Betta fish have one of the most beautiful fins among the fish community. The fins of a betta fish are relatively more significant than its body. This makes the betta fins highly sophisticated and delicate. However, one may wonder do betta fish shed or molt their scales.
To answer the question, do betta fish shed their scales? Betta fish, like all other fish, do not molt. Thus, there is no genuine reason behind your betta fish losing scales if that is happening. If the scales of your betta fish are shedding or falling off, then it may be happening because of one of two reasons. The scales of your betta fish may be shedding due to inadequate conditions in the tank or due to some underlying bacterial or fungal ailment.
Do Betta Fish Shed Scales: Causes
As stated earlier, if your betta fish is shedding its scales, then it is probably not due to natural reasons. Thus, it would help if you looked into other factors to figure out the root cause behind betta fish molting. One can categorize the causes based on the activity of the betta fish during scale or fin loss.
So, do betta fish shed? Not naturally. It is possible for the betta fish to lose its scales or fins but not naturally. You may notice one of two things. You may notice your betta fish swimming energetically but still losing scales, or you may notice your betta fish swimming lethargically and also losing its scales.
The causes for both the cases mentioned above differ. Determining the true cause behind the shedding of the betta fish scales is crucial as the nature of the treatment depends on the cause. Do betta fish shed? Here are some of the reasons behind betta fish shedding its scales.
Healthy Betta & Losing Scales
If your betta fish is swimming energetically but still losing its scales, it may be because of the following reasons.
- Strong water current – Betta fins and scales are quite delicate because of its large and widespread nature. Betta fish need a weak water current to swim smoothly. A strong water current may put pressure on the delicate fins of your betta, thereby, damaging them.
- Sharp tank decors – Betta fish prefer having a variety of tank decors like plants, caves, driftwood, etc. in their tank as they provide them with sufficient hiding spots. However, if these tank objects have shrap edges or hard surfaces then it may lead to betta fish scale shedding.
- Confrontation – Betta fish are particularly aggressive towards other male betta fish. Therefore, it is not adviced to put two male bettas together in a tank. A fight between two bettas may lead your betta fish to lose its fins or scales. The bettas may also show such aggression during breeding.
Thus, do betta fish shed even if they are healthy? Yes. Betta fish are capable of shedding their scales even if they are healthy. The above-listed reasons are the most probable causes for such losing scales in betta.
Lethargic Betta & Losing Scales
If you notice your betta fish not only swimming lethargically but also losing its scales, it may be due to the following reasons.
- Fin rot – Perhaps the most common bacterial infection your betta fish can suffer from is the fin rot. Fin rot, as the name suggests, causes the betta fins to become tattered and shredded. Over time, the effect may also spread to the body. It is mainly caused due to poor water conditions.
- Velvet disease – Velvet disease is another parasitic infection that commonly affects the betta fish. The parasites attach themselves to the body of the betta fish that leads the body and fins to turn red and develop scars. This forces the betta to run against tank objects that may lead to fin loss and scale shedding.
- White spot disease – Similar to the velvet disease, the white spot disease or ich, is a parasitic infection affecting your betta fish. It leads to the development of white spots all over the betta’s body. It is usually caused due to improper water quality.
Thus, if you wonder if betta fish shed and swim inactively, then the factors mentioned above may be part of the shedding of scales in betta. It is recommended that you look for these signs as soon as possible as these conditions worsen over time.
Do Betta Fish Shed Scales: Treatment
Having discussed the various causes behind the shedding of the betta scales, now we will highlight some way ways in which you may prevent and treat such fin loss. Depending on the previously listed causes, here are some of the treatments you may adopt.
- Adjust the water current in the tank to make it suitable for the betta
- Avoid adding objects with sharp edges and hard surfaces
- Do not put two male bettas together in one tank
- Properly condition your male and female bettas before breeding
- Conduct periodical water changes (20% water change every week)
- Consider introducing water conditioner and aquarium salt in your tank
- Properly schedule your betta’s diet to promote immunity
- Regularly check the levels of parameters like temperature, pH, ammonia, chlorine, etc.
Therefore, if you are wondering do betta fish shed skin or scales as they grow in size, then the answer is yes. However, betta fish do not shed their scales and fin naturally. Betta fish scale shedding is usually caused due to inadequate tank conditions or underlying medical ailments.
FAQs On Do Betta Fish Shed
Do betta scales grow back?
Betta fish scales grow back naturally. The time in which they grow back depends on the cause. Betta scale regrowth may take a few weeks.
Why does my betta look like it is peeling?
Betta fish never shed or molt naturally. Thus, if you are wondering do betta fish shed their skin, then you must know that bettas only shed due to discrepancies in tank conditions and water parameters.
Do betta fish shed their tails and fins?
Betta fish may shed their fins for various reasons, including fin rot, velvet disease, ich, sharp edges of tank objects, or fighting between bettas.
Thus, if you wonder if betta fish shed, the answer is yes but not naturally. If you notice your betta fish scales shedding, it is probably because of underlying bacterial and fungal infections or improper tank conditions. Betta scales generally grow back naturally.