Q: MC wrote,
I’ve looked all around for an answer to my question and can’t seem to find it. I hope you can help. I have two beautiful betta fish. One came from an oriental themed store that I couldn’t help taking home because he was close to death. My other is a strikingly beautiful orange veiltail from my LFS. They both live in very clean tanks. They have a variety diet – some pellets (Hikari Betta Bio-Gold stress reducing, color enhancing) and some freeze dried blood worms. Their tanks are both at a good 78-80 degrees. They have everything a Betta could want (and a crazy Betta mom can buy).
The thing is, they both have color loss on the ends of their tails. It looks like they both have clear ends to their tails where color just won’t go. I’m just curious why the color has not spread back into their tails. Is there something safe I can do to promote coloring or is this just how my fish will be?
A: The clear fin tips you describe sound like regrowth. Bettas sometimes loose their fins due to a bacterial infection called Fin Rot. It can also occur from injury. When the fins begin to regenerate they come in clear almost like cellophane. They are very thin and very fragile and it often take many months before the color fills in. It’s possible your bettas had some minor fin rot recently or even before you purchased them. It’s very common when they live in poor conditions and most often is the result of ammonia exposure from swimming in their own waste. Since you’re doing such a great job keeping their water clean and warm, the fins are now able to regrow. Fin Rot is so common it can even creep up in seeming good water conditions. Dealing with fin rot is something almost all betta keepers experience eventually.
New fin tissue is very fragile and can fall away easily if the water quality goes south. Keep up with your cleaning regimen and the color should fill in a few weeks to a few months time.
Here’s an image of one of my bettas. You can see the clear fin tissue at the end of his tail.
It’s not the best photo because he’s so light in color already. In darker colored bettas the new fin tissue can appear significantly different from the rest of the fin.