Do Betta Fish Change Color? 0 123

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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5 reasons a tortoise is the perfect pet 0 103

Tortoises are adorable animals and they are great pets to keep in your home. Here we explore the top five reasons why you should consider getting a tortoise as a pet.

1. Low maintenance

With some space to enjoy and some lettuce to chomp on, a tortoise will be pretty happy. This low maintenance pet won’t need walking twice a day and will keep themselves entertained.

2. Tortoises are very affordable

Tortoises are very affordable to keep in your home. Once they are set up with a comfortable space to enjoy, there will be very little cost to upkeep them. Their food is cheap and their space remains clean for long periods without needing to be changed.

3. Tortoises live long lives

Tortoises will also be around for a long time. They can live from 14 to 30 years or more depending on the species, which means you will have a friend for years to come. Unlike most other pets, you will be able to enjoy your tortoise for vast periods of your life.

4. They’re harmless

Tortoises are far more harmless than cats and dogs. While they may bite your finger if you put it in their mouth, little damage will be done. A tortoise is a very safe pet to have in the home and is great when you have children too.

5. Tortoises are loyal

Tortoises are unlike most pets in that they are happy in the space you give them. With room to wander around, food to eat and occasional trips into the garden to play and eat grass, the tortoise will be happy. Tortoises will not try to run away from you like dogs, hamsters or guinea pigs.

Tortoises are adorable creatures to keep as pets and they are a very practical and affordable animal to have in your home. Unlike many pets, it is easy to keep a tortoise and to keep them happy for a long time. With a tortoise, you will have a friend for years and years to come.

Photo: Tortoise by snowmentality licensed under Creative commons 2

Keeping exotic fish as pets 0 154

Exotic fish

There’s something mesmerising about watching a tank full of brightly coloured fish swim around. Do they make good pets though? Is it hard to keep exotic fish? With the right pet care and pet advice, exotic fish make great, if unusual pets.

Tank size

Go for the biggest sized tank you can afford and have room for. The bigger your tank, the easier you’ll find keeping the balance of the water right. Your fish need plenty of room to swim too. Aim for at least a 20-gallon tank.

Tank set-up

You’re going to need a heater to warm the water. You’ll also need a filter to ensure clean, healthy water, which is crucial for fish to thrive. It’s advisable to add an air pump to boost the oxygen levels.

You’ll also need a light for the tank, and a timer for the light, so it’s not on all the time. Bear in mind a fish tank should be placed out of direct sunlight, away from draughts and heating sources.

On top of the things that make your tank work you’re going to need everything that goes into your tank; gravel for the bottom, plants, and decorative caves and tunnels so your fish can hide if they want to.

You can usually buy aquarium starter kits at pet food stores if you want help in pulling everything together.

Getting the water right

The filter will cycle your water to make it suitable for fish to live in, never add tap water directly to the tank. You need to de-chlorinate it first. You can also add a water treatment to help keep the water healthy between changes.

You should change about 10-15% of the water each week to keep it clean and healthy for the fish. Never do a full tank change once your fish are in the tank.

Choosing your fish

When you choose your fish, make sure you start introducing them slowly – this will help you identify if you’ve got the water balance right, and at this point, your tanks eco-system is still developing, so adding lots of fish can damage it.

There’s a wide range of tropical fish to choose from – Cichlids, Betta and Swordtails are good starter fish, and are nice to look at. Never mix goldfish and tropical fish together.