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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My friend "rescued" a young female betta from Wal-Mart (pity purchase). He had a cycled, heated (79*) 10 gallon with no other fish, ready for the "perfect fish". He picked this one that was in the back, not on display. She had hints of purple and he felt so bad for her that he wanted to take her home. She looked healthy, and acted healthy. But she had the color of a dirty dish rag with just the slightest hint of purple on her dorsal. I encouraged him to purchase her, as I told him usually good water quality will help bring out her colors.

This was about six months ago. The fish has grown. Is wonderfully happy and healthy. But despite his efforts, she is still a wonderful dirty brown color (we joke she looks like a trout). He reports that sometimes she has a tad bit of purple to her dorsal still. Some days more then others. His water parameters read as normal and he treats with Prime. She gets a healthy, varied diet (frozen bloodworms, NLS betta and thera alternated). We've tried two times a week 20% water changes, but she still stays brown. Is there a chance that she is just destined to be a boring brown betta? Did being in the Wal-Mart water do her in (ammonia tested off the charts in the water that she came in)? Anything we can do to help with her color more then we've done? Or just accept the little one as wonderful, despite being brown?

Should note, he did do a therapeutic dose of salt after initially getting her. I am not really a huge salt fan and didn't want the fish in this for too long - plus that didn't help. Aside from keeping her and her water in good shape, I don't know what else to recommend to him.
 

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She will probably stay brown. Keep in mind that most female bettas were pretty bland as far as coloring. It's only been recent years that females have been bred with gorgeous colors. She is what I'd call an "old school" female.
 

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If she hasn't colored up by now, brown is probably her natural coloring. While most females on the market now have nice, bright colors, this one's probably a bit of a throwback to older days, when the females were a bit more drab. This is perfectly natural and healthy. Selective breeding has improved female color, but at one time, it was accepted that they wouldn't be very showy.
 

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To add: Finding a "boring brown" female betta would be so unusual for me that I might pick her up due to her sheer uniqueness. That's actually kinda neat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Alright. Thanks for the input all. I will pass that on to him then. She is loved and appreciated, despite her color. But we were cheering for something a bit brighter. All of my personal females are brightly colored but started dull. This is our first that hasn't changed substantially.
 
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