Do Betta Fish Change Color? 0 37

Over the lifetime of your betta fish you may notice a change in color. This isn’t necessarily anything to worry about.

Female betta fish especially change color as they mature. Color changes can also be a good sign. It’s important to be able to recognise the difference between positive color changes and those that can mean a fish is unwell.

One time when you may see subtle changes in the color of a betta fish is when the shade of color deepens. This can happen when a male betta fish is being territorial.

We’re going to look at times when more noticeable changes in color take place.

Should betta fish change color when you bring them home?

Often living in a pet store does not provide the betta fish with the best home. The water may not be at the right temperature for instance. Once you bring your betta fish home you will be giving it a better environment to live in.

It’s not unusual for betta fish to be paler in the pet store and for their colors to noticeably change and deepen when you bring them home. This is a good sign; it means they are happy in their new tank!

Should my beta fish go paler in color?

While becoming deeper in color is often a good sign for a betta fish, the opposite is usually true. Losing color can be a sign that something is wrong.

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.

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3 lizards that are great for first-time owners 0 124


Unusual pets have become more popular and accessible in recent years, with many more people considering exotic pets than before. Reptiles have become particularly popular, with the range of lizards available in the UK wider than ever. Here, we’ll list a few of the best lizards for beginners in terms of pet care.

Bearded Dragons

The single most popular reptile on the market today, bearded dragons are docile and friendly, and have no problem being handled by humans. Aside from this quality, bearded dragons are also a manageable size when fully grown, with the largest species reaching around 60cm tip to tip. This means they’ll be large enough to handle with ease and safety, but not so large that caring for them becomes a burden.

Leopard Geckos

Geckos are another type of lizard that has become exceedingly popular with first-time reptile owners. There are many owners and dealers who strive to own as many different species of gecko as possible. Most geckos are fast, and the sticky pads on their toes mean they can scale walls and escape from handlers fairly easily. However, leopard geckos are slow, docile, and lack the sticky toe pads. This makes them an easy and beautiful addition to your first vivarium. Furthermore, leopard geckos are quite hardy, and not as susceptible to diseases. They’re also smaller than bearded dragons and other common domestic lizards, with adults typically reaching a maximum of 25cm. This makes it easy to set them up with a comfortable and compact vivarium while you get used to reptile care.


Like bearded dragons, uromastyx enjoy human contact, which makes them perfect for owners who have only ever cared for mammals before. Furthermore, unlike many other reptiles, they feed almost exclusively on plants. This makes them easy to shop for, and a no-brainer for anyone who’s squeamish about insects. Having said that, uromastyx can be a strain on your energy bill, requiring a basking spot kept at 35 degrees Celsius to stay happy and healthy. Still, if you can afford this and love the look of these distinctive lizards, a uromastyx can make a great introductory pet lizard.

Essential considerations when buying a tortoise 0 125

Keeping a tortoise as a pet

If you love reptiles, you may have toyed with the idea of owning a pet tortoise. These are truly fascinating creatures, having lived alongside the dinosaurs. Over millions of years of evolution, tortoises have grown to require fairly specific needs. However, they can be loving and fairly low-maintenance pets if you approach tortoise care in the right way. Here are a few things to think about before getting your tortoise.

Choosing a breed

Tortoises are very diverse animals, and different breeds will work better for different lifestyles. Russian, Bell, and Forest Hingeback tortoises are fairly small, growing up to 8.5”. Red Foots are a mid-range breed, growing up to 14”, while African Spur Thighs are a notably large breed, with some adults weighing well over 150 pounds. While vivariums and similar enclosures are fine for young tortoises and particularly small breeds, most will require some outdoor space to keep them in.

General supplies

As with any unusual pets, you need to ensure you have all the right supplies to keep your tortoise happy and healthy in its new home. When kept indoors, your tortoise will need a basking light to draw energy from, as well as a florescent UVB light to help it process vitamins and minerals healthily. To ensure the UVB rays are enough for your tortoise, set reminders to yourself to change them once every 6-8 months. A large water bowl is needed for drinking and soaking. Finally, your tortoise will need a heating pad. This will warm its belly, and help with its digestion.


Like many other animals, infant and adolescent tortoises will need extra nutritional care to help them grow healthily. To this end, make sure you’re keeping them on a balanced diet of crispy, easily-digestible food, like grasses and leafy green vegetables. It’s also a good idea to get them some calcium and vitamin supplements. As their jaws mature, you can move them onto more solid foods like fruits. Fully-grown tortoises will be able to manage darker leafy greens, along with a wider range of go-to reptile food, such as fruits, earthworms, and crickets. If you’re ever unsure of what you should be giving your tortoise based on their age and breed, consult your vet.

Find out more about caring for your pet tortoise