are zero. Nitrates can be 20 parts per million (ppm), preferably less. Thoroughly clean your Betta tank every week by vacuuming the subsurface, maintaining the filters and performing a 20% partial water change.

As soon as the area around the betta has been cleaned and the water parameters are correct, it will gradually turn its color again.

Unsuitable water temperature

Bettas are not only sensitive to water chemistry, but they can also be very stressed if the temperature in the tank is too warm or too cold.

Bettas are tropical fish that require water temperatures between 78 ° F and 80 ° F to be happy and comfortable. If the water is too cold, your betta will slow down its metabolism, causing digestive problems and other disorders, including stress. Overly warm water is stressful for your Betta buddy too.

If your fish goes from a bright purple to a washed out pink, check to see if the water temperature in its aquarium is appropriate. It makes sense to also invest in a good aquarium thermometer so that you can identify problems immediately, for example if your heating fails or fails completely.

In summary

Although you can sometimes find a really pink betta fish, these creatures are a rarity.

Often times, when you have a red betta that is turning pink, it is a sign that your fishy friend is not doing well and it may be that your fish is stressed. Check the water conditions in your Betta’s tank to make sure the water is clean and that ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates are within acceptable parameters. Also, check the temperature to make sure the water isn’t too warm or too cold. Both can put a strain on your betta.

If you have an older betta, its color may fade as it ages.

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