I'm new to fish in general and have virtually no experience. However I am shocked with some of the radical changes in colors I notice and how fast they can change! It seems to be an important indicator of health/happiness- yet I don't ever notice people talking about that (short of fin rot and such with clear indicators of spotty color change.)
My roommate's betta grays up with bad water and looks like a boring light blue, but when it's clean, fresh water with sufficient space it turns beautiful aqua with deep blues and rich greens.
When I got my betta, my aunt shipped him to me. He was supposed to be a red/black crowntail but when I got him he was the sickest Gray/Brown- turning very transparent. Within hours of acclimating him to the new tank he perked up. It hasn't even been 24 hours and he has deep reds and clear blue/gray colors. I imagine with more time the blue/gray will darken and the red will brighten some more.
Does anyone else have experince with such dramatic (and fast!) color changes through conditions? I also read somewhere that many marbled bettas change colors just because. How much do they change?
I think it all depends on the individual fish, as well as what their colors are. For example my cellophane and copper bettas never change colors, regardless of how sick/healthy they are. But I definitely hear about how a pale fish colors up dramatically once moved into a better environment, so for some fish it's definitely an indicator of health and well being. As for marbles...see the guy in my avatar? At the end of his life, his head was the same color as it is in the picture, but his body was solid dark blue and his fins were dark blue with green steaks; he didn't even look like the same fish!
When my friend found Dixie on the betta shelf in Petco she said that she was a pale white and that she had mistaken her as an all white Crowntail. After being in a much better environment Dixie had started to gain color and be more active. Eventually my friend gave Dixie to me because she made the decision to give up owning a betta. She is now turning into a mixture of different colors. (Dixie might be a multi Crowntail...)
Lulu, my black Plakat, looses color when she's stressed. she'll go from rich black, with red on her fins, to an ugly light brown with rich black stress stripes, and the red will turn a dried-blood color.
when Caroline, my cambodian girl, gets stressed, the red on her fins becomes muddy red and see-through.
the most amazing color change, though, is my HMPK dragon girl. for reasons i can't figure out, Chappy went from a beautiful cream-bodied girl with beautiful green-blue scales, to a brown pineapple with metallic blue on her fins. ._____o lost all her shiny scales, except a few on her eye, and is quite plane looking, the generic way for females to be described by non-betta-lovers.
wow, I more often heard of bettas loosing color at the end of his life, that sounds like he gained color. That's interesting.
Well he died from a filter accident, so unfortunately he never got to see old age. :( I wish I had taken more pictures of him, I'd love to take a side-by-side look at the difference in both color and finnage (he ended up being a halfmoon double tail), but I don't think I got any pictures of him once he was full grown.
My current female "cellophane" is showing signs of marbling, so I'm looking forward to seeing how she changes over time!
The see-through seems to be a trend as well. I noticed as my betta gets more colorful he also looks more "solid" The light doesn't filter through his body as strongly- and his fins are looking bigger and more solid, probably because the edges aren't transparent. I thought he had fin rot originally, but now I"m thinking it was just sick coloring since it's gone away so significantly after a day. (even mild Fin rot doesn't heal itself overnight does it?)
Luimeril, you seem to have a like for the female bettas. I have to admit to be in the thinking of the non-betta-lovers as them looking more boring. Do you aim to get more colorful bettas or do you just love their quirky personalities? (One of my roommates has a female and it's a personality for sure, but just a muddy boring color that she gets lost in the tan substrate and is overpowered by the green plant in the tank.)
I'm sorry to hear about the accident! I have heard such mixed reviews on filters and bettas. I think it stressed out my first betta- but my current one seems to almost enjoy the filter's flow. (It's one of the lowest flows I could find- but in a 5.5 gallon tank it is still noteable.)