A healthy fish should look healthy. Here are the keys to maintaining a healthy color in your fish.
Color is very important to fish. Both in the wild and captivity, a fish’s coloring can serve a variety of purposes. Fish use their colors to hide themselves, to attract mates, to scare off predators and for many other functions. When a fish is healthy, his colors reflect that. A fish whose colors go dull is usually sick or stressed. Here are some things to know about your fish and keeping his color strong:
- A Good Diet: Certain foods help keep a fish’s coloration vibrant. You should be able to find these foods at any pet store. They are rich in vitamins and minerals that help brighten your fish’s colors, especially Vitamin A. Some stores may even carry foods specifically targeted for certain species of fish. Also important to maintaining your fish’s color is feeding him a good variety of foods. A one-sided diet could lead to less-than-optimal pigmentation.
- Good Environment: To keep your fish healthy and colorful, you will need to make sure his water is healthy. Aquarium water needs to be well-balanced, with no ammonia or nitrates present. You should also make sure it is the right temperature for your fish. Finally, you should make sure all your aquarium dwellers are compatible. Having fish that will not get along will make them stressed. Stress is often the source of poor color.
- Spawning Season: This is the time of year when your fish’s colors will be most brilliant, as they often put on displays to please potential mates.
- Bad Colors: As noted before, pale, dull colors on your fish may mean something is wrong. Pay attention to their behavior and try to determine if the water quality is poor or if your fish is sick. Pale skin can be a sign of fish tuberculosis, but the chances are your fish just needs less stress and a better diet. Another sign for concern is spots or discolorations on your fish. This can mean a variety of things. White spots may mean your fish has Ich, while many other diseases cause lesions and discolorations.