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Q: MC wrote,

Hey Christie,

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.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Anonymous says:

    bettas are the worst fish you could buy, they take too much time and effort to look after.
    What happened to the good old “Red Belly Pacu”

    • Leo says:

      wow. troll much. I love bettas and if you don’t even like them why come here? -___-

  2. Christie says:

    Pacus are interesting in their own right, but completely different fish with different requirements. It’s apples to oranges.

  3. Diapheneity says:

    Thank you for the wonderful picture. I currently have 3 Bettas and they are spoiled rotten. However, one of them (My blue one) had ich and fin rot when i got him. He is now much better but we do still fight with the fin rot every few weeks. My pink veil tail recently tore half his beautiful tall off with his teeth, causing an infection which we are treating. The tail is starting the regrow. My red one is just dandy. Thank you for the pictures. These are my first bettas and I am learning as I go. At least now I know what regrowth looks like. Take care.

  4. Christie says:

    I’m glad the photo helped you. Just be sure to keep that water clean. New fin re-growth is so fragile. Also, just for your own knowledge, bettas don’t have teeth. 😉

  5. Deisrea says:

    Thank you so much for the tips, because I was starting to notice it on my little red veil tail. I got him from a Wal-Mart carrying bettas after I noticed some cruel soul had but him in a bowl with a larger male. He was completely shredded and I felt really bad for him. Fought with a cashier for half an hour before she’d finally let me buy him. Now I’ve got him in a five gallon tank with a low current filter and the heat of the house keeps him at a nice comfortable 78 degrees. Is there anything else I can do to keep him nice and cozy?

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